For some reason I am feeling a bit nostalgic while writing this week’s column.

I have just been listening to a Mrs Mills singalong CD of her piano hits. It reminds me of growing up in Borehamwood and having an upright piano despite the fact nobody could play it.

Sometime in the 1960s we let it go for one of those then-popular contests to see who could chop up a piano the quickest.

We really knew to have fun in those days. Before that, I recall my nan coming down from Shepherds Bush and playing the piano while we all stood around singing songs of yesteryear.

Then, after the adults were tired and emotional it would be a conga up the road to the Bull & Tiger.

I usually ended up sitting outside with a penny arrowroot biscuit and a glass of lemonade until they joined me so I could participate in some passive smoking. However, I would not swap those days for anything.

I guess we are all trapped in our own generations regarding tastes and attitudes.

The other day, a young man called Brandon travelled from Los Angeles to help mount an auction in London of film props and costumes from the 1970s onwards.

We had lunch at the Mops and Brooms and it was fascinating to see how much his generation love Star Wars and the other films in the original trilogy shot at Elstree Studios.

If you happen to have any original props from the iconic films made at Elstree in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s let me know and I will put you in touch for a free valuation. You might be sitting on a nice surprise.

I remember in 1989, the late managing director of Elstree Studios Andrew Mitchell asked me to sort out a room due to be demolished to make way for the Tesco development.

It contained many boxes of production files that had been brought down from MGM when it closed 19 years earlier.

It included films such as 2001, Ivanhoe, The Dirty Dozen and Where Eagles Dare, to name just a few.

MGM reluctantly agreed to my request to collect the material but it subsequently consigned the lot to a skip.

I also remember in 1970 requesting MGM hand over the many thousands of photographs in its stills department, but it declined, declaring it had all been shipped back to the USA. Instead, they were all burnt in the backlot tank to save shipping charges.

I am amazed that at Brandon’s auction, they were estimating £200 to £400 for an empty 35mm film can because it has The Shining written on it.

Back in 1996, I spent many hours throwing out many hundreds of film cans from the Elstree Studios sound department. Most still contained the film material.

Naturally, I consulted widely within the industry before junking anything. I still remember the director of The Last Emperor collecting a brand new print that was worth £2,000.

One film company snatched my hand off when I found the sound masters to Quadrophenia, which it had assumed lost.

I still recall sending a lot of stuff back to Paramount, yet when I asked for a copy of a photo celebrating its 80th anniversary, it declined, citing copyright restrictions.

I guess the moral of this story is that the film business in those days cared little for its own history, so a big thanks to those film buffs and veterans who did bother to save material.