Disclaimer: This interview was conducted in 1995 and concerns memories of 1930slife; as such there may be opinions expressed or words used that do not meet today's norms and expectations.
* Transcript ID: CT-95-218AT001
* CCINTB Transcript ID: 95-218-12a-ac, 95-218-13a-e
* Tapes: CT-95-218AT001, CT-95-218AT002
* CCINTB Tapes ID: T95-119, T95-120
* Length: 1:06:38
* Norwich, Norfolk, 23 October 1995: Valentina Bold interviews Cliff Richard Temple
* Transcribed by Joan Simpson/Standardised by Annette Kuhn
* CT=Cliff Temple, VB=Valentina Bold
* Notes: First interview of two with Cliff Temple; Sound Quality: Fair
[Start of Tape One]
[Start of Side A]
[VB tape introduction]
VB: I'll just leave it about here and that should pick you up okay. [sets up tape]
CT: [inaudible] you've got there. Mine's a bit bigger.
CT: [coughs; inaudible] don't you?
VB: That's right, yes. [It's nice and handy?]. So this is your collection ofcigarette cards, you were saying.
CT: Well of course, all those years and years ago, most of them go back to aboutthe 1930s. And eh, to see the faces on there. To see the poor old things they look at nowadays. I mean, you can't, you just can't believe it really.
CT: And erm, well, I feel sorry for these film stars really. 'Cause sometimes00:01:00you see 'erm on television, proper old hags aren't they? And all the rest of it. Most beautiful and divine creatures you ever saw [laughs] in your life. From a man's point of view. And erm, eh, going back looking at these sort of things--
CT: You see there's a lovely lot in there. Which you can just see for yourself.And erm, [pause 3 seconds] Erm, just point some out to you. You never know. Even Lillian Gish is approaching a hundred. O just died at a hundred. I mean, eh, time seemed to fly of those. You see there's all those lovely things there.
VB: Oh yes!
CT: And eh, I don't know why I just kept this, but I just kept it. I got rid ofa lot of things but I did keep the old film stars. But there are one or two anecdotes there. Erm, erm, right enough for you. So many things. You don't know 00:02:00where to start with. I mean, Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand. I mean. There's a marvellous thing as a matador eh, chasing after the old cows or bulls or whatever you like to call them. And then, as a complete contrast, you saw Intolerance with Barthelmess. Then, as a complete change from that you saw Daddy-Long-Legs with Mary Pickford. And eh, 'cause then later she joined with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer don't she? With erm Douglas Fairbanks and somebody else. I can't remember who they were now. Going back even to 1912 erm, what the devil was his name? Erm, have it on the tip of my tongue. Eh, well fundamentally they were showing them at the Gem which I was just showing you a photograph of which was made specially to take cinematograph films. Erm, eh, we didn't join it because it had a pirate feature you know. And us boys all went there and we saw these pirates with black erm, things over their eyes. And bandits and knives 00:03:00flashing and all that sort of thing. Creeping through the grass. And we all roared out in laughter. Why? For the simple reason that there in the background was a shed we used to put our bikes against!
CT: On the Broads just outside Yarmouth! [laughs]
CT: Used to cycle there nearly every night! Well that was one that I mentioned.Well another one, I mentioned about famous cowboys. Well W.S. Hart was a Shakespearean actor [referring to William S. Hart]. And he was more or less like Clint Eastwood you see. Erm, but our favourite was erm Tom Mix. Who was, oh you know about him do you? Tom Mix. He was a real honest good and proper cowboy, but he had a lousy voice!
CT: Don't know if you know that. Well then there was another one, Eddie Polo Andeh, course Stingaree. Well again, boys all ell went down, saw Stingaree 00:04:00[possibly referring to the silent serials of that title]. Saw the usual Indians. Doing a circle trip round the wagons and all that sort of thing. Are you getting all that? [probably referring to recording]
CT: We was all playing in the ground. Well, there was an old shed quite nearwhere we lived at the back. So we went to that shed. And don't me ask me how it come, but somebody started playing Cowboys and Indians. So 'course one boy, he had to be an Indian. So there was a post at this shed so we tied him to it! You wouldn't believe the next one. [pause 2 seconds] Tying the straw round and set fire to the poor little bugger. [laughs]
VB: Aw dear!
CT: And erm, and 'course when it got too much, well all us kids ran out you see.And erm, it was only by his screams that one of the neighbours come and untied him. Well someone said a long while ago and that was a so-called expert, they say the films have got nothing to do with the present run of crime and that. But 00:05:00that proved it. It did show. I mean we saw that on the pictures and we did that one too. Then again, coming back, another film which I forget that I knew of was 'Jailbreak' [possibly referring to Gaol Break]. You've never heard of a jailbreak before they had it on the erm, eh, on the silent pictures. And then of course my favourite was Ben Hur [referring to Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ]. To see the chariot racing. I didn't like Charlton Heston in the repeat cause it was so typical American [referring to Ben-Hur]. The other one was Ramon Novarro. I remember all their names you see. An unusual name was Francis X. Bushman. [I might be in danger of?] delving into these old ones, but you'll find he's there. And course Noah Beery too. He's an old villain too. Then ye go to the erm, comedies. There's Larry Sermon. There's Harold Lloyd. Charlie Chaplin. He's in 00:06:00the erm, The Gold Rush. Eh, The Kid with Jackie Coogan. And erm, I think I like, I think Shoulder Arms was the best one. 'Cause he was rather funny. He was in the trenches you know. And eh, taking pot shots at the Germans. And he went "Bang", you know, like that, and put a chalk mark. He got about six. Well then one got him [laughs] and nearly knocked his head off. So it was rather funny. I mean he was certainly humorous he was, Charlie. And eh, and you know Paulette Goddard who he married. And eh, all the rest of it. And, well I really could go on and on for ever. And I thought, have I, have I experienced all those years ago? 1915, 1916, 1920. Then the thirty. But ask me any of the modern ones. I haven't been in the pictures since erm-- The Sound of Music.
