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GERRY BLAKE (d.2002)

Members will be saddened to hear of the death of Gerry Blake at the age of 72 in September. He had
been an active member of The Questors for forty years, serving on the Committee of Management
and being made a life member of The Grapevine Club for his many years of service behind the bar.
However, it is for his contribution to the field of stage management that he will be best remembered.
He had worked professionally at Stratford East and Croydon and he brought to The Questors a wealth
of practical know-how. Flying, (he flew six large screens into a tiny space in the catwalks for Big Soft
Nellie), getting a door to close in nine seconds exactly, organising our first trip to The Minack, running
Questabout, creating, with Bron, amazing oysters for Alice or monster heads for Merry Wives, even
playing a small part from time to time, it was all in a day's work to him. As Stage Manager you knew
who was in control and that he would cope efficiently, usually with a smile, with any of the problems a
show would throw up.

He was a man of many parts and there are a lot of Questors members who went sailing with him in
Bugle Call or on one or other of Eric Lister's boats. He was a good man to have with you when the
going got bouncy.

He was also a gifted pianist and there were many sing-songs round his piano and some memorable
carol evenings in The Grapevine. His love of Mozart brought him great joy but he also had wide
knowledge of the modern musical.

He worked as a teacher of primary school children for many years. They came to him naturally as an
authority and friend. He had vast funds of information for them and you could be certain that his
enthusiasm, humour and willingness to learn with them would leave them with experiences that would
remain with them all their lives. He should have been a head but his contempt for the bureaucracy that
has a stranglehold on contemporary education held him back. He was the better teacher for it.
In the garden he was green fingered and in later years he was one of the three gnomes who have
done so much to make The Questors' gardens the picture that they are. The other two will miss him.
Perhaps the lasting things that will be remembered are his many kindnesses, his generosity and
above all his smile, which so many people commented on when they heard of his passing. While
these were with him all the time he was at The Questors they became more pronounced with the
happiness and contentment he found with Bron. All our thoughts go out to her at this grieving time.

[Questopics 481, October 2002]

Gerry Blake at The Questors
1964 Neighbours
1964 No Quarter

1965 Big Soft Nellie
1965 The Country Wife
1965 The Winter's Tale
1966 Fairy Tales of New York
1966 Hercules and the Augean Stables
1966 My Poll and My Partner Joe
1967 The Flying Dutchman
1967 Mother Courage and her Children
1967 Phaedra
1969 Black Eye'd Susan
1969 Tango
1970 Henry IV Part 2
1971 The Duchess of Malfi
1971 Hamlet
1973 The Ghost Train
1974 The Cenci
1974 Dracula
1975 Island, The
1975 On the Spot
1976 The Colleen Bawn
1976 Sanctuary

1977 Man is Man
1977 Seagull Rising
1978 Oh, What a Lovely War!
1978 The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew
1979 The Beggar's Opera
1980 A View from the Bridge
1981 Aladdin
1981 Forty Years On
1981 The Magistrate
1981 A Streetcar Named Desire
1982 Arsenic and Old Lace
1982 Betrayal
1983 Cabaret
1983 Habeas Corpus
1983 Hamlet
1984 Lark Rise
1985 Proposal
1986 Bartholomew Fair
1986 Old King Cole
1999 Merry Wives of Windsor, The
2002 Hedda Gabler