Born on 27 September, 1936,
in Karachi, British India, and christened RONALD GORDON HONEYCOMBE, he
returned to Britain with his parents and sister after the war. His father,
Gordon Samuel Honeycombe, was a sales manager with an American oil company,
Standard Vac. His mother, Dorothy Louise Reid Fraser, known as Louie, was
born in Bridge of Allan, Scotland, in 1898. His sister, Marion, married Jim
Campbell in 1954. Gordon was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, where he
took a very active part in the school's dramatic and concert productions.
He obtained eight 'O' Levels when he was 15, and three 'A' Levels (English,
History and Latin) when he was 16.
In his first year at the
Academy, in the Prep, in 1947 (aged 10), he was the Swineherd in The
Princess and the Swineherd. At the end of the year he was second to the Dux
of the Prep.
The following year, while
in Lower 2 in the Upper School, he was Squire Trelawney in Treasure Island.
In 1949, aged 12, he was cast as Gianetta in The Gondoliers by Gilbert and
Sullivan. But when his mother and sister both got mumps, he was quarantined
and missed major rehearsals. He ended up as Fiametta, leader of the Contadine.
He first acted in
Shakespeare in 1950, in a school production of King Lear. He played
Goneril; he was 13 and six feet tall. He missed Patience in 1951 as his
voice had broken. But in 1952, aged 15, he was Brutus in Julius Caesar.
Then followed the Mikado in The Mikado (1953); Malvolio in Twelfth Night
(1954); and Private Willis in Iolanthe (1955). He was then 18, and left the
Academy in July that year.
Throughout his schooling he
was also active in school concerts, playing the piano, conducting and
singing. He conducted his House choir and composed items for music
competitions. In his last year he organized and conducted the School
Concert as well as the more informal Free and Easy, a revue. Among several
poems he wrote to entertain his classmates were Ode to the Seventh Modern,
and Jake, a modern epic. He was also good at painting, and in Lower 2 got
11 out of 10 from his class master for a painting of Archimedes.
In 1955, in September, he
joined the Royal Artillery, and spent most of his National Service in Hong
Kong, where for over a year he was also a part-time radio announcer with
BBC Radio Hong Kong. His first radio job, and his first in broadcasting,
was, however, as a primitive DJ on a troopship, the Asturias. He played
record requests on the voyage out and back.
While he was in Hong Kong
he entered a talent competition on Radio Hong Kong called Beginners Please
and won second prize, singing "The Surrey with the Fringe on
Top". He subsequently wrote a new signature tune for the program ( in
1957). He also took part in an amateur production of The Merchant of
Venice, playing Bassanio opposite his Colonel's wife, as Portia, and began
writing his first book, about school life, called Green Boy.
His father died in
Edinburgh in 1957, and his mother in 1965, two months after he joined ITN.
In hospital, before she died, she was able to see him read the national TV
From 1957 to 1961 Gordon
read English Language and Literature at University College, Oxford, and in
due course obtained his BA (a good Second) and then an MA. He spent his
1958 summer vacation as a radio announcer with the Scottish Home Service in
Glasgow. In December that year TB was diagnosed in a College Mass X-ray and
he was hospitalized for six months.While at Oxford he acted in a number of
plays for his College, for OUDS and ETC. For his College he played Othello,
and the Attendant Spirit in Comus. In University productions, he was Second
Gentleman in Measure for Measure; the Bishop of Carlisle and John of Gaunt
in Richard 2; Paul Southman in Saint's Day; the Figure in The Waiting of
Lester Abbs; the Baron in The Madwoman of Chaillot; and General MacBoom in
In 1960 he was Peter in his
own dramatization of the medieval mystery plays called The Miracles, which
he co-directed. With a cast of 80, over 60 from his College, it was first
presented by the College in Pusey Chapel, and then on the Fringe of the
Edinburgh Festival. In 1961, he was Gabriel in his dramatization of
Paradise Lost for the ETC. He directed this play and co-directed The
Miracles at the Edinburgh Festival. In August 1961 he took part in Songs
for an Autumn Rifle be David Caute. He continued to work on Green Boy and a
stage play, The Twelfth Day of Christmas.
In November 1961 he became
a professional actor with a company called Tomorrow's Audience, touring
schools and other institutions with a dramatized anthology, The Prisoners.
The company's last production, at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, was the
premiere of The Bed Sitting-room, then a one-act play. Gordon played the
name part. The Prisoners was also performed on one Sunday at the Royal
Court Theatre, early in 1962.
In May 1962 he joined the
Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon, and transferred with them
to the Aldwych Theatre in London at the end of the year, where he remained
until December 1963, by which time he was earning £15 a week. He began on
acted in Macbeth (Servant, Soldier and Eighth King); Measure for Measure
(Servant and Soldier); Cymbeline (First Lord); The Comedy of Errors (the
Capitano); King Lear (Soldier and Edmund's Captain); A Midsummer Night's
Dream (a Lord); The Beggar's Opera (Harry Paddington); The Physicists
(Police Doctor); and The Representative (Swiss Guard).
The leading actors in those
two years included Paul Scofield, Alec McCowen, Eric Porter, Marius Goring,
Tom Fleming, Bill Travers, Patrick Allen, Ian Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave,
Diana Rigg, Judi Dench, Virginia McKenna, Irene Worth and Juliet Mills.
Nerys Hughes and Margaret Drabble were also in the Company. He left the RSC
in December 1963, and spent a week in Jersey, his first visit there.
His play, The Miracles –
published by Methuen in 1964 as The Redemption (the first of his writings
to be published) – was presented by the RSC on three Sundays in 1963, two
in Southwark Cathedral. In 1964 he took part in BBC TV's That Was The Week
That Was and Not So Much A Programme as an extra, and in a TV play about
Admiral Benbow directed by Ned Sherrin. Most of the time he was on the
dole, receiving £3-12-6 a week.
In May 1965, Gordon
Honeycombe joined ITN as a script-writer and newsreader, and over the next
12½ years he became nationally known as a newscaster. He left ITN in
November 1977. He mainly read the Early and Weekend news. He was twice
chosen as the most popular newscaster in national polls run by the Daily
Mirror and the Sun.
His first play for TV, The
Golden Vision, written with Neville Smith, was produced and directed by
Tony Garnett and Ken Loach in April 1968 and repeated the following year.
In August 1968 he played the lead in a short film called The Commuter and
in September was the ITV Commentator for the 50th Anniversary Service of
the RAF held in Westminster Abbey.
His first novel, Neither
The Sea Nor the Sand was published by Hutchinson in May 1969, and
subsequently in America. It was issued in paperback by Pan and was made
into a film in 1972 by Tigon Film Productions, starring Susan Hampshire,
Michael Petrovich and Frank Finlay. The book was reissued in paperback by
Arrow in August 1978 and in the same year the film was shown on ITV.
