April’s sun

I dipped my toe into 2006. An old back up  CD with all my personal stuff from the old company I worked for: A collection of photos, songs and postcards.   I had never looked back until now at that CD.

It’s strange at times because I have kept everything.  I’m a paper girl, with loads of harddrives and memory sticks scattered all over the place, an old fashioned luddite and ephemerist (or hoarder depending on how you look at it!).  I noticed the estate agent at the end of the road doesn’t appear to even have a printer let alone a computer.  It’s all laptops and clouds. However, I feel unsure about all this.  Everything feels very unsafe hanging up there on a cloud no matter what people say.  During my recent difficult period letters and things that I found were vital.  A paper trail, hidden pieces of paper all buried in the house saved me.  In my obsessive way I could even find out how much the European Lottery Guild or ELG conned my aunt out of thousands of pounds!  Anyway, here’s some stuff on a theme of April….

Cover of Blighty The National Humorous Weekly April 24 1954

Cover of Blighty The National Humorous Weekly April 24 1954


Storyville 40 April May 1972 cover photo Fats Waller is courtesy of Roy Cooke

Storyville 40 April May 1972 cover photo Fats Waller is courtesy of Roy Cooke (Storyville was a Jazz magazine that ran from 1965 -2003) featuring jazz history and discography.

True Story Cover April 1953 No 365Jean Simmons

True Story Cover April 1953 No 365 Jean Simmons cover who co-stars with Victor Mature and Robert Newton in Gabriel Pascal’s screen adaption of Bernard Shaw’s ‘Androcles and the Lion’ for R.K.O (Printed by Ben Johnson and Co., Ltd,. York.

After 12 years I’m finally having to say goodbye to what I would call my home which was in no way perfect but it was my home filled with memories which stretch back to 2005 before I even had my music break which was 2008 when I went to America to work with supremely talented David Baron who is releasing his first solo album Anthem of Stars on Hear & Now Recordings. Two tracks are now available here on Amazon.   I couldn’t have done it if I had had to pay the full price of rent in London. So for that I am so happy.  I went to America several times  I released 3 albums and I travelled more than I had ever dreamed I could do.  I was free.

I’m sad that my aunt died but she was very old, she never had to leave this house and she had me.  She had a very fruitful film extras career in her 80s including playing David Walliams grandmother on the Royal Variety Show, Harry Potter and numerous other films besides and we got on well.  To my astonishment she even has an IMDb page. !

As she was once

However, if mourning her death was one thing what followed was a nightmare.  I am indebted to my boss during this hard time.  I have been unable to do any music. I have managed to ensure that I won’t be made homeless.  I have found somewhere close by to live……

Unmarked unknown postcard

Unmarked unknown postcard


On top of this I developed what they called the 100 day cough, the Adenovirus which travelled from Australia and is related to the hooping cough virus. Despite numerous visits to the nurse and finally the doctor all he could say was ‘that’s a very fruity chest’ and tell me I had another four weeks to go. Even the Queen had it at Christmas and she’s never ill.  I picked it up off someone on the plane coming back from Mexico.

From True Story April 1953 'Our Glorious Queen Part IV

But this hardly bears a mention whilst tragic events take place all over the world.  I turned the News off at the end of my bed about a year ago.  I was on a loop and I couldn’t get out of it.  I’m always listening.  Always worrying.

But I am also a warrior.

Part of article about Rock Hudson from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57

Part of article about Rock Hudson from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57

Here is some ephemera I have found around my room and I can see I have been hoarding.  I work in a private house and I noticed a letter to Rutger Hauer on the hallway table where the post is displayed.  An agent who must have been a real big time lives upstairs.  Occasionally I see letters for Peter O’Toole as well which is all the more strange since he passed away a long time ago!    Suddenly the memories came flooding back and I found this…

Rutger Hauer sent to Lettie who joined the Rutger Hauer fan club some years ago

Rutger Hauer’s office sent this photograph to Lettie who joined the Rutger Hauer fan club some years ago

I joined the Rutger Hauer Fan Club because of the Guinness Adverts and got sent this really quite nice photograph!   I’m still a big fan and saw him recently in one of his earliest roles in a very good film called Turkish Delight (1973).  It is the most successful Dutch film ever made but virtually unknown here.  A classic 70s film if you like that era which I do.  There were no happy endings in the 70s…!

