Month: August 2014

Dr Alexander Cannon & Mountbatten’s Most Secret Report: Stranger than Fiction?

Following on from looking at The Relentless Gimmickry of Jimmy (Part 1) and his claims to be capable of mass hypnotism, a skill honed by a hypnotist he trained with on the Isle of Man –  and also a glimpse into one of Savile’s associates Lady Valerie Goulding’s messenger role for her father, Edward’s lawyer during the abdication  (later heading the CRC in Dublin and introducing Savile to Charles Haughey) I was interested to discover a newly published book concerning a previously unexplored hypnotist living on the Isle of Man and materials relating to his role in Edward’s abdication and others such as Dr Cosmo Lang, then Archbishop of Canterbury.

Alerted to the discovery of an MI5 file down the back of a police filing cabinet on the Isle of Man, Sean Stowell talked to those still alive who knew Dr Alexander Cannon and transcribed tapes to unravel a quite amazing story – and as he suggests, the tale of a wily Rasputin and the political machinations of courtiers manoeuvring him firmly out and a surprise role for the Isle of Man as surprise goat-starers’ central during WWII.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 23.16.31Dr Alexander Cannon  – The King’s Psychic (by Sean Stowell)

“Dr Cannon was the talk of the town on the island back then, just as he had been amongst the cocktail set in 1930s London high society, but no one in the island knew the real story about Cannon’s secret life before he left London. He had run a clinic for confidence building, treating nervous and even sexual disorders, on Harley Street, just yards from the clinic of Lionel Logue, the speech therapist who worked with George VI on his stammer.

He moved to Ballamoar Castle in the Isle of Man at the start of the war in 1939. His rich and famous followers, including some top brass of the military, were only too happy to make the journey all the way over to the island, not an inconsiderable journey in those days.

Decades later I was introduced via a totally different route to the world of Dr Cannon, namely through MI5 documents, official archives, history books and some very elderly people. They helped me piece together this Yorkshireman’s role in the 1936 abdication.

Dr Cannon was said to be a ‘master of black magic in England’ enjoying a powerful hold over the psychologically-ailing King Edward who suffered from drink and confidence problems.

Most people still believe the official story of the abdication: that Edward gave up the throne for the love of Mrs Simpson. But the documents and recordings I have seen and listened to not only reveal an Establishment plot to oust Edward (the key plotter was Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Cosmo Lang), but also reveal how the fascist far-right tried to subvert that plot which had Dr Cannon playing a central role.

Tape recordings transcribed in ‘The King’s Psychic’ describe how Edward’s fascist Blackshirt supporters claimed to have tried to expose Dr Cannon. They wanted to protect the only monarch they believed would ‘tackle the march of communism’.

After the abdication in December 1936, Dr Cannon did not disappear into the sunset – quite the opposite.

He moved to the island and continued practising his lucrative mystic brand of medicine and extended his sphere of influence to include many top rank military chiefs.

From the RAF base next to his clinic at Ballamoar Castle in the north of the island, he regularly flew to London. He was acting as an unofficial and ‘psychic guru’ to his believers, some of them based at Admiralty. He engineered bizarre experiments in telepathy which, incredibly, caught the attention of the highest ranks.

One such attempt to develop telepathic powers in a patient involved arranging a love affair between an aristocratic Special Operations Executive commander and Cannon’s beautiful young psychic assistant, Joyce de Rhonda. Match-maker Cannon believed communicating by telepathy would be far easier if the subjects were in love. They did fall in love – passionately so.

The Special Operations commander Sir Geoffrey Congreve tried to deploy his new telepathic ‘skill’ during a raid on a Nazi base in Norway. An Enigma code machine discovered during the mission was brought back to England to help break German codes. Rather ridiculously, Dr Cannon claimed the glory and the commander was called to celebrate the find at Downing Street.” (The Dr who dabbled in the Occult, Isle of Many Today, 16 August 2014)

Cannon’s beliefs re love and telepathy being easier for those romantically involved reminded me of a fascinating book claiming to give a first hand account of involvement in several SEO/Commando operations during WWII called ‘The Mountbatten Report – Most Secret – Christopher Robin goes to war‘.  This involved Churchill, his right-hand man Major Desmond Morton and Lord Mountbatten employing a young boy from a public school (there’s more than a whiff of a male version of Pygmalion and Professor Higgins with Eliza Doolittle) moulding him into the most perfect junior spy, licensed and trained to kill. Also recounted is the discovery of a method for the transmission of coded messages within music over public airwaves – something which I remember thinking at the time could look a lot like telepathy given the right spin on stage and prompted me to re-read parts of Ray Teret’s book detailing Savile’s percussive talents and practising the ‘Paradiddles’.

About the Author – Sean Stowell – Published by Great Northern Books

“Stowell, a BBC producer based in Leeds, has been working on the project on and off for the last 14 years. It started when he got a call from his father who lives on the Isle of Man. “His friend is an archivist and came across a file found in the back of a police filing cabinet where it had been for decades. Had it been found in London it probably would have just disappeared but because it was the Isle of Man it went into a public archive.”

The file in question was Dr Alexander Cannon’s MI5 file. “My dad said ‘you should have a look at this’ because he remembers Dr Cannon him from the 1950s, by which time he’d become something of a showbiz figure of fun.”

The file showed that Dr Cannon ran a lavish, if slightly odd, clinic at Ballamoar Castle on the Isle of Man where wealthy members of the upper classes came to see him with their various psychological ailments, ranging from battle stress to impotency. “Rich and famous people, those on the periphery of royalty would go and see him. There was all sorts of gossip on the Isle of Man about who would come for treatment,” says Stowell.”


Colney Hatch and Aleister Crowley’s Second Wife

Dr Cannon was a Yorkshire man who studied at Leeds University carrying out training at Leeds General Infirmary before fully qualifying in 1928, four years after graduating in 1924. From 1924 onwards Cannon was travelling abroad studying Beri-Beri in China and publishing in the British Medical Journal, taking his wife who he forces to endure many abortions before coming back to England and going through a divorce. He ends up working in Colney Hatch Asylum in Friern Barnet, near Arnos Grove North East London.

“In 1932 Crowley’s second wife Nicaraguan-born Maria Teresa Ferrari de Miramar, was admitted to Colney Hatch with Alcohol and mental health problems. His first wife, Rose Kelly, had also been committed to an asylum with alcoholic dementia. Clearly marriage to Crowley was hazardous.

Suffering from delusions that she was the daughter of the King and Queen (Crowley and Cannon both claimed to be reincardnations of King Henry VIII), Maria came under the care of Dr Cannon.

Cannon at Colney Hatch was first and foremost a hospital doctor while pushing an alternative lifestyle. Crowly wrote in his diary: ‘Cannon has rather a bug in his brain over hypnosis. He advised me to leave Maria severely alone. He agreed that the case is hopeless, even should sanity temporarily return.” [Loc 939]

As it Happens, Kelly, the surname of Crowley’s first wife was also Savile’s mother’s maiden name. Crowley tests out Dr Cannon’s ‘psychograph’ with poor results.

In 1933 Dr Cannon was sacked from Colney Hatch Mental Asylum and there was an unexplained 18 month gap in General Medical Council records before Dr Cannon re-emerged with enough money to enter into practice in Harley Street, a few doors down from Lionel Logue at no 146 Harley Street who had treated Bertie (Duke of York to become King George VI), Duke of Windsor’s younger brother, for his stammer ten years previously. If one was to pick up high society as clientele, Harley Street was the place to do it.

“Mirroring the MI5 file on Cannon, Compton says: “He vanished and no-one knows quite where he went until he came to number 22 to 24 Welbeck Street (in fact number 53) and a number of well-known people went to him for treatment.” [Loc 1665]


Harley Street, Edward VIII, Vienna

Dr Cannon had allegedly treated Edward for his alcoholism, first in Vienna

“Then Compton describes Edward’s problem in exactly the way Dr William Brown described it to Archbishop Lang: “Now it’s a well-known fact that when you drive one weakness such as a drug out of a person, another weakness takes its place… and the story told to me was whereas he was partly cured of drunkenness, he was wholly depending on a woman who had taken the place of that drink. Mrs Simpson first appeared in London life in October 1934, and by May 1935 she was being openly named in the lighter newspapers as the Prince of Wales’s girl. She ousted Mrs Dudley Ward in his affections and took complete possession of him. He would never make a decision without consulting Mrs Simpson. If she was not there he was quite helpless and when he called for her and she was not there he would threaten suicide. He simply could not be without it – or her – I should say.”

Compton laughed, embarrassed by his faux pas.”

“Unaffected by convention, Edward alarmed politicians by wading in with a comment that ‘something should be done’ about unemployment and poverty in South Wales following a highly publicised-visit.” [Loc 1287]

“After Edward’s visit to poverty stricken Wales in November 1936, not long before the Edward and Mrs Simpson crisis hit the headlines, one executive of the Daily Mail wrote: “The suggestion has been made that Edward could, if he wished, make himself the Dictator of the Empire. Some minds see in his South Wales activity and brusqueness a sign that he may yet dominate the politicians.” [Loc 1692]

Compton’s recording:

It is possible to guess that it was the Imperial Policy Group, a right-wing group of appeasers which argued that Britain should stay out of European conflicts, most certainly appease and work with Hitler, but concentrate on its empire and rebuild Britain’s economic and political power via the colonies.

He says there were some extremely notable, but absent, supporters who only ever sent their minions to meetings: “It was quite the most influential moevement so far as prominent people are concerned. It occupied one floor of what was known as British Industries House, which was at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street. When I last passed it I saw it was the C&A building. Who financed it I am not quite sure. One of the men who did was Sir Harry Brittain (wealthy former politician and journalist.) The movement was designed to strengthen or links with the colonies and to avert the coming war.

It was supported in an underground way by Nevill Chamberlain… he was not a great man of course: he meant well, but he was rather weak and never dared appear there… The man we had to deal with was Sir Charles Morgan Webb… Charmberlain’s financial adviser to the House of Lords.” In the recording, he gives a unique view on why the Blackshirts had put so much hope in the man they hoped would be leader.

“The Germans certainly believed Edward was going to form an alliance with them when he became King. Ribbentrop said as much at an Anglo German dinner which was attended by Edward when he said at the end, “I think we should need a dictator here before long.” That was all interpreted as going along the same Nazi line.”

British Industries House now houses the Primark Flagship shop in London.

Stowell’s book goes into a lot of detail over the actions of main players in the abdication such as Dr Cosmo Lang the Archbishop of Canterbury which I haven’t even covered here, although important.

The 1939 move to the Isle of Man

The Island’s Governor was Admiral Lord Granville (1880-1953), who was married to Lady Rose, elder sister of the Queen Mother, and Admiral Lord Granville was very concerned about Dr Cannon. Presumably gossip about those being treated at Cannon’s Clinic for Nervous Diseases in his castle next to an RAF base could find a way back to King George VI via this route. However it appears Cannon had the attention and utmost faith of two key people: Sir Roger Keyes and Commander Cosgreve.

“Following the abdication crisis he might easily have slipped off the radar, but instead he became an influential figure with the Admiralty for a time. “He convinced them there was value to be had in the paranormal.”

Stowell says Dr Cannon promoted himself as a kind of psychic guru and employed two sisters, who he made change their names to Joyce and Rhonda da Rhonda, to become his ‘psychic’ assistants. He set up a clinic on the Isle of Man where he continued practising his highly lucrative and mystic brand of medicine.

He acted as an unofficial and very secret “psychic guru” to a select group of people, including some based at the Admiralty and engineered some bizarre experiments in telepathy. One such attempt involved encouraging a love affair between an aristocratic Special Operations Executive (SOE) commander and one of his young assistants, as he believed telepathy would work better if the subjects were in love.

The commander, who was also an SOE commando trainer, tried to deploy his new telepathic ‘skill’ during a raid on a Nazi base in Norway. An Enigma code machine discovered during the mission was brought back to England to help break German codes. Dr Cannon claimed the glory and the commander was called to celebrate the find at Downing Street.” [The Curious Case of Dr Cannon, 8 May 2014, Yorkshire Post]

Cosgreve was the SEO Commander who had fallen in love one of Cannon’s sister assistants, Joyce, who at 22, was just under half his age. Stowell includes many journal entries from Cosgreve  who was convinced that his telepathy was improving when he sent messages to Joyce, although they were never so good as when Joyce sent him messages – he got them right a lot more often. Funny that.

Mid July 1940 Sir Roger Keyes had been appointed as Director of Churchill’s new baby – ‘Combined Operations’; the Commandos.[loc 2868]

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 22.19.04

SEO Training at Inverailot House (just over an hour away from Glencoe)

22 July 1940 – Special Operations Executive was founded with the training centre set up a Inverailot Castle in the north of Scotland (just over an hour from Glencoe on the West coast of Scotland)  – this was where Eric Sykes and William Ewart Fairbairn were training men in the art of hand to hand combat

“Such was Savile’s admiration of the marines, he was buried clutching his Green Beret, in his gold-painted coffin, which was angled overlooking the sea at Scarborough.

He was awarded the honorary title after Savile and his brother Vince, then a serving officer with the Royal Navy, completed the marine’s arduous 30-mile speed march test over Dartmoor, which must be done in eight hours while carrying 30lbs of kit.

After Savile’s death, his possessions were auctioned for charity.

Among items going under the hammer was his Royal Marines’ flying suit, bearing his name Jimmy Savile OBE, and a bottle of 15-year-old single Highland malt from the Officers’ Mess at the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre, Lympstone.

When Savile died, just days short of his 85th birthday, he was carried by Royal Marine pallbearers.” [Royal Marines erase memory of Jimmy, 19 October 2012, Exmouth Journal]

Jimmy Savile in sex assaults at Marine base [Daily Star 2 July 2013]

Sir Jimmy Savile’s Commando Training Exclusive [ Yorkshire Evening Post, 4 November 2011]


The Final Mountbatten Report – Most Secret – Christopher Robin goes to War

“This report was requested by Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1976. It was not released by the Mountbatten Library so the original author passed it to the publishers thirty years later, citing the wishes of Mountbatten.

This is the story of Churchill, Morton, Mountbatten and Ian Fleming’s Paladin – who from the age of 15 1/2 was a contract killer carrying out some of the great deceptions that turned World War Two.”

I hadn’t paid too much attention to this book mainly because of the website and style of marketing, which isn’t fair to the contents or the narrative style. What struck me was the author’s love of Whitby due to being in the sea scouts at Ampleforth College (the importance of Scarborough and its coastline to Savile is never far from my mind due to his choice of burial location and position in highlighting this to us), and the alleged use of child spies at top schools who had schoolfriends with influential and important fathers key to the direction of the phoney war before Hitler invaded Norway and Denmark, possibly picked because their own fathers or mothers genes had shown ‘good breeding’ for such lethal undercover missions or held positions within a close circle that could be relied upon for discretion. Major Desmond Morton, the subject of Gill Bennett’s Churchill’s Man of Mystery, was selecting children in his care during the 1930s to be trained for daring missions on the declaration of war in September 1939?

This book claims to be a first-person report requested to be written by Churchill and Lord Mountbatten, written by John Ainsworth-Davis, the son of Jack (also John) Ainsworth-Davis, a Welsh Olympic Gold medal winner of 1920 Antwerp who later becomes a a Urological surgeon with a house at 69 Harley Street during the 1930s. Jack got his pilot wings in WWI and went to Cambridge the year after the war ended and there became a very popular chap who was also an excellent musician and scholar, setting up a jazz band with turns from comedians the Hulbert brothers and even Lord Mountbatten as a 19 year old getting involved on the drums . He would also no doubt have been a very useful chap to know if one needed some confidential help with one’s genito-urinary functions especially any form of sexually transmitted diseases contracted.


A missing author?

The royalties are being kept for the author to claim.

John Ainsworth-Davis, post – 2003, pre-2007

“As I had been involved in many things, my records have never been released, indeed every effort was made to wipe them from the face of the earth – shredding, burning, sometimes skilfully changing the original typescripts or replacing them with forged files that tell a different story.

photographs were obliterated and the negatives hunted down to oblivion.”

[Loc 101]

From Wikipedia:

The author’s father was John Creyghton Ainsworth-Davis (23 April 1895 in Aberystwyth, Wales – 3 January 1976 in Stockland, Devon) was a Welsh athlete. Aged 25, he had won a gold medal in the 4×400 relay at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920. He competed rarely after 1920 to concentrate on his medical career. He became a urological surgeon and Secretary of the Royal Society of Medicine. During World War II he was head of the surgical division of the RAF hospital at RAF Cosford.[1]


23 April 1895: Jack A-D born in Aberystwyth Wales

pre-WWI (1914): JAD’s father goes to study German at the Lyceum school in Metz for a year and meets Ribben trop as a fellow pupil. Both are accomplished violin players and share a passion for music.

1914-1918: Aged 19 Jack A-D serves in RFC and gets his pilot’s wings which he later wears with pride:

“My father had been in the Royal Air Force since the outbreak of the war as a surgical consultant and since he had been a pilot in the RFC in the First World War, he was particularly proud to wear pilot’s wings on his uniform – something most unusual in the RAF Medical Service.” [Loc 1785]

“While serving as an operational pilot with the Royal Flying Corps during World War One, A-D had met Major Morton. They became good friends and Morton introduced A-D to Lieutenant-Colonel Winston S. Churchill, who had just relinquished his post as First Lord of the Admiralty and was now commanding a battalion of the line.”

These meetings had resulted in Morton being able to arrange for our family to live in Chartwell Cottage in 1932. A-D also knew that Morton abrogated his position as my father by establishing himself as my ‘stepuncle.'”[Loc 2906]

1919:  A 24 year old Jack Ainsworth Davis, went up to Christ’s College, Cambridge to read medicine. There at the same time, sponsored by the Royal Navy, was the nineteen year old Sub-Lieutenant Lord Louis Mountbatten as well as Bertie (later King George VI) who studied history, economics and civics for a year at Trinity College Cambridge.

Friendship with him bought my father into the circle of two other privileged undergraduates, the Duke of York (later King George VI) and his younger brother Henry (later Duke of Gloucester) both cousins of Mountbatten. When my father won a gold medal at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920, Mountbatten back with the Royal Navy had congratulated him from afar.” In a latter written just before he was killed, Mountbatten said that he had ‘admired my father greatly.’

“At Cambridge, my father, ‘A-D’ as everybody called him, had proved himself to be an outstanding sportsman and Olympic champion, and also a fine scholar and musician.

At Cambridge, with his Quinquaginta jazz band, he had attracted stars of the calibre of Noel Gay (R.W. Armitage) on the piano together with Claude Hulbert and his brother Jack – and on occasion Mountbatten pounded on the drums. Later A-D played grieg’s violin concerto under the baton of Sir Adrian Boult.

  • John’s parents get married – no date?
  • [1922?]: Mary A-D born? John’s elder sister
  • 1924: John A-D is born? Jan/Feb?
  • 1930: Major Desmond Morton formed the Industrial Intelligence Centre, an allegedly commercial body which was in reality a cover for his major preoccupation – the founding and runnning of M Section (M for Morton) an ultra-secret intelligence organisation, finance and protected against government control by successive monarchs – George V, Edward VIII, and George VI

“In the early days, Morton directed the Section from an office in London and from his home on Crockham Hill near Westerham in Kent, with the enthusiastic support of his friend and ally, Winston Churchill, who lived just below him in the Vale of Chartwell [ 1mile north-east]”. Morton had known both of JAD’s parents because he persuaded them to convert to Roman Catholicism.

“Desmond Morton – my stepuncle and guardian when my father left my mother and remarried – Uncle Desmond, the staunch Roman Catholic – the kind generous scholarly man, the man I had admired and loved – the man who looked after me like a son – the close friend and colleague of the Reverend. C. C. Martindale, the crusading Jesuit priest … Major Desmond Morton who had a bullet which the surgeons though too dangerous to remove – the man who could not marry because of the risk of sudden unpredicatable death … and now he was asking me, no, ordering me, to murder, no kill, two quite innocent people, in the name of – of …” [Loc 3281]

  • 1932: Parents separate and divorce. Father Jack remarries and moves to 69 Harley Street. Jack A-D’s clients include Bud Flanagan and two of The Crazy gang, ‘nervo and Knox’ . “It seemed that he ran a Urological clinic for The Crazy Gang”. [Loc 3632]

  • Summer early 1932: Hitler about to become German Chancellor. JAD is 8 (b. 1924?). Living in a cottage on edge of Chartwell Estate Morton has found his mother, two sisters older Mary, younger Jennifer. He meets Churchill who lives on Chartwell Estate.

The College and Abbey of St Benedict and St Laurence – halfway up N Yorkshire moors at the village of Ampleforth, College Sea Scouts at Whitby, Headmaster Father Paul Nevill OSB. JAD’s parents divorce and Morton becomes his ‘guardian and ‘Uncle’. [Loc 324]

  • 1934: JAD and family move from Chatwell to Longparish
  • 1936: JAD’s father, a urologist, treats Ribbentrop ‘for some minor ailment’ [Loc 515] Ribbentrop takes the 12 year old JAD on a visit to the zoo in Regent’s Park and to several Rugby internationals perhaps to say thanks.

“The first time I saw him, when I was a child in 1936, he was the German Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. Then I was looking out of the window in my father’s house at 69 Harley Street and a great black car drove up, swastikas flying all over the place and great thugs of uniformed guards leaping about all round him.” [Loc 761]

Cardinal George Hume and Heath’s Deputy Speaker’s son

  • summer 1939 a last rugby match with senior boy George Hume, the Captain of School Rugby at Ampleforth College [Loc 256]

“George Hume was later to enter the Abbey, and become a priest taking the name of ‘Father Basil’. From that day, I didn’t see George Hume until thirty-five years later when I went to see him to confess my sins – and feel his heeling (sic) hand on my head” [Fn 1: Today we mourn him as the late Cardinal Basil Hume Archibishop of Westminster. Our fathers were surgeons and friends (his opthalmic, mine urological) and our sisters were at school together – at the convent of St Mary’s Ascot, where Mother Ignatius and her dedicated nuns held strict benevolent sway.]”

Suggests John Ainsworth-Davis saw Cardinal Hume in 1974/75 and confessed to him when he was nearing or just 50 years old. On 3 January 1976 Jack  Ainsworth-Davis had died according to Wikipedia so it’s possible the period before may have been one of reflection if JA-D was aware his father was going to die. In 1976 it is stated Mountbatten requests the report to be written. In 1975 the son of the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Harvington – a monk and mountaineer Piers Grant-Ferris – was said to be known to Hume as an abuser of young boys (a sadistic beater with all manner of excuses to inflict sexually motivated punishment) before Hume took on appointment as Archbishop of Westminster in 1976:

“A former officer in the Irish Guards, Piers Grant-Ferris seemed to represent all the values of his late father, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons during Ted Heath’s Government and member of a prominent English Roman Catholic family.

But the younger Grant-Ferris, who once boasted that only his faith had saved him when he became lost in the Andes without food, had desires which were anything but godly.

His secret past as a serial abuser of young boys at Ampleforth was in stark contrast to the life in which he appeared to be living up to the traditions of a spotless family name.

His father Lord Harvington was regarded as a member of the squirearchy, the former backbone of the Tory party – for which politics was a public duty rather than a career.

Lord Harvington was born plain old Robert Ferris, the son of a GP, Dr Robert Francis Ferris. But as a young man he decided to acquire a double-barrelled name by hyphenating his middle name, Grant, to the Ferris.

After starting out in a family estate agent’s business, he began a career in politics by being elected to Birmingham City Council. Later he was called to the Bar and became the Tory MP for St Pancras North.

But his early political career took second place to his role as a fighter pilot in the RAF Reserves in Warwick. When war broke out he was called up and was soon promoted to wing commander, seeing action in Malta, the Middle East, and Europe.

He re-entered politics, becoming Tory MP for Nantwich from 1955 to 1974. In 1970 he was appointed Deputy Speaker and chairman of the Commons Ways and Means Committee.

However, it was probably his religious credentials that led to him becoming the only Tory MP to have been both knighted and created a life peer by Labour.