He continued to write,
produce and act, and his play The Redemption was produced by him with a
cast of 110 in Consett, County Durham, in September 1970. During October
1970 he appeared at the Royal Court Theatre in NF Simpson's Playback 625,
with Eleanor Bron and John Clive.
In 1972, his second novel,
Dragon Under The Hill, was published in the UK by Hutchinson and later in
America by Simon and Schuster, where it became the alternative Book Club
Choice. It was published as a paperback in both countries and reissued by
Arrow in the UK in June 1978.
In 1973 he wrote and
presented two half-hour TV documentaries for Westward Television called A
Family Tree and Brass Rubbing – both were networked and repeated.
This was followed in 1974
by his second TV play, Time and Again, which was produced by Westward
Television on location in the Scilly Isles, with Anouska Hempel, Bryan
Marshall and Simon MacCorkindale, and was transmitted on ITV in November
1975. It was awarded the Silver Medal at the Film and TV Festival, New York
1975, and was repeated on ITV in 1977.
His third book, Adam's
Tale, a true account of the Drug Squad at New Scotland Yard and some of its
activities was published in 1974. It was hailed as "The most
remarkable book dealing with the British police ever published".
His fourth book, Red Watch
, a true account of a fire in Maida Vale in December 1974, in which seven
people died, was published in May 1976 and was a best-seller in both
hardback and paperback editions, the latter being published in November
1977. Red Watch was updated and reissued in paperback by Arrow in 1985.
He recorded a selection of
children's Nonsense poems for Thames Television's Stuff and Nonsense
series, transmitted between December '75 and March '76.
He appeared at the Theatre
Royal, Stratford East, London in several charity and variety shows, and
performed for a fortnight at the Players Theatre, London, where he sang a
duet with Sheila Bernette.
He also wrote the book and
lyrics of The Princess And The Goblins, which he adapted form the classic
children's tale by George MacDonald. This was staged at the Quaker School
at Great Ayton in November 1976. The music was by Robert Mackintosh.
His dramatization of
Paradise Lost was produced and repeated three times on BBC Radio 4. It was
also presented as a staged reading at York Theatre Royal and twice at The
Old Vic, with Timothy West replacing Sir John Gielgud as Milton. Hannah
Gordon was Eve. It was seen again in London in August 1975 at the Queen
Elizabeth Hall and presented by the Prospect Theatre Company in the
Assembly Hall at the Edinburgh Festival in September 1977, with Alec
McCowen as Satan.
Another dramatization of
Malory's Morte D'Arthur and called Lancelot and Guinevere was broadcast on
Radio 4 in January 1976 and later repeated. On 10 September 1980 Lancelot
and Guinevere was given its premiere stage production at the Old Vic
Theatre by the Old Vic Theatre Company, with Timothy West, Bryan Marshall
and Maureen O'Brien as Malory, Lancelot and Guinevere respectively.
IN June 1977 he wrote,
arranged and appeared in a Royal Gala Performance at the Chichester
Festival Theatre, celebrating the Queen's Silver Jubilee. It was called God
Save The Queen! It had an all-star cast, including Ingrid Bergman, Wendy
Hiller, Flora Robson, Diana Rigg, Penelope Keith, Sian Phillips, Keith
Michell, Alfred Marks and Cicely Courtneidge. The performance was attended
by Princess Alexandra.
On 16 October 1977, another
Royal Gala Performance, again specially devised and written by Gordon
Honeycombe, was presented at the Theatre Royal, York, to celebrate Prince
Charles' visit to York, as Patron of the York Archaeological Trust. The
production was called A King Shall Have A Kingdom and a shortened version
was broadcast later by BBC Radio 4. Among the cast were: Bernard Cribbins,
Judi Dench, Roy Dotrice, Hannah Gordon, Thora Hird, Magnus Magnusson,
Richard Pasco, Dame Flora Robson, Paul Rogers, June Whitfield, Frank
Windsor and also Gordon Honeycombe and Angela Rippon, who appeared together
in an item.
He announced his
resignation from ITN on 29 September 1977. His last newscast was to have
been on Christmas Day. His main reason for leaving was to concentrate more
fully on his writing career and other work for stage, films, television and
radio. But on 16 November 1977, following an article he wrote in the Daily
Mail about the national firemen's strike in support of the firemen's cause,
he was suspended by the Editor of ITN, and he decided to leave ITN then and
there in order to be able to speak more freely on the firemen's behalf.
In January 1978 he went to
Cyprus for six weeks to research and start work on his fifth book The Edge
Beginning in April 1978 he
presented a series of adult films, called The Late Late Show, for Southern
Television. Also in April he became the presenter of a new monthly series
of programmes about the arts, called Something Special , for Scottish
Television. This ran for nine months.
In October 1978 he was seen
in an episode of The Foundation (ATV) playing the part of a TV interviewer.
He played the role of a
newscaster in The Medusa Touch starring Richard Burton and Lee Remick,
directed for the cinema by Jack Gold and released in June 1978. Another
film in which he read the news was Ransom starring Sean Connery and Ian
For four performances in
June 1978 in St John's Church, Putney, he took the part of the Voice of God
in Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde, performed by the Putney Children's
On Sunday, 12 November
1978, he was commentator for the 60-minute 'live' ITV Outside Broadcast
coverage of the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall – the
first time ITV had covered this event for eleven years.
In 1979 he became President
of the Bournemouth Operatic Society and introduced their Showtime evenings
at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, in April and at the Pavilion Theatre,
Bournemouth in July 1979. The following year he devised, wrote and appeared
as Narrator in an entertainment about the life and music of Ivor Novello,
called Waltz of my Heart. It was given three performances by the
Bournemouth Operatic Society at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, in May
Starting in March 1979 at
6.55pm on BBC 2, Gordon Honeycombe presented five half-hour programmes
called Family History. The series was based on his twenty-year search into
his own family history. It was immensely popular and was repeated on BBC 1
on March and April 1980 at 11.30pm, and again in 1982 and 1986.
He was the narrator in
Yorkshire Television's major thirteen-part documentary series, Arthur C.
Clarke's Mysterious World, transmitted by the ITN network at 8.30pm on
Tuesdays form September, 1980.
In June 1980 he went to
Japan for ten days , to Nagasaki, to research for an article about a
Japanese doctor's experiences on 9 August 1945 when the second A-bomb
exploded over Nagasaki. The article appeared in The Observer on Sunday 3
August and was called The Diary of a Survivor. The diaries of Dr Akizuki,
edited by Gordon Honeycombe, with a foreword and postscript, were published
by Quartet in August 1981. The book was called Nagasaki 1945, and appeared
in America in May 1982.
