Lorna Ellis, now 92, started as a young sixteen year old singer at Royal South Street and recalls her time with South Street both as a performer and supporter of the competitions.

“During the second World War, South Street Competitions closed down, so a group of local people got together and decided to run a local eisteddfod. This was when, at the age of sixteen, my singing in the under eighteen competition began. It was held in the Alfred Hall in Greenville St (where Big W is today), and was a large, very cold building with the creek running underneath. The dressing room was under the stage and it was here that we singers did our deep breathing and vocal exercises before climbing the stairs to the stage where the wonderful Ellinor Morcom would be waiting to accompany us at the piano. On frosty nights I’ve seen her pause with the contestant while the train blew it’s whistle. When it stopped, Ellinor would continue to play and the singer would begin.

So many people had permanent seats. They would be there for most of the sections with their rugs, guide books and hot water bottles to keep warm… Over the years there were many wonderful talented people who contributed to South Street including singers David Hobson and the Lemke family boys, Roger and David.”

Lorna Ellis

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