Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Memories of Sabrina

Ah... big happy mammaries memories.

This page is dedicated to the legion of Sabrinaphiles whose memories of Sabrina still burn brightly.
You can also send your memories of Sabrina .

16 November 2022 - Breaking news about Sabrina in 1959.

Ralf wrote to say:

Hi. I'm Ralf and I'm the Club Historian at the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club in Victoria Australia. Not far from the Pt Leo Surf Club that Sabrina visited in 1959.
I have been following up reports in our club's 1959 Annual Report and two club newsletters in that year of Sabrina's visit to a surf carnival at Ocean Grove on the 11th January 1959.
This took me to your Encyclopedia Sabrina site and the pages regarding her visit to the surf carnival at Pt Leo on the 4th January 1959 .

Disappointed that there was no coverage of her visit to Ocean Grove, I started to note some features in the Pt Leo video and I am 100% convinced it is actually of her visit to Ocean Grove , not Pt Leo.

I am not suggesting that the Pt Leo visit did not occur and the black and white photos of her with lifesavers there confirms that. But there is also a colour photo of Sabrina in a red bikini flanked by 3 police officers which is definitely Ocean Grove as the roof of our clubhouse is obvious in the background together with high sand dunes which is not a feature of the Pt Leo beach, a beach I am family with.

I also have a black and white photo taken of her visit to Ocean Grove with our club's president standing behind her. Sabrina is also taken out in the Ocean Grove surf boat "Gladys Bell" which is mentioned in our club's Annual Report but not your website.

Your Pt Leo story also mentions that Sabrina came prepared with a one piece swim suit but she is obviously in a bikini in the video and the colour photo of her at Ocean Grove. The videos takers suggestion that the video is of Pt Leo may come from the very last seconds of the video showing an Anglesea surf boat at what is very likely Pt Leo.

There may have been more than one video on the film with both Ocean Grove and Pt Leo featured. None the less, the Pt Leo video is definitely Ocean Grove.
Thank you.

Found in the Daily Mail of 17 October 2017

My family outing with sweet Sabrina.

THE article about Sabrina, Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe, brought back happy memories. She stayed at my family's establishment, The Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay, in 1957 while she was touring the South Coast with her driver and bodyguard. I was nine and my sister, Susan, was seven, and Sabrina offered to collect us from school in Eastbourne in her Cadillac with my parents sitting in the back. What excitement that caused! We drove to Pevensey Castle and we made her daisy chains before having a cream tea. She was very sweet to us all. The picture, which I took with a Box Brownie, shows Sabrina with my father, Stan Love, outside the hotel.

LYNDA LEVENTON, Tadley, Hants.

4 November 2020 - Rosemary R wrote to say:

I can't class my contribution as saucy, but just to say that I loved the story about Sabrina's visit to my home town of Bendigo in 1959. I was there when she wowed the crowds, leaning over the balcony of the Shamrock Hotel.

Hmmm, I think I'm getting jealous of a balcony.

And on 10 July 2023, 'Genes' wrote to say:

I was amongst the throngs outside the Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo to see Sabrina. She was quite a sight, leaning forward over the first floor balcony of the hotel. She was in Bendigo to open Councillor Bill Nicholl's new housing estate. Bill was a well-known Bendigo identity. He was a director of the company I worked for.

8 September 2020 - an anonymous Sabrinaphile wrote to say:

I can remember as a child being taken to see Sabrina at Newcastle sports ground. There were so many people all excited to see her. It was quite an event. Even as a child I knew we were there to see her big breasts. Hard to believe my mother would let my father go and to take me also. Maybe set me up for life...

2 November 2017 - David Peters wrote to say :

Sabrina's star shone for me at the Hulton Boys and Girls Exhibition at Olympia on the 12 Jan 1956. I was 13 at the time and was enchanted by her smile as she signed her autograph for me. I remember her wearing a small white woolly flowerpot shaped hat and a black dress. For days afterwards I was in a dream and talked about nothing else to my friends. I still have her signature, the only one in my autograph book - nobody could trump that as far as I was concerned! It was sad to read of her end and dearly hope that her memory lives on, particularly in Stockport.

Found 26 March 2017

Filling in the Gaps: My Hi-de-High Life - The Sequel (2015) by Peter Keogh

... I especially remember the singer David Whitfield , the pianist Winifred Atwell and the very buxom Sabrina from England, who was much sweeter than her sex-symbol image might have indicated.

Found 6 Feb 2017 . John Ward wrote about Wolverhampton's Hippodrome ...

When in the theatre's decline a young performer Sabrina (real name Norma Sykes) tried to cement her new found fame by touring the halls, I was reminded of that act. An attractive young woman with a big bust and a small voice, she had come to prominence (no pun intended) playing a dumb blonde on Arthur Askey's TV show. In an age when dumb blondes were very much in vogue, such was her notoriety that when the famous Audrey Hepburn film of the same name was shown in Britain, it had to be renamed Sabrina Fair . Whatever her talents, I don't think that it was her voice that attracted the mostly male audience. She wore a low cut dress, and this was one occasion when the view from the upper circle beat that from the stalls.

10 May 2016 . J wrote...

Hi Just wondering if there is any information of Australia's country singer Slim Dusty appearing in London with Sabrina 1959. In August 1959 a newspaper reported that Slim was to meet Sabrina in London and do a tour. She met him in Brisbane in August 1959 (you have a photo of the two on your website). Would Sabrina of any recollections that he went over to London in 1959 and toured London with her. J.

26 March 2016 . Antoni wrote...

Dear Mark, I've been looking at your excellent Encyclopedia Sabrina website recently hoping to find some information about Sydney Aylett, but I couldn't find any. In his book "Under the Wigs" (1978), Sydney claims to have helped launch Sabrina's career. He met her in 1953, soon after she moved to London, through his interest in photography and introduced her to the agent Bill Watts and the professional photographer Noel Maine. Together with Watts, Sydney suggested to Norma that she change her name to "Sabrina". I'd be happy to e-mail you scanned copies of the relevant pages of Sydney's book if you are interested.

Sydney was the chief barristers' clerk for a prestigious set of chambers at Number 4, Paper Buildings, in the Temple, London, from 1929 until his retirement in 1973. Some of the barristers in those chambers were involved in Sabrina's numerous libel actions against various newspapers and magazines. She found suing such periodicals for libel very lucrative in the 1950s.

Kind regards, Antoni

It's interesting to hear of yet another story of the origins of the Sabrina name ! Thanks, Antoni!

Sabrina bullet Read from Sydney Aylett's autobio, "Under the wigs" .

14 February 2016. Michael of Sydney wrote to say...

Hi Sabrina I was looking at an old ad you were in back in 1961. The ad was for a high temperature grease made by Caltex. The man who was in this commercial with you was my Dad whom we lost back in 1989 and miss very much. It was interesting to see what my dad was doing for work back in those days because at that time I was only 5 and had no idea what my father did for a living. When I saw this commercial I wondered if you were still alive and well, I hope you are and I hope you are still enjoying life all these years down the track of life. . All the best Michael.

October 2015

In Easter 1956, Sabrina appeared on a cruise ship. A boy of nine who met Sabrina on the ship in 1956 got a goodnight kiss and an autographed photo. In the video he proudly tells his memory of Sabrina.


Sabrina dotpoint From Christine on Facebook:

[Sabrina] was in Adelaide for "Pleasures in Paris" in 1959. Tivoli Theatre ? (not sure ..) Traffic cop on duty at North Terrace and King William Street directed traffic as Sabrina's open top chauffeur driven car waited in the centre of the intersection to turn right. The traffic cop doffed his cap and said 'morning Miss Sykes' to which the 42-18-36 blonde retorted "Sabrina to you!" TRUE STORY!

Sabrina dotpoint While Rex rather rudely reported on Facebook:

Sabrina was (I was told) a no-talent apart from the obvious. She was unpopular and while on tour people put itching powder in her bra.

Sabrina dotpoint 1958-1959 - David Twiby looks back at his days at the Australian ABC in the 1950s.

At 5 o'clock each Tuesday was "Jimmy's Den", featuring John Ewart as Jimmy. The setting was Jimmy's attic and each week he had special guests as well as regulars talking on specific subjects. For instance Jeffrey Smart each week spoke on art. They also had a specialist talking on photography. And once they had a photographic competition.

About this time a lovely young lady visited Australia from England. Her name was Sabrina . Her main claim to fame was a pretty face tied to a large bosom and a very narrow waist...

In Australia Channel 7 created a variety program around her and Channel 9 invited her to "Meet The Press". There were no plans for her to appear on Channel 2 [ABC], until John Ewart met her at a party and invited her to present the prizes for the photographic competition. Sabrina arrived with a bodyguard. She looked stunning.

