The Museum has recently acquired a significant collection of material relating to Nuneaton comedian and Generation Game presenter Larry Grayson.
Pauline Pearson first met Larry at a Blackpool show in 1974. From that point the two wrote regularly to one another, exchanging Christmas and birthday cards.
“Thank you once again for remembering my 39th birthday… soon to be 40 now.. hooray!!!” (1986)
It was a friendship that would last 20 years, until Larry’s death in 1994. On the eve of his retirement Larry wrote to Pauline, “Thank you for your kindness over the years and being such a loyal friend and fan”.
Pauline was a huge fan of Larry’s; she carefully kept letters and postcards from Larry and compiled her own scrapbook of programmes and newspaper cuttings. Every year she would display her first Christmas card from Larry on the mantlepiece alongside his current card.
Over the years Larry’s letters – written on rather fabulous notepaper – reveal a very personal and moving friendship:
“Don’t forget always keep smiling although sometimes it’s very hard to do (don’t I know so well)”
“Have rented a lovely house outside Torquay in a delightful spot and very peaceful and away from the crowds and can really rest when not at the theatre or opening fetes”
“Now completely retired from show biz, no more stage shows or television it’s not the show biz I knew and loved over the years… I had the best years playing the best shows and the lovely theatres now all gone and worked with real stars and clever acts”
Pauline’s son, Graham, has kindly donated his mother’s collection to the Museum and remembers Larry fondly ‘He was always a gentleman, a wonderful warm human being who loved people and received much love and warmth in return’.
We’re delighted to provide a home to Pauline’s fan collection and memorabilia. In the coming weeks will be working through and cataloguing the collection.