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Happy Memories of Early Television...

You know, I recently sat back in front of the screen and watched the few surviving episodes of  Dixon of Dock Green… Some 22 episodes from 1973 to 1976, and I guess, I felt that these had stood up well to that TestofTime. The series started in 1956 featuring Jack Warner and Peter Byrne, in Ted Childs BBC productions. I found the story lines were still very strong, offering not too differing and absorbing scenarios that have appeared and been applauded in latter years.

I guess, these episodes would have been shown early on Saturday evenings, as far as I can recall. My parents and I would sit and watch the opening introduction from a uniformed Sargent Dixon and with his opening invitation of “Good Evening all” and raised salute.

These were comfortable family shows, and you knew the villains would get their come-upence at the end. The series was based on an earlier full length Cinema feature entitled “The Blue Lamp” featuring Jack Warner, for the first time, as ‘Dixon’ and yet, it’s rath…

'Snap Around' Returns... For Hopefully a Brief Cold Snap...

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The weather can just about catch you out, whenever. The day before, we had sunshine and blue skies, and now several feet of snow, and what can be one guy’s misery, can be another’s pleasure, like these fella’s fooling around on the Chiltern Hills…

'Snap Around'

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You know, there are times when you just don’t turn your back, specially, when your friend has gathered up a snowball. Still with us, is the snow of the Chilterns.

Author's Note...

Well, it’s going to be Winter Break shopping until the New Year, I guess,  So it’s time for me to thank all you guys out there who have supported the PGC blog throughout the year in respectable numbers and enjoying hopefully, writings that come straight from the heart. The Winter Break is a time of reflected thoughts, when we think of others, giving support to people less fortunate than ourselves. It’s also a time when we support those closer to home, around our own campfires, with love and help where it’s most needed. There were two wonderful additions to the family this year. Elijah and Amelia Rose. So let me take a moment out, and say, thanks little guys, you are most truly welcome.

Happy Memories of Early Television...

Whiplash… Outset 1959 Ok, I’m not one for name-dropping, so I’m kinda gonna work this little connection into my latest aquision. My father loved a number of programs put out by ITV. So in those days, and I guess it was a Friday evening, their news would end at 10.30 and for one full half hour, once a week, we would be treated to an Australian set drama featuring America actor Peter Graves, brother of James Arness (Gunsmoke) in the role of Christopher Cobb, who was the first man to run a stagecoach line from Sidney to Camden and on to Gundagai in New South Wales.
Now, me and dad loved to watch this series before going to bed, and recently, I discovered a reasonable priced DVD on NTSC to my absolute joy and from Amazon.
Now, for the name dropping bit. Frank Ifield, born in this country to Australian parents  had a string of hits in the UK and voiced the theme to whiplash on the outset of his career. In the 80s it became my privilege to photograph Frank and at 79 he’s still touring. Well…

Lost and forgotten Films of British Cinema...

The Bridal Path… 1959
You know, I’ve mentioned this film on PGC before, and I guess this time I just wanted to give this a new take. For me, this is a sit down romp around the Highlands with a bag of popcorn and Bill Travers in the driving seat. He’s just an innocent guy out looking for a wife. Well, that simplifies a plot, that’s got much more to offer, as Ewan goes from one embarrassment of character to another. I’m surprised no production company ever cottoned on to this as a show, when comedy drama in colour reached our screens in the early 70s. The likes of “Porridge” “Dads Army” and the colour episodes of Steptoe and there were many others. A lad looking for a partner and encountering funny situations, I  guess would have been good for our screens.
Anyway, I like to shake out this old movie from time to time. The colour photography shot in the Highlands is truly evocative and coupled with the regretfully now demised Campbell Town Gaelic Choir who lend much to a charismatic backg…

Lost and Forgotten Films of British Cinema...

Underneath the Arches1937 This is a film that I’ve never seen, yet its title song can revolve around in my head for all time. The song from Flanagan and Allen was most popular in its day. Although, what I do have in my collection are the original production stills in album form taken by a Twickenham Studios stills man, then rescued from a skip by a dear friend Harry Amos, who at one time was a film editor at Bray Studios. Later Harry went into Television.
Alas, I’ve yet to find a disc of this film, maybe there is no suitable print available for transfer, one can only live in hope. Meanwhile, I will content myself with my lasting album of stills put together by Twickenham’s photo department…
Checking through this album and it’s script production progress, it would seem to be another madcap adventure for Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen and the ‘Crazy Gang’. Enid is there too, providing her sensible element to the more zany antics of the remaining cast. Looking through the stills, lots of sa…

Lost and Forgotten Films of British Cinema...

