Heart Hospital Fete & Lesley Hodson. 1935

Bromley Mercury, Kent

28 June 1935

CHILDREN’S HEART HOSPITAL.  Fete Opened By Lady Carey-Evans

This long newspaper article describes an English garden party which, when run on a commercial basis, is known as a fete.  Garden fete’s are a regular occurrence in England, where there is a massive reliance on having good luck with the weather as the event is held out of doors in a field or large garden.  In this particular case, the setting was ideal – the grounds of a hospital, which no doubt was a quiet, almost rural area at the time.

As is normal in these sorts of gatherings, there was some entertainment and on this day, the entertainment was organised by the Institute of Mime.  Children performed a fairy-tale mime play which had been written by Miss Lesley Hodson, and was set to the music of Schumann.  Miss Hodson must have had her own school in the locality, as the twenty or so children were all her own pupils.  I have no idea what flag drill is – it makes me think of something rather military, marching about and waving a large flag.  It doesn’t sound very appropriate to me.  Please contact me, or leave a comment if you know what that might have been about.

At this time (1935), Lesley Hodson is mentioned a fair amount with regard to mime.  She was very involved with the drama at the Womens’s Institute (WI) which I have covered in previous blog posts, and was on the WI’s list as being an expert in mime in 1935 (info from Mick Wallis).  At some later point, Lesley Hodson went to South Africa, where she adjudicated in Classical Greek exams.  The line continues today with Andriana Papanikolaou, who trained in the Ruby Ginner Method of Classical Greek Dance in South Africa, and now has her own dance school in Greece itself.

In addition, Lesley Hodson was a Fellow of the Institute of Mime (founded in 1933), and also taught at the Central School between 1933-35 (I don’t know what she taught, but I would guess it was primarily Greek Dance, with some mime).  So it is likely that when she worked with the Women’s Institute and taught at the Central School, she was likely to have been using the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement.  I can’t say for certain that she trained at Ginner-Mawer, but I think that there is a very high possibility of it.


Author: Janet Fizz Curtis

Janet Fizz Curtis is trained in the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement and is now writing a book about the life of Irene Mawer.

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