By Steve Whitlam
David was an English stage and screen actor from a distinguished theatrical family, whose career in the 1930s included roles in numerous stage presentations as well as in thirteen films produced between 1937 and 1941, among which were 1939’s Goodbye Mr. Chips and two of producer Gabriel Pascal‘s adaptations of Shaw classics: 1938’s Pygmalion, in which he portrayed Freddy Eynsford-Hill, and 1941’s Major Barbara, in which he was Charles Lomax.
David wrote a book about his life called Pig in the Middle. He was a founder member of the Hoddesdon Society in 1961, established to protect the town from further inappropriate development after the Tower Block was built, The Bell was demolished and the Peacocks building replaced it.
His mother, Viola Tree, was a famous actress and was drawn by John Singer Sargent. She opened the Spinning Wheel Pool when it was built as an addition to The Spinning Wheel Roadhouse [Spinning Wheel refers to bicycles because cycling from London to Hoddesdon was once a popular past time].
The Parsons family live and own property at the top of Bell Lane, virtually opposite the Hertfordshire Golf Club. Mary Parsons, David’s widow, still lives there.