Also in August 1981, Royal
Wedding was published by Michael Joseph/Rainbird. Rainbird commissioned
Gordon to write the book, an account of the engagement and wedding of
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The book, a Book Club choice, was
published a fortnight after the wedding and became the No. 1 best-seller
(220,000) in the UK in 1981.
The Edge of Heaven, a love
story set in Cyprus and based on fact, was published by Hutchinson in
October 1981. The paperback version was published by Arrow a year later. It
became the most borrowed of all Gordon's books in public libraries,
according to PLR records.
At Hatchyards' Authors of
the Year party on 17 March 1982, Gordon Honeycombe was one of the six
best-selling authors presented to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The
others were Catherine Cookson, James Herriot, Salman Rushdie. Phillip
Ziegler and Margaret Drabble. During that month he edited the Boer War
journal of Private Harry Neal of the Royal Fusiliers, who died in 1901.
In June 1982, The Murders
of the Black Museum (1871-1970) was published by Hutchinson. The book
details 50 case histories of murder (illustrated) for which there are exhibits
in Scotland Yard's Black Museum. The publishing party for the book's launch
was held in Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors on 21 June, the night
Prince William of Wales was born. The book was published in paperback by
Arrow in 1984.
On September 1, 1982, a
companion volume to Royal Wedding was published by Michael Joseph/Rainbird.
Called The Year of the Princess (and published in America by Little,
Brown), it was the most complete and factual account of the first royal
year of the Princess of Wales. Most of the 150 color illustrations were
taken by the royal photographer, Tim Graham.
The last five books by
Gordon Honeycombe – The Year of the Princess, The Murders of the Balck
Museum, The Edge of Heaven, Royal Wedding, and Nagasaki 1945 – apart from
being very diverse- were all published within a period of fourteen months.
His illustrated history of
Selfridges – the story of the store from 1909 to 1984 – was published by
Rainbird/Selfridges in March 1984 to celebrate the store's 75th Birthday.
On January 1984, Gordon
Honeycombe, joined TV-am as its main news presenter, reading an average of
seven bulletins on five mornings each week between 6.00 and 9.30am. This
meant he was reading 35 news bulletins per week, more than anyone else in
In September 1984, 160
members of the Honeycombe clan assembled in England from all over the world
to attend the Honeycombe Heritage Weekend, planned and organized by Gordon
over the previous year. All the Honeycombes in the world (about 350) are
descended from one man, Matthew Honeycombe, who lived in a Cornish village,
St Cleer, 350 years ago.
On 2 October he was seen,
as a newscaster, in a TV play, The Glory Boys by Gerald Seymour. The
following week he narrated the Thames TV documentary, A Shred of Evidence,
about the forensic work of Scotland Yard, and appeared as a TV interviewer
in Paula Milne's play on Channel 4, CQ, starring Michael Elphick, on 11
October. His radio programme about the Museums of Scotland Yard went out on
Radio 4 on 10 November.
For nine months he
presented a video magazine for MTV, Marketing Television. He had already
done a similar series for Texaco.
In March 1985, he took part
in a Royal Gala Night of 100 Stars staged for Unicef before the Duchess of
Kent. He sang and danced "When Mabel Walks in the Room" with
Sheila Bernette, Mark Burns, Patrick Ryecart, Derek Waring, James Warwick
and Moray Watson.
Family History was repeated
in April/May on BBC1, concluding with a new half-hour documentary, The
Invasion of the Honeycombes, made by BBC South West, about the gathering of
the Honeycombes in Cornwall in September.
On Monday, 20 May, he
attended the 21st Birthday Party of Viscount Althorp in Spencer House, the
night before he went off on a week-long Mediterranean cruise on the Sea
On his return, on 30 May,
he gave a party at TV-am to celebrate his 20 years in television.
In June, he chaired a
debate in the Imperial War Museum in London about the dropping of the
A-bombs on Japan in 1945, and unveiled a plaque marking the centenary of
Lawn County Primary School in Northfleet, Kent, where his great-aunt,
Eleanor Honeycombe, had been the first head-mistress.
He was in Cyprus in August,
on holiday for a week – his tenth visit.
In September, he was back
in Kent, at Thames-side Fire Station's Open Day, when a new water-tender
was named Samuel Honeycombe after Gordon's great-grandfather, who had been
the first Captain of the Northfleet Fire Brigade.
His third TV play, The
Thirteenth Day of Christmas was transmitted by Granada TV on 14 December,
in their series, Time for Murder. It starred Patrick Allen and Elizabeth
Spriggs, both of whom had also been with the RSC in Stratford 1962.
In January 1986 he began
work on a book about London's Metropolitan Police (called The Met), but
abandoned the project six months later.
On 27 June, he hosted a
charity concert, given in Tetbury Parish Church by the Suzuki Players
before the Princess of Wales, and was presented to her after the performance.
On 15 July, he was presented to the Prince of Wales at a reception given by
the London Cornish Association in the Vintners Hall, London.
His dramaisation, Lancelot
and Guinevere, was given a staged reading by members of the Royal
Shakespeare Company at the Buxton Festival on 20 July. It was also staged
for one day at the Mold Theatre in 1989.
His book, the TV-am
Official Celebration of the Royal Wedding was published by Weidenfeld and
Nicolson two days after the wedding and became an instant best-seller,
remaining in the Top Ten (General) in the Sunday Times until 7 September.
In August, he appeared in
Central TV's play Long Live the King, starring John Stride and John
Duttine, as a TV presenter, and was a TV interviewer in the Frederick
Forsyth film The Fourth Protocol.
He played a newscaster in
Home Cooking, a play in Central TV's series, Unnatural Causes, on 8
November, and was a TV interviewer in Episode 10 of Granada's series, First
Among Equals, transmitted on 2 December.
In November 1986, readers of
Woman's Own voted him their most favorite male newscaster on ITV.
ON 3 December, he appeared
in LWT's Christmas Night of 100 Stars at the Palladium as Abanazar (singing
"Baubles, Bangles and Beads") in a scene from Aladdin with Anita
Harris. The show was transmitted on 26 December. On 21 December he appeared
on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden – at the Friend's
Christmas Party. He and Anne Diamond sang "Shall I Be An Angel,
Daddy?" before the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The TV-am Book of the Royal
Wedding, published in July 1986, was number 14 in The Bookseller's list of
Bestsellers of 1986.
In January 1987 Gordon
Honeycombe spent 3 weeks in Queensland, Australia, and in February his
contract with TV-am was renewed for 2 years. Then aged 50, he had become
the most durable of all the readers of national TV news, having started
with ITN in May 1965, before all the current newsreaders.
Also in 1987 he provided
material for three charity books: Double Takes by Anthony Grant ( photo
fantasies of the famous); Theatre Digs, published by the Lord's Taverners;
and When We Were Young published by David and Charles for the NSPCC.
