Knights errant take to the hills

Meet husband-and-wife stars Hugh David and Wendy Williams

TVTimes masthead
From the TVTimes for week commencing 11 June 1961

WHEN Hugh David and Wendy Williams, the stars of Granada’s Knight Errant Limited, have any free time they climb into their car and point its nose towards Wales — towards the land of their fathers.

In private life they are Mr. and Mrs. David Hughes, but David altered his name to avoid confusion in the world of entertainment with singer David Hughes.

At the Manchester studios, where they were rehearsing for the Thursday adventure series, Hugh told me: “My mother came from North Wales and my father came from the south. I was born in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire.”

A woman and a man
Talking of Wales… Wendy reads Welsh; Hugh translates

Green-eyed Wendy was born in Surrey, of a Welsh father and an English mother.

“But,” she told me, with pride in her voice, “I went to school in Colwyn Bay in Denbighshire, and I adore Wales. When I hear the anthem The Land of My Fathers it always brings tears to my eyes. My father’s family live in Anglesey and I’ve got hosts of relatives there.

“Hugh’s parents are settled in Cardiff, so it’s natural for us never to think of going anywhere but into Wales when we have time off from the studios.”

“Not always to visit our families,” Hugh added quickly. “Sometimes we go just for the scenery, for the sheer pleasure of driving through the beautiful hills and valleys.”

What is it, I asked them, that makes the Welsh so patriotic?

“Well,” replied Wendy, “I think there is a sense of belonging in all of us.

“People with Celtic blood seem to me to have this feeling more strongly than others. Welsh people seem to be even more patriotic when they are away from home.”

This brought a smile to her husband’s face. “That’s very true,” he said. “I remember a friend telling me about a Welsh stationmaster who was in Manchester a long time ago.

“He wrote beautiful nostalgic poetry about Wales while he was in Manchester, but as soon as he left England and went home he gave up writing.”

Hugh and Wendy first met in Wales. They appeared together in a television play at Cardiff, in February, 1959. A mutual friend, the Welsh actor Clifford Evans, introduced them. They got engaged on St David’s Day last year.

Their marriage service at Surbiton, Surrey, took place only six days before the beginning of the present series of Knight Errant. It was conducted by Hugh’s father, the Rev. J. Williams Hughes, a Baptist minister who was formerly principal of the North Wales Baptist College at Bangor.

I asked Wendy if Welshmen are more romantic than Englishmen. With one of her infectious chuckles she said:

“In my limited experience they are not.

“At least, not in the sense that they shower a girl with flowers and whisper sweet Welsh words in her ear. I didn’t even get a bunch of leeks on St. David’s Day.”

A man sits in a car, beckoning to woman rushing over
Hurrying to Wales… ‘Sometimes we go just for the scenery’

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