He was knighted in 1969, sworn onto the Privy Council in 1971, and created a life peer by Wilson after leaving the Commons in 1974 to retire to Jersey.

Life in Jersey revolved around hunting, golf, motor yachting, and farming. Lord Harvington was also a noted breeder of pedigree sheep and former president of the National Sheep Breeders Association. Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher and her husband were among the guests on his yacht.

There were even plans for a summer cruise with the Thatchers around northern France a year before the couple entered Downing Street. It was cancelled when the French police said they could not guarantee the party’s security.” [Ampleforth child abuse scandal hushed up by Basil Hume, 18 November 2005, The Yorkshire Post]

It’s now remarkable to think of Thatcher being courted on 3 successive holidays in 1977, 1978 and 1979 by Lord Margadale on the Isle of Islay, while his self-confessed ‘pederast’ son Sir Peter Morrison was hovering for a role in government and then to learn that Lord Harvington, (whose child abusing son had been neatly despatched to quieter climes in Workington, Cumbria by George Hume before becoming Archbishop), was also hosting Thatcher on holiday in Jersey.

“The abbey of Ampleforth, and the school which almost entirely surrounds it, has stood in a remote valley near Thirsk in North Yorkshire for 200 years. The school educates the children of many of Britain’s wealthiest and most influential Roman Catholic families.

The Benedictine community running the abbey and the school says its mission is the “spiritual, moral and intellectual” education of children who will become “inspired by high ideals and capable of leadership”.

“Cardinal Hume spent most of his life at Ampleforth, arriving as a pupil at the age of 10 and leaving only when appointed Archbishop of Westminster in 1976, at the age of 52. In between, he was a novice, then a monk, was ordained, was a housemaster and taught rugby.

After his election as abbot in 1963 he was responsible for running the school as well as the abbey, and police say they have established that by 1975 he was aware of the risk that at least one monk, Father Piers Grant-Ferris, posed to pupils. Yesterday Grant-Ferris, 72, pleaded guilty at Leeds crown court to abusing 15 boys at Ampleforth’s prep school over a nine-year period up to 1975. Some of these boys, boarders aged between eight and 10, were beaten for his sexual gratification.” Silence and secrecy at school where child sex abuse went on for decades: Yesterday’s revelations cast a cloud over the late Cardinal Hume’s former role at a top Catholic college (The Guardian, 18 November 2005)


Sir Jimmy Savile causes anguish at the Athenaeum: The late Cardinal Basil Hume is being held responsible for the election of Sir Jimmy Savile as a member of the Athenaeum, the historical Pall Mall establishment (The Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2012)

“It was Cardinal Basil Hume, at the time the Archbishop of Westminster, who put this character up for membership, and, while we did give consideration to blackballing Savile, we knew that would have had to result in something that could not be countenanced – Hume stepping down.”

Savile had to wait only two months before being admitted to the club in 1984.

“It’s a considerable thrill for someone like me to be able to rub shoulders with the fascinating people who use the Athenaeum,” the disc jockey said. “I hope to go there once a week and have lunch or dinner with the object of speaking to people like ex-prime ministers.”

The cardinal had introduced Savile to Pope John Paul II when he visited Britain in 1982. Of Savile’s election to the Athenaeum, the cardinal’s spokesman noted: “He is a great admirer of what Jimmy has done for young people – and Stoke Mandeville – and is delighted to help in this matter.”

“Just a friend of the children of the house, inviting no suspicions whatever.”

Desmond Morton arrives to take JAD to London to meet Churchill, he is 15 1/2.  Churchill is about to be appointed the First Lord of the Admiralty – the Political Head of the British Royal Navy – ‘Hello Tigger’ I said – John recognises him as the man from his childhood in Chartwell.

  • September 1939 – April 1940: Enters into Dartmouth and 7 months later in emerges as a 16 year old acting Midshipman, the equivalent to a Second Lieutenant in the Army or an Ensign in the United States Navy.

John AD was a school friend of Prince Paul of Belgium and in the same house at Ampleforth with Prince Jean of Luxembourg “Just a friend of the children of the house, inviting no suspicions whatever.” [Loc 608]

“I had to make use of Paul, that was obvious. I would have to ignore our mutual trust and with ruthless deceit turn that trust to my own ends – though it wasn’t for my own ends, but those of perfidious Albion – or so I believed … or was this ruthless deciet something deeply imbedded in my character? Something Churchill had noticed in the Nurse Dorothy bicycle brake episode?” [Loc 657]

Rigs up wireless radio transmitter (B Mark II Transciever) wrapping 70ft aerials and relays details of conversations overheard between Ribbentrop and various Belgian . Back in his Sea Scout uniform JAD takes to cycling around Belgium for 2 weeks on reconnaissance missions.

  • 27 May – 4 June 1940: JAD Gets caught up in Dunkirk evacuation to get back to UK. Early June 1940 – the Winchelsea destroyer had saved his life hauling him up from the water of the English Channel.

Back in England, reports to Morton at 74, Eton Avenue, off Swiss Cottage. 69 Harley Street has been turned into Government hostel for officers in the women’s services. Full of Wrens, WAAFs and ATS – Women’s Royal Naval Service Auxiliary Territorial Service and Auxiliary Air Force were known as.

“I was taken through a garage close to the end of College Cresecent in Finchley Road. It led to a secretive looking doorway with two Guards inside…

I realised that we myst be on Royal Naval Territory and indeed we were entering the basement underneath a big block of flats called ‘Northways’. For this ordinary looking building was now ‘HMS Northways’ the headquarters of the Flag Officer Submarines, who controlled all the boats (as submarines are known in the Senior Service) of the Royal Navy.”

  • Summer term 1940: Sent back to school (it has been arranged with Headmaster Paul Neville that absences are not recorded and JAD remains registered at school until aged 18 spends August 1940 Co. Donegal, Ireland with friend Patrick cycling around Gweebarra Bay. German U-Boats were re-fuelling, re-fitting and changing crews on the North West Coast of Ireland with the full co-operation of the irish Republic and the Government itself it was believed. The German U-boats were attacking convoys of from British port up teh Irish Sea to join Royal Navy escorts from HMS Ferrret – the Londonderry base on the river Foyle.
  • October 1940: Return to Long parish Hampshire, meets Lord Mountbatten visiting from nearby Broadlands and barrister (later Lord) Tom Denning.
  • Joins as Commando Officer in Special Operational Intelligence, “which (unlike your ordinary unarmed civilian spy) meant that we were service personnel highly trained to attack and kill. But all that was for later and at this moment my task was to learn the kills of a secret agent and in particular the art of ‘cover’.” [Loc 2696]
  • 5 December 1940: Joins RAF as real self John Davis – Number 2 Initial Training Wing of the RAF had taken over more than half the Colleges of Cambridge University.
  • “Signalling was one of my things, I had adored it since I was a lowly Sea Cub Scout of eight. when I upgraded to the school Sea Scout outfit, the Troop Leader, one Martin Fitzalan-Howard, Lord and grandson of the Duke of Norfolk and I, were two of the capricious young lunatics responsible for acquiring a radio transmitter….
  • picked up  a lot of RAF and Admiralty signals which was competely and utterly forbidden, especially with war looming.
  • Summer 1941: Order from Major Morton to report to the main operational headquarters of M seciotn  – Royal Naval shore base and officially part of Combined Operations , located in a large country house hidden in 30 acres of land close to Chichester, not far from Portsmouth on the south coast.
  • Friday 28 November 1941 – Commander in RNVR – 3 and a half years later at the end of the war John A-D woud learn this was Ian Fleming.
  • 7 December 1941: After Japanase attack on pearl harbour, destroyed Dutch submarine and crew who had witnessed
  • Desmond Morton’s M Section Special Operational Intelligence HQ, operating under cover of a Combined Operations Royal Navy base had both men and women in training – mostly Royal Navy and Wrens – women sailors , if you like” [Loc 3221]
  • Aged 17, JA-Dm eets a Wren Third Officer at a dance who he falls in love with – Patricia Falkiner, a friend of his sister Mary’s at St Mary’s under Mother Ignatius,

 “I’ve never hear anyone play the piano like you,” she whispered.

I was lulled into open sincerity. “Don’t fall for my gimmicks,” I said: “The piano and all the rest. Everyone goes for those. At time I hate the bloody piano. Some people always think I’m showing off. Look at me. Aren’t I sensational! But it wasn’t true. I loved playing for people and having them enjoy it. FOr their dances, their entertainments, their songs.”

The lovely lady was listening quietly and politely.

“But you have no gimmicks’, I went on, “because you don’t need them – you’ve got everything without them.”

16 March 1942: Reports aboard HMS Collingwood a shore training base just outside Fareham not far from Portsmouth [4 miles NW]. Meets The Crazy gang and plays piano as a stand-in during time in RNVR here.

1942- Told he is to make contact with Admiral Wilhem Canaris the head of the german Intelligence Service known as the Abwehr.

S.M.T.T. ‘Secret Musical Telephony Transmission’

Patricia and John meet again at Combined Operations,  having a drink at the bar ‘The Jokers Club’

“Just about 15 minutes before we left an extraordinary thing happened that was to revolutionise certain aspects of secret operational transmissions.”

Patricia goes to the bar to get drinks while John continues playing the piano. She comes back with a lager for him at which he’s surprised she knew how he wanted one and she points out he’d been transmitting it percussively in the way he was paying the piano so that

“i realised that subconsciously within the music, I had introduced a separate percussive accompaniment: .-.. / .’ / –./. / .-. // – and was repeating it through the song. Experts in Wireless Telegraphy will have no difficulty in receiving the word: ‘lager’. It is very hard to believe, and difficult to explain but we had stumbled onto how a Morse signal can be incorporated into ordinary music – for ordinary it must be. No one must suspect a message is being sent.” [Loc 3850]

“The ideas was so simple that we found it hard to believe that no one had used it already, especially as the World Service of the BBC was daily heading its broadcasts to occupied Europe with the opening bards of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – ‘dit dit dit da, dit dit dit da’ – the Morse for ‘V for Victory’.

“With the tightest of security, our idea was enthusiastically taken up by the secret intelligence section of the BBC and used for its secret transmissions from Caversham, Many vital messages for our agents in Europe, which could not have been sent in code or in poems, went out on the air both instrumentally and vocally. It was used in France by the S.O.E. with considerable success. Incredibly, few of the people involved knew what a service they were rendering to the Allies’ secret war. Even Vera Lynn, the Forces’ Sweetheart, sang on without realising what the pulse of her delivery contained.” [Loc 3864]


6 June – September 1944: In hospital, late 1944/1945 released to HMS Fervent – is severely tortured having been given a dummy cyanide capsule and told the wrong information for the D-Day invasion so that Hitler is convinced Pay de Calais

Patricia Falkiner is killed. Morton explains to JA-D who Patricia was in relation to him.

“She was an only child. Her parents were Canadian, but both were killed in a car accident in the thirties. Because they’d been good friends of mine, I arranged for the girl to be brought to England, She lived with other friends who became her guardians.”

late September 1944: Churchill “You have been the eyes and ears of my secret war, and the forever brave and loyal Galahad and the leading knight of my secret warriors.”


A fictional or true account?

I’d need those with a better understanding of the history of WWII to read the book and give their opinions and reasoning as to how much of this 2006 published account can be correlated with what is now known. As information continues to surface on Churchill’s Secret War from superficial digging on my part it sounds as if various parts of JA-D’s account are being upheld – The Head of German Intelligence Abwehr Admiral Canaris’ role in trying to oust Hitler and also knowledge of Japan’s plans to bomb Pearl Harbour, the suppression of which is the reason for JA-D being sent on a two murder missions but who knows when that was known widely enough to inform an otherwise fictional spy story? If it was to be considered true my first question is were there others like Patricia and John who were attending other schools with fellow sons of influential European or American figures who were told to get invites home during the holidays?

Also as a Urologist having been clever enough to remove Genito- as a reminding suffix from their professional title John’s father sounds necessarily discreet so it’s a surprise that it’s John’s mother who is told more of the nature of his spying activities than his father, who is not trusted as something of a blabber mouth. Would a blabber mouth Urologist treating star clients on Harley Street retain many clients for long?

Ten years earlier in 1996 the author had published ‘Operation J.B – The Last Great Secret of The Second World War’:

“There is a lot to spoil. Simon & Schuster has paid a pounds 500,000 advance for Ainsworth-Davis’s story, modestly titled Op J.B. – The Last Great Secret of The Second World War, which appears on 2 September, and the company is laying down a thunderous barrage of hype. The initial print run is between 50,000 and 100,000 copies, the film rights have already been sold for pounds 1m, a nationwide publicity campaign is being orchestrated, the wholesalers have named it their book of the month, and it already features in at least two Christmas book catalogues.

But then, there is a lot to hype. It is the seemingly fantastic aspects of Op J.B. which Simon & Schuster hopes will overcome reader resistance to yet another “Bormann did not die in the bunker” story (The Daily Express once briefly found him alive in Argentina).

Ainsworth-Davis, who writes under the pen-name Christopher Creighton, asks us to believe that Hitler’s private secretary and head of the Nazi administrative machine, who was sentenced to death in his absence by the Nuremburg War Crimes tribunal in 1946, was saved from the gallows by a secret agreement between Churchill, Roosevelt and King George VI.

This was done, he says, by a British commando raid of unequalled derring- do on Berlin itself as the Red Army closed in, code-named “Operation James Bond” and led by the future creator of the eponymous agent; its purpose was to facilitate Bormann’s signature on documents which alone could release the many millions of pounds worth of Nazi gold held by Swiss banks.

Britain’s alleged dealings with this booty are the subject of a Government inquiry announced only last week by the Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind; Ainsworth-Davis’s contention is that much was indeed recovered and restored to the governments which were its rightful owners.”


“The forces are massed on either side. The preparations are almost complete and zero hour approaches. The last great propaganda battle of the Second World War is about to explode … around the fate of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s lieutenant.

Not only that: the man in charge of the commando raid that captured him in Berlin on the last day of the war was none other than Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, according to the man telling the tale, John Ainsworth-Davis, a colourful and imaginative character who claims he was second-in-command.

Far-fetched? The military author Charles Whiting certainly thinks so and, in a “spoiling” operation more common to rival newspapers than to publishing houses, he has written his own account of Bormann’s end, which firmly puts him dead in the ruins of Berlin. His book is timed to hit the bookshops first.” Did Bond save Bormann? Publishers prepare to be shaken, but not stirred: Peter Muller on claims that Hitler’s lieutenant was rescued by Tommies … led by Ian Fleming (4 August 2006 The Independent)


Dit Happens…?

“Occasionally, Morse Code has musically “seeded” songs. The rhythm track of “Lucifer,” the opening instrumental on the Alan Parsons Project’s 1979 concept album, “Eve,” is constructed on the Morse Code pattern which spells the album’s title. And Rush famously used the Morse Code characters for “YYZ” to create the odd rhythm of that song. (“YYZ” is the Morse Code signal for the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, and the inspiration to use the code snippet came to Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson, who is a licensed pilot.)

More than once, Morse Code has been used to plant naughty words and messages in a song. In 1967, the psychedelic group Pearls Before Swine used Morse to spell a common epithet starting with the letter “F” in the chorus of their “(Oh Dear) Miss Morse.” And 23 years later, Mike Oldfield would send a rude personal message (using the same epithet!) to Richard Branson, the owner of Oldfield’s record label, Virgin Records, on the track, “Amarok.” That may seem shocking, but what can I say? Dit happens.” [Craven’s Notes; How Morse Code has made its mark in music, The Post Indepdendent.  18 September 2003]

In summer and autumn 1990 when Savile was 64 and received his knighthood he had wooed a woman who at 46, he’d first tried to seduce when he’d been 31 and she was 13. Leeds painter Avril Morris was living in large stone Victorian house by Roundhay Park where her studio was, and their paths would cross, sometimes he’d be in the Canal Gardens Cafe. She reluctantly invites him to see her paintings at her house with “OK but I don’t want to be pounced on.”

Savile gives great respect for her work. They date for a few months. Hers is a very private glimpse into Savile as kind of aesthete and spiritual guru that I haven’t encountered in my reading much else. Is this real emotion?

“It was fun and life was surreal. He would take me out for dinner in the Range Rover and send me coded messages over the radio.

My bedroom, though now more minimal was done in lots of Victorian lace drapes and he loved it. The night before he was to be knighted, he was sitting on my bed completely in the raw and began softly crying. He said his life was so amazing and he didn’t want to die and leave all this. I held him close. I loved him. I still love him.

He told me had survived a very near-death illness as a child and so he believed in miracles and I believe this was the driving force that gave him his healing aura, his ability to instil hope, his magical spiritual strength. I see him as a priest, a doctor, a healer of bodies and souls. His amazing work lives on through his visionary donations to hospitals and charities.”[How’s About That Then: Authorised Biography of Jimmy Savile, Alison Bellamy, 2012 Loc 2391]

Battle of the Courtiers? A grudge-match beyond death: Lord Lambton vs Lord Mountbatten

photo 1 (17) The Mountbattens by Antony Lambton (1973, 1979, 1989 & ‘The Canadian Publishers’)

Lord Lambton vs. Lord Mountbatten

Three years into Edward Heath’s run as Prime Minister, on 22 May 1973  Minister Lord Lambton, Parliamentary under secretary for Defence (RAF) resigned as Conservative MP for Berwick-Upon-Tweed, his constituency for almost 22 years. This triggered a by-election which the Liberal party’s Alan Beith won, (who’d previously fought Lambton and lost in 1970 election) joining the small number of Liberal MPs that  as the ‘joke’ went, could all fit in a taxi together

Lambton’s scandal was exposed in the News of the World with smoky sepia-tint photos of him in bed with two prostitutes, (presumably as a result of the night photo lens Colin Levy the shadowy special services executive married to S&M prostitute Norma)

“In May 1973 he was exposed by conman Colin Levy, who used a camera hidden behind a peephole in a mirror to photograph the peer in bed with the conman’s prostitute wife Norma Levy, 26, and another woman Kim Pinder, at their flat in Maida Vale. Audio recordings were made using a microphone hidden in a teddy bear’s nose next to Norma’s bed.

It emerged that Norma, known as The Nun, had been part of a 15-strong ring of prostitutes run by society madam Jean Horn, whose clients included Lord Jellicoe, Leader of the House of Lords, who was also forced to resign” [Sex Scandal Lord’s family at war over Lambton estate (Daily Express 11 October 2013)]

“Lambton’s edition of The Recollections of Three Reigns by Queen Victoria’s secretary Sir Frederick Ponsonby ruffled a few feathers by asserting that the new breed of courtiers — drawn from the Services and “insecure in their social position”— was “less effective” than that drawn from the “best families in England”.

But his carefully researched first part of a two-volume study, The Mountbattens (1989), drew widespread criticism for its acerbic portrayal of Earl Mountbatten as a bemedalled social climber who lied about his German ancestry to enhance his claims to royal status. Lambton was persuaded not to persist with the proposed second volume, which was to have dealt with Mountbatten’s career.” (Daily Telegraph Obituary of Lord Lambton, 2 Jan 2007)

“The final by-election triumph, at Berwick-on-Tweed, symbolised my personal attitude to electioneering – and also signalled the end of the road for the Liberal euphoria wagon. The seat became vacant, it will be remembered, because Lord Lambton, the Tory, resigned after being involved in a tawdry affair with London prostitutes. The morality issue was, however, never raised by the Liberals in the campaign, as far as I am aware, and when I spoke there I was determined to ignore it: I do not believe in the politics of the smear. A man’s private life is his own affair.” (Big Cyril, Cyril Smith, p148 published 1978)

‘We won the Berwick seat, and its victor, Alan Beith is arguably the best Parliamentarian at Westminster.” (ibid, p.149)

However, newspapers outside the UK were at the time reporting an international ‘vice’ ring supplying young boys to men in London, Paris and other European capitals [British Sex Scandal may involve others, The Gadsden Times, 22 May 1973]

At no 58 Hamilton Terrace, St John’s Wood, in a road behind Abbey Road Studios (the Abbey was Kilburn Abbey) and  just across the Edgware Road from Little Venice, although very much on the side of Maida Vale), Lord Lambton and his wife Bindy and their children had moved into the art-deco former house of Bindy’s aunt Freda Dudley Ward, the mistress of the Prince of Wales (Edward the Abdicator in 1936) from 1918 – 1923. The year the Lambtons moved in was 1966, also the year Savile first claimed to have made Mountbatten’s acquaintance. Bindy had set about redecorating, having a splendid butterfly shaped swimming pool installed. Seven years later Antony Lambton was to be caught at no 9 Marlborough Court (virtually across the road in a turning off Edgware Road opposite Maida Vale station). While he certainly believed in straying, Lambton didn’t believe on straying far when it came to distance.

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“On about their fifth meeting, she reveals for the first time, he arranged for a handsome young male prostitute, aged about 20, to join them, and asked her to watch him have sex with the man.

I still feel a little embarrassed about that,’ she drawls, sipping strong black coffee. ‘I wasn’t used to seeing two men having sex. I think he was bisexual. But mostly he just liked to smoke pot, and there was a bit of conversation. You know what? We didn’t really have much sex.‘” [Call girl who nearly toppled government, Daily Mail, 26 January 2007)

The story of Freda Dudley Ward, Bindy’s aunt is an interesting tale in itself, setting up the Four Feathers youth charity nearby on behalf of the Prince and run as a Prince of Wales (three feathers being the fur-de-lys of the plumed crown) venture despite the Prince’s apparent disinterest in both Freda and the charity once he had been left by Thelma, in Wallis Simpson’s capable hands.

Maida Vale, W9

As the traditional home of elite escorts for about 150 years, where royalty in particular liked to keep their mistresses, Maida Vale and its local environs is unsurprisingly quite the focal point of a number of scandals over the years. In 1934 the BBC bought the failed 1907 built Edwardian ice skating rink to become BBC Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road, recording big bands and later where DJ John Peel would record his Radio 1 Peel Sessions, and so the area from thereon in also began to attract broadcasting and musical celebrities of the day. People such as comedian Benny Hill had a flat at Cunningham Court, and according to this article by 1964 actor Victor Beaumont and DJ Alan ‘Fluff” Freeman were Maida Vale residents: Savile and Freeman showed me no pity, says victim abused by BBC DJs when he was just 11, Daily Mail, 22 September 2013

As Edgware Road descends from Kilburn, Cricklewood, cuts through Maida Vale W9 (Maida Hill) it passes the postcodes of NW1 (Marylebone), NW8 (St John’s Wood / Lisson Grove), W2 (Paddington), and nearing central London, heading south towards the corner of Hyde Park occupied by Speaker’s Corner, it ends just before Marble Arch and the former site of the Tyburn gallows (the area is now being renamed Tyburnia in estate agents’ bumf, focused around Connaught Square/Connaught Village where the Blair family townhouse is, along from Portsea Hall where Antony Blunt died at no 45, 6th floor on 26 March 1983, close to the church his father Reverend Stanley Blunt St John’s The Evangelist Hyde Park (see horse riders service in September) had been at when he was a child and had visited his cousin Elizabeth, seven years his senior, who married one of the sons of King George V when Blunt was just 16 in 1923 and lived in Mayfair at Bruton Street, just across from Hyde Park and Park Lane.

“One name that could well appear in Blunt’s description of his early life is that of his cousin, a certain Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon – later, of course, to become the Queen Mother.

Blunt’s mother Hilda was a 2nd cousin of the Earl of Strathmore, Elizabeth’s father.

The young Anthony and his two brothers Christopher and Wilfrid occasionally used to have tea with Elizabeth at the family’s London home in Bruton Street, Mayfair – the house from which she was driven to Westminster Abbey in 1923 (when Blunt was 16) to marry the Duke of York, later King George VI.” [Last Secrets Queen Mother’s favourite traitor: Memoirs of Society Spy Anthony Blunt rock royals, Daily Mail, 27 June 2009]

On Blunt’s father’s side his grandfather had been the Rt Rev Lord Bishop of Hull when his father Rev Arthur Stanley Vaughan Blunt had married Hilda Violet Master at St Andrew’s, Ham, Surrey on 18 October 1900.

