Obituaries 2012

ANNE STORRS (1941 – 2012)

Regional Representative, NODA North District No.9 1990 – 2008

Anne was the youngest in a family of four children in Morley, West Yorkshire.  After attending Batley Grammar School she went into the fashion industry, where her skill as a seamstress and designer resulted in her being offered a job in a large American store, which she declined.  In the mid 1960s she changed careers and joined the Civil Service in Leeds.

Anne always enjoyed music, especially singing, and would listen to her father practising his line for the male voice choir of which he was a member.  As a result, she was later to claim to know the bass line better than her male colleagues in the various choirs she in which she sang!  She sang in ‘The Messiah’ with Huddersfield Choral Society, and her interest in traditional jazz resulted in her singing with several bands in the area.

In 1975 Anne transferred to Berwick Pensions and Benefits Office, and moved to Seahouses.  She joined the Glendale Choral Society, playing many principal and chorus roles in G & S productions, and became its Secretary. When the position of NODA Regional Representative became vacant, her interest led to her being elected to represent Region No.9, as it then was, a post which she was to fill for the next eighteen years.  Anne was an assiduous and popular Rep, whose show reports were always fair and objective, and, most importantly, very encouraging, finding good in every performance, and she was a valued member of the Area Committee.

Anne moved to Berwick upon Tweed in 1982.  She was forced to give up work in 1987 due to severe rheumatoid arthritis, but continued to sing with many local choirs.  She also continued with her voluntary work as a member of the Board of Visitors of Acklington Prison (17 years) and an elected member of the Executive Committee of Bamburgh Abbeyfield Society (6 years).

In 1985, cancer was diagnosed, and Anne underwent the surgery prescribed.  Ten years later, she was devastated to learn of its recurrence, and once more received major surgery, chemo and radiotherapy.  In 2003 the disease had spread and she determined to visit her sister and niece in New Zealand, and her nephew in the USA, trips which gave her a great fillip.  Sadly, her health gradually deteriorated, and in November 2011 she was admitted to hospital for pain control.  On 21 May 2012, her 71st birthday, she was admitted to Tweedmouth Nursing Home where she died peacefully on 20 June, some twenty seven years after initial diagnosis.  She will be remembered fondly by her family, her many friends, and ‘her’ societies.

Kate O’Regan (Niece)
Rennie Porteous (Friend and colleague)


Whitley Bay Pantomime Society is sad to announce the death of John Gray on 2nd July 2012  John was an active member of the Society, along with his wife Pat and younger son Mark for many years.  He joined the Society around 1970, to build many useful and mysterious props for use on stage.  Later he became the Props Master creating large props and assisted with the construction of the magic carpet in Aladdin.

In addition John turned his skills to good use for Whitley Bay Operatic Society creating props.  Following retirement from backstage work John developed his musical hobby by playing his organ and visiting Organ Music Festivals.

Our thoughts are with his family.  He will be sadly missed.


It is with deep sadness that Tynemouth A.O.Society reports the death of Frank Moran.  Frank was Treasurer from 1982 until 1996, and remained a dear friend and supporter right up to the time of his death this year.  He was a real gentleman- in every sense of the word-and our sympathies and condolences go to his family and close friends.

GEORGE TODD 1912 – 2012 (Past NODA President)

It is with sadness that the death of Past President George Todd was announced in early August.  George was a much respected and loved member of Darlington Operatic Society for many years, holding the offices of Chairman and President.  As a self-confessed non singer “not good enough for the Operatics, anyway”, he became Property Master, a post which he took very seriously, as was evident in Society productions.  He became Councillor for the Northern Area of NODA, as it was then known, and in 1978 he was elected National President, a role he performed in a period when the future of the Association was very precarious due to financial problem.  He successfully steered a course which was the saving of NODA, as detailed in the April issue of Amateur Stage on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  He became Chairman of the NODA Theatre Course, held in Bristol each year, and remained as an elected member of Council until 1991.

George was married to Peggy, herself a member of DOS and an accomplished actress, for 62 years, receiving a telegram from the Queen on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding.  This was followed on the 16th February 2012 by another to mark George’s 100th birthday.

His many interests included football, for which he was for a time a Football League referee, and cricket, for which he captained his works team.  A man with many stories to tell, he was alert and philosophical about his life right up until he passed away.  He will be missed and fondly remembered by the many who knew him.