Aireborough Historical Society

Sydney Howard 1913

Sydney Howard Title
Sydney Howard
Date 1913
Location Yeadon
Photo ID
Sydney Howard was born on 7th August 1881 in a small town on the border of Chesire/ Staffordshire, his father Robert brought his family to Yeadon when Sydney was very young.
Robert had a shop on the High Street selling stockings and paper goods, one of his daughters (Mrs Dawson) would at a later date run the shop.
There was also a factory making paper bags in the Well Lane area and the family initially lived on Otley Lane then moving to a house on the High Street.
Sydney first worked in a mill, then as a representative for his father's business but his ambition was to become a professional entertainer.
He appeared in many local amateur shows and did become a professional, joining sea-side concert troupes, playing in pantomimes and musicals.
He became adept at playing drunks and was cast in this role many times.
He married Dora White, daughter of Fred White who had a newsagents shop on Ivegate (now Rivoli Pizza), they had one daughter, Wendy.
Sydney served during the First World War in the Navy then transferred into the newly formed RNAS.
He continued with his career after the war and began to appear in films, in the summer of 1930 scenes for "Up For The Cup" were shot in Yeadon featuring the looms at Crompton Mill, the exterior of Manor Mill and King Street, sadly a copy of this film no longer seems to exist as many local people and children were in the crowd scenes.
His biggest break came when he starred in the first British production of "Anything Goes" at the Palace Theatre, London.
He went on to star in many more films and musical comedies, appearing with stars like Gracie Fields, Jack Buchanan and Leslie Henson.
He made one film in America "Trans Atlantic Merry-go-round" and enjoyed mingling with the Hollywood elite.
Sydney and Dora made the most of his good fortune, spending winters in the south of France, holidays to Egypt and other exotic (then) places.
Curiously they never bought a house, living in the Park Lane hotel when in London or staying with the Whites on Ivegate when they returned to Yeadon.
They never possessed a car, preferring to use taxis.
Sydney died on 12th June 1946, Dora had predeceased him, he was buried in Yeadon Cemetery and Yeadon came to a standstill the day of the funeral.
Wendy had trained as a gym teacher and for a time taught at Dulwich College, when in Yeadon she would frequently appear in productions at Yeadon Temperance Hall, her uncle Donald White produced many shows there.
After her father's death she had a house built on Harrogate Road, Rawdon and lived there with her aunt Chrissie White.
She died in the 1970s.
It is said that if Sydney had lived into the age of television he would be more widely remembered.




Of all the bio's I have read about Sydney yours is the only which has got his birthplace correct.
07 August 2016
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