Well the cold nights are coming and so I have purchased a hot water bottle as it is a simple way to keep warm in bed. Alas, my ageing mansion is not double glazed so I keep my heating on all day, albeit at a low level; I don't want to return to the 1950s when ice formed inside my bedroom window. I find it very strange 60 years later that some readers are facing real heating costs this winter but I must not comment further.

Instead I am going to transport you down Memory Lane to the first time I visited Hollywood in 1988. We always have new readers and if my older readers are like me I tend to forget what I read even last week. We used to refer to newspapers as 'fish and chip paper'. I wonder when that was banned as wrapping?

On my visit to Tinsel town 34 years ago I was stopped twice whilst out walking by their police patrol cars. I expected to see Broderick Crawford, who would say 'ten four'. Older readers may remember Highway Patrol, albeit scenes featuring Brod driving were often shot on private land because as a lover of drink his licence was suspended.

I also expected I would encounter those two young men who rode police motor bikes but my memory is failing so can you remember that series?

I was somebody then so I got to meet the British Vice Consul, the Mayor of Hollywood and the head of their Chamber of Commerce. They are all dead now but I still think Borehamwood should 'twin' with Hollywood as we are both great film and television making centres, although I suspect those in charge of such things lack the understanding .

Back to the plot. The first time I was 'pulled over' by a Hollywood police car was when I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard at about midnight having had a drink of two attending a showbiz party at the historic Hollywood hotel opposite the famous Chinese Theatre. I was dressed in a 'mafia outift ' and in my happy zone state walked passed drug addicts lying on the pavement and ladies of the night flashing their boobs at me, to which I responded 'forgive me but I am British'. This is a true story.

The police advised me this was not even a safe area for a Mafia man and advised me to return to the hotel, which I did. The second time was when I went to meet Michael J Fox at Paramount Studios to watch him record an episode of his hit television series Family Ties. After the meeting I decided to walk back to my hotel through what was apparently a rough area. A police car pulled up and once they heard my accent advised I should not walk in this area as a tourist. They did not offer me a lift so I went on regardless and nothing happened because I was wearing a pith helmet. Okay, that part is not true, but the rest really did happen.

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