"Thank you so much for such a great contribution to this special programme. It's always a delight to work with guests who really pull out all the stops for us. It was a pleasure meeting you and talking to you - I hope it's not the last time."
Alan Titchmarsh - TV Presenter
“Rarely can a society meeting have been quite so dazzled – there is no other word. As the chairman enviously remarked – all that erudition and wit, and not a single note.”
Eastbourne Gazette, October 2007
“The Gala Dinner in the evening was a splendid affair. The room looked lovely, the dinner was excellent and Lady Crabtree, our special guest, was enormous fun, having everyone in hysterics.”
Penny Valentine, Ladies' Captain, Royal Eastbourne Golf Club, October 2008
"Excellent! It is two weeks since Lady Crabtree's visit, and our members still haven't stopped talking about it!"
Polegate Ladies Circle, July 2010
"The people of St John's Guild were so grateful that Lady Crabtree came along to entertain us. We were fascinated by by her showbusiness reminiscences. It was interesting to hear the source of her wonderful diction. And if we ever have to arrange a seating plan, we will call her in!"
St John's Guild, August 2010
"It was a very interesting morning when we all met the Dowager Lady Crabtree. We all enjoyed her comic monologues and witty stories about her life. Time flew by and we were sorry when the meeting ended."
Saffrons Ladies Club, October 2010
"We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening. To have such professional entertainment at a church event was just extraordinary."
Fr Charlie Goring, Christ Church with St Philip, February 2011
"Lady Crabtree looked fabulous... her hour with us was so professional, and word perfect, you wonder just how she managed to remember all those lines. She received a tremendous ovation from our members, and while we were all enjoying a cup of tea afterwards, our members were saying just how much they had enjoyed the afternoon's entertainment."
Chairman, Eastbourne & District Cardiac Support Group, May 2011
"Lady Crabtree has given me back my sense of humour. I see so much comedy on television that I just don't find funny, and I really thought that I would never laugh again. But this afternoon I have ached with laughter."
Audience member, May 2011
"You really are the dream speaker. Turning up on time - finishing at exactly the right moment and giving everyone a really entertaining and enjoyable afternoon. You sometimes get one or two of the pointers, but oh so rarely do you get all three!!! Thank you so much - I absolutely basked in all the lovely comments from our members on their way out."
Jean Taylor, Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre, August 2011
"I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing you perform before and for me it was an hour of warmth, gentle naughty humour and delicious anecdotes so cleverly crafted. From the feedback I received from our members I know you delighted and entertained. Thank you for giving us all an afternoon to remember."
Angela Hughes, Social Committee Chairman, Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre, August 2011
"Members of the Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre enjoyed a special treat when they took tea with the Dowager Lady Crabtree on 7th August 2011. It proved to be a real hoot, as the refined Constance, Lady Crabtree is actually author and broadcaster Paul James in his other guise - and his comedy routine produced an hour of almost non-stop laughter."
"The 60th anniversary tea party at the Langham Hotel was very successful with entertainment by Lady Crabtree."
Jevington & Filching WI, October 2011
"I am completely overwhelmed by yesterday. It was almost a 'This Is Your Life' moment. I can only guess at the secret phone calls that must have been made for you to acquire so much information about my life. I must thank you most sincerely for the time you spent to put that together. Please thank Lady Crabtree. She always manages to find the right words!! Once again, many many thanks. It was a day to remember."
Lois Hughes, Birthday Tea, Langham Hotel, July 2012.
"A very sincere thank you for the most entertaining evening you gave to the “Inner Wheel Club of Eastbourne”. I have been sent many notes of congratulations in choosing Lady Crabtree to attend my President’s Evening at the Royal Golf Club. Many others were most impressed with not only your delivery of chatter but also your speed and memory. Well done, and I do hope other engagements will arise from your most polished performance. It was a complete surprise for most of the audience, only three ladies knew you were to speak, which for me made your arrival more spectacular. Thank you for making the evening a resounding success with all your good, gentle humour and attention to detail. "
Pamela Eveleigh - President, Inner Wheel of Eastbourne, May 2013
"Every single person has come out saying how funny it was and how much they enjoyed it."
