|Great Loss – RIP Lyn Daniels- originaly added to blog 04-01-10It is with great sadness that I can confirm to you that my friend Lyn Daniels
( known to some also as Carolyn Dawson)
passed away very suddenly in the hospital a few doors from her flat in Brighton.
All of this happened during December 2009The following are the words read at her Non-Religious Funeral Service
At Woodvale Crematorium, BrightonCarolyn Jennifer Dawson
known to us as LYNN DANIELS ( 6th October 1954 – 16th December 2009 )
As more than 60 attendees (friends, colleagues neighbours, and family) entered the chapel,
A medley of music, much loved and meaningful to Lynn (andmany of us), was played including …
Humanist “Celebrant” Martin Wooler (BHA) led the ceremony
Carolyn is survived by her nephews, Matt, Nick & Greg as well as her father, Charlie – who, Peter told me, was “‘immensely proud” of his daughter. Sadly, having just come out of hospital he is unable to be present today. I hope you will join with me in extending our condolences to her family at this time.
Somewhere it is written, “…by a woman’s friends shall you know her … “
My name is Martin Wooller. As an accredited Funeral Celebrant of the British Humanist Association, it is my privilege – a term I use with some care – to lead Carolyn’s funeral ceremony in which we will say good bye to her with love, honor and respect in an upbeat and positive way that is intended to kick start your individual process of healing and recovery.
Because the best, indeed perhaps the only, response to death lies in the whole hearted affirmation of life. Just as importantly, we are here to Celebrate Carolyn’s life as you give thanks for all that she brought into your lives. One way of describing Carolyn is that she lived her life with limited regard for the conventional. So you will not be surprised that her funeral isn’t what you could call conventional, either! For a start you are not asked to recite prayers or sing hymns. Instead you are asked to sit, listen and think. About Carolyn, the way she chose to live her life and what she meant, in her own way, to each and every one of you. May I also seek to reassure any of you who do follow a religious faith that, as humanist, I honor, value and respect your faith[s] and later there is time for your own private prayer.
That, I think, is a good point for our first reading, which is the poem,
A woman who had battled to get where she wanted to be and had lived
Further, this poem says to me that while we live on in the hearts and memories of those we loved [and by whom we were loved] in a sense we live forever.
“It was beautiful while it lasted, the journey of my life.
THOUGHTS ON LIFE & DEATH
With those thoughts very much in mind, I’m now going to read a poem I only discovered recently, “Grieve: M. A. Hamilton”.
TRIBUTES TO CAROLYN
Carolyn would have been overwhelmed by all the love of her family and friends in this place (i.e over 60 people the funeral chapel) .
Today we are here to celebrate her life. If you look back to the last time you saw Carolyn she was smiling, she had an infectious smile and laugh, she had a great style, wit and generosity like no other.
The last time we were together, she had been to a Chiropractor because she had back pain. I used to joke that it was the 6″ stilletoes, we spent a fabulous week end just before she went into hospital.
Carolyn has performed in many shows/musicals/circuses around the world including Las Vegas, Cairo and in Europe, including Spain, Germany, Holland and Portugal. Carolyn was indeed a star. But of course she loved performing in her own country, especially here in Brighton,
I first met her in the 1980s and we have been very close ever since. We were together on both the Kilroy show on the BBC and This-Morning on ITV, when she came to support me. Carolyn loved the theatre and last year we went to many performances, particularly musicals, but on many occasions she arrived late and indeed, upon the visit to Ascot, when we were in the box next to the Queen, she was so excited – by the time she arrived, that her majesty had gone home. I took her to see ´Priscilla Queen of the Dessert´ and we arrived halfway through the performance! The last time that Carolyn was due to appear at The WayOut Club it was my fault she was late. I had taken her for dinner at the Grosvenor in London. We left in plenty of time but when we got near the club the traffic was horrendous and we got so late that Carolyn was furious with me. It all worked out well in the end!
When she was appearing at a circus in Germany, she was allocated a caravan that she had to tow behind her car and one day the circus was moving between towns and she was stopped by the police on the motorway. Carolyn was suprised when the officer said ´Madame do you realise that your caravan is on fire. When she looked behind her car, all that was left was a smoking chassis. Carolyn never looked behind. When Carolyn went on tour, she never went with one suitcase, it was a dozen! She went on tour with Gerry Cottle’s circus around 1990 and we had to take two cars to drop her off at Kings Cross, because she never travelled light!
