Posts Tagged ‘Rotary Photographic Co Ltd’


Oldbury Brough, American-born English entertainer

April 4, 2015

Oldbury Brough (1875-1919), American-born English entertainer
(photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1907; postcard without printer’s or publisher’s credit, probably privately printed for Brough by the Rotary Photographic Co. Ltd. of London, bears a British postmark dated 2 August 1908, the message, addressed to Miss Kitty Francis, Highfields, Gt. Baddow, Chelmsford, reads: ‘Dear Kitty. This is a splendid comedian which [sic] I heard this afternoon. He is very good at musical sketches also. I am having a good time. With best love Dots.’)

William Oldbury Brough was the younger son of the Rev. Samuel Martin Brough (1842-1893), a Wesleyan, later Congregational minister, and his first wife, Martha (née Oldbury, 1844-1885). Although both his parents were British, Brough was born in Kansas City in 1875 during the family’s brief sojourn in the United States. They were back in England by 1881. Brough, who appears to have launched his career as an entertainer in 1896, was married in 1900 to Frances Nellie Whitby and by her had three children, Sidney Martin Brough (1901-), Cyril Edwin Brough (1905-1982) and Millie Brough (later Mrs Harold Ewart Percivall, 1910-2006). He died in Carlisle, Cumberland, on 10 February 1919 aged 44.

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‘Gives a refined and amusing programme (10 minutes to 2 hours) consisting of
‘The Primrose League Gazette, January 1, 1903, says: ”A charming and most entertaining programme was carried out by Mr. Oldbury Brough, who had hot only a keen sense of humour, but is an accomplished and talented musician.”
Circular with full particulars, post free. Address –
(The Primrose League Gazette, London, February 1903, p. 2a, advertisement)

Town Hall, Edmonton, north London, Thursday, 27 October 1904
‘A musical entertainment was given before a large audience at the Town Hall, Edmonton, on Thursay, the 27th ult, by the Edmonton Musical Association, under the patronage of the Rev E.A.B. Sanders, M.A., the president of the association.
‘The following programme was well rendered and much appreciated. Duet, ”Over the Heather,” by Miss Annie Bartle and Mr Alexander Tucker. Violin solo, ”Les Filenses” and ”Polonaise,” Miss Dorothy Bull. Musical sketch, ”A Suburban Soirie by Mr Oldbury Brough who also gave an amazing and musical absurdity aptly and artfully announced as ”A Musical Lesson.” Songs, ”Still is the night”, and ”The Old Trombone,” by Mr Alexander Tucker. Recitals, ”Boy Billie” [and] ”The Man who apologised” were rendered by Miss Elmie Kemp as was [sic] the songs, ”When the heart is young” and ”The waking of Spring,” by Miss Annie Bartle. Mr Alexander Tucker again obliged in the songs, ”Three for Jack,” and ”Big Ben,” in good style. A humorous song ”Play ze game” by Mr Oldbury Brough and ”Concerning the Telephone” was well received. Miss Dorothy Bull’s third appearance was admired in a violin solo, ”Hejie Katie.” The accompanist was Mr W. Emerson, to whom much praise is due.’
(The Edmonton & Tottenham Weekly Guardian, Edmonton, north London, Friday, 4 November 1904, p. 3a)


Bromley Booth, English violin virtuoso

March 29, 2015

Bromley Booth (1869-1944), English violin virtuoso
(photo: unknown; postcard no. 2638A in the Rotary Photographic Series published by the Rotary Photographic Co. Ltd., London, circa 1908)

William Bromley Booth, who was born in Doncaster, was a member of a noted musical family from Yorkshire. His parents were George Booth (1831-1917, one of the sons of Edward Booth, a professor of music of Leeds), an organist and professor of music, and Mary Elizabeth (née Bromley, 1838-1903). His brothers were the pianist and concert promoter, George Edward Booth (1868-1954) and Edward Charles Booth (1872-1954), who played both ‘cello and piano and who later became a novelist.

