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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Happy Memories of Early Television…

I’ve just settled into the very first series of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” I remember these from years ago and being made solely for television screening. I’ve always been a fan of his work, which has often been very forward thrusting and certainly mind catching. These 30 min TV slot fillers are intriguing little stories with Alfred introducing the plot and also summing up at the end. This in itself is a great treat. There is much written about this man, so lets not go down that road, only to say, the guy had directed films successful for Gainsborough in the 30’s and when they threw in the towel, he was left at a loss, thankfully American Studios realised the genius in him and brought him to Hollywood, and where he directed many of his life-long features.

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Happy Memories of Early Television…

You know, I’ve just worked myself thru my complete series of ‘Callan’ and realised this is just as hard hitting as when it surfaced on our screens back in the 70s. It was based on an earlier ‘One-Off’ without the trimmings. The single-minded callousness of the characters portrayed, held its togetherness, even today in a very different world, it could almost have been written recently. The charismatic Edward Woodward, a killer with a heart, matched perfectly with the sheer single-mindedness of Anthony Valentine as Toby Myers, and both judged over by William Squire as Hunter. You might say, this would be more appealing to a male audience, but I’m not so sure. Ok, my mother was not so keen on it, but many women, I’ve learnt since, liked the rugged charm of Edward Woodward as ‘Callan’ and the ‘High fee luting’ style of Anthony Valentine in portraying the character of Toby Myers.

I remember, myself and ‘HG’ (my dad) and ‘M’ (Marilyn my partner) and her dad (Alfred) settling down very well, once a week, to this uniquely original program from ITV .

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 61… Barney

Unlocking the door, Charles had opened it to a slightly built youth with a tousled shock of black hair and a warming grin. ‘Hi.. I’m Barnabas’ he announced, ‘But everyone calls me Barney. I’m Toby’s younger brother. I’ve heard a lot about you from him, all good mind you. Sorry it’s so early, my College friends seem to be early birds too.’

‘Come on in Barney, we have been expecting you. I guess you could do with some breakfast. Just let me change from these pyjamas and I will let the others know you’re here. Bacon and eggs be ok?’

‘I can certainly go for that!’ came a rushed reply. ‘My friends don’t do much in the way of cooking and prefer to eat on campus.’

‘Just go through to the Parlour Barney. I will be with you in around ten minutes.’

As Charles climbed the stairs, he could hear Barney whistling to himself in quite a pleasant way. It settled in his mind that Barney was instantly likeable. “I’m impressed with Toby’s younger brother” he told himself.

By 8 o clock that morning, they were all sat around the dining table and tucking into his rather excellent version of bacon and eggs with fried bread. Barney, it seemed, was most happy to be again reunited with his brother and showed a great deal of interest in their recollections of events in North Wales.

‘Rebecca is still fast asleep upstairs. Do we wake her.’ suggested Esme at last. ‘Perhaps, she needs plenty of rest. The Doctor feels it’s all down to shock.’

‘Let her sleep, and please, no-one disturb her, until she is ready for us. I will be seeing Doctor Fellows later this morning. I know, we feel he does not fully share our views, never the less, he is a practical and very sincere man and his advice will be most helpful.’

‘You’ve known him a long time?’ forwarded Esme.

‘We were at Cambridge together.’ replied Charles. ‘Although, he was always a better student than I was.’ Charles smiled. ‘But firm friends… Do those bonds make. I was a dreamer, had my thoughts on the Arts, not really the studious type… More the Studio type!’ The other’s grinned, and he knew he was in perfect company.

‘Charles, I just love you… And just not for your bacon and eggs’, remarked Esme.

Toby and Barney looked at each other and smiled generously. Thoughts had passed between them. “We are off on another adventure” Became their common ground.

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