We went to Paris for the weekend with Bobbie and of course we all went to the famous nightclub ´Madame Artur´ and they knew of Carolyn and treated her like royalty. We went to a large fashionable dress-shop in central Paris and although we were all supposed to be short of cash. As soon as the dresses were tried on, the handbags flew open and out came the French Francs and suddenly we had a car load of dresses. We then had the indignity of being towed back to Calais with a tow-truck as the car broke-down.
On Carolyn´s birthday on October 6th, i took her to Eastbourne to see a show at the Hippodrome theatre. We saw the ´Good Old Days´. After the show, which enthralled us both, Carolyn talked to the manager of the theatre about all of the stars who had performed there over the years. She also spoke to some of the artists. Of course once again we were late for dinner and afterwards we stayed the night in a hotel in the town.
It was then that Carolyn told me that she had received a birthday card from her Dad, which was headed ´to my daughter´.
We gather here today for her. A warm human being. A shy and sometimes lonely person, sensitive and at times in fear of rejection. Yet ever avid for life, reaching out for fulfillment. In our memories of her she remains alive, not only as an artist on stage but as a glamorous personality. For us Carolyn was a devoted and loyal friend, and to me she was more than a friend. Carolyn was always reaching for perfection at home and in her performances on stage.
We shared our pain and difficulties and some of our joys, she was a member of our family. It is difficult to accept the fact that her zest for life has been ended by this dreadfull illness. Despite the things she has done in the past she was planning for the future. She was looking forward to participating in the many exciting things we had planned together, including her new Burlesque act in Spain and the UK. She was so excited! Today, (15th Jan 2010) we should be cruising back to the Canary Islands, something that Carolyn had always wanted to do all of her life. To go on a voyage on a luxury ship like the Queen Mary.
But it was not to be.
Carolyn was a star in her own lifetime. I have not the words to describe or talk of the myth of such a fabulous star. There was something more in Carolyn that people recognised, a quality that was even more evident when she was on stage, in her performances, she had a luminous that set her apart yet made everyone wish to be a part of it.
Now it is at an end. I hope that her death will start sympathy and understanding for a sensitive artist and a woman who brought joy and pleasure to both her many friends and the people who saw her perform.
I cannot say goodbye, i say Au Revoir because where she has gone we will all visit someday.
“I can’t let this occasion pass without speaking of Lynn’s life. We met at a party in Purley over 30 years ago. At that time and for several years after, Lynn went under the stage name of “Gary Peters”. Why she did so was a complete mystery to me. Her femininity, both on and off stage set her apart from others on the scene. Indeed, I think this was why her appeal was to mixed audiences rather than to all-male gay audiences, at places such as the ‘Vauxhall Tavern’, where the last thing thay wanted to look at was a woman – unless it was as a parody of one [ of which there were many].
Lynn went through many ordeals in her life, one being the cancellation of her operation on the very day it was set for. Another was the pain she went through when she finally had t which I saw for myself when I visited her in hospital. Since then, follow up throat operations gave her nothing but thorat problems, particularly in swallowing.
Lynn was a very lonely person and longed for a man to love, who would in turn love her long-term and settle down with the pickett fence. Sometimes she made bad choices. One man, staying with her in Kensall Rise, took her car and house key and was never seen again ! This necessitated my going over at midnight to change her door lock !
Over the years, Lynn took to the stage and indeed the circus ring ( and the Circus of Horrors) in many parts of the world – Europe, Turkey and South America. The stage was where she felt at home and was born to be, confident and happy. Off stage she was a different person, as if with the stage curtain no longer there, she was vulnerable to the outside world. Every walk seemed to be at breakneck speed to get her to her destination in the shortest possible time.
I was so pleased that she managed to move from Gillingham, Kent to Brighton where I hoped she might meet kindred spirits and where I am sure she did.
She was a kind, generous and thoughtful soul, always willing to talk – provided it didn’t clash with ‘Coronation St’ of which she was a devoted follower! Checks were always needed with the TV programmes to ensure it wasn’t on or about to be !
She always showed her concern for my welfare and demonstrated it each year with the reward of an additional star on my Birthday Card as I stayed alive for another year beyond my 60th birthday..
Sadly, my 68th birthday passed last week without the 8 Star Birthday Card which I would have got from her, but I do have those 7 previous Birthday Cards as a testament to what a wonderful caring friend she was and one that will be sorely missed.
It was with pride on my part that she always referred to me as her ‘oldest and dearest friend’.”