Nik Alexander Jones - Langham Hotel receptionist - Edwards Coaches Lunch, September 2013
"They all really enjoyed it - well done !!"
Simon Brown - Hotel Manager - Langham Hotel - September 2013
"We enjoyed Lady Crabtree's talk very much, in fact many of our members said you were the best speaker they had heard at our meetings."
Jean Stuart-Grant, Meads WI, Eastbourne, November 2013
CommunityWise, Eastbourne, November 2013
"Thank you on behalf of the members. What a wonderful way to start the New Year. I keep smiling to myself over all your sage remarks about old age! Is there a chance that Lady Crabtree would be willing to talk to the Fundraisers again in 2015? She enthralled everyone this time and so many members have asked me if she could come again to give us another of her talks?"
Jill Scott-Taggart, Royal National Lifeboat Institute, January 2014
"Thank you for Thursday evening - everyone enjoyed the experience and I am already being bombarded with requests for a return visit."
Pat Allen, Gables Court, Eastbourne, February 2014
"KINGSTON WI: A report of the Lewes Group Meeting included praise for the entertainer Lady Crabtree and members were asked if they would like her as our Christmas party entertainment..." Sussex Express, 18 April 2014
"On behalf of all the members of our Carers' Group, please accept our sincere thanks for entertaining us so well on Saturday. Everyone was delighted with the show you put on." Fred Weston, Meet & Greet, April 2014
"Many thanks for entertaining us so well yesterday here at Buxted. All the feedback I have had was so positive and I shall certainly be telling many people about you."
Louise Beale, Buxted Court, May 2014
"Everyone was SO impressed by Lady Crabtree! Not all my WI's members were able to go to the Group Meeting, so I've been asked
to see if you could come to our Christmas Meeting."
Shirley Kirby, Lewes Westgate WI, June 2014
"Thank you for your supremely elegant performance and for adding a touch of aristocracy to our humble offering!
The transformation is just amazing!"
Carol Mounter Collins, ReAct Theatre Company, July 2014
"Would you kindly convey to Lady Crabtree our sincere thanks for a wonderful performance last Sunday at our choir BBQ. What a gentle and sophisticated lady she is!
Everyone we have spoken to enjoyed it very much indeed. I am sorry that I didn't get time to say a personal hello and thanks, but I was beavering away backstage,
but I did watch the whole performance and thoroughly enjoyed it."
Lyn Betteley, Concentus Chorale, August 2014
"I was sorry that I did not thank you personally for the most entertaining talk that you gave. I have come home and researched you and my goodness you have been busy!
Thank you for a most enjoyable afternoon."
Jenifer Barraclough, St Michael's Hospice Support Group, August 2014
"Thank you so much for the wonderful talk you did at St Michael's Hospice on Sunday. Our supporters absolutely loved it
and had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Many thanks again! "
Amanda Hildreth, Community Fundraiser, St Michael's Hospice, Hastings, August 2014
Hastings & St Leonard's Observer, 12 Sept 2014
"Congratulations all round on the show! I was in the audience to see the performance and, since I had a pressing engagement immediately afterwards,
I simply didn't have the time to pop backstage to distribute boxes of chocolates, exotic bouquets, hugs, kisses, etc. But I thought it was a great success
and hope that the Under Ground Theatre will have the sense to make Music Hall a regular feature. I loved you all !!"
Geoff Morley, re "Lady Crabtree & Friends - Music Hall" show, September 2014
"Thank you so much for such an enjoyable evening. Everyone said what a great evening they'd had. We could all have sat there much longer listening to you talk. Thank you!"
Doreen Carter, Heathfield Trefoil Guild September 2014
"Thank you so much for the very interesting talk you gave us last Wednesday. It was very entertaining!
I think you outwitted many people!"
Evelyn Ellis, Heathfield Trefoil Guild, September 2014
"We would like to thank you again for a very entertaining afternoon. All the Club members thoroughly enjoyed your performance.
Hopefully we'll be able to book you again in 2015."