He also took part in the
BBC 2 book programme Cover to Cover transmitted in March; in an episode of
The Bretts(Central TV) as a radio announcer; in a sketch for Alas Smith and
Jones(which alas was never shown),and in an episode of Pulaski (BBC TV) in
On 26 October 1988 he appeared
as a TV newreader in Episode 3 of Blind Justice (BBC2). On 1 December he
took part in a charity Royal Gala at the Mayflower Theatre in Southhampton
and sang "On The Banks of the Wabash". The Gala was transmitted
on ITV on New Year's Day.
In St Albans City Hall, on
10 December, he chose and read various prose and poetry pieces for A
Concert of Christmas Music presented by the St Albans Choral Society.
He was in Sydney and
Melbourne over Christmas and New Year, and returned to Australia for three
weeks in February 1989, to Perth.
Gordon Honeycombe left
TV-am on 17 February 1989 after five years with the company. He was given a
farewell party at TV-am on 30 March, the day before his contract actually
On 8 April he took part ,
with Magnus Magnusson and Patricia Shakesby, in a reading of prose and
verse in York University for the RSPB Centenary Members' Weekend. Magnusson
was President of the Society and had also been at the Edinburgh Academy.
At the charity Terry-Thomas
Gala at the Drury Lane Theatre on 9 April, staged to raise money for
sufferers of Parkinson's Disease, Gordon sang a song with Frank Bough based
on "The Two Gendarmes".
On 11 April 1989, Gordon
Honeycombe was given an award as Newscaster of the Year at the annual
ceremony in the Grosvenor Hotel, London staged by the Television and Radio
Industries Club. Prince Michael of Kent did the presentations; the hostess
was Angela Rippon.
In May and June he appeared
as a celebrity guest on Tell the Truth (TVS) and Crosswits (Tyne Tees TV).
On Sunday, 25 June he presented Melodies for You on Radio 2, playing music
of his own choice for two hours. He read a news item for the last episode
of the Channel 4 series Traffik , and in July was filmed as a TV announcer
in a NFTS half-hour film, The Candy Show.
From 15 to 26 August, he
starred in a new play Suspects by Giles Cole, given its world premiere at
the Grand Theatre, Swansea. He played Detective Inspector Tindall. Also in
the cast were Emma Chambers and Diana Kent .
On Sunday, 24 September,
Gordon directed his dramatization of Paradise Lost at the Orange Tree
Theatre, Richmond. It was for one performance to raise money for the new
theater, and the cast included Kate O'Mara, Timothy West, Alec McCowen,
Robert Hardy, Christopher Timothy, Robert Eddison and Nicky Henson.
Five days later he flew to
Perth in Western Australia to audition a cast and begin rehearsing his play
The Redemption, which would be performed at the Festival of Perth in March
1990. The play had a cast of over 160, all amateur, with guest appearances
by Cabinet Ministers, the Opposition Leader, the Chief Justice and the Lord
Mayor. The Redemption was staged at the Reabold Hill Quarry Amphitheatre in
Perth from March 1-10 and was savaged by some critics.
Gordon returned to London
for five days in November 1989 to play a TV commentator in Michael Winner's
film Bullseye, starring Roger Moore and Michael Caine.
He contributed to the BFI
chronicle, One Day in the Life of Television, published by Grafton Books on
1 November 1989. His contribution was the longest in the book.
On Monday 13 November 1989,
the RSPB entertainment For Love of Birds, devised by Magnus Magnusson, was
presented before the Queen, Patron of the RSPB, and the Duke of Edinburgh
in St James's Palace, As at York in April, the 45 minute show was performed
by Magnusson, Gordon and Patricia Shakesby, who were presented to the Queen
The next day Gordon flew
back to Perth to continue rehearsing The Redemption. He returned to London
on 7 December and began rehearsals for Aladdin. He played the Emperor of
China. Cilla Black was Aladdin. Gareth Hunt, Bob Carolgees and David Morton
were also in the show. The pantomime opened at Wimbledon Theatre on Friday
22 December. It broke box-office records, and ran until 28 January.
On his return to London,
Gordon began putting together a book about the social and family history of
the Australian Honeycombes, the first of whom emigrated in 1850.
In August and September he
acted in a touring production of Run for Your Wife! With Les Dawson and
Peter Goodwright. Gordon was Detective Sergeant Porterhouse. The tour began
on 23 July at Cardiff.
In December, he appeared in
another production of Aladdin, with Su Pollard, Matthew Kelly and Hope and
Keen. He again played the Emperor of China. Aladdin opened at the Pavilion
Theatre, Bournemouth on 13 December.
His musical The Princess
and The Goblins was staged at the Novello Theatre in Sunninghill between 23
March and 18 May.
On 10 June, at the Royal
Salute in Hyde Park for the Duke of Edinburgh's 70th birthday, he was
presented (for the third time) to the Queen. He was 55 in September 1991.
In this year he began
reviewing books for the Sunday Express and was one of the judges for the
Sunday Express, Book of the Year Award. The winner, Michael Frayn's A
Landing on the Sun, was announced at the Inn on the Park on 18 November
1991. He continued reviewing books in 1992, for the Daily Express and also
for the Daily Telegraph.
His twelfth book, Siren
Song, was published by Hutchinson on 7 May 1992. At a party held in Random
House on 12 May were, among others, Andrew Gardner, Peter Sissons, Moira
Stewart, Stephen Fry, Eunice Gayson, Andrew Ray and Clare Colvin.
On 27 May, Gordon sailed to
New York from Southampton on the QE2, giving a lecture and signing copies
of his books. In New York he met publishers and discussed future projects,
and then spent five days with the Honeycombes in Florida.
On 22 June, at University
College, Oxford, he and the poet Andrew Motion read some of the poetry of
Shelley, as part of a celebration of the 200th anniversary party of the
poet's birth as well as of his brief attendance at the College.
On 3 July, Gordon was among
many celebrities who attended the 25th anniversary party of News At Ten at
ITN's new HQ at 200 Gray's Inn Road.
On 30 July, having attended
literary lunches at Chichester, Harrogate and Edinburgh to promote Siren
Song, he was guest of honor at the Foyle's lunch in the Grosvenor for Brian
Johnston's book, Someone Who Was.
For three weeks, in
September, he was a lecturer on a CTC cruise, traveling on a Russian ship
from Tilbury to the North Cape and back. And in October be began working
with Richard Goldsmith, who composed a completely new score for The
Princess and the Goblins.
He next narrated a TV
documentary for Channel 4, called Sick as a Parrot, which was shown on
Channel 4 on Sunday, 29 November 1992.