Some dream of being a fairy princess,
Some dream of performing with the circus,
Some dream of having loving friends
JUST To dream such dreams would make for a very special life
Carolyn – our Miss Lyn Daniels achieved a Spectacular Life
Lyn will remain now in our memories
With love and condolences to all her family and friends
PERIOD OF PEACE & REFLECTION
“We rejoice that you have lived.
Carolyn made full use of her life and also I think the poem has a message that we can all do well to heed – And so I ask you to think on these last lines, the poem “The Dash Between The Lines: by Linda Ellis”.
“I read of a man who stood to speak
He noted that first came her date of birth
For that dash represents all the time
For it matters not, how much we own;
So think about this long and hard..
If we could just slow down enough
If we treat each other with respect,
So, when your eulogy is being read
As we leave, the final piece of music that is playing is “Simply The Best. By Tina Turner” which I hope you will find a good way to bring this Ceremony to its conclusion because I think that Simply the Best is exactly what Carolyn was…
|Lyn Daniels”Her Own Creation”
The following, edited by Vicky Lee is from an article originally written by Pandora De Pledge in 2004 for ‘Utterly Fabulous’ magazine issue 7 Lynn Daniel’s is a friend for whom I have great affection and respect. Always sweet natured and such a graceful lady. It was great to do the photo shoot with her during which, she showed incredible patience. When after six hours of shooting, we said, “Strip off Lynn and jump on this box”, she was still full of energy and excitement. Mark (Ms. Debonair), Jamie (DJ Titch) and I spent two hours body painting her to produce the fabulous cover image (for Utterly Fabulous issue 7). She particularly enjoyed having her ‘nether regions’ painted. While we worked, I asked her to tell us about her amazing life… I started dancing school in Bury near Manchester at the age of eleven, dance examiners used to remark that I should try and dance in a more masculine way. Once my mother commented as a joke, “Maybe you should have been a girl!”. At age seventeen I got my break in to show business dancing in ‘Showtime’ at the Gaiety Theatre in Rhyll. I loved every minute of it, except for the fact that I was jealous of the girl dancers and their fabulous costumes. I worked in many other shows and traveled the world. While dancing in a revue in Italy the shows fire eater taught me the skills of working with fire. I moved in to female impersonation and fire eating, getting my first break at ‘The Black Cat’ in Pascara in Italy. It was when working at Sheraton Hotel in Cairo that the crunch came when I was told that I could not go out dressed after the show because, “You are a man”. Immediately I thought, “No one is going to say that to me ever again”. I left the show and came home and went to see the gender reassignment specialist at Charing Cross Hospital, he started me on hormone treatment.
Six months later I auditioned as a girl with my fire act, and was soon touring the country, working in a very cleverly cut diamonte bikini. I loved it but felt like a fraud and I was very nervous. I almost got caught having a shave one day! After this I had lots of very painful electrolysis. Finally I plucked up the courage to tell my parents that I was transitioning to be a girl. My mother in relief said, “So that’s, what’s wrong with you”. She was concerned that a sex change operation would be irreversible. I said, “This is best thing about it, the more irreversible the better! No one could ever say YOU ARE A MAN ever again”. My parents paid for my reassignment surgery, after which there was no stopping me. I managed to fulfill my biggest dream, to be a showgirl in the chorus at the ‘Theatro Apollo’ in Barcelona. After this I went to Germany and toured with the five thousand seat ‘Circus Krone’. I tap danced down silver staircases in huge Ostrich feather headdresses, I rode the elephants, I flew in Aerial rope ballet, and I worked my fire eating. After five years with the circus I moved on to work in many other shows around the world. I now love being at home which I share with my cat Lucy in Kent (later to move to Brighton) doing one night cabarets. The only thing missing in my life at the moment is that ‘special person’. I love returning to my roots and appearing in the shows at The WayOut Club. Reading through this I am amazed at my achievements given that I am dyslexic, tone deaf and have two left feet. I consider myself a very lucky ‘girl’. If I can do it, anyone can!
|TRIBUTES FOLLOW HERE… ( to add your message email me contact me )Nicki Barr 23 January at 15:52
I count myself lucky to have made her acquaintance – a lovely lady and a showgirl to every inch of her.
I was sure greasepaint ran in her veins..