She had a short flayed skirt and a low cut blouse. Her figure was more pronounced because she was only short, just over 5 feet tall. She was very friendly and wandered around the studio talking to everybody. And when the time came for the photo competition the photos were displayed on easels and I had to flip the photos over.

All was OK until Sabrina decided to have a closer look at the photos. She took up a position between me and the easel. So each time I flipped a photo my hand had to negotiate its way up and over her bosom to the graphic easel, flip the photo, and make its way back again. I tried to stop my hand from shaking and myself from breaking into a sweat. All eyes in the studio were on us. Eventually she was called away to make the presentation and I was able to relax. When the time came for her to leave we all trooped out expecting her to be chauffeured in a luxury limousine. In fact she departed with great elegance in a bubble car driven by her bodyguard.

Sabrina dotpoint 10 October 2014 - Lyndie wrote to say:

Sabrina stayed at the Bay Hotel, Pevensey Bay at the end of the 50's. She had 2 body guards!!
I was about 10 years old, and my sister 8.
She collected us from school in Eastbourne, with my parents, who owned the hotel, in her pink Cadillac, and we all went for a cream tea at Pevensey Castle!!!!

What memories.

In November 2015, she again wrote:

We lived at the Bay hotel, Pevensey Bay, Sussex, and Sabrina came to stay,with a bodyguard…and a pink Cadillac. You can imagine the excitement when she arrived in it at my school in Eastbourne, with my parents in it.!!!!! I have a photo of my father and Sabrina standing outside the hotel...

Sabrina in Sussex 1957

Sabrina, autographed for Lyndie

Lyndie later wrote in 2016 to say: "I sent you a photo of Sabrina and my father, Stan love, taken at The Bay Hotel, Pevensey Bay, Sussex, England..which you have on your website... These 2 are in my autograph book which I had forgotten about..She gave one to me. and one to my sister, both autographed.
She stayed with us for a few nights whilst touring the south coast..and brightened up many peoples lives!!!!"

Sabrina dotpoint 4 September 2014 - Found on a Vauxhall forum, "Mathos" wrote in 2008:

Half way down Dawson Lane between Wigan Road Leyland and the A6 at Whittle there was a big council tip. It's back filled now, soiled over and the grass and trees on it are perfect.

There are more cars under there than I can remember, Old Citroens, V8 Pilots, Vauxhalls, Fords, Morris, Austin, Wolseley the lot. Among them is a Pink Cadillac. It belonged to Sabrina, she broke down on the M6 when they first opened it, put a con rod through the block.

She decided to scrap it. It's under there as well, registration number S41 or S42 it was her boob size.

I bet that plate alone would be worth a fortune today. Nobody really bothered about such trivia then.

Sabrina dotpoint 18 August 2014 - Maurice wrote to say...

I was Sabrina pianist in the 50's don't expect she will remember me. We rehearsed at Dinelys studio.

Sabrina and pianist Maurice Moore
I was playing at the Black Dog in Vauxhall and some guy introduced us.
I worked in MFL for two years (Australia) then moved to the USA.
I now live in Oadby Leicester. I have a good picture of us together.
Regards, Maurice.

And on September 29, 2014 he sent this lovely photo...

Sabrina dotpoint 18 July 2014 - Derryn Hinch remembers Sabrina in his autobiography .

Sabrina dotpoint 18 June 2014 - Graham wrote to say...

Hi Mark, I am 64 years old. When i was a young lad my father had a garage & he used to work on Sabrina's Hillman Minx Californian. My father's name was Bill Locke who had a customer & friend named Willie Stephany who was a theatrical impresario who used to be involved in Sabrina's work. I would be surprised if she remembered any of this. I was in Clapton London E5. Willie was in Evering Road.

Many thanks. Graham

Sabrina dotpoint 11 June 2014 - Patrick wrote to say...

My name Patrick F of Dublin, Ireland. We had "Capitol & Allied theatres", and Louis Elliman had the Royal, and brought Sabrina to Dublin, 1956-7. Events caused me to miss out on Capitol, and to caused me not to see Sabrina. However, acquaintances were very impressed. I found our Archives in 1995, worked on them ten years.If interested, I will be pleased to give you copies of research for that period.

Regards to madame. PF

Sabrina dotpoint 10 March 2014 - Michael Perkin wrote to say...

Hi, I used to live in Stockport in the 1950s and Sabrina was well-known to me and indeed all young lads at the time, especially her appearance in the St Trinians film. But I wonder if she knows she found additional fame by being the nickname of the Stockport Edgeley shunting engine (or station pilot some would say) for a while.
I remember seeing the locomotive several times in my spotting days and Sabrina's name was clear to see, daubed all the way down the tanks on one side, albeit spelled out in fingermarks in the oily bodywork. The very same locomotive was famously used in an episode of the Harry Worth TV sitcom, filmed at nearby Hazel Grove.
I wish her all the best and wondered if she knew about the above and whether any of it was photographed ?

Sabrina dotpoint 30 June 2013 - David wrote to say...

I was doing research on Thomas Hardcastle Sykes (Stockport bleaching company dynasty) when I came across your website. It's quite a co-incidence. I was born at 7, Buckingham Street, Heaviley, Stockport, on 14 February, 1945. The family legend was that I was pushed in my pram by Sabrina, the then Norma Sykes. She may remember the Peets, Jim and Alice, Ronnie, Irene, and Dot, their children (Irene was my mother, at 18, out of wedlock!!) Dot is still with us. Also the Pearsons, Jim and Annie. Annie only died a few years ago. Her daughters, Shirley and Ann, have now died, but Alan and Phil are still alive. She will probably remember them.

Best Regards, Dave H.

Sabrina dotpoint 8 February 2013 - Phil wrote to say:

I am a 2nd cousin of the late Slim Dusty. My father (Slim's 1st cousin) said that he took me to the Slim Dusty show at the Sydney Royal Easter show in 1959. Sabrina was there as Slim's guest and I met Sabrina (sat on her lap & I was 9 years old. She loved my big blue eyes, he said). What I would like to know is, did Sabrina ever go to see Slim at his show tent? I cannot find any reference to her being at the Royal Easter show.

Regards, Philip.

Sabrina dotpoint 10 September 2012 - Robyn wrote to say:

Hi - the photo of Sabrina with the Bondi lifesaver - his name is Antony Treers, and he was from the North Bondi Lifesaving Club. He was my first boyfriend, and amazingly, we were still together for years after this photo was taken, on the steps of the Sydney Town Hall, where the lifesavers were forming a "guard of honor" for Sabrina when she was given a civic reception from the Sydney City Council. Hope this is of interest!!

Sabrina (nee Norma Ann Sykes) meets Bondi lifesaver during tour of Australia

Sabrina dotpoint 10 June 2012 - Anonymous wrote...

It may be missing from your Sabrina records that Norma was elected "Woman of the Year" which happened either in 1955 or 1956 and I wrote her speech which she delivered to the London audience of celebrities and powerful women , I do not have have a copy of the said speech but I recall having to be careful to avoid double entendres and vocabulary which would come out of her mouth as unaccustomed language.

I was an undergraduate at the time and knew Sabrina from the Winter Gardens Ballroom every Saturday night , Blackpool of course. She was appearing at the Hippodrome that season which was fronted by Arthur Askey who did a lot for promoting her image as sex goddess. I used to go down to her dressing room during the show and work on the speech with her.

I recall she had peculiar eye make-up which included a splash of bright red in the corner of the eyes on the nose side. I earned a fiver for the speech and would probably have done the job free.

Sabrina dotpoint 25 April 2012 - Robert wrote...

Hello Mark. In the early/mid fifties I remember going to SKIPTON in north Yorkshire to see Sabrina attending some function I think she was opening a shoe shop there. I also still have two 10x8 signed photos of Sabrina which I think I had signed later in life when i went to live in london. I also have a snap shot of her at the London Palladium stage door wearing a fur wrap. I would love to know the exact date of the Skipton venue. She was a great lady with a great personality. Hope you can help me.

Sabrina dotpoint 25 April 2012 - Rockabillygilly wrote...

Never met Sabrina , but knew her mum . When I lived in Blackpool I painted her mum"s house , no ! not a painting - decorated . Lovely woman and no mum alive was more proud of her daughter.

Sabrina dotpoint 22 May 2011 - Elsa wrote...

Hello Sabrina,
I have just discovered your site, I was alone this afternoon and thinking back to my young days and memories.I thought of when I got engaged to my then-to-be husband and went to the Winter Gardens with friends.

The girls and I were in the ladies room when you came down the stairs. We were all speechless you were so lovely. I thought then, one day you would be famous. Sometimes I would be at the same bus stop as you on Central Drive.I worked in Chapel St at Standerwicks Bus Co.

Stirring these memories, I wondered what had happened to you. I was delighted to find you well, enjoyed hearing you speak to Mark.

