Author Topic: Charlie Chaplin  (Read 3749 times)


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Charlie Chaplin
« on: 09:35:21, 18/06/13 »
Is there any truth in the story I hear every so often, that Charlie Chaplin once went to school in Manchester?  In Ardwicxk or in Ancoats are the most common areas mentioned.  I think he probably did attend for a short time, not because he lived here, but because his entertainer parents were performing in a Manchester theatre season.   Anyone know?


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Re: Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #1 on: 09:56:00, 18/06/13 »
This is a rumour that I first heard years ago. The story went that he attended a school off Bennett St. Ardwick. I have never been able to find any proof of this.  Stretching credulity as far as I can I found the link below that suggests he joined a dancing troupe called "The Eight Lancashire Lads" at the age of 10. Could it be that Charlie was living in the Arwick area at the time?
Talk about clutching at straws.  ;D
They were founded by Bill Cawley and J.W. (William) Jackson (1863Ė1940) of Wigan, Lancashire. As they became more successful, they recruited other members such as Charlie Chaplin, who got his first professional break with them at the age of ten.
We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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Re: Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #2 on: 19:06:30, 18/06/13 »
I found this on google:
 Tuesday, Jun 18 2013 6PM  20įC  9PM 12įC  5-Day Forecast  Was Charlie Chaplin born in a gypsy caravan in the West Midlands? Letter  locked away for decades may hold answer to mystery that MI5 and CIA could not  solve By  Damien Gayle
PUBLISHED: 18:17, 20 March  2012  |  UPDATED: 08:41,  21 March 2012 
 Chaplin, is alleged to have kept his gypsy blood a  secret from his family including wife, pictured, Oona
A letter Charlie Chaplin kept hidden in a  locked draw for decades could finally solve the mystery of where the iconic film  pioneer was born.
The letter, written to Chaplin in the  Seventies, claims he was born on the 'Black Patch' near Birmingham rather than  in London as he had publicly claimed.
Up until now, the true birth place of Chaplin  has remained a mystery even the CIA and MI5 have been unable to  crack.
The faded document was sent by Jack  Hill,  who lived in Tamworth, Staffordshire, and was only discovered in  1991 after the  star's daughter inherited the desk it was concealed in.
In the letter, Mr Hill told Chaplin that he  had been born in a caravan, in a gypsy community in Smethwick, West Midlands,  which was ruled by a  gypsy queen.
Now researcher  Edward Ellis, from  Manchester, is attempting to track down the history  of Mr Hill to determine  whether or not his claims have any basis.
Mr Ellis said: 'Itís a real mystery - he was  investigated by MI5 and the CIA in the Fifties and they could not crack the  nut.
'Because he didnít have a birth certificate  even Chaplin didnít know where he was born.'
The film pioneerís son, Michael, first  revealed the existence of the letter in a BBC radio documentary broadcast last  year.
Lying locked in a writing desk for  decades  in Chaplinís bedroom, it was discovered after the star's  daughter, Victoria,  hired a locksmith to prise the drawer open.
Mr Ellis, who has family connections to the  Romany culture, suggested that Chaplin may have decided to lock the letter away,  not wanting the world to know of his gypsy blood.Jack Hill from Irwell, pictured, penned a letter insisting Chaplin's original birth place as the gypsy community in Smethwick, West Midlands Jack Hill from Irwell, pictured, penned a letter  insisting Chaplin's original birth place as the gypsy community in Smethwick,  West Midlands'I think that there has always been a stigma  towards gypsies,' he said.
'Even today, with TV programmes like My Big  Fat Gypsy Wedding, gypsies are  looked upon in a bad way. He may not have wanted  people to know that he  had a gypsy background.'
But Mr Ellis believes the evidence is  compelling to suggest Chaplin was a gypsy.
He has since researched the Black Patch and  discovered that it was indeed  home to a gypsy community led by a gypsy queen,  Sentenia 'Henty' Smith,  who died in 1907.
In the  letter, Mr Hill told Chaplin that his  own father, whom he called  'Captain' J J Hill, had been a lion tamer in the Pat  Collins circus  which toured West Midlands towns.
He wrote that he remembered seeing his father  in cages with lions and  tigers on the Serpentine grounds, near where  Premiership football ground Villa Park now stands, just a few miles from the  Black Patch.Researcher Edward Ellis, pictured, discovered the document which Chaplin's wife Oona originally discovered in 1991 Researcher Edward Ellis, pictured, discovered the  document which Chaplin's daughter Victoria originally discovered in 1991 after  her father's death
In the letter he told Chaplin that he was  'the only man alive' who knew the secret of his birth. Chaplinís father, he  explained, had worked alongside his own father in the Pat Collins  troupe.
Soon after Chaplinís birth the family left  the circus and moved to London, where his father began to work in the music  halls.
Young Charlie followed him, making his stage  debut at the age of five.Chaplin's birthplace is believed to be home to Gypsy queen, Sentenia Henty Smith Chaplin's birthplace is believed to be home to Gypsy  queen, Sentenia Henty SmithMr Ellis is determined to find anyone who can  shed light on the letter writer, and add weight to the story of Chaplinís gypsy  birth.
The researcher has visited Tamworth, knocking  on doors in the area to see if anyone recalls John Hill, who signed his name on  the letter as 'Jack'.
Research at Tamworth Library has confirmed  that the sender did live at the address in Belgrave. Mr Ellis said: 'I found a  John J Hill living there in 1971-1972, and also from 1976-77.
'According to records there was also a Kate  Hill living at the address, who presumably was his wife.
'I think I may have found a record of Mr  Hillís death in 1976, at the age of 84, and a record of Kate Hillís death in the  same year, so it would appear they passed away in the space of 12  months.'
It seems Mr Hill sent the letter not long  before he died, perhaps suggesting that he wanted to share the truth before it  was too late.
In it he said that he had read Chaplinís  autobiography, in which the star had said he was born in Kennington - prompting  Mr Hill to write 'youíre a little liar'.
But despite this, Chaplin kept the letter,  locked away for years - suggesting he may have known there was some truth to its  contents.
Mr Ellis added: 'If we can find out anything  about the Hills, or his father, the lion tamer, it would add to the weight of  evidence.
'In his letter to Chaplin, Jack Hill said  that he didnít want anything from the star, he wasnít blackmailing him or  anything like that.
'He just wanted him to know the  truth.

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Re: Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #3 on: 20:59:26, 18/06/13 »
I wonder why Chaplin kept the letter if he was so determined to keep his birth secret?  If he'd burned it, job done.... ???
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Re: Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #4 on: 21:04:22, 18/06/13 »
Maybe Sheila heard rumours ;)
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing


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Re: Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #5 on: 00:21:29, 06/08/20 »
 I went to the school off bennet st in the early 70's and remember they had a plaque saying he attended there.


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Re: Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #6 on: 14:50:26, 06/08/20 »
Charles Chaplin, Admission to Armitage Street School, 9-January-1899.
Mother?  =  Annie - 64 Morton Street, Ardwick
Morton Street was a short distance from Armitage Street across Hyde Road, then via  Garibaldi Street. I knew it well.
(via Google search)