Before Anne left me to bathe and prepare for our evening ahead, she remarked that she could hardly believe I was there and that we were going to spend some time together at last.
“The years are drawing in so quickly now. We’ll probably never have a time together like this again,” she told me before she left me.
After I met Webster and Anne again in 1973 we kept in touch with each other. After Webster’s death, Anne began writing to me regularly and when I told her that I planned to visit the UK in 1990 she asked me to visit her for a few days in Penrhyn Bay. We spent a very happy time together and we wrote to one another and spoke on the telephone until shortly before her death.
The fifty year copyright on some of Webster’s recordings had come to an end, so a CD was soon to be issued under the Flapper label, entitled Moonlight and You.
Anne turned 80 in June but did not want a party on that day as her birthday fell on the day after the first anniversary of Webster’s death. Instead, her friend Joan Tapper arranged for a late birthday picnic in the grounds of Erddig Hall.
After Webster’s death, Anne and I had written to one another regularly and with increasing frequency. The rift between us which had arisen during the nineteen-sixties had been gradually healed and we never ever discussed the reasons for it. When I told Anne of my plans to visit the UK she immediately suggested that I should visit her in Penrhyn Bay. Despite my sadness at the death of my father, I looked forward to the trip. It would be wonderful to see Anne once again.
On a day in mid-October I
arrived at the bungalow at the appointed time to find Anne already in
the driveway waiting for me. We greeted one another with pleasure.
She was as beautiful as ever, but she appeared more delicate and
fragile than I remembered her from seventeen years before.
The house was small but very comfortable with some of the lovely pieces of furniture and ornaments, remnants of the ”good old days”, together with the familiar pictures, and the cherished certificate from the VictoryRoyal Command Performance of 1945, signed by King George VI, in pride of place on the wall above the upright piano. The Chappell grand piano had been left behind in South Africa.
said, “Sit yourself down”, the way Webster used to. Bonnie was a
sweet little dog who insisted on sitting on my lap, despite her bad
leg, to be fed titbits of scones, fruit cake and chocolate cake
provided by Anne’s friends for our first tea together.
was kind and friendly. I soon felt as though I had seen her last only
the week before. After tea and a preliminary chat she took me round
to the hotel to introduce me to Mrs Hall, the proprietor of the
Orotava, and to see my pleasant room, which was decorated with a
pretty floral bedspread and matching curtains, with a view over the
grey Irish Sea.
Anne left me to bathe and prepare for our evening ahead, she remarked
that she could hardly believe I was there and that we were going to
spend some time together at last.
years are drawing in so quickly now. We’ll probably never have a time
together like this again,” she told me before she left me.
Before I had gone to the UK I had been feeling rather depressed after my father’s death. My stay with Anne had built up my self-confidence as she had encouraged me to do more with my musical and academic gifts. I asked her whether she would update the testimonials she and Webster had given me when I went to the UK in the mid-sixties. She agreed at once, and not long after I returned to South Africa I received the testimonial she had written for me. I will always treasure it, just as I will always treasure the hundreds of letters she and Webster wrote to me over the years.
In 1994 Anne had some pleasure when a BBC team came to the bungalow to record her part of The Webster Booth Story, a radio tribute to Webster on the tenth anniversary of his death. She told me that the bookof cuttings I had presented to her in 1990 had been a great help in jogging her memory for the interview. She became friendly with the script writer, Stephen Pattinson and his father, as well as Robin Gregory, the narrator, and Tony Wills, the producer. The programme was broadcast on 26 June 1994 on Radio Two, and not long afterwards Anne sent me a recording of the programme.
These were the last broadcasts featuring Anne and Webster on their return to the UK in 1978.This is a photo of Anne and Webster shortly after their return with Penny, a dog to whom Webster was deeply devoted.
Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 2, 6 May 1970 14.01 Introduced by: Marjorie Anderson. ANNE ZIEGLER and WEBSTER BOOTH talk to SUE MACGREGOR. JILL BALCON. They were living in Knysna, South Africa when this broadcast was recorded.
Woman’s Hour – BBC Radio 4 FM, 12 May 1978 13.45 Introduced from Wales by Sue MacGregor. In Harmony: ANNE ZIEGLER and WEBSTER BOOTH have recently set up home in Wales after 20 years in South Africa.
1978 – BBC Afternoon.Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, interviewed by Mavis Nicholson
Pierrots and Fol de Rols – BBC Radio 4 FM, 23 May 1979 19.45 Cyril Fletcher revives memories of Concert Party with the help of many stars and personalities who started their careers there, including ARTHUR ASKEY, JACK WARNER, STANLEY HOLLOWAY, LESLIE CROWTHER, BILL PERTWEE, WALTER MIDGLEY, ANNE ZIEGLER and WEBSTER BOOTH, ELSIE AND DORIS WATERS, and GREATREX NEWMAN. Research by GREATREX NEWMAN and BILL PERTWEE. Producer MICHAEL FORD BBC Birmingham.
