Until last week, these two names had meant nothing to me. Hooper is a family name but my connection to these two was hitherto unknown. As I commented my last post, I had been chasing down a few of the cousin lines, filling in gaps here and there, when I discovered these two – Selina Hooper Hudson and her husband, Sydney Charles Scoble.
Selina is my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Selina’s second name, Hooper, was her mother’s maiden name and her first name, also the name of one her Hooper aunts.
It appears that Selina and her husband chose a life on the stage performing as Calland and Hooper. Their careers must have been well underway in the UK before they elected to move to Australia in 1924 where they were advertised as well known performers from the English variety circuit.
My searches for material regarding their career naturally turned to eBay as this was where I had had the most success in sourcing ephemera reflecting the career of Betty Stockfeld who, not surprisingly, is also a 1st cousin 1R of Selina’s.
eBay yielded results! I was not aware that sheet music often bore the names and likenesses of those who performed the works. My personal experience of sheet music certainly didn’t reflect this, so I was somewhat surprised to find a sheet music specialist in the UK had a copy of Hiawatha’s Melody for sale featuring the singers Calland and Hooper.
How delightful it was to put faces to those names:
I’ve been chasing down a few family lines recently – and was a little surprised to find there were more artistes in the family. Celene Hooper (born Selina Hooper Hudson) is/was my 1st cousin 3R. She married Sydney Calland (born Sydney Charles Scoble) and, in 1924, came to Australia. They performed regularly on the live theatre circuit as Calland & Hooper and, later, on radio. Syd also taught singing.
Imagine my surprise and delight when this blog post turned up as a result of my Google search. In it is an audio version of the only published work by Syd and Celene I have been able to find – “The Song of the New Guard”. I had already established through TROVE that the sheet music was in the hands of the National Library but to find that someone had brought it to life, was a little added bonus! Thank you, Matthew.
A couple of months ago, I wrote briefly about the New Guard, a right-wing paramilitary movement that sprung into being in Australia during the Great Depression.
Since that time, I have been in Australia conducting research for my PhD. And since the New Guard features in my work, i’ve spent a good deal of time looking at the material left behind by its leaders and members. At this point, i’m sure many of you are stifling a yawn, and wondering “what’s so exciting about dusty old papers and pamphlets?” Well, lots, if you’re a history geek like me… but history ‘aint all paperwork, you know.
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My “Wordless Wednesday” post this week was one of my favourite pictures of my daughter and her husband. When I scheduled that post to appear, I was getting organised to head off to town to be near them both as it appeared that she was going to deliver her first baby early.
It was quite a funny feeling – this being my first grandchild. I wasn’t sure whether I was excited, nervous or what?
In some ways it’s a blessing that you can schedule posts in advance on this blogging platform, because that grandchild had arrived by Wednesday and, by then, I was far more interested in getting to meet her and to see that my daughter was okay rather than writing blog posts.
It was a joy and delight to be able to sit down to my computer (when the dust had settled a bit) and add a brand new name and another generation to the family tree on my genealogy software, Reunion.
Over the last week or so I have been catching up with some research and writing about one of my ‘famous’ ancestors, Betty Stockfeld. Betty was a stage and cinema actress with a career spanning over 40 years in the British and European industries.
Like many stars of stage and screen, her image found its way onto postcards, cigarette cards, into magazines and newspapers. Her name and image was used to promote cigarettes, alcohol, make up and health products as well as fashion. Many of her film reviews commented on her wardrobe rather than her capabilities as a performer.
This image appeared as part of a full page spread in 1932 promoting a new play ‘A Cold June‘ by Sir Arthur Pinero. Of note is the photographer: Dorothy Wilding. Wilding was a self taught portraitist of some note, especially for her work with the Royal Family. Unlike Queen Elizabeth II, Betty’s image as taken by Wilding never appeared on a postage stamp!
Wilding was known to be a popular photographer with women especially as she began to make a name for herself in the nude photography arena.
Another series of images taken by Wilding also appeared in The Tatler – but as Betty was semi naked in one of them, they won’t be shown here.
The Illustrated Dramatic and Sporting News, May 31, 1932 p 401
Sir Arthur Pinero: