Top Picture: Patricia Driscoll and Richard Green in ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’.
Second Picture: Edinburgh Road Railway Level Crossing into the Dockyard
Picture side bar:Thanks to Roger Dawkins who sent in the three new pictures from the mid 1950’s
Firstly:It was great to meet up with Tom West recently, he was in the UK for a couple of weeks before he went back to his teaching job it Thailand.
Secondly:Welcome to a new school mate Roger Dawkins if anyone would like to get in touch with Roger please let me know.
Thirdly:For those of you who remember cycling down Farlington Avenue from the top to the Havant Road copy and past this link and you will see that it still thrills the young lads today.
Patricia Driscoll is possibly an actress you might very well have completely forgotten all about but as soon as I mention the television programmes ‘Picture Book’ or “The Adventures of Robin Hood” I am sure your memory will rush back to those early days of children’s television in the mid to late 1950’s where for a long time she was almost a permanent fixture.
Patricia Driscoll was born to Irish parents on the 17th December 1927 in the town of Cork in Southern Ireland and over her years as an actress she became well known as much for her charming soft Irish accent as her acting ability. After she had decided on a career in the acting profession when she was in her teens, Patricia's parents thoughtfully sent her off to London to train at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Following her time at RADA, Patricia travelled around the United Kingdom performing with various repertory companies. It was whilst she was with the Manchester Repertory Company that Patricia met another actor Duncan Lamont, whom she later married. Duncan Lamont was a British actor who was born in Lisbon in Portugal and was brought up in Scotland. Strangely he also appeared in several episodes of The Adventures of Robin Hood. Together Patricia and he had two children but unfortunately he died in 1978 of a heart attack at the age of sixty.
As an actress Patricia appeared in many plays and films but it is for her work in the early days of Children’s television that she is best remembered. Her first success in television came with her appearance in 1953, as the presenter of a BBC show especially for children, this was called Whirligi,g and then from 1955 to 1957 she introduced the story programme called “Picture Book”', which was a BBC Television (there was no other channel at the time) series. The programme was broadcast on Mondays as part of the well remembered ‘Watch with Mother’ cycle of programmes. Do you remember the others? They were “Andy Pandy”, “The Wooden Tops”, “Rag, Tag and Bobtail” and, of course, “The Flowerpot Men”? One of the sections of “Picture Book” encouraged children to make things and Patricia became well known for her catch phrase: "Do you think you could do this? - I am sure you could if you tried."
She was tending flowers in the window boxes at her London mews flat, when she received a telephone call from Nettlefold Studios at Walton-on-Thames, where the ITC (Incorporated Television Company) series, The Adventures of Robin Hood was being filmed. That call with its job offer led to Patricia Driscoll appearing in both series three and four as Maid Marian alongside Richard Greene who played Robin Hood. Actually Patricia was the second Maid Marian in the Robin Hood series (the first being played by Bernadette O'Farrell. Another Irish Actress!
So she left ''Picture Book'' in 1957 and her place was taken by Vera McKechnie in a further series that lasted between 1962-63.
Over the years since the mid 1950’s she has appeared in many plays and feature films the last being “Bye-Bye-Bin Laden” as late as 2009. Today she lives quietly in retirement at the age of 84.
We all must have been the first generation who grew up to accept the television and Children’s TV on a day to day basis, I know TV started broadcasting before the war but it was very localised and not aimed at children. We must have been the first!
Stay in touch,
So good to be reminded of Shaw's shop. We lived in Highlands Rd. so I was regularly sent, by Mother, to buy six pounds of potatoes, a few ounces of bacon or a tin of beans or spaghetti (we never knew real spaghetti in those days). Corner shops were part of our lives then. Mr. Shaw kept a large wooden barrel of malt vinegar in the conservatory part of the shop. I adored the acerbic smell, and was often " told off" for "testing" the drips from the tap! Although he sometimes got a bit frazzled when the sweet counter was besieged by the mob, he was a very kindly man. I often ran errands for him on Saturday mornings, and was always rewarded with a bag of assorted sweets with a half crown coin at the bottom. Good old times!
I remember the Eagles Nest on top of Portsdown. Also on Cosham high street there was a cafe that provided a great steak and kidney pie and chips of 15pence. It was near the fruit and veg shop which was opposite the Rocket.
News and Views:
The BBC's Tim Gudgin, from Emsworth, - the voice of Saturday tea-time football results on TV hung up his microphone after more than 60 years on 19th November, the week before his 82nd birthday.
On this day 9th December 1960-1965:-
9/12/1960the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge (granada).
9/12/1961the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
9/12/1962the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
9/12/1963the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
9/12/1964the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
9/12/1965the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.