29 August 1979. 6.20 pm Wyn Calvin, BBC Radio Wales, It’s a Grand Night for Singing. Jess Yates introduces half an hour of music with additional guests, Margaret Lacey, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler. Producer: David Richards.Director: Islywyn Maelor Evans.
Lovers Come Back – BBC Radio 4 FM, 21 December 1979 16.10The lives and music of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, written and presented by Frank Dixon. You could be well into your 40s without knowing what Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth meant to those of us who were around during and after the war. Anne and Webster were – and still are – all about romance. Judi Goodwin met and interviewed Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. Producer Herbert Smith. BBC Manchester.
1 April 1980. Granada Television. Liz Howell at Rhos-On-Sea, North Wales. Brief interview with Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler.
Producer DAVID WELSBY BBC Birmingham.Part of Anne and Webster’s reminiscences in the Only a Rose series. More may be heard on YouTube or at Ziegler Booth Radio.
2 October 1980 – Nationwide. BBC 1 Television. Laurie Mayer reports from Conwy where Jess Yates, former presenter of ITV’S Stars on Sunday, has lived in seclusion since his career was destroyed by the Press, especially News of World when they discovered he was living with KAY, a girl half his age, in 1974; & interviews YATES, his companion Anita Kay, Katie Brooks, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth (former singing stars, & friends of YATES. ZIEGLER & BOOTH sing to his accompaniment on electric organ.
January 29 1981 – BBC Two. 8.30 Russell Chat show, with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth as guests. Anne criticised the low standard of South Africans fledgling TV service. Russell Harty with his guests Dorothy Stevens & Saxon (dog who stars in films/TV), Paul Breeze & wife Lynn, Anne Ziegler & Webster Booth (old radio singing stars). Ziegler & Booth talk about their marriage, why they went to South Africa & type of life they led, now back & living in N.Wales.
5 March 1981 – Russell Harty Show, BBC 2 Television. Live show from the Palace Theatre Manchester to celebrate its imminent reopening. Harty gives a history of the theatre & there are performances by and interviews with old performers. Nat Mills, Arthur English, Eric Hawkesworth paper tearer, Gill Banks and Sid Green Stagehands, Nat Jackley, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.
Russell Harty – BBC Two England, 20 April 1981 20.30 presents some of the memorable people, performances and happenings from his recent venture into the unpredictable world of live television, including Rod Stewart, Hot Gossip, Hercules the Bear, Peter O’Toole, Lily Tomlin, Shakin’ Stevens, The Hallé Choir, Sooty, Diana Dors, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Jan Leeming and, of course, Grace Jones. Producers TOM GUTTERIDGE, KEN STEPHINSON. Editor GORDON WATTS
30 July 1981 – Recording started at Grampian last week of a new six-part series in which well-known people who have left the limelight are interviewed about how they have made new lives for themselves. Jimmy Mack is the interviewer for the series, which is for half -hour slots. In the first programme two former singing duos are interviewed, Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson and Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.Chris Kay is producer and director of the series, called The Time of Your Lives, and it will be shown in the Grampian area in the autumn.
Ah, Yes! I Remember it Well – BBC Radio 2, 11 April 1982 21.00Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, in company with The William Hand Ensemble, Harold Rich at the piano and artists on record, look back at some of the music, people and events that hold special memories for them in more than 50 years of music making. Producer DAVID WELSBY BBC Birmingham.
19 November 1982 60 Years – Local Radio RemembersBBC.A programme from the Savoy Hotel to celebrate the BBC Diamond Jubilee. Contributions from Doris Hare, Elsie Waters, Charlie Chester, Dame Anna Neagle, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.Music by Midnite Follies Orchestra, with Ian Stewart (piano), Peter Duncan, Maurice Denham, Leslie Mitchell, Richard Murdoch, Percy Edwards, Henry Hall, Tony Wadsworth, Susan Briggs, Hugh Wontner, Joan Childs, Jean Melville, Basil Vernon, Reg Patrick, Judy Shirley, Charles Max-Muller, Margery Porter, Henry Hatch, Tommy Wadsworth, Anne Lenner, Al Baum, (speakers) John Parry, Evette Davis(vocalists)
The Golden Years – BBC Radio 2, 18 April 1984 22.00Recalling the ballads of yesterday, and the much-loved artists who sang them, including music by Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler and Peter Dawson. Compiled and presented by Alan Keith. Producer TIM MCDONALD
Only a Rose.- BBC Two England, 31 July 1984 18.15 – Webster Booth, one of the finest British tenors of this century, died on 21 June this year, aged 82. In this film, made exactly a year before his death, he and his wife and partner Anne Ziegler talk about their career to James Hogg of Nationwide. It was Webster’s last television appearance. Producer JULIA MCLAREN. ONLY A ROSE
The Golden Years – BBC Radio 2, 26 November 1986 22.30A sentimental look at the much-loved singers of the past, including Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler and Paul Robeson. Compiled and presented by Alan Keith. Producer MONICA COCKBURN.