VB: Mhm. I mean how often did you go to the pictures when you were a teenager?00:07:00
CT: Oh I made a regular, every week. Every week. And during the courting days.That was the only thing you could do then! Once a week you went to the pictures and picked out the best one of the lot. And erm, on some I kept diaries for a long, long time on what pictures we saw and went to. And eh, I haven't used that. I've got them all in the cupboard now. Never look at them. But I'm sure it would be interesting to go through those diaries. And I mean I used to put the whole cast down. Who was there. Who produced it. [Herbert] Wilcox or [Howard] Hughes. I mean Hughes was a marvellous man. You know Hughes had the erm aeroplanes. And [inaudible] nearly every aeroplane he could come across [inaudible]. Because he went wonky after a time. He wouldn't touch any money. Eh, 'cause he might get germs on his hands. You know all that, do you?
VB: Strange character. [laughs] Yes.00:08:00
CT: Oh yes.
VB: 'Cause I was interested as well when you were showing me the scrapbooks andpeople like Laurel and Hardy that you saw on the stage later on in the fifties.
VB: What was the entertainment available in-- when you were growing up in Yarmouth--
VB: What sort of entertainment was there available aside from the pictures? Was there--
CT: Just eh, didn't quite get you.
VB: Yeah. Erm, what sort of things did you do for entertainment--
CT: Oh entertainment.
VB: Apart from the films?
CT: Made them sort a things.
VB: Ah! They're beautiful!
VB: A little model of model ships there.
CT: And fretwork.
CT: And matter fact, going back to the old days. I got to ask my wife at thetime to [sign?] sails on. You know the old Cutty Sark. And erm, we used to amuse 00:09:00ourselves. I mean in the summertime. And I lived at Yarmouth by the way. Summertime we spent nearly all the time on the beach and the sands. Either playing in the puddles left behind by the sea. And catching the crabs or anything like that. And eh, octopus, eh, starfish. Marvellous that. Or to go round to the old pond and eh sail our model yachts. And eventually I managed to get hold of an old hull. And I rigged it up and it was so big, I put the little old dog having to ride across the pond onto it.
CT: That was lovely. And erm, then of course eventually the Corporation tookover that little round pond at Yarmouth. Eh, made a great big place. Then they thought, well if they lose money they're gonna have something else and something else. And 'course that's nearly all gone now. But eh, yes I used to have a lovely time on those. Then there was like a great big model liner. As big as that. But then there was little electric lights in the cabins. And the red and 00:10:00green port and starboard light. I got a steam engine from eh Hobbies, you know [name of company?] used to specialise in steam engines then and put it in and it went chug, chug, chugging along. So eh, did those paintings when I was sixteen.
VB: Fantastic for a sixteen-year-old. Well for anyone.
CT: There's one behind. So erm, never a dull moment. We didn't say, "Oh, we wantto be in the town. We want to do this. We want a computer. Or we want this and we want that." Now they want something: "Ooh that's only cheap. That's only two hundred pound. You can buy that." I mean when we was laddies we used to get a toy from Woolworths for sixpence.
VB: Mhm. But I mean would you mind if I asked one or two questions about yourbackground? Would that be okay?
CT: Yeah. I don't mind.
VB: Eh, 'cause one of the things I was wondering was erm, I've got, I've got alist. [laughs] One or two things here. Erm, what sort of work did your father do? 00:11:00
CT: He was a fisherman.
CT: Had a boat of his own.
VB: And did your mother work at all?
CT: No. They didn't in those days. [laughs]
VB: Right. And did you have brothers and sisters?
VB: Right. That's great.
CT: And no grandfathers. No grandmother. Never knew one either way.
VB: Mhm. And when did you actually leave Yarmouth then?
CT: Erm, when the Depression. It was in 19 oh, when was it? 1930 would it be? Aye--
CT: When the Depression was.
VB: And did you come--
CT: I saw a job going at Norwich and took it. When I went from that job I got toanother one. Then another till I eventually finished up as general manager of a store. [laughs] Which I kept as manager and chief bottle washer for forty-two years.
VB: Ah I see.
CT: So it weren't bad going.
VB: And can I ask what year you were married in?00:12:00
CT: Yes eh nineteen, behind you. [pause 3 seconds] Coronation look.
VB: Oh right! I see.
CT: I kept that one. Oh yeah. Turn round the gong the other way.
VB: Ah I see. 1937. Ah. That's great. Did your wife work herself?
VB: And is it just the one daughter you've got?
CT: Hold on a second. [[inaudible; speaking in background] wait for thecirculation to come again. Is that on now or not?
VB: Yeah. Still on.
CT: Still on is it?
CT: Oh dear.00:13:00
CT: Waiting a bit of time now, in't it. [pause approx 15 seconds; flickingthrough paper] Didn't know you was gonna ask me this one otherwise I'd have made a note of that one at the time.
CT: Eh. [pause 9 seconds] Dear oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear. [pause approx 19 seconds]00:14:00
VB: Ah. Ah I see, the church you were married in. St Giles, thirteenth century.That's a beauty. [pause 5 seconds] That's interesting. So that's the rest of that hill there as well.
CT: And that's where I used to live. [Great?] where you come down.
VB: Ah! Right.
CT: Now it's a five lane traffic way. And they're self-explanatory. Read that00:15:00and read that.
VB: [laughs] Little girl who's managed to get herself into so many photographsas my daughter, Nanette. That's lovely. [laughs] That's nice. One of her years later. [laughs] Ah. That's fantastic.
CT: And, while we're about it--
CT: [moves away] Oh dear oh dear. I didn't know you were going to ask me this.
CT: [pause 10 seconds] There she is, saying farewell to the sea.
CT: There. But that's not what I was gonna show you. It's this one here. Whereare we? Donkey rides. [pause 10 seconds] This is what I was gonna show you. Just 00:16:00read that.
VB: Mhm. [pause 5 seconds] Oh that's terrible. All these trees killed off.
CT: Yes, with salt sea water.
CT: And that's how it used to be.
CT: Nothing there at all now.
VB: That's terrible.
CT: Takes some believing really doesn't it?
VB: Yeah, it really does.
