BACK HOME AGAIN (1980 – 1984)

The early 1980s were still busy years for the Booths. They appeared in several TV talk shows. The studio audiences were made up of many of their old fans who were delighted to see their favourites still looking very glamorous indeed. Anne turned 70 in 1980, while Webster was 78. It looked as though they were as much in love then as the day they married in 1938. In late 1981 Webster’s health began to fail. He had to wait until January before he could have surgery done at the Royal Liverpool Hospital on 15 January 1982. He was not looking forward to spending his eightieth birthday in hospital.

The early 1980s were still busy years for the Booths. They appeared in several TV talk shows. The studio audiences were made up of many of their old fans who were delighted to see their favourites still looking very glamorous indeed. Anne turned 70 in 1980, while Webster was 78. It looked as though they were as much in love then as the day they married in 1938. In late 1981 Webster’s health began to fail. He had to wait until January before he could have surgery done at the Royal Liverpool Hospital on 15 January 1982. He was not looking forward to spending his eightieth birthday in hospital.

At home. 1980.
10 February 1980 – with Jess Yates and his girlfriend, Katie Brooks.
May 1980
3 to 10 May 1980. 35th anniversary of Victory in Europe.
30 June 1980. Report by Gordon Irving in South African newspapers.
This was a popular presentation which Anne and Webster presented around the country. Each took a turn to tell their individual life story and sang a few songs together to round the evening off.
19 September 1980 – Anne and Webster had coached Peter and Jackie while they were appearing in a summer show in Llandudno.
September 1980
29 January 1981 on the Russell Harty show. Webster had just had his 78th birthday a week earlier.
Some of the elderly fans in the studio audience.
6 February 1981 – Report from Gordon Irving in South African newspapers.
8 January 1982. In a letter to me, Webster referred to the article by Gordon Irving.
5 March 1981 – another appearance on Russell Harty’s TV show.
29 May 1981. Royal Variety Performance, Blackpool.
After the performance. Webster can be seen in the far left of the photo. When they were presented to Prince Charles he asked whether they were married!
13 August 1981. The Time of Your Life.
At the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party for Jean and Maurice Buckley – 1981. I used this photo for the cover of my book, Sweethearts of Song.
Webster at the Buckley’s Silver Anniversary party, North Wales.
September 1981
1982 – review of a reissue of The Gondoliers from 1932.
1983 Border Television
Only a Rose TV interview 1983 Penrhyn Bay and Llandudno.
1983 Only a Rose TV interview
With the Firmanis – Only a Rose TV interview 1983.
Visiting the Buckleys. 1983.

Early on 22 June, Anne’s seventy-fourth birthday I received a call from Janet Swart, whom I had first encountered as Janet Goldsborough, singing in Mrs MacDonald-Rouse’s concert party. She was a regular listener to BBC World Service and knew of my association with Anne and Webster. She was thoughtful enough to let me know that it had been announced on News about Britain that morning that Webster had died in the early hours of the 21 June. I will always be grateful to Janet for making that call to me, as I would have been completely devastated to have heard such news in the media. I had been expecting him to die sooner or later, but it was still a great shock and deep sadness to me to hear the sad news of his death.

Webster had been at home for five or six weeks when he tripped on the doorstep as he was hurrying to get into the car with Anne to drive to the local park to take Bonnie for a walk. He suffered a severe blow to his head and was bleeding profusely. Anne struggled to get him into the car to take him to hospital, where he was treated in Casualty and sent home again, much to Anne’s consternation as she thought he should have been admitted to hospital after his fall.


During the night he developed pneumonia. She phoned the doctor who refused to make a night call to see him, so it was only in the morning that he was indeed admitted into hospital, as he should have been on the previous day. Anne stayed with him throughout the day. When she left in the evening she asked the staff to let her know at once if he was deteriorating so that she could return to the hospital right away. Sadly nobody phoned her when his condition deteriorated. She had spent a sleepless night, and phoned the hospital herself in the early hours of the morning, only to be told that his condition had worsened and he would probably not last until she reached the hospital.

Webster Booth, one of Britain’s finest tenors, died alone in his hospital bed in the early hours of 21 June 1984. Anne was devastated at his death, and furious at the poor medical treatment he had received during his last illness. The only thing that kept her going in the dark days after his death was Bonnie, the beloved Yorkshire terrier who had to be fed and walked each day.

22 June 1984.
25 June 1984. Obituary. Times
25 June 1984 – Rand Daily Mail.
28 June 1984 The Stage.
Write-up in the North Wales Weekly news – 28 June 1984, mentioning Jean Buckley who, at that time was a close friend and had done a great deal to help Anne during Webster’s final illness.

Babs Wilson-Hill was abroad at the time of Webster’s death so Anne delayed the cremation service until she arrived home. This placed an extra strain on Anne as she waited for the funeral to take place. Obituaries appeared in the national newspapers and once again there were mountains of post, this time with letters of condolence from friends and fans who remembered Webster with affection. There were far too many letters to answer personally so Anne had a letter of thanks printed to be sent to everyone who had written and it was Jean and Maurice who helped her to address all these letters

Peter Firmani, a tenor from Rotherham whom they had coached, sang I’ll Walk Beside You at the cremation service. Webster’s son Keith was heartbroken at his father’s death and found the service very harrowing. Jean and Maurice Buckley held a reception at their home for those who had attended the funeral.

