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SMH&VTS Exhibition & Show 2007  Tivoli & Area Improvements (Oct. 2013)  (NEW) All SMH&VTS Glasgow Gatherings and photos.

JOHNNY BEATTIE
80th BIRTHDAY
CELEBRATION

Thistle Hotel, Glasgow
Sunday 5th of November 2006

My thanks to Derek Green for the kind invitation to attend this grand celebration.


Derek Green (Chairman SMVTS)                                          Bill Reid (Tivoli Memories Web Site)

 As I left the Tivoli back in April 1963 it was all a long time ago when I had last met many of the people who were there, and many who became well-known afterwards and over the years since
I moved down to Oxfordshire. It would have been arrogant of me to expect people such as Mary Lee, the Alexander Brothers and Irene Cormac to remember me but it was nice meeting them again
and they knew me from the Tivoli Memories web site. There were just so many well-known people there that everywhere I looked there was anither weel kin't face. 


Jack Milroy, Mary Lee and Johnny Beattie
(Photo on display at the Thistle Hotel for Johnny's 80th Birthday Celebration)
"Freen's t' gither"

It was with much surprise and great honor that I accepted Derek Green, Chairman of the Scottish Music Hall & Variety theatre Society kindly invited me to attend the 80th Birthday celebration to one
of Scotland's' greatest Comedians and actor, Johnny Beattie, which took place at the Thistle Hotel, Glasgow, on Sunday the 5th of October, 2006..


 Left: Ann Fields                                                              Right: Sally (Logan) & Joe Gordon and Ann Fields

My memories of Ann goes back to the first & second great Summer of the Jack Milroy Summer seasons in 1952 & 53. A very young Ann became a great favourite with the Tivoli audience and I remember
being able to see her at the Stage door after shows where she would greet everyone with her infectious smile and signing autographs, while she must have been quite exhausted from the two shows nightly.
A couple of jokes I remember from sketches is one where Ann stood with her hand on her hip, while rocking gently very ladylike and Jack commenting "Ye've left yer engine running" and the other with
Jack towering over her front and explaining "I see yer wearing new shoes'. Ann appears regularly at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayre.

My photo of Joe Gordon, at the Tivoli in 1962 was so good that it took 40 year and more to get him to pose for me again! Along with Ann Fields Joe is accompanied by his wife Sally (Logan).


Left: Mrs. George (Irene) Cormack  Right: Carmen Capaldi, who's father was Tony Capaldi.

Cormack & Sharpe were a well-known singing team who appeared on Luxury Liners, as well as at Scottish and World variety theatres. Sadly, George died 4-5 years back. Irene is now retired but sings
occasionally at personal gatherings.  Irene has a very powerful, pitch perfect  soprano voice, which matched her husband's softer Tenor voice extremely well. I have numerous favourites which I listen
to still from my record collection.

It was particularly enjoyable to meet Irene on this occasion as a few weeks back Robbie Shepherd played a request for me, on the Reel Blend, which was of a long time favourite. 'The Noo' by George & Irene.
Irene told me that she had never heard herself on radio as she had never been listening when their records have been played and was really pleased to hear my request on Robbie's show. She wrote and thanked
Robbie for playing this track.

Very much a chance meeting but it was really nice to meet Carmen Capaldi, who's father was Tony Capaldi and appeared with greats of the 30's such as Dave Willis and others.


Jack & Tom The Alexander Brothers

Tom and Jack are really still going strong as they proved during their two performances the previous evening at the 'Magic Of Scotland' show at the Pavilion Theatre. Great musicians with their own style of
humour that entertained all the way. Also appearing were Fiona Kennedy and Alastir MacDonald, a group Highland Dancers and a charming group of children. I really didn't want the evening to end.


Left: Mary Lee Milroy                                                                          Right: Sir Alex Ferguson

In spite of the sadness of loosing her husband, Jack Milroy, Mary is as active as ever and gave a fantastic run of quick-fire gags which she has used in her performances or on the 'Aunt Mary' radio shows.
Not having sang professionally for some years, Mary also managed a very good redention in tribute to Johnny Beattie's 80th birthday and their long years of friendship.
My memories of Mary from the 50's shows at the Tivoli are her amusing interaction with Jack in sketches and in one show in particular where she came on dressed as Annie Oakley and sang 'You Can't get
A Man With A Gun' every bit as perfect as Betty Hutton, in the film that was a big hit at the time. Likewise, during the media hype when she and Jack got married and that the marriage couldn't last, proved
everyone wrong by having a long and happy marriage until Jacks death 4-5 years ago. It was a great pleasure meeting Mary and with considerable sadness that Jack wasn't with us on this great day.

Not being a football fan I know of Sir Alex Ferguson only from news media. He gave a very nice speech of his days at Govan Shipyard where numerous other greats from the Scottish stage came up through
this hard profession where, if you didn't have a laugh at the discomfort, noise and dirt you would simply sit down and cry. It was a great starting point for comedians such as Johnny.

Other celebrities who were guests at the top table and gave speeches, but whom I didn't manage to get any pictures of were, Peter Morrison, Jimmy Reid and Andy Cameron.

Jimmy Reid could have reduced his speech to one fraise which would have said it all, that Johnny is a "thoroughly nice guy".

Andy Cameron never fails to raise a chuckle and also did a grand job of running the Action, where over £10,000 for Scottish Show Business Benevolent Fund and St. Margaret's Hospice was raised. Of items
in particular was an original Sir Harry Lauder Crooked Walking Stick, a framed photo of a Jack Milroy characteristic, donated by Mary Lee and the original framed print of Johnny by Malki MaCormack and even
the photos of Johnny from various periods of his life, that were on display around the room, to the glass vases and flower table arrangements. I was expecting my chair and the tablecloth to disappear at any
moment! All in a very worthy cause, of course!


Maureen Beattie. Stage And TV Star

 
The man of the moment 'Johnny Beattie'

At 80 years young, Johnny is still as active as ever and keeping them chuckling. Long may he do so.

My thanks to everyone involved for making this a great event.


The Celebration Programme Cover. Graphics by Malki MaCormack


My Invitation Ticket. A nice keepsake

Any additional information would be most welcome. reidcrcwdr@aol.com

 

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                                   (Tivoli Steering Group)  
Doors Open Day 2006 (4 Pages)  Doors Open Day 2007 (11 pages)  Doors Open Day 2008  Johnny Beattie Party 2006  Fay Lenore Dedication 2007  Gerard Kelly Dedication 2008  Cormac & Sharp Dedication 2009
                                   John Shearer Dedication 2010   Dean Park Dedication 2011  Sydney Devine Dedication 2014   
SMH&VTS Exhibition & Show 2007  Tivoli & Area Improvements (Oct. 2013)  (NEW) All SMH&VTS Glasgow Gatherings and photos.

 

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