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Jimmie and Ann Hazelhurst joined The Questors in September 1947. They had come from Liverpool, where Jimmie was very active in light opera, and lived in Ealing until 1959, when Jimmie retired from work and they moved to a listed cottage near Ashford, in Kent. Despite the distance, they retained their membership of The Questors until their deaths: Jimmie died in 1990 and Ann in 1992. As far as we know, they were never active members of the Theatre, and there is no one amongst our members from that period who can remember their taking part in any Questors activities.

What makes all the above so remarkable is that in their wills they left the bulk of their estate (valued at £63,682) to The Questors. We have no way of knowing why they valued the Theatre so highly; we can only acknowledge the enormous debt of gratitude which we owe them.

We also owe a great debt of gratitude to their executor, Jack Lancelot Smith, who presented the cheque on stage at the Theatre in November last year. Jack and his wife Marta, were very close friends of the Hazelhursts from 1975 and their account of them makes it clear that Jimmie and Ann were a vibrant, warm couple with a great zest for life. They loved walking and taking holidays in all parts of the world. Jimmie made his own furniture and spent a great deal of time on his own writing (now lodged in the Liverpool Record Office Family History Archive).

They lived a rather Spartan existence, with no television, telephone or central heating. They were private, discreet and self-sufficient. Other than one tiny and faded photograph from the 1960s, the only records of their appearance which they left were their passport photographs.

To acknowledge their generosity, and to preserve the memory of this remarkable couple, we will be unveiling a plaque recording their bequest on the first night of A Chorus of Disapproval (Saturday 12 November). The ceremony will take place in the Lower Foyer during the interval. We are delighted that Jack and Marta Smith will be making the journey from Yorkshire to be with us for the ceremony.

JOHN DAVEY (November 1994)