Grey’s impatience and political manoeuvring of other Albany staff is often justified to himself on the basis that those people don’t understand the true raison d’être of the Trust. Apart from the Bishop of Woolwich, Dr John Robinson, who Grey grants due accord because
“He believed that the work of the Trust, as of the Church, was about the true Liberation through the power of the one Spirit.” [Grey Quest for Justice Loc 4221/6001]
Dr Charlotte Wolff in her highlights of Lord Beaumont’s emergency meeting at the House of Lords in 1971 mocks Grey slightly for his self-identification with the Albany Trust and the way he spoke as if they were still attached. Between 1962 -1980, Grey leaves and returns to the Trust twice, once for six months between Sept 1970 – July 1971 and again from mid-1977 – 1980. For almost eighteen continuous years between the ages of 35 – 52 Grey is a Secretary or the Director or Managing Trustee.
In 1962 as the sounds of Joe Meek and The Tornados’ Telstar descended the UK charts from five weeks at Number 1, the Joint Secretaries to the Trust, John and Venetia Newall, were stepping down and Antony Grey, then aged thirty-five, was stepping up to press the doorbell to Kenneth Walker’s offices on Harley Street. The interview panel for the role of Secretary to the Albany Trust was a committee of five men and one woman. Already known to most in his role as Treasurer before Grey were the familiar faces of an elderly genitourinary surgeon, a Labour inner-city MP, the Bishop of Woolwich, a published criminal psychiatrist and a young married couple in town from up North.
“My appointment was not a foregone conclusion. I was asked to wait in Kenneth Walker’s little Harley Street dining room while the committee discussed my offer. Besides Mr Walker, the others present were Dr Neustatter (the Society’s deputy chairman), Kenneth Robinson MP, the Bishop of Woolwich (‘Honest to God’ John Robinson) and the Newalls. Apologies for absence had been received from Jeremy Thorpe MP, Ambrose Appelbe, C.H. Rolph and Jacquetta Hawkes, although I believe that most, if not all, of these had told Kenneth Walker of their views.” [Grey Loc 1148/6001]
Interestingly, half of the interviewing committee were involved in Royal Northern Hospital, located on the Holloway Road in Islington, North London. Kenneth Walker O.B.E was an eminent consultant surgeon to the Genito-Urinary Department at Royal Northern, while Dr Neustatter was a senior psychiatrist to the department of Psychological Medicine there and Kenneth Robinson, a local Labour MP for St Pancras, served on the Hospital’s Board.
The hospital had moved grounds several times since being founded in the 1850s to end up near Union Chapel, Highbury and Islington station with a Royal Charter from 1921. It was one of the first hospitals to receive wireless radio on the wards.
A true Victorian, in his eightieth year and as the most senior of the six original founders of Albany Trust six years earlier, Walker had been an eminent genito-urinary surgeon and sexologist for his entire career, with a momentary foray into being a children’s author forty years previously. During his work at St Paul’s Hospital and Royal Northern Hospital in Holloway, North London he had come to believe many sexual problems such as impotence, were less mechanical than they were psychological.
In 1923 he and Geoffrey Maxwell Boumphrey[i] published a sombre book for children called The Log of the Ark[ii] involving an animal called a scub infiltrating the Ark and introducing animals to the concept of eating meat, turning the Ark animals into prey and predators. An amoral tale without reference to the biblical events apart from the setting of the tale it was an odd interpretation to offer children. A lifelong devotee of Gurdjieff from his early thirties through a meeting with P.D. Ouspensky in Paris in 1924 he wrote Venture with Ideas and A Study of Gurdjieff’s Teaching provide an introduction to Gurdjieff’s ideas. Amongst Walker’s Gurdijieff fellow followers he was well known, a friend to Pamela Travers, the Australian author of Mary Poppins whose son was causing her problems with drink-dirving prison sentences before 21.
In 1939 he had co-written with a pschoanalyst the book Sexual Disorders in the male. In 1945 described circumstances in which artificial insemination was taking place in UK in British Medical Journal with Dr Weisner and in the early 1920s was performing testicular grafts for ‘rejuvenation’ although he very quickly saw them as impossible and denounced Voronoff’s work (based in 1920s Paris transplanting first castrated criminals’ ‘glands’ and then shavings of monkey glands into wealthy elderly men!) to the Royal College of Surgeons.
[i] Founding member of H.G.Wells ‘open conspiracy’ of 1932 the Progressive League – Manifesto; contributing on the issue of Town & Contry Plannng; Author of BP & Shell Shilling Guides around Britain; 1950 BBC Home Service Broadcast by Boumphrey on Caerleon-on-Usk
[ii] The Log of the Ark. By Kenneth M. Walker and Geoffrey. M. Bonmphrey. Drawings restored by Geoffrey M. Boumphrey. Louden Constable. [7s. 6d.]
