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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Dirk Bogarde's Party House
Dirk Bogarde's London party house.
Location: 44 Chester Square, Belgravia
Description: Sir Dirk Bogarde (28 March 1921 8 May 1999) was a matinee idol in over 60 films such as Doctor in the House (1954). After he lost his appetite for theatre and film he turned to writing and wrote seven candid volumes of autobiography and five novels.
In 1947 at the start of his film career he signed a major deal with Rank paying him 35 a week retainer until he started work for them. The chap whose flat he was staying in returned after his tour folded early, so he had to move out.
Dirk went to Willett's in Sloane Square and came out with the key to this (then) shabby 5 storey furnished georgian townhouse for 10 a week. The garden had 2 huge lime trees and a bomb crater.
His friend Nannette Baildon from his RAF days in Calcutta came to live here and look after him.
Dirk began to throw some wilder and wilder parties culminating in a massive New Year's Eve party for 1949/50 resulting in a massive row with Nannette.
Although he didn't adore her as she did him. She moved out a year later, after 3 years and took the cat with her!