Margery Holden, The MORE Club, Eastbourne, October 2014
"Thank you very much indeed for yesterday's witty and engaging talk, delivered by the lovely Lady Crabtree. It was a great success
and we are all incredibly grateful to you. We raised just over £3,000 for the Hospice, which is fantastic! Many, many thanks."
Simon Cosham, Corporate Fundraiser, St Wilfrid's Hospice, October 2014
"On behalf of the members of Bexhill Horticultural Society I would like to thank you for a very pleasant
afternoon's entertainment. I didn't get away from today's meeting for some time, with all the members saying how much
they enjoyed the talk. I will be in touch in the future to see what other talks you have. Once again, many thanks."
Brian Thring, Bexhill Horticultural Society, November 2014
"I just wanted to thank you for Friday afternoon. It was fun and the ladies enjoyed the afternoon 'growing old disgracefully'."
Angela Hind, Secretary, Meads Townswomen's Guild, December 2014
THE KINGSTON WI Christmas party...... After the meal everyone had tea or coffee and prepared to be entertained by The Dowager Lady Crabtree. There, before us, on the stage was a tall, elegant lady dressed in a red outfit with red shoes, her silver hair beautifully coiffed: the widow of the 9th Baron Crabtree. She now resides in Eastbourne at a Home for Gentlewomen Living in Reduced Circumstances and fulfils an active public life, taking part in radio and TV programmes; writing books and performing comic monologues. Her latest talk is entitled, How to Grow Old Gracefully. For about 45 minutes we were wonderfully entertained by poems, cautionary tales and anecdotes. There were hoots of laughter as we listened to her often outrageous slant on life and stories of her experiences and advice to the elderly. Her monologue ended with a rousing round of applause; everyone commenting on their enjoyment of such a wonderful speaker. Lady Crabtree, we discovered, was created by the entertainer Paul James, in 1978. She became very popular and after 36 years is still wowing audiences. What a wonderful ending to 2014, with smiles all round.
Sussex Express, 12 December 2014
"We are deeply grateful for your coming along to entertain us all. It is fascinating to hear about events in your life, which you make so enjoyable
and interesting. The response from our people shows just how appreciative they all are."
St John's Guild, Eastbourne branch, January 2015
"A very big thank you to Lady Crabtree for the wonderful talk she gave to the RNLI fundraisers on 9th January. She is such a star.
We are blessed to have her presence in Eastbourne."
Jill Scott-Taggart, RNLI, January 2015
"I would be most grateful if you will pass on my immense gratitude for the highly entertaining talk that the Dowager Lady Crabtree
gave to the people of East Dean and Friston on Saturday 24th January. Although quite a few of the audience had seen
and heard Her Ladyship before, I was informed that most (if not all) of the talk was fresh and new.
In this regard my committee suggested that a bonus was called for and therefore please accept our cheque.
I have also been asked if Her Ladyship would be happy to entertain us again in the future."
Catherine Groves, Chair, East Dean & Friston Village Hall Trust, February 2015
"Many thanks for the simply fantastic entertainment you gave us on Saturday afternoon. We have had so many comments on how
everyone enjoyed your talk. It was a great way to end what had been a very busy business meeting."
Gill Williams, Conference Chairman, Lioness Conference, Maidstone, February 2015
"A big thank you from all your friends at Gables for another entertaining evening. The Dame Hilda dress was also a hit.
I think they'd have you back EVERY month, if they could!"
Pat Allen, Gables Court, Eastbourne, February 2015
"I just wanted to repeat our thanks for helping to make our 60th Wedding Anniversary so much fun -
it really made the afternoon for us and everyone enjoyed listening to you (but still can't believe that
you're not a real member of the aristocracy!) Your act was so different to the over loud
singers and musicians we get nowadays...we look forward to seeing you again."
Colin & Shirley Nash, Little Common, March 2015
"I'd like to thank you very much for speaking to us last Friday at the Club's monthly meeting. There were many complimentary comments
and your identity was not suspected by quite a few until they read your leaflet. I believe there will be a couple of contacts
made for you to speak at other organisations."
