Woman took on clas­sic film role

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRITTON

IN­TRIGU­ING pic­tures have emerged of a woman dressed as Lawrence of Ara­bia while sat on a horse in the mid­dle of Mill Street.

Taken in 1962, Jane Leah, from Mac­cles­field, cuts a striking fig­ure as she poses in full cos­tume out­side Mac­cles­field’s old Ma­jes­tic cin­ema, look­ing more suited for the Ara­bian desert than the cob­bled streets of Mac­cles­field.

The un­usual pic­tures were un­earthed by Jane’s son Si­mon Leah, who says his mum donned the out­fit - thought to be the ex­act same one worn by Peter O’Toole in the film - in a bid to pro­mote the movie’s re­lease.

Si­mon reg­u­larly shares old videos and pho­tos with the Ex­press which have cap­tured the in­ter­est of many res­i­dents.

While these pic­tures are not his hand­i­work, they were at the fam­ily home for many years and he picked them out to use on the or­der of ser­vice at his mum’s funeral, af­ter she sadly died two years ago.

He says that his mum told him that the cos­tume she was wear­ing was the ac­tual one worn by ac­tor Peter O’Toole, who was the lead role in Lawrence of Ara­bia.

Si­mon, of Gawsworth Road, Mac­cles­field, said: “Mum was a mem­ber of a lo­cal rid­ing club.

“She would have been about 19 or 20 in the pic­tures I think and I be­lieve that was her horse she is rid­ing. It was to pro­mote the re­lease of the 1962 film ver­sion of Lawrence Of Ara­bia and its show­ing at The Ma­jes­tic Theatre.

“She told me it’s the ac­tual cos­tume that was worn in the film by the star, Peter O’Toole, not a copy.

“I don’t know much more than that and I’m not sure who took the pic- tures. It might have been Ex­press pho­tog­ra­pher Gerry Hen­shall, I don’t know but they are cer­tainly in­trigu­ing.”

Jane, nee Allen, was born and bred in Mac­cles­field and went to Mac­cles­field Cen­tral School.

Si­mon said: “She loved rid­ing and used to teach chil­dren rid­ing too, but her back­ground was in de­sign and she worked as a de­signer at Scraggs in Lan­g­ley. She must have caught peo­ple’s at­ten­tion on that day in Mac­cles­field all those years ago.

“I’d love to know how the cos­tume came to be in Mac­cles­field.”

Lawrence of Ara­bia is a drama on the life of TE Lawrence de­pict­ing his ex­pe­ri­ences in the Ara­bian Peninsula dur­ing World War I.

Si­mon Leah found these pic­tures of his late mum Jane Leah (for­merly Allen) pro­mot­ing the 1962 film re­lease of “Lawrence Of Ara­bia”. out­side the Ma­jes­tic cin­ema in Mac­cles­field

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