Intro Angela Trevor-Parker
Introducing Angela Trevor-Parker, latterly Mrs. Angela Gordon Halsey
By her son John H. Halsey
Angela Trevor-Parker had been a leading ‘socialite’ between The Wars. As one of the most glamorous members of London Society during the 1930’s. She was the only daughter of Captain Harry Trevor-Parker, a wealthy gentleman landowner, successful race horse owner and a gentleman jockey ‘Red Scen Who won a number of classics in Ireland. t’ erstwhile aide to Prince Alexander of Teck, the brother of Princess Mary of Teck, later Queen Mary wife of King George V. Her maternal grandfather George Kentish, was a City Magnate in the City of London. Owning a large freehold property in The Barbican. George’s greatest friend was Lord Illingworth, an immensely wealthy Yorkshireman, who became Angela’s godfather. Kentish and Illingworth both enjoyed indulging Angela’s every whim throughout the 1920’s – 1930’s. Angela even had the use of her own suite at Illingworth’s vast town house on the south side of Grosvenor Square during the early 1930’s .
She saw my father for the first time when aged eight years old. He was already a celebrity and was ‘Ballooning’ from the Thurlestone Golf Course, near Salcombe in South Devon. Later, when she was eleven years old, she was the ‘mascot’ for the New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ International Rugby Team, during their famous ‘Invincibles‘ tour of 1924-5. When they won every match they played.
Having completed her schooling in England. She was initially sent to Finishing School in Paris. But through being thought to be becoming too precocious, she was latterly moved to Finishing School in Switzerland at Brillantmont, Lausanne. Upon returning to London as a remarkably grown up young women aged eighteen, with a new wardrobe of the latest Paris couture gowns and day clothes. Here she was successfully launched into ‘High Society’ and quickly became a member of ‘Cafe Society ‘of the late ‘Roaring Twenties’.
Whilst still only aged eighteen, Angela saw Captain Gordon Halsey again for the second time, at a charity ball being hosted by her famous uncle General Reginald Kentish at The Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane. Where Angela intimated to her uncle that she intended to marry Captain Gordon Halsey, who was one of the sponsors of this charity ball. Angela immediately arranged for her uncle to take her to ‘The Old Florida’ soon afterwards. Thence began an extra-ordinarily romantic love story.
Like many other beautiful ‘Bright Young Things’ of the 1920‘s and 1930’s Angela was invited to join the cast on the London stage of Noel Coward’s most successful ever musical ‘Bitter Sweet‘ in 1929 at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Angela later appeared in various films shot by Alexander Korda at Denham and Elstree Studios.
Angela when not in London or in the country, enjoyed motoring powerful cars across the Continent usually down to the Cote d’ Azur, to the Italian Lakes to Hotel Villa d’ Este on Como and to St. Moritz and Gstaad. Amongst her favourite automobiles marques of the 1930’s were Hotchkiss, Lancia, Lagonda and Alvis. She had one of the first Jaguar SSK Coupe sports cars in 1937 but was disappointed with the performance by comparison to the cars she usually drove.
Angela Trevor-Parker married Captain Gordon Halsey in 1943 in the chapel at Stonor Park whilst she was living at Balhams Farmhouse on the Stonor Estate. My parents later bought a creekside property on the Salcombe Estuary which they turned into a marine, garden paradise which became our home for many years. During which period Angela Halsey founded her own highly successful antique business with showrooms in London and Devonshire. It was during this period that she ordered a Jaguar sports/saloon that was specially built for her under the auspices Sir William ‘Bill’Lyons, founder of Jaguar, for high speed motoring from Salcombe in Devon to Cote d’Azur.