Some of you may have heard of Steve’s ‘visit’ to Harefield Hospital back in June – he had to miss the Pyrford lunch.
It proved rather problematical with him finishing up up in Intensive care.
Martin Drake visited with him on Monday:-
I managed to get in and see Steve in Harefield on Monday. He’s making progress slowly but has had a few set backs. The work on the heart is now all good but he has suffered from fluid on the lungs so been back into theatre for that and also now fluid in the abdomen which is draining slowly. This was causing him some quite severe stomach cramps when I visited but fortunately Hilary (his wife) rang to say that this problem was a lot better the next day so hoping for continued improvement. He’s on the normal ward now and hopefully transferring to Wycombe as soon as the drains are out but its going to be a long road to full recover as he has been so weakened by all the surgery and length of time out of action. He was grateful for the visit ( I took Hilary over with me which worked well she left us for an hour or so and then stayed on and got a taxi back) I’ll let you know when he gets transferred but in the meantime if you could pass this on to the old boys along with Steve’s greetings that would be great. I have got a mobile for Hilary now if you wanted to check about visiting.
To contact Martin who has a new email address click here
Knees Up for Nial
A few of his friends are organising a reunion event for all who have had the pleasure of knowing Nial Brown – VT Editor.
The evening will be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and will feature live music and a fundraising auction to help Nial’s ongoing rehabilitation following his severe stroke.
Monday 21st May 2018
The Monarch, 40-42 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8BG
(nearest tube Chalk Farm or Camden Town)
Please let us know if you can come by dropping us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, RSVP on the facebook event page here:
To stay up to date with all the KNEES UP FOR NIAL BROWN news check in at
If you can’t come along but would like to contribute, please send us an email and we will let you know how. Thank you!
Denise Sissons has passed on the sad news that Frank Riches passed away last week. He had been very ill with a brain tumour since the end of 2017.
His funeral is on the Thursday 22nd at 14:30 at Winford, Somerset, Church, BS40 8EU. He wanted to be buried in the church yard so no crematorium. As far as we know it’s then tea back at the house, before hot food arranged at the local pub. No flowers donations to charities yet to be decided.
If you would like to come please let me know and I’ll tell Gwyn or email her gwynriches@ Hotmail.com.
More information to follow
Robin Hall has pointed me to a links which will bring back many memories.
I’ll add subsequent posts.
Do remember to check Future Events on Vtoldboys – 2018 will see our 2oth Anniversary as well as, of course, VERA’s 60th Birthday!
Dave Moody has informed me of the sad news that Stewart Emmings passed away last week from the cancer he has been fighting for some time.
He had been at the BFI for several years and everyone there will miss him.
Following the closure of “The Black Bison” which had reverted to “The Cricketers” after Christmas, it has been decided to try a new venue for the mid summer lunch on June 22nd.
Annie & I have just returned from lunch at “The Anchor” at Pyrford near Ripley, Surrey. It wasn’t too busy – we had a minimal wait for a hot lunch – and there’s plenty of car-parking. Very handy for the A3 and M25. I asked about a ‘large number’ (25) of attendees and it seemed to present no problem. As you will see there is plenty of outside eating space – the website claims 400(!) I will update after the weekend when I have emailed them and made a booking – their online booking system will only cope up to 20, it certainly coped for the two of us!
In <Links> we have <A History of London’s Television Studios>. Ian Howlett has just sent me the following direct link to the TV Centre pages, which are well worth a look – I think they have been expanded since I first saw them. A nostalgic read!
The funeral and committal for John Wilson has been arranged for 11:30 on
Thursday 9 February at:-
St Mary’s Church,
This will be followed by a reception at:-
Thame Barns Centre,
This is about ten minute’s drive from Haddenham, and there is plenty of parking at both places.
John’s wife Rosemarie says, ”I will be very pleased to welcome John’s BBC friends, I might even meet a few people who have just been names in the past”.
No flowers please, but if anybody would like to donate to a charity it can be done through the Funeral Directors (FJ Wilson, Greenway, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP17 8BJ) to one of the following:-
Florence Nightingale Hospice
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Or send it directly, or leave a donation at the church.
I trust that 2017 will be a good year for you all.
I’ve just made some additions to Obituaries – names many of you will remember working with in the past.
Jeremy Summers (thanks to Ian Williams for pointing me to the Guardian page), Rodney Bennett (whose obit I found on a Dr Who Fan page) and Claude Whatham (I was prompted to look him up having just watched the new “Swallows & Amazons” – he directed the 1974 version – and in the process I discovered he had died in 2008).
These are all people we “older” Oldboys worked with – it’s nice to discover what else they did in the past.
Many of you will know or have worked with Philip Saville who died on December 22nd. While I wait for a full obituary, here is an excerpt from his Wikipedia entry.
Saville began his working life as an actor. During the 1960s he directed television plays, such as Harold Pinter’s A Night Out (1960) for ABC’s Armchair Theatre anthology series. He directed over 40 plays for Armchair Theatre and helped pioneer the innovative visual style it became known for, including rapid and intricate camera movements during the often live productions. He also directed Madhouse on Castle Street (1963) for the BBC. The (now lost) production was the first acting appearance of the folk singer Bob Dylan, whom Saville had flown over specifically to take part in the play. Saville’s production of Hamlet at Elsinore (1964) for the BBC pioneered the use of videotape for location recording.
Other significant programmes on which Saville worked include Out of the Unknown (1965) and the Boys from the Blackstuff (1982) for which Saville received a BAFTA to add to his earlier BAFTA for Hamlet at Elsinore, and The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1986).