Ok For Sound 1937 This movie held a fascination for me years ago when I was researching the life of Enid Stamp Taylor. Enid features along side the Crazy Gang headed by Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen. It’s another screwball comedy set within a bankrupt film studio. By today’s comedy tastes it’s difficult to relate to, and yet there are moments within it’s production and delivery that is not so very different from today’s. Of course, it has too much song and dance that is much dated now and perhaps in a way, that’s part of its charm. I won’t give you the storyline because that’s rather here there and everywhere. Its clearly a vehicle only for the ‘Crazy Gang’ and the script making a gesture to their unique popularity of the time. If you do ever get the opportunity to watch this movie, then it would be worthy of your time and patience. Production was from Gainsborough at their Islington Studios in the days when the guys there were enjoying a real high, then screened around the Country b…

Lost and Forgotten Films of British Cinema...

A Fire Has Been Arranged 1935. I remember owning an old VHS copy of this movie some years ago. It’s a rather odd screwball type of plot for Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen, who are a couple of crooks that decide to hide their ill-gotten gains by digging a hole in a field. They are then caught by Police for their crimes and serve 10 years imprisonment. On their release they return to collect their loot only to find that a shopping mall has been built over the ground. What serves next is a mad cap attempt to find their loot by digging up the flooring of a department store. The store becomes engulfed in fire and a team of woman fire fighters, headed by Rob Wilton, try to put the fire out. The movie includes song and dance and ends with Bud and Ches driving their wreck of a car along a rail line. Not for the faint hearted. But you gotta admit, these were great guys and great in their time… Production and distribution was from Twickenham Studios and it went out as a U Cert, so that means it…

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Flat NO 9 (1932) A comedy based on two marriages. The first forced to live with her mother and the second pair about to divorce. The husband of the first pair and the wife of the second pair meet a number of times whilst looking for accommodation. Problems arise when both parties want the same flat. An interesting localized plot very much in a stage style tradition. Features Jane Baxter, Reginald Gardiner, Marjorie Brooks and Arthur Margetson. Distribution was by Fox.

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

The Flying Doctor…1936 A British made film set in Australia and featured the events of a Doctor that flies around the outback with a Helicopter. Somewhat, a lack lustre affair in the production, it faired better with Australian movie fans than here in the UK. Charles Farrell is the Doctor with a supporting array of character actors of the period. Production was from Gaumont-British.

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Father O’Flynn  1935 An easy plot to watch. The story involves Father O’Flynn played by Tom Burke as an Irish Priest who raises a girl from a baby. The Girl Macushla is played by Jean Adrienne.Macushla comes into money and when her father hears of this, he takes her away to London. Father O’Flynn and Macushla’s boyfriend follow her and safely rescue her from the evil father and his partner in crime. Surprisingly, a good deal of music is added to the movie. Production and distribution was from old friends: Butcher Films.

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Fascination 1931 A stagey romantic style of film, that would not set the world on fire. A couple that have been married for three years have a difficult time when he falls in love with another woman. The wife confronts the other woman and offers to share her husband. This does not suit, and probably shocked some of the film critics with its implications at the time, the woman tells the man their affair is over. Cast include; Dorothy Bartlam, Carl Harbord and Madeleine Carroll. Released by Wardour Films

British Lost and forgotten Films of the Past...

Excuse My Glove 1936 This was a vehicle for the boxer Len Harvey and presenting him as Don Carter, a mild mannered character and a guy that collected stained glass, well, there is still hope for the film yet. Don agrees to fight in a fairground booth for a bet. The owner reckons on him as a good boxer and money maker. Despite the disruption of a rival backer Don becomes a champion. With a large cast of familiar faces of the period it was distributed by Associated British
Posted inBritish Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past, Patrick's Words|Tagged, |Leave a comment

Author's Note...

Blogger is a great site for sharing your thoughts, pictures and dreams and I'm honoured to use this outlet hosted by Google. My blogs are shared with www.patrickcallaghan.co.uk Now, if you are the type of guy that wants the latest updates on 'The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp' and just can't wait, then you must follow 'The Village People' and 'Go There'

Forgotten British Films...