Sue Dickinson, Behill 100 Motoring Club, March 2015
" I wish to thank you sincerely for the most wonderful presentation on Friday evening. I haven't laughed so much for a long time!
Along with your humour, you also gave us some very sound tips on how to deal with all sorts of situations in our lives.
You looked so elegant and several members, who didn't know, really didn't believe that you were in fact a gentleman!"
Jane Craig, Castle Group WI, Ringmer, April 2015
"Many thanks for a great, entertaining afternoon last week here at Thalia House. We look forward to your next visit in 2016."
Val McDonald, Thalia House, Bexhill, April 2015
"Thank you for being with us today. Lady Crabtree's musings amused and provoked thought. May you long be able to entertain
folk with your written and spoken word. God bless."
Nora Ferris, Coffee Corner, May 2015
"An outstanding presentation.... Lady Crabtree's talk was definitely the best
we've had throughout our large District this year, and we have seven
meeting places!! It was absolutely excellent. We're booked up for events
in Bexhill until the middle of 2016 , but I hope that it will be possible
to invite Her Ladyship in September 2016 to give her presentation, "The
Philip Leng, Oddfellows Friendly Society, June 2015
"All the ladies enjoyed the afternoon tea and your wonderful talk at the Langham Hotel
on Wednesday and we are so pleased that we chose that venue to mark our 80th Anniversary.
I look forward to seeing you again soon."
Pam Winton, President, Telscombe Cliffs WI, July 2015
"At our July meeting, we were fortunate to have The Dowager Lady Crabtree addressing us on the subject of
Growing Old Disgracefully. Lady Crabtree looked immaculate in a powder blue Frank Usher suit. The talk was very amusing
and warmly received. Janet Curtis, our Chairman, thanked Lady Crabtree for a most enjoyable evening."
Devonshire Park Townswomen's Guild, August 2015
"Your performance last Friday was absolutely brilliant. We would like to book you for next year with Glad To Be Grey."
David Sale, Riverside Club, Lewes, November 2015
"I am writing to say A HUGE THANK YOU. The feedback is fantastic....you made many people's evening very happy.
I will find a date for you to return early in the New Year."
Carolyn Bloom, Activities Co-ordinator, The Hawthorns, Eastbourne, November 2015
"I would like to thank you for coming to give us a talk yesterday. I had such lovely comments from so many members;
they thoroughly enjoyed it. Look forward to seeing you at the Regency meeting in May and I will be inviting you back in 2017."
Mary Taylor, President, Patcham Morning WI, December 2015
"We all enjoyed your talk, so very much of it hit the right note (I always try to freshen up my lipstick!). We thought you looked very elegant!"
Rosemary Drysdale, Westham WI, December 2015
"It was lovely to meet you yesterday and, as I am sure you are aware, Lady Crabtree was extremely well received.
I had many people coming up to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed your talk and that it had
started Christmas off on the right foot for them! As I'm sure Lady Crabtree would agree, a good laugh keeps you young!"
Valerie Winstone, Stratford Ladies' Lunch Club, Stratford-upon-Avon, December 2015
"Without making your head big, I have been asked so many times since I joined the Under Ground Theatre last July about
Lady Crabtree and when are we going to have her back again."
John Webb, Under Ground Theatre, Eastbourne, February 2016
"I just want to say a big thank you for a cracking evening at the yacht club - you were fabulous! I've heard
loads of terrific comments from folk who were there last night. We will definitely want you to come back!"
Alison Attwood, Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club, February 2016
"Thank you so much for an entertaining afternoon last week. I don't think we have ever had someone
who made us laugh so much. The ladies had a wonderful time."
Gill Bird, Cardiff Ladies' Lunch Club, February 2016
"At this month's meeting members were highly entertained by the Dowager Lady Crabtree, who gave us a humorous talk on‘Growing Old Disgracefully’. We all learnt some very good tips on how to make the most of growing old whilst having fun at the same time
– the secret seems to be in smiling a lot, wearing bright red lipstick and above all else NO SENSIBLE SHOES!!"
