I have updated and enlarged my book, A Scattered Garland. It is available in print and as an ebook at Lulu.
I am offering a 10% discount on all my books for a limited period.
The book is a compilation of newspaper snippets, articles and criticisms, taken from a wide variety of sources, interspersed with my own comments expanding on particular events.
Although the book is primarily an informal reference work rather than a story or biography, it shows the progress of Anne and Webster’s careers. It gives an interesting picture of the early career of Webster Booth after he left the D’Oyly Carte Company before he was firmly established on the road to success.
Author of “A Scattered Garland”.
Jean Collen – author and compiler.
Leslie Webster Booth was born on 21 January 1902, the youngest son of Edwin and Sarah Booth (née Webster) of 157 Soho Road, Handsworth, Staffordshire. His father was a ladies’ hairdresser and his mother, born in Chilvers Coton in the Nuneaton district, was the daughter of John and Hannah Webster, silk weavers,who later became school teachers when the silk trade collapsed.
Birthplace of Webster Booth.
157 Soho Road, Handsworth as it is today. The family lived in the two upper storeys above the hairdressing shop.
Leslie Webster Booth as a young man in the Buster Keaton film, The Invader.
43 Prospect Road, Moseley (Photo: Mike Collen) The home of Webster Booth in 1927.
The Opieros with Welsh baritone Tom Howell in the middle of the group. Anita Edwards (soprano) is top right. This photo was taken before Webster Booth joined the Opieros in 1927.
Irené Frances Eastwood (Anne Ziegler) was born on 22 June 1910, the youngest child of Ernest and Eliza Frances Eastwood (née Doyle) of 13 Marmion Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool. Her father was a cotton broker, and her mother, born in Bootle, was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Doyle. James was an architect, who designed the Grand Hotel, Llandudno.
Irené’s father lost most of his money during the cotton slump of the early thirties so Irené went to London to find theatrical work to support herself and help her struggling family. She took “Anne Ziegler” as a stage name when she signed a contract to appear in the musical play, By Appointment.
Marmion Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool as it is today.
Anne Ziegler as a young woman.
The book also lists a variety of engagements of his second wife, Paddy Prior, who went on the stage as a dancer, comedienne and soubrette while still in her teens. When she and Webster married they undertook a number of joint engagements, but these ceased towards the end of 1936 when their marriage broke down because of his relationship with Anne Ziegler.
Paddy Prior and Webster Booth in 1933 – Scarborough
Paddy Prior and Webster Booth (1933)
Webster and Anne went on to attain international fame, while Paddy’s career remained static. She was a competent and talented performer and was rarely out of work, but she did not progress beyond after-dinner engagements, musicals, pantomime, concert party and occasional radio and television broadcasts.
Webster was not eligible for military service during the war. He and Anne reached the height of their fame during the war on the Variety Circuit and in several lavish musicals and films, while Paddy worked for ENSA and entertained at home and in the Middle East. She and her friend, Bettie Bucknelle left for Australia in 1948. Paddy’s brother Hubert had settled in Sydney, so presumably she went to Australia to join him. Although Bettie Bucknelle sang on Australian radio and was a regular vocalist with Jay Wilbur’s band, I have been unable to find any details of Paddy Prior’s work in Australia.
The compilation covers Anne and Webster’s musical and theatrical ventures from Webster’s first professional engagement with D’Oyly Carte in the early nineteen-twenties to Anne’s final broadcast towards the end of the century. The book is over 400 pages in length and is liberally illustrated.
Buy a print copy of the book for £14.00 (less 10% discount) at the following link: Print copy: A Scattered Garland
- Download the EBook for £6.00 at the following link: