Edward & Fiona

It was a true pleasure for more than eighty Friends to welcome Fiona Castle OBE – widow of the great entertainer Roy – to the Cumberland Hotel on a warm  August Sunday afternoon to hear her reminiscences about her life: as a young dancer, during her thirty-year marriage and during the twenty plus years since her husband’s premature death from lung cancer.

Born in the Wirral in Cheshire, it was Fiona’s burning desire to become a ballerina – not the future planned for her by her GP father!  At the age of nine she came south to a ballet and theatre arts school in Camberley where she was to meet her life-time friend Olivia Breeze: they were to appear in their first pantomime together in 1956 and have remained friends ever since.

Olivia and Fiona 2

Fiona enjoyed a successful career on stage before marrying Roy Castle and giving up her own professional ambitions to raise their four children.  She shared so many of her memories – the friendships with Eric Morecambe (who is reported to have introduced her to her husband!) and Harry Secombe  amongst others.

In the modest style of the lady – what was not mentioned was her incredible charity works – for which she was awarded the OBE in 2004!