In December, he flew to
Australia, and was there for four months, until April 1993. Based at his
flat in Perth, he visited Queensland, Melbourne and New Zealand. He also
spent three weeks on the QE2, giving three lectures and voyaging from
Sydney to Hong Kong.
He returned to London for
the publication of his 13th book, More Murders of the Black Museum, on 22
April 1993. Over a three week period he did 36 radio interviews, four TV
interviews and several newspaper interviews. The book was widely reviewed.
Arrow brought it out in paperback in 1994.
Among other events that
April attended by Gordon were the reception given on 16 April in the Black
Museum, to mark the retirement of the curator, Bill Waddell, and the Sunday
Express Celebrity Sports Luncheon at the Dorchester on 22 April. In May, he
attended the Founders' Dinner of the Gunner Heritage Campaign held at the
RA Officers' Mess, Woolwich.
The BBC TV drama documentary,
Bad Company, for which Gordon had recorded a news item the previous year,
was shown on 19 May. And a TV commercial for Ronseal, which he had also
recorded in 1992, continued to be shown on ITV.
On June 2 he appeared in a
Coronation Day celebration at the Café Royal, held to raise money for the
charity, SOS. Willie Rushton, Barry Cryer, and Humphrey Lyttleton were
among the other entertainers, and the event was attended by Prince Edward.
During 1992 and 1993 Gordon
also reviewed books for the Sunday Express and the Daily Telegraph.
Comics by Lynda La Plante,
in which he read a news item, was shown on TV on 6 June 1993, and on 1 July
five programmes of Whatever Happened To – ?, which he presented, were
recorded at Pebble Mill over a 12 hour period, including ten interviews,
and transmitted on BBC1 from 5 July.
A staged reading of The
Princess and the Goblins was performed in August at the Wyvern Theatre,
Swindon. Music by Richard Goldsmith.
On 8 September 1993 Gordon
learned that his application to become a permanent resident in Australia
had been accepted. He already had a flat there, in Mount St, Perth, Western
Australia, which he had bought in January 1990.
On 9 September Red Watch
was reissued by Firestorm. On 19 September Gordon introduced a charity piano
concert in the Colston Hall, Bristol, starring Russ Conway and Peter Katin.
On 21 September he was guest of honor at the RN Engineering College
Freshers' Night at Manadon, Plymouth.
Gordon flew to Australia on
3 November 1993, to Perth, arriving there on 5 November as a permanent
resident. Over the next eight months he settled into his eighth floor flat
overlooking the City and the Swan River and sold his London flat at 1
Montagu Square, WI, moving all his possessions to Perth. He began work on
the family history of the Australian Honeycombes and did some radio and TV
commercials, mainly for Channel 7.
In July 1994 he flew back
to London for the world premiere at the Almeida Theatre, Islington of the
one-act opera of Siren Song, composer Jonathan Dove. In the cast were Niall
Morris and Omar Ebrahim. It was hailed as 'a near perfect operetta'.
Back in Perth he wrote for
The West Australian, read lessons in Saint George's Cathedral and became a
member of a monthly lunching group called The Ambrosians. He was Pilkington
the butler in a Channel 7 promotion during February March 1995.
His dramatization of
Paradise Lost, produced by him, was staged in St George's Cathedral on 21
May 1995. Michael Craig was Milton, and James Smillie Satan. Others in the
cast included Adrian Mulraney, Susan Lyons, Charles Tingwell and Bill Kerr.
Among other functions, on
25 May Gordon attended the Lord's Taverners dinner at the Hyatt Hotel for
the Australian Cricketer of the Year.
The Complete Murders of the
Black Museum was published by Leopard Books in 1995 and in August 1996, his
book about the Australian Honeycombes, called Australia for Me, was
published privately, and presented to John Honeycombe on 20 August in Ayr,
Queensland, when John was 60. Gordon was 60 on 27 September 1996.
On 26 January 1997,
Australia Day, Gordon became an Australian citizen at a ceremony on the
Esplanade, Perth. He attended the Mayor's Dinner in Perth Town Hall on 25
July 1997, as well as the Memorial Service for Diana, Princess of Wales in
St Georges' Cathedral on 6 September.
He played King Hildebrand
in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society's production of Princess Ida at the
Playhouse, 24-27 September, and on 31 March 1998 could be heard as an
Indonesian general in The Sea-Change, a play on ABC Radio. In April he
reviewed Thomas Shapcott's novel Theatre of Darkness for The West
Australian. Throughout this period he continued to do voice-overs for radio
and TV commercial and give the occasional post-prandial lecture on Teach
Yourself Australian. He has appeared in two TV series made in Perth – Minty
and The Adventures of the Bush Patrol. And was seen as a Tramp in a video
for rock band Jebediah.
He also appeared in a short
student film In the Belly of the Beast in November 1998, and as Gremio in a
Shakespeare in the Park production of The Taming of the Shrew in December
98- February 99. Then in March 1999 he was Pooh-Bah in the Gilbert and
Sullivan Society's production of The Mikado in the Playhouse, Perth. In
April he narrated, with Tina Altieri, The Seven Last Words By Haydn in St
In May 1999 he attended the
750th anniversary celebrations of the endowment of University College,
Oxford, as well as the 175th Anniversary Dinner at the Edinburgh Academy,
his old school, on 1 October.
He was in England again for
the 100th birthday in Bournemouth of his aunt, Mrs Dorothy Barry on 6
October 2000. He also attended the Univ Players Diamond Jubilee Gathering
at University College on 30 September.
In December 2000 He took
part in the filming of Let's Get Skase, directed by Matthew George,
starring Alex Dimitriades, Craig McLachlan and Bill Kerr. Gordon played
Murray Bishop, Vice-Chairman of Qintex. The film was released in Australia
in October 2001 but didn't do very well.
Meanwhile, in July 2000,
Gordon sold his Mount St flat and moved into a new apartment in the City of
Perth. He also acquired a new agent.
His 65th birthday was
commemorated in The Times on 27 September 2001, along with those of Barbara
Dickson, Nicholas Haslam, Denis Lawson, Meatloaf and Gwyneth Paltrow. His
aunt was 101 in October. His sister, Marion, who is six years older than
Gordon, lives with her husband, Jim Campbell, in Peebles, Scotland.
In 2002 he completed his
14th book, a novel set in Perth and called Beach. In September -
October he was in the UK, seeing family and friends. His Aunt, Dorothy
Barry, was 102 on 6 of October and had a birthday tea in the Priory Hotel,
Wareham. She died in Bournemouth on 7 March 2003, when Gordon was on a 3
week holiday in New Zealand, mainly in the South Island. Later that year he
travelled around Australia, seeing Honeycombes and friends, and in November
2003 he bought a laptop and a printer and now spends hours on the laptop
In April of 2004 he had a
short holiday in Mauritius.