Five on a Treasure Island, which stays true to the spirit of Enid Blyton’s perennially popular first Famous Five novel, is a ripping adventure tale in eight exciting instalments. The author herself helped to cast this serial which follows the celebrated chums as they search for buried treasure in the ruins of Kirrin Castle. Will the intrepid Five manage to foil dastardly antique shop owner Luke Undown’s desperate attempt to steal Kirrin’s treasure from under Uncle Quentin’s nose? Produced by Rank Screen Services Ltd. Story by Enid Blyton. Director Gerald Landau. Producer Frank Wells. Music Jack Beaver. With: Rel Grainer, Richard Palmer, Gillian Harrison, John Bailey.

Five Have a Mystery to Solve, the Children’s Film Foundation’s second Famous Five serial – with a new cast – sees the Five head off to the discover the secrets of the closely-guarded Whispering Island. Befriending young Wilfred, whose strange gifts include an ability to communicate with animals; the gang find themselves in…

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Discord 1932… Is a Paramount British drama that features Phil played by Benita Hume, a singer married to songwriter Peter played by Owen Nares. Phil begins to rise in fame and is offered a leading role in a top stage musical by womaniser Lord Quilhampton played by Harold Huth …And at a price! Phil turns the part down and it then turns out that Peter had written music for the show and also has the say on casting. Soon disagreements are settled and harmony returns.

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 37…Recovery
It was then Charles noticed the body of Edward lying just a few feet away from him. The man seemed motionless and there was no sound of breathing. Toby stepped forward once more from the gloom of the shadows. ‘I thought you would never wake.’ he said quietly.

‘Is he dead?’ demanded Charles.

‘No…Simply sleeping a deep sleep.’ replied the boy in a slow tone. ‘How are you?’

‘I’m ok I guess.’ Rubbing the side of his head and touching some rather painful bumps. ‘I didn’t change then?’ he inquired.

‘Nope! Still the same.’ Toby’s words were short and almost with some amusement.

‘Then, I suppose it’s not my time yet! Anyway, what are we going to do with him? We can’t leave him here, and we’ll need to get Esme away! She’s still upstairs and I must go to her!’ He looked at Tobias as if knowing his response.

‘Lets put our friend in the cellar first.’ Suggested Toby. ‘Esme has locked your bedroom door and won’t come out until she hears your voice. She is frightened that Edward…

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Good Morning Boys 1937(US: Where There’s a Will) Will Hay just has to be the best classic vintage comic actor for me. I must have just about all of his films on DVD. Not so much a lost or forgotten film, as more of a cult film. Will Hay, battles with the boys of St. Michael’s school in their pursuits of drinking, smoking and gambling. Will plays Dr. Twist a hapless school master at the mercy of the pupils who fix a French Exam in order to get a trip to Paris, Here, they assist in the theft of the Mona Lisa, but in the end retrieve it and clear themselves. An enjoyable romp with a likeable cast in Graham Moffatt, Lilli Palmer, Marita Hunt, and Peter Gawthorne. Another pleasurable outing for Gainsborough Studios.

A 'Not-So' Forgotten British Film...

The Bargee 1963 ...Is a gorgeous romp around the canals of England and features Harry H. Corbett as The Casanova of the Canals with ‘a bird in every lock’ Harry plays Hemel Pike a narrow boat trader who won’t give-up his way of life on the water until one of his women becomes pregnant and he is forced by her drunk of a father to try and find work on land. A colourful film created by the writing team of Galton and Simpson, it also finds room for the talents of Ronnie Barker, Hugh Griffith and Eric Sykes. A very funny film that is both wonderfully nostalgic and beautifully shot in the sunshine of an English summer.

The Lone Ranger...

Well, I just gotta hark back to my childhood in purchasing a dvd of the ‘Lone Ranger’ featuring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. I just loved these half hour cowboy slots with ‘Hi Yo Silver’ being the reference to the beautiful white horse that he rode. I once had the pleasure of meeting Clayton Moore at Gamages store in Central London and would have been around nine years old, and you know, the very thing that struck me about Clayton was: how short he was! now I’m not tall 5ft 4ins! So he must have been sitting down at the time. But he looked just great! With the eye mask he wore and his wonderful warm voice. He was just tops for me!

