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Still Sue

Dancing has always been part of my life: dancing to music is the most amazing feeling. My father loved ballet so we used to go up to Covent Garden and see all the greats, Margot Fonteyn, Nureyev, so of course I was sent to classes. Dad seemed to think I might become a ballerina after successfully reaching the point shoe stage. He was really upset when I gave up. I wanted to do tap instead: he wouldn’t hear of it. My love of dance carried me through the jive era when I demonstrated at the Oxford University Union cellars, and I encouraged our two daughters to take dance lessons from an early age, helping to set up a ballet school in Eynsham in the Ferriers’ Music Room so they could.

The gallery shows Katie as Sleeping Beauty. She ended up doing the choreography for Barts shows. Anna joined a semi-professional dance group, which performed at Jazz Cafe in Camden for years and at festivals across Europe. They even provided the support act for the legendary James Brown when he came to London.


One day I joined a queue outside the New Theatre - as one does! People said it was to be an extra in a film called Shadowlands and the Sheldonian theatre had to be filled. From past experience I thought it would be good to see what film equipment they would be using. But in fact as I passed the audition table they picked me out to sit in the tearoom of the Randolph Hotel where Anthony Hopkins, playing CS Lewis, meets his American wife. It was a charmingly relaxed occasion directed by Richard Attenborough. The gallery picture shows him thanking me for bringing fellow Eynsham resident Roy Boulting (left), the director who gave him his big break in Brighton Rock, to the premiere.

Shadowlands led to me joining an agency and another fifty or so films and television appearances. It was a fun thing to do. I was so delighted to be called, excited to go for costume fittings, then wait around in the hope of being used on the set and ‘seen’ in the finished result. There are some of them in the gallery.


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Dad and girls - ©here is Katie as Sleeping Beauty - ©Shadowlands - Richard Attenborough thanking me for bringing fellow Eynsham resident Roy Boulting (left), the director who gave him his big break in Brighton Rock, to the première.BramwellPlunket and MacleanThese Foolish ThingsAn Ideal HusbandPot Noodle - Women’s Prison (1998, UK)family with Robert & Carol at 13 Newland Street

It was great that there were so many DVDs in the library where surprised readers caught a glimpse of me on screen - I never minded how I was dressed though I was only in make up for five minutes as an old hag and over an hour as a marchioness! Being a union member it was good to be properly paid, but in the end the early calls and having my hair pulled around decided me against joining a London agency after my Oxford agent died.


My brother Robert and his wife Carol led the way with their four children: Mandy, Anne, Rupert and Jamie. I used my beautiful nieces many times as models. I always hoped our own two daughters would be as special. In fact they have grown up to be charming, outward going people and given us two grandchildren apiece: Katie - Ben and Emma aiming for University and useful degrees, Anna - Alexander and Leonardo not yet in their teens, already attracting the attention of top football clubs. Finally, a picture of our family with Robert and Carol outside 13 Newland Street.

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