This is an important archive of Manuscript material relating to Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan and their pre-The Goon Show history, Spike and Harry famously met during the Second World War, with a very funny first encounter involving a runaway Howitzer Gun in North Africa, then later just after the end of the War in 1945, but before demobilisation Harry joined a Variety Show in Naples Italy called “Over the Page”, as a Comedian and Impressionist, and as a Singer, also on the Bill was the “Bill Hall Trio”, a Musical Comedy act featuring Bill Hall on Violin, Johnny Mulgrew on Double Bass and Spike Milligan on Guitar, a hand written program was produced for the show, which was presumably later copied and printed for audience members. Included in this archive is THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT HAND WRITTEN AND PAINTED PROGRAMME FOR THE SHOW FULLY SIGNED BY ALL THE CAST MEMBERS WELL OVER FIFTY SIGNATURES, each member of the cast signing their name under the act they appeared in. Harry Secombe appeared in three spots in the show and his signature appears three times, the Bill Hall Trio appeared last on the bill, and they have signed their names, including of course Spike Milligan, The Orchestra appeared first on the Bill with all eleven members signing their name including Johnny Mulgrew of “The Bill Hall Trio”, who was playing his Bass in the Orchestra as well, other acts include Bob Wayne with his Hat and Cane, The Egyptian Sand Dance and Somersaults by Bob Hutchinson and Bill !! Light Comedy by Kenneth B. Lovell, and more, also loosely inserted in the program is a piece of paper with a hand written list of the acts in order of appearance from a later performance on 11th February 1946, the main Manuscript Programme is dated December 1945 Naples Italy, for many years the manuscript of the programme was in the hands of Kenneth Lovell who appeared in the show with an act called “The Silent Man with Silly Fingers”, and included in the archive is an original letter sent on 31st May 1954 from Harry Secombe to Kenneth thanking him for the offer of accommodation at his home while he was on tour in England, and mentioning the recent birth of his son Andrew. After Kenneth’s death, the original programme and posters for the show came into the hands of a Norman Haynes, and in 1992 he sent the posters and programme to Harry Secombe to look at, they let Harry keep the original posters for the show which they didn’t want any payment for, and in return Sir Harry sent Norman and his wife a Signed Copy of his Autobiography, a Signed Photograph, and a Signed Copy of his latest Album, returning the programme as well, these items are included in the Archive along with the three Letters of Correspondence and a Compliments Slip from Sir Harry, The Autobiography also gives Harry’s account of the “Over The Page” show and early meetings with Spike Milligan, soon after the appearance in the show they started a Comedy Act together, and the rest is history as we say…. A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF PRE-GOONS HISTORY DATING TO THE VERY BEGINNINGS OF THE SHOW BUSINESS CAREERS OF HARRY SECOMBE AND SPIKE MILLIGAN. THE MANUSCRIPT PROGRAMME FOR “OVER THE PAGE” IS A UNIQUE AND VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF BRITISH COMEDY HISTORY. the Archive includes the 1945 Manuscript Signed Programme for the “Over the Page Show” signed by Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, along with all the other cast members, over fifty signatures in all, the Hand Written list of the Shows itinerary for a production of the show on 11th February 1946, A 1954 signed Letter from Harry Secombe to Kenneth Lovell, Three Signed Letters from Harry Secombe in 1992 about the programme and posters for the show, a Signed Copy of Harry Secombe’s Autobiography, A Signed Colour Photograph from Harry Secombe, A Signed copy of Harry Secombe’s 1991 Album “Yours Sincerely Harry Secombe”, and a Printed Compliment Slip from Sir Harry Secombe, CBE. , some creasing to the photo, and edge bumps to the album cover and books dustjacket, else in good condition.
Author HARRY SECOMBE & SPIKE MILLIGAN