Thursday, 26 March 2020

Rubbing Shoulders.


There was a time, when I was about 14/15, that I was left pretty much to myself during the school holidays. Both my parents were busy, and I had to find my own amusement during the daytime.

We were living on the South Coast at the time, so there was always the sea, the pier, and a few cinemas to amuse me.

For my lunch my mother booked me into a funny little restaurant called 'The Spinning Wheel'. It was one of those cottagey places with dark old fashioned tables and wheelback chairs. The decor was mostly brass and copper ornaments. The owner, Michael, was a very pleasant man.


The menu was old fashioned too, but always of a reasonable standard. Brown windsor or Mulligatawny soup, meat with two plain boiled veg' and thick brown gravy, and some stodgy dessert with custard; it was always of this ilk, and all very home-cooked. I seem to remember that the menu cost 4/6d.

But the most interesting thing about The Spinning Wheel was its clientele. The local theatre, The Connaught, often had well known visiting actors, and they would invariably eat there at lunchtime. With my being a regular, and always by myself, Michael would place me at a two-seat table with one of these 'stars'.


I dined with several, some more famous than others, often we ate in silence. But the two I remember the most were Glynis Johns, and Sarah Miles. Ms Johns was a lovely person and very chatty, and Ms Miles was simply beautiful, polite, and wore knee length leather boots; I don't remember much conversation with Sarah.

These names may not mean much to people these days, but both were big stars at the time. The junior-Cro was totally star-struck.

I heard the name Glynis Johns on the radio last night, and it brought it all back. What a lovely bubbly person she was.

27 comments:

  1. Of course a 15-year old boy would remember the boots! Your mum certainly made sure you weren't starving at home. I guess a 3-course lunch meant you weren't roaming around looking for snacks all afternoon.

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    1. Yes, the knee length boots certainly made an impression; as did Ms Miles herself.

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  2. Both very glamorous women. You were a very fortunate young man.

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    1. Extremely fortunate. Even today when either names are mentioned, my wife says "Oh no, he'll be telling us all about how he had lunch with her". She's right!

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  3. re above comment - that's me all the time. Relatives say let's do such and such or let's go to such a place so that he can tell us about when ...

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    Replies
    1. I've met loads of interesting people, but somehow these two always receive the 'Here he goes again' comment.

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    2. And in true fashion, this is at least the second time you've written about it here ...

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    3. Really? My memory must be failing.

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  4. I am of an age to remember these 'stars' very well Cro.

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  5. I, too, remember them both ...... Glynis Johns had that raspy voice .., I remember her in An Ideal Husband when she was very young ! .... and Sarah Mikes used to drink her own urine !!!!! How lovely to have sat with them . Did you know they were famous while having lunch with them ? XXXX

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    1. Absolutely. Even at my young age I knew who they were. I doubt if they knew much about me though!

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  6. Great memories of times past. I trust that neither of the aforementioned actresses sought to take advantage of you. After all, actresses and bishops share a certain reputation.

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    1. P.S. Sarah Miles was brilliant in "Ryan's Daughter"

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    2. That must be her most famous role; she was superb.

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  7. Well, at least your mother made sure you were well fed - and in good company.

    Glynis Johns I don't know though I do like watching REALLY old films. Sarah Miles? I am sure she was/is striking. Yet, I don't know why, I never took to her. For some reason I thought her vulgar (her mouth, oh my god). Saw her first in "Ryan's Daughter". Mind you, come to think of it, I am pretty "conflicted" over the young Charlotte Rampling ("The Night Porter") too. Chalk it down to my wide eyed youthful innocence and naivety. Marlon Brando and butter easier on the eye and digested.

    Lovely glimpse into your memory store. I have now entered that most awful twilight of times where I still DO remember I have told the Angel an anecdote about five hundred times; nothing stopping me doing so again. When it's met with an eye roll the correct figure probably closer to six hundred times.

    U

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    1. I must admit that I am guilty of repeating myself; quite often. Being met by eye rolling is part of my life.

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  8. One time looking through the visitors book at a popular restaurant near Oslip (Izlop) which is near the Hungarian border I discovered that Yuri Gagarin had been there before me. As I was eating my meal I kept imagining him walking through the door in his space suit. Ain't life crazy!

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    1. I had a girlfriend whose grandfather had been a Welsh miners 'troublemaker'. The Coal Board banned him for life from working in the industry, and he was later made a people's hero by the Russians. He went to Moscow to collect his medal and was introduced to Gagarin as part of his reward.

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  9. Remember Glynnis Johns? Of course! One of my favorites. I can still remember her breathy voice.
    Lucky young man.

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    1. I remember her as being slightly hoarse. Maybe she'd been shouting too much.

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  10. I loved Glynis John’s voice. I can remember it to this day. I am pretty sure both these actresses have passed away and how nice that you have reminded us of these talented, beautiful ladies with you sweet, personal story.

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    1. Amazingly I think they are both still going strong. Glynis Johns must be in her 90's, and Sarah Miles maybe 10 years older than me. See tomorrow!

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    2. You are right, Glynis is 96 and Sarah is 79. Good for them.

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    3. Amazing. They must have both lived very healthy lives.

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  11. Two wonderful Actress . I adore Glynis Johns voice and as you said Sarah Miles was indeed beautiful Both very talented, they were indeed "Stars"
    parsnip

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