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Civil servant leaves surprise six figure sum to drama school

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 August 2012

Actress Vanessa Redgrave visits Central School of Speech and Drama earlier this year

Actress Vanessa Redgrave visits Central School of Speech and Drama earlier this year

© 2011 Patrick Baldwin. All rights reserved.

A substantial "six figure legacy" has been left to Central School of Speech & Drama School by a passionate theatre lover who never attended but was impressed by their work.

Staff at the school, in Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, were completely taken by surprise when they learned that Nellie Watson, a civil servant who was born in 1918, had written the significant gift into her will. Miss Watson chose Central as the recipient of her generosity because she never received any support to develop her own talent and wished to give other students the opportunity.

Principal Gavin Henderson said: “We never knew her, and of course we wish we had, and will do all we can to ensure that she is remembered in upholding the spirit embodied in this remarkable bequest.”

The money will be awarded as a scholarship to budding performers who could not otherwise afford the tuition.

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