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Film buff releases 'nostalgic romp' about studios history
A film buff, who has brushed shoulders with everyone from Sophia Loren to Harrison Ford while they worked around Elstree and Borehamwood, has published his memoirs of the last 50 years.
Paul Welsh, who writes a film nostalgia column for the Borehamwood & Elstree Times, has compiled his personal memories of the town's film heritage.
The 192-page book, called Elstree Confidential: 50 Years of Studio Memories, contains more than 300 pictures of the studios, film stars and people connected with the studios.
He said: “The book is just a look back at the history of the studios and its relationship with the town. It’s a bit of a nostalgic romp though the history of all the studios in Borehamwood, with MGM, ATV and Elstree.
“The book has a lot of photos of film stars who worked here, like Peter Sellers, Charlton Heston and David Niven.
"But they're not just photos from the films. There are behind the scenes shots of the stars which some people have probably never seen before."
During his 32 years as entertainment officer for Borehamwood and Elstree Town council, Mr Welsh built a number of links with the film and television companies and was instrumental in saving Elstree Studios in 1996.
From the 1970s, he acted as historian for the studios and has regularly written articles for the Borehamwood & Elstree Times.
He added: “I was told by my friends at the Elstree and Boreham Wood Museum that I should write my memories down before I kick the bucket.
“It’s not an academic book about the history of the film in the town. It’s more a bit of fun for anyone who has an interest in the history of Borehamwood and its film history.”
The book also includes a number of testimonials from film stars who worked in Elstree over the years, including John Cleese and Peter Sellers and letters from directors, such as Steven Speilberg and George Lucas.
All proceeds from the book will go to the Elstree and Boreham Wood Museum, in Drayton Road, which published the work, and Elstree Screen Heritage.
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