Portsea Hall features large in Brian Sewell’s autobiography The Art of Espionage: Antony Blunt & Me, Brian Sewell, The Australian, 15 December 2012)

During the 50s (and possibly beyond) it was Paddington that was crime central, also close to Maida Vale, attracting characters like Jack Spot, the Krays, Billy Hill and Gyp.

Writing in Chiantishire

So despite gallivanting off to landscape a garden in Italy with his mistress (debutante of the year 1954) and become Lord of Chiantishire as folk joked, Lambton continues to nurse something of a grudge for Lord Mountbatten throughout restoring his Italian villa and begins researching and writing what he intends to be a 2 volume account of The Mountbattens. A decade after Mountbatten’s murder in 1979 Lambton publishes his first volume with a back sleeve that reads:

“One of the oldest traceable families in Christendom” – Burke’s Peerage

Or is it?

Blow the dust off the Mountbatten family album and discover the truth behind one of Europe’s most famous royal dynasties. Royal insider Antony Lambton uncovers the real story – a story rife with trumped-up lineage, paternity scandals, and stormy marriages.

In this authoritative history, Lord Lambton sheds light on the illicit union that resulted in the births of Prince Alexander of Hesse and his sister Marie, Empress of Russia. You’ll meet Sandro, the sacked ruler of Bulgaria, who was torn between his duty to the Princess of Prussia and his passion for a seductive actress. You’ll also witness the infamous, trouble-causing marriage of the rakish Alexander and the commoner Julia Hauke.

In many respects the history of the Mountbattens is the history of Europe, and across Lambton’s pages parade some of the continent’s most famous – and notorious – personages” Queen Victoria, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Alexander II and William Gladstone. Even soviet spy Anthony Blunt played a role in the Mountbatten past.”

The Canadian Publishers

Interestingly, Lambton’s publishers are M&S Paperbacks from McClelland & Stewart Inc who feature as their imprint the words ‘The Canadian Publishers’ – a slogan which would not have been lost on Mountbatten had he been alive to see the publication.

Following the disastrous raid on Dieppe where over 3,000 Canadian troops were killed like fish being shot in a barrel in 1942, Lord Beaverbrook (a Canadian media mogul who owned the Express) never let Mountbatten forget. [The wartime raid that shamed Mountbatten, Daily Express, 20 August 2012]

country which following Lord Beaverbrook’s outspoken venom for Mountbatten following Dunkirk is unsurprising.

Over the last 10 years further information has come to light

“Former MI6 agent Lee Tracey told the Mail on Sunday that his bosses wanted to expose Lambton in a bid to embarrass MI5, which had failed to act against his activities.

Mr Tracey claimed he supplied a night-vision lens to the News of the World, which allowed the newspaper’s photographer to take the photograph from a cupboard.

He said he received a phone call telling him to loan the specialist equipment to the paper.

The Echo revealed last month that a security services report into the scandal raised fears that Lambton would be driven to suicide.

The concerns were contained in files released to the National Archive under the 30-year rule, which detailed a Security Commission inquiry by MI5 officer Charles Elwell.” [Lambton ‘victim of MI6 dirty tricks’ Sunderland Echo, 19 Janary 2004]

“This, at least, is Norma’s story. Others suggest that she connived with Levy, and was motivated either by money (she estimates that worldwide newspaper sales of the story made £100,000 – more than £600,000 today) or, more sinisterly, was involved in a conspiracy to discredit Lambton and the government.

Inevitably, Norma dismisses these accusations. However, she believes there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Lambton was the victim of a smear plot, albeit without her knowledge.

For one thing, she questions whether Levy had the expertise or cunning to have set up the hidden camera, which was positioned behind a stereo system in the wardrobe facing her double-bed. To record Lambton’s voice, a listening device was also embedded in the nose of Norma’s giant teddy-bear.

‘Colin was into a lot of deep, heavy stuff. I think the whole thing was set up and he [Lambton] was sacrificed for this big plot,’ she says.

‘I was a pawn in the game, too. It was very sad. Colin knew too much about my life. I started trusting him. I didn’t think he was that type of person. Some people don’t have a conscience about what they do.’

Norma’s theory gains credence when we remember how, three years ago, a retired MI6 operative named Lee Tracey admitted to being part of a ruse to expose Lambton.

Tracey says MI6, responsible for overseas intelligence, was concerned because its home-based sister organisation, MI5, knew Lambton used prostitutes but had done nothing to deter him.

The plot was hatched to embarrass MI5 into action, he said, and he supplied a newspaper with the nightsights for the wardrobe camera.” Daily Mail, 26 January 2007)

“Mountbatten had put in charge of the raid’s military intelligence a racing driver playboy chum, the Marquis de Casa Maury, a totally unqualified amateur from Cuba.

The blame, however, was shifted on to the Canadian task force commander Major-General John Roberts, who himself was the victim of poor information and the communications breakdown that characterised the day’s events.

Partly thanks to Dieppe, there has been a major shift in the perception of Mountbatten’s character in recent years.

Historian Andrew Roberts has dealt the hardest hammer blow to his reputation.

He has convincingly depicted “Dickie” Mountbatten as a psychopathically ambitious, vain, disingenuous, manipulative adrenaline junkie and a man who was utterly careless of other people’s lives.

Whether this view is fully justified is debatable but even at the time of Dieppe many military people were wary of Dickie’s cronyism and mad gung-ho schemes.

At the Admiralty he was known as the “Master of Disaster”.

One eminent biographer who admired Mountbatten became so sickened by his subject’s disrespect for the truth that he put a sign on his writing desk: “Remember, in spite of it all, he was a great man.”

Mountbatten was certainly great at public relations and the art of making sure no mud stuck to him.

Montgomery had always thought the raid was absurd and it is a tragedy that his view that it should be called off wasn’t heeded.

When the news came through of the scale of the disaster the press baron Lord Beaverbrook – owner of this newspaper and a Canadian – went puce with rage.

He would have been more furious had he known that vital intelligence from codebreakers at Bletchley Park had been ignored.

Beaverbrook went so far as to call Mountbatten a murderer.

Any stain on Mountbatten’s reputation was defl ected by the timely release, just after Dieppe, of a film based on his life as a naval officer, In Which We Serve.

Noel Coward showed him his fawning script based on the daring adventures of his ship HMS Kelly, which was sunk in 1941 during the Battle of Crete.

Mountbatten supplied Coward with vivid stories, stating that he and the survivors had been machine-gunned in the water, an event that appears in the film but which none of his shipmates recall happening.

COWARD played the Captain in the film that did a great deal to secure the Mountbatten legend in the general public’s mind. Roberts states that Mountbatten saw it 11 times.” [The wartime raid that shamed Mountbatten, Daily Express, 20 August 2012]

The chap in charge of the Dieppe raid as appointed by Mountbatten – the Marques de Casa Maury, was the second husband of Freda Dudley-Ward (Edward the Abdicator’s ex) who had been married to her and living at No.58 Hamilton Terrace from 1938 in their much architecturally applauded house commissioned from architects Burnet, Tait & Lorne (see Wikipedia Freda Dudley Ward further). Later to become Lambton’s family home in London when he was caught on camera in Maida Vale.

 Acknowledgements & the Curious Incident of the Closed Archives

“To Lord Brabourne who courteously answered my letters making it plain I was not to see any of the Battenberg Archives. This in itself was as interesting as Sherlock Holme’s dog, who did not bark in the night. It made me draw the conclusion that every author who was not prepared to accept the Mountbatten myth would be starved of information.” (Acknowledgements, The Mountbattens, Antony Lambton, below (1989))

Lord Brabourne (1928 – 2005) served as Aide-De-Camp to Mountbatten in South-East Asia

photo 2 (17) photo 3 (15) photo 4 (7) photo 5 (4)


The eldest daughter of Queen Victoria had married the Crown Prince of Germany who became Emperor Frederick III. Empress Vicky “developed a passionate wish her daughter should marry (against her father and mother0in-law’s wishes) Alexander of Battenberg. She persecuted her dying husband to agree to the match which would have ensured Bismarck’s resignation. Her letters were as fanatical as those of the last Tsarina’s, her niece.” (Lambton, caption under photo of the Emperor and Empress, p.193)

Christopher of Hesse-Cassel (grandson of Crown Princess, Vicky – Christopher was the son of her daughter Princess Margaret who had married Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse-Cassel)

“was a half-mad extremist, the associate and companion of Himmler. The wild seeds in his furious mind may have been planted by his unluckily tainted grandfather as they were in his elder brother, Prince Philip, a friend of Goering’s, who as made a general of the Storm Troopers in 1933. An enthusiastic Nazi, he admired violence and was used as a sycophantic go-between Hitler and Mussolini and Hitler and his cousin the Duke of Windsor. The latter connection may have saved him from imprisonment for after his release from Dachau he was immediately arrested on 9 April 1945 by the Americans as Target 53 in the Nazi heriarchy rounded up for interrogation. Successful British pressure prevented an embarrassing trial.

Shortly before his arrest King George VI sent his librarian and, of all people, Anthony Blunt, to retrieve secret papers considered damaging to the British royal family from his house, Freidrichschof. It is unlikely they, as suggested, related to Queen Victoria and likely they referred to Prince Philip’s wooing of the Duke of Windsor with offers of a crown. hey are now buried in Windsor but as Blunt saw them it is likely that any interesting information was passed on to the Russians.” [Lambton, p.141.-142]

In 1988 Mask of Treachery by John Costello was published on the Blunt affair, also referred to by Robin Harbinson in The Dust has never Settled: “Using newly discovered top-secret British and American reports, and confirming the resulting analysis with veterans of British intelligence and the CIA, this book uncovers a sophisticated Soviet plan to infiltrate their agents into the highest levels of British and American societies. 16 pages of photos.” Yet to be read.

More to come on Lambton’s Introduction which gives a psychologically sensitive portrayal of young Mountbatten watching his father be castigated for his Germanic lienage despite reaching heights of First Admiral, and the bullying he suffered as a result growing up during WWI.



The Dilly Boys by Mervyn Harris (London: Croom Helm Ltd) 1973

Piccadilly Circus, Abraham Jacob (an Islington-Lambeth link) and the Playland Cover-Up of 1975

photo 1 (13)

The Dilly Boys, Mervyn Harris, 1973

Piccadilly Circus appears to operate as a child abuse prostitution hub over such a period of time it has become part of the heritage, history and tradition of the area and The Dilly Boys sets the scene for updating that scape

Spotlight: The Playland Cover-Up (May 2014)

“In 1975, Scotland Yard carried out a high-profile child abuse investigation which centred on the Playland amusement arcade near Piccadilly Circus, and involved the sexual exploitation of homeless boys. The investigation led to five convictions in September 1975. Four of the men convicted were ‘nobodies’, but one – Charles Hornby –  was a pillar of the Establishment. He was a  wealthy socialite, a Lloyd’s underwriter, and an old Etonian, “who on occasion had Prince Charles among his dinner guests”.

The four ‘nobodies’ later had their sentences reduced in mysterious circumstances. One of them, David Archer, alleged that Hornby was far from being the only VIP involved in the Playland scandal.

Last night Archer said he would present the police with a dossier naming the ‘millionaires and titled and influential people’ involved in the Playland affair. He added: ‘I believe there was a tremendous cover-up to protect these people.’

A clue as to the identity of one of these ‘titled and influential people’ appeared nearly a decade later with the publication of Philip Ziegler’s biography of Lord Mountbatten.

In 1975, Mountbatten was told that gossip had linked him to a homosexual scandal. He recorded in his diary: “I might have been accused of many things but hardly the act of homosexuality.”photo 2 (13)

Spotlight: Kenneth Martin (Playland and Operation Hedgerow)

1985/86: Spotlight: Major Probe ‘into a police homosexual ring’

Spotlight: Abraham Jacob and Piccadilly Circus and the Meat Rack

Islington social worker Abraham Jacob procured boys for serial killer Dennis Nilsen

social worker Abraham Jacob (‘Uncle Abe’) made his living in the ‘meat rack’ at Piccadilly Circus

About the Author: Mervyn Harris

From inner sleeve: “Mervyn Harris is a South African who has lived in London for the past ten years. He spent a year researching the book on the Dilly while at the London School of Economics.”

Mervyn Harris (b. 1938 – d. 2005 aged 67) Obituary from

“MERVYN Harris, a well-known and respected journalist and former Business Day markets editor, died at his home in Johannesburg this past weekend after a long illness. He was 67.

His passing deprives the journalistic fraternity of one of its most versatile, dedicated, humble and professional practitioners, a true “journalist’s journalist”, and a character who left a lasting impression on all he came into contact with, not the least those who may have had the misfortune to be on the receiving end of a well-aimed barb.

Harris was born and raised in Johannesburg’s Yeoville, of Jewish parentage. Brought up in exceedingly humble and difficult circumstances, made all the more acute by the early death of his father and his mother’s subsequent remarriage, Harris was profoundly influenced by that remarkable generation of Jewish people who came to play so prominent a part in Johannesburg’s, and indeed, SA’s political, legal, business and academic life.”

Mervyn was approximately 25 when he arrived in London c. 1962/3 and almost 30 when he started researching The Dilly Boys in 1969.

In November – December 1973 Harris also published a three-part article in The Spectator (On the Dilly – Part 2, 1 December 1973, On the Dilly – Part 3, 8 December 1973)

“I first met Paul when he was seventeen and had been in the West End of London for several months. Occasionally he used to hang around the Arts Laboratory Theatre in Drury Lane where I was a frequent visitor around the time my brother’s play was being rehearsed and then performed there.” (Part 2  – 1 December 1973)

Lee Harris, now 78, is a South African writer and performer who arrived in England in 1956 aged 20,  and who was one of the few white members of the African National Congress. In the UK Lee Harris spent the next decade setting up the Arts Lab and writing and putting on amongst other works, “Love play described by Lee as “A boy’s journey through the underworld of emotional revelation”” and becoming quite a figure in the late 60s/early 70s counterculture with Home Grown with his 1972 opened shop Alchemy on Notting Hill’s Portobello Road.

Mervyn his journalist brother also went on to write further articles on British society for The Spectator on the drugs culture (Hustlers, straights and freaks, The Spectator 17 August 1974)

Inside sleeve: The Dilly is a whirlpool of sex, glamour, money, drugs and drop-outs. It’s the most exciting place in London but it can be the most lonely. This book describes the world of the boys who survive on the Dilly by homosexual prostitution.

On the cover a sketch of a man above the Piccadilly station entrance saying ‘Trains and Toilets’

photo 1 (13)photo 2 (13)


“This book is based on my study of male homosexual prostitutes in and around Piccadilly Circus from September 1969 to October 1970. I decided to get to know a few boys as well as possible – this turned out to be six – and follow them.

All the boys were between the ages of 15 and 23.”

photo 3 (11)

Inside Sleeve

photo 4 (5)


photo 5 (3)

second page of preface

Chapter 5: Sexual Encounters


photo 2 (14) photo 3 (12) photo 4 (6)

The Old Bailey Trial of 1 March 1972 of five men admitting various sexual offences involving boys, some between 13 – 15, solicited while playing the arcade machines in Playland features some unpleasant remarks that manage to offend both on behalf of gay men in general and also specifically the boys involved (Evening Standard, Wednesday 1 March 1972 and Interview, Evening Standard, 4 December 1969 to be obtained)

The timing of this trial suggests Playland was already being observed by police during 1971 –  following Mervyn Harris’ time spent amongst some of the boys ending October 1970.

With thanks to Troy (@snowfaked) and as ever @murunbuch (SpotlighonAbuse) for the below on here that adds an interesting 1976 postscript to the series of police investigations, trials, and  research focusing on The Dilly for the preceding seven years, during 1969 onwards if you count Mervyn Harris’ presence there.

The case of R v Andrew Novac & Ors [CAR Vol 65 1977] as found by Troy and as mentioned in the case below.

Neutral Citation no. [2007] NICC 17
Ref: GILC5826
Delivered: 17/05/07



[1] The accused is to be tried on an indictment containing approximately 85 counts with 15 complainants in relation to sexual offences and offences of violence…

The Indictment
[3] The accused in this case is charged on an indictment bearing 85 counts stretching over a period between 1983 and 2005. The counts include allegations of rape, buggery, indecent assault, unlawful carnal knowledge, gross indecency, making indecent photographs of children and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

[5] The prosecution case is that the accused is alleged to have engaged in sexual relations with 15 young girls between 1983 and 2005. The majority of these alleged incidents are said to have occurred since 1994. The ages of the females are said to range broadly from 12 to 19 save in one instance. The accused is alleged to have befriended young girls, collected them from school, brought them to his flat and engaged in sexual activities with them. Whilst the accused has admitted that he knew all of the complainants, he denies all of the allegations made against him in the course of interviews with the police. He admits only to entering into sexual relationship with those complainants who were 17 years or older.


[12] (ii) Equally, judicial criticism has been visited on the overloading of indictments which lead to long and complex trials occupying, as in this case perhaps, up to three months or more. In ***R v Andrew Novac & O[the]rs CAR Vol 65 1977*** page 109 at page 118 Bridge LJ said:

“We cannot conclude this judgment without pointing out that, in our opinion, most of the difficulties which have bedevilled this trial, and which have led in the end to the quashing of all convictions except on conspiracy and related counts, arose directly out of the overloading of the indictment. How much worse the difficulties would have been if the case had proceeded to trial on the original indictment containing 38 counts does not bear contemplation. But even in its reduced form the indictment of 19 counts against four defendants resulted in a trial of quite unnecessary length and complexity. … Quite apart from the question of whether the prosecution could find legal justification for joining all these counts in one indictment and resisting severance, the wider and more important question has to be asked whether in such a case the interests of justice were likely to be better served by one very long trial or by one moderately long or four short separate trials. We answer unhesitatingly that whatever advantages were expected to accrue from one long trial, … they were heavily outweighed by the disadvantages. A trial of such dimensions puts an immense burden on both judge and jury. In the course of a four or five day summing up the most careful and conscientious judge may so easily overlook some essential matter. Even if the summing up is faultless, it is by no means cynical to doubt whether the average juror can be expected to take it all in and apply all the directions given. Some criminal prosecutions involve consideration of matters so plainly inextricable and indivisible that a long and complex trial is an ineluctable necessity. But we are convinced that nothing short of a criterion of absolute necessity can justify the imposition of the burdens of a very long trial on the court.”

15] (v) I have found this a particularly difficult and vexed issue. Notwithstanding my faith in the capacity of juries to consider each charge in an indictment under proper directions, I have concluded that 85 counts in one indictment would simply be unmanageable…

Daily Mail, 30 November 1976 – Four defendants in Playland trial have some of their convictions quashed and sentences set aside reducing their overall sentence. While this would have occurred within the time frame of Sir Norman Skelhorne holding the title of Director of Public Prosecutions there does not appear to be mention of this in his 1981 Memoirs ‘Public Prosecutor’ (a reversal of much of the decisions of the Old Bailey when it sat in September 1975). Skelhorne however does have something to say on the Maxwell Confait case which may be of interest which I will also post here.

Malcolm Raywood, 43 lowered to 6 yrs to time served
Garrett Lane, Wandsworth [1975] —
Elgin Avenue, Maida Hill, London [1976] (PIE headquarters? j/k)
occupation: ***Photographer***

Andrew Novac, 29 – 6½ yrs lowered to 3½ yrs
Elm Court, Harrowby Street, Westminster
occupation: Taxi company telephonist

Basil Andrew-Cohen, 39 – 6 yrs lowered to 3 yrs
no fixed address
occupation: Taxi driver

David Archer, 28 – 5½ yrs lowered to time served
Odessa Road, Forest Gate
occupation: Security Guard
[1976] Plumber

The Bishop of Gleaves and Johnny Go Home photo 1 (16) photo 2 (16) photo 3 (14)

Three years after Mervyn Harris’ The Dilly Boys Michael Deakin and John Willis published Johnny Go Home (based on the highly acclaimed YTV documentary) in 1976.

It tells of Ernie “in his middle twenties, and had been born only about three miles from where he and Johnny now live, though when they first met, Ernie had lived in a squat in Elgin Avenue.” (p.55) Ernie is ‘in a relationship’ with 10 year old Johnny from Elephant & Castle who bunks school each day to meet Ernie where they hung out at Piccadilly’s Playland Arcade until Ernie is put away for stealing a car to drive Johnny home one morning on one of his regular nights staying over with Ernie.

The Elgin Avenue Squat

The Elgin Avenue Squat

The Relentless Gimmickry of Jimmy (Part 1)

In an appendix to The Devils of Loudun, published in 1952, the year Savile turns 26 and King George VI dies and the current Queen takes the throne, Aldous Huxley writes:

‘…new and previously undreamed-of devices for exciting mobs have been invented. There is the radio, which has enormously extended the range of the demagogue’s raucous yelling. There is the loud-speaker, amplifying and indefinitely reduplicating the heady music of class hatred and militant nationalism. There is the camera (of which it was once naively said that ‘it cannot lie’) and its offspring, the movies and television…Assemble a mob of men and women previously conditioned by a daily reading of newspapers; treat them to amplified band music, bright lights, and the oratory of a demagogue who (as demagogues always are) is simultaneously the exploiter and the victim of herd intoxication, and in next to no time you can reduce them to a state of almost mindless subhumanity. Never before have so few been in a position to make fools, maniacs, or criminals of so many.’”

The Devils of Loudun, Appendix, p.367, 1952 Aldous Huxley (Random House:2005)

The Devils of Loudun, Appendix, p.367, 1952 Aldous Huxley (Random House:2005)

Hard not to imagine this quote as a Savile’s very own personal checklist.

‘Gimmick’ was one of Savile’s favourite words and a topic on which he would regale anyone at the receiving end of his King Solomon-esque wisdom trying to break into ‘the pop world’ or otherwise become remarkable in their field in some way.

Thinking about the origins of such a word and whether they went much beyond Savile’s birth in 1926 and if it was originally slang when it entered the dictionary (Savile’s preoccupation with youth and wearing teenaged clothes despite being over 30 when starting at Radio Luxembourg) I discovered:

“Gimmick, however, took on meanings beyond ”a clever mechanical device.” The reporter Jack Lait in 1930 captured its larcenous connotation, defining it as ”any contrivance to make a fair transaction or contest unfair.” In the phrase ”You gotta have a gimmick,” the sense is less deceptive: ”an original marketing idea or selling proposition to attract customers.”” (Whosit’s Whatchamacallit, On language, William Safire, NY Times, 9 January 2005)

The OED has gimmick down first as 1926, the year of Savile’s birth, as American slang and originating with an anagram of magic gimac which magicians used in their own way to refer to a gadget or technical device they might use in pulling off a trick.

There’s many examples of Savile using the word gimmick and I will collect them here…in the meantime here’s mention of “a big stupid gimmick” that didn’t end so satisfyingly well for Savile for once – during his wrestling years:

“The promoters were trying to put Savile across as a bit of tough guy in those days and they were trying to get other proper wrestlers to throw their matches with him  – it was all part of some big stupid  gimmick,” said Street, now 84 and running a wrestling wear business called Bizarre Bizaar in Florida.”

Savile’s ability to herd live crowds of people onto the streets (his collection of shepherds’ crooks suggests he wished to project an image of himself as a shepherd and we are therefore his sheep) in various displays of pomp pageantry and patronage  – and most importantly his ability to secure sponsorship or charity funding were legendary and sought after by many corporate brands over the years including Coca-Cola, Thomas Cook, the Milk Marketing Board, the Daily Express, Cunard, and the Sunday People amongst others. So while the BBC and Radio Luxembourg and radio were his platform he spring-boarded his way into becoming government’s messenger boy with Clunk Click in 1975 and for the railways during the 1980s and the ‘Age of the Train’.

Here’s a closer look at his bag of techniques for rigging the game – his gimmickry:

1. Phatic Communication

2. Rhythm: Power, Effect & the Paradiddles

3. Terror-Eyes to Terrorise

4. Legerdemain: The art of misdirection

(Gimmicks 5 – 10 to come in a subsequent post)


1. Phatic Communication “What were we thinking? Why weren’t we paying attention? Now then, now then”

A.A.Gill writing in February’s Vanity Fair 2013, identified Savile’s yodelling, coo-ing, repetitious phrases “How’s about that then”, “Now then, Now then” “Gather round” “Guys and gals” as ‘phatic communication’, the kind of speech one often finds oneself gabbling meaninglessly at pre-schoolers or young children while chiding them gently into listening or acting. Yet his letters to Thatcher reveal a more pointed ability to be directly flattering, and an ability to change his tone or writing style appropriate to his audience.

With his friend, John Swale, Savile was already MCing in between DJing from 1948 when the pair were putting on bands in between playing records at tea dances. Savile, aged 22, turning 23 in 1948 was already proficient at providing patter while controlling the tempo of the music which dictated the mood and style of dance. As he said in Alison Bellamy’s official authorised biography of the ‘first’ disco Savile claimed to have held (either 1943-44 or 1947 depending on which biography you read) at the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherd’s Friendly Society, Belle Vue Road, Woodhouse, Leeds: “It wasn’t power, it was an effect.”

A keen cycling friend managed to pick up the 1967 International Cyclists Saddle Club booklet on the History of the Tour of Britain on ebay and there within is dedicated an entire page in ‘Tribute to “The Duke”:

“No History of the Tour of Britain would be complete without a story about one of the leading characters to emerge from the race.

We have already mentioned that Oscar Saville (sic) took part in the first Tour as a competitor, when, to quote his own words, he found himself, ‘dropped each ensuing day at the drop of the flag.’

“Over the blaring microphone amplifier his Yorkshire dialect would pour out the torrent of words in the manner which has now given him a much wider frame as a disc jockey and show biz star. His quickfire patter, in which news of the Tour’s progress was liberally sprinkled with an endless stream of gags, endeared him to all. His jokes, like his sometimes vivid hued suits, changed every day.”

What Savile was especially skilled at was shoe-horning the name of the sponsor into his commentary – ensuring they got their money’s worth.

History of Tour of Britain, 1967, International Cyclists Saddle Club, p.92

History of Tour of Britain, 1967, International Cyclists Saddle Club, p.92

In 1958, Peter A Clifford, assistant timekeeper to that year’s Tour of Britain race, first sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board recollects in the publication above:

“Going past a field of cows ‘The Duke’ would give out with something on the following lines – ‘Now you cows over there, rise to your feet and let’s hear a rendering of the “Cows’ Cantata”, for you are about to witness a strange cavalcade of human milk eaters and cow drinkers who are cycling all the way round Britain to count you up, on behalf of the Milk Marketing Board…

“But what the talented Duke really dug up during this Tour, as in the previous ones, was the enthusiasm and interest of the general public, who came out to line the route in their thousands to see and hear this glittering, spectacular caravan, highlighted by the whir of wheels and gears as the muscular, brown-skinned young men in their multi-coloured jerseys flashed past.

The general air of enthusiasm was aroused to almost fever pitch by the non stop spiel which spouted from Oscar’s mike.

It would be interesting to read a linguist or NLP specialist take on Savile’s very particular use of language both in content (or lack thereof as Gill points out), but also in the rhythm of his delivery. On which Savile’s impeccable sense of rhythm…

2. Rhythm: Power, Effect and the Paradiddles

As a child Savile really was a ‘little drummer boy’  (which always pops into my head with a chill when I read his quote ‘I AM the Myra Hindley story‘) who would have drilled in the Paradiddles (Preaching the Paradiddles, Drum Magazine, January 2012) as a Cadet for Air Training Corps (ATC) Squadron 168 in the city of Leeds. He would have attended Parade nights and other cadet training two or more nights a week from the ATC’s inception during 1940 if he was 14 when WWII started.

“Drummer boys were children recruited as drummers for use on the battlefield.Until well into the 19th century, western armies recruited young boys to act as drummers. The drums were an important part of the battlefield communications system, with various drum rolls used to signal different commands from officers to troops.”

From 10 years old to 14 years old, he drummed six nights a week straight from school, earning 10s a week.He was also working as the drummer of the ‘relief band’ at tea dances potentially from November 1938 with the opening of the Mecca Locarno Leeds but certainly from the outset of the war as the relief band, possibly with his dad Vince as a director of Mecca Locarno Leeds. Agnes ‘The Duchess’ is mentioned as capable on the piano enough to help out when the wiring on the  ‘decks’ Savile and Swale attempt malfunctions. One of his trophies is for playing the drums at Mecca Locarno in 1939.

“You may not be aware of this fact, but Sir James Savile OBE (he tells everyone it means Old Blond ‘Ead) was the first person in England to use Records/CDs in public to make people dance. He was Britain’s first mobile disc jockey and kept his records in two big leather hold all’s in the boot of whichever of his super flash cars he was driving, and always got the door supervisors to lug these monster things into the dance hall or discotheque.

As a teenager I was fortunate enough to work with Jim for eight years, the man is actually a genius. I learned the art of entertainment and night life at the Jimmy Savile Disc Club, on the floor below a famous Northern Night spot called the Whiskey-A-Go-Go which was at 200 Great Cheetham Street in Salford, Lancashire, where I watched for many a night a beautiful young Jewish girl who was a brilliant star to be, her name, Elkie Brooks. That was where I learned my trade.

Jim Savile is (not many people know this) a very talented amateur drummer who spent most of the time practising his parradiddle’s (a drum exercise) either on the table, on his knee, or on the car steering wheel at traffic lights. Because of this he invented Dance Tempo and timing of his records/cds to aid him on stage.

He taught me how to do something that you will find invaluable, he showed me how to calculate the tempo of each track we played by working out how many bars of music there were in each minute of music playing.

Using a watch we counted every fourth beat of the bass drum over ten or fifteen seconds and multiplied by the result by either six or four to give an answer of bars per minute. It was a brilliant system that never failed.” (Ray Teret’s Think and grow richer: think like a disc jockey DJ)

So one of Savile’s gimmicks as a DJ was as Teret puts it the “invention of ‘Dance Tempo’”  – or perhaps more widely, an almost scientific attention to which beats cause which effects. While it appears Savile had little emotional feeling for music, or love of the music he played, he had a deep appreciation of musical tempo which appeared to be analytic and focused on how to ‘direct’ or ‘conduct’ a dancefloor, full of “punters” as he might call attendees at his club. And as simple as it being a ‘smooch’ session or a ‘dance’ session he took a long hard look at what kind of ‘control’ or ‘power’ this represented to him: “It’s not power, it’s an effect” as applied to other areas of his life. Savile’s keen sense of opportunity comes with a sharp sense of timing in order to take advantage.

1969’s 6-second Amen Drum breakbeat from a B-side of the Winston Brothers – Nate Harrison’s 2004 20 minute account of how this break spawned separate sub-genres of music in drum’n’bass and jungle and has arguably entered “collective audio conscious”, now often used in advertising – as an example of how influential specific rhythms can become

No man, however highly civilized, can listen for very long to African drumming, or Indian chanting, or Welsh hymn singing, and retain intact his critical and self-conscious personality. It would be interesting to take a group of the most eminent philosophers from the best universities, shut them up in a hot room with Moroccan dervishes or Haitian Voodooists and measure, with a stop-watch, the strength of their psychological resistance to the effect of rhythmic sound. Would the Logical Positivists be able to hold out longer than the Subjective Idealists? Would the Marxists prove tougher than that Thomists or the Vedantists? What a fascinating, what a fruitful field for experiment! Meanwhile, all we can safely predict is that, if exposed long enough to the toms-toms and the singing, every one of our philosophers would end by capering and howling with the savages.’ (The Devils of Loudun, Aldous Huxley, 1952)


3. Terror-eyes to terrorise: Savile’s claims to mass hypnotic powers

You’ll notice that there’s very few photos of Savile either genuinely smiling or where he isn’t exposing the maximum amount of white around his eyes. His general “strike a pose” is to reveal as much of the whites of his eyes as possible, cracking either a wide grin or a smug smirk, either way cigar generally aloft or clamped between the teeth and his irises two dark round orbs focused on the camera. What’s important is that the eyes are wide, as if in terror, and don’t actually match the avuncular insouciance of the rest of his features or pose. Do you hold someone’s gaze like that or do you look away, and possibly be perceived as weak by a predator such as Savile whose will had to dominate all around him?

I’m no psychologist or anthropologist (as you’ll have already guessed) but Savile’s eyes would appear to be calculated to provoke a confused response due to the mixed messages. It was notable in the relentless and otherwise varied images of him in the wake of the revelations and I began to feel that widespread repulsion towards the images of Savile weren’t just a consequence of the revelations but also an immediate gut reaction to his image in that moment individuals were now able to voice, which prior to the revelations  few without direct experience of his abusive behaviour would have bothered voicing with any vehemence –  apart from putting it down to Savile’s oft-repeated “I’m odd” approach to telling people what to think of him.

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 00.49.25

“TheLeagueOfGentlemen-PapaLazarou” by BBC. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Papa Lazarou via Wikipedia

But it was a terrifying picture Savile sent to a girl he’d assaulted during 1966, featuring a photo of his terror eyes and also his two tone black/left vs white/right hair style  (Jimmy Savile molested teen moments, Daily Mirror, 14 October 2012) accompanied by a note proclaiming in words the League of Gentleman’s most terrifying character, Papa Lazarou, might have been proud of:

Daily Mirror, 14 October 2012, Savile sent sick note

Daily Mirror, 14 October 2012, Savile sent sick note

‘Eye love Sylvie, so there Jimmy Savile”

that suggests to me he was fully aware of this effect. Recent revelations of Savile collecting dead friend’s glass eyes and mounting them in rings and/or pendant necklaces also suggests Savile felt eyes had some kind of special symbolic or actual power for him (Revealed: The glass eye Jimmy stole from a corpse and made into a necklace that he wore on final Top of the Pops – where he groped a child, Daily Mail, 27 June 2014)

In 2004 a study published in Science Magazine, published by the AAAS concluded that this kind of bug eyed terror look is directly wired into our amygdala and is all about how we measure our fear response in relation to how much whites of the eyes are shown! We don’t really like it but we have to keep our eyes on it because we do understand it to be sending strong and urgent messages of fear, deep in our primordial pathways. It’s also very 19th century Victoriana Villian too, not quite believable , or a slight voyeuristic thrill of someone so theatrically ‘mischievous’. Savile claimed to have naturally strong hypnotic talents , which he proceeded to hone under the tutelage of a Josef Karma on the Isle of Man, Douglas.

“One discovery I had made during my pursuit of the tuber and grain was, of all things, a natural and almost disastrous power of hypnotism. After a day in the fields, most of the campers would topple on their beds as the felled tree. The rest of us would gather round a real fire in the common room after lights-out and talk. Somehow the conversation turned to hypnotism and as a joke I professed to possess the powers. To demonstrate, and choosing a girl who was already fast asleep in her easy chair, I stood behind her. Miracle of miracles, with eyes fast closed she answered all my stage-whispered questions. Passing myself off as first her mother, then father, and finally boyfriend we had a lively patter going that reduced the firelight audience to tears. I was convinced she was awake and just playing along with me. Taking again the part of her mother and asking her what on earth she was doing in bed with all her clothes on, sweet horror, did she not stand up and start to undress.

I was reduced to a jelly with fright. A sign of the unpermissive times was that the room emptied in a second. Telling her to stop, and in the nick of time as it had been a warm evening, she was handed to her girlfriend with instructions to put her to bed. The next morning, expecting to be denounced and dismissed, I was shattered with relief when she stood next to me in the breakfast queue and gave not the slightest sign of recognition.

Years later in the Isle of Man I met Josef Karma, one of the great hypnotists. Telling him the story, he was not surprised at all and suggested I should study under him for a while so that my natural gift, which he subsequently confirmed, would enable me to do good, and not finish up in the nick!” (‘As it ‘Appens, pg ?, 1974)

So at some point during the 30 years between Savile’s attendance on the Lend A Hand scheme post war (approx 1945-1950, aged 19 – 24) giving the impression it was all as jolly as this government film of 1944 harvesting spuds in Scotland:

and writing his autobiography (1973/4) ‘ As it Happens’ he studied hypnotism under Josef Karma.

“In 1949, Gladys Morgan, the Welsh comedienne, was at the Pavilion with her company and the next year saw another change of program. These variety shows at Onchan Head proved to be great attractions but, in the early fifties, stage hypnotism was becoming a popular form of entertainment and tended to take over from variety at the Pavilion. One of the best known hypnotists was Joseph Karma with his assistant Elizabeth. Many of those who flocked to see his performances will recall the volunteers from his audiences, who whilst in a trance, would suck greedily at what they believed were sweet, juicy oranges, only to find, when awakened, that the fruits were in fact lemons.”

But in December 1948 the daughter of a Major claimed to have been injured by the Russian born American stage hypnotist Ralph Slater at a stage show and in October 1952 following several re-trials finally settled and Slater left the UK. [Will you just do what I tell you – the controvery of Stage Hypnotism, J Nurse, 25 March 2013, Wellcome Library Blog – which includes copies direct from Barnett Stross MP who introduced what was to become the Hypnosis Act 1952 as a Private Members’ Bill)

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 22.52.27

Down at the White City Amusement Park, Douglas, Isle of Man, a resident Manx hypnotist Josef Karma was at some point fighting it out with Ronricco for the top spot, while also being responsible for introducing what he called ‘the new form of Hypnotism, rock and roll’ during his intermissions:

Isle of Man Examiner, 7 July 1960

Isle of Man Examiner, 7 July 1960

“Living in Onchan I was very handy for the White City amusement park on Onchan head where myself and the gang, Mike, Malcolm, and Billy, would spend summer evenings eyeing the girls, listening to the Juke Box, and playing on the many penny slot machines in the arcade, the Isle of Man at this time was still a very popular holiday destination and the place was packed most nights with tourists mostly from the north of England, Scotland, Northern and Southern Ireland.

A close neighbour of mine was the doorman at the most popular show on the resort, Joseph Karma the Lightning Hypnotist, with his assistant Elizabeth, she was gorgeous with the biggest boobs I had ever seen, armed with my complimentary tickets I used to go to the show a couple of times a week, I loved it. Apart from the very funny situations he would put people into when hypnotised, he also would stop people smoking if they wished, and very successfully, when in the trance he would suggest to them that every time they put a cigarette in their mouth it would taste disgusting, it apparently worked and he used to offer this service privately as well.

He was also the person who got me into rock and roll, in the intermission at one of his shows one night he announced a New Form of Hypnotism, rock and roll, and introduced the islands 1st rock group, Bernie May and the Sinners. The band consisted of Bernie the vocalist and rhythm guitarist, John Lightfoot on tea chest bass, John Forrester on drums, and Kenny Radcliffe on piano. They sang Tommy Steels Elevator Rock and from that moment rock and roll was all I ever wanted to do..”

Isle of Man Examiner, 25 August 1960

Isle of Man Examiner, 25 August 1960

Tommy Steele’s Elevator Rock was released on Decca in 1956 so this cover version must have been some time shortly after this release?

From the Manx Forums: Ronricco dies aged 80 

“In my opinion, Jo Karma was the better hypnotist and showman.

They were at war for yeras, Jo belonged to the  Society of Ethical Hypnotists, subscribed to a code of conduct, Ronricco didn’t. Jo alleged Ron belittled and humiliated people as part of his act whereas he wouldn’t. Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 23.15.37

Jo also had a beef about Ron getting work permits. Jo had lived on the Island forever and didn’t need one, Ron and his wife and family did. Jo said that as there was a suityabel manx hypnotist availbale Ron shouldn’t get a permit.

I seem to recall a petition to Tynwald one year.

Saw both shows, went on stage with Jo, also helped stage manage his last few shows at the Gaiety. He was a gentleman. ”

In 1952 the Hypnotism Act had to be introduced into Parliament.

Karma’s regular spot from approx 1956/57 appears to have been every night at 8 in the theatre at the Derby Castle complex – which also housed the wrestling – another of Savile’s interests.

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During the 1960s the Isle of Man was swept by Radio Caroline fever of Po Box 3

“I wanted to know about the mysterious powers of hypnotism he claimed to possess. The pitch and cadence of his voice, a voice that became the standard-issue impersonation for just about every British citizen born before 1980, occasionally induced a drowsiness in me, especially if subjected to it for long stretches at a time. After a few hours listening to his pulsing drone – and occasionally being scolded for interjecting with a question or request for clarification – I invariably found myself needing a break….

So when did he first realise he had powers? “I was in the Isle of Man doing a disc jockey thing in Douglas, ‘ he replied. ‘And in the hotel I was staying at, because I was the star DJ at the time, the waitress came across and said – er – er what’s his name now?’ He groped for the name of the hypnotist he claimed had recognised his powers. I knew the name and reminded him: it was Josef Karma.

Josef Karma. Yes, he was doing a one-man show at the Royal. So Josef comes over to my table. And I said to him, “that’s a fascinating game is that.” And he said, “You can do what I can’t do Jim.” And I said, “What’s that?” “You can do mass hypnosis. You probably don’t know you’re doing it but you know the effect you’ve got on people. You know what you can do but you don’t know how it comes or what it’s called. You can do mass hypnosis and I can’t.” ‘

Savile claimed that Karma had offered to teach him about hypnosis, and they worked together for a few weeks before he started to hypnotise people under his tutor’s guidance. He said he found that he could do it quite easily.

‘So when I came back to Leeds after the six weeks, I found…’ he paused for a moment to relight his cigar, ‘a hypnotherapy clinic. They’d get patients in and let me hypnotise them and try to sort them out, and I learned various techniques. I don’t use it very often.’

He cackled and looked straight out to sea.” [In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, Loc 3197]

Company duly convened and held at 27 Athol Street in the
Borough of Douglas, Isle of Man, on the 24th May 1974
the following Special Resolution was passed:
” That the Company be wound up voluntarily and that
Josef Karma, Hypnotist, of Edale, Victoria Road, Douglas,
Isle of Man, was to be and he is hereby appointed
Liquidator for the purpose of such winding-up.”
Josef Karma, Chairman

London Gazette 30th May 1974

London Gazette 30th May 1974…/6438/page.pdf

By 1974 Josef Karma was liquidating Karma Enterprises. In 1984 Ronricco was still going – with Hi-De-Hi’s Paul Shane following his show at the Villa Marina in Douglas Isle of Man

However, in a very recently published book I stumbled across it appears there was a far more interesting hypnotist of much more repute and power than either the ethical Karma or flamboyant Ronricco living and working on the Isle of Man- ……who would be another person privy to some of the events the young Lady Valerie Monckton and her father, Edward VIII’s legal adviser, Sir Walter Monckton would have been in 1936:

Dr Alexander Cannon  – The King’s Psychic (by Sean Stowell)

“Dr Cannon was the talk of the town on the island back then, just as he had been amongst the cocktail set in 1930s London high society, but no one in the island knew the real story about Cannon’s secret life before he left London. He had run a clinic for confidence building, treating nervous and even sexual disorders, on Harley Street, just yards from the clinic of Lionel Logue, the speech therapist who worked with George VI on his stammer.

He moved to Ballamoar Castle in the Isle of Man at the start of the war in 1939. His rich and famous followers, including some top brass of the military, were only too happy to make the journey all the way over to the island, not an inconsiderable journey in those days.

Decades later I was introduced via a totally different route to the world of Dr Cannon, namely through MI5 documents, official archives, history books and some very elderly people. They helped me piece together this Yorkshireman’s role in the 1936 abdication.

Dr Cannon was said to be a ‘master of black magic in England’ enjoying a powerful hold over the psychologically-ailing King Edward who suffered from drink and confidence problems.

Most people still believe the official story of the abdication: that Edward gave up the throne for the love of Mrs Simpson. But the documents and recordings I have seen and listened to not only reveal an Establishment plot to oust Edward (the key plotter was Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Cosmo Lang), but also reveal how the fascist far-right tried to subvert that plot which had Dr Cannon playing a central role.

Tape recordings transcribed in ‘The King’s Psychic’ describe how Edward’s fascist Blackshirt supporters claimed to have tried to expose Dr Cannon. They wanted to protect the only monarch they believed would ‘tackle the march of communism’.

After the abdication in December 1936, Dr Cannon did not disappear into the sunset – quite the opposite.

He moved to the island and continued practising his lucrative mystic brand of medicine and extended his sphere of influence to include many top rank military chiefs.

From the RAF base next to his clinic at Ballamoar Castle in the north of the island, he regularly flew to London. He was acting as an unofficial and ‘psychic guru’ to his believers, some of them based at Admiralty. He engineered bizarre experiments in telepathy which, incredibly, caught the attention of the highest ranks.

One such attempt to develop telepathic powers in a patient involved arranging a love affair between an aristocratic Special Operations Executive commander and Cannon’s beautiful young psychic assistant, Joyce de Rhonda. Match-maker Cannon believed communicating by telepathy would be far easier if the subjects were in love. They did fall in love – passionately so.

The Special Operations commander Sir Geoffrey Congreve tried to deploy his new telepathic ‘skill’ during a raid on a Nazi base in Norway. An Enigma code machine discovered during the mission was brought back to England to help break German codes. Rather ridiculously, Dr Cannon claimed the glory and the commander was called to celebrate the find at Downing Street.” (The Dr who dabbled in the Occult, Isle of Many Today, 16 August 2014)

Cannon’s beliefs re love and telepathy being easier for those romantically involved reminds me of a fascinating book claiming to give a first hand account of involvement in several operations during WWII employing young paladins (boys) from public schools as junior spies (and the transmission of messages within music over public airwaves) I read in January 2013 which I will come back to in due course (once I’ve read Stowell’s book above), suggesting his approach may well have been put to wider use, as well as potentially providing an underlying theory for the ‘Spartacus’ connection.

And Savile’s going to be another goat-starer perhaps or just a spanner in some goat-staring works? Who knows. Every time I follow another passing character he refers to into books or local papers, or read up on the local history of a place he wants to claim close association with, the same themes appear to glare away.


4. Legerdemain:

From Wikipedia:

“In addition to manual dexterity, sleight of hand depends on the use of psychology, timing, misdirection, and natural choreography in accomplishing a magical effect. Misdirection is perhaps the most important component of the art of sleight of hand. The magician choreographs his actions so that all spectators are likely to look where he or she wants them to. More importantly, they do not look where the performer does not wish them to look. Two types of misdirection are timing and movement. Timing is simple: by allowing a small amount of time to pass after an action, events are skewed in the viewer’s mind. Movement is a little more complicated. A phrase often used is “A larger action covers a smaller action.” Care must be taken however to not make the larger action so big that it becomes suspect.”

There’s an interesting story related on a forum discussing Savile’s time at the Leeds Mecca Locarno when Savile fails to secure Bill Halley and the Comets to play at the Mecca.

From the Locarno Boy website: (May 2012)

“One thing Jimmy Savile would not tolerate was to think that the opposition had one over on him.

So when he saw that Bill Haley and the Comets were advertised by one of his competitors, Jimmy announced that they would also be playing at his venue on the same night; Leeds Locarno.

Anyone asking “how can you do that Jim?” was quickly assured that everything would be fine, “it’s all in hand”.

A week before the said appearance, and with a capacity attendance, Jimmy appeared on stage to explain that a tunnel was being dug at that very moment, so that Bill Haley and his Comets could move quickly from the opposition venue to the Locarno.

He then announced he was going to make a progress report, so he banged on the stage floor.

Up through a trapdoor appeared the Locarno handy man covered in mud.

“How`s it going?” asked Jimmy.

“It`s going well boss. Think we are going to be OK. Can’t stop, must get on” the handyman disappearing again.

This continued night after night, right up to the event, building up such an interest that the Locarno was full to capacity on the night of the said appearance. When Jimmy announced “here we have, live on stage”, the audience went wild.

Then all the lights went out in the building, until Jimmy eventually announced that “due to technical difficulties Bill Haley and the Comets would not be able to appear”. As he spoke the DJ increased the volume to “Rock Around the Clock” and the audience danced as though their idol was up there on stage playing live to them.

As for the opposition; the story suggests that they lost a lot of money that night; the audience believed what they wanted to believe, especially when told by such a charismatic showman.

Talk about selling the sizzle not the steak.”




