By Lesley Eltringham

Sadly we have lost another long serving member of Ponteland Repertory, Ken Hylton. We received this obituary from his daughter, Beryl Downing:

Our dad, who was a member of the Rep for around 50 years, has died aged 96. Apart from his family, I would say that the Rep was the most important and enjoyable part of his life. He had so many friends in the Rep.

Ken joined Ponteland Rep in the 1955/56 Season, playing the part of the jockey in The Arcadians. However, his great passion was for Gilbert and Sullivan, and from the following season, he took the ‘patter’ role in virtually every G&S production the Rep put on for decades. I even saw him in productions of The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance and Iolanthe more than 30 years apart! He had a very true baritone voice and a well-developed sense of the absurd, which is necessary for Gilbert and Sullivan! He also enjoyed all the other musicals and appeared in plays too, Sailor Beware, being an early one the family remember with hilarity.

Ken also served on Rep committees, and was Chairman, twice, I think. Betty Nesbit will probably know. There was also the hard practical work of ‘putting the stage up’ before each performance and Ken was one of a handful of people who knew how to assemble it once it was hefted out of the cellar. In his latter years, when he was very frail, the majority of his reminiscences were about the Rep, his friends, and the parts he played. I spent a lot of time singing G&S and other musicals with him, and he never lost his ability to do recitations and monologues, which he had learnt for various concert parties over the years.

Ponteland Repertory Society would like to offer our deepest condolences to Geoff Warner on the death of his dear wife, Dorothy. Dorothy was a very committed and enthusiastic member of the Rep for many years and we thank her for all she did.

Sadly, Dorothy’s husband Geoff died very soon after Dorothy. Both contributed so much to Ponteland Repertory Society over many years for which we, in the current Society, owe so much and will ever be grateful.

Ken Hylton Obituary