I recently heard from a Patricia Rowe. She wrote to tell me about her mother Hilda MacDonald. She lived with her parents, brothers and sisters at 10 Nelson Crescent which is now the Royal Harbour Hotel.
In her day, Hilda was fairly famous in Ramsgate and South East Kent as a local opera performer.
Her speciality was Gilbert and Sullivan, where she would usually play the leading lady. Her earliest ro les were performing in The Mikado and HMS Pinafore for the local Ramsgate Operatic Organisation.
The photo of Hilda on the right was taken in 1916. It would have been colourised by hand from the original black and white or sepia photograph. She would have been aged seventeen at the time.
Below are somet more pictures of Hilda in her performing days.
Hilda Edith MacDonald: The first ever ‘ROS’ leading lady?
The last picture would seem to be from the Mikado but Patricia would be interested if anyone would know from the photographs what other Operettas Hilda might have been in?
Patricia recalls family life when she was a little girl
"They used to have some fun! My mother would dance the Hornpipe jig, My grandfather would entertain playing the bagpipes (they were stolen at the outbreak of the second world war when the family evacuated to somewhere out of danger,) He would get up on the dining room table and do a sort of highland fling as well."
One of Hilda's sisters played piano and the organ at the local cinema in the days of silent films. One of her brothers worked at the Grange as a chauffeur and drove one of the first cars in the town. He was given a silver plated tray as a thank you token after the first world war.