Ronald Gow

Ronald Gow

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Ronald Gow

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Ronald Gow (1 November 1897 – 27 April 1993) was an English dramatist, best known for Love on the Dole (1934).

Born in Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire, the son of a bank manager, Gow attended Altrincham County High School. After training as a chemist, he returned to his old school as a teacher. In the late 1920s he made several educational silent films with his pupils: The People of the Axe (1926) and The People of the Lake (1928) recreated life in ancient Britain, the latter produced 'with the approval of' Sir William Boyd Dawkins; The Man Who Changed His Mind (1928) was a Boy Scout adventure with a cameo from Robert Baden-Powell; The Glittering Sword (1929) was a medieval parable about disarmament.

Writing occupied his spare time during his years as a schoolmaster, and he wrote several plays for the BBC. At the age of 35 he had his first professional production, in London, with Gallow's Glorious (1933), a play about the American slavery abolitionist John Brown.

In 1934 he wrote Love on the Dole, based on Walter Greenwood's novel about unemployment in Salford during the Great Depression – the play was a huge success. Wendy Hiller played the lead in the play, and also made her first film appearance in the Gow-scripted Lancashire Luck.

In 1937 Hiller and Gow married. They later moved to Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where they had two children, Ann (1939–2006) and Anthony (b. 1942). They lived at their home, "Spindles", until Gow's death in...
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