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Climbing High 1938  A situation comedy that perhaps could be called something of a love triangle. It features Jessie Mathews and Michael Redgrave as Diana and Nicky who meet at a modelling agency. Nicky is a wealthy young man calling himself John Smith and takes on extra modelling work to be near Diana who at first wants nothing to do with him. Also in the frame is Lady Constance played by Margaret Viner and she simply wants to marry him for his money. There are some very funny moments in the movie as when the custard pies start flying around in the agency. An amusing film for its age. Also features Enid Stamp Taylor in a lesser role.

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 36

In a queer light at the foot of the stairs Toby peered at the two men. The sudden appearance of him startled Edward and he stopped his shouting almost at once. His attention now drew on Tobias.

‘So you’re here as well, are you!’ He had barely finished the sentence before he began to feel his whole body shake from head to toe. Slowly at first, then gaining more frequency, until he could stand no more. He slumped to the floor beside Charles, and the convulsions went on.

‘Plea… Please What’s happening to me, help me?’ The words were feeble, almost unrecognizable, and he began to turn in a continuing circle upon the floor. Then suddenly he stopped. The boy sprang onto the floor like a Gazelle and seated himself beside Edward’s limp body. He grinned impishly and gently stroked Edward’s hair. The poor man could not move a limb, as if pinned to the floor. Toby became still, and his fingers offered no more movement. His hand slid from Edward’s head. A strange darkness …

British Lost and forgotten Films of the Past...

Excess Baggage 1933 In this exceptable ‘Spooky’ Claud Allister plays Colonel Murgatroyd who thinks he has shot General Brewster played by Frank Pettingell dead, whilst hunting for a ghost, he puts the body into a trunk that he intends to dispose of in a river. Later there is a mix-up with two trunks and a ‘Lady’ takes the wrong trunk to her home in the country. This particular house is haunted and that’s when the fun starts…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

The principle of beauty had not been lost on their evening of reunion. Toby had brought Esme to the little shop in Bayswater and then retired to his small room at the rear of the building. Esme spent most of the evening and night in the protective arms of Charles and it was in the early hours of the following morning just as the first trickle of light began to enter their upstairs room, that the hammering and hollering began on the shop door downstairs. They both woke with a start. Charles guessed at once that it must be Edward and that he was clearly deranged. He hurried with his clothes and told Esme to stay in bed. He made his way downstairs and into the dim light of the shop. The hammering became louder and the door shook and juddered about to give.

‘Alright!… Alright!’ he shouted the words, but doubted they were heard above the din. He slid the bolts, top and bottom, and fumbled for a fallen key. The sound of its turn in the lock for a moment silenced the noise…

Snap Around... Looking Back

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The Mossman Collection at Stockwood Park Luton with Rhys and Shana Callaghan standing beside the stagecoach used in the film 'Carry On Cowboy'

Warming For Winter...

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The Glenlivet… Glenfarclas…. Glenfiddich… Cragganmore… Macallan…. Lagavulin… Taliskar… Aberlour… Tomintoul…. The label names are endless. I once entered a small shop in Covent Garden that was totally devoted to the sales of rare and often forgotten whisky brands. The store shelves were filled to bursting point and there was little room for a further bottle to be displayed in the overcrowded shop window. Scotch whisky was thought to have been introduced into The Highlands and The Lowlands by Irish Monks determined to inflict their rare concoction on the rest of civilization and set about a myriad on the unsuspecting Scots and so you have to understand Scotch to fully appreciate its wonderful value to mankind. ‘The Water of Life’ is what the Scots call it! Early distillation in the 17th Century was a very ‘Dodgy’ affair: because ‘shots’ are poisonous and ‘after shots’ are undrinkable… Gunpowder was even added! Scotch is distilled in copper vats: why? w…

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Everything Happens To Me  1938 Election agent: Cromwell played by Max Miller changes his allegiance mid campaign from Gusty played by H.F. Maltby, a hypocrite in charge of an orphanage, to Prodder played by Frederick Burtwell, a gentle easy-going fellow, but with a wife that is pushy and made him stand for election. It’s a film that has some strong entertainment value, particularly, as Gusty is discredited and Prodder wins the election. Directed by Roy William Neill and produced in the UK by Warner Bros.

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 34

‘He brought you to me.’ he added.

‘Yes, I remember being lifted again and looking down from some great height. It seemed as black as night, so dark, and yet, the air was fresh as a gentle warm breeze touched my face. Toby held me close until he had brought me home to you.’ She looked at him with a certain modesty.