Dr [Walter] Lindesay Neustatter[i] [Albany Trust Deputy Chair] (1903-1978)
was the Trust’s deputy chairman at the time, as well as consulting at Royal Northern Hospital and serving as Vice-President of the Medico-Legal Society. Six years previously he had delved into ‘The Mind of the Murderer’ [ii] publishing a book of that title in 1956, having studied medicine at University College in late 1920s. While he was at university his mother had struck up a friendship with her son’s former teacher at King Alfred School, Hampstead, a man called A.S. Neill. From 1921 onwards Lillian Nuestatter had worked tirelessly with Neill to establish the Summerhill School in Suffolk. Due to his 1956 book Neustatter developed a reputation as a forensic criminal psychiatrist and in 1966 would give Ian Brady’s pre-sentence report and gave evidence on Brian Jones’ state of mind.
[i] Later in 1966 to provide Ian Brady’s pre-sentence report http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545778/Experts-warn-Ian-Brady-extremely-dangerous-report-finds-76-year-old-serial-killer-suffering-chronic-psychotic-illness.html
(Sir) Kenneth Robinson MP (1911 – 1996) – Scientology’s Nemesis
At the time of Grey’s interview Robinson had been Labour MP for St Pancras since 1949 – for past 13 years – and was now turning 50. He served as a Board member of the Royal Northern Hospital where Kenneth Walker, Dr Neustatter (and from 1950 – 1954 a nurse called Claire Rayner trained) all worked.
The son of a doctor and a nurse, he was forced to leave the Grocer’s Company School, Oundle, in 1926, aged 15 with no further education. Hugh Gaistkill had appointed him no 2 to Dr Edith Summerskill in Ministry of Health in shadow government in 1961
By 1964 he would be in cabinet as Harold Wilson’s first Minister for Health 1964 – 1968 before the position was merged with Secretary of State for Social Services and Richard Crossman took over. He didn’t hold a Cabinet position. Two paintings at the Royal Free Hospital (into which Royal Northern was subsumed) are by Lady Robinson, Sir Kenneth’s wife. In retirement from politics he later became Chairman of the Arts Council and was involved in the hospital’s art.
Dr John Robinson (Bishop of Woolwich)
Dr John Robinson had been appointed suffragan Bishop of Woolwich by Mervyn Stockwood, the Psychically obsessed Bishop of Southwark three years prior to Grey’s interview, having courted controversy almost immediately by appearing for Michael Rubinstein’s legal defence of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960. The year he was interviewing Grey he had just published the “church-shaking” ‘Honest to God’.
Venetia (aged 25) and John Newall (aged 30)
(the then current joint secretaries): Venetia, currently aged 79 and Honorary Vice-president of the Folklore Society was then aged twenty five, was starting a career which would blossom into a noted British folklorist who would become a Research Fellow in Folklore at the University of London and a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She has published several books – An Egg at Easter, The Folklore of Birds and Beasts, served as Honorary Secretary and later President of the Folklore Society, editor of International Folklore Review and a County and Regional folklore of series on British Isles.
Described by Grey as a young, wealthy philanthropic couple who worked with Andrew Halidie-Smith from November 1960 – December 1962. With family and business commitments in the North of England, the couple worked intensively for the Trust when in London, and with Grey as Treasurer spent lunchtimes in a noisy Chinese restaurant somewhere in the back streets of Chinatown behind the offices on No 32, Shaftesbury Avenue.
Wondering if any relation to the directors/family of Newall & Turner board, the asbestos company in Rochdale with mines in Rhodesia that Cyril Smith defended taking shares in and reading out speeches in parliament written by T&N in 1981?
With Grey he brings a former secretary to David Astor, the founder of The Observer, Joyce Blanchard. He works part-time for the Trust, one day a week on Saturdays sub-editing for The Observer in their offices on Fleet Street and part-time writing a book for the Steel industry for the next five-six years.
“At the advertising agency I had made friends with a temporary senior secretary, Joyce Blancahrd (known to everyone as Joy) who was then in her late forties, and had previously worked as a personal secretary to several eminent businessmen – including David Astor of the Observer. I decided to offer her the position of Office Manager at the HRLS/Albany Trust offices, and she responded enthusiastically.” [Loc 1122/6001]
In 1962 Thorpe’s affair with Norman Josiffe Scott was already underway so spare time was possibly precious and too valuable to be spent interviewing on behalf of the Albany Trust.