The Star – 29 June 1984 – Gordon Irving, the UK correspondent for the Star Tonight wrote the obituary. He had it wrong about Webster being divorced by his first wife. In fact, he was divorced by his second wife with the stage name of Paddy Prior, whose name was indeed Dorothy Annie Alice Prior. He had divorced his first wife, mother of his son, Keith, Winifred Keey, in 1931 due to her adultery.
21 July 1984 – Only a Rose repeated.
Memorial Service. St Paul’s Covent Garden.
30 October 1984 – Memorial Service, St Paul’s -Anne and Evelyn Laye.
30 October 1984 – Memorial Service, St Paul’s -Anne and Evelyn Laye.

A memorial service was arranged for Webster at noon on 20 October 1984 at St Paul’s Church, the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden. Evelyn Laye read the lesson; David Welsby a BBC producer from Pebble Mill, Birmingham, with whom they had worked, did the Appreciation; Peter Firmani sang I’ll Walk Beside You once again. Despite Jean and Maurice’s kindness to Anne and Webster, they were not invited to this service.

The Reverend John Arrowsmith officiated at the service, assisted by the Precentor of Lincoln Cathedral, Canon David Rutter, who represented the choir school where Webster had spent his youth as a chorister. Webster’s ashes were buried in the ground of the Garden of Remembrance at St Paul’s. Keith, who had been so upset at the cremation service, decided not to attend the Memorial Service as he could not bear to go through another harrowing farewell to his father. Pictures of Anne and Evelyn Laye appeared in several national newspapers. Anne said that it was only when Webster’s ashes were buried in the grounds of the Churchyard that she finally realised that he was indeed dead and would never return.

Anne and Webster’s names had been linked for nearly fifty years. They had been married for forty-five years and, unlike most married couples who worked in different places, they had hardly spent any time apart. There were no children from the marriage. Anne was to live on her own in the bungalow in Penrhyn Bay for another nineteen years.

Jean Collen 27 May 2019.

All extracts in this post are taken from my book, Sweethearts of Song: A Personal Memoir of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.

Updated by Jean Collen on 26 July 2019.

BROADCASTS FEATURING WEBSTER BOOTH AND ANNE ZIEGLER (1934 – 1939)

 

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1934. North Regional -Sunday -7.0-7.45 STABAT MATER, by Pergolesi (for Female Voices, string orchestra and Continuo); the Liverpool Ladies’ Choir (by permission of the Liverpool Music Society); the Northern String Orchestra (leader, John Bridge), Conductor, John Tobin; Tilly Connely (Harpsichord)’ Emily Evans (Soprano); Doris Walker (Soprano); Nancy Evans (Contralto); Irené Eastwood (Soprano). Irené changed her name to Anne Ziegler when she moved to London to go on the stage.
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29th January 1935 -Following a reading of Scottish poetry by CRM Brookes, a modern fairy tale, by James Dyrenforth, with music by Kenneth Leslie-Smith, entitled LOVE NEEDS A WALTZ, will be relayed. Among those taking part in this are Bruce Carfax, Ernest Sefton, Gordon Bailey, Sam Browne, Ben Welden, and Anne Ziegler.
Anne was hailed as a ‘Radio Nightingale Discovery’.

19th February 1935 -Scottish National – 8.0 THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER, a Comic Opera, adapted for Broadcasting from Stanislaus Stange’s English Version of the Libretto by Adolf Bernauer and Leopold Jacobson; Music by Oscar Strauss; adapted and produced by Gordon McConnel, with Anne Ziegler, Amy Augarde, Betty Huntley-Wright, Horace Percival, Franklyn Kelsey, Percy Heming, Jan van der Gucht, the Wireless Chorus and the BBC Theatre Orchestra (leader, Montague Brearley), Conductor Stanford Robinson.

RADIO THEATRE February 1935 -Prince Edward Theatre. Anne Ziegler, with Stannelli, Richard Murdoch, Claude Dampier, Billie Carlyle and Elsie Sterndale.

RADIO MUSIC HALL 1935 –Anne Ziegler, with Claude Hulbert, Muriel George and Ernest Butcher and Mario Lorenzo.

15th May 1935 -Scottish National – 10.00 THE MAY REVUE; music by Jack Strachey; produced by C. Denis Freeman, with Nelson Keys, Sylvia Leslie, Patrick Waddington, Hermione Gingold, C Denier Warren, Max Kirby, Anne Ziegler; the Radio Three; the BBC Variety Orchestra, directed by Mark H. Lubbock.

1st June 1935 -Scottish National Saturday 8.30 BITTER SWEET, a Romantic opera by Noel Coward, adapted for the microphone by Henrik Ege, with Evelyn Laye, Serge Abranovic, Betty Huntley-Wright, Patricia Burke, Patrick Waddington, Tessa Deane, Rose Hignell, Anne Ziegler, Phillip Cunningham, Norah Howard, Effie Atherton, Hermione Gingold, Gerald Nodin, Leslie Perrins, John Cheatle, Elaine Inescort, Winifred Davies, Billy Milton, Philip Desborough, Dimitri Vetter, Hector Abbas, Dorothy Tetley, Stanley Vine, Gwen Williams; the BBC Theatre Orchestra; Mantovani and his Orchestra; the BBC Revue Chorus, conducted by Stanford Robinson; Assistant Conductor Arthur Wood. 9.30 Time, Weather, and News Summary; 9.45 BITTER SWEET (Act 2)

20th June 1935 -The radio version of Owen Hall’s THE GEISHA, with Huntley Wright in his original part and Anne Ziegler as O Mimosa San, will be reintroduced by Marie Tempest in the Scottish National programme tonight at 8.0.
8.0 Marie Tempest introduces THE GEISHA, a broadcasting version of Owen Hall’s story of a Tea House; Lyrics by Harry Greenbank; Music by Sidney Jones; Pidgin English by Clifford W. Collinson; adapted and produced by Gordon McConnel with William Stephens, Lawrence Baskcomb, Colleen Clifford, Huntley Wright, Ewart Scott, Arnold Matters, Gladys Young, Anne Ziegler, Ian Glennie, Betty Huntley-Wright; the BBC Chorus, the BBC Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Stanford Robinson.

The Scotsman, 29th June 1935, page 20 -Sunday 6.30 – 7.45 The BBC Theatre orchestra conducted by Stanford Robinson; Anne Ziegler (Soprano)

12th November 1935 -Scottish 3.00 The Torquay Municipal Orchestra, Conductor Ernest W Goss; Anne Ziegler (Soprano)
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1936 – 1940 This was one of the most prolific broadcasting periods for Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. They appeared in separate broadcasts until January 1938 when they began singing together. They were married on 5 November 1938.
Excerpts from Mother Goose – Regional Programme Northern, 1 January 1936 19.00 –presented by TOM ARNOLD (for Julian Wylie Productions, Ltd.) Relayed from The Empire Theatre, Liverpool Book by J. Hickory Wood and Dan Leno , Jnr. Music composed, selected and arranged by James W. Tate and E. W. Eyre
Ballets, Musical Number and Ensembles staged by John Roker, J. W. JACKSON ‘S SIXTEEN ENGLISH DANCERS, TWENTY-FOUR EILEEN ROGAN CHILDREN, Chorus and Ballet, Produced by TOM ARNOLD
George Lacy is one of the finest dames of modern times and a great artist. His change of appearance from his comedy make-up of the early scenes to the beauty that invests Mother Goose after she has bathed in the Magic Pool is as wonderful as the pathos of his acting when beauty leaves her.
George Formby , brilliant son of a brilliant father, needs no introduction to Liverpool audiences. Like his father, he is Lancashire’s own comedian
Anne Ziegler is Liverpool born and bred, and sang in concerts there under her own name of Irene Eastwood. She decided that musically her own name would not get her anywhere; changed it to Anne Ziegler, and won fame on the air. She is slim, blonde, and beautiful. Anne as principal boy in her first pantomime.
Last, but not least, of a brilliant cast is George Queen, who plays the goose. Priscilla with an amazing fidelity to life.

Sunday – 6.0 Up North for Pantomime: Anne Ziegler, Principal Boy in Tom Arnold’s Pantomime, MOTHER GOOSE at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool.

29th February 1936 – 10.0 The BBC Theatre Orchestra; Conductor, Stanford Robinson; Anne Ziegler (Soprano)
Anne sang A Song in the Night by Loughborough on Pathé. Unfortunately,  this excerpt is missing its soundtrack, but click on the link to hear the recording: https://clyp.it/dk0yxd2i

Comic Opera-5 – National Programme Daventry, 26 March 1936 20.30. A Programme of Songs and Scenes from LA POUPÉE, English lyrics by ARTHUR STURGESS; Music by EDMOND AUDRAN.THE ROSE OF PERSIA English lyrics by BASIL HOOD; Music by ARTHUR SULLIVAN and THE POLICEMAN’S SERENADE – A Grand Little Opera Words by A. P. HERBERT; Music by ALFRED REYNOLDS
Artists: GEORGE BAKER (Baritone) ANNE ZIEGLER (Soprano) APPLETON MOORE (Baritone) BERNARD ANSELL, IAN GLENNIE, IVAN GOLDING, IRENE BRIGHTMAN, JOHN DUNCAN, THE B B C REVUE CHORUS and THE B B C THEATRE ORCHESTRA, Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON, The Programme arranged by GORDON MCCONNEL (the Producer) and MARK H. LUBBOCK. This was broadcast in the Regional programme last night.

6th June 1936 – Aberdeen Sunday 9.0 UP NORTH THIS WEEK: Anne Ziegler, accompanied by the Buxton Spa Orchestra: Conductor: Maurice Mies from the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton.

HARRY GORDON OF INVERSNECKY AND HIS COMPANY – Regional Programme Scotland, 13 July 1936 21.30 – from the Beach Pavilion, Aberdeen.
This year Harry attains his majority in the Beach Pavilion, having begun there twenty-one years ago at a salary of £2 a week. Eight years later he became lessee of the Pavilion, since when he has managed and produced a long succession of amusing shows, in addition to undertaking the work of principal comedian. Assisting him tonight are Murray Stewart and his Orchestra Mascotte, Joan Coleridge , Anne Ziegler, Fred Yule, Jack Holden, Jack Key, Four Paramount Tiller Girls, and Alice Stephenson.

6th August 1936 LOTS OF LOVE 10.5, An Improper Story of Four Centuries (very properly cut to an Hour) by HOLT MARVELL.  Music by JACK STRACHEY, ANNE ZIEGLER (Soprano), CAVAN O’CONNOR (Tenor) and THE RADIO THREE, GORDON LITTLE (Baritone), THE B B C VARIETY ORCHESTRA, Conductor, STANFORD ROBINSON, ORCHESTRA: Hungarian Souvenir, GORDON LITTLE: Can This Be Love?
ANNE ZIEGLER AND CAVAN O’CONNOR: Two Songs from Lots of Love 1. Vienna in the Spring; 2. Moon of Romance.
GORDON LITTLE: A Night in November.
ANNE ZIEGLER AND GORDON LITTLE: Ghosts of My Lovers.
ORCHESTRA: Suite, Three Cameos 1. The Little Waltz; 2. Polka, Grand-mamma Goes Gay; 3. Ascot Parade.
ANNE ZIEGLER AND GORDON LITTLE: Holiday Abroad. 
ORCHESTRA – Selection from the Monthly Revues.
Of those who are to sing some of his numbers tonight, Anne Ziegler first broadcast in Love Needs a Waltz, Cavan O’Connor won fame as the Vagabond Lover, and Gordon Little, another well-known broadcaster, played in Stop Press at the Vaudeville last year.

