The Baron, Ballet Dancer, Bond Girl And BBC Doctor

Mapperley Remembers The Grant Family – Woodthorpe Drive

Many of you will remember Dr Michael Grant and his family that lived at the top of Woodthorpe Drive during the 1980s. Michael’s first wife, Isabel Padua was from the Philippines, where they lived in the 1970s. They had three children together, all remarkably, going on to successful careers in acting and performing arts:

Angela (born 1974), director of The Angela Grant School of Dance, London;

Rachel (born 1976), an actress and TV presenter;

Rebecca (born 1982), an actress, dancer and singer.

His second wife is Susan Casey, daughter of the BBC comedy writer and producer James Casey. They have one son: David Alexander (born 1984), a geologist, mountaineer and expedition leader.

Rachel Grant was born on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The family moved to the United Kingdom when she was a baby. They lived in Mapperley where her father was a doctor of palliative medicine at Hayward House, the specialist care unit in the grounds of Nottingham’s City Hospital.

Rebecca Grant was born while the family lived at 141 Woodthorpe Drive in Mapperley. 

Performing Arts

All three sisters were trained from an early age by Miss Nora Morrison MBE at the Nora Morrison School of Dance in Nottingham. Angela went on to train at the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School and then at the London Studio Centre. Rachel and Rebecca went on to become successful actors. 

Rachel has played many roles in television and film. She became a ‘Bond Girl in 2002 with a role in the James Bond film Die Another Day, alongside Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. Rachel was cast as Peaceful Fountains of Desire, a Chinese agent working for Mr. Chang, undercover as a masseuse.

Rebecca is known for her roles as Daisha Anderson on the BBC medical drama Holby City and Heather Irvine on the BBC soap opera Doctors. Rebecca also appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders in 2016.

Royal Connection

Wikipedia describes their father Michael Grant as a doctor, hypnotist and nobleman. A medical practitioner specialising in palliative medicine, working for 13 years at Hayward House. His interest in pain control led him to take a degree in clinical hypnosis. 

He assumed the title of Baron de Longueuil in 2004 upon the death of his father, Raymond Grant, in Navarrenx, near Pau in the south of France. Since retiring from full-time work, he has started painting and has a studio in Navarrenx.

The family have links to the British royal family through Michael’s father, the 11th Baron de Longueuil, who is second cousin to Queen Elizabeth II through the Bowes-Lyon family.

Remembering Mapperley

The family may have moved from Nottingham in the 1990s, to pursue their careers but we corresponded with Rachel who has fond memories of her childhood in Nottingham. 

Rachel now lives in New York, but in 2020 during the COVID pandemic, Rachel made contact with Mapperley People. Maybe she was using her time in lock-down to go through family photographs. Here is the thread reproduced from Twitter.

November 2020

#Mapperley top outside 139 Woodthorpe Drive where my Granny lived, and in her back garden.

I grew up in the lovely Victorian house next door – 2 doors from the Plainsman. @mapperleypeople 

My #childhoodmemories are very happy ones from #Nottingham #mapperleypeople #MondayMemories

In December 2020, she wrote:

#HappyBirthday “Nanny” our Philippine #MaryPoppins who came to #Mapperley Nottm UK in 1976.

On arriving, said “Are there no coconut trees here”? She climbed coconut trees, then apple trees!

And raised 3 generations of our family! @mapperleypeople #thursdaymusings #thursdayvibes

Here’s Rachel and Rebecca with ‘Nanny’ at Woodthorpe Drive

We replied:

Great memories. I’m sure that the trees in Mapperley have changed over those years. Not seen any coconuts yet though. 🌴🥥


Haha! We had these 2 apple trees in the garden at 141 Woodthorpe Drive. They reaped hundreds! You can grow so much on Mapperley top! We grew potatoes, rhubarb, gooseberries, all sorts. Then one year the apple trees had to be cut down due to a disease.

Lovely! I grew up on #Mapperley top two doors from the Plainsman pub. I remember Ford’s (the family story), Bird’s (naughty, but nice) & we’d go to a sweet shop across from the war memorial & petrol station to buy sherbet & bonbons. What was it called? Smedley’s or something?

Dave responded:

Brilliant! Think the old carpet shop at the top of Woodthorpe Drive had/was about to become Alldays. Judges the bread shop was still there as was Fords in the precinct where my mum took us virtually every night after school.


Oh yeah, I remember that carpet shop. What was the sweet shop opposite the petrol station? Is Bailey’s still there? And Mapperley Pets and Gardens? I think they are. I still have the same bank account at Barclays in Mapperley since I was 6! Lol

In January 2021, Rachel posted in celebration of being a mother.

#HappyNewYear! A time for reflection ~ a time to look forward ❤ #NewBeginnings My grandmother Patricia with my father in 1947 and I with my daughter #Maya Patricia, whom she is named after 🙂 #4generations #NewYear #SaturdayThoughts #baby #NewYearsDay #countyourblessings

Ah lovely!! Thank you! I shall definitely check it out when I next visit! My grandmother Patricia lived in Mapperley at the top of Woodthorpe Drive. And my childhood home was right next to hers at 141 🙂 #MapperleyPeople

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