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Morley boys Mar 25

Apropos of nothing, I thought I’d mention one of those passing (and very tenuous) Doctor Who/Liberal Party connections that one comes across from time to time.

Henry Ainley and Laurence Olivier in As You Like ItHenry Ainley was well known on the London stage at the beginning of the twentieth century. He made a few early ilms, including a silent version of The Prisoner of Zenda and As You Like It in 1936 (pictured right), his final film, which starred a young Laurence Olivier (with whom, it’s been claimed, Ainley had a brief fling) and John Laurie, who would later join Dad’s Army. Ainley grew up in Morley, Leeds and had several children, one of whom was Anthony Ainley, best known as the Master in 1980s Doctor Who (and was the first panellist I ever saw at a Who convention).

Also from Morley was sometime Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. Asquith lost his East Fife seat in the 1918 General Election but returned to the Commons in a 1920 by-election in Paisley. After that victory, Ainley sent him the following note:

This letter needs no acknowledgment please; it is merely a thanksgiving of congratulation from one Morley man to another; โ€œthe Lord hath wrought great glory.”

Google tells me the quote is from Ecclesiasticus, chapter 44. Ainley also performed a poem by Asquith’s son Herbert on BBC Radio in 1931.

Today, I am mostly channelling Jonathan Calder.

2 Responses

  1. 1
    Comments Ninja 

    Boring blog. Do not pass go. Do not collect two pounds thirty five.

    You have just been Ninjafied.

    [URL removed – W.]

  2. 2

    You’re so ainley retentive sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