Kay Cavendish

4 Jul

Kay Cavendish was a BBC artiste who was billeted in Llanfairfechan for a couple of years during WW2 while the BBC’s Variety Department broadcast from nearby Bangor.

One of the most popular radio programmes of the war years, It’s That Man Again (ITMA), was broadcast from Penrhyn Hall, Bangor.  It starred Tommy Handley and featured Kay Cavendish.  It regularly drew audiences of over 16 million people and was a comedy series full of topical jokes and catchphrases that became well known nationally, such as Mrs Mopp’s T.T.F.N. (Ta Ta For Now!).

Born Kathleen Dorothy Cavendish Murray in Hong Kong she was a classically trained pianist (she won a gold medal at the Royal Academy of Music) who delivered many classical performances.  In 1930 she became part of a close harmony trio, The Cavendish Three, which toured Britain and performed on the radio shortly after the war began.  She is best remembered for “Kay on the Keys”, a programme of piano and vocal solos, mixing classical, jazz and popular music which ran to over 400 weekly broadcasts.

In July 1943 Miss Cavendish was summoned to appear at Llandudno Court for the misuse of petrol.  During the Second World War petrol was rationed and the wasting of this precious resource was a criminal offence.  When her car needed a service it should have been taken to the nearest garage but instead she took it to a garage in Penmaenmawr, three miles from Llanfairfechan where she lived.  The case against Kay Cavendish was dismissed as it was the BBC’s Transport Officer who instructed her to take the vehicle to the distant garage.  It is unclear if he was then prosecuted.


One Response to “Kay Cavendish”

  1. Ken August 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    She had a Cavendish family connection. Possibly Cavendish-Clarke with Irish routes.

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