Remember those days when you could meet in a friend’s house for a cuppa? Those days will come again. Pop on the kettle and plug your ears in to this this bonus episode where Cole surprises Emily with a special audio gift, further fuelling her obsession with Winifred Barnes, a beautiful young star of the West End stage during World War One. How wonderful to hear her voice, more than a century after she sang. Will we ever know why ‘Wonderful Winnie’ left her glittering career in London, to spend the final years of her too-short life surrounded by birds and animals in a cottage on the edge of the cliff at Holywell in Eastbourne? This episode features recordings from 1917 rescued and restored by Dominic Combe as part of his Palaeophonics project, so a huge thanks to Mr Combe.
Emily and Cole pull back the undergrowth and uncover the extraordinary life of Winifred Barnes, once a huge star but now almost completely forgotten – except among a few locals who remember being told stories of the curious inhabitant of a house perched precariously close to the edge of a cliff. Why did this Edwardian singer, actor and comedy performer, a West End leading lady and sensation of the age, retire mysteriously young and retreat to the seaside at Holywell, where she and her sister were considered “too racy” for the locals?
Season Two, Episode Two: Wonderful Winnie
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.
There are some gorgeous images of Winifred on the National Portrait Gallery site here.