This photograph was sent to me by Sheila Metcalfe who writes:
This photo is believed to be of the Hyde Carnival Parade and my grannparents belonged to an acting company taking part in the parade. My grandfather is the "Queen" at the front on the right. I see the "King" is holding a large key which must be symbolic of something.Please contact Sheila directly at email@example.com.
According to my aunt, my grandparents were in Hyde for six months doing repertory theatre at the New Theatre Royal. They were most probably with Langley Howard’s Company. My aunt was born in January 1923 and the family (Godfrey, Winifred and Joan Ward) lodged with John and Jane Mattin and their adult daughters. In the 1911 census John Mattin had a grocer's shop at 77 Commercial Street, Newton, Hyde. When Jane died in 1932 they had moved to 75 Mottram Road, Hyde. I'm not sure which address my grandparents were at. Their adult daughters were a school teacher and a tailoress.
I think they were probably there from about June 1923 for 30 weeks, as they were in Hull in May, but it could have been later. Memories fade over time so the year and theatre could be wrong. I haven't managed to find any direct reference to the company performing repertory at the Theatre Royal in Hyde. The only mention I have found of Langley Howard repertory in Hyde in 1923 was in the Hull Daily Mail the following year when the company took repertory theatre to Hull, and only in passing. Apparently "The Silver Crucifix" was their most popular play. I see from the Manchester Guardian that the Langley Howard Players were performing repertory at the Little Theatre, Rusholme in 1926, but neither my grandparents nor Langley Howard are listed as being involved, so I think this is too late.
I would be very grateful if someone could tell me more about the photograph and if anyone knows of Langley Howard's company performing at the Theatre Royal, Hyde or could point me in the right direction. My grandparents performed under the stage names Godfrey Ward and Winifred James.
I am also posting this on the Facebrook Groups:
Friends of Theatre Royal Hyde;