Lots of Love (Repeat) – National Programme Daventry, 13 October 1936 20.00 Radio broadcast. Anne Ziegler and Cavan O’Connor, with Adele Dixon, Greer Carson, Bruce Winston, Eric Portman.

Radio Pie – Regional Programme London, 5 November 1936 19.30. Written, composed, and concocted by THE TWO LESLIES: (LESLIE SARONY and LESLIE HOLMES).
Ingredients: TOMMY HANDLEY, TESSIE O’SHEA (By permission of George Black ), THE SINGING PORTER, MARIO DE PIETRO, ANNE ZIEGLER, HUGO STEFFANI AND HIS TWENTY-ONE SILVER SONGSTERS.

TV BROADCAST 1 December 1936, 9.45 10.00 pm. BBC TV Anne appeared with Gilbert Webster (xylophone).
9th December 1936 Scottish National Regional 9.0 The BBC Theatre Orchestra conducted by Harold Lowe; Anne Ziegler (Soprano); Michael Collins (Violoncello)

Round the Pantomimes—2 – Regional Programme Scotland, 29 December 1936 21.00 Cinderella with WILL FYFFE, JOAN COLE, ANNE ZIEGLER, WINNIE COLLINS etc. from the Empire Theatre, Edinburgh (By permission of George Black ) Continuity by P. I. KEITH MURRAY and R. E. KINGSLEY
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HUNTLEY WRIGHT as Wun-Hi in THE GEISHA – National Programme Daventry, 4 January 1937 19.45
This was one of the first broadcasts in which Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler appeared together. Webster was still married to Paddy Prior, but a divorce was pending.
A broadcasting version of Owen Hall ‘s Story of a Tea House – with some additional pidgin English by Clifford W. Collinson , F.R.G.S; Lyrics by Harry Greenbank, Music by Sidney Jones – Composer of A Greek Slave, An Artist’s Model, A Gaiety Girl. The BBC Revue Chorus and The BBC Theatre Orchestra, Conducted by Harold Lowe, Adaptation and production by Gordon McConnel with technical assistance of Rex Haworth.
The Geisha will be repeated in the Regional programme on Thursday at 8.45
Characters:
Police-Sergeant Takemini (attendant on the Marquis): Franklyn Kelsey
Marquis Imari (Chief of Police and Governor of the Province): Lawrence Baskcomb
Juliette (A French Tea Girl): Colleen Clifford
Wun-Hi (Chinese Proprietor of the Tea House): Huntley Wright
Officers of H M S Turtle: Lieutenant Cunning: Ewart Scott
Lieutenant Reginald Fairfax: Arnold Matters
Lady Constance Wynne (a Wealthy Englishwoman): Gladys Young
O Mimosa San (A Geisha): Anne Ziegler
Lieutenant Katana (of the Imperial Japanese Artillery): Webster Booth
Molly Seamore: Billie Baker

THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER – Regional Programme Scotland, 30 March 1937 20.45 A Comic Opera adapted for broadcasting by Gordon McConnel from Stanislaus Stange’s English version of the libretto by Adolph Bernauer and Leopold Jackson. Music by Oscar Straus, The BBC Revue Chorus and The BBC Theatre Orchestra, Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock. Production by Gordon McConnel and Rex Haworth. (From Regional).
Nadina Popoff, Daughter of Colonel Popoff: Anne Ziegler
Aurelia, Wife of Colonel Popoff: Gladys Parr
Mascha, Her Cousin: Betty Huntley Wright
Bumerli, Lieutenant in the Servian Army: .Horace Percival
Massakroff, Captain in the Bulgarian Army:.Franklyn . Kelsey
Kasimir Popoff, Colonel in the Bulgarian Army: Dick Francis
Alexius Sparidoff, Major in the Bulgarian Army: . Jan Van Der Gucht.

DANCING THROUGH – National Programme Daventry, 14 May 1937 20.00 Geraldo won fame for his non-stop music when he broadcast his first programme of ‘ Non-Stop Dance Music ‘ in 1934. In this fifth edition of Dancing Through he is trying to beat his record of 152 tunes which he played in the last (in December, 1935), and he will probably succeed. The vocalists are all well-known broadcasters.
Monte Rey , who has broadcast so often with Geraldo himself, Lily Morris of Music-Hall fame, Anne Ziegler, associated with radio musical comedy and operetta, and Wilfrid Thomas and Eve Becke , who were both so often with the Air-do-Wells. At the organ is the brilliant organist who succeeded Reginald Foort at the Paramount, Tottenham Court Road, Al Bollington, who gave a broadcast on the BBC Theatre Organ on Christmas Eve.

PADDLE STEAMER – BBC Television, 17 June 1937 15.35 Down River in 1850 with Sebastian Shaw and Anne Ziegler, Dances arranged by Wendy Toye, To Music by John Gardner, Produced by Dallas Bower. In this unusual production a leading rôle will be taken by an actor who, though he has been on the stage since 1914, when he was nine years old, has made a number of exceptionally notable hits in the last year in the film world, one of his latest parts being the leading male role in Farewell Again. His stage appearances include The Constant Nymph, The Sacred Flame, Precious Bane, Double Door, and repertory work at Stratford-on-Avon, and in Liverpool and Hull. Anne Ziegler is, of course, one of the most constant favourites in television programmes. Her numerous visits to Alexandra Palace include an appearance as a solo artist on June 2.
Wendy Toye, the brilliant twenty-year-old actress and dancer, who has arranged the dances in this programme, produced a ballet at the Palladium when she was only ten years of age. She studied dancing almost from infancy, and has appeared with the Camargo Society and toured with Anton Dolin and Alicia Markova.

AMERICA CABARET AND BROADCASTS 1937. While Anne starred in Virginia at the Center Theater, New York, Webster did a few broadcasts with Will Rogers and sang at the Rainbow Room, New York.
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6th January 1938 – Scottish 8.45 THE GEISHA, a broadcasting version of Owen Hall’s story of a Tea House, with some additional pidgin English by Clifford W Collinson: lyrics by Harry Greenbank; music by Sidney Jones; Adapted and produced by Gordon McConnel, assisted by Rex Haworth, with Huntley Wright, Fred Yule, Lawrence Baskcomb, Colleen Clifford, Ewart Scott, Arnold Matters, Gladys Young, Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Billie Baker; The BBC Revue Chorus and the BBC Theatre Orchestra; Conductor, Harold Lowe.

VARIETY – National Programme Daventry, 26 January 1938 19.15. Clarkson Rose: Comedian, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler : Musical Comedy Duets, A Motoring Episode by Charles Hayes and George Barker, Leonard Henry :Comedian, The BBC Variety Orchestra conducted by Charles Shadwell, Compere, Charles Hayes.

MONDAY AT SEVEN – National Programme Daventry, 14 February 1938 19.00, Presented by – Harry S. Pepper and Douglas Moodie. Singing Commere, Judy Shirley, Ernest Butcher and Muriel George, The Odyssey of a Valentine written and told by Valentine Dunn. Inspector Hornleigh Investigates, S. J. Warmington as Inspector Hornleigh)
No. 28, The Javanese Goddess by Hans W. Priwin, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth with the BBC Revue Chorus, The BBC Variety Orchestra conducted by Charles Shadwell.

CABARET– BBC Television, 22 February 1938 15.20 -with Anne Ziegler, Jane Carr, Edna Squire Brown, the Cafe Anglais Glamour Girls. Ian Grant as compere. The BBC Television Orchestra, leader Boris Pecker , conductor Hyam Greenbaum. Presentation by D. H. Munro.

7th April 1938 Scottish National 8.0 MILESTONES OF MELODY, Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra (by permission of the Savoy Hotel Ltd), presented by John Burnaby with Anne Ziegler, Monte Rey, Patrick Waddington, Eve Becke, Cyril Grantham, The Top Hattes and the Geraldettes, The BBC Male Revue Chorus, Al Bollington at the Theatre Organ.

DANCE CABARET – Regional Programme Western, 21 April 1938 21.15
from the Royal Bath Hotel Ballroom, Bournemouth
Douglas Byng the stage and cabaret star
Jane Carr stage, screen, and radio favourite
Webster Booth the romantic tenor
Anne Ziegler the lyric soprano
Arthur Askey comedian, and compere, and dance to Billy Bissett and his Canadians with THE CANADIAN CAPERS and ALICE MANN.
MILESTONES OF MELODY – Regional Programme London, 18 April 1938 20.20 Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra (By permission of the Savoy Hotel, Ltd.) with Romance and Rhythm: Anne Ziegler, Eve Becke, Monte Rey, Cyril Grantham, Patrick Waddington, The Top Hatters, The Geraldettes,The BBC Male Revue Chorus.

21st April 1938 At 9.15 there will be a DANCE CABARET with Douglas Byng, Jane Carr, Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, and others.
9.15 Dance Cabaret; Douglas Byng (stage and cabaret artist), Jane Carr (stage, screen and radio artist), Webster Booth (tenor), Anne Ziegler (soprano), Arthur Askey (comedian and compère); Billy Bissett and his Canadians with the Canadian Capers, and Alice Mann from the Royal Bath Hotel Ballroom, Bournemouth

MILESTONES OF MELODY – Regional Programme London, 6 May 1938 20.00 Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra (By permission of the Savoy Hotel, Ltd.) with Romance and Rhythm: Anne Ziegler, Eve Becke, Monte Rey, Cyril Grantham, Patrick Waddington, The Top Hatters, The Geraldettes,The BBC Male Revue Chorus.

THEATRE COMPOSERS National Programme Daventry, 29 May 1938 21.05 LIONEL MONCKTON – The Man and his Music. A programme arranged by M. Willson Disher. Music selected by Mark H. Lubbock. Production by Gordon McConnel. The compere, Bertram Wallis.Dennis Noble, Betty Huntley-Wright, Anne Ziegler, The BBC Theatre Chorus and the BBC Theatre Orchestra (leader, Tate Gilder ), conductor, Stanford Robinson.
MILESTONES OF MELODY (Series) – National Programme Daventry, 1 June 1938 20.00 Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra (by permission of the Savoy Hotel, Ltd.) with Romance and Rhythm. Anne Ziegler, Eve Becke, Monte Rey, Cyril Grantham, Jack Melford, The Top Hatters, The Geraldettes. Section of the BBC Male Chorus, Al Bollington at the BBC Theatre Organ. Presented by John Burnaby.
GEORGE EDWARDES – Regional Programme London, 15 June 1938 18.00 Part 1 – The Guv’nor of the Gaiety. An illustrated biography compiled and written by S. R. Littlewood. Produced by Gordon McConnel in collaboration with Mark H. Lubbock. The cast will include Sir Seymour and Lady Hicks (Ellaline Terriss), Robert Nainby, Willie Warde, Horace Percival, Betty Huntley-Wright, Stuart Robertson, Anne Ziegler, Bertha Willmott, Denis O’Neil. The BBC Theatre Chorus and The BBC Theatre Orchestra. Leader, Tate Gilder. Conductor, Stanford Robinson. The Compere, S. R. Littlewood . Should circumstances prevent Sir Seymour and Lady Hicks from taking part in the actual broadcast, their contributions to the programme will be recorded.