His interests, as indicated
in the current editions of the British Who's Who and Who's Who in
Australia, continue to be crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, genealogy and bridge.
In August 2004, Gordon was
in Dubai for a few days – dune-bashing, camel-riding and belly-dancing, as
well as seeing the sights. He was in the UK in September, based in London,
celebrating his 68th birthday with friends in the Ivy Restaurant. For a
week he was in Cyprus, visiting locations in connection with a proposed
production, by a Polish film company, of The Edge of Heaven.
Back in London, he and John
Honeycombe acquired a Coat of Arms for the Honeycombes at the College of
Arms, and on his return to Australia, initiated the setting up of a website
called the Honeycombe Family History Archive, containing over 3,000 photos,
22 family trees, certificates, texts and books, etc (all the material he
had gathered about the Honeycombes over 40 years). This was completed in
March 2005. But the site will not be available on the Net until April 2006.
Gordon was in the UK from 10 to 30
September. He played bridge in Bournemouth with Tony, Gerry and Geoff, met
up with his sister, Marion, in Edinburgh, visited his parents’ grave in
Morningside Cemetery, and his aunt’s (Dorothy Barry’s) grave in Logie
Cemetery, Bridge of Allan, and attended a college dinner.
On Thursday, 22 September, he was interviewed on
Good Morning Britain, as well as on the ITV Lunchtime News. He then read
the ITN 6.30 News with Mary Nightingale, more than 40 years after reading
his first News bulletin for ITN, when he was paid £25 a week. He left ITN in November
Julia Summerville, Selina Scott, Martyn Lewis and
Anna Ford also returned to ITN that week to read the News – it had been
Gordon’s idea that ITN’s Golden Oldies should return to help celebrate the
50th Anniversary of ITV.
He was in Cornwall with an old college friend, Sid
Bradley, over the weekend of 23-26 September, staying in a chalet at
Honicombe Manor Holiday Village, Calstock, where he planted a tree, a cedar
of Lebanon, to replace a sequoia cut down the previous year. The sequoia
had been planted in 1984. On 27 September he celebrated his 69th
birthday at the Ivy with an old school-friend, Francis Walker.
On his return to Perth he initiated the
computerizing of all the material in his 35 Scrapbooks, and on 3 November
his fourth novel and 14th book, BEACH, was published in Perth.
200 copies of BEACH were privately printed by Gordon,
but although it sold well in Perth, no publisher took it up. He flew to New
Zealand on 10 April via Melbourne, where he met up with Ross Honeycombe and
his family and the Healesville Honeycombes. In Auckland he stayed with Alan
Macleod and his family and met up with the Honeycombes and the Marinovich
family, also Darrin and Craig. In Tauranga he stayed with Nigel
Blakeborough and Jo, who married a few months later. Back in Perth he
attended the wedding celebrations of Vasyl Holobotovsky and his young wife,
Svitlana, on 28 April 2006. Meanwhile, he lunched with the Ambrosians every
month, went to the Ballet, and did occasional Voice-overs.
Phil Kelly and Gordon, after much editing and
cutting, involving five drafts, completed the screenplay of THE EDGE OF
HEAVEN. Phil then began work on the screenplay of BEACH. The
computerisation of Gordon's Scrapbooks, covering his life from 1936 to
2006, was completed by Yuri Kaydanov in October. It contained over 3,000
items, photos, newspaper cuttings, programmes, articles, etc.
On 17 August 2006, Gordon was in Townsville and
Ayr, Queensland, for the celebrations for John Honeycombe's 70th birthday,
which was on 20 August. He returned to Perth on 26 August and celebrated
his own 70th birthday, on 27 September, on five different occasions with
five different groups of friends.
In September he began writing a History of the
Origins of the Early Honeycombes for the Honeycombe Archive and initiated
the copying on DVD of all the taped interviews concerning the Honeycombes
he had made over the past 40 years.
The Scrapbooks section of the website, containing over 4,000
items, was completed by Yuri Kaydanov by the end of October 2006. Further additions and corrections were
made over the next six months. On 4
November Gordon flew to Thailand, to Phuket, for a week, where he met up
with Vic and Stevie Pocock, now living in Chiang Mai. From 18 November he spent a week in
Kalbarri, WA. Ronnie Sinclair,
ex-EA, was in Perth at the end of November.
In January 2007 Gordon finished writing the early history of
the Honeycombes for the Honeycombe Archive website. A new friend, Sibian Jodrell, committed
suicide on 10 January, his 29th birthday.
On 26 January Gordon attended the Australia Day ceremony at the
Council House and was at the christening of Victoria Elizabeth Holobotovsky
on 11 February. The final drafts of
the screenplay of BEACH, written by Gordon and Phil Kelly, were completed
in March and revised in April and October.
At the end of March, Ayden Armitage, a friend of Carl Honeycombe in
NZ (who set off on his travels around the world in April) came to stay
while working in the mines and elsewhere, and on 13 May Gordon began work
on a short history of the Honeycombes who emigrated to New Zealand in 1873. This was for the Honeycombe Archive and
was completed in August 2007. In
September he got in touch with Ben Darwin and advised him about TV
presentation during the Rugby World Cup in France and the UK. On 27 September Gordon was 71.
Meanwhile, the one-act opera of SIREN SONG, based on his book,
was published (libretto and music) by Editions Peters in September and John
Blake Publishing emailed about reissuing both his books about THE MURDERS
OF THE BLACK MUSEUM. In October
2007, Gordon auditioned for (and got) the role of Gordon in a film, THE
SCULPTOR, directed by Chris Kenworthy, to be made in WA in March 2008. Then Screen West organised and presented
a very successful Read-through of the screenplay of BEACH before an invited
audience at the Subiaco Arts Centre on 28 November 2007.
Also in November Gordon backed the winner
in the Melbourne Cup, Efficient, and booked a seat on a 14-day Air Cruise,
on a private Qantas all Business Class jet, flying to Sarawak, Vietnam,
Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, departing Sydney on 29 January 2008.
On 28 March 2008, Gordon began work on THE SCULPTOR, a film
made by Skyview Films in and around Perth, WA, and directed by Chris
Kenworthy. He played the part of
Gordon, leader of a black magic cult, and did five days’ work over a period
of three weeks, until 16 April. The
film starred Paul Goddard, Melanie Vallejo, Georgina Andrews and Matt Penny.
The film has yet to be released.
In May 2008, Gordon was in New Zealand, staying with Alan and Duriena Macleod in Auckland, and with Nigel and Jo Blakeborough in Tauranga. He also met up again with Darrin Maynard and Craig Boyle, who had stayed with him in London in 1984. There was a gathering of the NZ Honeycombes at the Marinovich home at Kumeu, and Gordon visited Charlie and Ray Honeycombe in Rotorua. Just before Xmas 2008 he joined all 18 of the Queensland Honeycombes for another gathering, at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.
