Richard Todd at Shiplake


It is always interesting to hear from readers of this blog. David Denton sent these recollections to me :
"Dear Clement, just a small piece of trivia after reading that your a fan of the movie, 'The Story of Robin Hood!'
Well, I used to go to see Richard Todd when he had his farm at Shiplake, near my home town of Henley-on-Thames, before I moved to the village
of Mapledurham. He was a lovely man, and even me at my age of 15, I had a crush on him. Also on summer evenings, bumped into Robert Beatey, as I and friends used to walk along the tow-path by the river. Oh! Happy bygone days! And over the years I met Bill Owen, Michael Hordon, Anthony Steele, Diana Dors, Sabrina and many others, - but Richard was always my favourite.
I had 'The Story of Robin Hood' on VHS for years, but was so delighted when it came out on DVD.
So as I said at the beginning just a small bit of info."

Richard Todd c.1950

David contacted me again recently, with some more memories:
"It was a long time ago. But I can remember the first time that I cycled to see him, not knowing just quite where he lived. On the road to Shiplake from Mapledurham there is a hill before you desend down towards the village. It was my school summer holidays... and I came across an old man cutting the grass verges, so I decided to ask him if he knew where Richard lived, and knowing that he lived in a large white farmhouse, their was such a house in the distance, to the left of the landscape...so I tentively said to him who lives in that big house on the hillside? And I can remember to this day all these years later.."Todd the Actor." And it was spoken in a country dialect, which now having acted myself, I can do it justice!!

Back in 2014, I published an article about Richard Todd's home at Pinkney's Green, Maidenhead. I had this comment from 'berrys5555':
"This was very interesting to read. I visited a house called Hailywood in Shiplake Oxfordshire many years ago that belonged to Richard Todd. It was attached to Haileywood farm which he also owned and farmed. The house was very large and I remember the drawing room, it had a small area which was raised like a small stages with a grand piano on it. It’s now owned by a well known musician and the estate has been broken up and some of the land has been built on."

Shiplake and Haileywood Farm


The large house had previously been owned by the famous concert pianist, Eileen Joyce (1908-1991). It seems Richard Todd purchased Haileywood from her in 1957. Below is an interesting Youtube clip of Richard Todd at Shiplake in about 1959.


2 comments:

Clement Glen said...

Special thanks to David Denton.

Neil said...

These really are fascinating comments from David and the other comment also. Richard Todd had sold Wayside House in Pinkneys Green and moved to Haileywood House and Farm in 1957. What a move that was - to a house of this style and a farm as well. I wouldn't like to think what that would be worth today in that lovely part of England. It was really the breakdown of his marriage to Kitty that eventually led him on a much less successful path - although he found great happiness with Virginia I know. He had left Haileywood and moved to Bampton but was not there long before he left his wife for a new life elsewhere. He did move much more into the Theatre at that point.