I’ve just posted the following, as a thread on Roses Forum – I first met Lynn, one frozen night in London, in 2004, at the House of Drag (now, sadly no more). We were the only people, other than the barman, who managed to make it through the ice and snow, but spent the evening in happy conversation. I recall her telling me that she’d transitioned in 1982, after travelling around Europe working as a circus performer and showgirl. Stunningly pretty, she was a performer to every inch of her fingertips, as anyone who saw her various acts at the Brighton Miss TG competitions may recall. A dancer, fire-eater and singer, amongst many other talents, she also regularly acted as a judge, in recent years, for competitions at various events. My memories are of a wonderful lady who could, at the drop of a hat, be called to fill a gap on stage and do it brilliantly – a true show woman. I, for one, will sadly miss her – but count myself lucky for having known her..” … Nicki BarrMeeting Lyn by Vicky Lee
I first met Lyn Daniels at Ron Storme’s party in Bow, East London. That must have been back in about 1990/91.
She had a man on his back on the dance floor his shoes at his side, running three metal sticks with burning pads alight, flames licking over the soles of his feet. She was so approachable after her performance in fact she was very humble which I found astounding as I was in such awe of her beauty, her VERY revealing costume, her talent and the very fact that she was (I knew) transsexual. I have to say that Lyn was the first Transsexual that I had ever met in the flesh (well flesh net) and the first transsexual that I had met that I could not possibly imagine as ever being male.
Over the next 20 years we were together many times. We met in circumstances where she dressed down for rehearsals or in simple public occasions. She always looked so lovely – a real inspiration.
Lyn was always so humble and often found those around her awesome – when in truth she had every right to be the Diva in the room but was all the more the ‘Lady’ for not being the ‘Diva’.
On one occasion Lyn invited me to the ‘Camden Roundhouse’ to see her perform in the show ‘Circus of Horrors’. My guests including my (straight) best friends, including Lesley and her aunty from OZ. They all met Lyn after the show when she had them entranced and in stitches as she regaled them with the story of the promotional stunt that she had taken part in that very afternoon, hanging upside down from a crane , in full costume, with others from the show, like a human chandelier, over the river Thames.
Lyn was a great favorite of Steffan’s their joint love of glamour and stage made them very close. Lyn was a great help and support to Steffan at his Thursday night ‘House of Drag’.
Lyn enjoyed the opportunity to take part in a stunning idea for the cover of ‘Utterly Fabulous’ magazine issue 7 created by Pandora De Pledge. I have included this picture and the picture created for the center spread. Pandora took the opportunity to write a small biography based on Lyn’s stories told during the shoot for the project.
I am sad to think of the loss of a growing number of talented wonderful friends who we have lost long before we should have done.
The only small degree of compensation I have, is that knowing that all of these beautiful people would have struggled with the aging process and fading good looks. They would be happy to always now be remembered at their very beautiful best.
Always young, and beautiful – forever…. Vicky Lee xxxGiles…..aka… Miss Sarah Lloyd of London
Words will not be able to express how much of a loss to myself and all of us at the WayOut club Lynn’s departure will bring….. she brought a unique talent to the WayOut….. as a lot of you know, I share her love for theatrical, creativity and i’ll miss not being able to work with her in any more shows.. I will endeavour to keep her inspirational memory alive … …… Giles
Friends tell me that just a few weeks before her death, Lyn was hosting the door for one of her regular Brighton clubs, in her favorite skimpy costume. On this cold December night, with her usual sweet humor, she said “oooo I’m going to catch my death of cold”. Unfortunately this comment, made in jest, proved to be prophetic as it was very shortly after she was taken into hospital with chest pain that turned into Pneumonia which whisked her away with such shocking speed.
Helen Essex wrote – I had my picture taken with Lyn that very night. I am so sad to know this news. She was so welcoming and she looked so gorgous that night. It was taken 27th November at the ‘Transister’ night at a new venue in Brighton. Opposite the peir on the seafront. So sad. I remember at the time thinking how beautiful she was. I will treasure this picture. If you want to share it be my guest.
Sue Shepherd at Lacies Hove & Folkestone
Jeevan Stone 11 January at 15:42
Izzy Threekings 03 January at 14:24
Silkie Devi 02 January at 15:25
Sahhara Ella 02 January at 14:10
Collagen Westwood 02 January at 13:43
Taura May Tyrer
Blue Jay Sad loss for the community x
Lola Lypsinka I’m so sorry to hear this 🙁 XX
I called an old friend yesterday ( who I have not spoken to for a few years ) and she told me that Lyn had passed away in December 2009.
She was an outstanding lady and a beautiful human being.