A January Wedding – Larry and Violet

Larry and Violet Oval

Mr Larry Lewis and Miss Violet Stockelle

In January 1906, one hundred and ten years ago, my great grandmother Violet Stockelle married Larry Lewis in the Gorbals district of Glasgow.  The marriage took place on 3rd January, just five minutes away from the Royal Princess’s Theatre (now the Citizen’s Theatre) where Larry was appearing as the Mysterious Stranger in the pantomime Simple Simon. That panto ran until the end of January 1906 so it is more than likely Larry and Violet popped along to the Sheriff’s office on Nicholson Street, taking two witnesses with them, adjourned to a local pub to celebrate and Larry returned to the theatre for the 7.30pm performance that night.

Souvenir programme cover Simple Simon Glasgow 1905-06 (2)

“Simple Simon” Royal Princess’s Theatre 1905-06 Glasgow

Larry was 25 and Violet 20. I had a romantic notion that Violet and Larry may have met and fallen in love in Glasgow that pantomime season, but I can find no trace as to where Violet was performing that Winter.  Although I have discovered that Larry appeared in pantomime in previous seasons with future sister-in-law Daisy Dormer, and it seems more than likely that it was Daisy who introduced her sister to this mysterious stranger.

The two witnesses to the marriage were Harry Taylor, described as a ‘comedian’ on the marriage certificate, and Jane Riddell (who I can’t identify). Harry Taylor was also in Simple Simon and together with Mr James Ross were “an energetic pair of knockabouts, who are always in the thick of the fun”. Harry Taylor had been in one of the Fred Karno companies (a training ground for Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel) so he was well-schooled in the art of knockabout. Another significant name in the cast, described as a new recruit to panto at the Princess’s, was Jack Lorimar, the father of Max Wall. He played the bell boy Saunders M’Rory and received excellent notices in The Era:

He was one of the decided successes of the first night, and his various eccentric songs and dances and the pawky humour of his catchwords he uses took the fancy of the audience right away

Although we don’t have footage of Jack Lorimar in his eccentric songs and dances we know that Max Wall continued the eccentric dancing tradition with his Professor Wallofski character, a huge influence later to the Pythons and their Ministry of Silly Walks.

Larry too was well-received by The Era:

Mr Larry Lewis as the Mysterious Stranger, played with much mock dramatic emphasis, and was also of much value to the cast. He gave a clever song, Monotony, with much point.

Later in 1906, Violet and Larry travelled by steamer for Australia to fulfil a series of engagements there for the impresario Harry Rickards. In their first year of marriage they travelled to Sydney, Melbourne and mining towns in Western Australia and were away for nearly a year. I know that they called in at the Talma Photographic Studios in Melbourne (119 Swanston Street) as I have a number of photographs taken there, some of which are shown below. In 1907 Talma was a leading Australian photographic portrait studio for theatricals and wealthier patrons.

 

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10 thoughts on “A January Wedding – Larry and Violet

  1. I can’t believe they travelled to Australia – incredible to consider how these engagements would even have been set up, considering the distance and the length of time for letters to travel. Incidentally, was The Era a trade paper, or would it have been read by the general public (i.e. who was reading those reviews?) Thanks for a really interesting read

  2. Wonderful read. I did have a query regarding the photo’s taken at Talma’s studio. I was wondering if the photographers name was printed at all?

    • Hi Alicia. Thanks for the comment. I have scrutinised the photos and am sorry to say I can’t see a photographer’s name. Do you know something of the photographers working at Talma at that time?

      • Hello! So excited to get a response. I can’t say I know much about photographers however a friend of mine was showing so treasures he found whilst digging on sites for work. One in particular caught my eye and so I polished it up. There was a shield that was engraved to a gentleman from his fellow employees at Talma’s and is dated 9/9/09. I have done so much research trying to find what I can about it and I do know it was made by ironmaster Henry Wilkinson whom also made and supplied British Soldiers swords from 1786-1912. He may not have been a photographer however and may have worked another role with Talma’s. Trying all avenues to track down a story for this little gem and love what I have found so far. I just cant seem to find anything regarding the owner 😦

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