Godbess, Elsa.

Sabrina dotpoint 23 April 2011 - Colin wrote to say from Southend-on-sea U.K:

Hi Mark,
A number of years ago my step-dad was talking to a friend & mentioned that I had a keen interest in photography....It turned out the guy was at some point a London photographer & passed to me a box of negatives & prints with 13 different poses from a shoot he'd done during this time...the box is marked..... "Sabrina" Norma Sykes.

After looking through your site, I believe they could be some of the earliest shots taken of Sabrina as she is wearing the striped bikini of '55 (complete with beach ball ) & the floral 1 piece, but these were taken in a different studio.....

I'll try to get a copy of each shot (I might be able to scan the large size negatives) over to you sometime over the Easter holidays....

It is definitely Sabrina in the shots as she has the scars on her right ankle visible in some of them, something that i hadn't noticed until i read your site....! Take care & i will get back to you when the pics are sorted.


See the pix from Colin!

Sabrina dotpoint 3 Feb 2011 - Motzi wrote:

My cousin Dickie Martyn was one of Sabrina's dressmakers in the 1950s. I remember visiting him as a teenager and being very impressed with the garment he was working on at the time - full of hand stiched sequins and jewels - and, of course, that fabulous shape. It may even be the one in the 1960 photo you have on the site...


Dickie died about ten years ago. I would be interested in any reminiscences she has of him.


Sabrina dotpoint 25 October 2010 - Dennis wrote:

Hi there Sabrina,I remember you being on the front page of revellie newspaper quite often back in the late 50s -early-60s, I have never forgotten how gorgeous you looked and fell in love with you hopelessly. I hope you are well and thank you for the light you brought into my life ----- lots of love ------


Sabrina dotpoint 9 October 2010 . Judith S (neé Atherton) wrote:

I am from Blackpool and remember Norma from nights at the Winter Gardens in the early 50's which I think is the first place she started to turn heads.I hope she is well and happy.


Sabrina dotpoint 29 September 2010. John H of the Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club - where Sabrina appeared in 1959 - wrote:

Sabrina - Point Leo Life Saving Club 1958

Further to your email to Point Leo SLSC, I mentioned your request to a number to a number of older club members at a luncheon last week, many of these guys were at Point Leo when Sabrina was there and have vivid and fond memories and of course these memories become more vivid and much fonder as time goes by.

From my point of view, I accompanied Alan Forster [club president] (as a wide eyed 18 year old) to pick up Sabrina and her mother from the Regent Theatre in Melbourne to bring her down to the Flinders Pub, where they spent the night before the carnival at Point Leo.

Unfortunately I sat in the back seat with her mother with Sabrina up front with Alan. All they wanted was fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and we were able to buy that in Prahran. My brother Brian, who has been involved in publishing the club's 10 year and our 50 year history book thinks that he may be able to help you with photos.

All the best with your search, she was a nice person, cheers


Read more about the Point Leo event - and watch the colour movie!

Sabrina dotpoint 21 August 2010. Pete wrote:

Hi Mark

I'm in the UK and well remember Sabrina from when I was a spotty school boy in the 1950's. I remember we talked about her a lot. My memories of her are of her as a singer rather than an actress or a celebrity. What a pity no-one seems to have put out a CD of her recordings. Far less memorable people have had CD's of their long forgotten material published.

I found your site through searching for Sabrina pop star of the 1950's (or wording slightly like that), as searching just for Sabrina brought up the River Severn (the Romans called it Sabrina) & the Italian pop star ofthe 1980's called Sabrina, who I'd never heard of before.

Funny enough the reason I was searching for her is that I contribute photos to a UK site called GeoGraph. I recently photographed a Sabrina Drive in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

Sabrina Drive, Bewdley

[The pic above is from Google Maps]

I'm told that when this name was given, there was a huge row because the locals thought it was honouring Sabrina the pop star. But when it was explained that it was named after the river, they shut up. I guess this would have been 30-50 years ago. Personally I would think it excellent if it had been named after Sabrina the pop star, but people are such snobs.

Anyway I'm delighted that there is a website devoted to her, and that she is still with us. I often wondered what happened to her, and now I know! Thanks.


Sabrina dotpoint 24 July 2010. Anne wrote:

I have just had a lovely 1/2 hour reading testimonials/memories of Sabrina, with Winifred Atwell playing in the background ( on Spotify..)
I am 60, born in Warrnambool Victoria Australia and have distant memories of my parents travelling some 100 plus miles from the farm, to Melbourne to see Sabrina at the Tivoli. All rather grand by comparison with daily life on the farm!!!

I didn't know anything about her, other than a vague memory of a glamour picture in a magazine and a lifelong appreciation of good corsetry!!!I am so grateful for the internet/wikipaedia as I have been able to enliven what I vaguely remembered from childhood.

Regarding Winifred - I told my Engish husband that I had seen her in my small country home town when I was about 9 or 10 - he gave me an old fashioned look, as he did when I told him about my parents seeing Sabrina.!

Please tell Sabrina - loved her natural glamour and beauty, a rare thing, not to be seen in the modern day,

Sabrina dotpoint 4 June 2010 . Eddy wrote:

Hello Mark

Last year I was asked to write a short memoir. Until I concentrated my mind back to my early days I had always considered that my life was pretty ordinary; but it is people that make the difference. I had a Russian emigre godfather and only recently discovered he was the grandson of Czar Alexander II. And at age 4 I had afternoon tea once with Dame Edith Sitwell (at that age one is frightened of no one!) a very formidable dame. There is a theory (I think a spurious one) that we are all connected to each other by no more than six degrees. My godfather's father was complicit in the murder of Rasputin. You may wonder what this has to do with Sabrina!

As a small child I was taken many places by an aunt and uncle who were childless. My uncle was ex RAF and seemed to have many acquaintances in showbusiness. On a visit to London I got so bored shopping with my aunt in Swan and Edgar that I became quite fractious. So the next day I was palmed off on to my uncle; he took me to visit a showbusiness friend who was performing at the Windmill Theatre - then a famous near naked revue venue. I quite enjoyed being fussed over by very pretty half naked "models" in their dressing room. But to cut to the chase: I was taken to Blackpool for my birthday to the Tower Circus (Charlie Cairoli) and we also visited one of my uncle's RAF chums appearing at one of the pier theatres. That is where I met Sabrina.

She was a stunning vision to a small boy, and I think she had more in common with me as a 5 year old than she had with the egotistical grown up theatrical colleagues. We visited the pier several times after that and I always sought her out, and of course delighted that she was happy to see me. Of course time moves on and I was aware that she married and moved to the USA, but in the recesses of my childhood memory I can still recall that vision. So when I stumbled across your site I was delighted. I think it would be slightly inappropriate to write to the lady, but please do pass on my kind regards on if you can when next in communication with Sabrina. She made a little boy very happy (and no doubt at the time a lot of older boys too!) she was a lovely and admirable woman.

Best regards


Bullet 6 November 2009 - an interesting behind-the-scenes memory of Sabrina by Judith...

Hey there Mark, All this fuss over the release of Harry M Miller's autobiography, left me wondering why he seems to have left out his infamous relationship with Sabrina. (I could be mistaken about this, because I don't intend to buy that piece of fiction - I'm just going from what is reported in the newspapers).

I'm not sure what year Sabrina hit the Land of Long White Cloud - probably it was 1959 when she also visited Australia. I lived in Auckland and was briefly engaged to a photographer, who on one particular weekend (which coincided my birthday), was booked to do some stills of Sabrina, advertising a particular brand of lipstick.

Sabrina had a "live-in" manager, with whom she was romantically involved, and her NZ agent for the duration of her trip was none other than Harry Miller. (The middle initial "M" was added after he moved to Sydney, to distinguish him from another entrepreneurial Harry Miller).

Sabrina was ostensibly touring NZ in a lightweight stage show which could show her best features to an appreciative audience, but the real reason (as best we could glean) was to enhance the dirty joke industry. On the day in question, a studio had been booked for six in the evening, which gave plenty of time for Sabrina to get from the theatre (matinee performance) to the studio, but unfortunately for everyone involved, she decided that she really needed a cup of tea and a good lie down before moving on to her next appointment.

So there she was, at her hotel, with her clique of hangers-on and managers, while the rest of us cooled our heels at the studio. Our party included 3 or 4 senior execs from the cosmetic company. My presence was quite unofficial. I was waiting for Ted to take me on to my birthday dinner when the photographic job was finished.

After spending 5 hours on what should have been a simple task, the photos were taken, Sabrina had changed back into her "going out for evening" clothes, and the moment came for her to sign the model release. She read it carefully, and gagged on the part that said she agreed to do no other make-up endorsements in NZ for the next five years. This escalated into a shouting match with the company executives and Harry, who tried to talk some sense to her about the likelihood of such a situation arising. However the outcome was never in doubt - she refused to sign, as it would compromise her earning ability, and so we all went home.

