Hello again my loyal readers, I hope you are dressed accordingly for this week’s stroll down memory lane as it is now autumn. Where has the summer gone? My days sitting out in the garden are over for another few months.

I noticed recently that the bus stop at the bottom of Studio Way is named Garston Court stop, but of course no such name exists. It stands outside Garson Court, for which I provided the name, and which is named after an MGM star and not somewhere north of Watford.

I appreciate the residents and the county council have probably not heard of Greer Garson, but during Hollywood’s golden era she was nominated for an Oscar several times and won best actress for her leading role in the classic Mrs Miniver, which was made in 1942. It is a true weepie and even Winston Churchill commented that it helped sway the American public as to why their country should join the war.

Previously, Greer had a role in the famous Goodbye Mr Chips opposite Robert Donat, and that launched her film stardom. She had been spotted by MGM supremo Louis B Mayer on the London stage and whisked off to Hollywood just as so many young ladies dreamed of back then, and I guess now.

Oddly, Greer went on to marry the young actor Richard Ney, who played her son in Mrs Miniver, but the marriage did not last. Later, she married and outlived a multi-millionaire Texas oilman and was a very wealthy lady, although she gave a lot to charity.

In her latter years, her career declined and she retired from acting in 1982 commenting that she was only being offered old homicidal maniacs as were being played on screen by her contemporaries Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Greer once said you need three things to obtain success in any profession. You must want it, you must try your best, and then hope for the opportunities, although the latter cannot be guaranteed. I guess that advice holds good even today.

In her latter years, Greer maintained a suite in a hospital due to her failing heart and died aged 92 in 1996, by then a name from the past. I picked her name for the building as she had made the sequel to Mrs Miniver at the old MGM Studio in Borehamwood in 1950.

Her co-star in eight films was the ever-reliable Canadian actor Walter Pidgeon. Do you remember him? I do, especially for his roles in the classic How Green Was My Valley in 1941, Mrs Miniver, and Forbidden Planet in 1956.

I wrote to Walter in the late 1970s when his career was virtually over and sadly shortly after he was hit by a series of strokes that made him housebound. He was, I guess, in a reflective mood as he replied: “I stayed with MGM for over 20 years and tried to avoid career rows with the management. That way I outlived some of the bigger names who came and went. It was a marvellous era for actors in Hollywood as you were spoilt and looked after. I made several films with the lovely Greer and over the years we never had a cross word.”

Walter died at the age of 87 in 1984 after a film career that had stretched from silent movies in 1926 until 1978 when he made a cameo in Mae West’s last film Sextette.

Apologies to my younger readers, who will not of heard of Greer or Walter, but I still enjoy their films, as I do many films of the 1930s through to the 1960s. That is why I was honoured to be asked to come up with names for the housing developments over the past 40 years on the former MGM site, and even the developments on the Gate Studio site and just over the bridge in Allum Lane.

Thankfully, the council and the developers tend to accept my suggestions even when they admit to not having heard of some of these old stars. It is my salute to those names of yesteryear who gave us pleasure on visiting the cinema.

Well, the cool wind is picking up so I think it is time for us to finish our walk down memory lane. Let’s call it a date to meet again next week, if you want to, and I look forward to your company.