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Surnames beginning with A

Famous people with surnames beginning with A.

Alexander, Frederick

F.M. Alexander (1869-1955), an Australian actor and Inventor of the Alexander Technique for correcting physical obstacles to fitness and performance. He lived in Penhill House, Sidcup, for 30 years. Alexander, who began his career as a Shakespearean orator, developed laryngitis while performing. Determined to restore the full use of his voice, he carefully watched himself while speaking, and observed that undue muscular tension accounted for his vocal problem. He sought a way to eliminate that restriction. Over time, he discovered and articulated a principle that profoundly influences health and well being: when neck tension is reduced, the head no longer compresses the spine and the spine is free to lengthen. Alexander restored his own natural capacity for ease by changing the way he thought while initiating an action. From this work on himself and others, he evolved a hands-on teaching method that encourages all the body's processes to work more efficiently - as an integrated, dynamic whole.

Aldrich, Ronnie

Ronnie Aldrich (1916-93), wartime bandsman and post war band leader, became one of Britain's most popular recording pianists during the 1960s and 70s. He was born on 15 February 1916 at Erith, the son of a store manager. He was called up by the Royal Air Force during World War II. After having worked with a number of low-level pre-war dance bands. Aldrich's recording career began in earnest in 1940 as pianist with the RAF Dance Orchestra, later to become 'The Squadronaires'. He eventually became leader of the band in 1950 and continued to lead it until its disbandment in 1964. (It was later revived in the 1990s). Aldrich became musical director of Thames Television, adding this to his radio and recording work. He and his wife retired to the Isle of Man, where he died aged 77.

Allison, Malcolm

Malcolm Allison (1927-2010) the football player, coach and manager, lived in the borough and in his early days played for Welling and for Erith and Belvedere. His promising career as a centre-half was ended prematurely by a bout of tuberculosis in 1958. Up to that time he was on the books at Charlton Athletic (1945-51) before joining West Ham United (1951-58) where he scored 10 goals in 238 league appearances. He became a flamboyant and much travelled coach and manager seldom seen without a wide-brimmed trilby hat and a cigar. His most successful period is generally considered to be as assistant manager to Joe Mercer at Manchester City (1965-72), the strongest era in that club's history.

Amos, Valerie (Baroness Amos)

Baroness Amos, of Brondesbury (born 1954) who was created a life peer in 1997, is one of three black peers in the Lords. She has been Leader on the House of Lords, 2003/7, and was previously Secretary of State for International Development from May 2003. She was Chief Executive, Equal Opportunities Commission, 1989-94. Born in Guyana in March 1954, Valerie Ann Amos was educated at Townley Grammar School for Girls. After university she began her career in local government in various London boroughs between 1981-9.