Some of the lost women

After reading my post about "The Mystery of the Disappearing Women" Vivien forwarded this picture of some of them.

Soho six image

There are some names on the back of the photo, but I knew four of them, and have been lucky enough to meet two of them. The front row is, left to right - Vera Linnecar, Elizabeth Horn (née Williams) and Wally Crook - all described in this post. In the centre of the back row is Beryl Stevens, and on her left was a possible "Eddie?".

Beryl joined H&B around 1948 after a time at Gaumont-British Animation and worked there through Animal Farm (1954) and left shortly after to join the Larkins Studio - I plan to write more about her in a future post. I sent the picture to Beryl who was very kind to send on her thoughts.

The woman on her left is Edith "Eddy" Hampton who was one of the names listed in part two of the 1946 staff profile post that I knew nothing about, so it is nice to put a face to a name. The woman on her right is Connie - possibly Connie Pope, who Beryl remembers was unwell at the time. In her memory:

"We came out of the studio in Soho Square one drizzly November lunchtime, turned left & left again into Oxford Street and then right for about 15 yards into a dingy branch of some multiple photographers."

There is a date stamp on the back of the photograph which suggests that it was 11th February 1950 but that could have been when the picture was printed rather than the photo was taken - Novembers and February can be equally dingy.

As to why they had their photo taken: she has a memory that John Halas wanted to advertise to add someone new to the animation department, but that typically Wally disagreed and said that the "girls" in the Trace & Paint should given the first chance to move up. "Hooray, bless her" to quote Beryl and I wholeheartedly agree.

It was by just such an attitude that Beryl got to move into the animation room - this may have been a photo to mark that very occasion - which led to great things for Beryl's future career.

Less clear is what Beryl is holding in her hand - a hat with ears, a toy? Beryl doesn't remember so we may never know - unless you do?
hand close-up


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