Lavish shows and large casts

My mother Winnie Smith nee Taylor daughter of Big Bill Taylor Brighton fisherman.

These photos were among the belongings of my late mother, Winnie Smith nee Taylor. My mother was in some of the shows and photos. Her brother, my uncle John, worked at times back stage and would take my sister Pamela with him. Pamela has put a piece on here already about the lovely times she had. I am hoping that someone else will be able to do justice to these great photos.

Comments about this page

  • Has anyone any information on these photos? I can be contacted on

    By Jennifer Tonks nee Smith (31/12/2008)
  • Thank you to those who have emailed me. I now know that the third photo at the top (Eiffel Tower) is from Queen of Hearts from 1929/30. Andrew Melville is among those on stage with Tessie O’shea, Sam Mayo, Beryl Riggs and Bert Elmore, a  local comedian. Thank you for that information. Much appreciated.

    By Jennifer Tonks nee Smith (08/01/2009)
  • My Grandmother Isabel Norman appeared in many of Melville’s stage plays. I have never, ever seen a picture of her, can anyone help or have any information please?

    By Maureen Noble (06/09/2010)
  • Hallo Maureen. Have a look at the new book out recently called ‘Back stage Brighton’.

    By Jennifer Tonks nee Smith (14/11/2010)
  • This photo appears in the new book by QueenSpark called Backstage Brighton.

    By Jennifer Tonks nee Smith (14/11/2010)
  • Sorry – I’ve just found this reply, but thank you Jennifer. I will certainly look out for the book

    By Maureen Noble (16/03/2011)
  • Dear Jennifer,  I skived off games with a mate in c1953 to see Gypsy Rose Lee at the Grand doing her striptease and accompanied by the obligatory statuesque nudes.  What a bad boy!!

    By John Snelling (21/05/2015)
  • Further to the above article, I recall the “other” theatre in New Road – the Dolphin, then the Kings, then the Queens before it closed.  Comment?

    By John Snelling (21/05/2015)
  • I think it was the “Her Majesty’s Theatre”, John, not Queens or Kings. Re-named about the time of the accession of the present Queen. My grandfather, Lawrie Sargeant, had the Colonnade pub at the Theatre Royal during the 1920s. The only pub within the foyer of a theatre. In 1926 my father went across the road to the Corn Exchange to see John Logie Baird give a demonstration of his new ‘televisor’ machine.

    By Tim Sargeant (23/05/2015)
  • My grandmother was Laura or Louisa Maud Taylor, daughter of Big Bill Taylor! fisherman. My father was Reginald W.A.L Jarvis married to Olive Jarvis. My name is Susan Howlett (nee Jarvis). If you have any information of the Taylor/Jarvis side of our family (I am researching my parents and ancestors on both sides), could you please e-mail any information you have available please.

    By Susan Howlett (28/04/2017)

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