Snapshot Memories of England's Hollywood



NEB's Interviews  

Patti Lofus Gray

Patti Loftus 1921

“Mrs Gray, of course we know you as Patti Loftus, which is a famous name in the theatre, and I think it was, was it through your aunt (Marie Loftus) that you came to Shoreham, to Bungalow town originally?”

Marie Loftus 1857 -1940
Cissie Loftus c1910

Oh yes, yes, she had the bungalow Cecilia, which was down by the fort.”

“And this was named after your cousin Cecilia Loftus?”

“Her daughter, Marie’s daughter, Auntie Marie’s daughter, yes.”

“Your aunt also had, later on, this very big bungalow, Pavlova.”

Pavlova c 1915

“Someone once said it was Pavlova the dancer lived there. Was this true?”

No, this never was true. My cousin Cissy was doing an imitation of Pavlova, who was then playing at the Palace Theatre in London. She was a very big success and my aunt, Auntie Marie went to see her, and was so charmed by her, and she’d just bought a house, and so she christened it Pavlova. The dining room had got I think 24 oak chairs, you know that black oak, all carved and the long table, and she used to bring her table silver down with her you see, and there it was, laid out with candelabras up and a big silver rose bowl with artificial geraniums in it and red carpets, absolutely lovely. Every room she had was a different colour, there were an awful lot of bedrooms in that Pavlova bungalow, but it was lovely. In the evenings Auntie would walk down the path to the road, when she was at Pavlova, and theatre people she knew would come up, she’d invite them in, and it would turn into a party. I must have been a terrible bore, because she would have me sing and dance, you see, and she kept on and on and on, and when I was so tired, I could hardly stand up, I used to be sent to bed, so I used to keep going.”

“Didn’t you have a story once of the sea breaking in there?”

Listen To Patti's Story

"Didn’t you tell me once about some of the Melville’s, Walter and Frederick Melville meeting your late husband,“Monsewer” Eddie Gray and having a little chat on the beach?” (The Melvilles belonged to a theatrical family who ran some London Theatres)

“Yes, Eddie and I were having a walk up the road and we met Frederick Melville, and they were talking and Frederick said: ‘Where are you going for Panto Eddie?' So Eddie said: ‘Oh, I’m going to the Lyceum,’ because they owned the Lyceum at the time. He said, ‘Do you mean that?' So Eddie said, ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Right, that’s it.' And there was never a contract, but Eddie was there for several years, but they never held a contract. They were wonderful people.”

“Of course when you hear the words Bungalow Town, a lot of people think of it as a lot of shacks, but it wasn’t, was it?”

“Oh no, there were some beautiful bungalows there, beautiful."

“How it’s all changed !.”

 Patti Gray   Jim Walters Fred Batten

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