Anne Ziegler (Series) – BBC Radio 2, 19 July 1987 18.30 presents some of her favourite records collected during more than 50 years of music making. Producer DAVID WELSBY BBC Pebble Mill.
It’s a Funny Business – BBC Radio 2, 14 October 1987 22.00says Anne Ziegler. For 45 years, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth were the most popular man and wife partnership in show business. Mike Craig encourages Anne to reminisce about their long, successful career. BBC Manchester.. Presenter and Producer: Mike Craig.
22 September 1989 – BBC2. 7.30-8.00 pm, A Hundred Not Out: Centenary of the Blackpool Opera House. Programme Number RNWF933Y,Recorded on 26 July 1989. John Mundy narrates a programme about the Blackpool Opera House, celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Lord Delfont unveils roll of honour to commemorate the centenary. Among others, Anne Ziegler recalls the glamour of the shows. Featuring Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Mike Craig, Ken Dodd, Cilla Black, Frank Carson, Mike Yarwood, Marti Webb, Charlie Chester, Formby, Tommy, Bobby Ball, Stanley Holloway, Jimmy Jewell, Bernard Delfont, Bill Waddington, Brian Crompton, Anne Ziegler, Betty Driver, Harold Fielding, Ben Warris, Josef Locke, Ken Robinson, (theatre-goer), Alfred Black, (theatre producer), Lisa Waddington, George Black (theatre producer), Dickie Hurran, Elizabeth Buzzard,Jack Taylor (theatre producer), Peter Rigby Camera), Bernie Lowe (Camera), Mel Cross (Camera), John Mundy (Narrator), Terry Wheeler (Producer).
The Golden Years (Series) – BBC Radio 2, 30 January 1991 21.30Last in the series featuring the great ballad singers of yesterday on record. This week featuring Richard Crooks, Lily Morris, Heddle Nash , John McCormack ,Norman Allin , Peter Dawson , Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth. Presented by Alan Keith. Producer Bridget Apps.
The Seven Ages – BBC Radio 2, 16 October 1991 21.30In the last programme of the series, Anne Ziegler talks to Peter Haigh about one of the best-loved musical partnerships of the 40s and 50s – Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth – and introduces some of her favourite recordings.Producer: David Welsby.
The Webster Booth Story – BBC Radio 2, 28 June 1994 21.00 Robin Gregory recalls the life and career of the great English tenor Leslie Webster Booth, who died ten years ago this month. Booth’s widow and former singing partner Anne Ziegler shares her memories of an artist who was equally at home in oratorio or variety. Other comments come from impresario Harold Fielding, accompanist Gladys Midgley and presenter Brian Kay, and the programme includes examples of Booth’s solo and duet recordings. Contributors to programme: Wife/soprano: Anne Ziegler, son Keith Leslie Booth, brother Edwin Norman Booth, impresario: Harold Fielding, Accompanist: Gladys Midgley (née Vernon), Former Kings Singer: Brian Kay, and soprano Lorely Dyer, second wife of Stanford Robinson. Presenter: Robin Gregory. Writer: Stephen Pattinson. Producer Anthony Wills.
—————————————————————————————————————————————-The Robinsons at the BBC – BBC Radio 2, 14 May 1996 21.00 Ian Wallace examines the very different conducting careers of brothers Stanford and Eric Robinson. Gwen Catley, Larry Adler, Anne Ziegler and Ivor Emmanuel are among those who recall their association with popular long-running series such as Music for You and Tuesday Serenade, and there are archive extracts featuring Maggie Teyte, Gigli and Jack Benny. Researcher Stephen Pattinson, Producer Anthony Wills.
Radio’s Golden Greats – BBC Radio 2, 25 October 1997 19.30 As part of the BBC’s 75th anniversary, Roy Hudd presents a gala concert from Alexandra Palace, London. Robin Stapleton conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra, with guest artists paying tribute to, among others, Anne Ziegler , Bud Flanagan and Joyce Grenfell. During the interval, Bob Sinfield looks at major events at the BBC during the war years. Producer Alan Boyd.
Anne and Webster in 1983, the year before Webster’s death.