Back to music,  I went to Mexico in February and this was shot on an airplane runway.   I actually liked it in colour but I think in black and white suits the mood. I believe finally ‘If?’ will be out very soon.  I have some promo copies already.  It’s quite down tempo, personal, and it really started so long ago that the songs perhaps are definitely part of my life then than they are perhaps now.  I can’t wait to finish off all the videos.  I will drip feed them out.  I think the next video I will put up will be called ‘If?’ the title of the album which was filmed in the Aquarium lift at the Berlin Radisson Blu Hotel last year.

Lettie in Mexico February 2017

Lettie in Mexico February 2017

I’m glad it’s finished and at 35 minutes it’s short too!

The most I guess upbeat track Volcano produced by David Kosten was inspired by my trip to Sicily and Mount Etna which erupted the other day.  She vents her anger every so often just like I do sadly.

View from the top of Taormina with a view of Etna to the right May 2013

View from the top of Taormina with a view of Etna to the right May 2013

I won on the Grand National  on One for Arthur; the second successful bet I have done in the last six months.

Unmarked and unknown photograph

I had just watched another depressing 70s film with James Caan in it called The Gambler (1974) so I don’t want to get into the habit….

Raphael Tuck & Sons Gem Easter Series No 3 3637

Raphael Tuck & Sons Gem Easter Series No 3 3637 April 14 1911 Dear Jill Just a card to wish you a very happy Easter I know that I should not have time to write to you before. Love to you and to your mother, Maud

Postcard Bonnes Paques

Postcard Bonnes Paques Le Coq dit bonjour a Vignette

Avec un baiser 16 Avril 1911

Avec un baiser 16 Avril 1911

Date unknown from Claire in Germany 'On Friday I'm going to see Zulu finally I hope its just German subtitles and not dubbing ..Happy Easter

Date unknown from Claire in Germany ‘On Friday I’m going to see Zulu finally I hope its just German subtitles and not dubbing ..Happy Easter

The weather is so nice I am definitely up for a game of Miniature Golf…

Miniature Golf in Central Gardens Bournemouth The Photographic Greeting Card Co 1968

Miniature Golf in Central Gardens Bournemouth The Photographic Greeting Card Co 1968 from Lettie’s collection which she believes to be the largest collection of Miniature Golf postcards in the world! (Only because nobody else collects them!)


H A P P Y    E A S T E R !

x x x

Miss Zena Dare postcard

Miss Zena Dare on the back ‘with fond love from Uncle Arthur’ April 22 1905

Yosemite National Park, California date unknown produced by 5 Associates, San Francisco California

Yosemite National Park, California date unknown produced by 5 Associates, San Francisco California

Lettie's lyrics to 'Goodbye'

Lettie’s lyrics to ‘Goodbye’ just found from the album  ‘Age of Solo’ 2008

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Kiss me under the mistletoe

So another year slowly ebbs its way through the last days of December.  I do love this time of year.  I’m a December baby.  On my Birthday I went to the gym for a swim and couldn’t get through the barrier.  I looked up and the lady at the desk in a dead pan voice goes ‘Happy Birthday’. Strange because that was it and then she let me through!  My gym is creepy.  It knows me too well.

But this December there has been tragedies ensuing all over the world.  I used to watch the news because I had TV at the end of my bed.  I moved it six months ago.  I still watch the news but it seems to me the balance of the world is tipping.


From Film Review By F Maurice Speed (Macdonald) 1951-52

Looking back on the year singing with John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell at the London Forum on November 29 was my musical highlight.


John Cooper Clarke and Lettie backstage after gig at London Forum Tuesday November 29 2016

I was very nervous as I only had the soundcheck to rehearse but thankfully it happened during the only week where I haven’t been under the weather in the last two months.  I am so happy that Johnny Remember Me made the BBC 6 playlist.

Last week I went to see Roland Gift who was astounding as ever.  I took this shot after the gig. I love the colours and light.  The night comprised of comedians, Roland Gift performing but also of a meat raffle.  It was great despite the fact I was ill.  It was good to catch up with Dave Barbarossa again who was playing drums.  My pictures were too dark to give Roland justice and Dave always hides behind a symbol.  But what a great band and the keyboardist was playing bass as well as lead lines – astoundingly good.  Over a year ago now Dave and I wrote a song called Hypnotise Me which I really hope we get to record next year.


