With his striking looks, entertainer George Lashwood earned the title of “The Beau Brummell of music halls” – referring to the arbiter of men’s fashion in the Regency period.

The comedian and singer made his first provincial appearance in 1883 and his London debut at The Middlesex Music Hall, Drury Lane, in 1893. He even caused a stir in America, performing at the Plaza Music Hall, New York, in 1909.

Lashwood was a pioneer of the gramophone record, with his big hits including Riding On Top Of The Car and Send For A Policeman, one of many which can be heard on YouTube. Click here to watch.

He was born Edward George Wright in Birmingham on April 25, 1863, the son of a local builder, and retired to Elm Court, on Worcester Road in Wychbold, near Droitwich, with his second wife, a chorus girl named Edith Fink.

In 1929 he had Brummel Court (so named in a nod to his nickname, perhaps) built next to Elm Court as an investment. He also had a large house built at Bransford, Worcester, for his daughter.

He died, in Droitwich, on January 20, 1942, leaving £132,000 (an astonishing £6.3m in today’s money) made mostly from astute property deals. Billboard magazine later described it as “a record estate for a British stage personality”.

He is buried in the churchyard of St Mary de Wyche in Wychbold. His headstone was missing on our visit but a picture of it can be found here