Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Musical Memories; Pensioner Donates Rare Programmes to City Hall Project

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Musical Memories; Pensioner Donates Rare Programmes to City Hall Project

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Davies

MUSICAL memories once thought lost are to be brought together in a new City Hall archive after a pensioner donated her lifelong collection of memorabilia.

During Kate Lewis's time working as a programme seller for Newcastle City Hall she built an amazing collection of programmes and posters, many of which are signed by musical greats, including Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey and Frankie Vaughan. But it was not until after her sister stepped aboard the Tyne Idols musical heritage tour bus this month that she learned of the City Hall's plans to create an archive dedicated to famous musicians.

Now Kate, 66, has decided to donate her collection to the theatre as the first step towards creating an archive for the public.

The retired headteacher, of Esh Winning, County Durham, said: "When my sister told me that the City Hall wanted to create an archive I wanted to donate all my programmes and posters to them.

"I knew that they were just sitting in a box in the bottom of the wardrobe, and with no one to donate them to that seemed like the right place for them to go. "It's great that everyone will be able to see them and I hope they enjoy them as much as I did collecting them."

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s Kate's father Louis Leider was managing director of AE Cooke, in Saville Row, Newcastle, who acted as booking agents for the City Hall.

Kate was often asked to help sell the programmes and during that time managed to get a few signed.

She said: "When we used to sell the programmes we were able to go backstage and meet the people that were performing.

"It was brilliant I was only a teenager and was getting to meet all these up and coming stars. It was so exciting to be there and part of it. It was a great time in music and we met lots of great people. …

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