Competitions nos 78A and 78B: results

Ivor Brown throws the competitors a tricky one. They are to write an epitaph on the (stormy) summer of 1931, but are forbidden from mentioning the weather. Several tried to cheat, but were disqualified by Brown. One of the best near-misses (Seacape) involved rhyming a Latin word (cautum) with autumn, which strikes me as very neat indeed. The winners are Little Billee (on a roll) and Alice Herbert:

WR 78ab

The B competition asked for an epithalamion on the nuptials (the fifth) of a film star called Joy Gloy, her latest husband a ‘dirt-track ace’. I’m not sure who Brown has in mind (Lana Turner and Zsa Zsa Gabor, who each clocked up nine marriages, were then 10 and 14, and had not started on their nuptial voyage), nor whether ‘joy gloy’ had the slang sexual connotation (semen) then that it does now, but I suspect it was an innocent invention. One of the runners-up is Cardiff-born W(illiam) A(rthur) Rathkey, then 29, and later a writer and in particular librettist. But the winners are Ciel and James Hall:

WR 78ab1


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