CT: Yeah. This is my last book. This one here. [inaudible] boots on the quayside.00:17:00
CT: Yeah. [pause 9 seconds]
VB: It's really interesting for me to see this--
CT: Yeah. [inaudible] You wouldn't think [inaudible]. Tremendous what they do.
CT: That was rather funny. I had a letter from these people there.
CT: Said we've had a letter from erm, from our readers and we thought it wasrather romantic. And you'd like it too. Man wrote a letter saying, "Dear sir, I bought your book. And, at the same time, I was then writing the story of my life 00:18:00and I just come to the stage when I met the young lady who was eventually to become my wife. And eh, looking on your book I found your photographer has taken a photograph of her, with my arms around her!"
CT: He says, "What must be the odds. It must be a million to one. I met my younglady." And his grandchildren come in and say, "Granddad! Granddad! Is you having a baby?" in the book.
CT: Now how about that?
VB: That's lovely.
CT: So they thought that was marvellous you know.
CT: 'Course, he asked for the photograph. I sent one on to somebody. They weredelighted with it. And erm, that's how it go on you see. And then there's another one. These people here. This one here. They wrote: "Dear Sir, regards 00:19:00your book again, that's when men wore trousers and braces"--
CT: "And erm, no bathing costumes. And ladies--" His wife was there, hisdaughter was there and his sister who was dead there. [inaudible] So it's lovely to hear them. And giving no end of pleasure. Another man wrote me: "Dear Sir, you have made me the happiest man in the world." It was on the phone. So, what have I done now? "Well," he says. "Matter of fact" he say. "All through my life I've been trying to find a photograph of my dear old dad. A man," he say, "who would never have his photo taken." But he say, "I wanted to show my children and my grandchildren!' He say, "Look in your book," he say. "There's the dear old fella driving along a miniature train and a little girl was on his lap. Well," 00:20:00he say. "By coincidence, the little girl on his lap was [laughing] my own daughter!"
CT: And erm, so naturally he wanted a photograph of it. And erm, and erm, [pause2 seconds] he wrote a very nice letter afterwards saying how delighted he was. He bought erm a frame where we sold the books. And put the photograph in. And he says it's now got a place of honour for everybody to look at, for his children and his grandchildren and everything else. And eh, it made the whole family all happy. Well, I thought, what more do an author want than that?
CT: I got a lot, even mentioning about the fact.
VB: When did you actually start taking photographs?
VB: When did you start taking photographs?00:21:00
CT: [laughs] There's a marvellous story.
CT: Eh I mentioned in the beginning about erm eh making models and those sort ofthings. And again saying about on that round, here we are, look.
CT: That's the mini train and that was his father.
VB: [laughs] It's a lovely photograph as well.
CT: Yeah. Yes. We were on the question of taking the photographs. Erm, [pause 3seconds] I made a nice model liner. And I thought, I don't know, I'd like to have a photograph of that. To show to somebody. So erm, I was at the School of Art at the time and talking to somebody. So he say, "Well," he said, I got a Box Brownie," he said. "I'll let you have it if you like." I said, "I don't know how to take photos." "Well," he said, 'all you do is hold it like that, look in that window and press the trigger". Well he let me have it. And down I went and I 00:22:00looked in the little window and I pressed the trigger. And they come out lovely. So we had a kind of a club there. [inaudible] "I wish you'd take our photo," 'cause nobody had cameras in those days you see. Going back nearly a hundred years you see. And say, "Well, I'll take them." So I started taking their photos and charge them tuppence each for them you know. And eh, take a few pennies or a few shillings if you like. Well then in 1926, dates, '26. The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, which consisted... You went to one place, you was in India. And Burma. And saw all the old temples. You went somewhere and you was in Africa. Saw the mud house. You went elsewhere, you was in erm Australia. In eh New Zealand you saw all the geysers sprouting out. So you was in part of the British Empire, hence the name, wherever you went. And I took my camera. And eh, 00:23:00they wanted photographs in the competition for Wembley snaps! "Ah," I say. "I've got one or two of them. Very nice ones." [inaudible] The [chronicle?] ones of India. And I sent and I forgot all about it. Well then week two went by. Come back from work. Starting apprenticeship then. And eh, mother says, "There's a parcel waiting for you." I say, "Whatever is it?" It had brown paper on it. When I looked at it there was a camera and a year's supply of films. I'd won the fourth prize! "Cor," I said, "That's lovely." So then I erm, got another [?] with that magazine. And erm they wanted some for animals. Well I had previously taken an old mare and foal. You know, the old mare was chewing up the grass and 00:24:00the foal was near her. And eh, that won a prize. Well then the following year erm they had what the international one for the [World?]. So I thought, I stand a chance for that one. And erm, so I sent a photograph in. [pause 2 seconds] I won out of thirty-five thousand. Come here. Come here. Woo. You see people think [moves way; voice inaudible], but I can always give evidence.
VB: [laughs] Ah. That really is a beauty. 1928.
VB: Yeah. This is a lovely one as well.
VB: Is that one of yours?
CT: Yeah. And these are. All of those.00:25:00
CT: I ought to have kept it but I never did. And this one also won acompetition. This one there. I used to do a lot of these sort of. [inaudible] All the coloured stuff here.
VB: Ah I see. These are fantastic. They really are.
CT: I got between twenty-five and thirty thousand.
CT: And eh, to give you a rough idea, I just kept these ones to show you in caseyou might or might not be interested. These are just Norwich alone. All those. [pause 2 seconds] See. 00:26:00
CT: All of those. Norwich City Hall. [pause 3 seconds] All historical stuffbut... [pause 2 seconds] Some of these really I got out of my new book on Norwich. All memories.
CT: Want ships. Got ships. If you want thatched houses. I've got thatched houses.
CT: I got everything but blue photographs. I wish I'd have taken them I'd havebeen a millionaire.
CT: [laughs] Well where did we get to? Oh yes. Still got this thing on thenhaven't you?
VB: That's right. Yeah. Still got that on.
CT: Oh dear. Oh dear. You'll have to scratch some of that. You want to know somemore now, don't you?