No winners there - I rather imagine she would not have been paid for her attendance! (My birthday dinner was cancelled by mutual consent). Anyways, the next interesting thing that happened (not related to the above), came shortly afterwards.

Nothwithstanding her ability to cause ructions over nothing, Harry M was determined to separate Sabrina from her current manager, and take over that job himself. So he arranged for said manager (whose name I don't recall, but he was young and quite fetching in a pommy sort of way*), to be caught by Sabrina in a " compromising" situation with another woman.

Sabrina returned to her hotel, where Harry had set up the manager by sending an unexpected call girl, to their room and Sabrina burst in on them. (I don't think they were actually doing anything compromising). Sabrina threw the inevitable hissy fit, with much screaming and throwing things, all duly recorded by the travelling press corps, organised by the ever-entrepeneurial Harry. Sold many papers, but was quickly recognised as the blatant set-up it was.

Sabrina and manager left the country shortly afterwards, apparently reconciled, and Harry was left with just his memories. (Said memories seem to be rather selective, and not in accord with mine, but that's another story, which may never be told).


The manager in question was probably Ray Bolwell - Ed. Read Sabrina's less-than-joyous memories of Ray in our phone interview .

When Sir H expressed an interest in more information about Judith's encounter with Sabrina, Judith replied:

Hey Mark, I'm delighted that some of your readers liked the story. There's not a great deal more to tell, but to answer (and perhaps embellish) the questions, here goes.

When Sabrina and Harry arrived, they were doing us a favour. Not a word about sorrow for inconveniencing anyone. THEY were the ones being inconvenienced! Sabrina disappeared behind the curtain to change clothes and fix her hair/makeup etc., and Harry hit the phones. He was organising a party for that night at Auckland's one-and-only nightclub, called Peter Pan. Back then it was by necessity unlicensed, so patrons used to smuggle in grog - a fact which was acknowledged and facilitated by the club management.

His conversation went something like this: "Hello (name), this is Harry Miller. I'm here with Sabrina, and she would really love to meet you. Are you free to join us tonight at the Peter Pan at about (a certain time). That's great! And by the way, can you bring some grog? Hang on a minute and I'll find out what she feels like drinking". (Phone left open). "Sabrina, what would you like to drink tonight?" Sabrina - "Oh, I don't know .. " - Harry - "Well, beer, champagne, what?" I looked at Ted and held up my fingers, counting them down one by one as the time ticked by, then Sabrina and I said in unison " champagne!". Harry to conned victim - "Sabrina would like to drink to champagne. Can you organise that?". OK! See you there".

He made calls to several men with liquor contacts, so it should have been a well-lubricated gathering. When Sabrina was ready, she came out and waited while the shots were set up. Ted had given me one of his smaller cameras, and instructed me to get some candids, which I did, while sitting on a high stool in the shadows. I tried for the profile shots of her amazing structure, and got a few, but she quickly twigged to what I was doing, and came over to tell me that she didn't like candids, and would I please desist. Ted told me to ignore her, but in those days I was fairly easy to intimidate, and I didn't take any more. I think the " candids" just stayed in Ted's private collection. I didn't ever see them again.

What was my impression of Sabrina? That she was still feeling her way, but already had a well-developed ego. More than likely she relied quite heavily on her manager, but to the best of my recollection, he was not there. [snip]

I only met Sabrina on the one occasion, and think I have mined it for what little it was worth. The other business between Harry and Sabrina's manager, I knew only from newspaper reports and community gossip, but the journalists who were present at the showdown were all of impeccable reputation, and wrote for the major papers, so their reports were never doubted. Ouch - this seems to be more about Harry - whom you may gather I don't much like, and not a lot about Sabrina, who was too colourless to either like or dislike. Sorry about that!!

Warm regards, Judith

3 May 2008 - Terry wrote to say:

Sabrina walkabout

I was amazed and delighted to find a photograph of me with Sabrina at a photoshoot in Trafalgar Square around 1955. In the picture I am the airman on the left, in the peaked cap, with my friend in the beret. It means a lot to me as I lost all photos taken while in the RAF. If Sabrina sees this e-mail, I would love to hear from her, as we were born in the same year. But I understand she can't reply to everyone. I wish her very good health and happiness. - Best wishes,

Terry F

22 February 2008- Tim wrote:

Hi Mark, Please find attached two references to our lovely Sabrina that I've just managed to assemble:

1) The image is a scan from Record Mirror of 25th July,1955 of Sabrina in her dressing room at the Cheswick Empire ready to perform on stage with the Three Deuces ,a male singing act of the time &

2) A sound bite ref to Sabby from Hughie Green's 'Opportunity Knocks' show broadcast on Radio Luxembourg (208m) in the mid to late fifties.

I would like you to know that your website has given me more pleasure than I care to admit! Being of a certain age, Sabrina's attributes were the first this young lad, growing up in fifties Britain, had glimpsed outside his own home ... as such she has special position in my heart and I suspect thousands of other men of my age. You have assembled a unique collection for us to all enjoy and share. Long may you go on finding these nuggets of Sabby!! Please past on my very fond regards to Sabrina next time you speak to or e -mail her (you lucky boy). Cheers, well done and thank you so much,


17 December 2007
- Tina wrote to say:

Hi Mark, I've just stumbled across your page while looking for info about Sabrina to send to my friends in the US. It all came about because we were discussing Christmas memories and I was remembering that, as a little girl of about 6, visiting my Nan in St Helens (not far from Blackpool) for Christmas in the mid 50s, I stuffed two huge balloons up my jumper, announced that I was Sabrina, and sang Christmas Alphabet (haven't a clue why I chose that song) as my act in the little concert all of us kids put on for the whole family !
I've often wondered whatever happened to Sabrina, so I'm very glad I found your site. If you think Sabrina would be interested in my little story, please feel free to pass it on to her. My family (Mum, Dad and four of us kids) migrated to Melbourne in 1961 and here we stayed, happily ever after ! I think I'd die of shock if I answered my phone to Sabrina, but just in case there's a remote chance that she would write (address follows).

Cheers, Tina

27 March 2007 - G'Day Mark (A bit of trivia)

I came across your Sabrina site tonight with great surprise, for I was only reciting a funny story about Sabrina to my wife before dinner tonight.

It happened back in 1957 when the West theatre in Hindley St was showing Rock Around the Clock. I would love to write to Sabrina and tell her about it as I believe she may remember. As I recall she was wearing a black sweater and black trousers, a body guard either side of her and walking up Hindley Street towards King William St.

I was 16 at the time and running towards her (not knowing at the time who she was) I was late for the Movie Rock Around the Clock, I picked up pace and unfortunately or fortunately collided with her head on and was thrown backwards on the rebound.

After picking myself up I stood in front of her for a moment looking at her and swiftly said sorry, a strange look from what I assumed was her body guard directed at me and I ran again and some one shouted that's Sabrina, I stopped and looked, and thought to myself I've just bumped into Sabrina.

All these years I have wondered to this day where she is and the incident has never left me. So I would just like to say hello to her and if perhaps you could mail my letter I would appreciate it very much.

Sincerely yours. Roger L

Bullet 11 March 2007 - Neil of the Vauxhall Victor Owners Club wrote to say:

Hi. On 7th February 1957 Sabrina appeared at the Gaumont State Theatre in Kilburn with Arthur Askey who compèred the launch of the Vauxhall Victor. The launch was produced by Ralph Reader of 'Gang Show' fame and had a cast of 100 (plus 2 Victors) including the band of the Grenadier Guards. I have gained a copy of a DVD of the event, but unfortunately Sabrina was not included in the edited version.

To celebrate 50 years of the launch of the car, the Victor Owners Club of which I am archive officer relaunched the Victor at the Severn Valley steam Railway in Kidderminster (UK) re-enacting the unveiling, accompanied by Rock and roll dancers. (see attached photos) Unbeknown to us, in discussion with the railway enthusiasts, we found out that Sabrina is the Roman God of the River Severn!! What a coincidence !

To mark this we have agreed as a club that Sabrina is to be given the honour of being made patron of the Vauxhall Victor Owners Club owing to her large involvement in the history. I am sure that she will be delighted to be bestowed with this honour and would be obliged if you could arrange for her to be told on our behalf and thank her very much for the enjoyment she has brought to the world.

Kindest regards
Neil Bonner
Archive officer
Vauxhall Victor Owners Club

Bullet 2 Jan 2007 - Vicky wrote:

Hi There, Was looking up some people my grandfather Manning Redwood knew and worked with during his life and came across your site. He is American and met her in the USA. They became great friends and travelled to South Africa together. Sabrina asked him to return to the UK with her which he did. He stayed here and continued his acting career and I think they went theire separate ways. Maybe gives u a little more of an insight as she seems to be a huge interest to you.