George Parker Rossman a.k.a. Jonathan Drake

With many thanks to Troy [Twitter: @snowfaked] 


1964: Greek Love by J.Z.Eglington aka Walter Breen

Written by Walter Breen. Best-selling science fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley had married Walter Breen, a famous coin collector and noted paedophile author, who molested young boys all his life. Bradley knew all about Breen’s sexual relationship with a fourteen-year-old boy in 1964, the year that they were married. Over the next twenty five years, as Breen promoted sex with children, she turned a blind eye to his abuse of boy after boy. The couple even tried to adopt one of the boys. Breen eventually died in prison, having been convicted of molesting a twelve-year-old boy, a friend of the family. The boy told his parents after four years of abuse. [Library Thing Review 2013]

Marion Zimmer Bradley (MBZ) was a noted sci-fi/fantasy author writing the of Avalon novels. In June 2014, Moira Greayland, MBZ’s daughter spoke wrote publicly about being abused by her mother from the age of 3 to 12.

“Moira Greyland, Bradley’s daughter, went public with her accusation onthe blog of the author Deirdre Saoirse Moen earlier this month, giving Moen permission to quote from an email in which she wrote: “The first time she molested me, I was three. The last time, I was 12, and able to walk away … She was cruel and violent, as well as completely out of her mind sexually. I am not her only victim, nor were her only victims girls.”

Greyland is the daughter of Bradley and Walter Breen, who was jailed for child molestation and died in prison. Greyland wrote in her email to Moen: “I put Walter in jail for molesting one boy … Walter was a serial rapist with many, many, many victims (I named 22 to the cops) but Marion was far, far worse.” (SFF community reeling after Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter accuses her of abuse, Alison Flood, The Guardian, 27 June 2014)

In 1997 MBZ had been named as a defendant in civil litigation by one of Walter Breen’s 12 year old victims. Here the stepfather of the boy outlines the reasons behind his timing of publishing the details after MBZ’s death and provides a timeline of events as well as excerpts from MBZ’s deposition in their case.

Interestingly an Amazon comment on a book review of Greek Love states:

2.0 out of 5 stars A flawed work…, March 21, 2004
This review is from: Greek love, (Hardcover)

To begin with, I suspect that the real “author” of this book was Warren Johanssen, a very important figure — perhaps the dominant figure — in the world of New York gay academics. I say this because (a) Walter Breen was a coin expert and (b) the footnotes and bibliography belong to Warren.Much later, Warren Johannsen made extremely important contributions to “The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality,” the most important reference work on this topic ever published.

But Warren liked to remain in the background. He had no desire for publicity, but was fluent in some 14 languages.

That said, Walter Breen managed to write a fairly stupid book on top of the scholarly background provided by Warren. His theme throughout the book is that the only purpose of a love between a man and a younger guy is to encourage the younger guy onto the path of True Heterosexuality, and this is a theme so foolish that I am embarrassed to repeat it. People are who they are!! Why should a gay man in love with a younger guy act like a parental surrogate, and continue insisting that Lovely Heterosexuality is the goal of life, when in fact his boyfriend might be utterly gay?

Walter Breen was a brilliant numismatist, but a very stupid man, who did time in prison several times for extremely inappropriate sexual and social behavior. Towards the end of his life (I have heard) he began regarding the friends of his sons as legitimate targets (!). He wound up in prison and died there, as he so richly deserved.

Sorry: not all gay men are good! Welcome to the real world!

Moira Stern says:

“I am puzzled by this review of my father’s book. Yes, he was a coin expert, but he also had a long and abiding interest in all things Greek, if you will forgive the expression. I do not believe that there was another writer other than my mother, Marion Zimmer Bradley, who did some editing. I cannot imagine my father intending to lead anyone to the path of “Lovely Heterosexuality” when he believed that there was no such thing as a complete heterosexual, and identified himself as exclusively gay, despite his marriage and children. Anyone who has any familiarity with my father’s writing would know he has no need for anyone’s assistance: he wrote forty books on coins. It is a pity how deeply my father BELIEVED the nonsense in this book: it helped the judge determine his sentence: 13 years for a man in a wheelchair with only days to live. He was deemed too dangerous even to be allowed into a hospice.And yet I do agree with the final point here: Not all gay men are good.
In his “defense” I will only say this: he was a brilliant man: staggering IQ, multilingual, math whiz, lightning calculator, concert pianist, and mentor of many mathematicians, physicists, and other scholars. In many cases, people who are academically amazing may not be emotionally amazing. His life was a tragedy, but if there was one thing he NEVER needed, it was a ghostwriter. Peace.”

1967 – 1970: Book Explorers, New York City folded in 1970 but one of its offspring companies published Parker Rossman and DW Nichols joint work ‘Boys for Sale’ – which Rossman penned as Jonathan Drake. There’s also mention in the article below of Coltsfoot Press run by Cazimir Dukahz

1977: Interview with DW Nichols, joint author and friend of Walter Breen (aka       J.Z.Eglington), and also a friend of George Parker Rossman:

An interview with DW Nichols, author of Towards a Boy-Lovers Perspective by D Tsang published in U.S. publication: Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Pages 11-21] Gay Academic Union, 1977

“The truth is that Rossman himself  is very much a boy-lover, although he is married with grown children; he has been personally involved in the Boy-Lovers scene. In fact no one has devoted more of his adult life to studying the various lifestyles of various kinds of Boy Lovers, as well as searching out the literature on the theme, and gone into deep speculation on his findings, than has George Parker Rossman.” (p.20, D W Nicholson in interview, as cited below)

DW Nichols reveals that at 42, he is the same age as his friend J.Z. Eglington (aka Walter Breen, MBZ’s husband above) who wrote in 1964 Greek Love. For more detailed exploration of Englington’s agenda and the flourishing of pro-paedophile stance in academia in general please see Ian Pace’s blog ‘Desiring Progress’ here

Interestingly, Nichols appears to think that the upper classes have been less hostile to PIE’s overtures in the UK than lower and middle classes and also says that is true of the US:

“However PIE’s efforts have been met with virulent hostility from the middle classes and especially lower classes, and this is also typical of the anti-pederastic attitudes here in America.”

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Pages 11-21] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Pages 11-21]
Gay Academic Union, 1977

p. 12

Speaks of Boy Lovers group in Chicago Hermes newsletter and the Delta Project – prostitution and abuse of boys to supply to wider market, Chicago Tribune, 15 May 1766 expose

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  p.12 Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 p.12
Gay Academic Union, 1977




Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Page 13] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 13]
Gay Academic Union, 1977


Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Page 14] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 14]
Gay Academic Union, 1977


Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Page 15] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 15]
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Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 16] Gay Academic Union, 1977














Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Page 17] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 17]
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Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Page 18] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 18]
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Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Page 19] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Page 19]
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Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3  [Pages 11-21] Gay Academic Union, 1977

Midwest Gay Academic Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-3 [Pages 11-21]
Gay Academic Union, 1977















The 1970-1971 West Islip/Long Island New York Brehm/Morris/Parker Rossman group with a newsletter

Between January 1970- 1971 George Brehm of Floral Park, New York was using another house in West Islip, New York to host child abuse group meetings which even featured a newsletter and the abuse of boys, some under 11 years old. Dr Morris Fraser, a child psychiatrist who had worked in Belfast studying children in conditions of conflict on which more here Spotlight was indicted along with 7 other men:

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The Journal, Ogdensburg, New York p.6 4 May 1973
Arizona Republic – 4 May 1973
Child-psychiatrist, 7 others charged in sex abuse of 15 hoys

Associated Press RIVERHEAD. N.Y. — British child-psychiatrist Morris Fraser, 39, and seven other men were indicted here yesterday on 27 counts of conspiracy, sodomy and sexual abuse involving 15 boys.

Fraser, who appeared on the widely acclaimed NBC television documentary, Suffer the Little Children, concerning the effects of war on the children of Northern Ireland, pleaded innocent to the charges in arraignment before Suffolk County Judge Pierre Lundberg.

Three other men also pleaded innocent, a fifth was in custody in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the remaining three men are at large, police said.

The Suffolk County grand jury indictment charged the men with befriending the alleged victims, some under 11 years of age, then committing sex acts with them at a home in West Islip, N.Y., between January 1970 and December 1971.

The indictment specified one count of conspiracy, 19 counts of sodomy and 7 counts of sexual abuse against each defendant.

Authorities said one of those indicted, Hal Oelke, 48, of Manhattan, was a former fund raiser for Big Brothers of New York, but left the post several years ago. The organization works with troubled youths.

Another defendant, George Brehm, 50, of Floral Park, N.Y., was accused of making a house available for the alleged sex activities — a summer home since resold.

Both Brehm and Oelke pleaded innocent to the charges as did a fourth defendant, George Rossman, 53, married and a father of three from New Haven, Conn.

Brehm currently is being held in Auburn State Prison after conviction on similar charges last year.

Sam Fierro, chief of the Suffolk County rackets bureau, said Fraser returned here “willingly and at his own expense” from the British Isles, where he is associated with the Royal Belfast hospital for Exceptional Children in Belfast.

He was released on his own recognizance after the arraignment to return to Belfast, pending trial at a date not yet set.

Oelke and Rossman were released on $2,000 bail each.


Prof guilty in sex case, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12 November 1982

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12 Nov 1982

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12 Nov 1982

The Butler Did It – Paul Pender (2012)

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The story of Archie Hall/ Roy Fontaine: The Butler Did It by Paul Pender

Very humorously written, a lot of which is derived from Roy’s menacing charm so well described by author Paul Pender, best encapsulated in his opening sentence:

“This book is in one sense the record of a friendship, if friendship can be held to include death threats.”

This interview  with author Paul Pender in The Scotsman (28 May 2012) gives a precis of Hall’s crimes as a murderous butler, stealing from and killing employers and other thieves. Until his death in 2002 Fontaine was the oldest person serving a whole life tariff. And it appears that may have something to do with who or what he knew from days spent in Blitz-torn London during WWII, servicing the sexual appetites of Vic Oliver, Lord Mountbatten and Lord Boothby (then just ‘Bob’ pre 1957) as a 17 year old lad from Glasgow. Not to mention his bold move in stealing an important briefcase and then trying to sell it back to the Home Office or the Russians for which he escaped with a surprisingly lenient sentence of 4 years in 1973 before returning to prison for the rest of his life for 4 murders within a few years.

Born in 1924 in Glasgow, Archibald Hall was 16 when WWII started. While in the Grand Central Station Hotel in Glasgow having a drink, 17 year old  Archie catches the pianist’s eye.

“Roy did not immediately recognise the name Vic Oliver, even when the older man described himself a a well-known radio entertainer.”

Vic was to have success during the war with Hi, Gang! and was the first castaway on Desert Island Discs. The Castaway who annoyed Churchill (BBC 2012)

Towards the end of WWII Oliver was nearing 50 and was soon to be divorced from Sarah Churchill, no longer to be the Prime Minister’s son-in-law. During the war, like Bert Ambrose, Oliver was to enjoy success as an entertainer, mixing musical genius with comedy and leading the way for comedians like Les Dawson and Victor Borges.

“In truth, relations between the musician and his illustrious father-in-law were always strained. Since Churchill had set up a magnificent intelligence-gathering network, it is highly unlikely that he would have remained unaware of the sexual shenanigans of the man who had stolen away his beloved daughter Sarah.” [Loc 1387]

“After sex, Vic liked to hum ‘Prelude to the Starts’, the theme song of his radio show. In the morning, he said he could introduce Roy to some stars of stage and screen. The young man could keep the gold lighter if he agreed to come down to London for a few months, all expenses paid. Roy agreed enthusiastically.

‘It was the first time I’d slept with a man,’ said Roy nostalgically as he picked up the gold lighter. ‘He gave me this as a present: 24 carat-gold. It’s been with me ever since.’

Within a week the 17 year old lad followed his mentor down to London where, despite the Blitz, high society’s gay elite frequently partied the night away above the darkened theatres of Shaftesbury Avenue. Vic took him to all-male soirees in Ivor Novello’s luxury flat overlooking Piccadilly Circus. It was a huge apartment with polished wooden floors, scattered rugs and a white grand piano in the corner.

Roy joined the ranks of the good-looking men who were paid to act as waiters dressed only in things, their job being to satisfy the appetites – all the appetites – of the older men.

I tasted the cream of London society,’ said Roy. ‘Literally!’ He winked suggestively. It was not an image I particularly wished to dwell on.

The serving boys would flirt with the older men and for tips would perform sexual favours for the guests. Couples would drift off into bedrooms and toilets.

Discretion, Roy assured me, was of the utmost importance, because if outed the careers of these men would be over.

‘But then again, ‘ he added, ‘these were not just men with friends in high places. They were  the friends in high places.’

It was in these circles that he met Lord Robert Boothby (‘Bob’), who was rumoured to be a lover of Ronnie Kray, the most notorious of all London gangsters. Boothby spent his life shuttling between high society and the criminal underworld. Like so many public figures who could not in those days afford to come out of the closet, he enjoyed living on the dangerous edge of things. He got a kick out of what Oscar Wilder called ‘feasting with panthers.’ When not consorting with the Krays, Boothby moved in exalted circles. He was a close friend of future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and had been Private Secretary to Winston Churchill himself.

Roy claimed that it was through Boothby that he was invited to Somerset Maugham’s villa on the French Riviera after the war – the famed Villa Mauresque. He went into great detail about swimming in the pool there and spending a weekend in the company of other young men whose physical perfection was matched only by the beautiful objets d’art with which they were surrounded.” [Loc 1414]

In 1939 the family had followed Roy’s father to the British Army Catterick base as telegraphist in General Post Office – when he discovers his mother having an affair he plots revenge on Major Morris and is caught with Nazi photos and a book by Aleister Crowley he says he was going to plant on Morris but,

“Under pressure he revealed that he was fascinated by Crowley’s writings on how to impose one’s will on others. He told me he’d learned from Crowley that ‘the key was the stare. The unblinking hypnotic stare.’

Roy had realised – before the British Intelligence Services did – that Hitler had been heavily influenced by Crowley and the occult, and he surmised, correctly as it turned out, that Adolf had spent many hours in front of a mirror perfecting that hypnotic stare which would ultimately transform a nation of decent people into willing accomplices in genocide.

I had a sudden illumination. I asked him outright, ‘So Roy tell me – did you practise your stare?’

After what seemed like an unconscionably long silence, he said, ‘How the fuck did you know that?’

‘A lucky guess,’ I said. I didn’t tell him that I’d spent years researching the Satanic origins of the Nazis. Unfortunately, the stare could only get you so far. The next step, whether your name was Adolf or Archie, tended to be murder.” [Loc 1167]

Roy’s love of Crowley’s ‘unblinking hypnotic stare’ sounds very familiar…did Savile practise his unblinking hypnotic stare in the mirror too? And was Aleister Crowley Savile’s inspiration as it was Roy’s?


The Case of the Attache Case

“In 1945, the 21 year old sophisticate returned to Glasgow from his London adventure. The was was over, and Roy bade a temporary goodbye to his upper-class acquaintances. He wanted to move in their circles some day, but with a little more dignity: ‘Preferably not with a banknote for sexual services stuck between the cheeks of my arse.” [Loc 1492]

“Big changes were taking place in the postwar world. Vic Oliver was divorced by Lady Sarah Churchill and Lord Mountbatten was given a new job, as Viceroy of India.”[Loc 1492]

“Roy claimed Mountbatten’s new title of Viceroy was appropriate, since his Lordship had engaged in so much vice with Roy. He kept in touch with Mountbatten’s inner circle and told me that ‘Lord Louis, God bless him, remained adventurous on the sexual front. You could say that India just added more spice.'”

“Roy had penetrated the ruling class of Britain, literally and metaphorically. He knew their dirty little secrets. Journalistic accounts of his life have tended to concentrate on the blood and gore”


11 August 1973, The Guardian

11 August 1973, The Guardian

“I was a good boy second time around,’ he said. As an escapee and a high security prisoner I met more interesting people. I was now part of a very special elite. Many of my fellow high-security prisoners were spies: there was Peter kroger and Paddy Meehan, who were linked to MI5. They taught me how valuable Government secrets are. That information was to come in handy later.” [Loc 2790]

Parkhurst Warder faces secret papers charges, 28 June 1968, The Guardian

Parkhurst Warder faces secret papers charges, 28 June 1968, The Guardian

“On a visit to London he had gone to one of his favourite watering holes – the American bar of the savoy. There he met a handsome young man who was carrying an expensive looking attache case. They laughed and joked over cocktails, and Roy, now the older man (he was nearly 50), gave the young fellow an expensive cigar, lighting it with his 24-carat-gold lighter….[Loc 2955]

Soon Roy and the young fellow were romping in the feathered luxury of a king-sized hotel bed. Roy’s motives went beyond mere lust.

‘The attache case had caught my eye,’ he explained. ‘I’d never seen one before which was monogrammed “ER II” – the monogram of Her Majesty the Queen.

‘I felt I deserved it,’ said Roy, ‘given that I’d spent so many years of my life detained at her pleasure. Possessing the young man wasn’t enough. I had to possess the case too…..

When he got home he realised that he had hit the jack-pot. With pounding heart he discovered that it contained top-secret files marked ‘For the Prime Minister’s office only.’

The papers had been prepared by a secret Government think tank for a briefing of the British Cabinet. They revealed much valuable information on global economics, security, foreign policy and the world oil situation, which the Government did not want to fall into the wrong hands.” [Loc 2969]

Roy then phoned the Home office the next morning saying he’d give the papers back at a price. The Home office accused him of blackmail and ‘Roy accused them of hypocrisy. ‘Let’s face it’, he told them, ‘politics and blackmail are practically synonymous!’. [Loc 2984]

In the news at the time the briefcase was reported as belonging to a Mr S Guinness a First Secretary at the Foreign Office who was on secondment to the Cabinet Office, a member of Rothschild “Think Tank”, and who had said he left his briefcase by the front door to discover it had been stolen from his home on his return (Butler hid stolen Cabinet papers in wine store, The Guardian 11 August 1973 – see above).

Roy’s Plan B involved selling the papers to the Russians so he went to the Russian Consulate in Brompton Road, London and has an amusing but inconclusive and unsatisfactory conversation about selling the papers.

Within a few weeks of visiting the Russian Consulate and moving to Warwickshire to start a new job as a Butler to Mr Angelo Southall at Grimshaw Hall, MI5 turn up on Southall’s doorstep…

“The three large gentlemen who confronted Roy told him they’d tear Grimshaw Hall apart if he didn’t reveal the location of the Cabinet papers. He knew he couldn’t mess them around. There weren’t many people whom Roy met who were more ruthless than himself, but these chaps really meant business.

He led them downstairs to the wine cellar, where the attache case was hidden under a wine rack. Sensing that he probably woouldn’t be laughing again anytime soon, Ron smiled wanly and quipped, ‘It was a very good year for secrets.

While he was in custody awaiting trial, he received a visit from a Caommander Wilson of MI5 who knew of Roy’s intimacy with influential members of the ruling class, including Lords Mountbatten and Boothby – as well as Churchhill’s son-in-law Vic Oliver. The Commander suspected that Roy might have been garnering state secrets via pillow talk and passing them on to the Russians.

‘Tell me everything you know about the Russian,’ he demanded.

To which Roy pithily replied, ‘I believe they live in Eastern Europe.’

Before Commander Wilson could register a response, Roy continued, ‘How many years are you going to give me for nicking a poxy fucking briefcase? If the Government fucks with me, I will fuck with them. I have deposited with several friends and my legal representatives of my sexual liasions with Lord Mountbatten, Lord Boothby and Vic Oliver. In the event of anything untoward happening to me, these are to be sent to various newspapers along with a vivid description of the sexual shenanigans currently taking place between government ministers and male prostitutes in a swanky gay club off Park Lane. The club is very popular with prominent members of Ted Heath’s Conservative Government, which, as you will be aware, Commander, is at this moment  running the country under the banner of restoring wholesome family values.’

This gave the Commander much food for thought.

Roy rammed home his advantage by stressing that ‘these revelations will make the Profumo affair look like a vicar’s tea party. Or maybe a vicars and tarts tea party.’

It was a high-risk stratagem, but it worked. When Roy was sentence to four years in prison, senior law officers and policemen were astonished. Most of them had assumed that for contravening the Official Secrets Act he would go down for at least ten. Nevertheless, even with his reduced sentence, he would be 52 when he got out.” [Loc 3061]

When Lord Mountbatten died, Roy must have seen his leverage slipping as other WWII blitz-time associates passed away too. However, successive Home Secretaries were not to be fooled into letting him out and he remained on the life tariff, often attempting suicide, finally dying in 2002.

Malcolm McDowell and Paul Pender are now working on the film of Roy’s life which I’m hoping makes it to screens soon. Roy’s entire life for himself was built out of that first encounter with Vic Oliver and the information he gained, even his name change conjured up as a wish to appear sophisticated. Who will play Mountbatten?

Hall published his autobiography, A Perfect Gentleman, in 1999. More to read.




Savile, McLaren, the Great Child Abuse Swindle of 1980 and beyond

Over the years, an assortment of musicians, authors, TV presenters, comedians and satirists have hinted at the old cliche of truth being stranger than fiction (just a whole lot less publishable) with regard to what was in circulation as to Savile’s abusive and sinister side:

“It’s common for fiction writers to get round issues of legality or taste by creating a composite figure with nudgingly familiar details. While Savile was still alive, the crime-writer Val McDermid featured a character called Jacko Vance (Savile’s middle-name was Vince) in the Wire in the Blood books. Played in the TV adaptations by John Michie, Vance is a much-loved Northern TV celebrity who hid a predilection for raping and torturing young women” (Mark Lawson, The Guardian, New Tricks: was the series finale actually about Jimmy Savile? 31 October 2012)

1. 1978: The Great Child Abuse Swindle, Johnny Rotten & what McLaren knew

2. 1984: Jilly Cooper, Barnes Common, Elm Guest House and the ‘Activities’

3. 1987: Jerry Sadowitz & Savile ‘an expert in child abuse’

4. 1988: Savile on BBC’s Open To Question facing an incisive audience of teenagers

5. 1994 (4th January and 26th December): Jeremy Hardy and Chris Morris mock Savile with very different outcomes

6. 1997 & 2011: Val McDermid & Jacko Vance ‘Wire in the Blood’ and ‘The Retribution’

7. 1996: Irvine Welsh & Freddy Royle in ‘Lorraine goes to Livingstone’

8. 1998: Skinner & Baddiel ITV’s Fantasy World Cup 

9. 1999: Terry Wogan comments on Savile ‘haunting the corridors’ of the BBC

10. 2007 (June – November): Angus Deayton ‘rapped’ or ‘censured’ for delivering scripted remarks?


1. 1978: The Great Child Abuse Swindle: Johnny Rotten & what McLaren knew about ‘corruption and hypocrisy that underlay Top of the Pops’

“It’s easier to list the people I don’t want to kill.”

“I’d like to kill Jimmy Savile. He’s a hypocrite. I’ve heard he’s into all kinds of seediness which we all know about but aren’t allowed to talk about. I know some rumours. Aren’t I a bitch,” sneers Johnny Rotten in his sullen whisper.

“I’ve seen how supposed antichrists turned into bourgeoisie, Bond Street shops, the McLarens have opened a new shop in Bond Street. Yes I find that really strange.”

In 1978 Savile, aged 51-52, was busy penning God’ll Fix It, and joining Lord Longford et al on their Porn report jaunts, having escaped unscathed from the BBC Payola report of Brian Neill QC in 1971, ending with Janie Jones prosecution in 1974 (whom Savile later quizzes on Myra Hindley offering his own opinion). Despite the tragic suicide of Clare Uffland (Savile abuse girl labelled ‘delusional’ after suicide˚) and the convenient loss of her diary,  Savile’s subsequent reckoning with God (or as God?), during his December 1976  ‘moment of enquiry’ at Qumran, Dead Sea, sees him as satisfied with the direction in which he has taken his life.