VB: Yeah. Well one of the things I was interested about that you mentioned onthe phone was having seen some of the cinema openings. 00:27:00
VB: You mentioned some of the cinemas that opened in Yarmouth.
VB: Erm, did you see any of these yourself? Any of the actual openings of the cinemas?
CT: Eh not the actual opening.
CT: No. I went to nearly every cinema there was there. At different times.
CT: I went almost at the opening of the Regent, which I think they call the ABC.Which at that time was a marvellous place. And eh, they had a big goldfish place in the entrance there. And they used to give you eh metal tickets to go in with. A bit like the iron cross. Eh but they soon stopped that. I don't know why. And also they used to have a stage. Three times a stage. And somebody did a bit of painting so I used to do the slides for them too.
VB: Ah I see.
CT: [inaudible] I did some quite nice ones. First one I did on scratch ones. And00:28:00scratch them on with a pen. And took photographs. And did all the slides for the Regent.
VB: Ah I see.
VB: That's interesting. Did they pay you well for that?
CT: Oh I think I got paid in cigarettes [laughing] or something like that. [laughs]
CT: Never made any money unfortunately.
VB: It must've been quite exciting though, to see your art work up in the--
CT: Yeah. I mean even with all these books. I mean you hear one person there,they're millionaires, they got a Rolls-Royce for every day of the year. I can't afford a Ford car but I don't want anything else! [laughs]
CT: You see, you got a limited amount of people with interest in local stuff.
CT: And erm, I mean I don't want to tell you. I mean you read the papers same asanybody else. If you write about sex, you can make a fortune. I mean all the papers. I mean the Sunday papers. Every bit of page has got sex in it. They living with so-and-so. They doing so-and-so and so-and-so. They're doing so-and-so. No matter what. You hear it on the radio. You see it on television 00:29:00too. I mean you see a charming boy and a charming girl meet each other. Within five minutes they're in bed, stop the night with each other. Well that didn't happen in my days. Some people naturally did have illicit courtship--
CT: But very few and far between!
[End of Side A]
[Start of Side B]
VB: [voice a little muffled] They're different from the sort of films we have now.
CT: I think the old films are much better. I'll be honest with you.
VB: What was it about them, you think?
CT: Erm, I'd say entertaining really. Erm, same as on, I mean I do like thetelly, night times. I've never it had it on, I've retired all these years, I've never had it on during the daytime! Which is why it's not going on now. I do have the radio on but erm, only during the dinner hour, or just after.
CT: And erm, 'cause I knew this man was on. And eh, he's gonna give me a very00:30:00nice write-up when they're doing the book.
CT: And erm, there you are.
VB: Did you have any favourite cinemas in Yarmouth when you were growing up?
CT: Eh Yarmouth, yes. It was more or less always the Regent.
CT: That was a new place. And it was nice. Erm, you'll probably laugh, but ifyou went to the Empire, it was right on the front. And it's cold going there with all the snow. And when you were a little boy you want to do a wee. And they had no lavatory there. And you had to go all the way along, ask permission to go out and come back again. You had the old man going [imitates gruff, moaning voice].
CT: And we didn't like it! So we didn't go many times to the Empire! [laughs]
VB: [laughs] Practical!
CT: Yeah. But the reason they didn't have a place there so we didn't like thatso much.
VB: Ah I see.00:31:00
VB: ''Cause I found some photographs myself of some of the erm, Yarmouthcinemas. In fact I think this one's of the Regent. The tea room in the Regent.
VB: Don't know if you remember that.
CT: Yes, quite well. Yes. Yes.
CT: Matter of fact erm, before it was a tea room it was a photographic room! TheBPC. British Photographic Corporation. And I used to help out sometimes. That's going back before these!
VB: Ah I see!
CT: How many people've beaten me now on all the memories? Have you? Ever meet,any else beat me?
VB: I don't know about that! [laughs]
CT: [laughs] Yeah.
VB: This one's from the front of the Regent.
CT: Oh Barron's here [referring to Barron's Amusement Arcade on seafront inGreat Yarmouth]. Yes. We used to love going there. Oh it's quite recent this one is, isn't it?
CT: That's quite recent. Yeah they got Marina [possibly referring to MarinaCinema, Lowestoft]. They call it Marina after Princess Marina got married. But 00:32:00before that we used to love that.
CT: It had a roundabout and the old-fashioned erm Ford cars going round andround. Eh but what we liked was the erm, how d'you call it? The gruesome museum erm where you put the poor devil there in a doorway and it had spikes and went right all through his body. And 'course us kids used to love that sort of thing you know. And eh other ones you put a penny in and seen a man being hung! And all that. That was Barron's Amusement Centre.VB: Ah I see.
CT: Now it's all these machines now. Whistling, making hell of a row.
VB: Ah I see.
CT: They're awful things now.
CT: One-arm bandits I call them.
VB: [laughs] I've got a couple of the Gorleston cinemas as well. Eh, think thatone's from the outside of the Regent.
VB: Is that right? Mhm.
CT: That's the old Regent. Yes. Very good! That's still standing but out of all proportion.00:33:00
CT: Yeah. Well you know why we went. It was quite a lovely-looking place outside--
VB: It is.
CT: As well as inside.
VB: I can see that.
CT: Well there was a nice one of the Jolly Boys. They had them when they hadKing Carnival. We went all round, they had posh seats where you used to look round then look on the stage.
CT: And had to make his throne throne. King Carnival's throne. At the Art School.
VB: I see.
CT: Any more you got to show me?
VB: The other ones I've got are of the cinemas in Norwich. Did you go much tothe cinemas here?
CT: Oh yes. Yes. Yes.
CT: Ah the old Hippodrome. Well that's really not a cinema. Opera was--
VB: Ah I see.
CT: Opera house. Playhouse. Vaudeville. Circus. Then [?] for a very short time.00:34:00The Gaumont. [inaudible] That's the very last photograph of the last picture they had. They started off with The Singing Fool on that one.