A loving look crossed his face and he took her hand very gently. ‘Such a reunion.’ he said. ‘You know Tobias is your ‘familiar.’ Your Guardian Angel, so to speak. Wherever you go, whenever you need support he will be there. Summoned in your mind.’

‘And you Charles.’ she replied, ‘What are you, if not my Guardian Angel, my protector?’

‘That must wait my love, all in good time. Soon we have to make plans'. he announced.

'Do you think Edward will try to kill me again.' she asked cautiously.

'It's possible.' he replied. 'Without a body the Police can't make an arrest.'

'What if he comes to Bayswater looking for me.'…

British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past...

Expert Opinion 1935 A couple of murders are committed and in both instances the culprit is released on evidence provided by a gun expert. The film also takes in a group of spies who are looking for the plans to a new military weapon. It’s twist, is that in due course, the guy who was freed of the murder charges becomes hunted by the spies in their search. An unusual, but interesting plot that features Leslie Perrins and Lucille Lisle. Production was from Paramount British..

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 33

‘Edward will change too!’ he replied. ‘But he won’t forget. You have not forgotten that you were once married to him. I’m quite certain of that.’ He laughed gently and said: ‘You now have the gift of everlasting perceptions.’

Esme turned her head to the window once more. ‘Lets take a look on the Common, just for the sake of a past life.’ She smiled curiously to herself. There was something tagging in her thoughts.

‘Haven’t you had enough of that!’ he complained. But he already knew what lay ahead and what had secreted inside her mind. It came in just one name, that of Tobias Westlake!

The couple stood on a grassy slope that overlooked several overgrown Gorse bushes edging a small worn pathway that trailed endlessly way down the hill. ‘I’m sure this is the place.’ said Esme. ‘I remember we came along that track. I’m certain of it.’

‘Looks isolated, apart from that path, a good place to commit a murder. I wonder how he knew about this place.’

Esme looked at hi…

Snap Around... Looking Back

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On a warm Spring day, you just gotta go for the little train, and Leighton Buzzard narrow gauge railway

Summer Snap Around... Looking Back

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Now that's my kind of Narrowboat... I guess the Foster's inside. Another shot from L.B's Canal Fest

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 32

‘Sorry doctor…. But she has gone! Your patient! I’ve checked everywhere. There is no sign of her. Her clothes are missing too. She has simply vanished into thin air!.’ The nurse was clearly very upset.

‘Alright nurse try to calm yourself’. he replied kindly. ‘It’s impossible for her to disappear in her condition, simply impossible. Make another search of the recovery room and check the toilets again. Likely she has woken disorientated and is wandering the building. Have a good look nurse, she won’t have gone far….’

Esme sat in the little tea shop that overlooked a quiet market square. It was 10.15 on a cold autumn morning. It was one year later.

‘You don’t remember this place?’ asked the man sitting opposite her. We could go up to the Common if you like… It may help.’  Charles lifted his head and looked out across the square. ‘If you’re determined to change things’. he added.

She followed his gaze across the square. ‘You think I’m wrong in pursuing this, dont you?…

Snap Around... Looking Back

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Leighton Buzzard's Annual Canal Festival

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...Author's Note...

Lots of youenjoy reading ‘The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp’ so thank you all, sit back and enjoy, and lets see where it takes us. Please remember: You can 'catch up' the missed episodes or 'latest episodes' a little earlier,  just google: patrickcallaghan.co.uk

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 31

‘She is very weak, but still alive.’ The Doctor looked up over his horn rimmed glasses with an inquisitive stare. I’m pleased you brought her to me gentlemen. I doubt she would have survived the journey to Elmhurst General that’s at least a further ten miles. I’ve telephoned our local Constable, and you say, you both found her on Hinckley Common?.’

‘Yes, she was just lying there on the ground.’ Replied the older man. ‘My son and me, well we were walking Patch, we often do on the Common.’ He nodded towards a large black and white dog that sat quietly by the surgery door. ‘Somebody’s had a go at her Doc, don’t you think?.’

‘Well, it’s unlikely that she did those injuries to herself. But that’s a matter for the Police. Never the less, she has recieved a severe blow to her head, and yet strangely, there is no sign of a fracture to the skull according to the X-rays, which I would have expected and then there is heavy bruising to her neck suggesting strangulation of …