Meanwhile, the text, proofs, jacket and photos of the reissue of MURDERS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM all had to be checked before the book's eventual publication, by John Blake, on 27 April 2009 in the UK and in August in Australia.
On 13 February 2009, Tommy Tymuszkin from Poland, who was improving his English at the Milner School in Perth, moved for six months into Gordon's apartment. Then, on 20 February, Gordon flew to Kalgoorlie to stay for a weekend with Carl Honeycombe and his girl-friend, Flick. On 26 February Gordon's heart began fibrillating again (for the third time - the last time being four years ago). This entailed a daily intake of betablockers and Marevan pills until a cardioversion was possible. Meanwhile, on 16 April, Nigel and Jo came to Perth and stayed with Gordon for five days. They spent a day on Rottnest Island and went on a day-long wineries boat-trip up the Swan River.
On 1 May, a cardioversion was successfully performed on Gordon in the Mount Hospital. It took three minutes and he was allowed out three hours later.
THE SCULPTOR was shown at the Dungog Film Festival in NSW on 30 May.
On 2 July Gordon's sister, Marion Campbell, died in Peebles. She was 78.
On Friday, 10 July Gordon flew to London in an Emirates A380. He stayed with Deb and Sandy Macfarlane in Frimley. In London he saw two showbiz agents, as well as his publisher, John Blake. With Russ Coffey he visited Alan McCormick, the Curator of the Crime Museum, New Scotland Yard. He met up with Francis Walker, Doina Percival, Paul and Steve, stayed with Sid Bradley in York and drove with Michi Stoeckli down to Cornwall, where they stayed at Honicombe. On 30 July, he attended the marriage of his niece, Felicity, to Dennis Heard-White, in Eastbourne. She was given away by her father, Jim Campbell, Gordon's brother-in-law.
Gordon returned to Perth on 4 August 2009
and Tommy left for Brisbane on 26 August.
In September, Gordon renewed the plants on his balcony, all with new pots.
Climbing jasmine and bougainvillea, and a lemon tree, were
added to some succulents, as well as some lilies and flowering
shrubs. A park bench provided the seating.
September was the wettest in Perth for some
time. But voice-overs picked up.
A BCC on his shoulder had to be excised
at the end of October and then on the 30 October Gordon began
fibrillating again. At the same time a lump was discovered
next to a kidney. This, however, after a CT Scan, turned out
to be a benign cyst. Visits were made to his cardiologist
and a urologist. But no cardioversion was required this time
and he was declared clear of any internal problems.
No rain fell in the City of Perth from 21
November until the end of February, and the City experienced
its hottest and driest summer ever, over December and into
January and February 2010.
On 22 March a series of ferocious thunderstorms swept
over the City: driving rain flooded streets and hail damaged
over 58,000 cars and several suburbs.
On 8 May Ross Honeycombe flew into Perth and stayed with
Gordon for four days. His parents, Alan and Beth, were also
in Perth, passing through on a round-trip of Australia, as
were Rob and Kerryn Honeycombe and their two little girls
from Brisbane. They all had breakfast at the Hilton Hotel
on 9 May. On 4 June, Carl and his fiancée, Flick, at
present living and working in Kalgoorlie, stayed for a few
On 3 July Gordon flew to Townsville for the 70th birthday
celebrations of Beth Honeycombe on Magnetic Island, in the
Peppers Resort at Nelly Bay Family friends and the families
of David, Peter and Rob, the three sons of Beth and John,
were also there – 10 grandchildren in all, Gordon returned
on 9 July to a cold and rainy Perth, where much building of
office and residential towers, new facades and amenities was
still going on. He then began writing his Memoirs, covering
the first 30 years only, from 1936 to 1966.
His 74th birthday on 27 September 2010 was celebrated with
Carl and Flick, and Jocelyn, with whom he attended a Gala
Reception for the WA Ballet Company at the Parmelia Hilton
on 21 November. Tess Stroud’s 80th birthday was celebrated
on 14 December at Sharon’s home in Mosman Park, when it was
announced that Tess had married Jim Robinson.
In January 2011, Nick Honeycombe, Carl’s father, stayed with
Gordon in Perth on his way to and from a holiday in Kalgoorlie.
Alistair Sawers dropped in on 18 January, and Richard Chidley,
whom Gordon had last seen in 1974, stayed for a few days.
They went on a Wine Cruise and flew to Rottnest Island for
By the end of July 2011 Gordon had completed the writing
of an autobiography, What Went Before, 1936 to1966. By this
time he had lost a quarter of his UK income, the exchange
rate, pounds to dollars, having gone from .37 in 1993 to .67.
He celebrated his 75th birthday with a Tea Party on Saturday,
24 September, in the revolving C Restaurant on the 33rd floor
of St Martin’s Tower in Perth, from 2.0 to 4.30 pm. Present
were the Lord Mayor, Lisa Scaffidi; the Deputy Lord Mayor,
Janet Davidson & her husband, Mike; Tess Stroud &
Jim Robinson; Lee & Bruce Evensen; Jocelyn Basterfield;
Adrian & Suzanne Momber; David Locke & Leandra Fallis;
Nick & Lilia Male; Steve & Jenny Trafford; Adrian
Mulraney & Avril; Ross Honeycombe; Carl Honeycombe &
Flick; Rose & Shayne Honeycombe; Steve Drane; Yuri Kaydanov;
and Chris Gray.
At the end of October the Queen was in Perth to open the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
On 10 January 2012 Gordon flew to Auckland and stayed with
Duriena Macleod in Greenhithe – Alan was away working on a
Bass Strait rig. On 14 January he attended the wedding of
Carl Honeycombe and Felicity (Flick) Goode on a beach at Russell
in the Bay of Islands. The following day he drove with Nigel
Blakeborough to Cape Reinga, then down to Kataia. Then it
was back to Auckland on the 16th, via Hokianga and Dargaville.
On the 17th they drove to Tauranga. Gordon visited the film
set of Hobbiton near Matamata. They spent the night of the
18th at Taupo. Then it was across to Hawkes Bay, where they
stayed with David Griffiths and Prue and lunched at Elephant
Hill. On the 20th Gordon did a bus tour to Cape Kidnappers
to see a gannet colony. He also called on Charlie and Ray
Back in Auckland on the 23rd, Gordon dined at Moontide, the
home of Tony and Anna Marinovich. Also there were Barbara
and Nick Honeycombe, Carl’s gran and father. On 24 January
Gordon met up with the Boyle family in Remuera and had a few
beers with Craig and Darrin at the Cock and Bull. He returned
to Perth on the 25th, where it was 38 degrees. Two days later
it was 42.