VB: Ah I see. I know I'm worried I'm going to show you one of your ownphotographs here actually. [laughs] Erm, oh no, that's.. here's one of the Carlton in Norwich. Don't know if you remember that one.
CT: [pause 2 seconds] You and your Carlton.
CT: Give it a proper name. [laughs]
CT: Yeah. Yes it's now a bingo hall isn't it? Yes I went there when the bombdropped through it. I was on leave at the time and eh we were sitting quite close to where the bomb had dropped. I even saw them, they had a vaudeville as well, musical if you like to call it such. Erm, [pause 2 seconds] saw Eddie 'Monsewer' Gray and all those. What was that lady comedian there? Beryl Reid. Do 00:35:00you know her? Oh you don't, no. We'll keep to cinema then. [laughs]
VB: [laughs] Erm and here's a couple of the other ones from--
CT: Oh the old Regal. That's been up for sale for ages now.
CT: Yes. [pause 2 seconds] The Mayfair. The Mayfair used to sell car tyres. Wellthey did do, like they're doing there. Electric Theatre. They had erm stage shows as well. And if you went in the afternoon matinee performance you got cup of tea. Buckshee. Used to be quite, that weren't too bad at all that one.
CT: Erm, Electric Theatre. [pause 2 seconds]. Electric, Electric. [pause 3seconds]. The Electric. [pause 3 seconds] Oh there's one the same place. Changed 00:36:00their names, is that right?
VB: Could well be.
CT: Yeah, well carry on.
VB: That's the only ones I've got actually.
CT: Oh I see. Well they were all modern. I thought you were going in for old stuff.
VB: It's the thirties I'm mainly interested in.
VB: The thirties. Cinemas and--
CT: Well I can't think when it was the Electric.
VB: I mean was there a change in the films that you went to?
CT: I knew the manager and all the rest--
CT: And used to go with erm a fella, used to go on the van to go to WardourStreet and eh bring the films back for the following week! [laughs] What else?
VB: I was wondering, because you mentioned going to the cinema with your friends00:37:00when you were small--
VB: And then going when you were courting. Was there a difference in the sort offilms you went to see?
CT: Not a great deal.
VB: Not a great deal.
CT: No. No. No. Eh the only thing there was predominance of erm cowboy filmswhich we rather liked [Vitality?]. And eh the sloppy ones we didn't particularly want to go to. I'm talking about young. And eh after that 'course I go to see my namesake, Shirley Temple. And eh, incidentally my daughter's third name is Shirley too. [laughs]
CT: I couldn't resist the temptation.
VB: I think I've got a picture of Shirley here actually.
CT: 'On the Good Ship Lollipop'.
CT: Yes. Yeah. [pause 3 seconds] Well there's Shirley. And George Arliss. Can'tunderstand why they don't have a repeat of him 'cause he was marvellous. They 00:38:00had the Stock Exchange. It was really a lovely picture too. With George Arliss. 'The Grand', oh I just can't think of the name [probably referring to The House of Rothschild]. No, can't think of it but I always remember it was a very nice film. Very nice one.
VB: Mhm. Did you have other favourite stars?
CT: Then of course there's Fredric March in The Invisible Man too. Eh, he wasvery good. Then they had that German who lost his eyesight and that was in another one. What was his name now? [pause 2 seconds] He's acted in a lot a pictures. He was in the first film Blackmail by Hitchcock. That was the first talkie. [pause 3 seconds]
VB: I can think of the person you mean but I can't think what he's called. [laughs]
CT: No. I can't no.
VB: Just gone right out of my mind.00:39:00
CT: Quite a lot of names, I think oh so-and-so and so-and-so. Then all of asudden, there's a blank wall. [laughs]
VB: Yeah. Nuh. It's gone.
CT: I can be excused at my age, not for you though! [laughs]
VB: [laughs] I have a worse memory--
CT: Always have a name, I forget them. Oh yes. Old Thingmybob. Old so-and-so--
CT: And all the rest of it.
CT: I have got a fairly decent memory on them sort of things.
VB: What about the female stars? Did you have any favourites there?
CT: Erm, if anything, well in the early days Pearl White. Eh, The Exploits ofElaine. Eh then we got to Ruth [Rollin?]. Erm that was in jungle series. Almost slightly 'Tarzan' business. Oh and that reminds me, 'Tarzan'. We saw Elmo Lincoln. He was the original Tarzan. A very strong man. In fact he used to lift a lion, put it on his shoulders! Well then you get these athletes now, they couldn't do it at all. And they start singing. Can't be a singing cowboy. 00:40:00Couldn't be a singing Tarzan either.
CT: And eh I used to like those erm, Cherry Curtis and all those. I alwayswanted to do a photograph of them but never could do it.
VB: Mhm. 'Cause you were showing me some of these erm clippings just now aboutLillian Gish and eh--
VB: Ronald Colman.
CT: That's right.
VB: Were they people that you liked?
CT: Yes. I did like Ronald Colman. Very nice indeed. Yes.
CT: Well I think I got all the top ones of my favourites, you see.
VB: Yeah. I didn't have a chance to have a look at that actually. Oh Al Jolson and--
CT: Yeah. Well they can do the talkies now don't they?
VB: Aw. Yeah.
CT: But even that's thirty years ago isn't it?
CT: But all these are round about, sixteen, seventeen, twenties, what you asked for.00:41:00
VB: That's amazing. Yeah.
VB: Erm, [pause 2 seconds] Valentino and eh--
VB: Bebe Daniels. Maurice Chevalier.
CT: Yeah. Yeah.
VB: Did you like musicals as well?
CT: Oh yes, rather. And I like them now. I've got all the records of all themusicals that took place in the 1920s. Well I named my daughter's name Nanette after 'No, No, Nanette'.
VB: Ah! That's interesting.
CT: And eh, I've got erm, [pause 2 seconds] I think I've got nearly everything.Hit the Deck, Hallelujah, erm every one of those. The Desert Song. I even photographed The Desert Song. I've got all the pictures there if you want to see them.
VB: That would be wonderful! Yes!
CT: Would you?
VB: That's great.
CT: Right. Whoops!
