Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

RIP, continued

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu (1926-2015), aged 88. As "The Daily Telegraph" wrote: Lord Montagu was the founder of the National Motor Museum, a pioneer of the stately home movement and, as a hereditary member of the House of Lords, an active parliamentarian whose views on heritage and transport commanded widespread respect. He was a pillar of the British establishment and its fascinating reading the fulsome obiuaries.
His name became more widely known, however, through his involvement in what became known as “The Montagu Case”. In 1953 Montagu, although engaged to be married, was arrested on a charge of sexually assaulting a boy scout at his beach-hut on the shores of the Solent. The charges were thrown out, but shortly after his acquittal the young peer was re-arrested, together with his cousin, the Dorset landowner Michael Pitt-Rivers, and the diplomatic correspondent of the Daily Mail, Peter Wildeblood for offences with two airmen at his beach hut - it turned out to be an eventful weekend as at the time Britain was cracking down on homosexual activity following some sensational spy scandals. There was also concern about the criminality of sexual acts between consenting adults. Unlike the discredited boy scouts in the earlier case the aircraftmen were adults and at no time complained that they had been forced to commit any acts without their willing agreement, though to avoid prison they testified against the defendants. As a direct result of the case a committee of enquiry was set up under the chairmanship of Sir John Wolfenden and, after a lengthy delay, the law on homosexuality was eventually reformed in 1967.
The enterprising Lord was also a whizz PR man, launching that great boys' comic THE EAGLE in 1950 and when he inherited the family estate he turned it into one of the country's leading tourist attractions, starting what became the British Car Museum, and jazz festivals etc.He also became chairman of English Heritage. He married twice had several children,and never mentioned the sensational court case until he published his autobiography in 2000, but he was a firm believer in bisexuality, and certainly overcame that sensational court case which is covered more fully in my review of the 2007 telefilm made about it, A VERY BRITISH SEX SCANDAL, which was mainly about journalist Peter Wildeblood, also sent to prison with Lord Montagu.  
See label below: Wildeblood.

Dean Jones (1931-2015), aged 84. As a certain friend of mine is wont to say " ...... was not a great actor nor a great star", but not everybody has to be. There is a niche for popular players in commercial entertainment and Dean filled that nicely with all those popular Walt Disney films in the '60s and '70s. 

Herbert Wise (1924-2015) aged 90. British television director who helmed some great classics: I CLAUDIUS, ELIZABETH R, BREAKING THE CODE and lots of classic television series like INSPECTOR MORSE, THE BILL, RUMPOLE, TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED etc.  Right: Sian Phillips as Livia ("Don't touch the figs") in I CLAUDIUS.

Jack Gold (1930-2015), aged 85. British director who also tackled INSPECTOR MORSE and films like THE MEDUSA TOUCH, ACES HIGH, ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR, and classic television like THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT, ME AND THE GIRLS, Nicol Williamson's MACBETH, THE BOFORS GUN, THE NATIONAL HEALTH and more. Left: John Hurt as THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT.

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