managed to track down the person who wrote and read the memorial so
here follows what we were told about Joyce at her funeral:
Joyce Frances Allen was born on 1st January, 1912 in Barnet and was
educated at the Catholic Church School in Palmers Green.
Musically talented, she went on to the Royal Academy of Music, studying
Violin and Piano, graduating in both disciplines. Fellow students
with her at that time included David Martin and the clarinettist Jack
She was appointed Music Teacher at Hunstanton, then Repton College
and subsequently at Queenswood Girls' School in Hertfordshire. In
the meantime, she belonged to both the London Junior and London Senior
Orchestras under dear old Ernest Read. It was he who offered her the
post or Head of Music at Tortington Park in 1936 - and she was still
only 24 years old!
In 1940, to be as far as possible from the Blitz, the whole school
was evacuated to the West Coast of Scotland, to the Ballachulish Hotel
- thus becoming the onlyu school with a licensed bar! Eventually she
returned to London to be near her parents and became a free-lance
Joyce & Dick were married in 1946, so enjoyed a wonderful 55 years
together, despite all sorts of health difficulties on both sides.
Both Repton and Tortington wanted her back: she chose Tortington and
remained there till the school finally closed its doors in 1969.
By this time she and Dick were living in Arundel; apart from being
a gifted violinist and pianist, another talent - not known to us all
- was as a Conductor. Indeed, she had studied conducting with none
other than Sir Henry Wood - and has a bator of his as a souvenir of
that association. [We were then shown this baton which was about 2
foot long, maybe longer, it seemed huge for a baton.]
She was asked to take on the Arundel Choral Society - purely on a
temporary basis - as their existing conductor could no longer see
adequately. She remained their temporary conductor for the next
years and also played the violin whenever asked to do so. I [ Roger
Stalman, in Axminster ] first met Joyce at a Chichester Cathedral
Concert; looking back through my old programmes, it could have been
the St. Matthew Passion in 1966, or the Verdi Requiem in 1969. She
might well have been in both, only those programmes regrettably don't
enumerate the instrumentalists involved - and I can't remember things
that long ago!
At one time she conducted a Children's Orchestra in Sherborne but
possibly her greatestg triumph as a conductor was a performan of Messiah
in the Great Hall of Arundel Castle, with three combined choirs -
some 200 singers in all - before an audience of 700. Phenomenal achievement
- and she, so slight a physique but what a force of purpose!
Retiring in 1972, she and Dick moved to Dorset [ Chideock, near Bridport
] but of course, musicians never actually retire and she threw herself
into the musical scene hereabouts, with the Bridport Chamber Orchestra
(formerly the New Elizabethan), the Allington Strings, numerous Quartets
and Chamber Greoups and she was a stalwart section leader in Axminster's
St. Mary's Orchestra at our Choral Concerts and Festival Concerts
She was only recently rehearsing to take part in the latest Bridport
Chamber Orchestra Concert on November 17th but sadly, for her and
for us, it was not to be.
Off the musical scene, she involved herself enthusiastically in the
social live of Chideock, scoring for the Darts matches at the George
- and of course many of us will remember their princely anniversary
lunches there - and being a member of the Village Hall committee,
as sell as a "Friend of St. Giles' Church" for many years.
Why, only a few days before she died she was calling the Bingo at
the Village Hall for her friends. What a wonder woman! What a trooper!
What a friend!
Finally, Dick asked me to read this verse written by Joyce Grenfell:
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell,
But life goes on,
So sing as well.
was my source of Staff Information. Having also attended the funerals
of Miss Bevan and Miss Nucator in Chichester a few years back where
I met up with a number of Staff, among them Val Lishman, who will now
have to become my source!
Now, I have to attend Dick's funeral - I seem to be a "professional
funeral go-er" - as the people in my village get less too. It doesn't
really seem 38 years ago that I left the school - I remember it so clearly,
it's yesterday I can't remember and tomorrow
have to have it all written down as I am bound to forget what I am meant
to be doing.
have also enclosed an In Memoriam for Dick on the next page - the chief
mourner at his funeral being his dog, Zoe, who behaved herself admirably
and sat in the front pew with Dick's niece.