Post Sex Pistols Fred Vermorel gives an astonishing glimpse into McLaren’s agenda, specifically in fuelling the music industry’s interest in paedophilia with his 1980 launch of Bow Wow Wow and an attempt to launch a magazine called ‘Chicken’, formerly named ‘Playkids’:  From the Archives: ‘At the end they even stole his death’, Fred Vermorel, 24 March 2014 – GQ magazine

“I now saw Malcolm’s plot. This was to embroil EMI and everyone else in a paedophile sex scandal. That would make Bow Wow Wow even more notorious than the Sex Pistols.”

Maurice Oberstein (1928 – 2001), was credited as being one of the ‘chief Architects of the UK record industry’ (The Independent Obituary, 25 August 2001). Oberstein appears to have worked hard at creating an image of zany eccentricity and creative flair through a range of gimmicks. Below is a clip of Oberstein in 1985  at the Brit Awards with one of his dogs named after record executives he admired… and would pretend to take the advice of in business meetings – see Vermorel’s article for more on gimmicks used by Oberstein like ‘Talk to the hat’.

“[Malcolm’s] other agenda was a genuine contempt for the music industry. He used to say the music industry was run by child molesters, meaning it fiddled with the sexuality of young kids to peddle bands. And of course, that is true.

He would illustrate his point with a lurid anecdote of how one evening he and a companion visited the legendary CBS executive Maurice Oberstein at home.  Here, they found a young boy naked under a blanket on the sofa. Oberstein boasted he’d picked the boy up at a railway station. For Malcolm, that symbolised the corruption and hypocrisy that underlay Top of the Pops, and all the other music biz rigmarole.

But rather than denounce Oberstein, he sought to expose this latent industry paedophilia by exacerbating it. A situationist tactic that could also have been taken from the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, who commended “the ecstasy of making things worse.”

Malcolm just loved “making things worse.” At the expense of anyone in the way.  Including 12 -year-old girls and photographers. Including me.”

Billboard Magazine, 26 July 1980

Billboard Magazine, 26 July 1980


2. 1984: Jilly Cooper, Barnes Common, Elm Guest House and the ‘Activities’

“During the ten years she lived at the edge of Putney Common Jilly Cooper walked daily on this expanse of green. For most of the time she lived there she kept a diary, noting the effects of the changing seasons and writing about her encounters with dogs and humans. The book is a distillation of those diaries: an affectionate and enthralling portrait – warts and all – of life on Putney Common. Never has Jilly Cooper written more lyrically about flowers, trees, birds and the natural world; more tellingly about the sorrows – as well as the joys – of caring for dogs and children; or more outrageously about the gossip, illicit romances and jealousies of life in a small community.” [From the Amazon synopsis]

For the newspaper coverage during August 1982 see Spotlight: Elm Guest House (The History of a Cover-Up) and Spotlight: In 1981 police were already investigation ‘child pornography ring’ linked to trafficking and murder and Keith Vaz and the Mystery of Barnes Common

Putney Common merges into Barn Elms Playing Field which Elm Guest House, no 27 Rocks Lane faced onto (MPs and Judges visited Elm Guest House, Coroner’s Court told, Exaro, 15 December 2012 and Met told of Savile’s link to Elm Guest House, Exaro, 16 February 2014). Jilly Cooper moved to the Cotswolds in 1982 leaving London behind and had her first big hit in fiction with Riders in 1985.

Fronting as a gay-friendly B&B used by politicians such as Sir Cyril Smith and Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (Solicitor Advocate for Scotland under Thatcher- more on him as defence counsel for spies in Dunoon here) and with reported links to Savile, it is also alleged the B&B catered to celebrities and members of the Establishment across a variety of institutions as well, all suggesting the small quaint Edwardian Elm Guest House was the source of a fair amount of gossip amongst locals if not for what was going on behind the curtains, but for the mere fact of the possibility of spotting a famous face disappearing through a non-descript door. Not least it seems from the gay house share four doors down from no 27 who share the gossip about the Elm Guest House ‘activities’ and wish to make it clear that being gay does not equate to being a child abuser, a point always worth noting. Where are those neighbours now 30+ years later?


Jilly Cooper's The Common Years

 3. 1987: Jerry Sadowitz & Savile ‘an expert in child abuse’

Nine years later, in the midst of the Cleveland Child Abuse scandal and the year Savile turned  61, Jerry Sadowitz  “don’t fuck about, get an expert in, Jimmy Savile” (on which more to come from  Tony Really Loves Me, Sir Stuart Bell MP’s 2000 autobiography and his crassly titled When Salem came to the Boro published in 1989). In the 1997 documentary broadcast on Tuesday 27 May ‘The death of childhood’ was shown on Channel 4, it was reported that 93 of the 121 children at the centre of the affair had been fond by the courts to be at risk of abuse and yet, as has happened in Sir Stuart Bell’s Guardian Obituary from 13 October 2012 it still had to be edited for the repeated myth that the Cleveland Abuse Scandal was a lot of nonsense cooked up by social workers and doctors.


The Independent, 26 May 1997

The Independent, 26 May 1997


4. 1988: Savile on BBC’s Open To Question

Not strictly falling into the arena of artistic licence giving expression to truth when suppressed but more an example of where the Emperor’s New Ideology falls down like in the face of inquisitive youth, it was after all, the children who pointed out the Emperor was naked. A well-prepared 18-year old Krishnan Guru-Murthy hosts incisive questions from an audience of 16-18 year olds directed at Savile – the first of which suggests he is obsolete. At 11:40 a question is asked which places the programme at some point after Savile had been appointed to the Taskforce at Broadmoor, and turning Broadmoor into a holiday camp. Savile gets increasingly voluble and defensive to comments like  “you seem to be quite an egotist.” A tiny glimpse into what he would have been like had he ever been put on trial perhaps?

[What bike factory in Londonderry did Savile open?]

5. 1994 (4th January and 26th December): Jeremy Hardy and Chris Morris mock Savile with very different outcomes

Within seven years of Sadowitz making his biting comments on Cleveland, mocking Savile appeared to become a more mainstream sport during 1994, sandwiched between a brilliantly drafted letter published in The Independent (4th January 1994) by Jeremy Hardy who scathes his way through an obituary to Jim’ll Fix It and doesn’t hear a peep from Jimmy (now aged 67-68) –  to a fake obituary from Chris Morris on Boxing Day which sees Morris suspended from the BBC and starts 1995 with Savile suing the BBC for ruining his Christmas.

Dear Sir Jimmy Savile: A comedian’s words of valediction to the nation’s trusted uncle

“It is with great sadness that I hear of the demise of Jim’ll Fix It, the show that made children’s dreams come true, especially recurring nightmares about old men in track suits. We shall all miss that showcase for a great English eccentric, with his extrovert clothes and jewellery. I often think that if you had been an entertainer, you would have been a sort of heterosexual Quentin Crisp: the white hair, the baubles, the affected halting speech, the air of a time that has passed.

I stress your heterosexuality because, with all the speculation about the private life of Britain’s favourite bachelor, it has never been suggested in any quarter that your preference is for anything but the female. Indeed, you have regaled us with anecdotes about your dalliances, some of which happened in the middle of marathon races] You put the ‘fun’ in ‘fun run’.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 16.43.15I always thought that if there had been a glamorous assistant on the show, you might have married. But it was never to be. Rather than have a family of your own, you became a trusted uncle to the nation’s children. In a way you are rather like God, only with money.

Over the years you have raised a great deal of money for charity. It might even be said that you made a career of it. I know you are rather modest about your good works, and a lot of the things you get up to never make the headlines, but perhaps it was your agent or publicist who let slip every so often that as well as being a fundraiser and jogger you also do unpaid work as a hospital porter, such is your love of pushing the disabled around.

You clearly adore those less fortunate than yourself, which means most of us. But people with disabilities have had a special place in your studio. You wanted to elevate them from the status of mere people and make them mascots for the nation, filling our screens as a reminder that, but for the grace of God, we could look like that too.

As an active Conservative, you wish to free them from the shackles of welfare and public provision, remove the stain of dignity and independence, return them to the private sector with only the munificence of patronage to grovel to. One request before you go. My little girl would like there to be a National Health Service when she grows up. Can you fix it for her?

Your friend,

Jeremy Hardy”

By August 1994 Morris had already been suspended for 2 weeks for a fake obituary of Michael Heseltine MP a (The Independent, 21 August 1994) and was now required to work pre-recorded as opposed to live on air. On Boxing Day during a 2 hour show Morris did a fake obituary on BBC Radio 1 stating Savile had died, going out with a bang a the end of 6 months, one wonders whether he always knew he’d have to save Savile till last due to his litigiousness? Savile sued the BBC claiming it ruined his Christmas.

I am intrigued to read “Grave concerns” [The Times, Joseph, Joe (4 March 1995)] where a programme called The Obituary Show on Channel 4 included Savile reading his own obituary. “Now it is being repeated and Savile dies for us once again.” Please, no one join in with Savile’s edging ever closer to his own Christly self-image building. Would be interesting to see what Savile’s self-assessment in his own obituary for the programme tells us twenty years after Qumran in 1976 and sixteen years prior to his actual death.

The Times, 4 March 1995

The Times, 4 March 1995


6. 1997 & 2011: Val McDermid & Jacko Vance ‘Reality may be like this’ says Ruth Rendell


“Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three years as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid.” When McDermid met Savile in 1977 she was working for the Sunday People in Manchester. She’d been so struck by his barely masked air of menace,that twenty or so years later her encounter with Savile and the rumours constantly circling him helped her create the character of a serial killer masking his means to dispose of bodies in morgues with volunteer charity work.

In the early hours of the morning on 1 October 2012, a few days before the ITV Exposure programme on Savile was due to be broadcast (with newspapers speculating on Savile’s darker alter ego), Val McDermid, the Scottish crime author tweeted:

@valmcdermid@bindelj I had Savile very much at the front of my mind when I created Jacko Vance in The Wire in the Blood…5:35 AM – 1 Oct 12


She said: “When I was working as a journalist there was always stuff about Jimmy Savile and young girls and stories that he was a serial predator.

“But it was a story we could never stand up because we could never get enough credible witnesses or a critical mass of people to make it happen.

“There was always talk but we never got to the stage of interviewing people who could make claims against him.”

She eventually told the story in another way – by penning two books featuring Jacko Vance – a serial-killing sexual predator who works as a chat show host and who enjoys watching the terminally ill die in hospital.

Ms McDermid now admits she largely based the character of Vance on Savile when she created him for her book The Wire in the Blood.

She added: “Jimmy Savile was very much in my mind when I wrote that character.” I based psycho on Jimmy Savile says Val McDermid [The Daily Record 28 October 2012]

I’d never read any Val McDermid so I did what any ex-book club member short on time and not having read the book does during their lunchtime… peruse the amazon reviews hoping for a plot spoiler and in doing so came across this:

Amazon reviewers said:

“In this case, the serial killer is a high-profile public personality described as the third most trusted person in England. McDermid’s descriptions of the hunt for this murderer, including the tangents and false leads, are well done. On the down side, the reader may have trouble keeping track of the many characters with common English names. McDermid’s graphic portrayals of the killer’s brutality may churn some stomachs.”

But it’s fellow crime novelist, Ruth Rendell, who comes closest to the mark with her review of the book:

‘This is a shocking book, stunningly exciting, horrifyingly good.

It is so convincing that one fears reality may be like this and these events the awful truth’

Ruth Rendell

Well precisely, and never more so than now it’s been revealed just how many similarities between Jacko and Jimmy were inspired by the rumours circulating Savile at the time. An attempt at a plot precis, now having read the book (very good I’ll read others but this one is over-shadowed by presence of Savile which renders it unenjoyable):

Jacko Vance, the third most trusted person in England, is a celebrity based in Yorkshire like Savile. The action is set mostly in Leeds and also at the coast to the East (Scarborough/Whitby way?) Jacko shares a distinct hatred for women with Jimmy (barring Savile’s few exceptions, notably ‘The Duchess’) and was on the surface a genial do-gooding celebrity. Jacko’s darker motive in volunteering for the local hospital in the morgue was a key to the morgue for late night access to burn body parts, including his own victims he’d imprisoned, tortured and raped.

Savile’s Autobiography As it Happens: An excerpt on “Frying My Own Pal”

 “Things happen to me that don’t really happen to normal people. A friend of mine in the South of England died and I went along to his cremation. On such occasions I really try to be inconspicuous but I am very difficult to disguise. Sure enough, creeping in behind a handful of mourners I am spotted by an eagle-eyed gardner. A tap on the shoulder and I am invited, by nods and motions, behind the scenes to the business half of the crematorium. Politely showing an interest in the somewhat gruesome impedimenta I am offered the well meant but astounding job of frying my own pal. This I do, guided by the experts, and rake out his ashes an hour and twenty minutes and several cups of tea later.” (As it Happens, p.118)

“To emphasize the wide variety of my happenings a husband once said he admited the work I did so much, would I like to make love to his wife of less than a year? This is I declined, but at the other end of the spectrum, at a hospital I had just called in at, I was asked by the short-staffed head porter if I could lay out the remains of an old man who had just been burned to death and his next of kin were coming within the next hour. This job I accepted because after all these years in the hospital world I am now quite good at that sort of thing.” (p.119)

Savile had waxed lyrical about death and being near death, as well as happening to hang out at the morgue in his autobiography As it Happens(1974) – Dan Davies gets across the repetitive monotony of Savile’s recurrent anecdotes, each a little parable in cold fear in In Plain Sight (2014) – and so any author seeking inspiration would have been able to read of this from 1974 onwards.

Jimmy was originally asked to help with the radio at Leeds General Infirmary, instead requesting Joe Tyrer, Head General Porter let him work in the morgue. Joe accompanied Jimmy and The Duchess to Buckingham Palace for his OBE in 1972. As to what he got up to in the morgue, Paul Gambaccini

So despite certain marked similarities, the ‘outlandish’ suggestion of Jimmy being a serial killer who used his morgue access to cover up his own crimes and otherwise treat it as his own personal playground, plus the fact Jacko was described handsome and charming, was sufficient subterfuge to mask the parallels between them to both Jimmy and the rest of us.

Since that first tweet Val has kept on speaking to newspapers, loudly and clearly: Scottish crime writer Val McDermid – Leading Tory will be named as a paedophile alongside Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith (Daily Record, 30 August 2013)

7. 1996: Irvine Welsh & Freddy Royle in Lorraine Goes to Livingstone

Following Paul Gambaccini’s revelations regarding Savile’s necrophiliac interests of 23 October 2012 live on air and much to Nicky Campbell’s consternation, less than 3 weeks after the ITV programme exposing Savile, The Evening Standard published Irvine Welsh model Ecstasy necophiliac on Jimmy Savile? (Evening Standard, 24 October 2012) as a number of twitter users started to comment on the similarities in an Irvine Welsh novella they’d read.  A character in Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy: Three tales of chemical romance novel, written in 1996, published in 1997, in the first section called Lorraine Goes to Livingstone, was the necrophiliac blackmailer Freddy Royle. In an interview with VICE magazine (31 October 2013) Welsh confirmed that he’d “heard some stories from people who work in the hospitals about Savile” and “it was also interesting to me that he was too big to take down.” (Irvine Welsh doesn’t regret choosing life, Nathalie Olah, VICE, 31 October 2013)

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 09.45.46

VICE Magazine, 31 October 2013, Irvine Welsh doesn’t regret choosing life

“..Freddy Royle, a necrophiliac TV personality. The hospital trustees turn a blind eye to Freddy’s nefarious pastime but have to do some fast talking when the new coroner begins asking questions.” Irvine Welsh

Rebecca Navarro, best-selling authoress of Regency romances, suffers a paralysing stroke. Assisted by her nurse Lorraine, originally from St Hubbins hospital, Rebecca plans her revenge on her unfaithful husband, Perky. Freddy Royle, hospital trustee, celebrity and necrophiliac, volunteers at the hospital and pays off morgue staff in order to abuse corpses. Perky and Royle run into one another at a Soho bookshop they chat casually over selecting porn.

When a famous rugby player dies at the hospital, the new pathologist Geoffrey Clements draws the attention of Alan Sweet, to the fact that the rugby player has been anally raped after death. Alan attempts to imply semen present would be due to changing room antics but Clements demands an inquiry. Alan and Freddy choloroform Clements and video him drugged being sexually assaulted/raped by two prostitutes as blackmail material.

As early as 1996 rumours of Savile’s necrophiliac driven desire for access to morgues was already in circulation since interestingly, both McDermid and Welsh choose to set scenes focusing on where, until recent reports of Savile’s necrophiliac activities, mainstream media was choosing not to go.


“Let me dwell on the phenomenon of being famous. I’ve not really had much time to think of it before. When I was ordinary I used to go to a turkish bath in Leeds. Sitting in the steam room would be an assortment of glistening, naked men. I used to wonder, why is that naked body rich and that one not? They look so alike now. It was easy to see why a rugby player was not a rugby player. God had just dished out a heavier or more muscular body than the norm. But why should one naked body command respect from another and what was the charisma that put one man well above his neighbour when we all sweated the same. I searched long for the answer.” (As It Happens, Savile, 1974, p. 75)


Nigel Hards, a former Thomas Cook employee in the Peterborough Telegraph 1 November 2011 – “recounted how Savile liked working at the mortuary at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, ‘because he thought it would be easier for loved ones if he was there when they came in.” (In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, Loc 7572). See further on my question as to whether Savile was on duty the night his old dancehall colleague from Ilford Palais, Bert Ambrose, was brought into Leeds General Infirmary Accident & Emergency?


8. 1998: Skinner & Baddiel ITV’s Fantasy World Cup – reminiscing on Skinner’s previous Savile

A letter from the mother of an 8 year old girl is read out asking when Skinner’s  Jimmy Savile World Cup comment slot would return as a feature of the show – Baddiel replies – “Jimmy Savile loves 8 year old girls don’t they, I won’t go on” and Skinner retorts “Jimmy Savile will love her slot, that’s what I’m saying”, and then proceeds to do a Jimmy Savile impression, which they then re-run with Skinner dressed up for full effect.

We need to talk about Jimmy: David Baddiel on why we shouldn’t let the Savile scandal sour the mood of a nation (Daily Mail, 29 December 2012).

9. 1999: Terry Wogan quips on Savile ‘haunting the corridors’ of BBC’s Broadcasting House

“I’ve heard stories of a strange haunted looking figure walking the corridors of Broadcasting House late at night, making a weird wailing noise, but enough of Jimmy Savile…”

10. 2007 (June – November): Angus Deayton ‘rapped’ or ‘censured’ for delivering scripted remarks?

Deayton rapped for Jimmy Savile gag (The Guardian, John Plunkett, Monday 5 November 2007)

Angus Deayton has been censured by the BBC for making a “pungently personal” joke about Sir Jimmy Savile and his late mother.

Deayton made the remark on BBC1 panel show Would I Lie To You?, his most high-profile job for the BBC since he was sacked from Have I Got News For You? five years ago.

“Sir Jimmy is quite keen on seeing how blue mouldy bits develop,” said Deayton.

“That’s why he stayed with his mum so long after she died. The blue bit in cheese is in fact a living fungus that smells slightly off and serves no useful purpose – much like Sir Jimmy himself nowadays.”

But not all the audience appeared to appreciate the joke. Nor did one of the show’s two regular team captains, Lee Mack, who told Deayton: “I am sorry but that is well out of order.”

The BBC’s editorial complaints unit intervened following a complaint from a viewer who said the joke had exceeded the bounds of acceptability.

“The scripted remarks, which focused on Sir Jimmy’s age and stories which had been current at the time of his mother’s death more than 25 years ago, were out of keeping with the tone of the preceding material and more pungently personal than warranted by his position in the public eye,” the ECU said.

The complaints unit, which deals with serious complaints about breaches of the BBC’s editorial standards, upheld the viewer’s complaint.

Deayton’s joke was included in an episode of Would I Lie To You? broadcast on BBC1 on July 28 this year.

It followed a part of the show in which guest panellist Claudia Winkleman admitted once writing to Jim’ll Fix It to ask to meet Abba.

She was offered the chance to find out how the blue bits were made in cheese instead.

The ECU said the issue would be discussed with the show’s producers – it is made by Zeppotron, part of Big Brother producer Endemol – and added the episode would not be repeated in its present form.”

Would I lie to You? (broadcast on 28th June 2007) was Deayton’s first re-appearance after 5 years largely spent in the televisual-panel-quiz-show-genre-wilderness following his sacking from the BBC for  a scandal involving prostitutes and cocaine use. If the Savile rumours were now ‘old news’ they’d circulated so widely, you’d see how one might feel a little narked at the hypocrisy if Savile’s behaviour appears to be puzzlingly both tolerable and employable by the BBC, especially as when made clear by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit’s response, the remarks were scripted in any event?


Savile, Dublin & Belfast: Time to re-evaluate his role in The Troubles?

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 19.59.13

Savile on a motorbike with Agnes his mother, aged 13, This is Your Life Michael Aspel, 1990

He said: “All I have to do is call my friends in the IRA. They’ll have someone waking up in hospital the next morning eating their breakfast through a f***ing straw.

“I know the IRA, men from the IRA, and you don’t need to ask these guys twice. I’m serious. Don’t f***ing think I’m not serious. I can get them done – just with a phone call. That’s all it takes, young man.”

“Savile, a Roman Catholic who was once blessed by The Pope, was a regular visitor to Ireland using his charity work as a cloak. He made IRA threats during a meeting 12 years ago when our ­journalist was a local ­reporter on the Bucks Herald.” (Jimmy Savile and the IRA: Predator boasted terrorist friends could have enemies hospitalised, by James Saville, The Mirror, 20 October 2012)


“On one occasion, in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, we had three people from Northern Ireland. They were in different wards. In one ward was a soldier who had been caught in gunfire and the bullet had chipped the top of his spine and rendered him paraplegic. In another ward, we had a girl of thirteen – a very pretty girl – who just happened to be standing on a street corner. She took a bullet through the throat and that rendered her paraplegic. In yet another ward, we had one of the militant bodies. He was actually doing the firing at the time. He was in a wheelchair. If anyone wanted to look at the futility of that particular course of action, they had only to look at these three people. Three lives were completely ruined. After a while, when they all started to recover, they all trundled their wheelchairs down to the hospital canteen. The four of us used to talk, and we had a lot to talk about. I wish you could have seen the four of us talking together. And three of them were all suffering from the same thing. Yet, would you believe it, they were the best of friends. So I was right in the first place. There is another way of doing things. What had happened in their situation was a mental abuse and that put these people into wheelchairs. They have learned to live with their afflictions and we all had some good laughs and a good time; they’re all back now in their various homes. Personally, I would much prefer that they were all walking about, digging in fields, going on holidays, and generally being of more use to other people. Somewhere along the line, there was an abuse of the mind. ” [God’ll Fix It, Savile, 1978, p.28]

While the three housefathers at Newtownards Road, Kincora Boys’ Home in East Belfast were raping and otherwise abusing children (Sex Racket at Children’s Home,The Irish Independent, 24 January 1980) with McGrath espousing his own virulent and predatory version of the British Israelite Celtic-Druidic-Hebraic-Ulster-Loyalist myth-loving theology in his bible classes attended by Hellfire Jack, John Bryans JP, local Grandmaster of the Orange Heritage Lodge (1970), one wonders how any national security service thought they were going to lure a few key members of the IRA or Provisional IRA for blackmail over child abuse?

Police believe Savile may have boasted of underworld links in a bid to silence victims (Daily Record (Daily Record, 21 October 2012)

In 2009 it was revealed that Gerry Adams Sr had abused some of his own children and that this abuse had been known about by others before he had died, buried wrapped in the Irish flag which his son is now concerned he might have ‘besmirched’. Gerry Adams reveals family’s abuse by his father (The Guardian 20 December 2009)

How the sins of the father came back to haunt Adams: The Sinn Fein leader’s revelation that Gerry Adams snr sexually abused members of his family could mean a re-evaluation of his own role during the Troubles, argues Malachi O’Doherty (The Belfast Telegraph, 22 December 2009)

A few years after Gerry Adams Sr’s demise it was revealed Liam Adams, a son of Gerry Sr and Gerry Jr’s brother, had been alleged as a child rapist and  was finally put on trial 4 years later Gerry Adams’ niece reveals: ‘The Beard tried to get me to gag press over abuse’ (Belfast Telegraph 7 October 2013): Aine refers to her Uncle Gerry as ‘The Beard’. It is alleged that Liam’s main period of abuse of his daughter Aine was 1977 – 1983 from the age of four.