On 26 January, Australia Day, he attended the Citizenship
Ceremony at the Council House with Ryan Ebert. Gerry Senior
and Judith visited on the 28th and again on 9 February. They
were touring WA with her son, Robert. Financial difficulties
caused by the worsening exchange rate, pounds to dollars,
meant that Gordon had to temporarily postpone, on 2 February,
the Memorial Window project for the parish church of St Cleer
and seek ways of boosting his income, much diminished by the
exchange rate with the UK. One way was to get an Equity Loan
or Reverse Mortgage. But he didn’t follow this up.
His scene in the Perth film, Short Film Maker, was filmed
at Super IGA in Canning Vale on Friday, 10 February. He played
Grandad. Dan Parry was Jimmy. A pick-up scene was filmed in
March 2013. On 11 February, he and Ryan saw the Festival of
Perth production of The White Divers of Broome at the Heath
In June Gordon received a request from a publisher in Edinburgh,
Mainstream, to write a review of an ex-fireman’s book, Call
the Fire Brigade! Later in the year Mainstream turned down
his Memoirs, entitled Far Away and Long Ago. In July he was
contacted by Colin Parker, whom he hadn’t seen for 20 years,
about doing lectures on a cruise ship, Saga Ruby, in March
2013, travelling free with a friend. The cruise was later
curtailed and the Australian and NZ segment dropped..
The Memorial Window project was resumed and a Down Payment
made. It was given Diocesan approval on 21 November and the
Dedication Ceremony was fixed for 2 June 2013. Deb and Sandy
Macfarlane stayed with him in Kingsgate from 21 to 29 November.
Their visit included a wine cruise, and drives to Guilderton,
Cervantes, and the Pinnacles, and to New Norcia and Northam.
On 15 February Gordon travelled by train to Kalgoorlie to
stay with Carl and Flick till the 18th. Over the weekend they
visited Coolgardie, Kununalling, Ora Banda, Lake Ballard and
Menzies and had dinner at the Palace Hotel, Kalgoorlie.
Ross Honeycombe stayed with Gordon in Perth over the weekend of 5 to 8 April. Alan Macleod was in Perth for 2 weeks of meetings, medicals, etc, before taking up his new job at Barrow Island. Gordon had a problem with his bone marrow, and blood, which necessitated a blood transfusion at the St John of God Hospital on 16 May. He saw his cardiologist on 21 May, and after an ECG was told he needn't come back for a year.
On 26 May he flew by Thai Airways to London via Bangkok and was in England from 27 May to 8 June, staying at the Hilton London Metropole in Edgware Road. He met up with Russ Coffey, Francis Walker, Rose and Shayne Honeycombe, Robert Mackinstosh, Syd Norris, Steve Beaver, Paul Mallender, Phil Tomkinson, Doina Percival, and Deb and Sandy Macfarlane. Robert gave Gordon a tape of the songs from The Princess and the Goblins, which they wrote 40 years ago, and Russ gave him a copy of Dennis Nilsen. Gordon visited Oxford, and on 1 June he travelled with Gerry and Judith Senior from Southampton to Cornwall, to Liskeard, where they stayed at the Liskeard Inn. On Sunday 2 June, there was a Morning Service at St Cleer, a buffet lunch in the Vicarage Garden, and at 2.0 pm the Honeycombe Memorial Window was dedicated by the Bishop of St Germans. On 3 June, after visiting Kit Hill, Honicombe Manor, Calstock Church and the Tamar Inn, Gordon and the Seniors drove to Exeter, where he caught a train back to London.
Gordon had another blood transfusion on 13 June and saw David Locke and Leandra on 15 June before they flew to Canada for their wedding on 6 July. On 20 June, Carl, Flick and Laylah stayed the night before driving down to Bunbury to inspect various lots. They bought one at Donnybrook. On 2 July Gordon saw his haematologist and GP and both indicated that his blood ailment, myelo dysplasia, could be stabilised by a series of protein self-injections and blood transfusions, but there was no cure.
On 3 July, he was at a Preview at the ACE cinemas in Subiaco of the 27 minute cartoon, God Squad, in which he had voiced the Holy Ghost the previous year. On 31 July he finished revising and emending the reissue of More Murders of the Black Museum, to be published by John Blake in June 2014.
Ryan Ebert and Gordon celebrated their birthdays with a beery session in the Moon and Sixpence on 26 September. Ryan was briefly revisiting Perth after settling in Melbourne. On 19 October, David Honeycombe captained a Qantas jet to Perth and he and Gordon had lunch together. On 26 October Gordon was a guest of Councillor Janet Davidson at a Council House dinner. On 20 November he returned to St John of God Hospital for a transfusion of three bags of blood. Thereafter the blood complaint seemed to stabilise - self injections continued once a week. On Christmas Day he joined Jocelyn and her family for lunch. On 28 December he and Ryan lunched at the Duckstein Restaurant in the SwanValley, prior to Ryan's move to Melbourne. Periodically Gordon revised and added to his as yet unpublished memoirs, Far Away and Long Ago, 1936-66 and updated the Honeycombe Archive.
On 16 January 2014 he flew to Melbourne and stayed with Ross Honeycombe at Lilydale, also with Alan and Beth Honeycombe in Healesville. It was 44? when he arrived. Two days later it was 23?, with a cold wind. He met Ross's four little girls, and on Saturday 18 January he spent the day with Ross and Alan at the Australian Tennis Open. They saw Andy Murray play at the HiSense Arena, and Novak and Boris Becker playing in a practice court. There were some outings, and on 20 January all the Victorian Honeycombes, including Warwick and Lucy Honeycombe (whom GH hadn't met for 40 years) had dinner at the Box Hill RSL. On 21 January he met up with Ryan at Young & Jackson's in Melbourne.
On 22 January Gordon flew to Auckland, NZ, and stayed for a week with Alan, Duriena and Logan Macleod. Among various outings, to the Nobilo Winery, the Pah Homestead and Waitakere Summit, there was a barbecue at the Macleods' Greenhithe home, attended by the Marinovich family and Barbara Honeycombe, which was followed by a similar gathering at the Riverhead pub on 27 January. Nick Honeycombe, Carl's father, was also there. On 28 January Gordon met up with Darrin Maynard at the home of Craig and Michelle Boyle and their two sons. He reminisced later with Craig and Darrin over several beers at the York Street Mechanics. They had first met in London 30 years ago.
Gordon returned to London on an Air New Zealand flight on 29 January. Alan Macleod, who was heading for his workplace on Barrow Island, was on the same flight. On 28 February Gordon saw Dr Ben Carnley, who said his haemoglobin level had risen, that no transfusion was necessary and that G needn't see him again for three months. On 15 March David and Leandra Locke returned to Perth, nine months after their marriage in Canada.