THE BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA – National Programme Daventry, 18 October 1938 13.15 Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock, Anne Ziegler (soprano).

Anne Ziegler on the cover of Radio Pictorial (1938) She is wearing a diamond solitaire engagement ring a month or so before Webster’s divorce was finalised.


Scottish National – 8.00 MILESTONES OF MELODY, Geraldo and his Concert Orchestra (by permission of the Savoy Hotel Ltd), presented by John Burnaby with Anne Ziegler, Monte Rey, Patrick Waddington, Eve Becke, Cyril Grantham, The Top Hattes and the Geraldettes, The BBC Male Revue Chorus, Al Bollington at the Theatre Organ.

PRINCESS CHARMING – National Programme Daventry, 24 August 1938 19.30
A romance with music adapted from the Hungarian by Arthur Wimperis and Laun Wylie. Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis music by Albert Sirmay and Jack Waller. Adapted for the microphone by Reginald Burston and Martyn C. Webster
The Midland Revue Chorus, The Midland Revue Orchestra, leader Norris Stanley , conductor Reginald Burston. Production by Martyn C. Webster. (From Midland) Naval Officer (attached to the Svlvanian Embassy): Cedric Johnson, Baron Sigman (Sylvanian Ambassador): Lester Mudditt, Marie (stenographer at the Embassy): Dorothy Leake, Albert Chuff (Continental Manager of the Colossal Assurance Co ): Hal Bryant, Captain Torelli (of the Cruiser Fire Eater): Webster Booth, Princess Elaine (of Novia): Anne Ziegler, A young Lieutenant (of the Fire Eater): John Morley, Wandu Navarro: Yvette Darnac, Ivanoff (leader of the rebellion): Godfrey Baseley, The Lord Chamberlain (of Sylvania): Godfrey Baseley, King Christian 11 of Sylvania: Leslie Bowmar, The King’s Aide-de-Camp: John Morley, The Attorney General: Cedric Johnson, The Story Teller: Stuart Vinden.

FOORT-ISSIMO -National Programme Daventry, 17 September 1938 19.30, A Light-Hearted half-hour in which the audience will join with Reginald Foort at the BBC Theatre Organ with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. Production by Max Kester.

THE BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA – National Programme Daventry, 18 October 1938 13.15 Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock, Anne Ziegler (soprano).

19th October 1938 – 10.30 DANCE CABARET: Douglas Byng (Cabaret Artist); Webster Booth (Tenor); Oliver Wakefield (The Voice of Inexperience); Anne Ziegler (Lyric Soprano); Cliff Cooke (Compere); Dance music played by Billy Thorburn and his Music, with Eddie Guery and The Royal Bath Hotel Singers, from the Royal Bath Hotel Ballroom, Bournemouth.

A month after Webster’s divorce from Paddy Prior was finalised, Webster and Anne were married on 5 November 1938.

Anne and Webster wedding

ALL DOWN FOR THE FINALE! – Regional Programme Midland, 3 December 1938 21.10 Bill White, call-boy of the Theatre Royal recalls memories of The Belle of New York, Florodora, The Merry Widow,The Lilac Domino.
Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, George Gibbs, Fred Forgham, Denis Folwell, The Midland Revue Chorus, The Midland Revue Orchestra, Leader, Norris Stanley, Conductor, Reginald Burston. Presentation by Martyn C. Webster.
The call-boy’s cry ‘All down for the finale!’, familiar to those who have taken part in big musical-comedy productions, gives the title of this programme. The finales from famous musical comedies will be preceded by a dramatised section, beginning with reminiscences and then going on to unfold the plot of the show up to the finale chosen.

CHARLES ERNESCO AND HIS QUlNTET – National Programme Daventry, 11 December 1938 18.30 with Anne Ziegler  
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9th February 1939 – Scottish National 6.0 SCRAPBOOK FOR 1909, presented by Leslie Baily and Charles Brewer; Compere Patric Curwen, Producer: Charles Brewer. A programme in the Scrapbook series. Arthur Wimperis, ex-Inspector JH Jarvis, Miss Muriel Matters, Captain GP Philips; cast also includes Dorothy Holmes-Gore, Anne Ziegler, Ivan Samson, Horace Percival, Ernest Shannon, Eric Lugg, Bryan Powley, Johnnie Singer, and the recorded voices of Christabel Pankhurst and George Graves; Louis Bleriot (BBC disc); Cmdr Robert E Peary; Rt. Hon. HH Asquipth MP; Prime Minister in 1909 (all commercial discs). the BBC Revue Chorus and the BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Louis Levy.