A few more facts for you I hope. Vicky

Bullet 9 April 2006 - Geoff wrote to say:

Hi Mark. My name is Geoff Taylor, I met Sabrina in Blackpool in 1956. We had dinner together and I went to her mum's house in Blackpool. I have photos of Sabrina & me, plus a signed photo she used to give to people. I had a week with Sabrina in Blackpool, at that time she was a friend of Bernie Winters, who now has sadly passed away.

Sabrina and Geoff
Geoff is second from the left

I hope you like the photos. When I see them it brings back happy times of yesteryear. Kind regards

Geoff Taylor.

Woohoo! Thanks, Geoff!

Bullet February 2006 - Bill wrote to say:

I am from New Zealand, and grew up there in the fifties. I am pretty certain that Sabrina visited NZ briefly – I think it was part of the '58 – '59 tour and probably just after the Australian visit (It was not in 1962, when I was thirteen since I have very clear memories of that time). I recall my mother was very disapproving of Sabrina, for her "obviousness" and I remember talk at school that was more uncritical.

But my specific Sabrina memory is related to a small Viennese restaurant in Wellington that I visited as a final year university student much later. It was in a city arcade and daringly, there was a good chance that if the proprietor liked you, you could discreetly bring in a bottle and actually drink wine with your meal! The bottle couldn't be on the table of course, but it was the first time I ever tasted Vienna Schnitzel, Veal Cordon Bleu, potato salad and so on. Wellington was still a very small town in 1970.

However, the friends that I went with insisted that I have dessert, and specifically the Sabrinas . I ordered, as instructed, and what arrived was (of course) two scoops of vanilla ice cream side-by-side, each with a cherry on top (or was it small half-apricot and then a cherry?) and a delicious sauce over all.

This was TEN YEARS after she had visited and the dessert had been on the menu non-stop since then.
Apart from not being able to identify the sauce, it's a pretty simple recipe, anyway. Today, just a slosh of any liqueur would probably do - Cointreau? Feel free to adapt and publish so that Sabbie fans who are careful eaters can nosh as they cruise your site.
"I'm looking at Sabrina's and eating them too!"

Very best wishes,
Bill Evans

Yumbo scrumbo, Bill. I'll have a couple of those.

Found 21 March 2006 at http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/articles/hipper/hipper01.htm - 'The Old Hipper' by John Ward. His memories of Wolverhampton's last variety theatre, the Hippodrome:

... in the theatre's decline a young performer Sabrina (real name Norma Sykes) tried to cement her new found fame by touring the halls. An attractive young woman with a big bust and a small voice, she had come to prominence (no pun intended) playing a dumb blonde on Arthur Askey's TV show.

Sabrina in 'This'll make you laugh' at the Hippodrome

In an age when dumb blondes were very much in vogue, such was her notoriety that when the famous Audrey Hepburn film of the same name was shown in Britain, it had to be renamed 'Sabrina Fair'. Whatever her talents, I don't think that it was her voice that attracted the mostly male audience. She wore a low cut dress, and this was one occasion when the view from the upper circle beat that from the stalls.

1 December 2005 - From Ken

Hi Mark, I was so thrilled to read your Sabrina stuff as I knew Sabby back in the 1960's when she visited Melbourne to perform at the Tivoli Theatre.

I had a Pharmacy in Little Collins St which was directly at the back of the Tivoli and as I specialized in theatrical make up etc I got all the stars. Sabby was always followed by groups of people wherever she went and I first met her when she ran into the Pharmacy, around the back to hide from her adoring but nuisance fans.

From then on we became great friends. I took her out a couple of times and actually treated her breasts for severe sunburn, which she got on the beach at Black Rock where she was living, but that's another story.

I met her Mum on several occasions a lovely lady who looked after Sabby, taking care of her finances until Sabby met up with a young Melbourne man who didn't do her any good. Annie had a big disagreement with her daughter over this guy and went back to England.

I have signed pictures of Sabrina which I prize very much. She was not only a beautiful girl but a really friendly girl and nice to be with. My brother took her out also and still has her belt which she gave him it is only 18" in diameter.

It's hard to imagine her being 69 yrs old, but then I am 81 so where do the years go? I would love to write to her and will do so following your instructions. Even if I never get an answer it may bring a smile to her lips. Seems life has not always been kind to her in later years. Thanks again Mark I have spent the last hour reading with great interest her story and often wondered what happened to her, now I know

Kind Regards Ken.

Bullet From Ruth on 4 October 2005:

Would love to contact Sabrina. Saw your site. She stayed at our house in Ilford, in 1957. I gave up my bedroom for her to use when she, I think, wanted to avoid the Press about something. My uncle was an Agent.

Bullet Found on 20 March 2005 in Google Groups: From: JB

Subject: Re: Did someone mention Sabrina?
Newsgroups: alt.comedy.british

My Granmother has often told us that when she worked in a greengrocers in Heaviley, Stockport, England. A young (then undiscovered) Norma Sykes would come in the shop with usually a runny nose for " 'alf a pound o' tomaters" Then take great pleasure in telling exactly what it was that Arthur Askey saw in her.

Cheers kev

3 February 2005
- Kate wrote to say:

My Grandad Stuart was Sabrina's favourite cousin, and he and my gran Kath used to own a pub called the Printers Arms in Stockport. One night Sabrina was supposed to be visiting, and word got out. That night the pub was packed with men from Stockport and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, she didn't turn up that time, but came on another occasion. Apparently there were a lot of long faces, as they had all expected to get a glimpse of the gorgeous Sabrina.

Another time, she was staying at my great-gran's, and she was having a bath in the tin bath in front of the fire, and my grandad walked in on her. He was embarrassed when the story got out; there were a lot of jealous blokes, who thought my Grandad was a lucky devil.

I will have to ask my gran and my auntie for more stories on Sabrina, as my mum was only young at the time, she does remember her but not as much as my gran and my auntie.

Kate S

29 December 2004
- From http://www.screenonline.org.uk/audio/id/953858/
Barbara Harris on Television (ITV) discusses her directorial work in comercial television

(c) BECTU History Project. Barbara Harris interviewed by Roy Fowler with John Hamilton, 30th November, 1989. (edited extracts)

JH: Arthur Askey had a very long running series.

JH: Yes, the translation of the old Bandwagon show, the radio show. I remembered reading a critic once saying Arthur was the first star really who actually fitted the medium.

BH: He was. Was it he who brought Sabrina in? Sabrina was the well-endowed young lady, blonde, a great walk on and always brought great... mind you they were starting audiences then too. We didn't have audiences at AP but there were audiences at Lime Grove.

Bullet 20 December:
At the IMDB on 5 July 2001 , 'Charles Garbage' from Victoria, Australia wrote about 'Satan in High Heels'...

Also starring in the film is Sabrina, something of a poor man's Jane Mansfield, who sings a really bad number before Stacey's act. I was amazed to know that Sabrina was a real sensation down here in Oz! She was down here regularly starring in television commercials and was featured in lots of newsreel footage (always holding her poodle, just like Jane) and magazines. I even found reference to her in Peter Doyle's AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS, a crime novel set in Sydney during the 1950's.

Bullet 20 December 2004: Phaedra wrote:

Dear Sabrina , I remember so well your wonderful performance in the show you did at the Sound Shell in Adelaide Australia. I was a female Impersonator at the time and I believe we both used the same choreographer, Shelia Cruise. Do you remember?

Fondest Regards Phaedra. P.S. And that brilliant ad for motor oil is still shown occasionally.

Bullet 5 December 2004 : Leslie wrote from Lincoln, England:

Dear Norma, You will probably not remember me but I read an article about you today which has prompted me to write.

Your mother and father were friends of my parents in Beeston, Leeds, Yorkshire. Your mum and dad left Leeds to open a boarding house in Blackpool located by the gas works opposite Central pier.

When you were growing up you attended Fleetwood girls high school and my family and I visited the boarding house every August school holiday. They were very happy memorable years from when you were born until I reached the ripe old age of twelve and then the war came along and my father became the Garrison Commander at York (Northern Command HQ) and we were unable to visit Blackpool thereafter.

Amusingly at your mum's boarding house we used to stay in what was then called "Bed and Cruette" (That meant that you bought your own food and your mum and dad prepared it) something that does not of course happen anymore...

I am 74 years old now and retired but I often think nostalgically of the early years and I sincerely hope you are living comfortably and in good health.

Fondest wishes, Leslie

Bullet 8 July 2004: Karen wrote:

My Grandmother [Doris Dixon nee Haslam] and Sabrina's mother Annie were sisters. I do not ever remember meeting Sabrina but my father Terry did although that was along time ago. I don't want anything from her but i was wondering if Sabrina was at all interested in knowing her distant relatives.