During Liam’s trial Gerry Adams was questioned over whether he had reported his brother’s family to the Health Visitor  in 1987 for issues of hygiene and lice the day after he had been told his brother had abused Aine. Mick Fealty’s reports on the court transcript here and also a very useful timeline of Liam Adam’s locations from the point at which Gerry Adams was aware of the abuse from 1987.

Adams’ plea for privacy and space over Aine is just a self-serving ploy (Irish Independent, 6 October 2013)

Gerry Adams brother jailed for 16 years for raping his own daughter as a child  (Daily Mail 27 November 2013) :

“Mrs Dahlstrom first brought the matter to police in 1987. This was in the midst of the Northern Ireland Troubles and a time when many people in republican communities distrusted and refused to co-operate with the security forces.

She did not pursue the matter at that stage, claiming that detectives were more interested to hear information about her famous uncle than about the allegations she was levelling against her father.

It would not be for another 20 years before she went to police again, after finding out that her father was working in a west Belfast youth club that her children attended.”


Tom Griffin is one to watch in terms of following up research into Kincora  –  Colin Wallace has already said he would be willing to testify at the CSA Inquiry but has warned it will need access to Intelligence documents if it is to succeed:

From 1968: Savile in Ireland, Pop Jamborees & Annual Fundraising weeks

Is it time yet to evaluate Savile’s links to The Troubles?

Billboard 16 March 1968 At the end of April Savile was arriving in Dublin for “a week of ballroom dancing and wrestling dates, the proceeds of which will go to the Central Remedial Clinic.”

In August 1969 the Northern Ireland riots take place and the British Army is deployed

BillBoard 16 March 1968

BillBoard 16 March 1968

Back again in 1969 for his second annual fund-raising week for the Central Remedial Clinic with a 10 mile walk from the centre of Dublin to Baldoyle

BillBoard 7 June 1969

BillBoard 7 June 1969

By 1973 Savile was involved on the order side of the border with the Northern Ireland Association of Youth Clubs, as reported by Billboard 15 September 1973, just as he was connected with Angus Ogilvy and Princess Alexandra (patron of Duncrofts School) and the National Association of Youth Clubs in at their HQ in London.

Billboard Sep 15, 1973: A pop festival and peace rally will be held at Nutts Corner airport near Belfast on Sept. 23. Jimmy Savile will lead a walk to the rally which is being organised by the Northern Ireland Association of Youth Clubs . . .

 “With Angus Ogilvy and his super missus Princess Alexandra one feels a great friendship from the off. I am the vice-president to his Presidency of the National Association of Youth Clubs and he is often down with us at headquarters in Devonshire Street, wanting to know what’s happening. Princess Alex is a patron of a hostel for girls in care. At this place I’m a cross between a termtime boyfriend and a fixer of special trips out. The Princess is a natural for such a place. Girls in care don’t take kindly to royal rules, protocol and the like, but Alex just steams in, captures them and anyone else that’s around, and steams out.” [As it Happens, Jimmy Savile, 1974, p.150]

This “hostel for girls in care” was actually Duncroft Approved School for Girls Police cover up Savile’s claims to be friends with Queen’s cousin: Paedophile ‘visited school at centre of abuse allegations with Princess Alexandra’ (Daily mail, Sam Webb, 2 February 2014) following the Daily Star’s 7 month battle to get redactions on the 200 police interview transcript lifted Royal cover up: Police censor Jimmy Savile interview Transcript (Daily Star, Jonathan Corke, 20th October 2013)

BillBoard, 1973

 For Dan Davies on Savile in Northern Ireland see In Plain Sight in particular his Chapter 39. entitled Pied Piper [Loc 4490] which gives good detail on Savile’s documented ‘escapade’ on leading an 8-mile march to raise money for a new youth centre in Belfast, in particular,
‘It was moving to see women weeping as we passed, ‘ recalled Savile, who explained his grandparents had been born in Belfast, so this was like ‘coming home’.” [In Plain Sight, above]
Agnes Monica Kelly, aka The Duchess, whose parents sound like they have the more Irish sounding surname appear to have both been born in North Shields so Vincent Savile being born in Salford with parents unknown is potentially Savile’s claim to some form of Ulster heritage? Davies also notes
“There were no more IRA bombs in 1973.”

1976: A Very Merry Corrigan Christmas – Scarborough Corrigans meet a Nobel Peace Prize Winning Corrigan for the first time?

“Another girlfriend was Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire. They met in Northern Ireland when Jimmy went over to help with a peace march in the 1970s. The crowds loved him and went wild, said news reports. He brought Mairead home to Leeds and they went to Scarborough one Christmas. Mairead founded the Community of the Peace People in 1976 along with Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown. Mairead was the aunt of the three Maguire children who were hit by a getaway car after its driver was shot by a solider. The deaths prompted a series of marches throughout Northern Ireland and further afield, all demanding an end to the violence. Mairead and Betty went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.” {How’s About That Then? Alison Bellamy, Loc 2353]

In November 1976 Savile returned for more peace marching, this time alongside Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan which would see “Jimmy Savile lead more than 10,000 teenagers from both sides of the sectarian divide from Ormeau Embankment in east Belfast to Crawfordsburn County Park in County Down.” [Dan Davies, In Plain Sight, Loc 4932]. Sometime soon after is Savile’s visit to the Holy Land during December 1976, with his ‘moment of enquiry’ at Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls, and then at some point, unclear as to whether Christmas 1976 or Christmas 1977, Savile goes to Scarborough taking his new peace-marching girlfriend for his regular Corrigan family Christmas. This is all post his 1974 ‘As it Happens’ autobiography so doesn’t feature yet except for Savile to note:

“A lot of my things turn into yearly events. The taxi outings to Blackpool, Worthing and Southend I’ve been on from five to ten years and it would come hard to break the habit. Nine years I’ve done the big Dublin walk for the Central Remedial Clinic. Who would not want to walk with 35,000 great Irish teentypes?” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, p.148]

Mairead and Betty weren’t Nobel Peace Prize winners until the award ceremony of 10 December 1977 because in 1976 it wasn’t awarded due to none of the nominations being felt to correspond with the terms of Nobel’s will – see the full presentation speech here.

“Scarborough businessman James Corrigan, whose late father had owned an amusement arcade on the seafront and accompanied Savile on midnight runs along the seafront and to the Otley Civic Ball, told his local paper how he’d grown up knowing Savile as a close family friend. ‘He’d come to our house from before I was born until last year,’ he explained, ‘with the exception of three times when he got a better offer. One of those was when Margaret Thatcher invited him to go to Chequers.’

Corrigan added that Savile regularly brought guests to these family get-togethers, including on one occasion Mairead Corrigan who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her efforts to end the violence in Northern Ireland. ‘Savile was the strangest thing anyone could inherit,’ he said, ‘and I inherited him from my father.’ [In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, 2014, Loc 7583]

Three better offers? One – Thatcher at Chequers; Two – Possibly in the Holy Land December 1976?; Three: Who/where else?


 Real Whitby: Savile, Jaconelli & Corrigan in Scarborough

Real Whitby, a citizen investigative journalism site (and local community hub) have been investigating Savile’s links to Peter Jacconnelli and Jimmy Corrigan, campaigning successfully to have Jaconelli’s civic honours stripped despite opposition.

“We are all supposed to be equal under the law.  Savile and Jaconelli were put above the law by North Yorkshire Police because of the charitable and civic work they performed.

Between Savile, Jaconelli and the other nine plus people we believe operated in the ring with them in Scarborough, we suspect that their victims ran into their thousands over the period 1947 – 2007.  This must override any of the good that Savile and Jaconelli undoubtedly did.  Otherwise they are permanently elevated to being above the law, because of their status, as they were in life.”

As it happens, Ernesto Jaconelli, here seen as a 15 year old ‘Boy Wonder’ Accordionaist in 1933 (British Pathe) who recorded with Decca before serving during WWII as a Stars in Battledress champion and was like another musician to find the war most agreeable who knew Savile, bandleader Bert Ambrose (who I write more about Savile’s relationship with from their time at Ilford Palais de Danse, Savile’s driot de seigneur rape of Kathy Kirby and  Ambrose ending up in Leeds General Informary at the morgue, potentially on a night when Savile would have been on duty).

Ernesto, finally settled in Scarborough to have two children according to his wikipedia profile. It’s unclear whether Peter is a relation of Ernesto as either his son or nephew although they bear a marked physical resemblance facially to one another – but what is interesting is that on Ernesto’s wikipedia entry it states he toured Ireland between the wars and there taught Shaun Bolger, how to play the accordion. S

“Following on from these successes he went on the road and travelled to Ireland to perform and teach, sending the money he earned back home to his family. Whilst in Dublin he taught Shaun Bolger, who he later became a crack shot in the IRA.”

I had no idea who Sean or Shaun Bolger was until I came across this mention of him as being called ‘Flash’ at the Bureau of Military History website for Defence Forces in Ireland. This is a strange and remarkable claim to make without giving a source, but unfortunately the wikipedia biography entry doesn’t give any reference. Perhaps the links between Savile and specifically Scarborough and Ireland warrant a closer look, but this time a generation further back to a man with ‘lightening fingers’?

Corrigan has been robustly defended as not being involved in the abuse by his son in this Daily Express article of 28 October 2012. Interestingly in the comments section on a Real Whitby post here is suggested as a council corruption buster himself having personally paid for Scarborough Council’s accounts to be audited each year to the extent that Scarborough Evening News ran an expose based on Corrigan’s information and the Council were deemed to be in fear of him.

Dublin CRC 27 May 1980

Dublin CRC 27 May 1980

1980: Lady Goulding introduces Savile to Charles Haughey, Taoiseach

CHARLES HAUGHEY BELIEVED BBC presenter Jimmy Savile would make a good mediator for meetings between the British and Irish governments. (The Journal, 28 December 2013)

“Following a meeting in 1980 at the Central Remedial Clinic, founder Lady Valerie Goulding, wrote to the Taoiseach to thank him for seeing Savile, one of the charity’s most important patrons.The document, released under the 30 Year Rule today, repeats a suggestion by the Fianna Fáil leader that the Top of the Pops front man “could be a good mediator as he really is very well in with Mrs. Thatcher and members of the Opposition as well”. Haughey and Savile sat down for tea at the CRC on 26 May 1980. The DJ became a regular visitor at Abbeville when he visited Dublin to organise sponsored walks as part of his charity work for the CRC.” For further study, see National Archives Ref 2013/100/768

In 1979 Savile’s medal from the Friends of Israel was insinuated to be an award for his service during christmas 1976 which resulted somehow in the Egyptian peace offer by Anwar Sadat due to Savile being friends with his mother-in-law. Can only imagine the horrors of Savile being chummy with your MiL?!

The very next year he is being touted as a global peace envoy closer to home.

The Moriarty Tribunal established in 1997 eventually found that Charles Haughey had stolen money raised for a colleague’s liver transplant.

Haughey took £250,000 from his sick friend’s lifeline fund (Irish Independent, 20 December 2006)

CHARLES Haughey stole £250,000 from the money raised for the late Brian Lenihan’s liver transplant.

Mr Justice Moriarty found that Haughey “personally misappropriated” a large amount of the funds raised for the transplant in the United States for the man he described as his “closest political friend”.


In blunt terms, the tribunal chairman said it gave him “no satisfaction” to find that Mr Haughey deliberately encouraged fundraising on a scale beyond what was needed and that he used the surplus money for himself.

A total of £336,000 was raised for the operation, but just ?88,000 was actually required. This allowed Haughey to misappropriate almost £250,000.

“No other conclusion can be reached by the tribunal in the light of the evidence heard,” his report states.

The tribunal report is scathing of Haughey, stating it was “reprehensible” of him to try to blame others.

The evidence on the fundraising for Mr Lenihan’s life-saving operation arose in the context of the tribunal’s investigations into the publicly funded party leader’s account.


Monies raised for the transplant were lodged into that account and the tribunal found that Haughey had misused money from this account for his own personal benefit.

In 1989, fundraising for Mr Lenihan’s operation was underway and the tribunal said the method of recording these funds was “haphazard”.

This facilitated the misappropriation of funds raised for Mr Lenihan by Haughey, as did his determination that they be lodged in the party leader’s account.

The fundraising campaign started in May 1989, although at that time Haughey already knew the VHI was prepared to make an “ex-gratia” payment of ?63,490 towards the cost of the operation.

At the time Haughey was also aware that additional funds of ?127,000 would be required, but he urged a target of up to ?250,000 to be raised.

The tribunal report outlines several donations to the fund that were “personally misappropriated” by Haughey.


 1966 1936: Lady Penelope Valerie in a pink car on urgent messenger missions

My meeting with Savile – Haughey Girl (Irish Herald, 31 October 2012) Lady Valerie’s son Hamilton now runs CRC

Savile, Lady G and Haughey (Irish Independent, 7 December 2013)

“It was an unlikely destiny for an Englishwoman, the daughter of a royal adviser, who had a cameo role in the abdication of King Edward VIII in the 1930s.

As an 18-year-old, she had acted as a courier carrying messages between the king and the British prime minister.

She travelled in a pink Morris Minor between Downing Street and Fort Belvedere, where the king was staying with Wallis Simpson. The young aristocrat later met the Irish fertiliser mogul Basil Goulding after coming over for the Fairyhouse Races, and she eventually moved to Ireland.

Lady Valerie’s two unlikely friendships, firstly with Jimmy Savile and then Haughey, played a crucial role in fundraising for the clinic. She persuaded Savile to come over after meeting him in an Italian restaurant in London. Through the late 1960s and 1970s, up to 40,000 people joined the broadcaster on sponsored walks through Dublin to raise money for the clinic.”


Fort Belvedere in Surrey, nearest village was Sunningdale in Berkshire was home to Prince Edward from 1929 – Extracts from wikipedia

“In 1929, the building became vacant, and was given to Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, by his father, King George V.[3] The king had originally expressed surprise at Edward’s request asking him “What could you possibly want that queer old place for? Those damn weekends I suppose”, but then smiled and gave his permission.”

The prince initially renovated the house with the assistance of his then mistress Freda Dudley Ward.[5][6]

The relationship between Edward and Wallis Simpson blossomed at Fort Belvedere; the couple spent their first weekend at the fort at the end of January 1932, and by early 1935 two rooms had been combined at the fort for her use.[5][8] Notable interior decorators to work on the fort included Sybil Colefax, Lady Mendl, Maison Jansen, and Herman Schrijver.[9][10]Edward and Wallis entertained most weekends at the house; guests present included ‘courtiers and diplomats, American men of affairs and English Society, garnished with a sprinkling of statesmen, soldiers and sailors’.[5]Giles Gilbert Scott added a guest wing to the fort after Edward’s ascension as king in 1936.[9] In 1936 Wallis moved permanently to the fort after receiving threatening anonymous letters, and left Fort Belvedere for a final time on 3 December 1936, a week before Edward’s abdication.[5]

Cabinet Office files released in 2013 revealed that during December 1936, the Home Secretary, Sir John Simon, had ordered the General Post Office to intercept Edward’s telephone communications between the fort and the European continent.[11] Government officials were caused further alarm by Edward’s habit of leaving his official ‘red boxes‘ unguarded around the fort.[12]

Following his abdication at the fort, Edward described himself as feeling ‘like a swimmer surfacing from a great depth…I left the room and stepped outside, inhaling the fresh morning air.’[5] Edward retained the visitor’s book from the fort, and it would grace all their subsequent homes.[9]

It was in November 1936, a month prior to King Edward VIII’s abdication that it sounds as if the most messages would have been flying around and orders to the GPO to spy on the King, would have meant comms between Walter Monckton, Edward’s old Oxford pal and legal adviser to the Duchy of Cornwall and various important people like the King’s brother and his wife (the soon to be come Queen Mother) would have made communications even trickier. In 2000 the BBC reported almost all of the eleven Monckton files were released into the National Archives bar one box closed until 2037 and another until 2017 here.

Walter Monckton (b. 1891 – d.1965) had been at Balliol and taken the position of Attorney-General to the duchy of Cornwall in 1932, the year after turning 30. (b. 1891 – d.1965)

“In 1942 Monckton was Director-General of British Propaganda and Information Services in Egypt under Oliver Lyttelton, Minister of State Resident in Cairo….

Anthony Eden appointed Monckton as his Minister of Defence in 1955. However, he was the only cabinet minister who disagreed with Eden’s policy during the Suez Crisis. Eden believed that if this dispute became common knowledge it would bring his government down. Therefore he managed to persuade Monckton not to resign and instead he became Paymaster General.”

Only the other day I was wondering if Gladys Cotterill (the President of Egypt’s mother in law and friend of Jimmy Savile) had returned home to Sheffield from Egypt for the first time in or around the time of the Suez Canal Crisis and it appears that Walter Monckton, Lady G’s dad and ex-King Edward’s abdication adviser (he drafted the legal document of abdication) was a key agitator in bringing the Crisis to a head within Eden’s government.

During the early 1950s Peter Rawlinson joined Walter Monckton’s chambers (Guardian Obituary, 30 June 2006) and during 1962, a decade later, would be instructed as defence counsel for Sir Ian Horobin MP – the Conservative MP whose brief trial for the sexual assault of boys at his charitable youth club ‘Fairbairn’ on the Barking Road in the East End was scheduled to start just after Macmillan appointed Rawlinson as Attorney-General after his Night of the Long Knives – on which I explore more here [52 years on: The forgotten fly in the reshuffle]


Who was Sir Walter Monckton? BBC

Who was Sir Walter Monckton? BBC

Savile’s ‘Magical Passport’ to Le Touquet

Royal Picardie Hotel, Le Touquet, France

Royal Picardie Hotel, Le Touquet, France

Valerie Monckton, as her father’s emissary, must have been able to access buildings and places not usually accessible to 18 year old debutantes in overtly conspicuous pink Morris Minors. Savile’s ‘Magical Passport’ he acquired at some point in 1945 has often returned to my mind when reading about emergency post-war trips to the mainland to retrieve incriminating papers or valuable artwork to consider if Savile’s cycling trips while young (Scottish highlands when he spots Glencoe circa 1944 and his trip to Le Touquet circa 1945) represented boasts about personal triumphs – getting a message through for his master as a dogged little envoy against all the odds perhaps?

“After labouring for two years at Waterloo colliery, and actually quite enjoying the life, I read one day that the cross-Channel ferries had started, with much celebration, the post war trips from Dover to Calais. The war was only just over and there was a great air of excitement about. We Bevin boys were to be demobbed just like the armed forces and I had two years to go. Freedom was too tempting, and mounting my bike, armed with a magical passport and £15 I cycled 300 miles to Dover.

There was considerable magic in this brave battered port, the English Channel and that mysterious land, low on the horizon, that only weeks before harboured hostile hordes.

My arrival on the recently raped shores of France was a pantomime. Speaking not a word of the language and having truly the first bicycle to cross into France since the war, the red tape was unbelievable. For three hours I stood on the dockside while officials harangued me, the bike and each other. Finally, because it was getting dark they produced that now familiar French way of life ‘the papers of permission to have a bicycle of foreign origin in France’. The papers came in the form of an indelible ledger that weighed all of three pounds that I had to tie across my saddlebag with rope!”

He sleeps overnight with 300 homeless in the roofless railway station at Calais Ville and nearing Le Touquet the next day witnesses a lorry get blown up by a mine. I wonder whether the ‘bicycle of foreign origin’ was yet his much beloved Oscar Egg bike? By 1945 Savile is 18, due to turn 19, so not a small child anymore.

“Le Touquet at its best is a fairytale place. Villas of the wealthy in colours and fancy dotted in clearings on the superb forest backcloth. Grotesque damage made them look like children’s toys smashed by some madman. The centre piece of all this was surely the most beautiful hotel ever built at that time, the Picardy. Perfect in proportion like the Taj Mahal, and built in stone of warm colours to blend with the sun’s rays and wooded

Le Touquet, September 1945

Le Touquet, September 1945

surrounds, it was for those who saw it a breathtaking building with an incredible atmosphere. I first saw it in the early evening light and thought it was a mirage. It looked immaculate and untouched, but as I freewheeled towards it and came out of the evening sun into its shadow it suddenly changed like in a Htichcock movie. Empty sightless windows peered down. The whole of the inside was shattered. No birds flew about it and the feeling of unreal macabre was overwhelming, like some gigantic tombstone.

That was all I needed and I turned and started slowly off for home pondering on the quite insoluble problem of how people can build things up then knock them down.” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, pp.21 – 23]


Gone were the flower carnivals of the 1930s at Le Touquet

Something Savile would have to rely on Jersey for to in his later role as Mr Battle of the Flowers of the island.

From Anthony Blunt’s wikipedia entry:

According to the memoir of MI5 officer Peter Wright, Wright had regular interviews with Blunt from 1964 onwards for six years. Prior to that, he had a briefing with Michael Adeane, the Queen’s private secretary, who told Wright: “From time to time you may find Blunt referring to an assignment he undertook on behalf of the Palace – a visit to Germany at the end of the war. Please do not pursue this matter. Strictly speaking, it is not relevant to considerations of national security.”[26]

Everyone’s Mascot: Savile(s): Be Fast! Signallers: Swift and Sure

Elland Arms, Be Fast

Elland Arms, Be Fast

The Savile family motto is ‘Be Fast’ as carved on the side of the Elland Arms, an old coaching inn in Halifax not far from Cragg vale and Savile’s many connections to there and Hebden Bridge, preaching in St John’s in the Wilderness there which I have already blogged about.

Hermes, as the wing-footed Messenger of the Gods and emblem for the The Royal Corps of Signals has long been known as Jimmy so when you want to ensure your lines of communication during war remain intact or Comms are down and they need to be back up…well, call on the Signallers, Jimmies, and Jimmy’ll Fix It. Their motto was Certo Cito – Swift and Sure.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 16.06.49

Jimmy Statues available to pay from Royal Signals shop online

“To be eleven years old and have the complete free run of the main dance hall of a wartime city that was headlined by one Sunday paper as ‘The City of Sin’ gave me an education that qualified me for every A Level that ever existed in Hell.

Not yet five feet in height, as thin as a drumstick, with big eyes, ears and nose, I was everyone’s mascot, pet, runner, holder of mysterious parcels and secrets. Because I didn’t understand the first thing about anything I was the confidant of murderers, whores, black marketeers, crooks of every trade – and often of the innocent victims they preyed on. I also played the drums.” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, p.4]

I suspect Savile’s love of radio was never on the entertainment side, it had begun as a purely technical affair, as a fascination with the ability to eavesdrop.

“Quite honestly, I don’t think that my likes and dislikes are at all important, but when you are well-known (I don’t dig the word famous) I suppose people – in their time of – would be mildly interested in us types. If ever I get a crossed line on the phone I will listen right to the end of the other parties’ chat. I was once totally concerned about a shipment of ballbearings between two gentlemen and felt much refreshed after they had sorted it out. Analysing it later – a favourite hobby of mine, analysing –  I worked it out that because I had, for a while, been pulled out of my own life into someone else’s I got back into my own skin a little richer, and rested, by the sharing. If you are reading these lines and I have caused you to slow the pace of your life, then that will suit me.” [God’ll Fix It, Savile, 1978/79 ‘Epilogue – Sort Of’, pp 62 – 63]

Being able to read messages others are unable to read or being able to read when others don’t think you capable of reading (Savile’s last interview with Alex Belfield talks of him reading telegrams to people aloud in the war who couldn’t read) gives both power to the messenger immediately in conveying the message accurately but also a longer-term value in keeping the secret. Why were Savile and Agnes ‘The Duchess’ on a motorbike in 1939? (incidentally Dan Davies notes that after Savile’s funeral it is a pub called The Duchess near Woodfield Cemetery, Scarborough calling drinkers in for their memories of Savile, the cemetery itself near Irton Moor, also known as a ‘Yorkshire spy base’ a long established comms point of national importance with GCHQ underground bases in the hill)

In 1965 the Prime Minister Harold Wilson opened the Butlin Tower (now called the British Telecommunications Tower, formerly the General Post Office Tower)

Although Savile liked to talk as if there was confusion over this in his autobiography of 1974Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 17.25.54

“Sitting in our super seafront flat one day she was holding forth to some of her lady pals. I was reading. One of the ladies had mentioned the Post Office Tower in London. ‘Oh yes,’ said the Duchess, ‘Jimmy opened that.’

