Pooh Reflecting

Pooh Reflecting
Pooh Reflecting

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Robin Hood and The Saint - two childhood favourites

This afternoon I was doing my usual two things at once (watching TV and typing on the computer) when I heard a familiar voice.  Without even looking up I knew that the voice belonged to Richard Greene - the one and only Robin Hood!
As a child I adored Robin Hood, because I thought Richard Greene was it and a bit.  He has a beautiful, distinctive voice.
Richard Greene as Robin Hood
Sadly, the movie which was on television this afternoon did not have any of the other regulars of the television series.  The characters were there, but not the original actors.  I found this blog which seems to be dedicated to the 50s / 60s series.  This is another website providing a lot of information about the series and the actors who played the main roles.
There were two actresses who played the role of Maid Marion - Bernadette O'Farrell and Patricia Driscoll.  I think I must have liked them both, because I don't remember them being different.

This is the theme song from the TV series - if you read the comments under the video you will see (among some nonsense posts, and lots of "naughty" versions of the lyrics, and references to Monty Python's 'lyrics'!) a post from a man who was actually in the group that sang the song.
Click here to hear the lyrics.

Amazing how many people have fond memories of the show.  Just wish that with all the rubbish that is on TV today they would repeat some of the good ones, like Robin Hood.

Of course, my other favourite as I was growing up was The Saint, with Roger Moore.  He was my teenage hearthrob.  I even managed to get his autograph once - a real one, not a printed one.  My aunt Joan, who lives in England, went to a Church fair where Roger Moore was going to open the whole shebang.  Unfortunately it was raining, so I was lucky the autograph survived.  But, oh, how proud I was when the autographed program arrived and I took it to show my friends at school.  Must scan it one day and add it on here.
This theme tune still makes my heart start to flutter!
Click here to listen to the theme song.  Don't you just love the way he raises those eyebrows and looks at his halo?

I just love his facial expressions. No-one can play the Saint like Roger Moore. I quite liked him in James Bond in later years. According to someone on one youtube site Ian Fleming, who wrote James Bond, originally wanted Roger Moore, but he was committed to The Saint. Ironically, apparently the producer of The Saint originally wanted Sean Connery for the role, but he was committed to James Bond.
Roger Moore as The Saint
I not only liked the TV series, I enjoyed the books.  I acquired, and still have, a collection of probably twenty or more Saint books.  Must check them off against this list to see if there are any I don't have.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Live Theatre

When I was a child we lived in the country in Morwell.  My only grandparents, Mum's parents, lived in Surrey Hills in Melbourne.  We had regular visits to Nan's, either with Mum and Dad, or sometimes we got to stay by ourselves.  I guess my brother was with me each time we stayed by ourselves, and I remember the cousins being there sometimes.  I can't imagine that all six cousins ever stayed there at the same time, with or without parents.
Tram at Wattle Park
One of the highlights of a visit to Nan's was going in to 'the city' (Melbourne CBD) for the day.  We usually went by tram, walking from Nan's to the tram stop in Riversdale Road, opposite Wattle Park.  Quite a long way I seem to remember, but always walked willingly.  I think it was a number 76 tram we caught into the city and back.  I think this photo shows the tram at the end of Riversdale Road - we used to catch it one stop back from here.  No, just found that it is a number 70 tram to Wattle Park.
More often than not Nan took us to the pictures, or a live show.  The live shows were particularly special.  How Nan managed it I don't know because she certainly didn't have money to burn, yet what she did for one of us she must have done for all of us (just not at the same time).  I know that there is no way I could afford to take 5 grandchildren to a live show - even when I was working and earning good money.  Yet Nan did it, so the cost of the tickets must have been proportionally lower compared to Pop's take home pay.
I remember seeing Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, I "think" with Patti McGrath (now Patti Newton).  That's just a vague thought in my head that she was the star.  The only reference I can find is that in 1963 Patti was going to sing some songs from Snow White on the Tarax Show in 1963.  I remember Nan took me to see "Man of La Mancha" - and her being very concerned because there was a 'rape' scene.  I think I was about 14 at the time.  I can't think specifically of other shows or films we went to see.  Yes I can - Fiddler on the Roof was another favourite.  Found this on the net about J. C. Williamson's who put on most of the live shows in those days.
From the 1970 program - Charles West as Don Quixote
J.C. Williamson's continued to stage accurate reproductions of London and New York musicals and plays. Among the most successful were My fair lady (Her Majesty's, 1959), Oliver! (Her Majesty's, 1961) and Man of La Mancha (Comedy, 1967).
It would have been in 1967 that I saw La Mancha. It seems Charles West played Don Quixote, as he did in the return season in 1970.
Another treat was going to the Myer Bargain Basement - where you really could get bargains.  The only way you could get to it was to walk down the sweeping staircase just inside the front door of the Bourke Street store.  I'm not sure if it was in the basement, but I fondly remember the hot nut bar, where you could buy scoops of freshly roasted nuts.

Coles Cafeteria in Melbourne

Coles Cafeteria c1953 (from SLV Victoria)
A real treat when I was a child was being taken to the Coles Cafeteria for lunch.  This would have been in the 1960s.  Often it would be my Nan who took me, or my mother, or both.  It was so exciting being able to choose what we wanted as we slid the tray along the counter rails.  Sometimes we must have had to tell Mum or Nan what we wanted because we would be given 'table duty' - i.e. we had to sit at the table chosen, minding Mum and / or Nan's parcels while they got the food.  Funnily enough I can't remember what we did choose.
I do remember the 'S' shaped chairs with red seats and backs - not sure if they were leather or vinyl.
When I was a young mum myself I remember taking my daughter to Coles Cafeteria too.
I loved 'the city' when I was a child and a young mum.  Now it is so different, and hardly worth visiting.