Well here we are back again and thank you for your company as writing is by its nature a solitary activity.

Next year I celebrate 50 years of having my efforts published, although this column will only be 46 years old as my first article was for a magazine. When you are young and eager to see your name in print you keep every published article. In the old days I had to type my articles, was paid a few pence for each word that was printed and kept a carbon copy. Now I write this stuff for free and once I have emailed my copy to the editor I delete it, so my apologies if I often repeat myself.

I must admit to being amazed by the continued success of Tom Cruise, not only in regard to his longevity at the top but I applaud his talent and risking doing his own stunts at his age.

Back in the 1960s, Hammer made interiors for a film called She at Elstree. In it, which eternal youth could be gained by walking into a flame of everlasting good looks. Fantasy of course, but I sometimes wonder if Tom has discovered that flame.

I met him at Elstree Studios back in the late 1990s at a last-minute arrangement. Warner Brothers had rented him a stately home in Shenley at a cost of £15,000 a week, which the owner tells me paid for some essential roof repairs.

At the time, Stanley Kubrick was preparing to shoot Eyes Wide Shut, possibly at Elstree Studios - but as a major player in those days I was against it. We needed to get the studio back on its feet and luckily Pinewood ended up with the usual Kubrick headache for those trying to run a studio.

One day perhaps I should tell of the behind-the-scenes frustrations that working with a diva director resulted in for both MGM British Studios and Elstree Studios, but then again Stanley has many fans so perhaps I should junk my files and memories go with me.

I get rather bored with people mocking Tom about his height, considering so many leading men in the old days were not that tall. Who the hell really cares?

I will take two issues with Mr Cruise. You may be a decade younger than me, but please start to age unless you have a portrait in the attic because it is unfair on me. Secondly, when I met you at Elstree in those days we did not ask for autographs and selfies were in the future, but when I pointed you to dine at our local Italian restaurant you could have invited me to join you!

For the fact that you are still a major star all these years later, I salute you and I still remember our encounter at Elstree Studios.

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