Well we have held onto the wreckage for another month and Christmas awaits us. Personally I am not a great fan of the festive season but each to their own.

What I will plug is the BBC Elstree Concert Band playing their Christmas concert at Allum Manor in Elstree on Wednesday, December 8. To listen to a live 40-piece band is a real joy and for just £8 is a real bargain. Tickets are only available on www.ticketsource.co.uk/ebtc.

I must admit to being prejudiced insofar as I helped launch the band back in about 1987. It was formed at the BBC Elstree Centre by Ian Marshall under the patronage of Keith Clement, who was in control of the centre. They invited me to one of their rehearsals and two things struck me. They were talented and would work cheap as they play for pleasure. I then booked them many times over the following two decades at various public concerts and film events.

Only once was I caught out introducing them. We were guests playing a concert in our German twin town. My task was to introduce each piece of music to the lovely audience. I had not rehearsed, so found myself introducing the first item of music, which was the Dambusters March from that famous Elstree film.


New soundstages under construction at Elstree Studios

New soundstages under construction at Elstree Studios


Talk about don't mention the war. Luckily the musical director of the German band who were to play in the second half had a sense of humour. During the interval he said to me: "Don't worry, as the audience have no idea and just in case we will play the Luftwaffe march." That is a true story. Please come along and support the band. Ian, Keith and myself will be present.

Now I turn my attention to the naming of the giant new sound stages opening next year at Elstree Studios. It has caused quite an uproar among film fans. They have chosen the name Platinum instead of, say, a famous director who had worked at the studio like Hitchcock, Kubrick or Spielberg. Apparently it is to salute Her Majesty's anniversary next year but many feel it is bland and has nothing to do with the studio. I must own up to the fact I voted for Hitchcock.

Read more: Winning name announced for Elstree Studios' new £15.6m stages

What amazes me in their press release is that many voted to name them after me. That is extremely flattering but silly as it should be an international name. I would not say no to a plaque someday as that can be recycled to my grave at a later date. However, what really matters is these great new stages will bring even more work to Elstree Studios, cementing its status as not only a historic legend but a big player in the future. I just wish those in charge today knew a bit more about the history of my beloved Elstree Studios. Until next time, please take care and remember nostalgia never dies, and thank you for reading our trips down Memory Lane.

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