Cross-in Hand WI, February 2016
"Your talk was very informative and entertaining, pitched exactly right for my "Ladies Wot Lunch" and I
for one would very much like to have a return visit by you at a later date. I am sure you will have more
entertaining words of wisdom."
Barbara Burstow, Ladies Who Lunch, Bexhill, March 2016
"Thank you so much for entertaining us last Thursday afternoon. After a lovely tea, we all thoroughly enjoyed your musings
as Lady Crabtree, although it is a little worrying that you have locked on so well to the way we ladies think!
So much so that some of our ladies were quite convinced you were one of us!
Thank you again for a really lovely and enjoyable afternoon."
Avril Parrini, President, Polegate WI, March 2016
"We were joined at the monthly meeting by the Dowager Lady Crabtree, who had come along that afternoon
to give members a brief history or her life and advice on how to grow old disgracefully. This was a
very amusing, informative and interesting topic and the Ladies Circle learnt quite a few tricks which they
could follow in the years to come...and much laughter ensued at this funny, light-hearted meeting."
Joan Smith, Chairman, Meads Ladies Circle, March 2016
"Thank you so kindly for your talk. Everyone enjoyed it and I am so glad that you were able to come
and maybe you may come again some time. Perhaps I shouldn't say it, but I liked the outfit you were wearing.
It suited you well. Thank you once again."
Shirley Patricia Cohen, Scribe, Sidley Friendship Club, August 2016
"How or where to start with our thanks for a truly excellent performance. You really did have the
audience eating out of your hand. So many nice comments from our members as they were leaving.
Look forward to the next time - as I am sure there will be a return visit requested."
Jean Taylor, Secretary, Eastbourne Masonic Friendship Club, October 2016
"Thank you so much for such an entertaining talk at our lunch yesterday at the Langham Hotel,
everyone said how much they enjoyed it....we will be sure to recommend you to others. Thanks once again."
Margaret Baldock, Hon Sec Eastbourne Spread Eagles Club, October 2016
"I'm in touch to say how much I enjoyed your performance last night at Herstmonceux WI!! It was masterly!
You managed to glide along the tightrope of comedy and seriousness - and never put one foot wrong!
You were utterly believable and made us all warm to you by taking your audience seriously and affectionately,
rather than just playing for laughs or being off-colour. It's often only by being so completely serious and professional
that humour rises so brilliantly to the surface.
Your costume and jewellery were so right and your attention to detail and grooming exemplary! (How much easier it
might be to buy a cheap wig and hope for the best or to go for a cheap laugh with nasty make-up.)
The content of your talk was ideal for the evening and helped also by your good delivery, your fluency
and your softer tone of voice (rather than the grating falsetto often employed by other gentlemen in your
line of work) and by your warmth that was there from start to finish.
It was all deliciously camp and very uplifting!"
Kate Short, Herstmonceux WI, October 2016
"It was the audience who gained at the Ladies Lunch Club in the Langham today.
Another great performance about greying hair, wrinkles - I have many - the amazing alphabet letter
association, and many great lines. I felt exhausted with laughter.
It was good to see you looking so youthful with a sparkle in your eye.
Thank you for including me in today's speech and for the photo opportunity."
Derek Mepham, Heathfield, October 2016
"Just a few words to thank you for such an entertaining evening at our last meeting. I have had
such a lot of feedback from members saying how much they enjoyed your talk. I think they
are still debating whether Lady Crabtree is genuine!"
Dina Holland, East Blatchington Townswomen's Guild, October 2016
"We all thoroughly enjoyed your talk and look forward to the next visit."
Val MacDonald, Thalia House, Bexhill, November 2016
"We all enjoyed the evening and Glad To Be Grey was a great success!"
Pat Allen, Gables Court, Eastbourne, November 2016
"Thank you so much for joining us to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary. Looking at life through
your talk was certainly nostalgic and highly amusing. The story relating to the DVDs certainly hit the
spot with some of our friends. Your talk added a wonderful highlight to our celebration. The humour is
brilliant and so refreshing, and was appreciated by all of our guests. Thank you for helping to make
our day so memorable."
