Appreciation: Edward McFadyen

SPC is saddened to learn of the death of Edward McFadyen, a long-standing and respected member, who regularly attended Club meetings until illness prevented him from doing so.

Ted was born in Ipswich in 1928 and lived in London for most of his working life. He once recalled that his first job was as ‘a glorified office boy’ on REYNOLDS NEWS, a left-wing Sunday newspaper. Ted started work in magazine publishing with a Fleet Street company upon his release from National Service, where he had worked as an instructor in the Army Education Corps. He edited a magazine on retail management and became something of an authority on the subject, giving papers at conferences in several European countries. He also started campaigning for gay rights in the 1970s, notably on the Gay Rights Committee of the National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty).

In the 1970s, Ted gave a series of talks on BBC Radio 4, mostly on books and on travel. He wrote an informative pamphlet on the state of British Theatre which was published by The National Book League for the Brighton Festival ‘Look Back In Pleasure’ Exhibition, 1977.

Living in Hove, Ted joined SPC in the early 1970s and he wrote a number of one-act plays (mainly comedies) which were given readings at the Club and which were always well received, a couple being broadcast. Ted had a delightful (occasionally wicked!) sense of humour. He was proud that the West End playwright Philip King (a Vice-President of the Club) once told him he had written ‘the best last line for a play’ that he had ever heard; however, Ted went on to joke he had long since lost the play and couldn’t even remember what the line was!

Ted was often a reader at SPC meetings. He made perceptive comments on the plays of fellow members and always offered encouraging advice.

His passing is a loss to the Club and he will be fondly remembered by his friends at SPC.

Trevor Harvey