Interview with Ann Scourfield

Ann ScourfieldAnn Scourfield, a local resident of Port Talbot, was a class mate and friend of Richard Burton.

Ann recalls memories of what it was like living around the corner from Richard, attending the same school and being in the same class, at Dyffryn Secondary School, 1938.  Richard was known to classmates as ‘Ritchie Jenkins’.

 

How would you describe Ritchie?
“Blinking awful, he wasn’t very nice to look at”, she says with a smile and hint of humour. “What I mean is that he had a cheeky and naughty streak, he was always up to something”.

One particular memory that Ann recalls whilst being in class with Ritchie, was when a flying boot came towards her and hit her square in the face. “Ritchie, always the joker. It was him who had flung the boot; it was meant for his friend Dan Parr”.

Did Ritchie always want to be an actor?
“Yes, from day one! Ritchie left school to work in Taibach's Co-operative store, as a gents' outfitter. I don’t think he was cut out for that”, Ann said smiling.

Do you remember him living with his teacher Philip Burton?
“Yes, Philip also taught me. He was my English master and was a tall, biggish and pleasant man. Philip and Richard lived at Cannaught Street, Port Talbot. During the War, when the sirens went off, the class was designated to go to Philip Burton's house, as a lodging home”.

What was his favourite subject in school?
“I believe his favourite subject was English. I always thought he would go far with his acting, he had a natural flair. He always had a projected voice.  Ritchie got along with all his teachers, including the games master, Mr Smith. He could have easily chosen sport as a career path. He was in the school rugby team.  Another man who helped influence Ritchie’s future was Leo Lloyd, he was a great man; he took an active part in all school productions”. 

Quotes & memories from Fred Scourfield (Ann’s Husband):

Fred recalled the first time he met Elizabeth Taylor, when she came to put the flood lights on with Richard at Aberavon rugby ground. “It was a very cold night and there was a stove in the middle of the bar, surrounded by four men and one woman”. Fred remembers ordering a pint and the lady saying “This is the best place to be isn’t it”.  Fred had no idea she was Elizabeth Taylor, until someone told him.

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Find out about where Neath Port Talbot is located as part of Swansea Bay and The Valleys of South Wales.

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