I hope you all enjoyed the Jubilee long weekend. Personally I was unable to take part in any particular activity but really enjoyed the BBC coverage of the Trooping the Colour, the concert and the pageant. How lucky the anniversary did not occur in the previous couple of years amid the disaster of Covid so we could celebrate.

I also enjoyed the guest appearance of Prince Charles and Camilla in EastEnders at the BBC Elstree Centre. Alas, that long running soap opera - or as they now prefer continuing drama series - is still suffering from such low ratings that it would have seen the show cancelled 20 or 30 years ago. Sadly the television channels we grew up with are all suffering huge decline in viewers as people are swamped with alternative channels with far bigger budgets. Already the BBC have started to make significant cuts and I hear EastEnders executives are considering a 'cull' of some of the cast as they struggle with budgets and a real need to boost ratings.

Read more: From the brink of demolition to hosting Strictly - the fall and rise of Elstree Studios

I bet some of my readers can remember watching the Queen's coronation on a very small television set. Personally I grew up with a luxury 17-inch black and white television set and recall there was a choice of two channels. When you switched on you had to wait for the valves to warm up. Then there would be interludes when you could be transfixed by the potters wheel but it was not quite as racy as in that Patrick Swayze movie. If you stayed up really late your enjoyment would be cut short by the epilogue, the national anthem and, when turning off the television, watching a small white dot slowly vanish as the screen went black.

Back in the 1950s what is now the BBC Elstree Centre was churning out television series like The Invisible Man and in the 1960s soap operas such as Emergency Ward 10. Do you remember the days when the NHS hospitals had a matron and doctors wore white coats? The studio continued to produce medical dramas such as General Hospital under ATV ownership but alas the tradition ended when the BBC cancelled the long-running Holby City for reasons I will not go into. As for the future of the studio, I await the results of the BBC review.

I have been invited to the opening of the two new giant sound stages at Elstree Studios later this month and will report back to you. I have long been one of yesterday's men so it is lovely that somebody added me to the guest list as a link with the past. Back in 1999 I had the pleasure to help organise the opening of the other two giant stages and invited Prince Charles to do the honours. Note, young journalists, how smoothly I segue back to the opening of my article by mentioning His Royal Highness. After 45 years of writing a weekly article I am beginning to get to grips with technique. Today one has to train to be a journalist but back in 1977 I was simply asked if I wanted my own column. I never mastered shorthand but can type 40 words a minute with one finger but not touch type. If my finger ever gets arthritis then it will be goodbye from me, but until next time take care.

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