Sandra & Stuart Yarwood, Polegate, November 2016
"Many thanks. Lady Crabtree is wonderful! She is so highly thought of, I think even just coming and standing
in front of the audience would be enough!"
Jill Scott-Taggert, RNLI, January 2017
"Very many thanks from all at the Devonshire Club for a great talk today."
Graham Robinson, Chairman, February 2017
"Thank you for this evening. Everyone thought you were wonderful. A very jolly evening."
Ros Saunders, Social Secretary, Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club, February 2017
"Thank you so much for your entertaining talk at the Langham Hotel. Everyone was delighted.
I shall look forward to meeting you again sometime."
Carol Gower, Cranbrook Business Association, March 2017
"We had a wonderful Members' Day yesterday - your talk was so amuising and entertaining... We have received so
many comments from members who appreciated a very good day - so many thanks for your delightful talk."
Wendy Allaway, Sussex Area NAFAS
"Thank you so much for a wonderful evening, you certainly entertained the ladies of Crowborough Vale WI
and you were definitely the highlight of our Birthday Party. I enjoyed your talk immensely...
With much appreciation and many thanks."
Jennie Wood, Crowborough Vale WI, March 2017
"The PCC has asked us to record their thanks to you for the wonderful performance of "Glad To Be Grey" which
you gave at our church. Everyone had a most enjoyable afternoon. Of course, we are most grateful for the impressive
contribution (£810) to church funds that your talk raised."
Margaret Barr & Maureen Metcalfe, Churchwardens, Christ Church, Eastbourne, April 2017
"Thank you for a great evening!"
Anita Long, Fairwarp WI, April 2017
"I just wish to say what a lovely occasion it was at Mile Oak WI yesterday, and also what a privilege
to meet you again. Sharing your thoughts and memories made the day worthwhile (all said with an
impeccably posh finishing school accent!). You looked so elegant, as usual. Thanks for great entertainment.
Cheers and keep up the good work!!
Norma Pontin, April 2017
"I would just like to say a huge thank you on behalf of Adur East Lions and our guests for your brilliant performance yesterday. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and we have received very good feedback. We will certainly keep you in mind for future events and pass on our recommendations. Many thanks once again."
Doreen Young, Adur East Lions, May 2017
"First of all a big apology for not having thanked you sooner for SUCH a wonderful evening. We all enjoyed it so much, it’s good to have an evening full of laughter. I have been waiting for my committee to respond to my e-mail to book you again for next year! They have finally done so. So, if possible, could we book you...with “Glad to be Grey”.
Cathy Gould, Durrington WI, September 2017
"Thank you for the wonderful entertainment you provided for us last Thursday. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon immensely. Amongst the comments I received as our Members made ready to leave were "amazing" and "the best speaker ever"; which of course delighted our Committee. I hope we will receive another visit from you again in the not too distant future. Again, many thanks for a lovely afternoon."
Beryl Bodey, Catsfield WI, September 2017
"I would just like to say thank you to Lady Crabtree for giving us such an entertaining and amusing talk last night at our After 8 Club.
Everyone thorougly enjoyed the evening and indeed there have been many complimentary emails flying around this morning reiterating this."
Carla Hallgren, After Eight Club, Burwash, November 2017
"We all enjoyed Lady Crabtree's talk Glad To Be Grey. Thank you for helping to make our 50th Anniversary such a
success. Many members have been in contact to say how much they enjoyed the afternoon."
Margaret Moore, Chairman, East Preston Floral Club, November 2017
"AFTER EIGHT CLUB : They say laughter does you good and our guest speaker, The Dowager Lady Crabtree, did us a power of good! We found out that her subject, How to Grow Old Disgracefully, is not a new expression when she showed us a book of that title which was written, surprisingly, in 1946. Her seamless monologue was professional, intelligent and very quick. She is a high class snob with a brilliant wit and wonderful ability to write and recite doggrel - she also came across as a very genuine and nice person. Connie, as she calls herself, has been performing at many WI’s and Women’s clubs in the south east and it was at a local WI that Carla first saw her and suggested booking her for our club - a perfect choice, Carla, thank you for arranging a great evening."
Burwash Parish Magazine, December 2017