Well, we’re wandering around Memory Lane again, but even old Fossils like me can still get cozy with guys and meet young ones.
My colleague Bob Redman from our volunteer group Elstree Screen Heritage and I were invited by Woodlands School in Borehamwood to talk to 10 or 12 year olds about our film and television heritage. I salute both their teacher Jordan and the youngsters for making it a wonderful two hours. In 60 years they will be my age and God knows what the world will be like, but their innocence and zest for life should make us ashamed of what is happening today. If only as we age we could retain our youth.
Conference ended and I watched the last episode of City of Holby shot at the BBC Elstree Center with sadness. I know from private conversations that despite good grades and a 60,000 signature petition delivered to the BBC, it was doomed. The series needed two floors of the old 1960 office building and exteriors. Alas I’m told it would cost over £7m to fix this office block as pieces fall and the BBC looks into the future of the BBC Elstree Center this is the real decision behind the cancellation of an ever-popular series.
I have just found the draft of my first book written in 1972 entitled The end of an era, which was about dead movie stars up to that time. At that time, it was nice to have a foreword written by a star of yesteryear. I sent a draft to Dennis Price who had been a British film star with films like Good hearts and crowns but now lived as sadly as a drunkard in the Channel Islands. We exchanged letters but he felt no one would remember him so he refused and sadly passed away shortly afterwards.
I then read that Bruce Cabot, the star with Fay Wray of the original 1930s King Kong the film was here to appear in the James Bond film Diamonds are forever. I sent him a draft and he replied that when he returned to America he would show it to his friend John Wayne, which he thought was a much better name. Alas, Bruce died of cancer shortly thereafter, so I never heard from the Duke. Ironically Peter Cushing wrote a wonderful foreword for me but I could never find a publisher because no one really cared about nostalgia in the 1970s. 50 years later it’s probably time to throw this stuff away because I need to start decluttering.
Talking to the kids proved interesting as they recognized a photo of Indiana Jones but no one could name the actor. What can I say, Harrison, because I’m sure you or your loved ones are reading this online, but it’s showbiz.
I know there is a buzz around who will be the next James Bond or Dr Who. Alright, if I’m in a rush, I’ll take on both roles because I know I look like William Hartnell and am often mistaken for Daniel Craig when I’m walking or limping out of the sea in a bikini. Until next time, take care and be well.
- Paul Welsh MBE is a Borehamwood writer and historian of Elstree studios
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This notice was published: 2022-04-10 17:00:00