John Waddington-FeatherAn Anglican NSM priest, John Waddington-Feather is a retired schoolmaster and author who belongs to the West Yorkshire 'school' of writers. His children's novel, Quill's adventures in Grozzieland, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 1989, and his verse-play, Garlic Lane, won the Burton Award in 1999. In 2002 he was awarded the American DeWitt Romig Prize for his poetry. He co-directs the imprint Feather Books and edits The poetry church poetry quarterly. He was the first chairman of the J.B.Priestley Society and is now a vice-president.

Born in 1933 in Keighley, he attended Keighley Boys' Grammar School and graduated in English at Leeds University in 1954. After university, he served in the Intelligence Corps, where his gained his wings as a paratrooper. A keen sportsman in his youth, he played rugby in both codes and won a county cap for Sussex.

He now lives in Shrewsbury where he taught, and has ministered in the prison there for the past thirty years.



The following article is taken from a copy of a World War 1 newspaper cutting, source unknown.

"Second-Lieutenant Norman Feather, West Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. Holmes Feather, 11 Brier Street, Ingrow, Keighley, has been awarded the Military Cross. Lieutenant Feather is 28 years of age and was educated at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School. Before enlistment in the Yorkshire Hussars shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, he was chief clerk in the office of Mr. Harry Waddington, the clerk to the Keighley Borough Justices. After several months service at the front he returned home to take up a commission. He has been wounded on three occasions, the last time about a month ago when he was hit in the head and left in No Man's Land. He was reported missing but happily soon after he wrote home to reassure his relatives as to his safety. He is again in the line. Lieutenant Feather's wife and child are residing at Harrogate".

I have been contacted by Chris Baldwin, Normans grandson who describes his grandfather thus:

"Norman, my grandfather, would much rather have been remembered for the sporting medals he won, especially one with Keighley Zingaris Northern Union team with his brother Tom and cousin Joe, than the military one, of which he seemed to think little. That was won at the second battle of Kemmel Hill in 1918. I would not wish to have a misleading impression created of Norman who was much opposed to the folly of wars, the politicians who start them and the generals who indulge in them from a safe distance."

"Norman had a keen interest in all things feather related and used to correspond with a William Feather, publisher of a magazine in the US. He was also an inveterate visitor of graveyards and built up a substantial list of all the names he had seen associated with Feather, as in Holmes Feather and Sutcliffe Feather."

I would like to thank Chris for his support.  He also supplied the transcript of a letter written written by Norman circa 1963, which can be found here .

See the Monumental Inscription for Norman Feather.


Military Cross

The following is a history of the Military Cross supplied by web a terrific web site (First World detailing the history of the first world war.

Military Cross

The British Military Cross was instituted on 28 December 1914 as a means of formally recognising the courage of junior officers during wartime (officially for "gallantry in the field" for Captains and below). In this way the Military Cross complemented the Military Medal which was awarded to servicemen below officer rank. Also available was an additional award of a Bar to the Military Cross to recognise further acts of gallantry. Such silver bars were worn above the ribbon.

Until the institution of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in June 1918 many officers of comparable rank within the air service were similarly awarded the Military Cross in recognition of their daring aerial exploits.

From 1931 the MC (as it was known) was also awarded to Majors. Although recipients were not initially permitted to list the letters MC after their name this restriction was subsequently withdrawn.

Awards of the MC were announced in the London Gazette along with a citation, other than for those awarded as part of New Year or Birthday honors. Some 37,081 MC's were awarded during the First World War, plus 2,992 first Bars, 176 second Bars and 4 third Bars.


Billie "Lorraine" Feather
(b. September 10, 1948) is a lyricist/songwriter. She was born in Manhattan. Her father was jazz writer Leonard Feather; her mother Jane was a former big band singer and ex-roommate of singer Peggy Lee. Feather was named after her godmother Billie Holiday but she began using her middle name "Lorraine" while in grade school. Her husband is Tony Morales, formerly a drummer for artists such as The Rippingtons, David Benoit and Rickie Lee Jones. Morales changed careers in the late 1990s, turning to Internet management. He led Silicon Graphics’ web team for ten years. The couple moved from Los Angeles to Half Moon Bay, CA at the beginning of this period. In 2007 they relocated to the San Juan Islands in Washington State.

Lorraine Feather began working in television as a lyricist in 1992 and has received seven Emmy nominations. Her lyrics for children include Disney’s Dinosaurs series on ABC and the MGM films Babes In Toyland and An All Dogs Christmas; Feather and composer Mark Watters wrote the themes for MGM’s TV shows All Dogs Go to Heaven and The Lionhearts; they also created the piece “Faster, Higher, Stronger” for Jessye Norman to sing in the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics. Feather and composer Larry Grossman wrote the song that Julie Andrews performed in The Princess Diaries 2. Feather has also created lyrics for Disney’s feature film The Jungle Book 2 (with Australian jazz musician Paul Grabowsky), and for Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween, the PBS series Make Way for Noddy, and the Candy Land and My Little Pony films for Hasbro Toys.

