OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 02, 2017.
Webpage updated: September 02, 2017

        

NEW PALACE THEATRE OF VARIETIES

Miss BARBARA ALLEN

For many years during and after the Second World War the last credit on the programmes for pantomimes at the New Palace Theatre was the Barbara Allen Babettes, or later, the Barbara Allen Babes.

More is known about Miss Allen's death than her birth or life.  Her body was found in bed at her lodgings in Seymour Park Avenue, on October 13th 1974.  A post-mortem revealed that she had died of a heart attack.  When the City Coroner came to hold an Inquest, he discovered that she had no family or friends and had apparently died penniless.  But she did not die friendless because as soon as the news got into the newspapers, a flood of offers came in to pay for her funeral.  It was  revealed that many people thought she had left the City, where she had for many years run a dancing school at number 22 Saint Lawrence Road at North Hill.  She also used to teach in London and at Tavistock, apparently.  Former pupils and associates from the theatrical world raised enough money for the funeral even though one funeral director offered to provide the funeral free of charge.  Donations were being received by a Mr E R Dennis, of 11 Ford Park Road.

The funeral took place at Weston Mill Cemetery and Crematorium on the morning of Monday October 21st 1974.  Six former Barbara Allen babes were amongst the thirty or so mourners who heard the Reverend Peter Stephens speak of the sadness of a human life passing away almost unnoticed.

Nothing was published about Miss Allen's life or stage career.  The Death Announcement and the 1939 Register confirm that her real name was Miss Daisy Allen and that her date of birth was April 10th 1898.  In 1939 she was registered at the Clarence Chambers, Tavistock Road.  She was alleged to have come from London, and the only birth registration that ties up with this is for a Miss Daisy Amy Allen, born in the Mile End Old Town Registration District in the second quarter of 1898.  More than that is, at present, pure speculation.