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  1. #1
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    just published is my new book entitled 'elstree confidential' with all the proceeds going to the elstree and borehawood museum and elstree screen heritage.
    it is a large hardback with nearly 200 pages and almost 300 illustrations of mainly unpublished photos of stars and studios, aerial shots, letters from liz taylor, rita hayworth, ronald reagan, george lucas, steven spielberg, etc, etc.

    in the book i recall 50 years of elstree studio memories from getting my first autograph from gary cooper, interviewing hundreds of actors from david niven to roger moore, arranging plaque unveilings with john mills, cliff richard , olivia dehavilland, richard todd and others. i recount behind the scenes stories of organising royal visits, the 8 year campaign to save elstree which i chaired and the relaunch of the studio.
    i have included the beatles visit in photos to atv in 1963, the old gate studio and a chapter on the old mgm studio inc previously unseen photos and how i chose the street names for the housing estate that occupies the backlot.
    the cost is 15.95 a copy from the museum in drayton rd borehamwood open thur, fri and sat from 11am to 3pm or online, with postage at www.elstreescreenheritage.org
    it is a worthy cause to support the efforts to preserve our unique motion picture heritage and hopefully a nostalgic read for all ages.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain mariocki's Avatar
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    Great news Paul - I look forward to picking up a copy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    Sounds fascinating Paul. And I have to ask while being absolutely green with envy - what was Coop like?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip, just ordered a copy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I shall order a copy to accompany the other book of yours I have, Paul!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    hi thanks for your support of worthy cause. re didi-5 question regarding gary cooper. it was nov 1960 at elstree studios and as a young kid my late dad, who worked in the biz, said i should get coop's autograph. to me he was just an old man who seemed polite when i asked but did not look well. the film was 'the naked edge' and he died a few months later. years later i used to interview stars visiting elstree and was great fun to meet the likes of david niven, greg peck, stewart granger, richard todd, sophia loren, ray milland, charlton heston , john mills and many more. others inc olivia de havilland, vincent price, peter cushing, christopher lee, boris karloff, paul mccartney, cliff richard, dickie attenborough, honor blackman, bryan forbes, bob hope, etc, etc. i was blessed to capture the end of the 'golden era' of stars as i can't get excited about the stars of today . it was good to put some of these memories on paper before i kick the bucket even if it felt i was writing my own obit ! :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    Exciting life Paul! I will definitely buy the book and thanks for answering my question.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Ireland seanflynn76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul welsh View Post
    just published is my new book entitled 'elstree confidential' with all the proceeds going to the elstree and borehawood museum and elstree screen heritage.
    it is a large hardback with nearly 200 pages and almost 300 illustrations of mainly unpublished photos of stars and studios, aerial shots, letters from liz taylor, rita hayworth, ronald reagan, george lucas, steven spielberg, etc, etc.

    in the book i recall 50 years of elstree studio memories from getting my first autograph from gary cooper, interviewing hundreds of actors from david niven to roger moore, arranging plaque unveilings with john mills, cliff richard , olivia dehavilland, richard todd and others. i recount behind the scenes stories of organising royal visits, the 8 year campaign to save elstree which i chaired and the relaunch of the studio.
    i have included the beatles visit in photos to atv in 1963, the old gate studio and a chapter on the old mgm studio inc previously unseen photos and how i chose the street names for the housing estate that occupies the backlot.
    the cost is 15.95 a copy from the museum in drayton rd borehamwood open thur, fri and sat from 11am to 3pm or online, with postage at www.elstreescreenheritage.org
    it is a worthy cause to support the efforts to preserve our unique motion picture heritage and hopefully a nostalgic read for all ages.
    Wow, sounds like an interesting treasure trove Paul. Wishing you all the very best. Is there any mention in the book of Diana Dors?

  9. #9
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    hi sorry no mention of diana. i met her only once - a lovely lady. i think yield to the night made at elstree was one of her best films.
    i could not mention everyone due to having to limit the number of pages otherwise the book would be too expensive. my next project will probably be a book on mgm british studios. i know several once well known stars of the 50s and 60s who can't get publishers interested in their autobiographies which is great shame. plus i would have loved to have seen biogs by or on the late nigel patrick, john gregson, etc, etc. luckily diana did write a few books. i wonder if her son ever found her lost fortune in those various mystery bank accounts?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Ireland seanflynn76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul welsh View Post
    hi sorry no mention of diana. i met her only once - a lovely lady. i think yield to the night made at elstree was one of her best films.
    i could not mention everyone due to having to limit the number of pages otherwise the book would be too expensive. my next project will probably be a book on mgm british studios. i know several once well known stars of the 50s and 60s who can't get publishers interested in their autobiographies which is great shame. plus i would have loved to have seen biogs by or on the late nigel patrick, john gregson, etc, etc. luckily diana did write a few books. i wonder if her son ever found her lost fortune in those various mystery bank accounts?
    Sadly Mark didn't find anything....which is a great shame. Yes, Yield to the Night was filmed at Elstree. Do you know if there is anywhere I can find further information about the film being made at Elstree. Is there an archive???Many thanks in advance.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    My copy arrived amazingly swift today - I wish Hirst Publications were so prompt - and I am looking forward to reading it immensely!

  12. #12
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    i seem to recall diana also make the weak and the wicked at elstree from memory. there is no archive at the studio. the actual film and publicity material was sold as part of the elstree library and is now owned by canal plus based at pinewood. i believe the production files were thrown away years ago. elstree, like i suspect with every other british studio, have not maintained archives mainly due to disinterest in the past by various previous owners.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Ireland seanflynn76's Avatar
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    Many thanks Paul, much appreciated.

  14. #14
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    well so far we have shifted about 150 copies of the book in 14 days out of the limited edition of 400 so going in right direction.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    That's good, Paul. I received and have duly read the book: excellent background info and marvellous pictures.

  16. #16
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    glad you enjoyed it. just had order for another 7 copies today from the studio and the publicity locally will start over next two weeks so fingers crossed for museum and elstree screen heritage we will achieve our target. my next book on the mgm studios in borehamwood hopefully will be another fundraiser

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I look forward to that book, Paul. Having visited Borehamwood a couple of times and trod over the old backlot and noted down the street names, I have a great fascination for the area.

  18. #18
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    I feel I should give credit here to John Herron and Charlie Baker, who are now both retired. They ran the film library at ABPC for years and they salvaged as much material as they could in their move to Pinewood several years ago. Their library was not only film, but all sorts of publicity materials and also incredible reference books full of scene and behind-the-scene stills from many Elstree films.
    I thought they did a heroic job and if it hadn't been for them a lot of those materials would have been trashed long ago.

  19. #19
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    totally agree about john, who i thank in my book and charlie and their efforts over the years. i have known john all my life as he was once a neighbour and went to see him a few weeks ago. we were lucky to have them

  20. #20
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    I'm trying to buy this but not wanting to use Paypal. Have phoned the office number now for over two weeks and I only ever get the answering machine... very annoying!

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