Well, my fellow travellers down Memory Lane, we have survived another week and once again it gives me a chance to name drop - albeit names from the past.

Alas I can't compete with the youngsters today on social media called influencers who make a fortune and have huge followers. I can only offer memories, and to those of you who are interested. Can I be an influencer, albeit unpaid and suggest and enjoy old black and white and sometimes colour 'horror' films of the 1930s through to the 1960s?

I use the word horror albeit as every 'horror' star I ever met thought they should be called fantasy films. Alas these days everything is shown on screen, whereas I suggest less is more and let the viewer's mind conjure up the required scare.

As a classic example I would refer to the classic Hitchcock movie we all know starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Can you remember the title?

A still from the Psycho trailer

A still from the Psycho trailer

Janet told me in her later years it was shot on a television budget but she would always be remembered for the shower scene, although the knife never touched her. Hitchcock understood that the cinemagoers' imaginations are always stronger than what you can show.

If you have not watched it yet, please see Night Of The Demon, made at Elstree Studios at the end of the 1950s in black and white. Frankly it was made as a low-budget film but it has since become a classic. Certainly you could improve one or two of the special effects today, but I would change little else.

A poster for Night of the Demon, shot in Elstree

A poster for Night of the Demon, shot in Elstree

I was a friend of the female co-star Peggy Cummins. By fate I was photographed with Peggy and Diana Rigg when they last returned to Elstree Studios at an event I co-hosted. They were both lovely ladies and I had no idea they were both leaving us shortly after.

If you travel to Borehamwood today, you will see the massive new Sky Studios, which is amazing. If you park in Tesco you will see the two new massive sound stages at the rear of Elstree Studios. I never imagined when we were fighting to save Elstree Studios in the 1990s that I would live to see such things. Let us face it, how many times has Dracula risen from his grave over the decades? Movie history tells us never write off anything.

What I think is wonderful is that youngsters today now have a real chance to have a good career in the biz we call show. However, never take it for granted. Then again, my old late producer pal Robert Baker sacked a runner from his television series Return Of The Saint at Elstree. Many years later I joked with that young man when I organised a plaque unveiling at Elstree Studios to honour him! His name is Simon Cowell.

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