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Keyword: eccentrics

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  • Fr Sir Hugh Barrett-Lennard, Bt — obituary

    08/03/2007 7:22:33 PM PDT · by dighton · 17 replies · 1,321+ views
    Father Sir Hugh Barrett-Lennard, 6th Bt, who has died aged 89, was a greatly admired if highly eccentric priest of the London Oratory.Pursuing a busy and eclectic apostolate in Knightsbridge, he was a dedicated parish visitor, so unconcerned about his appearance that he sometimes wore odd shoes; thus attired he would knock firmly on the doors of rich and poor alike.He visited the Household Cavalry, and served as a chaplain to both the local St Thomas More school and the St Christopher cycling club, though his cassock occasionally became tangled in a bicycle wheel and had to be cut free....
  • Lesley Blanch — obituary (There’ll always be an England)

    05/13/2007 8:17:58 AM PDT · by dighton · 14 replies · 708+ views
    Lesley Blanch, who died on Monday aged 102, was the author of The Wilder Shores of Love, an enduringly popular account of the romantic fulfilment that four 19th-century European women found in Arabia; but her most romanticised creation was Lesley Blanch herself.Like the writer Pierre Loti, another of her subjects with whom she identified, Lesley Blanch preferred fantasy to truth and rarely distinguished between the two. She was an escapist; life was simply more entertaining as a product of the imagination. She revelled in the air of deliberate mystery around her, which was thickened by her remarkable account of her...
  • The Orientalist of Letchworth [on Adrian Fortescue, author of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite]

    04/28/2007 9:02:31 AM PDT · by TaxachusettsMan · 4 replies · 197+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | April 21, 2007 | Christopher Howse
    Adrian Fortescue was a very odd man. "A false laugh, an unwilling little discourtesy, any assumption of knowledge or for that matter of anything, any instance of woolliness of thought or defective reasoning, any uncouthness, affectation, hollowness of feeling, elaborateness of phrasing, any use of foreign tags or phrases, would be sufficient to induce in him a very hearty, unreasoning natural dislike." Yet thousands loved him. He spoke 11 languages, held three doctorates and hoped to be a professor of theology. Instead, 100 years ago, he founded the parish of St Hugh, Letchworth, the garden city started in 1903 in...
  • Ceclie Robinson — obituary

    02/09/2007 6:15:06 PM PST · by dighton · 7 replies · 519+ views
    Cecile Robinson, who has died aged 99, helped to save the Temple from being destroyed during the worst air raid of the Second World War.On the night of May 10 1941 more than 1,400 civilians were killed, 12,000 people were made homeless and the chamber of the House of Commons was destroyed. The Temple’s water mains were shattered and the Thames was at low ebb. Cecile Robinson’s husband Roy, sub-treasurer of the Inner Temple, was injured, but he continued to fight the fires.On seeing that the roof of their flat at 3 King’s Bench Walk was on fire, Cecile and...
  • Peter Gurney — obituary (There’ll always be an England)

    07/09/2006 5:25:37 PM PDT · by dighton · 15 replies · 603+ views
    Peter Gurney, who died on July 2 aged 68, was a campaigner for the rights and welfare of guinea pigs, and regularly brought the animals into the wards of Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the children called him “The Guinea Pig Man”.Born at Luton on March 9 1938, Peter Gurney was educated at Beech Hill Secondary Modern and did his National Service with the Navy. He then became a bus and lorry driver. His career as a guinea pig expert began when he was 48; he was twice divorced and facing redundancy when he bought a guinea pig from his...