In which Cole springs a surprise and Emily is astonished to be able to hear the voice of a woman with whom she has become obsessed: Winifred Barnes, beautiful young star of the West End stage during World War One, who gave up her career to live, as an eccentric, on the edge of the cliff at Holywell. Featuring recordings from 1917, rescued and restored by Dominic Combe as part of his Palaeophonics project.
In which we uncover the extraordinary life of Winifred Barnes, once a huge star but now almost completely forgotten – except among those few locals who remember being told stories of a wild woman living in a house perched precariously on the edge of a cliff. We explore why this Edwardian singer, actor and comedy performer, a West End leading lady during World One and a sensation of the age, retired mysteriously young and ran away to the seaside at Holywell in Eastbourne, where she and her sister were considered “too racy” for the locals. We search for the ruins of her spectacular home, Emily shouts at Cole not to go too close to the edge and Cole doesn’t listen. Podcast by Emily Jeffery and Cole Moreton.