Happy Memories of Earlier Television…


Ok, I guess,  I’m still working on the next episode of our popular “The Shriving” so meanwhile, I’m going to give you something that I’ve held back for a long time because it’s not that far back in TV time land. Now, Richard Dean Anderson just knocks my socks off with his portrayal of MacGyver in the named TV show. I first watched this on UK Freeview and it just swept me out. so much so, that I rushed out a purchase for all 139 episodes of the show from 1985 to 1992

Each episode is carefully and skilfully written, with all the ingredients needed for a successful production, those of action, help and love, just where its most needed. It’s a show that has youth, vitality and conviction. This is a young adventurer who believes guns are a menace, a downfall to humanity, and that people are more valuable than bullets. Perhaps, that’s a gospel we should all try live by.

I’ve not watched the later remake of the series starring a different actor, in not wanting to tarnish the images I have of Richard’s acting skills. I guess, the new guy, would be just as compelling to a newer and younger audience and technology would play its important part. But for me, I’m just in my own comfort zone with RDA and knowing he shares the same love of Ice Hockey as I do!




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Happy Memories of Earlier Television…

Tales of Wells Fargo… 1957-1962 NBC

It all came back to me over the years, when I sat down to watch a disc of the opening series of ‘Tales of Wells Fargo’ featuring Dale Robertson as the company’s investigator. I must admit, that I had rather forgotten these productions long ago and it was only the reference to Wells Fargo in another western that got me thinking to myself… “Wasn’t there, a western TV series entitled thus. Well, a quick check with Amazon has now provided with a reasonable priced disc of the first series.

These 25 min slot fillers are an enjoyable romp, much in the style of ‘Whiplash’, with Dale as Jim Hardy giving justice to the company’s problems by a left handed gun belt or simple logic that is much of the backbone of any respectable and successful western.

Dale Robertson’s lay back, easy going style, is quite engaging. An approach, I feel, that was very much of his own real life character. A man that women loved and men admired and who only recently departed from us, and yet, left for the rest of us, his lifetime legacy.

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Happy Memories of Earlier Television…

Raffles 1977 ITV Studios

Now, this really does go down memory lane and with such class and sparkle. Anthony Valentine features as the charismatic Victorian jewel thief ‘Raffles’ ably assisted in his exploits by dear friend ‘Bunny’ played beautifully by Christopher Strauli in an adaption of E.W.Hornung’s original stories.

This is a wonderful step into the past with Raffles becoming a modern day Robin Hood, the poor really being himself and ‘Bunny’ who with their extravagancies were broke. This is no Toby Myers. This is Anthony Valentine as a most charming character.

This is my second outing with this complete boxed set and again it takes no prisoners. A lovely romp into an era that simply takes you into another gentlier world.

Yes, I’m at it again with another ‘name dropper’ A lovely guy, I photographed many years ago who had appeared on ‘The Golden Shot’ a number of times was TV’s Mr Pickpocket ‘Mark Raffles.’ He and wife Joan hold many happy recollections for me. I pictured Mark back in the Seventies dressed in such Victorian evening wear as topper and white silk scarf in the old manor house of the Savoy Country Club IOW and on a further occasion wife Joan, not in period dress of course, but for ‘Woman’s Own’ that popular magazine. Then, it became the turn of their two children, who at the time had formed a ‘pop’ group and were about to appear on ‘Opportunity Knocks’: Hughie Green’s highly rated talent show for ITV.

Around that time, I did photographed a number of very hopefuls to the show and by way of Tony Barrie my agent. Yet, it’s sad so many only surface just that once for their shot of stardom, but I guess, you can get a buzz for just being there!




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Happy Memories of Earlier Television…

Cadfael 1994-98 ITV Studios

You know, this was a series I missed the first time round, guess, I was doing other things. Ellis Peters books were truly brought to life with Sir Derek Jacobi’s portrayal of Brother Cadfael for Independent Television in the UK.

Sitting back with a boxed set, each episode just swarms over you, it’s as if you were there back in time, all those years ago, in the backdrop of medieval Shrewsbury.

The research by Author Ellis Peters (her Pen Name) must have been quite meticulous, in having studied in great detail the lifestyle of these Monks, whose Monastery was positioned close to a fortress castle that gave protection to the nearby village folk.

The Television screenplay works at an engaging easy pace woven into a strong style of high drama. It’s not always for the squeamish, me for one! as one of Cadfael’s duties as a Monk is to act as potholigist and apothecary for the many unfortunates of the time. It’s always worth averting your eyes for a moment or two, then regain the pleasure of a near-truth drama.

Screenplays may come and go, however, this just keeps on coming. Over the years there have been many ‘just-so’s, but this has something that makes it go that extra mile. Maybe, because it’s so well written and recreated and it certainly has much of that. Well, I’m now lusting to go down memory lane once again, with a boxed set featuring Derick Jacobi again in the title roll of a certain Roman Emperor, in the full knowledge this will settle me down with a glass of rich Chivas Regal, gifted from dear friend Steve.

