Book sheds light on long-lost entertainer

Harry Quiningborough (left) on the veranda of the Penang Club in 1912.
Harry Quiningborough (left) on the veranda of the Penang Club in 1912.

A long-lost music hall entertainer born near Sleaford almost 150 years ago is back in the spotlight thanks to a new book.

Harry Quiningborough was born in Swarby in 1868 and would go on to become a renowned singer and comedian on the music-hall circuit.

In 1911, he joined the London Musical Comedy Company on an extended tour of India and the Far East, staying on as a theatre manager, before succumbing to smallpox in Calcutta four years later.

Forgotten for many years, his story re-surfaced just a few years ago when his great-nephew Richard Guise opened up an old box handed down through generations of the family to reveal a treasure trove of photos, postcards and theatre programmes.

Inspired by his discovery, Richard, a travel writer now living in Quorn, Leicestershire, set about following in Harry’s footsteps. The story both of Harry’s life and of Richard’s mission to trace it has now been published in The Extraordinary Life of Harry Quiningborough – a book 10 years in the making.

Richard described the experience of researching his ancestor as ‘fascinating’, adding: “It’s been a challenge for me, but I was doing it for fun.”

The book is available from (prices vary) or (£9.99 plus p&p).