Author Topic: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder  (Read 5110 times)

Offline DebNZ

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 14 April 16 22:33 BST (UK) »
Wow - thanks everyone. Great to now have a marriage date and also a line to follow for Alf.  Very helpful. I'm very grateful.  Don't stop looking!

Many thanks
DebNZ
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Offline EmyrBorth

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 14 April 16 23:19 BST (UK) »
Hi
Harry Lauder was a comedian and singer.
Short account in The Cambrian 23 July 1909:

SWANSEA "RECORD" MAKER. MR. ALF THOMAS' SUCCESS IN LONDON. Mr. Alf Thomas, the "Welsh Harry Lauder," has broken out in another direction, and to his very material benefit. He has just returned to Swansea after singing into a recording gramophone for one of the leading London firms. He made five records :"The Tram Conductor," "Daft Davie." "Jenny Morgan," "The Forty Twos," and "The Postman," and these will be on the market next month. So successful was the venture that it is probable that Mr. Thomas will have to go up each month to add Welsh records exclusively to the firm's list.
In another paper, 1910:
 Alf Thomas, the Welsh Harry Lauder, was all his reputation had claimed for him. In fact, he was the leading feature of the entertainment. He is not only a fine singer, but his imitation work and acting were the best seen here in many days. He made a decided hit in his Scotch costume and songs, and his many jokes were clean and funny to a hearty laugh. He made the hit of the evening in his song, 'I'm Tired.' He was forced to give many encores, until he was apparently exhausted.

Also November 1910:
The Cambrian Glee Singers, on tour in in America, are doing wonderful things, according to the American journalists. Of the "Welsh Harry Lauder," Mr. Alf Thomas, of Swansea, "The Granville Standard" gives this tit-bit: "Those at the Eisteddfod Saturday afternoon had a chance to see Mr. Thomas in female impersonation, as a Welsh girl in native costume. Here again he was superlatively good, and his song and monologue descriptive of the trials of a Welsh girl in organising a choir of ladies' voices was very funny indeed. Mr. Thomas certainly has a great future before him, and if he is not recognised before many seasons as one of the very best impersonators on the stage, Granville critics are all at sea."
Emyr

Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 14 April 16 23:32 BST (UK) »
There are so many excellent Welsh singers currently and over the last 70 years,   that they should be calling some English singers  something like "the English Tom Jones"

or  the English Kathryn Jenkins.

 ;D
Nursall   ~    Buckinghamshire
Avies ~   Norwich


Online heywood

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 14 April 16 23:45 BST (UK) »

SWANSEA "RECORD" MAKER. MR. ALF THOMAS' SUCCESS IN LONDON. Mr. Alf Thomas, the "Welsh Harry Lauder," has broken out in another direction, and to his very material benefit. He has just returned to Swansea after singing into a recording gramophone for one of the leading London firms. He made five records :"The Tram Conductor," "Daft Davie." "Jenny Morgan," "The Forty Twos," and "The Postman," and these will be on the market next month. So successful was the venture that it is probable that Mr. Thomas will have to go up each month to add Welsh records exclusively to the firm's list.

Emyr

Interesting. If I have the right Alfred, he was a Tram Conductor in 1901 - perhaps the song was based on his experiences.
Reading the reviews, where he is very popular, seem at odds with his employment in the censuses. He must have been part time.

As regards a link between the two men, their families look to come from different areas of Wales, so there is likely to be no connection.
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Offline despair

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #13 on: Friday 15 April 16 00:01 BST (UK) »
Nice spot between the record and the occupation,Heywood.

Regards
Roger

Offline DebNZ

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #14 on: Friday 15 April 16 09:10 BST (UK) »
This is all very interesting! The gentleman that I am enquiring for is a family friend and his grandfather was John Hugh Thomas.  He knows he was in music hall and also a lot of memories about "Alf Thomas" talked about within the family (but in the days when children were seen and not heard) and possibly even referred to as "Uncle Alf".  This is the rather tenuous link and I am doing my best to sort it for him.  The generation above him are all gone now so there is no point of reference.  The other very interesting thing is that a photo I have of John Hugh Thomas and the one of Alf Thomas that was referred to on ebay at the beginning of this thread are extremely similar AND were both taken at the same photographic studio in Liverpool.  I'm sure if we really push we can sort this one. There MUST be a link!
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Online heywood

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #15 on: Friday 15 April 16 09:20 BST (UK) »
Would you be able to find out the line from John Hugh to your friend. You said that Annie remarried. Where did this event happen?
John Hugh here, is in Manchester with children born locally but was born in Anglesey.

If we have the right Alf, he is born Swansea but the censuses do not indicate his career as an entertainer.

Perhaps the two men met through their music hall activities and became friends.
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Offline DebNZ

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #16 on: Friday 15 April 16 10:23 BST (UK) »
John Hugh is born in Swansea.  His children are Leslie Hugh, 1911,  Margaret May (Madge) 1913, Mabel Constance 1914 (mother of my friend) and John Victor (Jack) 1920.  Their births are all registered Prestwich, Lanashire.  After John Hugh died/divorced/left Annie she married William (Billy) Poole in Lancashire 1928.  The family lived in Oldham - my friend has been to and recognised the house.  The children were all put into the Actors' Orphanage when their parents split.
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Online heywood

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Re: Alf Thomas - the Welsh Harry Lauder
« Reply #17 on: Friday 15 April 16 11:22 BST (UK) »
All that fits but John Hugh Thomas was born in Anglesey - not Swansea  :-\

This is him in 1911 index

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XW1C-1WP
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