Humorist, elocutionist, mimic, magician, ventriloquist and banjo soloist… Fred Carlton was an entertainer who came to this coast about 1894.
Known as Cousin Freddie, his troop of pierrots performed on St.Annes Pier for about ten years in the small band kiosk.
In 1904 he leased a clearing in the sand dunes from the Fairhaven Estate Company. A stage was erected, seating set out and this became a popular rendezvous for visitors known as Carlton’s Cosy Corner. The alfresco theatre was located roughly opposite Riley Avenue, near the present Beach Cafe & car park.
During inclement weather, the performances were held in the Public Hall in St.George’s Road.
In about 1908 a larger stage was erected.
By the 1930s Freddie’s Magpies were the troop at the Cosy Corner and it had moved to a site north of the pier.