Hello once again to my fellow time travellers as we go back to see what was in production at Elstree Studios in previous decades in years ending with the number eight.

We start with the first year productions after the war in 1948. The studio was closed from 1939 and underwent a major rebuild once hostilities had ended.

The first major film was a wartime drama called The Hasty Heart starring new contract star Richard Todd, who many years later told me he was cast after being spotted by the director at a studio cocktail party.

He recalled: "I was not long out of the army but luckily I had played the role on stage and I became a star overnight with an Oscar nomination and was under contract to Elstree until the early 1960s."

Warner Brothers had become part owner of the studios parent company and promised to send over their top stars to film at Elstree. In reality they sent over a second string contract actor named Ronald Reagan who went on to become a popular US president. Can you imagine the odds of that happening?

By 1958 Elstree was in full swing with hundreds of staff employed full time and operating apprentice schemes. By comparison today there are about 15 permanent staff, with most services outsourced and productions arriving with their own crews.

The studio was trying its luck with a television series called The Flying Doctor and attracting Laurence Olivier, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas to star in the movie version of The Devil's Disciple. Apparently Olivier used to annoy his Hollywood co-stars by constantly mixing up their names.

Holding up the kitchen sink vogue of drama was a young Richard Burton in Look Back In Anger.

The swinging sixties brought changes and by 1968 Elstree was becoming home to a great deal more television series such as The Saint, Randall & Hopkirk and Dept S, which still have their fans 50 years later.

Films were still being made and Secret Ceremony brought Liz Taylor, Robert Mitchum and Mia Farrow to the studio, although it is a now forgotten movie.

1978 saw things slowing down a bit and by now the facility had gone 'four wall', basically meaning most of the staff had been made redundant and freelancers were now the order of the day.

I guess the most famous movie shot that year was The Empire Strikes Back and a giant new stage had been built at the rear of the site to house some of the filming. This saved George Lucas having to shoot some of the scenes at the giant stage at Shepperton as had been necessary with Star Wars. The stage stood for a decade until Brent Walker demolished it and the metal framework was dumped onto the backlot. Shepperton wanted to buy the material as needed for a new smaller stage they were building. Brent Walker refused so the Shepperton studio manager set up a simple £100 company and pretended to be another buyer wanting it for scrap. Brent Walker willingly sold the material, so ironically parts of a stage built at Elstree to avoid using Shepperton ended up creating a new stage there! Not a lot of people know that.

I also remember visiting the sets and conducting interviews with two other films in production in 1978. The first was a star-studded Jack the Ripper thriller called Murder By Decree which I recommend is worth a view even today. I got to meet the great James Mason and to walk in the steps of the Ripper on the cobbled streets of Whitechapel as created on a sound stage.

The other production was a made for television movie called A Man Called Intrepid which gave me the chance to interview David Niven but that is a story for another day.

The last year of the old studio, as I call it, was 1988 and I became chairman of the Save Elstree Studios campaign that was destined to last eight years. We lost many of the buildings to make was for a 12-acre Tesco superstore but again that is something to recall on another occasion. I cannot believe that was 30 years ago which is even more worrying as a young friend of mine has just in a well meaning way "don't worry you have got at least 10 years ahead of you!" Time for a stiff drink, methinks and remember nostalgia never dies.