After Roland Gift gig at Tufnell Park The Dome 15 December 2016 where Dave Barbarossa played


I rushed to get some interesting postcards and Ephemera Fair in Bloomsbury for Christmas and only managed to catch the fair by about 30 minutes.  I was looking for a magazine that said December on it.  I was reading it (and I never really normally go for such magazines as  Woman and Home) and on my way home was horrified by what I found inside.


Woman and Home The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions December 1926.jpg


The lucky stencil Plate from Woman and Home December 1926 The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions


Lucky Stencil From Woman and Home December 1926


From Woman and Home The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions December 1926

It seems so amazing to me that in 1926  Hitler was on the ascent and perhaps even thought of as a rather glamorous figure by the english press. How horrifying to have decorated your home in the Swastika and to think this magazine is called ‘The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions’ I guess it’s only with hindsight that we can look at it like this.

Anyway, on that unsavoury note I just wanted to say a Very Happy Christmas and Best wishes for the New Year.


Aristophot Real Photo Co Ltd London 1909 ‘Best wishes from Mary’


To my dear wife wishing you the best of everything for Xmas Love Bert


23 Dec 1908 Dear Lydia Alice and Will of 6 Gossage Road Plumstead London wishing love to their mother


Raphael Tuck & Sons Christmas Postcard series 1800. Phototyped Austria To Miss Eva Ashling 25 Longfield Road Dover


With Loving Christmas Wishes from Daddy Master Harry Benton



For Albert from Grandmother no date or markings (she almost looks a bit sinister this girl on the right!)


With loving Wishes for happy Xmas from your friend undated


Unused post card printed in Germany

My new album will be out next year called ‘If?’.  It was mastered recently by Tim Young. I’m still working on the films for every song.


Nearly 110 years ago and this was posted on 31 December.  It would have arrived on 31 December.  The post must have been so fast in those days!  Everything seems to be getting worse – the trains, the post…I’m wondering how to get back from Suffolk on December 29 since the whole railway network seems to be at a standstill.


Dated Dec 31 2 on 1906 Waterville ME Miss Emma Raullard Skowhegan ME

I love this postcard and it’s message.


To Kate I wish I could meet you at this time From Johnny undated unmarked Series No E39 Printed in Saxony

Many of these postcards have been distributed to my friends so I feel like they all end up in a good place.  This was sent to my friend Louise a very talented songwriter and singer.


In return she sent me this.  I should get my hair done but it’s just the money…


Carousel Room Raymond of London Brompton Road Produced by John Milner Studios

Thank you so much for listening have a great Christmas and Happy New Year…


Lettie at a friend’s Christmas Party December 2016




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All Hallow’s Eve

This Time It’s Personal has made the album charts and in this review in Louder Than War it is described as nothing less than a “Modern Masterpiece”.  Although my contribution is very small it is my crowning musical achievement.  It has also coincided sadly with the loss of someone close to me who was quite old but without whom my musical journey would have been impossible.  It will all be changing for me in due course it’s just a question of time and what on earth I do next…

But with 31 October just around the corner here is Johnny Remember Me by Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell.

In the meantime I carry on and my feet took me to Bloomsbury for the monthly Postcard Fair.  It’s not for the faint hearted because the more obscure the things I find the more expensive they are but something unique is priceless.

So to the end of October….


Photoplay October 1955 Vol 6 No 10 Cover Ann Miller


Picturegoer National Film Weekly October-28 1950 Cathy O’Donnell 189 High Holborn London WC1

This little girl looks familiar from another postcard I bought last time – what a strange postcard…


On back “Family Associated with Marshall’s Threshing Boxes Gainsborough Lincs”


Bilton’s Marionettes A Real Photograph undated


Concert Party HMS “Fowey” 22 February 1938 Basra

During World War II HMS Fowey picked up survivors from German U Boat attacks, acted as escort for other ships and was deployed in convoy defence in the North Sea.


Unknown Photograph


Unmarked Postcard

They are rather haunting these images….they all have stories.  I said to the dealer how mysterious I felt they all were and he said that was his thing…


Photograph by L’Lorelle from Paris Magazine 7 December 1949

This magazine called Paris is an early dirty magazine produced in Paris of all places!  My friend Giles Lyon who owns the Worlds End Bookshop gave it to me with various other pieces of ephemera.  So many magazines I have never heard of.


