Barbara Ormerod (Barbara Lynn)

Barbara trained with Birmingham Repertory Theatre School, originally in Station Street, during the calendar year of 1945, when wartime blackouts at night time were strictly enforced. The school was founded by Sir Barry Jackson & the tutors were Mary Richards, Maud Gill, Pamela Chapman, Irene Dick, Vincent Burrow. Amongst her fellow students were Pat Brewer, Joyce Appleton & Paul Scofield.

Born and raised in Coventry, Barbara witnessed the 1940–1 blitzes on the city before she and her brothers were evacuated to the locality of Bromsgrove to where her father moved his business, his factory having been flattened in the Coventry bombings.

Aged 18, she played supporting roles in the eight productions with the Stratford-upon-Avon Festival company in their 1946 summer season (directed by Sir Barry Jackson alongside Donald Sinden, Paul Scofield, Joy Parker, Eileen Clark/Page, John Harrison and Pat Brewer) .

In the years following, Barbara took leading roles in repertory at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool, Wednesbury, Rochdale, Dumfernline and on tour with the Gaiety players (directed by Harold G Robert) in Douglas (Isle of Man), Scarborough and Huddersfield.

In 1950 she changed her Equity name to Barbara Lynn and commenced a season in Margate, Eastbourne and Brighton (firstly as Jacky in “French without Tears”, and then the lead role in Maurice Braddell’s “It’s You I want”, (opposite Ronald Frankau, director Hubert Wood) at the Winwood Theatre in Brighton and on tour to Swansea. In 1950 she also played in “Deep are the Roots”, the American play set in 1945 about the homecoming of a decorated black soldier from World War II. Snippets can to be found in The Stage archives and the Chit Chat column in that era (1949–52) under both names.

She married actor Peter Wilson (also in French without Tears – 2nd photograph) and eventually the family settled in Harrogate. She was an enthusiastic exponent of the Keep Fit movement and an established KFA trainer and modern dance choreographer until her sudden death.

Past productions

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