Bromley Booth made his first public appearances when quite young but it was not until 29 October 1897 that he made his London debut at St. James’s Hall, Piccadilly. He appears to have retired in 1933, before, on 29 June that year, his violin was sold by auction at Puttick & Simpson, London. During the First World War he served with the Royal Army Service Corps. He died on 28 June 1944 at Peniston Cottage, Scalby, Scarborough, North Yorkshire.


Topsy Sinden and Lily Elsie on tour in See-See, early 1907

March 6, 2015

Topsy Sinden (1877-1950) and Lily Elsie (1886-1962), as they appeared respectively as So-Hie and See-See, with ladies of the chorus, on tour in the United Kingdom during the first few months of 1907 with George Edwardes’s Company‘ in the ‘New Chinese Comic Opera,’ See-See. So-Hie and See-See were originally played by Gabrielle Ray and Denise Orme when See-See was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 20 June 1906.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, late 1906/early1907; postcard no 3283F in the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd’s Rotary Photographic Series, published London, early 1907)

‘Miss Lily Elsie, who played the title rôle in ”The New Aladdin” at the Gaiety, gave a charming performance of ”See See” at the King’s, Hammersmith, last night. Miss Elsie has an engaging presence and a charming voice, and altogether gives promise of a brilliant future. Mr. George Edwardes has staged the popular Chinese comic opera very handsomely, both as regards scenery and company. Mr. Frank Danby and Mr. W.H. Rawlins keep the fun going, and the singing, acting, and dancing of Miss Amy Augarde, Mr. Leonard Mackay, and Miss Topsy Sinden are delightful. The production was enthusiastically received by a full house.’
(The Standard, London, Tuesday, 30 April 1907, p. 4f)


Gertrude Glyn as she appeared as Sonia during the run of The Merry Widow, Daly’s Theatre, London, 1907-1909

January 23, 2015

Gertrude Glyn (1886-1965), English musical comedy actress, as she appeared as understudy to Lily Elsie in the role of Sonia during the first London run of The Merry Widow, produced at Daly’s Theatre, Leicester Square, on 8 June 1907 and closed on 31 July 1909.
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1908 or 1909; postcard no. 1792M in the Rotary Photographic Series, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1908 or 1909)

Gertrude Glyn began her career in 1901 at the age of 15 with Seymour Hicks when he cast her in one of the minor roles in the ‘musical dream,’ Bluebell in Fairyland (Vaudeville Theatre, London, 18 December 1901), of which he and his wife, Ellaline Terriss were the stars. Miss Glyn was subsequently under contract to George Edwardes, appearing in supporting roles at the Gaiety and Daly’s theatres in London and where she was also one of several understudies to both Gabrielle Ray and Lily Elsie. She also seen from time to time in other United Kingdom cities. Her appearances at Daly’s in The Merry Widow, The Dollar Princess (1909-10), A Waltz Dream (1911), and The Count of Luxembourg (1911-12) were followed during 1912 or 1913 by her taking the role of Lady Babby in Gipsy Love (also played during the run by Avice Kelham and Constance Drever), in succession to Gertie Millar.

On 10 April 1914, Gertrude Glyn and Elsie Spain sailed from London aboard the SS Otway bound for Sydney, Australia. Their first appearances there were at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, on 6 June that year in Gipsy Love in which they took the parts respectively of Lady Babby and Ilona, the latter first played in London by Sari Petrass.

Gipsy Love, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, 6 June 1914
‘A thoroughly artistic performance is that offered by Miss Gertrude Glyn, another newcomer, in the role of Lady Babby. Although her singing voice is not a strong point in her equipment of talent, this actress artistically makes one forget this fact in admiration for the skilful interpretation of her lines and lyrics, and also the gracefulness of her dancing and movements. Another point of excellence about Miss Glyn’s work is that she acts easily and naturally, always keeping well within the pictures and confines of the character she impersonates.’
(The Referee, Sydney, NSW, Wednesday, 17 June 1914, p. 15c)

Gertrude Glyn’s last appearances were as Lady Playne in succession to Madeline Seymour and Mary Ridley in Paul Rubens’s musical play, Betty, which began its long run at Daly’s Theatre, London, on 24 April 1915 and ended on 8 April 1916.