The Enchanted Forest “A World of Fantasy in a wooded setting for Young and Young at Heart” Old Forge, New York

On the back it goes:

Peter, Peter Pumpkin-eater

Had a wife and couldn’t keep her; 

He put her in a pumpkin shell

And there he kept her very well

A lot of people say to me that they they didn’t know I had a blog or news page. I can’t seem to get my mailing list together or post enough on Facebook to spread the word which is quite frankly just a small word in the wildnerness but  I just wanted to thank James Sapsard who kindly told me once to keep doing what I do…

Here is a new song which we have just mastered with Tim Young called City – the album ‘If?’ will be out next year….


Lettie on the roof some years ago (Photograph by Ian Hall) – a roof that may be disappearing soon


John Leyton Johnny Remember Me clock bought on Ebay October 2016

Time to reset those clocks…x


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It’s all about Johnny

A massive thank you to both Dr. John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell – the video for ‘Johnny Remember Me‘ is out now.   How extraordinary to be part of this incredible journey.  Thank you so much to Dr. John Cooper Clarke, Hugh Cornwell and Sony Records for not only having me on the album singing but also in the video…

In the film, I play the ghost of Johnny’s dead girlfriend who died a year ago.  The dress which I found on Ebay is quite something!

I will never forget this.  The album ‘This Time It’s Personal‘ is a timeless masterpiece.  A covers album of songs we may know but perhaps may have not heard for years.  Who knew Dr John had such a rich and beautiful baritone voice on top of being one of England’s best loved bards.  I was a huge fan of Snap, Crackle & Bop (1980) but on this excellent album he doesn’t sing. Obviously Hugh Cornwell knew he had a voice !  What a collaboration!  I can’t wait to see the live shows.    Of course Hugh Cornwell’s legendary songwriting talents, musicianship and voice are not such a secret.


Johnny Remember Me by Geoffrey Goddard featured and recorded by John Leyton and produced by Joe Meek Meridian Music Publishing Co Ltd (c) 1961


Johnny Remember Me first page of sheet music Meridian Music Publishing (c) 1961


John Leyton signed photograph from film Krakatoa, East of Java (1969)

But as is my obsession to dig a little deeper into the past I bought a little ephemera relating to the original artist John Leyton.  Joe Meek the legendary producer got his girlfriend a classically trained singer Lissa Gray to sing the original backing vocals in the shower. Despite the song being under censorship for being a death ballad it reached No 1 and stayed there for 6 weeks.  The best article written on the song was in the Financial Times some months ago.  To read it click here:


The song has a dark story to it.

John Leyton who still lives in Essex is not only a very successful musician but also an accomplished actor and one of the very few survivors in the film The Great Escape (1963).


It’s a great album and I personally think the perfect present for all at Christmas!  Which is why I have bought several copies.

I will post again this October but I wanted to keep to the point ..This time it’s important!

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Johnny Remember Me

Coming soon …


I am singing the backing vocals on a song originally recorded by John Leyton.  It’s a fantastic song and was originally banned by the BBC as were all ‘death’ ballads at the time…It’s so exciting for me to be involved in this project with two legends Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell and I can’t wait for the album to come out on October 14 2016. You can preorder the album from here.

I have a few things coming up and I will post shortly about it again which includes another song with Anthony Phillips and James Collins called Sunshine On Your Shoulder as well as finishing off the album with Mark Vernon. It is very difficult to get stuff out there though when you are an unknown but I think and hope the songs may have their own journey and in a way they are a story and a history and they mark my life like chapters.

I had a good time in Berlin on a nearly wholly paid for trip by Universal Music Production- here I am in the NHow Hotel where they put us up (the first rock hotel in Europe!) looking a bit like I’m a JCC and HC fan judging by my outfit!  One lift played electronica music and another played rock.  I think this was in the rock lift.  I called this the pink hotel and the other the blue.

Lettie in the NHow lift Berlin June 2016

Lettie in NHow lift in Berlin Friday 10 June 2016

The aquarium in the Radisson Blu Hotel….  I booked into the hotel on my first night … and I put it on my credit card that never gets paid off…here is a diver cleaning the tank to give you an idea of the size of it!

Cleaning the tank - view from hotel room Radisson Blu Berlin

View from Lettie’s window 9 June 2016

But even more thrilling was seeing my friend Erin Lang

a beautiful singer songwriter and friend…who came with me to Sea Life and came down the AquaDom, the lift.


