Howard Davies





It is with the deepest regret that we announce that Howard Davies, landlord of the Kings Arms since 1976, passed away on the 25th February 2010. He leaves wife Marjorie, son Nic and daughter Siân, and five much-loved grandchildren. We thank all of those, far too numerous to mention, who have extended their kindness to Marjorie and the family at this sad time.


It has become a cliché to say that someone “lived life to the full”, but for once this can be said of Howard with no trace of hyperbole. In his long life, Howard had at various times been an engineer, a soldier, a bandsman, an opera singer, a clock-maker, an amateur jeweller, a private pilot, a highly successful singer on stage, screen and television – and, of course, a hotelier and landlord here at the Kings Arms.


J. Howard Davies was born in Mountain Ash, South Wales on 11th April 1931. Though his fine tenor voice had been apparent even in his schooldays, Howard completed an engineering apprenticeship with a Cardiff company before joining the Royal Engineers for his national service. He auditioned successfully for the regimental band and spent two years touring with them around the world.

Whilst studying opera at the Guildhall School of Music, Howard was invited to join the cast of My Fair Lady at the London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. It was a huge break for a young performer, and he went on to make the rôle of Freddy his own for eight successful years, subsequently touring with the show in South Africa. Marjorie and Howard met and married in 1971.

The next break in Howard’s career came when George Mitchell offered him the lead tenor role on a two-and-a-half-year Black & White Minstrels tour of Australia, in which Marjorie took part as a dancer. Along the way, Howard also found time to act on television and in a movie. Meanwhile, Howard’s seemingly limitless energy had been channelled into gaining his pilot’s licence and learning to make jewellery.


In February 1976, Howard and Marjorie became the licensees of the Kings Arms, subsequently becoming proprietors. Their ownership of the hotel was a highly successful partnership spanning thirty-four years, in which they made numerous friends in Blakeney and North Norfolk.


Howard truly lived life to the full.