Well here we are again all good friends and jolly good company, assuming you are old enough to remember such a quote. This week my article is aimed at older readers but in order not to be ageist I must say that means anybody who is old enough to read.

I don't know about you but these days I cannot wait to go to bed especially on cooler nights. No I do not mean for hanky panky! You are awful but I like you. I prefer to watch a dvd and have just finished watching the complete 1950s television series called Mark Saber, about a one-armed private detective who was always helping an inept Scotland Yard to solve a murder or other crime. The title role was played by actor Donald Gray who actually had only one arm.

The series was based at the Danziger Studios in Elstree Village but used locations both locally and in London. I still find them entertaining often because of the character actors who frequently pop up and I had the pleasure to meet in their later years.

Watford Observer: Bernard Cribbins after he received the annual J M Barrie Award for a lifetime of unforgettable work for children. Photo: PA

Bernard Cribbins. Photo: PA

Sadly we have lost two great character actors last week. I refer to David Warner and Bernard Cribbins.

I think everybody remembers Bernard and I had the pleasure to invite him back to Elstree Studios in 1996 for a plaque unveiling honouring Richard Todd.

At the beginning of his film career Bernard had appeared in an Elstree film entitled The Yangtse Incident in the 1950s. I introduced the two of them at the ceremony saying "I guess you both remember working together 40 years ago on that film". Richard looked a bit bemused and Bernard said "You are wrong Paul, we have never met. Richard played the ship's captain and I was a humble seaman in the engine room so we never shared a scene."

Watford Observer: David Warner in 2013. Photo: Rory Lewis http://rorylewisphotography.com/

David Warner in 2013. Photo: Rory Lewis http://rorylewisphotography.com/

I never got to meet David Warner but I always admired his natural acting skill. He has died aged 80 in the showbiz nursing home of Denville Hall, where many famous names have spent their last days from Peggy Mount to Richard Attenborough.

You may not recall his name but he was that loathsome valet to the character played by Billy Zane in the blockbuster Titanic and also was in The Omen and won an American 'TV oscar' called an Emmy for a role in the star studded mini series Masada in 1981. Alas, we often forget the names of character actors but they often can make or break a film or television series and often have longer careers than stars who sometimes come and go.

I recently received an invite to revisit Hollywood which I had the pleasure to visit three times between 1988 and 1997. I think now it is probably a mistake to go back to somewhere which gave you many happy memories.

Let us face it somebody who enjoys watching a one armed 1950s TV detective is not going to be home with the Kardashians or whatever they are called. Plus it will cost money and I rather buy a new extra strong duvet for my bed as the winter bills are going to be awful. Thankyou for your company down Memory Lane.

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