Call goes out for town to be forever Young
A movie buff is calling for a commemorative plaque to be put up in North Shields to honour home-grown Hollywood star Alan Young.
Thomas Quinn would like to see a plaque fitted in the actor’s home town to honour his achievements while the 92-year-old is still alive.
Born Angus Young, he is best known for his role as Wilbur Post in the television series Mister Ed and as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the Disney films, TV series and video games.
During the 1940s and 1950s, he also starred in his own shows on radio and television.
Thomas, 53, said: “I think there should be a plaque or something in his honour and relevant to the area, like the statue of Stan Laurel in Dockwray Square in North Shields.
“These sorts of things are interesting for tourists, and it brings them into the town.
“I know it’s a crazy idea and will probably never happen, but it would give him a great thrill if there was some sort of memorial to him in his place of birth to show we have not forgotten his connection with the town and his long career.”
Thomas said he had become interested in the actor after he found out his grandfather used to work with Young’s dad in the North Shields shipyards in 1914.
“I was just browsing over the internet, and I saw his website,” said the former metal engraver.
“I didn’t know that he was still alive. I wrote to him in America on his 92nd birthday for a signed photograph and told him who I was and where I was from.
“I only wanted one, but he sent two signed photos.
“According to his personal assistant, when she told him I was from North Shields, he had a big smile on his face.
“He signed one of them ‘from one Shields lad to another’ and the other ‘hi, Geordie hinny’.”
Thomas, of Preston Grange in North Shields, has been collecting autographs for 30 years ago and now has more than 100 photos signed by celebrities including Clint Eastwood, Bob Hope, Kate Bush, Gregory Peck and Christopher Lee.
Young retains fond memories of North Tyneside despite having emigrated to Canada at the age of four, according to his friend Carol Summers, also manager of his website.
Young was born in the old Tynemouth hospital and lived in Spence Terrace and later Ogle Terrace in North Shields.
He last returned to North Shields for a visit about 30 to 40 years ago and was given a mug as a present by the mayor at the time, which he still has, according to Carol.
He believes he still has distant relatives living in North Tyneside but doesn’t know their names, she added.
Young’s films include 1946’s Margie, 1949’s Chicken Every Sunday, 1952’s Androcles and the Lion, The Time Machine in 1960 and 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop III.
His television appearances include guest roles in The Love Boat, St Elsewhere, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and ER.
Young has also provided voices for cartoons including Duckman, The Smurfs and The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, but he remains best known for Mister Ed, a CBS show about a talking horse broadcast from 1961 to 1966 – a fact borne out by the title of his autobiography, Mister Ed and Me and More!, published in 1994 and reissued in revised form in 2007.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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