Ivor Novello

IVOR NOVELLO LOOKS BACK! – Regional Programme London, 17 February 1939 20.15 A biography of his life in words and music, introducing some of the people who have been associated with him: Ivor Novello, Mary Ellis, Dorothy Dickson in a scene from Henry V. Madame Clara Novello-Davies, Peter Scott, Anne Ziegler, Gordon Little, Frank Bird and supporting cast. The programme will also include a short glimpse of the new Ivor Novello musical play The Dancing Years, now in rehearsal. The recorded voices of Fay Compton, Jack Buchanan, and Jack Hulbert with The Welsh Ladies’ Choir, under the direction of Madame Clara Novello Davies.
A Party of Welsh Miners. The BBC Revue Chorus and the Augmented BEC Variety Orchestra conducted by Charles Shadwell. Orchestrations by Jack Beaver. Interviewer, F. H. Grisewood. The programme devised and written by Howard Thomas. Production by Archie Campbell. This programme will be broadcast again tomorrow (National, 5.0)

DANCE CABARET – National Programme Daventry, 1 March 1939 22.35 from the Grand Hotel, Torquay. Norman Long – A song, a joke, and a piano, Bennett and Young – Comedians, Anne Ziegler – The lyric soprano,
Webster Booth – The romantic tenor, Raymond Bennett – Compere, and dance to Harry Evans and his Band.
18th March 1939 Among those appearing in MUSIC HALL at 8.0 are Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth and Leonard Henry. Scottish National 8.0 MUSIC HALL, presented by John Sharman, with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth in musical comedy selections; Yorky and Scotty, Al and Bob Harvey (Canadian comedians), Leonard Henry (comedian), Ted Ray (Fiddling and Fooling); Pat Hyde (Radios sweetheart); The BBC Variety Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell.

MELODIES FROM THE COMEDIES – Regional Programme Midland, 23 March 1939 21.05, A contrast in styles with Gordon Little, Anne Ziegler, John Bentley, The Rhythmettes, The Midland Revue Orchestra, Leader, Norris Stanley, Conductor, Reginald Burston, Compere, Martyn C. Webster.

THEATRE COMPOSERS – No. 6 National Programme Daventry, 9 April 1939 21.05 Jerome Kern – The Man and his Music. A programme arranged by M. Willson Disher. The music selected and the programme produced by .Mark H. Lubbock
Anne Ziegler, Patricia Burke, Gordon Little, Ronnie Hill. ompere, Charles B. Cochran. The BBC Theatre Chorus and The BBC Theatre Orchestra, Leader, Tate Gilder. Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock.

Here is a programme in narration and music, surveying the work of one of the most versatile jazz composers ever born. It is perhaps surprising to reflect that as long ago as 1905 Jerome Kern was writing song hits, and that he has kept up a steady output ever since. Who does not remember such numbers as She didn’t say Yes, Who? Silver Lining, Dancing Time, and, more recently Smoke gets in your eyes? C. B. Cochran was responsible for putting on two shows that between them contained some of Kern’s finest works, namely The Cat and the Fiddle and Music in the Air.

DANCE CABARET – Regional Programme Western, 6 May 1939 21.00 from the Polygon Hotel, Southampton. Anne Ziegler the lyric soprano, Leonard Henry comedian and compere, Suzette Tarri in comedy cameos, Jack Train in character comedy and dance to Fred Ballerini and his Dance Band.
The first broadcast of cabaret from the Polygon Hotel was made last December. Programmes have been broadcast on several occasions since then, and each time the artists have included Fred Ballerini and his dance band, the combination that is appearing this evening.

Dorothy Dickson in FAREWELL TO JUAN – National Programme Daventry, 23 May 1939 20.00 or Lots of Love – An Improper Story of Four Centuries (very properly cut down to one hour) Written by Eric Maschwitz , to music by Jack Strachey. The Storyteller, Edwin Styles, Gibb McLaughlin as The Barman, Elizabeth Maude as Laura Vanelli, Dorothy Dickson as Iris Flame, Richard Ainley as Don Juan, Ruth Maitland as Minnie, Singers: Heddle Nash, Anne Ziegler, The Cavendish Three, The BBC Theatre Orchestra, (Leader, Tate Gilder ) Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock , Rae Jenkins and his Schrammel Quartet, At the piano, Alan Paul, Orchestrations by Julius Buerger, Wally Wallond , and Jack Beaver. Trio arrangements by Kay Cavendish. Production by Archie Campbell.

RADIO NORMANDIE 18 June, 1939. Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, with George Formby, Tommy Handley, Jack Warner, Vic Oliver, Bebe Daniels, Leonard Henry, Olive Groves, Donald Peers, Phyllis Robins and Reginald Foort.
SATURDAY AT NINE-FORTY-FIVE – National Programme Daventry, 22 July 1939 21.45 Music for Films sung and played by Anne Ziegler, Heddle Nash and The BBC Theatre Orchestra. Leader, Tate Gilder, Conducted by Mark H. Lubbock . With a descriptive commentary by C. A. Lejeune.
30th August 1939 10.20 DANCE CABARET, with Warden and West; Fanny and Biddy (the Two Dames); Anne Ziegler (Lyric Soprano); Webster Booth (Tenor); Suzette Tarry (Comedy Cameos), and Harry Evans and his Dance Band, from the Grand Hotel, Torquay.

Webster joined the staff of the variety section of the BBC in Bristol at the outbreak of war. Not long afterwards, Anne was allowed to join him and they rented a flat in Bristol while they were working there.

5th October 1939 – 6.45 MUSIC FOR FILMS sung and played by Anne Ziegler, Heddle Nash, John Nash, John Stevens, and the BBC Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Reginald Burston; descriptive commentary written by CA Lejeune, spoken by Cathleen Cordell.

