Terry Thomas mobbed during visit

WITH his famous gap-toothed smile, military moustache and rich, fruity voice, entertainer Terry-Thomas was the quintessential upper-class cad or rotter.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 25th December 2011, 9:39 am

He was born Thomas Terry Hoar-Stevens and made his name with the ‘Stars in Battledress’ troupe during the Second World War.

Terry-Thomas appeared in variety and on radio and TV as a stand-up comedian and impressionist and put on a show at Vauxhall Motors in Luton in November 1948. He is pictured, left, mingling with workers in the factory canteen and, above, on stage during his performance. But can readers name the celebrity in the foreground also signing autographs?

During the years when Vauxhall employed nearly 25,000 people in Luton and Dunstable, many social and sporting activities were held in the huge canteen in Kimpton Road.

Well over 10,000 meals a day were served in the building, which was constructed like a huge aircraft hangar. Its ballroom floor was sprung maple and as well as monthly dances, theatrical and musical shows attracted large crowds.

Terry-Thomas starred in films like I’m All Right Jack, Blue Murder At St Trinian’s and School For Scoundrels in the ‘50s and American audiences also enjoyed his caricatured upper-class Englishman.

His career was curtailed when he contracted Parkinson’s disease and he died in 1990, aged 78.