I SAW a reference to Dudley Hippodrome recently in The Bugle and it reminded me of a wartime experience when attending a show there.
On a Saturday evening in November 1940, when I was 17, I went to Dudley Hippodrome when Tommy Trinder, the comedian, was the compere.
During the show the air raid sirens were sounded and as was usual the audience were invited to go to a shelter if they wished and a sign was illuminated at the side of the stage to remind us of the air raid.
The show, of course, continued and one of the items on the bill was a violinist, who played during this period, and the particular item I clearly remember was called The Canary.
He had just reached the very highest note when there was a great roar, like an express train passing sticks in my memory, and it was the guns opening up on Rowley Regis.
Fortunately there were no bombs dropped in the area, as far as I know, but on my way home to Greets Green, on the top deck of the bus, I could see the sky illuminated, reflecting serious fires in the centre of Birmingham and I believe it turned out to be the market halls, among other buildings ablaze that night.
I wonder if any of your readers may have been at the Hippodrome that night?
The next time I saw Tommy Trinder was at Maymyo, north of Mandalay in Burma.
It was some months after the Japanese war had finished and it was at a rest camp and I had travelled from Rangoon.
A famous pianist, Solomon, was also entertaining us and I had last seen him on a Sunday afternoon at the theatre in Reading, where he was stationed at that time. It was great to have such entertainers prepared to travel to these areas.
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