Here's a little video of me, telling you about a little history project that we are working on whilst stuck in lockdown. It all started with a button and turned into the adventures of a livery button :) Take a look..
The first button, manufactured by Bullivant in Birmingham
The set of Livery buttons, the start of our collection
The Barker/Graveyard Livery Button
My granny (Connie Toller - nee Broom) talking about when she worked at Chivers Fruit farmers and Pye Radio in Cambridge c.1933
My granny (Connie Toller - nee Broom) talking about her first school in Russell Street, Cambridge c.1918 onwards
My granny (Connie Toller) talking about the house she lived in when she was very little(c.1915-1920's), on Russell Street, Cambridge.
My granny (Connie Toller) talking about her mum (Ada Broom) working in The Globe Pub on Hills Road Cambridge c.1915
This is my Granny (Connie Toller) talking about when she was little and lived down Russell Street in Cambridge. This is her tale of her brother Russ and the balloon - this little incident would have taken place about 1919
Last night (8/07/2010) I stayed in a hotel in London called ‘The Grand Royal’, situated at no’s 1-9 Inverness Terrace, London – just to the north side of Hyde Park. To my surprise, after settling in, I noted that the hotel bar was named the ‘Lilly Langtree Bar’ as I waited at the reception to ask why the bar had been named so I also noticed that there was a glass display cabinet in the lobby containing several old frames photographs of Lilly Langtree. When I asked the lady at reception what the link with the hotel and Lilly Langtree had been, she was unsure but duly printed off a history of the hotel for me. According to the brief history which I was given, the hotel had been built/renovated at the turn of the last century, commissioned reputedly by Edward VII as a private residence for his mistress Lilly Langtree. The architect was Charles Mews who had just completed the London Ritz. What was unusual about the renovation was the addition of a private theatre – which is now the ‘Lilly Langtree Bar’ – Lilly Langtree was a famous socialite and actress and the hotel I stayed in last night was created, supposedly, as both a love nest and a career bolster for Lilly.
I took some photos of the pictures of Lilly Langtree displayed in the hotel lobby and some of the theatre bar which you can see below.
The theatre bar originally consisted of two rooms, the front circular and domed (the auditorium), the second (the stage) rectangular with a proscenium arch between them. It is a very intimate space with mirrored walls and Venetians glass chandeliers with soft plush velvet seating. The wonderful, original Edwardian theatre seats are still there and in very good condition.
My interest in this and surprise came from the fact that I had ended up in a place once frequented by my great grannies friend! My great granny was Ada Broom (previously Cruden, nee Hatchman) and when she lived on Russell Street in Cambridge she would let out rooms. Lilly Langtree had stayed at my great grannies house in Cambridge several times when she had been playing at the ‘New Theatre’ in Cambridge, which was just down the end of Russell Street on Hills Road (no longer there). My granny (Ada’s daughter) remembers Lilly Langtree staying at the house well. One of the tales she tells is how Lilly had a little dog she would carry under her arm (not too dissimilar from the Paris Hilton’s of today), granny told me how one day Lilly came rushing into the house calling “Mrs Broom, Mrs Broom!” and how grannies mum had come running to see what was the matter. Lilly had said “Oh Mrs Broom, it’s my poor little dog! He has hurt his foot!” Great granny had said “Alright dear, give him to me; let me have a look…now tell me what happened.” Lilly replied by explaining how she had been in town (Cambridge) and had gone to Boots (still there today!) and at the entrance to Boots there was a revolving door and as she had gone through the door her little dog had got his paw caught. She had rushed straight back to great grannies house on Russell Street. Great granny bandaged the little dogs paw and saw him alright.
Granny told me how Lilly left a box of chocolates on the sideboard for her dog to have as a treat and had told great granny to give them to her dog every now and again when she was out. Granny said how her mum had said “Now dear, you are not to touch those chocolates coz they’re for the dog” and granny had replied “but they’re real chocolates for people” and granny still says today “they were you know!”
So what a nice surprise it was last night to spend a night in a hotel where Lilly had once slept too!
This is my aunts story ( Joan Punter, nee Toller )- as she wrote it- March 2005.
I was born in 1940 so war was a normal state of affairs for me and my sister. The family ( grannie, aunts, uncles and cousin ) all lived in Oxford Road Cambridge. My father was away fighting the war in France, in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Uncle Bill was in the Fire Service and Uncle George was in the R.A.F. so men in uniform was normal. Uncle Russ and Uncle Arthur worked away some of the time in munitions, so ours was a world of women.
We grew our own veg and salad, kept the allotment going to help Bill, with chickens and pigs to feed. We made our own clothes often and baked cakes and pies.
Nights were spent sleeping under the air-raid metal ) table, surrounded by wire mesh on a red cross blanket. We had an Anderson shelter in the garden, which was cosy but cold and damp. e also went in the cubord under the stairs when the siren went, and took it in turns to sit on the gas meter! Luckily for us the bombers which came over Cambridge usually headed up north to bomb our factories which made munitions, but I remember the sickening siren sound, followed by bombs exploding. My daddy was driving these baddies away, and he later told us how he came back from Dunkirk with bombs dropping all around and near their boat. He kept saying " Please God get me home to my wife and children."
I was five when it ended, and all I remember then was red, white and blue everywhere, street parties, and best of all a new baby brother! ( Sadly I had friends whose daddy never came home as ours did.)
Joan ( nee Toller )
Found this little note home to my mum from the headmistress of Queen Edith School, Cambridge [Miss J Johnson]
This is the wrapper from a Cadbury's picnic bar that I brought in the 1980's from the sweet shop on Adkins corner, Perne Road, Cambridge
haha, this is a terrible case of bad hair. I remember my mum cut my hair but I didn't like it so I cut it some more myself, then she tried to make the fringe better and told me off, so in my mood I ran upstairs and cut some of my eyelashes and eyebrows too! I remeber mum had to write a letter to my teacher Mr Hones to explian why my hair was such a mess but I read it on the way to school and was so embarrased that I shoved it in a bush on Gunhild Way just outside the school.
Above: me on Christmas day 1983 at 380 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge - notice the Ken doll haha!
Below: Christmas dinner at grannies [Connie Toller] Me & my sister Lynsey and my cousins in the background.
This is one of the paper bags from Heffers in Cambridge from the 1980's. I used to love that Heffers on Sidney Street. When I got birthday money I would go down the town and always go in Heffers. I'd go straight up to the first floor where there was lots of toys and nice things to see. I would nearly always buy some marbles and pretty stickers :)
This is from my 5th birthday at 380 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge. From left to right: Michelle Bullivant, Kathryn Howe, Ireena Dutta, Suzanna Seddon
380 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, from left to right: Laura Hayns, Lynsey Bullivant, Michelle Bullivant, Donna Easy, Eddie Toller.
From my childhood scrapbook, when we lived on Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana's Wedding on 29.6.81
My first tooth came out when I was 5 and 3/4 old - I had 50p for it :)
Here's a page from my school diary (Queen Edith School, Cambridge) on Friday April 30th 1982. It says we saw the morris men dancing.
About Michelle's Archives
This is a blog page for the archives in in my own collection. It includes many of of my personal family archives, tales and scrapbook items to all kinds of general archive items mainly from around Cambridge and East Anglia but some even more further afield. Search for items or subjects of interest under the categories below, by date or keyword, name or place etc or keyword search in the search box above. Any problems finding something or if you've any questions or comments please do get in touch by using the 'Contact' page on this website.