From Isobel Todd Quinn...
"My mothers Father Robert Gourley was a Shakespearian Actor in his youth. He was touring with the 'Danville Players' when he came upon a hostelry called the 'Victoria Vaults' in Pocket Nook, St Helen's Lancashire.
There he met his future wife Maria Brown, who was the Publicans daughter. They fell in love and got married in St Helen's on 28 Apr.1890
and they set up home in Dennistoun Glasgow.
I was the only surviving child of eight children born to Wee Harry Quinn and Lizzie Gourley (left) on 25th April 1937.
Six months later my mum's sister, Maria (May) Gourlay and her husband Samuel Pollock had a little girl called Dorothy.
We grew up more like sisters than cousins.I don't know if it was the influence of our maternal Grand Father Robert Gourley,
but the mothers were determined we would have extra skills taught to us. This took the form of private dancing lessons at 5 years of age
at the 'Sunshine School of Dancing' run by Jean McClelland at Duke Street, corner of Sword Street. We gave a yearly dancing display in the
Lyric Theatre Sauchiehall Street, just opposite the Empire Theatre. Well we were hooked, this showbusiness was fun!
Later in our early teens we had Singing Lessons, Piano Lessons, and performed in many concert parties, 'touring' OAP Clubs and Hospitals
in and around Glasgow. Dorothy and I did little comedy sketches and sung many songs. It was a great experience for what was to come.
Dorothy Pollock later changed her name to Dorothy Paul, I changed mine to Libby Stuart.And the rest as they say is history.
We still act like little kids when we get together, but of course we are both Grannies now and should know better!
We were Cousins first. But we are Friends Forever.
John I have enclosed a photo of Robert Gourley and Maria Brown. (left)
The reason I did this was the theatrical influence seems to come from him.
He died before Dorothy and I were born, but he influenced my mum Lizzie and her sister May to the point that as she sang about her parents house, her father Robert always promised he would get her a job in the 'Panoptican' (I think that is how it's spelt) she got so excited as she believed him, and was so disappointed when it never happened. Having been closed for many years, they are now going to return it to it's former glory. It is in Argyle Street near the Tron end, near McDonalds I beleive.
I know it goes away off your line, but Dorothy and I are so close even now, and although it was Dorothy's mothers sister Lizzie that merges into our family of Todds in a round about way, via my father,who was Dorothy's uncle Harry who's mother was a Todd. Well it does get complicated doen't it."
The story of Dorothy Paul
can be read in Dorothy's book ,
(which also mentions Isobel),
"Revelations of a Rejected Soprano"