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Gertrude Glyn’s real name was Gertrude Mary Rider. She was the youngest daughter of James Gray (or Grey) Rider (1847/49-1900), a civil servant, and his wife, Elizabeth. She was baptised on 24 October 1886 at St. Mark’s, Hanwell, Middlesex. She married in 1918.
‘The marriage arranged between Captain Walter Beresford Bulteel, Scottish Horse, youngest son of the late John Bulteel, of Pamflete, Devon, and Gertrude Mary Glyn (Rider), youngest daughter of the late James Grey Rider, and of Mrs. Rider, 6, Windsor Court, Bayswater, will take place at St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, on Thursday, May 9, at 2.30.’
(The Times, London, 7 May 1918, p. 9c)
Bulteel, one of whose maternal great grandfathers was Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845), was born in 1873 and died in 1952; his wife (Gertrude Glyn) died on 16 October 1965.


The Brodsky Quartet plays Greig, Queen’s Hall, London, 1907

October 17, 2014

The Brodsky Quartet (active from 1895 until circa 1918), of Manchester, England, led by Dr Adolph Brodsky (1851-1929), with Christopher Rawdon Briggs (1869-1948), Simon Speelman (1852-1920) and Carl Fuchs (1865-1951).
(photo: Percy Guttenberg, Manchester, circa 1907, postcard published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, Rotary Photographic Series, no. 2576A)

Grieg Memorial Concert, Queen’s Hall, London, 3pm, 23 October 1907
‘For the second of the two concerts arranged by the directors of the Queen’s Hall Orchestra in memory of Grieg, the more intimate side of the composer’s art was pleasingly brought forward in some of his distinctive chamber music, which formed the programme yesterday afternoon. Apparently, this particular phase of music does not appeal so strongly to present day concert goers, and the attendance was not nearly so large as was the case last week at the orchestral concert.
‘The performance of the works chosen, however, was in every sense a most artistic tribute to the memory of the dead musician. It was exceedingly interesting to hear the melodious, if somewhat unequal, string quartet, the only one which Grieg wrote, and with which he certainly enriched the literature of music. It would be difficult to point to a more finished or sympathetic interpretation of the work than that given by the Brodsky Quartet, a body of players who play together with charming feeling and unanimity, and who yet exhibit freshness and individuality. The breadth of the opening movement, the tender and suave melody of the Romance, the lively grace and movement of the dance-like finale, were all expressed with subtlety, strength, and finish, and Manchester – when Dr. Brodsky and his fellow players come – is certainly to be envied in the possession of such distinguished musicians… .’
(The Standard, London, Thursday, 24 October 1907, p. 7d)

The programme for this memorial concert included the following Grieg songs by the Brodsky Quartet: ‘Voer hilset, I Damer,’ ‘Zur Rosenzeit’ and ‘Ein Traum.’ Ellen Beck and Percy Grainger also appeared.


Isabel Jay responds ‘with pleasure’ to a request for her autograph, 1908

August 30, 2014

Isabel Jay (1879-1927), English singer and actress, with her daughter, Cecilia Claribel Cavendish (1903-1997), by her first husband, Henry Sheppard Hart Cavendish (1876-1948), who succeeded to the barony of Waterpark of Waterpark, co. Cork, in 1932.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, probably 1908; Rotary Photographic Series postcard, no. 4748 E, issued by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1908)

The sender and ultimate recipient of this postcard, postmarked 22 [? August] 1908, wrote to Isabel Jay the following message: ‘Dear Madam As I am making a collection of actresses autographs, & should like to have yours among them, I should be very much obliged if you would sign this card. Hoping I am not troubling you too much, I remain, yrs truly, V.A. Shore.’ The sender was Miss V.A. Shore of 284 Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush, London, W.

Miss V.A. Shore was Violet Ada Shore who was born in Hammersmith on 7 July 1890, the daughter of Arthur Miers Shore (1862-1944), a professor of music, and his wife, Ada Alice Shore (née Clark), who were then living at 14 Dewhurst Road, West Kensington Park. She was baptised at St. Barnabas, Kensington, on 27 August 1890. At the time of the 1911 Census she was described as an art student (painting) and living with her parents and brother, Bernard A.R. Shore, at 284 Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith, London, W. Miss Shore, who was never married, died at Hove, Sussex, in 1977.