VB: It's fantastic seeing this list. 'Cause it's a long list. It's eh--00:42:00
CT: Yeah on the other side are eh taken from notes. [They are missing?] one ortwo important ones which I suddenly remembered. Eh, 'This Year of Grace' with Florence Desmond for instance [referring to This Week of Grace].
CT: And The Contstant Nymph with J.A. Baker. Erm, Flying Down To Rio withDolores del Rio. You would know her. Oh Mutiny on the Bounty, I couldn't leave that out with old eh Charles Laughton.
VB: Oh yes!
CT: [mimics CL's voice] "I am a Christian. I will come after you," and all therest. I can picture it now you know. Morning Glory, erm Private Lives. That was very, very good too.
VB: Ah. Was Charles Laughton one of your favourites?
CT: [Beginning inaudible]. I was at school at the time. And erm I got somelittle wagons. And I got some cotton wool like snow. Painted on some fir trees and got it going across the ice. And made a photograph of that. I've got it now 00:43:00somewhere. Erm, oh Bitter Sweet. I liked that. Evelyn Laye. Actually they said at the time when my daughter, my wife was young, she resembled Evelyn Laye in looks. But unfortunately she died and left me a bachelor.
CT: I've been a bachelor for forty-five years. [inaudible] Oh yes these stageones, yes. [pause 10 seconds]
VB: Aw. This is so interesting seeing this. Erm all these stars that you liked.Jeanette MacDonald and Jessie Matthews.
CT: Oh yes! Yes. Erm well them two were in erm Rose-Marie weren't they? Lovely too.
CT: Very, very nice.
VB: And Cary Grant and--
CT: Yeah. Cary Grant.
VB: Madeleine Carroll.
[pause 3 seconds]
VB: Diana Wynyard.00:44:00
CT: Oh that bring some memories back to you does it?
VB: Mhm. It does. [laughs]
VB: Erm Claudette Colbert. Was she one of your favourites?
CT: That's right. Yeah. See I even taped the modern ones too.
VB: Ah A see! Rolf Harris! [laughs]. Marlene Dietrich and Norma Shearer and[pause 2 seconds] Lew Ayres. I spotted Lew Ayres on your cigarette cards there-- Any stars--
CT: Yeah. Oh there's that one I took of the eh erm, the one they had with wagons on.
VB: Oh yes.
CT: Twenty-fifth of the Second. As I say there's a whole week taking photographsof them.
VB: Were there any stars that you didn't like? In the films.
CT: No I don't think so. No. No. I can't say there's anything eh. Yes. One00:45:00definitely. Juno and the Paycock. I thought that was bloody awful! [laughs]
CT: Do you know Juno and the Paycock?
VB: I know the play. I haven't seen the film.
CT: Yeah. That's a most famous play too. And erm lot of people like it. I don'tknow. I found it awful! Matter fact I could almost have gone to sleep on that one.
VB: [laughs] The theatre's obviously been a big interest of yours as well then.
CT: Yeah. Erm-- [turns pages] Song of Norway. 'Love from Judy'. [turning pages]Oh that's pantomime stuff.
CT: 'Bless the Bride'. 'This Is My Lovely Day'. I don't know if you know that one.00:46:00
CT: That's 'The Girlfriend'. 'No, No Nanette'. 'The Boyfriend'.
VB: Do you prefer the stage or the screen?
VB: Do you prefer cinema or theatre or? Much the same or?
CT: I don't know. I like both of them. But I like the theatre for the music you see.
CT: Erm 'Bless the Bride' again. Took unusual one there. They had a [circularsaw?] so I couldn't resist taking that.
CT: It's so unusual. Oh and that's Nanette with her boyfriend. But it rathertickled me at the time. "I'll Love You Forever," and so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so. We went backstage. He was phoning his girlfriend and she was phoning her boyfriend! [laughs]
CT: It seemed so funny you know.
VB: [laughs] Ah. [pause 3 seconds]00:47:00
CT: Oh I love when these are all gathered together.
CT: Oh and 'Desert Song'.
CT: Oh 'Robinson Crusoe'. Don't know about that one.
VB: The Theatre Royal. Mhm.
CT: That's the new version of 'No, No Nanette'. I didn't like it as much as theoriginal one. 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'.
VB: Oh yeah. Did you see the film of that when it came out?
CT: Yes. Yes. 'The Boyfriend'.
CT: Can't we have a girlfriend? 'Bless the Bride'. 'The Geisha'. That's back tothe 1895 ones.
CT: That's another one of the eh 'Red Shadow'. Just as coming back after from00:48:00killing the red shadow. There's 'The Girlfriend'. I rather like that one.
CT: That's quite nice.
VB: Oh that's a good one.
CT: That one again. [pause 2 seconds] 'Bless the Bride'. 'Puss In Boots'. [pause2 seconds] Geoff Harris. [inaudible]. He went on drugs and then he lost his life.
VB: This is fantastic!
CT: Yeah. Another one from 'The Girlfriend' too.
CT: [turns pages] One of Jane. [turning pages] There should be a better one than00:49:00this. 'No, No Nanette' the original.
CT: [flicking through pages] There's some of the Hippodrome girls too.
CT: Here's one of G.H. Elliot. The famous one. 'The Chocolate Coloured Coon'. Idon't think you've heard of him. [inaudible]. There's everybody's favourite at the time.
VB: Oh yeah. Cliff. [laughs]
CT: There's Mr Pastry.
CT: [pause 4 seconds] Harry English. [He's a wide boy?]. [He was in a serial?]00:50:00There's them two again.
VB: Oh! Laurel and Hardy. Yeah. What were they like on stage? Were they--
CT: They were all right. Very good.
CT: [pause 4 seconds] [beginning inaudible] 'cause I only took them when theycome to Norwich--
VB: Yeah. [laughs]
CT: And it's been published no end of times.
VB: That's wonderful. Yeah.
CT: Yeah. Wilfred Pickles. Do you know him do you?
VB: Oh yes. Yeah.
CT: This fella I knew, forced me, I had to take it through the heads of people.