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 63… Rebecca’s Tale… Part Two

Toby looked across to Charles, somewhat helplessly. Then said warily: ‘The connection… The thoughts… Are with Esme, that’s where we are now Charles, believe me. Esme is the connection, the joining with Rebecca…Just remember.’

Rebecca chose to sit close to them, almost in some confidential manner, as if wanting to be accepted into their little gathering. She was stunningly very beautiful, perhaps in her early twenties, with long flowing golden hair that reached down to her finely shaped shoulders. Charles studied her sea blue eyes and thought to himself: “How could any man reject such beauty.”

She was dressed now, in the clothes Esme had carefully selected for her, gone was the smoke ridden dress that she had worn earlier. Here was a refreshed Rebecca, of Lilac fragrance, a relaxed spirit, perhaps. She spoke gently, and yet, with some small determination.

‘You have been my rescuers and I thank you all for that. You have brought me beyond a most certain death… To a life, and into your lives.’ Toby looked upon her and smiled warmly. Charles was apprehensive for a moment, then dismissed it from his mind. ‘Perhaps, you should have not!’. she quickly questioned. There could be punishment for me. I don’t know.’

Charles suddenly replied: ‘How can punishment be your conclusion Rebecca. I don’t believe you can bring that upon yourself, or in fact, any other living person. I feel that’s not within your heart.’

Rebecca looked long and hard into his eyes. She found truth there and compassion in this man. It stirred something within former thoughts of love. It became refreshing and recognizable to her. Then at last, she said: ‘You are right Charles, of course you are right, all of you sat around this table. You have been my rescuers. It was your salvation from my distress.’

Those words seem to trouble Charles thoughts for a moment once more. Whilst the others said no more.

‘Will you stay with us.’ he asked. ‘You know, you are most welcome.’

Rebecca opened with such a beautiful smile, then said: You know the answer, all of you. I will be with each of you for as long as I can. Toby and Barney already know this. They are my guides through the darkness and into the light, and when I return to the darkness, as I know I shall. I will remember. I will remember all of you.’

They sat in silence for some moments. Esme, Charles, Barney and Toby reflected on thoughts of their new found friend. Finally, it was Rebecca that broke the silence. ‘Don’t be despondent.’ she looked at each of their faces, then spoke calmly. ‘We all have an adventure to go.’


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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 62… Rebecca’s Tale (Part One) Later that day, Rebecca woke from her deep sleep, and when gently roused by Charles, agreed to meet them all in the Parlour downstairs. ‘She seems quite flesh and blood to me.’ remarked Charles … Continue reading

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Enid Stamp Taylor… Actress, and her Daughter Robin Anne…

I guess, I was very lucky to photograph Enid Stamp Taylor’s daughter on two very special occasions, just a few years back. It those picture sessions, Robin Anne gave me a some very thoughtful insight into her mother’s life and at a time, when Enid took an apartment in London’s famous Park Lane.

I found Robin Anne to be very relaxed in front of my camera, she chatted on very much of her mother’s acting career, including many leading actors that gave Enid support and helpful advice. One such actor was Robert Newton; they had both worked together on “Hatter’s Castle” often playing cards together between ‘takes’. Robin herself, loved the game of ‘Bridge’ and was a regular with her Surrey club. Whilst her delightful husband; ‘Guy’ was a retired Naval Officer of many serviceable years.

Since that time, I had not kept in touch with her and was saddened to learn from a relative in New South Wales, that she had died in 2016. For me those are recollections that will never fade from my mind and that of my children’s thought’s, they too, have shared much of my work in the past. In our last picture session together, I recall, Robin Anne, confided in me, that she had a brief acting career, although, not too successful, along side actress Dorothy Tutin and that she had enjoyed every moment, albeit, briefly, climbing into her mother’s shoes.

Regretfully, I can’t bring you any of the shots taken… These were strictly copyrighted to my agent at the time. However, I rather hope I can give the reader some small insight into two wonderful people who are no longer with us.

To come close to Enid’s World… take the serpentine path across Hyde Park, and as you walk, think of her. She would have walked this path, just as you. She would have paused, and looked upon the golden yellow of spring daffodils and the racing heart of early bluebells. You are seeing what her eyes saw. The same birds are singing… and you are so close to her… that you can hear her silent feet over green fields, and taste the sweet smell of Hawthorn blossom that fills your soul… and when you come to a bend in the path, where she too, saw the first shimmer of April blue upon the lake, I know… that you, have only to turn your head… to see her walking beside you.

A tribute to a mother’s private life… And a daughter’s love…


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Snap Around…

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.

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‘Snap Around’ Returns… For a Hopefully Brief Cold Snap

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…

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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 Emelia Rose. So let me take a moment out, and say, thanks little guys, you are most truly welcome.

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