Well, we have clung onto the wreckage for another week although I fear a rough winter ahead, so batten down the hatches or, as Bette Davis once said in All About Eve, 'hang on it's going to be a bumpy ride'.

Bette Davis made two films at Elstree Studios in the 1960s and both were good vehicles for her. She stayed in nearby Barnet Lane and on occasions would insist a pub in Elstree village opened for her out of hours. Can you recall those days when pubs were closed more hours than they were open? I recall sitting outside pubs with a glass of lemonade and a penny arrowroot biscuit while my parents had a drink inside. By the 1960s I was inside and have never left since, much to the dismay of my doctor. Alas, today I am the last customer at my local to ask for my pint of Guinness in a jug with a handle.

Talking of pubs, the late great Bryan Forbes, whom I was honoured to have as a friend, recalled going into the Plough pub in Elstree Village in the 1950s with a horrible scar on his face. He remembered: "I was making Quatermass II at the nearby slum of a studio called Danzigers, which was the only studio actually in Elstree. It might have upset some of the customers."

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The filmed starred Hollywood veteran Brian Donlevy, whose star was fading by the 1950s - hence appearing in a low budget British film. Bryan recalled: "He was very pleasant, but an alcoholic, and even made a pass at me as I was good looking and young then."

The director, Val Guest, told me: "Brian played the part well and always knew his lines but had no idea what any scene was about without a reminder. On one occasion we were filming an exterior shot on a hillside and his wig blew off and one of the crew had to chase it down the hill, which did not please him."

I do recommend watching Quatermass II as it is a great film and retains a marvellous atmosphere. Another lady I have the pleasure to know, Vera Day, also had a part in the film and also enjoyed being strangled by none other than Boris Karloff in another film.

Quatermass had been a massive success on television in the 1950s, even causing churches to alter the times of evening services and pub attendance to fall off. Obviously in those days you could not record a programme so you had to see it or miss it. There were also strict union agreements preventing endless repeats, hence why so much early television is lost as it ceased to have any value.

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The last film in the trilogy was called Quatermass and The Pit, and was shot at MGM in Borehamwood. It was due to have been shot at Elstree Studios but it was too busy and MGM was standing virtually empty. It starred Andrew Keir, but he did not enjoy the filming as the director apparently had wanted Kenneth More. The leading lady was Barbara Shelley, whom I knew for years. Alas, after her stroke she was still up and about, but it altered her personality.

My favourite 1950s supernatural thriller, Night Of The Demon, was made at Elstree starring my late old pal Peggy Cummins and at that time another drunk, Dana Andrews, who also still gave a great performance. You must see that film. Ironically the last 'evening with the stars' I hosted in 2013 brought together a number of stars including Peggy, Vera and Barbara. What happened behind the scenes is for another time. Until next time, do what my pals say to me when I start to recall memories and wrap up as autumn has arrived.

  • Paul Welsh MBE is a Borehamwood writer and historian of Elstree Studios