My Grandma had been an actress and dancer. Her mother, father, aunts and uncles had all been on the Music Hall stage. Visits to Grandma as a child always involved some element of sing-a- long or musical recital – whether it be Grandma on the piano, my sister on the violin or Uncle Paul on his guitar. Grandma would bash out the old tunes – My Old Man, Daisy Bell, I’m Henry VIII I am I am. I was bewitched and would happily sing along. She died when I was 10 years old but the memories and the melodies linger on. This blog is an exploration of that now largely forgotten era – an era before the advent of television and the TV talent contest; an era when a Portsmouth docker’s daughter with daydreams of theatrical stardom could – with a good song or comic lines, some talent and a fancy costume – travel the length and breadth of the UK performing that turn, and even to the far out reaches of the British Empire, South Africa and Australia. This blog is an exploration of the people and places on that journey from Portsmouth and beyond.