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Hello l am on holiday and whilst looking up Jim Bullen’s address ( whom l met whilst researching the family) came across your site.How interesting it is.. Catherine and Frederick were my great x3 grandparents. Louise Bullen/Bruce was my great great grandmother.
My grandfather was Edward Bruce, my mother Betty Bruce. One of the 5 Bruce Gorls as they were called.
Cassie was my Great Aunt of whom my mother had many memories and photos etc. I was given the Bruce family papers, letters documents etc and used those to document the family in book form as a gift to my mother then 92.
I have a very hazy memory of meeting Aunty Cassie when I was a small child. I was taken toTollongton Park.
The theatre link continued down the Bruce line. Kathleen, Cassies sister became a ballet dancer she danced in the first production of Copelia in London. It was she who paid for my mothers ballet lessons!
3 of my mother’s sisters were also performers ( in an amateur way) .Although my mother was accepted to go to the Saddlers Wells Company to be trained, Granpa Bruce refused permission. He said the life was too hard. Poor mum.
My generation, I went to Drama Collage, my brother worked at the BBC,my sister and my cousin also involved in theatre and so it goes on...When l get back to London l would love to contact you.
PS Yes you are very like that photo of Cassie.
John - Very pleased to see you're enjoying my research so my efforts aren't in vain. I must admit that although Fred and Frances were such stalwarts of the north-east circuit, I don't know much about the theatres in that area so anything relevant in your
research that would be relevant to their life and times would be great to see. Your records of Fred have inspired me to write a section of his story tracking him around 1866 which seems to one of the last years of his and Frances' partnership. They were at
the Newcastle Theatre Royal and the Lyceum in Sunderland as well as in Hartlepool so if I find anything I think might be relevant to your research, then I'll let you know. I aim to cover all six surviving siblings and their offspring so I've a while to go
yet. Good luck in your research,
I am currently researching the history of the New Theatre Royal Hartlepool. During December 1866, Fred Hastings appeared in at least 2 productions there, I have copies of bill posters with his name on. I have found your research most interesting and informative
and if I come across any additional info I will keep you posted.