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The Rector of Stiffkey

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Harold Davison was Rector of Stiffkey, in Norfolk, UK, in the early part of the 20th Century. In the course of his duties, he would spend six days a week in London, rescuing poor unfortunate girls who had fallen into prostitution, although his definition of the word 'rescue' was debatable. Then on Sunday mornings he would catch the train back to Norfolk, deliver his sermon, say hello to his wife and return as quickly as he could to London.

In the 1930s when he was in his 60s, a reporter stumbled upon his improper exploits, and reports of his activities developed the UK's first real sex scandal and, after a well-publicised court appearance, he was de-frocked by the Church of England.

Then his life began to get really interesting. He joined the circus and spent a year on the Blackpool promenade with an act in which he had to starve himself as close to death as possible. Other achievements included applying for the post of Blackpool football manager and starting a naturist colony. Eventually he ended up in Skegness preaching the Bible from inside a lion's cage. Unfortunately, he was mauled by a lion in 1938 and he died a few days later.

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