CT: All the old times, when you go back. There's G.S. Elliot. Gertie Gitana. EhHettie Keen. Ella Shields. Lesley Sarony. Randolph ?. Billie Danvers. [Talbot?] O'Farrell. Altogether.
CT: All the ones what you hear about. Typical old music hall. And that used to00:51:00be the backstage.
CT: There's another one of G.H. Elliot too.
CT: [pause 6 seconds] Another one of 'The Geisha'. [pause 4 seconds] That's 'TheBride'. 'No, No, Nanette'. 'No, No, Nanette' too. [pause 5 seconds] Another one of [inaudible].
VB: These are wonderful. Anyone doing a history of the theatre locally wouldlove to see these as well I'm sure. These are great. 00:52:00
CT: All the rest are circus stuff I got here.
CT: That's all stopped in those places now.
CT: Wouldn't let the animals be shown. [They'd have to be shown in Norwich?]
CT: So I'm glad I took all these.
CT: All these lions and tigers. I got the tiger on top of the elephant which,they said it was impossible. And I got when these are on show.
CT: Lovely animals too.
CT: Yes I think on occasion I used to stroke them. [pause 3 seconds] They reckonit was cruel, curel, cruel. Put a stop to it all. These are all circus things. [pause 6 seconds] We saw a camel. So I just stopped it and took my young 00:53:00daughter with it.
CT: [turning pages; inaudible].
VB: Oh yeah.
CT: There's a horse there. Chipperfield himself. He's retired now. [inaudible].[pause 7 seconds] The Highland Cattle, performing.
VB: [laughs] [pause 3 seconds] Now that I've never seen. [laughs]
CT: No I know. I did not take this but that's Barnum and Bailey, 1895.
VB: Ah I see. Mhm.
CT: They're lovely creatures them tigers. Lovely-looking.00:54:00
VB: Mhm. It's a beautiful shot.
CT: Yeah. [pause 8 seconds] All the Highland Cattle too. There's the keeperfeeding the tiger.
CT: The trapezes. [pause 3 seconds] There's the erm-- [pause 2 seconds] Those,they used to put them through their tricks. He used to get drunk all the time. [pause 7 seconds] The cannon they used to shoot people out of.
VB: [laughs] Wow. That's some size.
CT: Yeah. That's just some of them.00:55:00
VB: These are fantastic. Thanks very much for showing me these.
CT: You'd like to go through the whole lot wouldn't you?
VB: Yeah. [laughs]
CT: Bet you couldn't do it in one day. If somebody used to come round and say,"We'll come round one night." They would come round five nights, and they haven't seen the lot!
VB: [laughs] Ah.
CT: I've kept all the old theatre programmes.
CT: They're worth a bit too now. All these sort of things.
CT: Circus. [pause 5 seconds] Now as I say, I ain't got all that extra, manyyears to play about-- [laughs]
CT: At ninety. So what's gonna happen to them I don't know.
CT: Really don't know. So that's some of them. If you want to see windmills you00:56:00can. If you want to see cats you can-- [laughs]
CT: If you want to see dogs you can.
VB: Or seaside.
VB: I mean it's a wonderful collection you've got.
CT: Yeah. Yeah. Are you going to interested in anything else?
VB: Erm, well actually I'm a wee bit pressed for time just now. I'm going tohave to go and--
CT: That's okay.
VB: Make some calls and things.
CT: Yeah. Any queries you can ask about that.
VB: Erm, I mean I'm wondering actually, you've given me so much information just now.
CT: I know. You're boogered up aren't you? [laughs]
VB: I'm coming to a close. [laughs] But I am going to be coming down again in afew weeks' time.
VB: I was wondering if maybe I could call on you again--
CT: Yeah. Yeah.
VB: Once I've had a chance to think about it a bit more.
VB: Would that be all right?
CT: I don't mind. It is nice to be able to talk to somebody really when you'realone. I know I won't get paid for it really but I don't mind that. [laughs]
VB: I mean it's been very generous of you to give me this time.00:57:00
CT: Yeah. [beginning inaudible] take these erm, erm, vai, vai, no, what d'youcall it?
VB: Oh eh video or--
CT: Eh no. What are they?
VB: Sort of video.
CT: Video! Video.
CT: The thing is, I'm on one or two there. Talking about experience about thefront at Yarmouth and all that happened in the years gone by--
VB: Mm. Yeah.
CT: And also on the Broads and that.
CT: And eh, well they do pay you very nicely. [laughs]
VB: Yeah. I wish we could but unfortunately--
CT: No. No. I know, I know. But eh I thought, I'm bloody fool doing all this lotfor nothing.
CT: Never mind. I will do it. I told them I would do it.
CT: And eh so I got so interested. 'Cause I like doing them 'cause it broughtback memories of all that I've seen. And that's lovely. Which I had previous, 00:58:00almost forgotten about you see.
CT: I mean I can recall that, Way Down East I seen, when he was jumping from oneto the other and rescuing and all that. And eh, it's lovely all that. And I can remember there was even 'Broken Glass' and that. Pathetic that was really. You know that one do you? 'Broken Glass' [referring to Broken Blossoms].
CT: [As in dockland and?]. Chinaman. And erm, they all eventually dieeventually. But eh, very good film. And one I left out was Joan eh Crawford eh, in Rain. That was a most marvellous one. And I haven't got it down. I thought, oh blast, I thought I haven't, put Rain down if you want to.
CT: Joan Crawford. And she had a marvellous part in that. Do you know the storyabout it?
VB: I don't. No.
CT: Well Rain is the jungle sort a business. And eh she's more or less aprostitute on there. And eh fell in love with the parson you know--
[End of Side B]
[End of Tape One]
[Start of Tape Two]
[Start of Side A]
CT: Antediluvian animals, moving and making noises and crashing trees down. And00:59:00it was really marvellous. And well of course, they made a fortune out of King Kong after it didn't they?
VB: Mhm. I mean, it sounds like-- I mean was Joan Crawford someone youparticularly liked when you remember that film or was it more the story?
