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The Stavordales
Buster 1903-1987
Madge 1904-1998

Buster (Cecil) and Madge Stavordale both came from theatrical families and first met backstage when Buster was appearing in a play with Madge’s Uncle.

During a slump in the popularity of live theatre, when the Cinema was on an upsurge and acting jobs were hard to come by, Buster had changed professions, but had built a model theatre to keep up his theatrical interest and attended a Model Engineers’ Exhibition, where he came across the British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild’s stand displaying some puppets.


Buster joined the Guild (eventually becoming a Vice President) and learned to make puppets, firstly performing shows for family and friends (and other puppeteers) at home with Madge at the piano, then venturing further afield with the two of them presenting charity fundraising shows for hospitals and other good causes until eventually in 1947, their shows were in such demand that they decided to turn professional.

The Stavordales toured professionally for many years, appearing in an enormous variety of different settings, including schools, private functions, several advertising contracts for the Gas Industry (Mr Therm’s Puppets) and most famously, a 7-year contract with Sharps’ Toffee Puppet Theatre (the Stavordales’ own variety show, sponsored by Sharps and with Sharps’ trademark character “Sir Kreemy Knut” as compere). On TV, they were puppeteers on Gerry Anderson’s early series “Supercar” and the BBC’s legendary “Andy Pandy”.


They collaborated with Eric Bramall and Chris Somerville on many projects including “Sugar Ball” and “Hubble Bubble” for Yorkshire TV, Four Christmas Grotto Seasons in Liverpool and Buster helped out as an additional puppeteer on some of the more elaborate early productions at the Harlequin Marionette Theatre in North Wales. In 1964, they re-located from London to Westgate-on-Sea in Kent and towards the end of their career, performed more locally for Summer Seasons at Folkstone Marine Pavilion and local Hotels until their professional career gradually came to an end in 1985 due to Buster’s declining health.

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