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One of Questors' most legendary characters, Theresa Rawling, a member for 51 years, died in May.

As Theresa Heffernan, she joined The Questors in 1949 from the Student Group (only the second course since its foundation) and made a name as a gifted actress and tireless wardrobe mistress. One of her most memorable parts was Alma Winemiller, the Clergyman's repressed daughter in Tennessee William's Summer and Smoke (1958), a role to which she brought heart-rending sensitivity. She also
gave an hilarious Mrs Lovett, the pie-woman, in our first Christmas show, Sweeney Todd (1956), the cast including Alan Drake, Vincent McQueen, Jo Irvin, Alfred Emmet and myself.

When building the new theatre began in 1956, Tess was one of the keenest workers. Bricklaying was her speciality and for years there was a picture of her with trowel in hand in the Grapevine.

She lived in Mattock Lodge for a time and in 1958 married a fellow lodger, the theatre treasurer, Gerald Rawling. They moved to the West country, where they set up home. Theresa had unknowingly contacted MS, but bore two sons, Dominic and Andrew. She and Gerald returned to Ealing on retirement in 1964. After he died in 1992 she spent her last years in Threen House, Mattock Lane, where her courage was truly inspiring. Despite her illness she kept in touch with dozens of Questors and was particularly delighted when reunions were held, as then old friends walked down the road to visit her.

Among Questors at her funeral at Ruislip Crematorium were Joyce Hawkins and Jennifer Sparkes, who had been with her in the Student Group of 1948-9.

Mike Green

1949 The City Wives' Confederacy
1950 Shadow and Substance
1951 By Further Request
1951 The Merchant of Yonkers
1951 The Philanderer
1951 Poor Man's Miracle
1951 Two Gentlemen of Verona
1952 The Merchant of Venice
1952 Testament of Cresseid
1953 Thieves' Carnival
1954 Happy as Larry
1955 The Tragedy of Fratricide Punished
1955 The World's Wonder
1956 Gilgamesh
1956 Sweeney Todd
1957 The Golden Cuckoo
1957 Pygmalion
1957 Ten Nights in a Bar-Room
1957 The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus
1958 Everybody Loves Celimare
1958 Summer and Smoke
1958 The Voice of Shem (Finnegan's Wake)
1962 Going-Going