Ellaline Terriss as the Duc de Richelieu in The Dashing Little Duke, Hicks Theatre, London, 1909

April 8, 2014

two postcard photographs of Ellaline Terriss (1871-1971), English actress and singer, star of musical comedy
(photos: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909)

These two postcards, serial nos. 11509 F and 11530 A in the Rotary Photographic Series, published in London during 1909 by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, show Ellaline Terriss (left) as she appeared as the Duc de Richelieu in the musical play, The Dashing Little Duke, by Miss Terriss’s husband, Seymour Hicks, with lyrics by Ardian Ross and music by Frank E. Tours. The production, the cast of which also included Hayden Coffin, Courtice Pounds, Elizabeth Firth and Coralie Blythe, opened at the Hicks Theatre (now the Gielgud), London, on 17 February 1909 following an out of town trial at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. It ran for a disappointing 95 performances. The postcard on the right shows Miss Terriss in private life with a ‘Duc de Richelieu’ doll.


Margaret Ruby, English actress and singer, in the role of a pantomime principal boy

March 6, 2014

Margaret Ruby (1886?-1937), English actress and singer, in the role of a pantomime principal boy, probably as she appeared as Boy Blue in the pantomime Red Riding Hood, produced at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, at Christmas, 1905, the other principals being Malcolm Scott as the Dame, Phyllis Monkman as Red Riding Hood, and Dorothy Monkman as Bo-Peep. Miss Ruby sang in this production ‘My Irish Molly’ and ‘Bombay.’
(photo: unknown, probably 1905; postcard published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, no. 4006 D, 1905/06)

Margaret Ruby’s real name was Margaret Louise Madeline Hirschberg. She was born on 3 September 1875 and baptised at the parish church of St. Marylebone, London, on the 1 January following, the daughter of Robert Gustave Hirschberg (1843-1910), a merchant in the City of London, and his wife Anna (née Kowska, 1847-1926). Her theatrical career began in 1897 or 1898 with various music hall and pantomime appearances. She also featured in the casts of the musical plays, Kitty Grey and A Country Girl on tours of the United Kingdom. It was then that she met her future husband, the actor and singer, Ernest (Francis) Laws (1881-1954). They were married at Richmond, Surrey, in 1903. The Laws appeared together for the next few years, one of their post popular vehicles being the ‘miniature musical comedy,’ Cora’s Visitors. They appear to have retired from acting in 1911, when they and their son emigrated to Canada, where they settled at Grand Forks, British Columbia. Mrs Laws died on 16 Dec 1937 and her husband on 18 Nov 1954.


George Grossmith junior and Connie Ediss in The Sunshine Girl, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1912

December 5, 2013

George Grossmith junior (1874-1935), English actor, singer, theatrical producer, writer, &c, and Connie Ediss (1871-1934), English actress, comedienne and singer, respectively as Lord Bicester and Brenda Blacker in an incident from The Sunshine Girl, the musical play by Paul Rubens and Cecil Raleigh produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 24 February 1912.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1912; Rotary Photographic Series postcard no. 11670 B, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1912)


Seymour Hicks, Ellaline Terriss and Zena Dare in The Beauty of Bath, London, 1906

November 14, 2013

(above) a Rotary Photographic Co Ltd postcard photograph (1597Q) of Mr and Mrs Seymour Hicks (Ellaline Terriss) as they appeared respectively as Lieut. Richard Alington and the Hon. Betty Silverthorne in the musical play, The Beauty of Bath, which opened at the Aldwych Theatre, London, on 19 March 1906.
(below) a Rotary Photographic Co Ltd postcard photograph (4040Z) of the same taken at the same sitting but with Zena Dare‘s face replacing that of Miss Terriss.
(main photos: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1906; artwork by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd)

The second postcard may be explained by the fact that Zena Dare succeeded Ellaline Terriss in the part of the Hon. Betty Silverthorne during the run, which, the production having transferred to the Hicks Theatre on 27 December 1906, ended on 23 February 1907.