Looking Back: Setting sail with a naked Anthony Newley

Anthony Newley sent this signed photo to his friends at Sefton Road church.
Anthony Newley sent this signed photo to his friends at Sefton Road church.
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You may recall our story (The Visitor, August 27) about when film actor Anthony Newley lived in Morecambe.

Since then Eileen Smith, a member of the Sefton Road United Reformed Church, got in touch with more information.

It turns out Newley, as a boy evacuated to wartime Morecambe from his home in London, was a member of the church’s Band of Hope as a young boy.

The church’s 100th anniversary booklet (written by Eileen and printed in 1999, the year Newley died) tells a hilarious story about when the young Newley went to sail model yachts at Sandylands pool.

“One became becalmed in the middle and Anthony Newley bravely entered the water ‘au naturel’ to be met on his return by some senior girls from the Sunday School,” it says. “A towel was hastily thrown to him and his reputation saved!”

Despite this embarrassing incident, the future husband of Joan Collins clearly loved his time in Morecambe. Towards the end of his life, he wrote to Eileen saying: “The year spent in Morecambe was the happiest childhood memory I have.”

He also sent the congregation a signed photo. What a great guy.