I live near Solomons Island in Maryland, my brother and sister still live in England. Appreciate any and all assistance you give.


Bullet 7 July 2004 : Phil wrote to ask:

Sabrina, Hope you are well. Just going through an Old Blackpool Opera House programme where you appeared with Tessie O'Shea, Nat Jackley and a comedy group called the Nitwits, One of the Nitwits was my uncle Arthur (Vollum), I believe you knew him quite well, his parents lived on Briawood Drive in Bispham, when was the last time you visited Blackpool, is it correct you worked at Burton's Biscuits on Vicarage Lane, (Now Burton's Foods, making liquorice Allsorts and Wine Gums only), where I have worked there for the past 25 years.

Regards, Phil

Bullet 15 May 2004: David wrote:

Dear Sabrina, Thanks to the glorious nylon.net/sabrina I have become a new fan! And want to wish you a very happy birthday!! The contributions of your joy, audacity and great beauty continue to inspire. In fact, this weekend, in honor of your birthday, I am having a little party with some of my friends to celebrate you in my home in New York -- watching the video of "The Ice House," which I recently discovered (via the Sabrinastuff website), and am enthralled by. Thank you, and again... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

All my best, David Drake

Bullet 20 January 2004 - Kyle of Georgia, USA wrote:

In one sentence.... I wanted to mention to you that I think your persistence with the goals you chose for yourself is admirable. You seem to have really put yourself out there to accomplish something you believed in doing then and even today. That's why I enjoy the website, the interview because it's obvious that you are/were more than just a blonde bombshell.

Your fan, Kyle

Bullet 9 December 2003: Gary wrote:

Hi, I'm from Blackpool England. Could I ask Sabrina if she remembers a certain 'COLIN CAIRNS'. He used to frequent the Tower Ballroom and the Winter Gardens. He's my father and says he dated Sabrina for a few days I believe in the early to mid 50's. ...

Thank you

Bullet 23 October 2003: Keri said:

Congratulations on your wonderful webpage to Sabrina. I remember her visit to New Zealand in the early 1960s. I was a young man living in Rotorua and well recall Sabrina's gracious, glamorous, sophisticated beauty.
Her picture headlined in the local newspaper. Sabrina seemed so natural, friendly and had the 'common touch', she was adored by all who met her. Does Sabrina remember her visit, what are her recollections?

Best wishes Sabrina, of all of the love-goddesses (Marilyn, Jayne, Diana, Anita Ekberg) you are the loveliest. Why? Because your gentle, natural beauty, touched with that Hollywood glamor set you apart. All the very best, and thank you for such wonderful memories,

Keri de Carlo (mr)

Bullet 23 Sep 2003 - Bluey wrote:

I was in my mid-teens when Sabrina first came to Oz. I can remember a wonderful photo of her which took up most of the front page of a Saturday edition of the Sydney Daily Mirror. And of course the Caltex ad! Great to see it all again. Bluey. One question: what height is she? I see that you've given other measurements but I can't see this one.

Sabrina says: 5 foot 6 (hear more)

Bullet 22 Sep 2003. Mark wrote:

Great Site! For along time I have searched the net for the real Sabrina! But only found references to the Teenage w*tch,the Audrey Hepburn film or the 80's disco singer! So I am thrilled to have found the real Mcoy! As a 10 year old back in 1970 we holidayed in Blackpool - I believe the seafront/prom had remained much the same since the 50's. I was fascinated by a fortune teller - I think one of the Rose Lee family ... the complete outside of her studio was covered in B/W pics of celebrities who had visited for a palm reading.

The large size photos were surrounded by light bulbs - you could spot it way off. The most photos were of stunning Sabrina! I have never forgotten. And now - 30 odd years on - I own and run a museum dedicated to the stars of yesteryear 1940's- 60's. These great film stars, entertainers and celebrities should never be forgotten! Of course ... Sabrina has a display in tribute to her contibution to British entertainment ... she must be remembered , she had such personality!!


Best wishes. Mark ( Burtey Fen Collection )

Bullet 29 July 2003 - Clive wrote to say ...

I met Sabrina only once, I was around 11 years old and was taken by an old aunt and uncle to Ruislip Lido, I can only say it was around the 50s. She was on a stage looking fantastic and she distributed some postcard size publicity photographs. I was too short to get on but she did have the kindness to smile and say she was sorry I didn't get one.

That always stuck in my mind, that beautiful girl with the lovely smile. I have often looked for any articles on Sabrina over the years and once heard that she had gone to live in Australia, I don't know if there ever was any truth in that. Maybe Sabrina may remember Ruislip Lido?

Bullet 26 July 2003 - ' The Erotic Review' nicely emailed ...

Sabrina in 'The Twisted Sister', 2003

Hi there. I desperately need some help. I need some info on how I go about reproducing in a magazine, the promo pic of Sabrina from St Trinian's. It's in gallery 17 and she's posing with one knee hitched up . I'm very very keen to get hold of this image and any help you are able to offer me will be very gratefully received. I would of course, also like to give the site some publicity in my publication the Erotic Review , a London-based literary erotica magazine. It's an upmarket publication with quality writing and a retro rather than top-shelf flavour. I do hope you can help.

I did... and Sabrina appeared in 2003!

Anyone who is desperate to get a picture of Sabrina is OK with me.
Mind you, a 600 dpi re-scan to uncompressed TIFF is about 72 megabytes...

Bullet 12 July 2003 - Tantalising highlights from an email from 'Producer' who supplied the nudie card scans...

The deck I have is complete with Joker and spare card but has no packet/box. Have you any idea who the photographer was? I do also have the films - At Home With Sabrina - and some others. I'll see if I can get a sample to you. I also have a number of men's magazines of the 50's which feature Sabrina. I am currently sifting through these so I will set aside the ones which feature her and let you know in case there are any you are unaware of.

Well done, Sir!

Bullet From http://members.lycos.co.uk/bmbgat/newpage3.html...

It's just 40 years since the outsize bosom of Sabrina hit our television screens. For a brief period, Norma Sykes was almost as famous as the similarly renamed Norma Jean, and her bizarre Derby appearance, was as a circus attraction. DOES the name Sabrina mean anything to you? If so, you are probably older than you admit, for it is just 40 years since the "dumb blonde" bombshell with the enormous bosom wowed Derby people when she turned up at a local circus!

Some would say it was quite an apt place for, with her 41.5ins bust, 19ins waist and 36ins hips, she was something of a phenomenon. Though she could not act, sing, dance or even walk properly, Sabrina was propelled to fame by the comedian Arthur Askey who hired her because he wanted a gimmick for his television show in the 1960s.

Later, in his autobiography , he said he had just wanted a beautiful young dumb blonde to stand around the set. "The BBC were rather alarmed and wanted to know what I intended to do with her. I didn't know myself at the time, but I got my own way and so Sabrina was born."

Her real name was Norma Sykes but Arthur quickly changed it and always insisted that it was not the size of her bust which made him engage her. "I knew she was well built but had no idea how big she really was until the BBC wardrobe mistress told me she couldn't get Sabrina into a medieval costume on account of her enormous chest. I realised then that I had unknowingly struck gold."

She was an immediate hit and Fleet Street reporters were always hanging around the studios trying to interview and photograph her. When she came to Derby in April 1963 on an "exclusive engagement", she was billed as "an added attraction" to the animals and clowns who were performing for the crowds at Billy Smart's Circus , which was visiting The Meadows, Nottingham Road, Derby. Her appearance was said to be "direct from her sensational London Palladium show and tour of the United States". Former Derby photographer, Norman Wasteney, of Allestree, remembers it well.

Sabrina and Chimp at Billy Smart circus 1963
From the 'Paul Popper' picture page

Sabrina's New Partner?

The British sex-bomb Sabrina has discovered a new sphere. It appears now - for three nights only - in the Billy Smart circus. Our picture shows her with a "colleague", also an attraction of the circus. 5 April 1963.

He was covering the event for national newspapers while working for Raymonds Press Agency and the recent Bygones feature about photographer, Reg Dudley, reminded him of Sabrina. He recalls that she aroused a great deal of interest and the reporters were especially interested in a handsome young man with her, whom she refused to identify. "Eventually, under the pressure of the questions she told them that he was an American actor," said Norman. "Quick as a flash, Reg commented: 'Aye - and so's Lassie'."

Said Norman: "It was typical of Reg. His humour was so sharp and quick. He always had everyone in stitches. It was very sad that he died so early and photography lost such a capable operator."

Though Arthur Askey maintained Sabrina was even dumber than he at first thought, she eventually became bigger than him and the show. "So, she had to go," he admitted. "But with the money she made, she had acting, singing, dancing and deportment lessons and eventually finished up doing a very polished cabaret act with special songs, usually about her deformity."

