Snap Around…

The Beautiful Old Church of St.Peter at Dunstable in Bedfordshire

There are times when I just pick-up a camera-phone in the thought of a moment and irresistibly snap away. This was just one of those occasions… Such colourful grounds with St.Peter’s in the distance and a well stuffed sandwich and soup from Greggs did it for me!

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 39… A Plan

That very day Charles locked the little photographic shop to the outside world. He sat in thought at the foot of the stairs for some considerable time. From time to time, the telephone would ring only to be ignored. Tobias remained occupied in the cellar and Esme slept soundly upstairs. He would check them later he told himself. By the time his thoughts had turned to a plan it was late afternoon. Edward’s simple insanity would be driven from the man… that was Toby’s way. The key to Charles plan would rest with a friend in William Porrit and he would offer council and direction. He decided to send the man a Telegram first thing the next day.

At supper time Tobias emerged from the cellar with the declaration that his patient was sleeping peacefully having undergone some hypnotherapy. Esme too, was fully awake and well rested.

‘Who is sleeping peacefully?’ she asked.

Toby broke a piece of bread, dipped it into his bowl of brown soup and replied in a confident tone. ‘Oh, the Parrot of course silly, who did you think I was talking about.’

She wasn’t certain and thought he may be lying. But for now Charles had a plan.

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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.

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 38… Prisoner

‘Don’t worry. I’m not taking any chances with him.’ Smiled Toby. ‘And maybe when I’ve finished with him… He’ll be a good little boy again!’

Between them, they half carried, half dragged, the dead weight of Edward down a drop of narrow stone steps that led to a cellar room far below the level of the street. Tobias had held a small torch light in his mouth and now its beam picked out a large and rusting iron ring fixed to the wall at the far end of the room.

‘That’ll do.’ Proclaimed Toby. ‘We can tie him to that!’

They put the unconscious body of Edward down on the stone floor and began to move away several wooden boxes of old discarded glass photo plates and yellowing photographic paper. ‘Been meaning to throw this lot away for years,’ remarked Charles. ‘Still nobody is likely to want to come down here….’

‘It’s me Esme…Please open the door. Everything is ok now. He’s gone!’ Charles tapped the door gently several times. In the flickering light that grew to brightness, Esme woke from a troubled sleep. She slowly crossed to the door and turned the key. Almost at once she fell into his arms and held him so very, very tightly.

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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 may come up the stairs after her!…And besides,’ he added, ‘Edward Corton puzzles me. I would like to know what makes him tick.’ he grinned that boyish grin.

‘Then you be very careful Tobias. He can be cunning and dangerous.’ replied Charles.

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British Lost and Forgotten Films of the Past…

My most favoured British drama movie of the 1940′s is THE SMALL BACK ROOM made in 1948. It was produced by the Archer Team for London Films, and features Sammy Rice, a troubled bomb fuse expert. Sammy is troubled by alcohol and his relationship with his girlfriend and has a head full of ghosts to exorcise. Later, he is called upon to defuse a new German secret weapon that can kill with the slightest of touch…

It’s a movie that I’ve watched and enjoyed many times over, and never fail to be be impressed by the stunning performance of David Farrar and Kathleen Byron in the lead roles, it would seem as if they are just made for each other. The movie really does capture the dark nature of wartime London and is based on the dramatic novel by Nigel Balchin. Other greats featured are: Jack Hawkins, Leslie Banks, Cyril Cusack, Emrys Jones, Michael Gough, and Renee Asherson.

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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.

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Snap Around…

The Old Crown Court of St. Albans, Hertfordhire

The old Crown Court in St. Albans, open only to the public on special occasions, no longer in use, and from where many offenders were sent to the Penal Colonies.

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp… Appendix

Looking back to Episode 10…. Constance and George

Her mother left her to rest in the curtained numbness of her room and kept a watchful ear for the sounds of movement and a watchful eye on the front door. In this defiant air of martyrdom and misplaced loyalties, her daughter was capable of all! In the lounge Constance poured herself a large Scotch and stared hard into the glass, as if it were full of nettles…and found no reason to drink it. She sat back on the large crystal-green sofa. George was on her mind. He had been there from the moment the first flickers of grey dawn crept in through the half open window of her spring morning bedroom. He was there…placing images in her mind. Images she loved. Thoughts she treasured. Her mind ran with pleasures; of when he first came calling to take her out; and her mother’s dismay and distaste at their mention of marriage. ‘He’s the third son of a village doctor,’ she had ranted, ‘so you won’t inherit much there!’

But they had married despite disapproval and made a few wonderful years together before that fateful day on the Somme. Esme was the fruits of their union. The result of their emotion. She was possessed of their fire and passion and tenderness and hope.

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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!

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