Feather’s work has been heard on numerous records, in films and on television. Her songs have been covered extensively by artists such as Phyllis Hyman, Kenny Rankin, Patti Austin, Diane Schuur and Cleo Laine. Many of her own solo CDs have featured contemporary lyrics to formerly instrumental pieces written by Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and other pre-bop composers. Feather’s recordings have received glowing reviews in every major jazz magazine. Down Beat has called her work “deliciously savvy”; Jazz Times referred to her as “a lyrical Dorothy Parker” and her lyrical reinventions as “pure genius.”

In 2005, Feather began working as lyricist on Canum Entertainment’s theatrical project The Thief, based on the Oscar-nominated Russian film and featuring the music of Russian composer Vladimir Shainskiy; The Thief debuted at LA’s El Portal Theatre in the summer of 2007. Soon after, she started work on Canum’s next musical, Pest Control, with co-lyricist Scott de Turk. She was also commissioned to write lyrics for a musical production of Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities (music by New York neo-classical composer Stefania de Kenessey). American Opera Projects has presented excerpts from this work, and it was featured at the annual Derriere Guard concert in New York in October 2007, with Tom Wolfe as keynote speaker.

Source ~ Wikipedia.

For more information on Lorraine go to her web site.


(L to R) Robert Goffin, Benny Carter, Louis Armstrong and Leonard Feather in 1942Leonard Geoffrey Feather (13 September 1914 to 22 September 1994) was a British-born jazz pianist, composer, and producer who was best known for his music journalism and other writing.

Feather was born in London into a strictly conformist upper-middle-class Jewish family. He learnt to play the piano and clarinet (though was not formally trained), and had started writing about jazz and film by his late teens. At the age of twenty-one Feather made his first visit to the United States, and after working in the U.K. and the U.S. as a record producer finally settled in New York City in 1939, where he lived until moving to Los Angeles in 1960. Feather served as chief jazz critic for the Los Angeles Times until his death. He died in Sherman Oaks, California at the age of eighty.

Feather's compositions have been widely recorded, including "Evil Gal Blues" and "Blowtop Blues" by Dinah Washington, and what is possibly his biggest hit, "How Blue Can You Get?" by blues artists Louis Jordan and B. B. King, and some of his own recordings as a bandleader are still available. But it was as a writer on jazz (as a journalist, critic, historian, and campaigner) that he made his biggest mark: "Feather was for a long time the most widely read and most influential writer on jazz."[1] Even jazz enthusiasts who didn't read his books and articles would have known him from the liner notes that he wrote for hundreds of jazz albums.

He wrote the lyrics to the jazz song "Whisper Not" which was then recorded by Ella Fitzgerald on her 1966 Verve release of the same name.

He is the father of lyricist/songwriter Lorraine Feather.

Source Wikipedia

Vic Feather (left) and Prime Minister Harold WilsonVictor Grayson Hardie Feather

Baron Feather (1908 – 28 July 1976) was General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress in Great Britain from 1969 to 1973.

Feather was born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire in 1908, and was named after the recently-elected socialist MP Victor Grayson.  He was educated at Hanson Grammar School in Bradford, Yorkshire, and began work at age 14 and joined the Shopworkers' Union. 

He was elected shop steward at age 15, and chairman of his branch committee at age 21.

In 1937 he joined the staff of the Trades Union Congress.  He became Assistant Secretary (1947-60), Assistant General Secretary (1960-69), and General Secretary (1969-73).  As General Secretary, Feather led the British trade union movement's fight against Heath government's Industrial Relations Act 1971.

After retirement from the TUC, he was President of the European Trade Union Confederation (1973-74). 

He was created Baron Feather, of the City of Bradford, on 6 March 1974. Lord Feather died two years later in 1976.

With his blunt Yorkshire manner, he was something of a character in British public life.  He was often imitated by Mike Yarwood.  When he appeared on Parkinson he admitted to stealing sheep in the 1930s.

Source Wikepedia

This is Your Life

Lord Feather appeared on This is Your Life on the 28 November 1973. vicfeather1

Yorkshire-born Feather was surprised by Eamonn at the offices of Punch magazine. As General Secretary of the TUC from 1969-1973 he led the British trade union movement's fight against Heath government's Industrial Relations Act 1971. Something of a ‘character’ in public life, Vic was often imitated by Mike Yarwood, who appears as a guest.