Later on, she married an American doctor and went to live in Hollywood.

Said Arthur, who died in 1980: "Who said I wasn't a talent spotter!"

Bullet 19 June 2003: JavaJim wrote again...

I cannot believe that Norma, (she was not Sabrina until after she left Blackpool at eighteen) is supposed to be in London working in a cafe at sixteen when she was with our group in Blackpool at that time, also she attended Claremont girls school in Blackpool from being a teenager.

I have no recollection of a nude cinefilm of Norma but a friend of mine - a well known Blackpool photographer of the day I knocked around with - did a nude photoshoot. I introduced her to him. I was with him at the shoot. The photos consisted of two full frontals, two side poses, two getting into the bath and two lying in the bath, before the suds covered her.

I am outraged to this day that showing my copies to my father he borrowed them to show Owen Radcliff, underworld figure of the day and late owner of the Blackpool Turf Accounts club which used to be on Coronation Street. I never got my photos back.

Nude art poses of [Sabrina] have been lost, but someone out there has them.

Cheers James

This is quite a revelation!

See Sabrina Saying Goodnight and taking a bath - is this the film James remembers?

Bullet 15 June 2003: Amazed Richard wrote:

I was talking to a mate of mine who has just got his first computer, explaining the power and wonder of the net, using the Sabrina site as an example. I was telling him, how the site had started life as an attachment to another site, then spun off onto its own, finally becoming the Official Sabrina site etc.


I said it couldn't be the same person, but he went on to describe the figure " hourglass" with a lot of the sand still at the top.

He said an English team were here using Jag motors in their cars, and she was with them as part of the promotion. He said she wasn't young then, but added when you're a school kid anyone adult looks old.Could this be our Sabrina ?
Amazed Richard.

Sabrina says it was not her. It must have been someone else.

Bullet 11 June 2003: Freddie wrote:

God bless this wonderful lady. You are so incredibly thorough with your love & admiration for this goddess of yesteryear. I wish there was a site of this magnitude on Jayne Mansfield, my fav. I have only one correction to make. She is not the only blonde survivor. Mamie Van Doren & June Wilkinson are still around , bless 'em. (Oh yeah, need I mention Zsa Zsa)......NAH

Bullet 5 June 2003: Frank wrote:

I was born on the 9th May 1936 in Stockport and I only found out yesterday from my brother who is 7 years older than I that my mother and auntie, Ada Wilson and Marie Etchells (both deceased) were very friendly with Annie Haslam and as a 'young un' I was pushed to the park or wherever with Norma Sykes, According to my brother I was one of her first 'playmates'. I was incredulous as you can imagine. I saw a documentary about Sabrina about 6 or 9 months ago where she was living in poverty in LA and at that time I didn't even know she came from Stockport let alone that I was once so close to her.

Bullet 4 June 2003: JavaJim then wrote again:

Norma Sykes grew up in Blackpool, her mother had a private Hotel off Central drive Blackpool during WW11 and Post war. Norma went to Blackpool Claremont school from 10 to 15 yrs. I used to meet with her in the Savoy Blackpool, I was in her peer group at the Blackpool Winter Gardens when she was sixteen. I danced with her when she wore her gorgeous red velvet gown to the ankle evening dress.

She went to London 1954 with David Whitfield the singer of Cara Mia [ Sabrina denies this - Ed], he introduced her to little twit Arthur Askey, not liked in the North. She starred with Max Bygraves in the late Fifties at the Blackpool Hippodrome being made a fool of by Max first.

Bullet 24 May 2003: 'JavaJim' wrote to say:

Sabrina went to Claremont Girls School, Blackpool and left 1952. My wife Yvonne knew Norma at school. I met my wife Yvonne summer 1953 the day she entered the Savoy cafe on the Blackpool promenade,(long gone) I was seated on a corner table with Norma, Shirley Abicair,(I think it is spelt that way) the Australian Zither player, and an American Airforce pilot, whose name escapes me. I fell head over heels for Yvonne, another Blackpool beauty, and we married five years later

Norma was not dumb as Askey and others claim; he wanted her that way for his obnoxious show, honking horns and ringing bells around her bottom and breasts like a twerp. I am sorry she did that she deserved better. Clever Londoners think because we have a Lancashire accent we are thick. She was well mannered, well dressed and presented and could talk well on any subject. Norma was well liked by her peers and when she was in the alcove with other local girls at the Winter Gardens dance she sparkled. Glad to know she is well and has done well.

Bullet 16 May 2003: Eileen wrote:

I lost touch with Sabrina in Blackpool, where she lived in the early 50's. The last time I spoke to her was in 1954-56, I think it was then, she was appearing in New York, staying at the Plaza Hotel. I then heard she was living in California, married to a Dr. Melsheimer, and the very last news of her was that she had been involved in a car accident. I would very much appreciate anything you have on Norma.

Bullet 4 May 2003: Elsie wrote with a Sabrina Question. Can anyone help her?

I am in dispute with a friend of mine re a local tale on Sabrina. I was told years ago that a special breed of chicken was named the 'Sabrina chicken' because of the size of its two large breasts. Have you ever heard of these birds and if the tale is true and if they really did exist? Thank you. Elsie.

Bullet 21 April 2003:
A weird one found during an idle search :

In Gawler in 1958, there was a photo of Sabrina on the front page of The News. She was a "model" touring Adelaide.
At the same time in Grade 2 Sister Auburn told us that we could have anything we wanted in Heaven.
" Could we have ice cream in Heaven?" was a question I remember being asked.
Yes we could have anything good.The thorny theological question came up first in relation to having Protestant friends in Heaven, but what focused our minds was:
"Will our dog go to Heaven?"
"No because they don't have souls."
So there was a catch. Later, in the playground, we figured it out. The nuns would go to Heaven, whereas the dogs and Sabrina would not. So now we had to choose who to run with - the nuns, or Sabrina and the dogs.

Bullet 28 March 2003: Gregor wrote:

Hi, I was searching for stuff on Sabrina to find a picture to go with my autograph book page . I have attached a scan of her autograph. Would you mind if I use one of your pics to go with the autograph on my page?

Sabrina autograph

I got this autograph at Nadi Airport, Fiji, in the late 1950s - I was about 10 or 11. I think she was on her way to/from Australia. I remember that she was dressed in full glamour mode, with a long frock and hair piled high, at about 6am local time. And that cantilevered bust - it left a lasting impression!

And later added:

Thanks - I've just discovered the newsreel of her arrival at Sydney, that had to be the trip when I got her autograph. The PanAm airliner gives it away too - my Mum worked for PanAm, and used to phone me to grab my autograph book and rush down to the terminal building when someone famous came through. Now, which photo is the quintessence of Sabrinahood...??? Yours, Gregor

Thanks, Gregor!

Bullet 26 February 2003: "Jemm" wrote:

My mum went to school with Norma (Sabrina). They were best friends we now live in Australia.

I do know that Norma didn't have many friends while at school the girls were jealous and the boys would follow her around, you know boys being boys. Mum and Norma were always together so I'm sure my mum would have a few stories.

And we can't wait for the juicy stuff!

Bullet 25 February 2003: Bill wrote:

I used to clean her sports car back in the late 1950's when she visited Wootton Wawen in Warwickshire, England. She used to give my dad 5 shillings to wash and polish it and he'd get me to do it for half a crown [2½ shillings] (Crafty sod!) She was always very nice to me (I was 7 or 8 years old) she once gave me a ride up to the gas station, but none of my friends were there to see it and they all called me a bloody liar! I was there when she opened, The Sabrina Gardens section of the Allen's Caravan site. Well done on the website. Bill Watkins.

Bullet 26 January 2003: John from Tasmania saw Sabrina in Australia:

It was no big deal, i was just one of the neighbourhood kids hanging out at the entrance to the hospital. we heard about the visit from local gossip.the bosom and entourage arrived. As we were right at the door got a great glimpse of her getting from the car. I think she was wearing a turquoise dress. She waved at us and passed by on her way up to see the sick kids. That was a long time ago and I can't remember what the car was. It was unimportant at the time. Regards John

Bullet 9 January 2003:
Elliott Mattice got in touch:

Elliott is a New York artist who has found inspiration from Sabrina, as you see below in one of his paintings. Thanks, Elliott. If only more artists got such inspiration...

Sabrina fan art


Bullet 8 January 2003: Paul Markham wrote:

I remember when l was a kid in the 50s. Joe Matthews , Sabrina's manager had a caravan at Kelvedon Hatch camping site. One day he brought Sabrina down to the site. She drove a primrose Zephyr convertible. I noticed she had a low cut top with a rose in her cleavage, but being so young l just saw the rose! Bet my dad didn't. Joe owned a Cadillac which he later sold for a bubble car. A real eccentric.