Sunday 22 October, 1939. 18.35 THE BBC VARIETY ORCHESTRA. Leader, Frank Cantell. Conductor, Charles Shadwell with Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, (Solo trumpets, Alf Lewis and Leslie Uzzell ), Charles Woodforde (solo Cello), Arthur Sandford (solo piano).

Tuesday, 24 October 1939, 12.15 MUSIC IN THE MORNING A programme of light music with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, and Dorothy Carless. All arrangements by Alan Paul, Presented by John Burnaby and Alan Paul. This programme is notable for the fact that two of the broadcasters are the wives of radio celebrities. Anne Ziegler is the wife of Webster Booth,  and Dorothy Carless the wife of Eugene Pini , whom she married on the eve of the outbreak of war.

Tuesday, 7 November 1939. 12.00 MUSIC IN THE MORNING. A programme of light music, with Anne Ziegler , Webster Booth, Dorothy Carless , and the strings of the Television Orchestra, All arrangements by Alan Paul,Presentation by John Burnaby and Alan Paul.

21st November 1939 12.30 MUSIC IN THE MORNING, with Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Dorothy Carless, and the strings of the Revue Orchestra.

JEAN COLLEN 2005 ©
Updated 2017.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR WEBSTER BOOTH AT ST PAUL’S COVENT GARDEN

 
l
Photo: Whysall Studios, Durban
 
A memorial service was held at St Paul’s Covent Garden for Webster Booth
in October 1984. Before the service his ashes were buried in the grounds
and a memorial plaque erected in commemoration to him. In 1991 Pamela
Davies, who collaborated with me in writing one of the books on Anne
Ziegler and Webster Booth, visited the churchyard in the early 1990s and
found Webster’s memorial plaque under a hawthorn tree. The plaque was
made of brass and in the seven years since it had been erected it was
tarnished and blackened, although she could still read the plain
inscription: 


LESLIE

WEBSTER BOOTH
1902-1984

 St Paul’s, Covent Garden – All photographs by Charles S. P. Jenkins (November 2010)

 South side of St Paul’s churchyard

Anne with Evelyn Laye at Webster’s memorial service, October 1984.





Pamela returned to the churchyard in 2005 only to find that the hawthorn tree
had been cut down and Webster’s plaque could no longer be seen. She
wrote to make enquiries as to what had happened to the plaque. I quote
from our book, Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?

The administrator, in the rector’s absence, kindly instituted another
search, equally fruitless. He suggested it could be hidden under a large
plant or simply have disintegrated in the adverse weather, as had
happened to the plaque to the actor Michael Williams, which had been in
place only four years.
In my letter I had enquired also about the possibility of a plaque to
Webster Booth’s wife, the singer Anne Ziegler, but I was informed that
no more plaques are being accepted. The only answer would be an
inscribed garden bench, or obtaining permission for a name in a memorial
book in the church….

Evelyn Laye had read the lesson at Webster’s memorial service. Her life is
commemorated by an inscription on a garden bench in the churchyard:
 

 

It seems a shame that this plaque, which marked the burial place of
Webster’s  ashes, and was erected in memory of a great British  tenor
who was also dearly beloved by his family, friends and fans, should have
vanished without trace. As one can see from the above photographs, the
churchyard is very overgrown, so many other plaques are probably
obscured or hidden in the undergrowth. 
Apparently no record is kept of those whose memorial services are held at the church. 

If the plaques commemorating theatrical musical and theatrical
personalities have disintegrated or disappeared in the thick undergrowth
within such a short time, valuable pieces of theatrical history are
lost forever to future generations.

UPDATE – 19 FEBRUARY 2011

I received an e-mail from St Paul’s Covent Garden yesterday and I will
outline what was said, below, and also part of my reply. I fear that the
matter now rests there as far as I am concerned.


The main problem for those of us administrating this church now is that
burial in all central London graveyards was stopped by Act of Parliament
in the mid 19th century. Therefore burial of ashes with plaque, of
anyone since then, has been illegal. However discreet internment without
ceremony, plaque or shrub can be considered. 

A number of plaques are placed in the garden illegally but these can
disintegrate, disappear, or even, get stolen and in foliage can simply
wither. 
The Parochial Church Council was instructed by the Diocese to stop
putting Memorial Plaques on the church’s interior walls. Since then the
PCC have accepted inscribed benches for use in the burial ground at
£1000 each. A name inscribed in the Actors’ Church Union Book of
Remembrance costs £100. The PCC has recently decided to consider plaques
on the interior wainscotting again, for those artistes honoured by Her
Majesty, at a premium of £3000. The proposal to be made by the nearest
member of the family.
My reply was as follows:
 
Thank you for responding so promptly to my query and for explaining the
situation to me. As far as I know the ashes of Webster Booth were
interned in the Churchyard prior to the memorial service. I know that
his widow, the late Anne Ziegler, who was living in Llandudno, North
Wales, did not return to the Church after this service, so I’m not sure
at what juncture the plaque was placed in the Churchyard. 

I shall pass on the information you have given me to Webster Booth’s next of kin….

I omitted the name of the person who wrote and also the name of Webster’s
next of kin. I would add that there would have been no question of Anne
arranging to have an illegal plaque placed in the Churchyard! If you
look at the photographs again, you will see that there are many plaques
there, erected many years after the mid-nineteenth century. I think that
it is a rather snobbish practice to consider placing plaques in the
central wainscotting only for artistes honoured by Her Majesty

A few years after Webster Booth’s death, Anne Ziegler was granted a
special pension by the Queen in recognition of Anne and Webster’s
contribution to music in the United Kingdom – a very much more practical
“honour” than an OBE. 

 
Jean Collen
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