Ivy Benson - honoured by the stars
Clacton Gazette, Friday, May 21, 1993
FINAL NOTES OF "LADY BE GOOD" SOUND FOR IVY
Stars tribute to
IVY Benson went out as she had started -to the strains of the signature tune she had used to introduce her-self to generations of delighted audiences, "Lady Be Good".
For the congregation of more than 300 who came to pay their last respects at her funeral last Thursday it was a fitting finale to the 79-year-old who pioneered the country's first successful all girls' band and worked so tirelessly for charity in active retirement in Clacton.
pet poodle Simon, which she took with her everywhere, sat passively
in the front row of the chapel at Weeley Crematorium together with over
30 past members her band.
She told the packed
congregation which spilled outside "Cheer and hope and optimism
- these are the great things -I remember about our sister Ratling."
When in 1943 Ivy's
band was appointed as the BBC's resident dance orchestra all hell broke
loose in the musical press.
Speaking as a former
band member, Sheila Tracy said "You buoyed us, you praised us and
you shouted at us when you had to - but we loved you for what you were,
and for what you achieved".
Helga Douglas, who worked at Clacton's Royal Hotel when Miss Benson was a resident enter-tainer for five years on coming to Clacton in 1982, described her as a pro until the end.
Ivy died recently
after suffering a heart attack at her home in Thorough-good Road. She
was due to play that evening.