Bullet Roger wrote:

In about 1961-63 in the back of photograhic magazines there was an advert for 2 cine films - one for "Sabrina takes a bath" and another I forget the name of - how I longed to see those! from Roger.

Perhaps this will fill the gap - Ed. There is another memory of the 'bath' film above. And here's the film!

Sabrina was the "hostess with the mostest" on Hughie Green's "Double Your Money" program in early 60s on BBC (ITV?). Hughie would make her walk the longest distance to get to the camera and when she had to turn sideways - WOW!!

Bullet 29 December 2002: 'Ceguah' wrote to say:

Some time ago Roger ( above ) mentioned film loops of Sabrina. I remember two B&W 50 ft 8 mm films. I think the titles were 'At Home With Sabrina ' and ' Good Night With Sabrina '. From the first I especially remember some scenes of Sabrina vacuum cleaning her apartment dressed in a very tight sweater and, I believe, shorts. Didn’t think too much about the latter, as the movements of the oh-so-well filled sweater got me sweating…In the second film I believe there was a bath scene – all bubbles you know. In the films she actually took her top off – however filmed from the back. Keep the good work up!

You can also enjoy At Home with Sabrina right now!

Bullet 27 October 2002: Len's memory is long and vivid... You might want to draw the screens before you read it. Rated PG!

I am fascinated by your Sabrina website. Congratulations. Great job. Yes I remember Sabrina. It must have been in 1958. My mother took my two sisters and myself to the Sydney Tivoli to see Sabrina. I was about 14. What I remember was the movement of her breasts. The movement is what I remember. The movement is something I haver not forgotten in 44 years.

What I remember was, the Tivoli curtains opened, the spotlights shone, and there stood Sabrina in a very lowcut dress. She stood there and smiled and waved until all was quiet. What happened next is the most erotic thing that has ever happened to me.

There were at least three steps down from the top of the main stage, so she took four steps down, left, right, left, right. The steps caused an earthquake in her breast as well as in the audience. There were loud oohs and ahhs and gasps and her breasts swayed from side to side and rippled up and down like a waterbed. Sabrina herself thought that her breasts had dropped out. She looked down to see if they were still covered.

Sabrina, at that time also went to Currumbin Bird Sanctuary on the Gold Coast. I remember a photo of her there in the foyer of her feeding the birds. That photo you also may not have. The Queensland National Trust would have it.

Enough of the memory of her mammaries. Please keep trying to contact Sabrina and bring her back to life before she dies, for herself and well as her fans. I would like to see what she looks like today. I bet she still looks wonderful. We would not be disappointed whatever she looks like.

Bullet 25 October 2002: Kate - a Sabrina relative wrote to say:

Hi. My name is Kate S----,

I am 15 years old and I live in Stockport. I visited this site because Norma is my third cousin, and my family would love to know what happened to her and how she is getting on. There have been a few articles in the local paper saying that she is living in "squalor" near an LA airport, but my gran in Australia claims that Norma had moved over there, and had married a truck driver. Do you know if this is true?

Apparently, she got on really well with my Grandad {her cousin}, and would be sorry to learn that he died a few years back. If you could get in touch with her, that would be great, and if you have any information about her, please send it to: (address in Heaviley, Stockport).

Thank you very much.

Bullet 9 October 2002: John caused a stir when he said:

Brian Hawes (deceased) used to create metal bust supporters (made by car mechanics) to hold her & push her out - she could leave this appliance on for many hours per day. Brian travelled with her to attach & release her from this construction. There are many funny stories regarding Sabrina's bust supports.

When she appeared in Sydney in the 50s she had to be underlit as she was so short & tiny, and it seems the underlighting made her look taller !!!!

Bullet 29 September 2002: An anonymous contributor said:

I recall Sabrina's visit to Australia and New Zealand. There were many photos in local media at the time - and she was on the cover of the Australian Woman's Weekly. She was cuddling a koala and wearing a blue cardigan to stop the koala's claws scratching her

Sabrina + koala

... and she had the biggest ever beehive hairdo. I mean we were all wearing big hairdos at that time, but hers was in a class of its own. She wore unfashionably long skirts and said it was because she was self conscious about her scarred leg ... made no secret of it at all. I do recall she wore a LOT of makeup which made her look rather tarty in the bright sunlight, and she looked bewildered much of the time.

Bullet 29 September 2002: The Reverend Hector Heat said:

A lot of time money and effort is wasted on research for cures for incurable diseases. These resources could be better utilised on a global scale for the betterment of the planet if they were channelled instead into finding a way of cloning Sabrina, so that we could all have one each.

Bullet 28 September 2002: Yil wrote:

In my youth, I was a surf life saver in Victoria, Australia. Sabrina graced us with her presence at a surf carnival. At one time she had photographs taken sitting on our surf boat. We had a little plaque made, "Sabrina Sat Here" and the date... it was a source of endless wonderment for many, many years.

Bullet 25 September 2002: Someone wrote to say:

Thank you for the GREAT Sabby pages. Oh how I remember her! I am 57 y.o. so you can understand that she was one of my first intros to the fairer sex. To see all the pics of her brings back the sweetest of memories. BAH to all the blatant sex of today. Her curves and beauty are still - WOW!

Bullet 8 September 2002: Ron wrote to say:

"I've enjoyed surfing through your wonderful Sabrina site and am sending you an exclusive pic taken at Woodend, Victoria, Australia, horse race meeting in 1959. That's me without the hat in case you're wondering. The other one is Sabrina, in the exact outfit she had worn to Royal Ascot previously. Sabrina's mother is looking over my shoulder, keeping an eye on things. Sabrina was a lovely lass, with no airs and graces.......very natural." Ron.

Sabrina and Ron

Ron also sent a scan of his prized Sabrinagraph... signed with his own Parker pen. Ron added:

Sabrina autographed card

Woodend races, 13 January 1959. I spent the afternoon with Sabrina, her mother and a young attractive Tivoli Theatre publicity girl. My task was to arrange photographs of Sabrina to be taken between 2.30pm and 4.05pm, taking the names of people snapped with Sabrina. She wore the same outfit she had worn at Royal Ascot, England two years previously, the last time she had been to a race meeting.

Her eye-catching dress had a deeply-cut square neckline, with much of her famous 41 inch bustline on show. Her enormous white picture hat made it difficult to speak to her without bending over. She chatted freely and was a most intelligent young lady. As we parted after the races, I shook her hand warmly and gazed bedazzled into her big blue eyes.

Bullet 22 July 2002: 'PLAINGOONCRAZY' wrote to say:

My uncle was a theatrical impressario in London in the fifties and sixties and he had many parties at his home in north London... I met Sabrina at one of these parties and she was very nice, very friendly and a great dancer !!! We had a couple of dances and a few drinks.. and that was all...but seeing her on your website just brought back some really pleasant memories. Thanks a lot... ex Londoner now living in Florida...and gooncrazy fan of neddy and company !!

Bullet 9 July 2002 : Chris of Melbourne wrote to say...

Loved your site. Have been trying to find out what happened to Sabrina for years. I remember well all the kerfuffle when Sabrina visited Melbourne. She opened the Grand Prix race around Albert Park. Sterling Moss etc competed. The Caltex ad was a big hit ! I have it on tape.

Sabrina and Stirling Moss 1958

Click the pic to see video of Sabrina at the Grand Prix with Stirling Moss [link fixed 17oct2018]

When I was a young lad living in Brighton (Melbourne) Sabrina stayed close by at a private hotel called "The Savoy", overlooking the beach. I remember a group of us cycling off from a cub meeting to the Savoy to glimpse her egress and ingress from the hotel. During her tour of Australia Sabrina and her manager pulled off many publicity stunts to keep interest in her alive and well. In one of them she faked a kidnapping in a boat off Brighton Beach. Keep up the research. Love to see those playing cards you mention ! Cheers, Chris

Bullet From http://www.goon.org/usgoons/ Thanks to Dick Baker!

Sabrina, born Norma Sykes in England had little trouble dominating the pinup scene of 1950s Britain. She was a pretty, dizzy blonde, possessor of a 41½-19-36 figure, famous for little more than her amazingly cantilevered self and her knack for publicity.

She was Britain's answer to Jayne Mansfield (or vice versa, depending on your allegiance), a kooky, impossibly top-heavy dish forever pigeonholed as a caricature. She proclaimed that she couldn't sing or dance or act , but she didn't really have to -- she played the dumb blonde on British TV's "Before Your Very Eyes."

It would be easy to dismiss Sabrina as a ditzy, no-talent bimbo with a physique bordering on the absurd, but that hardly does her justice. She was famous for nothing, and was easily the most noteworthy object in any room into which she floated.

Sadly overlooked today, the buxom Sabrina remains near and dear to all those who witnessed her splendor. She was truly a modern Colossus.

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