The Watford Club perform at St Albans

From The Stage

7th February 1895


St Albans


"Les Cloches de Cornville"


 St. Albans - County Hall.  -  On Wednesday and Thursday, January 30 and 31, the Watford Club gave performances of Les Cloches de Corneville. The Co. were fortunate In having the services of so capable a comedian as Mr. Harry Buck, who took the part of Gobo in excellent style, being very droll. To this gentleman was also entrusted the duties of stage-manager, and he discharged this part of his work in a first-class manner. Mr. Fred Downer as the Marquis de Corncville looked and sang and spoke his lines remarkably well. He was heard to special advantage in the duets with Germaine, in the charming person of Miss Haig. This young lady took the palm of the evening among the lady performers, her acting being good, and she is possessed of a very sweet voice. Miss Buck as Serpolette was also extremely commendable. Praise must be given to Mr. A. J. Cook for his clever portrayal of the miser Gaspard. In the Ghost scene he was excellent. Mr. Richardson as the Bailie slightly overacted his part; otherwise he was good. Grenloheau was looked after in good style by Mr. R. W. Burge, although his acting did not come up to the level of his singing. The Co. all worked hard, and the choruses were given with plenty of go, and in good time. The splendid costumes and wigs used were supplied by Clarkson. The scenery, painted bv Messrs. Downer, Cottam, and Healy, was very good, especially the third scene in act one, painted b\ the latter gentleman, the Market Place in Corneville. A prettier set has seldom been been on these boards. Mr. J. F Gravcs acted as accompanist, and Mr. A. Cottam as musica d 'rector. A special train was run back to Watford each night.


Mr Harry Buck

Mr Fred Downer

Miss Haig

Miss Buck

Mr A. J. Cook

Mr Richardson

Mr R.W. Burge

Mr A. Cottam

Mr Healy

Mr J. F. Graves


"Les Cloches de Cornville"

Les cloches de Corneville (known in English as The Chimes of Normandy or The Bells of Corneville) is an opera-comique in three acts, composed by Robert Planquette to a French libretto by Louis Clairville and Charles Gabet based on a play by Gabet. [See Wikipedia]


Arthur J. Cook (1901  census) 49 year old railway clerk living with brother Frederick, boot makers, at 133 High Street, Watford

Harry Buck, (1901 census) possibly the Coffee House Manager, 32, born Watford, living in Willesden. A quick check of the British Newspaper Archive (which at the current time does not adequately cover the Watford area)  showed that Harry Buck sung at the Conservative Working Men's Club Concert Concert in Tring in November 1890, and At the Amateur Dramatic Club Concert, at Tring in April 1892. Harry Buck's song were encored at a Herts Yeomanry Cavalry Concerts at Berkhamsted in March 1894. In October 1902 Harry Buck, confectioner, of Watford was widely reported as a party in a divorce case and in 1904 he provided scenery to an event in Leighton Buzzard.

Fred Downer - Watford Photographer


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