Tom Cleary grew up in a family of eleven in a house opposite the Theatre Royal. All his brothers and sisters, and himself and his mother, were involved in the Light Operas down through the years. He himself worked as a truck driver for a coal merchant in the town. His father and two of his brothers worked on the lightships and Tom recalls their work practices, and their survival for many weeks on these ships. He has fond memories of the actors in performances of ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.