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Raffles, Joan, 1925 - 2009



  • Existence: 29 June 1925 - 25 December 2009


Joan was born in Streatham, London, on 29 June 1925.

Initially Joan started a career as a civil servant, following her father's footsteps. However, since childhood Joan had always wanted to work in showbusiness.

Joan appeared on stage in pantomimes and met Mark Raffles while they were both performing at the Theatre Royal Bilston. A short time later the pair were married and Joan became Mark's on stage assistant.

The new magic act toured under the name Mark Raffles and Joan and when they had their first child, Jaqui, they took her with them, however when their second child ws born, Joan left the act, devoting herself to the business side of Mark's work. She and her husband also dealt in property, and at one stage Joan ran a successful Margate guest house.

Joan and Mark had three children, Jaqui, Tim and Wendy, who followed their footsteps into showbusiness forming a vocal harmony act called Golden Brandy.

In her early 1950s, Joan went back on stage with her husband with a poodle act called The Wychwoods, which they travelled around variety theatres for the following twelve years performing in pantomime and television shows.

A bad fall and resulting complications led to Joan's eventual retirement from performing.

Joan Raffles died on 25 December 2009, aged 84, in Blackpool.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Christmas Greetings from Mark and Joan Raffles, c2000 - 2008

Reference code: 178F20.2
Scope and Contents

Christmas card from Mark and Joan Raffles to Cryril and Shirley Critchlow. Illustration of Tivoli theatre bill from 1945 on the front with details of the acts described inside the card.

Dates: c2000 - 2008

Correspondence, c1900 - 2008

Reference code: 178F20
Scope and Contents

Items of personal correspondence and correspondence related to the Sanger and Ohmy families.

Dates: c1900 - 2008

Cyril Critchlow Collection

Reference code: NFA0089
Scope and Contents The Cyril Critchlow collection contains programmes, posters, handbills, books and magic journals, many of which relate to shows in Blackpool where Cyril resided and includes material on entertainment venues such as Blackpool’s North Pier, Central Pier, South Pier, Tower Circus and a small collection of programmes from other national venues. Additionally, it contains circus photographs and postcards mainly of the Ohmy Circus and Sanger Circus including individual circus troupes and performers...
Dates: c1837 - 2008