Mike Pentelow was loyal, generous and funny

By Fiona Green

Mike Pentelow in make up.
Mike Pentelow in make up for a play. Photo: Fiona Green.

Mike and I became friends when he first came to Fitzrovia. He had heard that Martin and I held a “safe house” in Tottenham Street for the African National Congress (ANC) to meet when their offices in Rathbone Place were being raided by MI5, during Mandela’s incarceration in South Africa.

He introduced me to his friends Ray Lees, then running the Social Policy Course at The Polytechnic nearby with Frank Warner, and his friends, John Fisher who was on the same course.

We met frequently at the local Greek restaurants for “Nosh and a Natter”, where gales of laughter filled the rooms. In later years, Mike concentrated our meets at Gig’s where we shared our love of music hall songs and actors.

He could also always be found at the International Brigade meetings at the South Bank, or local ones at the Conway Hall on the Spanish Civil War.

He came with me to visit Bertie Dinnage when he was dying and made a generous offering to help me pay for drinks at the party on my departure from Fitzrovia: a real Stand By Me friend.

He also stayed here with me in Devon, with his friend PJ on a couple of memorable occasions, en route to Tolpuddle events in Dorset. Mike was a rare being: loyal, generous and funny; I will miss him enormously.