CT: No, she weren't very good-looking but she's a marvellous actress. Oh and ofcourse another one I left out was Katharine Hepburn too, on eh, The African Queen! I mean that is a classic to my idea.
CT: And 'course another classic was Nanook of the North. That erm, Eskimo thingand all that. So I can recall back all those. Now how many've beaten me?
VB: Well I think it would be a close race actually--
VB: 'Cause there's some [laughs] big fans out there. But it's amazing to seethis eh--
CT: No I'm not a fan.
VB: Yeah. You wouldn't describe yourself as a fan?01:00:00
CT: No, definitely not.
VB: Ah! That's interesting.
CT: No. That's just erm, ships that go by in the night.
CT: Oh no I've never been a fan of that.
VB: Mhm. Well that's all the more--
CT: My fancy been ships all the way through. You see I got an encyclopaediaabout ships there.
CT: And I've only just bought it now. And I've got thousands of ships. Allsorts. Queen Mary. Been on the Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth, all those.
CT: Been down in a submarine.
VB: So this is just a sort of--
CT: That was a funny experience going down in a submarine you know. You knowyou're just like rats and travelling. You think if the dang thing don't come up you've had it. Been on a lifeboat too, out to sea. All rough weather. Been all over the battleship. Them great big guns and that. Climbed through all the [c?]. And these old ones, climbed up the sails up on the rigging and up there. I got marvellous photographs. 01:01:00
VB: So this is just a sort of--
CT: Well incidental.
VB: Incidental. [laughs]
VB: Could I take this with me?
CT: I done that for you.
VB: That's fantastic.
CT: You can take that.
VB: That's great. Robert Montgomery and--
VB: Bing Crosby.
VB: Yeah. It's really interesting. Thanks very much for doing that.
CT: And 'course there's a big star in all, there's Bing Crosby wasn't it?
CT: Lot of the names I just couldn't recall that at that very moment but eh,they were very, very good. I mean, the old eh, he was there, what's his name now? Erm, they always joke he's never won an award yet. Erm, he do a lot of talking more than anything else. What's is name now? Erm--
VB: Eh, erm, the man with the big nose. [laughs] Bob Hope.01:02:00
CT: Bob Hope. Well I mean they was altogether. They had no end of those serieson those sort of things.
CT: I start putting them down and I just couldn't remember Bob Hope at that moment.
CT: But erm, they come to you eventually. [pause 2 seconds] And 'course the ladywho was always with him at the time. I haven't even got her down.
VB: Oh yes. Eh-- [pause 2 seconds]
CT: Go on.
VB: Rita Hayworth.
VB: Not Rita Hayworth eh--
VB: Erm, [pause 2 seconds] Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and, and I can [laughs] pictureher! But I can't remember what her name was [referring to Dorothy Lamour]!
CT: Oh you terror! [laughs]
VB: Yeah. [pause 3 seconds] Oh no it's gone!
CT: Well can you blame me now?
CT: I mean I did well to do that lot!
VB: Very much so. Yes. Ah. Well it's been a real pleasure meeting you andlistening to you. It's been great. [pause 3 seconds] So would that be all right 01:03:00if I maybe give you a call in--
CT: Yes, that'll be all right. Yeah.
VB: Couple of weeks' time.
CT: Only let me know a day or two before--
VB: Sure, of course.
CT: 'Cause I do go to some of these meetings.
CT: I don't know if you're interested in all those eh miniature camera but Ibelong to a photograph society and I seem to win the prizes every year! [laughs]
VB: Ah I see. Oh I'm not surprised actually, having seen your work. It's eh--
CT: And that's not my job!
CT: That was incidental.
CT: Still incidental. Even writing books are incidental. Now they're all mine.And all the books you see there, they're mine.
VB: Have you always enjoyed reading?
CT: I enjoy everything really.
CT: And I if I go on anything, like, when I get a chance to go on a lifeboat, Igo on a lifeboat. If I want to go on a warship, I go on a warship. And eh, when I go round the lifeboats. How long does it take? [Inaudible]. Somebody'd say to 01:04:00me, "Come on holiday, we'll take you out," and all that sort of thing. It's very nice. Wherever I go I get a welcome. Then you go and see the Motor Show, it's just the same. Checking the motors. Out in the country, just the same. And erm, these ancient castles and that. I got to know, erm, a question of churches, I got to know which is eh, eh, which was so-and-so. Which age that was. Which so-and-so that was. Which so-and-so and so-and-so. It's very, very nice. [microphone being moved; voice inaudible] In Yarmouth at the time, I nearly learned to speak Norwegian and Finland, talking to them. That's really very handy.
CT: And it's lovely going to all those old windjammers, you know, see how theysleep and how they talk.
CT: And eh, I even took the rowing boat right out to sea about five miles outeh, on a [life ship?]. Landed on that and took me all the way round. See where 01:05:00they put ships in bottles and that sort of thing. It was really lovely.
CT: And eh, as I say, the question of the circus, I was a fan of circus. I didlike the circus. And eh, I used to hang round them. And erm, I got personal letters from Coco the Clown. Erm, Chipperfield. All those lot. And got all the history. Matter of fact the man, I don't know if you heard of the Ringling Circus at eh, New York. America. Well they had two circuses in one. And two rings in one. It's such a vast place. When a performance is on in that ring you don't know which to go and see first!
CT: And eh, I had big brother [probably referring to one of the Ringling Bros]come all the way from America. He heard that I knew, I shan't say all about, but something about the Yarmouth Hippodrome, eh, when it was the circus. And he took all the particulars like you [have] taken.
CT: And he wrote a lovely big book all about it too. Yes, very, very nice.01:06:00
CT: So there's some lovely people. You see, I've taken Royalty too. And theRoyalty've taken me. [laughs]
CT: And erm judges. I've had about five or six erm, erm Prime Ministers. Ehnearly every time I see them on television I've either spoken to, or shaken hands or spoken or taken a photograph. So it's lovely, see. Oh that's so-and-so and so-and-so. Oh that's lovely. Yeah.
VB: Aw, it sounds-- [tape cuts out]
[End of Side A]
[End of interview]