It was with great sadness that I read of the death of an old friend, Sam Beazley at the great age of a hundred years.
Sam started his career as an actor, but he moved into antique dealing and opened a shop in Port Street, Portmeirion Antiques. His taste was faultless and soon all the leading interior decorators were beating a path to his door – I still have pictures and furniture that I purchased there myself. Some years later, perhaps dictated by rent rises, he moved to Barnet. I was horrified but nevertheless I determined to visit him in his new premises. I remonstrated with him about the length of the journey and said I doubted that busy firms like Colefax and Fowler were unlikely to make the effort.
Turning to me he said ‘Look who is crossing the road” It was Tom Parr, by that time the owner of Colefax. I was silenced!
Apart from interesting and impeccable taste, Sam had a great sense of humour and visiting him, which of course I continued to do, was always fun. Latterly he returned to the theatre and I went to see him a couple of times – by that time he must have been well into his eighties but he was still agile, and very good.
I last saw him about a year ago, when he entertained me to lunch in a pretty cottage in Battersea – we laughed about old times, and his wit and humour were as lively as they always had been.
Dear Sam – he will be much missed.