Hello, playmates. Once again I invite you to jump on my charabanc. For you youngsters, look up the word and for you old timers I bet it is a long while since you have seen that word in print. This week I am taking you back to 1950 to see what was in production at Elstree Studios in an era when family entertainment was the order of the day. No swearing, no nudity, no excessive violence and not an X rating in sight.

The big Hollywood film production was Captain Horatio Hornblower RN, which shot at Elstree and the soon-to-close Denham Studios. The imported star was Gregory Peck, who was to return a few years later to star in Moby Dick. For that film the studio built the outdoor water effects tank. Times have changed and nowadays the Big Brother house sits in it.

When I was chairing the Save Our Studio campaign from 1988 to 1996 Greg sent me a message of goodwill and a photo which he signed 'from an Elstree veteran', which I thought was a nice touch.

Happy Go Lovely was a musical comedy shot in colour and starring David Niven and a great dancer named Vera Ellen, whom sadly I doubt many remember today. The supporting cast included Hollywood veteran Cesar Romero, who I guess is best remembered now for his portrayal of the Joker in the 1960s cult television series Batman. He was well known for his tache, which he refused to shave off for that role so they simply covered it with make up. Not a lot of people know that, nor the fact he was the long time lover of Tyrone Power, a tinsel town hearthrob of the 1930s and 1940s who died of a heart attack on the set of a film in his 40s. The film was Solomon And Sheba and he was replaced by Yul Brynnner.

Laughter In Paradise was a great British comedy, and how could it not be, starring the likes of Alistair Sim, George Cole, Joyce Grenfell, John Laurie and Hugh Griffiths, to name a few.

One film I have not yet seen that was filmed that year is Green Grow The Rushes starring a young Honor Blackman and Richard Burton long before he met Liz Taylor and sold his soul to Hollywood. Had he kept acting on stage he certainly would have got a knighthood, but that does not pay the bills and he chose a different route to fame. Looking down the cast list I see the name of Arnold Ridley. I bet you will struggle to place the name until I jog your memory by saying he played the elderly Private Godfrey in that great television series Dad's Army. In fact Arnold was also a great writer of novels including an old-time classic called The Ghost Train.

Young Wives Tales is a movie now long forgotten. I was a friend of one of its stars Helen Cherry, who was the wife of another friend Trevor Howard. They lived in Arkley in a house located along Rowley Lane. It is a lovely house and I wonder who owns it today? I enjoyed a drink with Trevor a couple of times at his local The Gate which is still there but now a great restaurant. What is interesting about the film is that a young actress named Audrey Hepburn appears in it. Helen told me the director thought she was so wooden in the part that Audrey had no future in movies! Well, I suspect Audrey will be remembered long after Helen, that director and myself are forgotten.

As it was the Studio's 25th anniversary year they commissioned a documentary film to celebrate, which was released to cinemas as a supporting feature. It was narrated on screen by a young Richard Todd and was titled The Elstree Story. It contains clips of films, around the studios, the first performances by future stars, etc. A few years ago it was released on DVD and is easily found. I was asked to be 'the extra' and say what happened to Elstree in subsequent years. I did it in one take, thanks to the power of vodka but never got a penny. However, I was happy because it celebrated Elstree Studios. Until next time, take care of yourselves and I hope it will have rained to water my garden.