Now it’s a known fact that the Queen took that particular job on. ‘No sweetheart,’ said I, ‘the Queen opened it. I just hold the record for running up the steps.’

(Some time previously I’d mentioned this particular feat to which the Duchess had replied at the time, over her eternal knitting, ‘You’ll hurt yourself doing silly things like that.’)

‘Nonsense,’ says she at this correction, ‘you told me you opened it.’ And then to explain to her friends my interruption she said, ‘He did really, ‘ adding the silencer of all time, ‘he forgets things you know.’

What could you do with an impossible girl like that other than lover her more than your own life?” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, p.60]

It’s all about the Azimuths

Bizarrely in 1999 there has been some interesting work done by a chap called Richard Lamont here looking at whether there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to suggest a government building which came onto the market for sale (and was therefore examined by buyers’ and their surveyors) was actually a secret radio tower built at Capenhurst, Cheshire and used by the government to intercept 1000s of trunk land lines running through Britain to Northern Ireland.

If you had a number of those structures dotted around performing those kind of functions (or dual functions, one being interception of comms) you’d need someone to be some kind of building caretaker presumably, fix them up or get maintenance in if something went wrong, do a big audit from Land’s End to John O’Groats when you can. It would have to be a job for someone who liked to travel, non-stop though and who’d want a job like that?

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 17.28.13


Savile, St John the Baptist’s In the Wilderness, Cragg Vale & Hebden Bridge

St John the Baptist in the Wilderness

Cragg Vale, St John's In the Wilderness

Cragg Vale, St John’s in the Wilderness

Savile had ties with Calderdale. He often used to visit St John’s Church, Cragg Vale, for which he raised thousands of pounds, and was an honorary church warden. He was a popular figure in the Calder Valley right up until his death. In the 1970s he had a caravan parked outside the Hinchliffe Arms Cragg Vale. [‘Savile acted ‘unacceptably’ with dead bodies in hospital mortuary, report claims, Halifax Courier, 26 June 2014]

 The history of Cragg Vale: Wesley & The Wilderness

Another of Savile’s favourite spots to return to a few times a year was Cragg Vale, near Hebden Bridge, in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, in the benefice of Erringden and the diocese of Wakefield. Reported to have been seen parked up in his camper van near the Hinchcliffe Arms, Savile returned 3 or 4 times a year, ostensibly in his role as Churchwarden of the Anglican church, although it appears he quite often took to the pulpit to preach sermons in such lurid outfits as pictured below. Certainly Savile was following in fine footsteps since John Wesley, a man whose legendary crowd command skills William Sargent dissected thoroughly in his 1957 Battle for the Mind, had preached nearby too. A website giving historical suggested walks for the area tells us where Wesley’s footsteps might be found on Cragg Road perhaps near Sutcliffe’s Wood named for Mr Sutcliffe’s family below: “So to the walk! Our route leads out of Mytholmroyd along the Cragg Road, passing Hoo Hole on the right, where, on Thurs 28th June 1770 John Wesley “rode to Mr. Sutcliffe’s at Hoo Hole, a lovely valley encompassed with high mountains. I stood on the smooth grass before his house which stands on gently rising ground, and all the people on the slope before me. It was a glorious opportunity. I trust they ‘came boldly to the throne’ and found grace to help in time of need.”

“I’ll tell you who used to go to speak at the church up there, it’s called St Johns in the Wilderness…he was a disc jockey, well-known – Jimmy Savile; he used to preach there, he knew the vicar or somebody and he used to come three or four times a year to speak there, yes. There were various things like that – there was once…a well known pianist, not a classical pianist but he was more of a swing, and he’d a finger less on each hand, and he used to come and play and he knew somebody that had the Hinchliffe Arms; he were well-known but the name forgets us for now; you know it was a strange place that they had Jimmy Savile preaching in the church. Tiny little place, yeh. And I lived up there for…till 1960, then I came here into this house 1966 and I daren’t tell you how much this house cost now!” [Harry Cummings, Wildrose Art…harry-cummings] (my underlining for emphasis – does this suggest Savile’s preaching began before 1967 and his appointment as Honorary Churchwarden was merely a step on the path to what? The keys to the church as Churchwarden? Savile did like to collect sets of keys everywhere he “touched base” if he could.)

Originally established as an Evangelical Anglican church St John the Baptist in the Wilderness was originally led by an anti-slavery campaigning cohort of William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a man called Rev Thomas Crowther from 1821 – 1859, the church had broken away from the Parish of Halifax in 1844 in an assertion of complete independence. William Wilberforce had also become an Independent MP. Crowther was obviously a force to be reckoned with when it came to reforming the mill owners’ approach to any form of employee welfare or labour rights, as well as child labour. So in another twist along the path of getting to grips with Savile’s own peculiar belief system, it appears he was not only the “yok with the Yiddish Kop” as he liked to refer to himself,  as well as a devout Catholic campaigning for the beatification of Margaret Sinclair his resurrecting Guardian Angel, but it appears he could also turn his hand to a spot of fervent evangelical Protestant proselytising should the circumstances require so.

Hebden Bridge to Cragg Vale 28 minutes on a bike

1948: Savile at Hebden Bridge filming with Diana Dors and Honor Blackman

Although Savile was to cement his links with the area more formally in 1967 by becoming the Honorary Churchwarden of St John the Baptist in the Wilderness church and appointing the Vicar there, his links to the area began in 1948 with a film called A Boy, A Girl and a Bike

“in the spring of 1948 a young and extremely fit Jimmy Savile appeared as an extra in the British film, starring Diana Dors and Honor Blackman. The story is based around a fictional cycling club, and Savile and a pal landed work and moved into digs in Grassington as the production moved between locations. The film climaxes in a prestigious Yorkshire road race, in which , for a second or two, the unmistakable figure of a 21 year old Jimmy Savile can be seen. He looks lean and healthy, and is pedalling his racing bike like the competitor that he surely was at the time.” [In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, Loc 1267]

At the time he was a member of the Leeds Olympic cycling club, and as a keen cyclist would go on to take part in the first Tour of Britain in 3 years’ time. Members of the Halifax Road Racing Club appeared as extras and Savile managed to get in on the action through friends at the Club.

“His lengthy TV career had its roots in Calderdale, with one of his first stints on screen in the 1947 film A Boy, A Girl And A Bike, about a fictional cycling club based in Hebden Bridge. Sir Jimmy, then a racing cyclist with Leeds Olympic Club, appeared as an extra alongside members of Halifax Road Racing Club”.

“Jimmy’s early love of cycling gave him his first screen appearance – as a film extra in the 1949 film A Boy, A Girl and A Bike, starring Diana Dors, Honor Blackman and Patrick Holt. It was filmed in West Yorkshire and only a few copies of it remain. It is centred on a love-triangle formed at a local cycle club and a dark-haired, 23 year old Jimmy makes a brief appearance as a cycling extra. Cyclist Martyn Bolt said: ‘In the 40s Jimmy was a rebel cyclist. He had joined a group called the British League of Racing Cyclists, which had been originally formed in 1942. They were a breakway organisation whose riders wanted to embrace a continental style of mass races on the open road. They rode in all black clothing and Jimmy embraced that kind of road racing.” [How’s About that then?, Alison Bellamy, Loc 2598]

The different years given for the filming in different quotes is of interest because it may be that Sir Bernard Ingham remembered the excitement over filming in the local area – as he would have been just starting out on his career before becoming Thatcher’s Press Secretary in later years, at the very bottom rung of the journalistic ladder –  rookie 16 year old reporter on the Hebden Bridge Times circa 1948

Doug Petty, a fellow Tour of Britain team member of Savile’s who would later become professional and a top British cyclist, recalls in the Craven Herald January 2012:

“The film makers were looking for cyclists to take part and I got a call from Walter Greaves, the mile record-holder – he cycled with one arm – asking if I could get eight cyclists to take part. I did and included myself. I was working in a cycling shop at the time and could only get one day a week off but some of the cyclists did all the filming. They were paid £8 a week when the average salary was £5. It was great money. It was a fantastic time – I was in shots filmed in Skipton and Bolton Abbey and recall how when they wanted to film the sprint, the stars weren’t fit enough, so professionals took the parts and they superimposed the heads of the actors later.”

Raking in £250 a week as opposed to £150 per week (in today’s money) for possibly a month or more’s work means Savile would have been flush with cash for a while, close to his 22nd birthday. Maybe he purchased his famous Oscar Egg bike (this is where Savile’s self-created mythology appears to go all a bit Citizen Kane ‘Rosebud’  when he starts waxing gurglingly about that bike btw) at this point, if not with his father’s inheritance he was later left in 1953? I always wonder when and how he bought such a bike so early on. Maybe he invested his cash in business, whichever company he was ‘director’ of.

One thing he would have learnt through filming and watching the final result edited as the film was the ease with which heads could be superimposed on cinematic images.

Walter Greaves was a Bradford based one-armed cyclist, who was by then in his early 40s. In 1936, aged 29, Walter who’d had one arm amputated below the elbow when he was 14, had completed the endurance cycling record at the time. ‘Little Jim’ would have been 10 or so. Greaves was a member of the Airedale Cycling Club and as an outspokenly communist engineer who was 12 at the time of the great rally in Leeds of 1925, he found it difficult to get work, especially since he attempted to sign anyone up to the Youth Communism group as soon as getting into a conversation. From his Wikipedia profile he was viewed as a troublemaker in Leeds.

Reaching the heights at Stoodley Pike

As a cyclist Savile would have explored this area possibly while filming, but not least because Cragg Vale featured as a test of endurance being the start of the longest continuous gradients in England, rising 968 feet over an arduous 5.5 miles. Screen Shot 2013-11-09 at 22.34.37 Reading about the history of Cragg Vale and the merciless local millowners of the 1800s, the Hinchcliffes, and the high mortality rates of the children, who were often worked to death under the relentless charge of industrialisation and inhuman working conditions, images of Blake’s “dark satanic mills” are conjured up fairly easily. In the 1833 Commission report it was characterised as the ‘blackest’. From the Cragg Vale Community website

“At the height of the Industrial Revolution there were 11 prosperous mills in the Cragg Valley, employing a great number of the population, including children from as young as six, working in terrible conditions. In 1821, Rev Thomas Crowther became the first vicar of the newly built St John’s in the Wilderness of Cragg Vale.  He was part of a group of Evangelical Anglican Clergy, who following on from their success in abolishing the slave trade under Wilberforce went on to tackle the terrible conditions in the factories. Until his death in 1859, he campaigned tirelessly to better the condition of those who worked in the surrounding mills of our community; in particular to reduce the long and gruelling hours worked by the children.  He was subjugated to a campaign of harassment and insults from local mill owners, incensed by his criticisms. Following Rev Crowther’s death in November 1859, he was much mourned by “a grateful people” and his grave can be seen in St John’s churchyard. The carving on the road side of the tree trunk is intended as a tribute to Rev Thomas Crowther – on the left of the carving is a child mill worker in the foreground, with a mill chimney rising high behind. Thomas Crowther is represented as The Green Man, a representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves.  Why the Green Man?  This character has been sculpted for centuries as wood or stone  accepted as a symbol of new beginnings – appropriate here, Thomas Crowther offering the hand of freedom from the shackles of hard labour.”

“The Pennine Way proceeds to the ‘Public Slake Trough’ at Stoodley Spring, where, after a refreshing and well earned drink we head up the moor to the ‘Pike’ itself. Stoodley Pike Monument is dark, sullen and faintly Egyptian. On a sunny day it is distinguished and grey, but mostly it is moody and black. The wind howls unrelentingly up its winding staircase and whips viciously around its exposed viewing platform. On a winter’s day it chills to the bone. Some shelter may be obtained between its great buttresses, but this pallid delight tends to be marred by the annoyingly humanised sheep who mug you for your sandwiches! The present monument is the third (or possibly fourth) to be erected on this prominent site.

The first monument, a cairn of stones, was erected long ago, the last resting place of some ancient chieftain. His bones were reputedly discovered by workmen digging out the foundations for the first Pike in 1814. It has been suggested that the Pike once held a beacon, (certainly one was fired here for the 1988 Armada Celebrations!) At 1,310 ft above sea level, it would have made an ideal site. According to some sources, a building had been erected here before 1814, but whatever this might have been it was almost certainly demolished to make way for The First Pike.

This was erected by public subscription to commemorate the surrender of Paris to the Allies in March 1814. The completed Pike was 37 yds 2 feet 4 inches high. Although constructed on a square base about four yards high, it was predominently a circular structure, with a tapering cone at the top. The monument contained about 156 steps which ran precariously around the inside of the monument, quite innocent of any bannister rail! This was not an ascent for the giddy or faint hearted! After enduring this ordeal the visitor to the Pike might rest in a small room at the top of the pike which contained a fireplace, before plucking up courage for the even more unnerving descent. The career of the first pike was ill-fated and short lived. Then, as now, vandalism took its toll. Steps were removed and the place was generally wrecked. The authorities walled up the entrance up.

The final act in the saga took place on the afternoon of Wednesday the 8th February 1854, when the inhabitants of the whole area were unnerved by a rumbling sound resembling an earthquake. A glance at the skyline provided the answer:- the Pike had fallen down!! The collapse was attributed to the structure having been weakened by lightning, which had cracked the walls some years previously. The locals however, were believing none of this. By an unhappy co-incidence the Pike had fallen at the very moment when the Russian Ambassador left London before the declaration of war with Russia. The reason for the fall of the Pike was obvious:- it was an omen! Thus did Stoodley Pike find itself saddled with the myth that its collapse heralds the onset of war! The Pike did not stay ruined for long. On March 10th 1854, a meeting was held in the Golden Lion in Todmorden with the object of rebuilding it. Various meetings followed, and to cut a long story short, money was raised, an architect (Mr James Green) appointed, and work begun. The new Monument was erected further back from the edge of the hill than its predecessor, to avoid the storm erosion on the face of the moor which had weakened the base of the first Pike. The building contractor was Mr. Lewis Crabtree of Hebden Bridge. The present Pike can speak for itself. The massive, badly eroded inscription over the door was carved by Mr. Luke Fielden and, surrounded with masonic symbolism, it tells its story as follows:-STOODLEY PIKE A PEACE MONUMENT Erected by Public Subscription. Commenced in 1814 to commemorate the surrender of Paris to the Allies and finished after the battle of Waterloo when peace was established in 1815. By a strange coincidence the Pike fell on the day the Russian Ambassador left London before the declaration of war with Russia in 1854, and it was rebuilt when peace was proclaimed in 1856. Repaired and lightning conductor fixed. 1889.

Having said our farewells to the Pike, we follow the Pennine Way (and The Fielden Trail) along the ridge to the old Packhorse ’causey’ at Withens Gate. Here we turn left,(onto the Calderdale Way) and proceed a short distance to the ‘Te Deum ‘ Stone which hides coyly behind a wall.The face of this ancient stone, faintly reminiscent of a roman altar, is carved with the legend ’Te Deum Laudamus’:- “We praise thee O Lord!””

1948: ‘Actor’ Savile, 21, a cycling extra meeting 16 year old Rank Charm School trainee Diana Dors (Fluck)? Dors by Diana, 1981, 1983

In Diana Dors’ autobiography Dors by Diana, at p. 77 in a chapter entitled Love Sweet Love she talks of filming at Hebden Bridge for A Boy, A Girl and a Bike. While filming she strikes a friendship with an actor she gets on very well with called Jimmy as if it could be Savile although ‘an almost fatherly interest’ from someone only 4 – 5 years one’s senior would be strange. Diana’s Jimmy, whether Savile or not, frees her mind from the sexual taboos which had been drilled into her:

“One of the actresses suddenly fell ill, but I could never discover the reason why she remained in bed so much. Or why, when we went to film inHalifax, the hotel manager there ordered her removal from the premises. Ralph and Meg Smart merely smiled when I innocently asked them what was going on and muttered something about her having a ‘bad migraine’. As I wasn’t too sure what that was, I figured I’d better stop enquiring. Quite why everyone was so secretive and treating the matter in such a peculiar way eluded me.Until finally an actor with whom I got on very well – he took an almost fatherly interest in me – explained that she had had an abortion on a recent visit to London and was trying to recover enough to cope with the rigours of filming. I was fascinated. The great problem of becoming pregnant had actually happened to someone at last. For my whole life up to then had consisted of everyone except me doing precisely what they wanted when it came to sex. I asked Jimmy, for that was this actor’s name, what I should do the next time I fell in love. Did men really think the worst of girl who slept with them? And was it really such a stigma, on one’s wedding night, not to be found a virgin? He was very patient and understanding, and in way he was the first person with whom I’d been able to discuss the mysterious world of sex. I had, of course, described my heartbreak over Guy, and it was a help when Jimmy carefully gave sensible explanations for what had been drilled into my mind as taboos. ‘Things are not quite the same as they used to be, you know’, he smiled. ‘You’re going to have dozens of men in your life; play them along for whatever you want out of it.’ His words had new meaning, for suddenly sex was not a dirty word or a forbidden act until marriage. It was something of which to be unafraid and, above all, to enjoy, not endure.Perhaps if I could have talked before to someone like Jimmy I’d been spared all those months of frustration and fear. For here was a man of the world, almost urging me to go ahead and drink from the cup of life without inhibition. If his motives were ulterior, then he certainly never showed them to be so by making any kind of play for me.”

Dors by Diana, 1981, pp 78 - 79

Dors by Diana, 1981, pp 78 – 79

Dors by Diana, 1981, 1983, pp 76-77

Dors by Diana, 1981, 1983, pp 76-77

The connections Savile made with Diana Dors and Honor Blackman stretched into the 70s and possibly beyond. A relation of Dors, Tommy Fluck’s connections with the Krays is something Reggie highlights in his autobiography, getting involved in one of the 1956/57 Regal Billiard Hall forays into smashing things and people. Thirty six years after first making Honor Blackman’s acquaintance there is a photograph on the Getty Images site with the caption:

23rd February 1974: Actress Honor Blackman lends support to the Liberal Party as she joins Johnnie Savile, brother of broadcaster Jimmy and candidate for Battersea North, London, on a canvassing tour of the constituency.

Sure enough, the Wikipedia page for the Battersea North constituency reveals that a J. Savile stood there for the Liberal Party in the February 1974 general election. He finished third, polling 4683 votes. And a recent Daily Mail report suggests that Johnnie was no more pleasant than his brother. With regards to Diana Dors, Savile appears to have known her second husband sufficiently well to stop by LA, Beverly Hills, 16 years after first meeting and sometime before April 1964 when Savile visited Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker in California for 10 days for a second time:

“This habit can be quite unnerving to local residents  and comedian Dickie Dawson, Diana Dors’ husband, who collected me in his Cadillac, never did quite get used to the idea of me starting to take off my shirt every time we stopped. Great guy that Dickie and he knows just about everybody in the film business. Beverly Hills claims to have the world’s most expensive homes, which is not surprising, because while I was there a 25 acre building plot was sold for $50 million. When I realised my room was costing me $20 a day I thought you could never get away with this in Salford” [How’s about that then?, Alison Bellamy, Loc 1379]

 1967 & 1969 & 2007: Savile as Honorary Churchwarden and BBC Songs of Praise

Two decades later Savile would formalise his reason to visit Cragg Vale as the church becomes vicarless in 1967 (for how long?) and Savile arrives to help the church find a vicar. He preaches a sermon at the church, dressed in a lurid yellow and acid green hooded gown with a pom pom brocade trim, an outfit which he digs out to wear once more in 2007. And on Boxing Day 1969 the Catholic Herald point out Savile was to feature twice in BBC programming for the day, conducting Songs of Praise from St John the Baptist in the Wilderness, Cragg Vale:

“Sunday, BBC-2: “End of a Decade.” 150-minute review with film and guests, including Cardinal Heenan, the Bonzo Dog Band, Archbishop Ramsey, Malcolm Muggeridge. The whole conducted by Jimmy Savile. Sunday, BBC-1: “Songs of Praise.”. Savile again, the Catholic in floral cassock, introduces carols sung by Anglicans of the Pennine village of Cragg Vale.”

In 1967 Savile became Honorary Churchwarden of St John in the Wilderness at Cragg Vale, despite the fact he had only come to the church to help fix a job for a vicar as reported in the Halifax Courier:

“I first came down here to help the church find a vicar and soon after was appointed church warden for my efforts.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 19.18.22

Who had asked Savile down to find a vicar in the first place? And who appointed him Honorary Churchwarden?

In 1960 Rev. David Bennett was ordained and the following year he joined the Victory Lodge in Halifax as a freemason, going on to become one of the most decorated Freemasons in the county of Nottingham in his later career

Having been appointed as ‘Priest in Charge’ of St John the Baptist in the Wilderness in 1967 Rev. Bennett was to eventually have a 25 year long working relationship with Jimmy Savile in youth support and development.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 20.29.39

“Sir Jimmy began fund-raising there in 1967 when his friend, the Rev David Bennett, enlisted his help to raise £8,000 for a new vicarage. The veteran presenter returned regularly to lead 10-mile sponsored walks in aid of the church and other good causes in Calderdale until the late 1970s” (St John’s mourns for honorary church warden Sir Jimmy Savile Halifax Courier – 01 November 2011)




2014: Support for CSA Inquiry from Craig Whittaker MP for Calder Valley is crucial

In 2014 one of the first Conservative MPs to sign up to back the call to the Home Secretary Theresa May to launch a CSA Inquiry as requested here by 7 original MPs was Craig Whittaker MP for Calder Valley who published this letter in the Halifax Courier a few weeks after the Savile: Exposure programme on ITV.

“Talking Politics: So where are all the letters about kids’ safety?

How did Jimmy Savile get away with the abuse for so many years? By Craig Whittaker, Conservative MP for the Calder Valley Published on Monday 29 October 2012 20:45 A badger is cute but a child is more important. Each week we receive emails and letters about animals. Sometimes we receive hundreds of emails during particular campaigns. This last fortnight we have recieved over 250 emails and letters about badgers. Other notable ones have been on Cayman turtle farms; circus animals; stray dogs; animal testing; and who could forget the beak trimming of hens. As Britons, we love our animals but do we love our children as much? What I find incredulous is when there are serious safeguarding issues with children, suprisingly I get no communication from my constituents at all. The allegations around Jimmy Savile highlight that point. Not one email from a constituent. Surprising in itself because there were many years in Jimmy Savile’s life that he spend right here in the Calder Valley around Cragg Vale. How on earth can this level of abuse be allowed to continue for so many years with what appeared to be known or suspected by many people and it just swept under the carpet! Staggering! Some of this abuse hadnot taken place 50 or so years ago, some of it happened in the last decade. How can such a high profile celebrity get away with sexual abuse for so many years with so many people and no action taken? Every month I deal with some kind of child abuse whether physical or sexual through my office or surgeries and whilst I accept these are not public cases, we have a huge issue in this country, even in 2012, of children being abused. One explanation is given by Dr. Judith Herman from Harvard University who says, ‘The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness’. Apparently this is a very normal human response that often feeds decision makers cultural disbelief and high level political indifference to sexual violence victim/survivor support needs (being seen as too complex a social issue to deal with). Victims of sexual crime are a very large, but also very hidden, and currently a relatively silent community of interest in the UK. Dr. Herman also highlights that the study of psychological trauma has a curious history – one of episodic amnesia. Periods of active investigation have alternated with periods of oblivion. Let’s hope with the high profile case of Jimmy Savile and for the sake of children nationally that now we have a period of active investigation and we do not slip back into a period of oblivion. I also can’t help but feel that if the plight of children nationally was as high up in people’s priorities as our love for animals, then perhaps we would have a much better society where we all could live. Sadly, the silence in this area is often deafening.”