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Old 12th Jan 2016, 17:28
  #9339 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Mainland
Posts: 27
Re public outpourings of grief: there is nothing new under the sun - Marie Lloyd's funeral, 1922:
"But, Marie did leave them crying – and she still had one performance to make, which was to be her funeral, with an audience larger than ever in life, with 100,000 of her fans coming out to line the London roads on Thursday, October 12, in the year of 1922. T S Elliot was so distraught that he wrote an open letter saying that he would not be attending any literary events for the next two months. Max Beerbohm, the famous essayist wrote that London had not seen such a funeral since the death of the Duke of Wellington. Today, we can only compare those scenes with the intense outpourings of grief that were shown for Diana, The Princess of Wales - when so many people had the sense that this was a woman who’d touched their hearts, who felt they’d lost a personal friend.

Mourners came from near and far, with huge crowds having gathered in Woodstock Road – to where Old Kate, a race card seller, had walked the 75 miles from Newmarket. An empty floral birdcage was to signify that in ‘My Old Man...” but no hope of the hundreds of tributes sent being able to fit on the coffin lid – a coffin so small that none could believe it contained the great Marie Lloyd. The hearse left the house at 11am, topped with Marie’s old stage prop, of an ebony cane wreathed in orchids. At the cemetery in West Hampstead, mourners stood twelve deep around the grave, and the cemetery gates had to be closed before the internment could take place.

So many wept that autumn day for a woman they said could not be replaced – and whether or not she ever was, the music hall era had entered its twilight: all the crowds who once laughed and drank in halls no longer so keen on saucy songs, preferring to dance to jazz instead, or else flocking in droves to cinemas to enjoy the cult of silent film. And after the horrors of World War 2, many more stayed at home with their TV sets – upon which they might have been content to watch programmes like The Good Old Days – that title to echo the very first song that their Queen once sang in the Grecian Hall."
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