Erin and the depressed Grouper June 10 2016 at Sea Life Berlin

Here’s a video of us performing when I first met her in London…

Erin will be releasing her album soon here is the link to her website Foundling

Since I wrote last time the whole world has changed.  It’s a brave new world and frightening.  My feeling of this time is perfectly captured in the most extraordinary show I have ever seen by Robert Lepage at the Barbican.  The man with the trumpet beware America.  I was so enraptured by Opium and Needles which plays out in a cube I went twice. A beautiful, extraordinary piece of theatre centred around Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau, which explores loneliness, pain, heartbreak, addiction and genius through enthralling theatrical acrobatics and manoeuvres, with touching moments of comic dialogue from the central character who is going through a painful break up.  Robert Lepage plays two characters.  Miles Davis doesn’t speak but moves around the cube moaning into his trumpet the pain and sorrow he feels and we feel.


Must-See: Canadian Stage’s revamped version of the Robert Lepage hallucinatory classic, Needles and Opium from Toronto Life 2012

I will find some ephemera for next time…

Lettie and Sam Taylor Wood

Me Collectors Room Berlin with video by Sam Taylor-Wood June 10 2016







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May and Halcyon Days

I am writing to celebrate the release ( Halcyon Records) through  Cherry Red Records of a new single ‘Halcyon Days (Days to Remember) written with Anthony Phillips and James Collins.  You can buy the track on iTunes HERE

The video below for the song was created by Rune Ness.  A very talented director, animator and filmmaker.  You can see his videos HERE.

Enjoy on this sunny summer May evening…






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April purple showers

April seems like a culmination of a few deadly months.  It feels like a wave just systematically took away part of our childhood.

Peacock (Photo by Lettie taken on iPhone 6) April 2016

Peacock in flight in April 2016 (Photo by Lettie taken on iPhone 6)

Peacock flying 2016 (Photo by Lettie)

Peacock flying in April 2016 (Photo by Lettie)


Cover of Woman The National Home Weekly Week ending April 14 1951 published by Woman High Holborn London WC1 Telephone Temple Bar 2468 (100 lines)

Cover of Woman The National Home Weekly Week ending April 14 1951 published by Woman High Holborn London WC1 Telephone Temple Bar 2468 (100 lines)

I am very pleased to say on our label Halcyon Records and my dear friend and at times collaborator Anthony Phillips and James Collins we are releasing a track called ‘Halcyon Days (Days to Remember)’ in about four weeks’ time for digital download through Cherry Red.  Rune Ness who has done the most stunning videos for me in the past, now on Vevo, is doing a film for the song and it looks great.  You can see the stills at www.halyconrecords.co.uk.


This was designed by Rune Ness.  Please check out his wonderful site by clicking here.

I can’t remember the last time I picked up my guitar. I miss those hazy, lazy, crazy days when the summers went on for ages.

In the South of France some years ago

In the South of France some years ago

I’m also releasing on May 20 another track on Claps Records called ‘Hungry’.  The track by the fantastic Italian Tartana based DJ Giacomo Donati features myself on vocals.  Keep an eye out for it.  So pleased to be releasing these tracks on Claps Records.  It’s a completely different sound for me.

Munchhaufens Abenfeuer marked 2 June 1926 Nr 4923 Serie 325

Munchhaufens Abenfeuer marked 2 June 1926 Nr 4923 Serie 325

My hope is when me and Mark’s album comes out in the Autumn (fingers crossed!) I will perform a little again.  I have, instead spent more time creating films (which he hasn’t seen and will probably tell me he doesn’t like but since January he’s not be around much so I’ve proceeded without him!)

They are personal and haven’t cost a penny except for some old transfer of 16mm film because they are all made by me and I’m free (!!) I’ve been grappling with Final Cut in a very basic way.  More time has been spent thinking about the films as ideas do not come so easily.  I have been collecting footage for quite some time.  I’ve done about five now.

I turn to April which is now ending.

Dance and Dancer. April 1956 This month's full ballet Guide Edited by Peter Williams Vol 7 No 3jpeg

Dance and Dancer. April 1956 This month’s full ballet Guide Edited by Peter Williams Vol 7 No 3


Film Review by F Maurice Speed Macdonald & Co publishing 1951-52 (cover shows Debra Paget and Louis Jordan in the film Bird of Paradise

Film Review by F Maurice Speed Macdonald & Co publishing 1951-52 (cover shows Debra Paget and Louis Jordan in the film Bird of Paradise

I’ve created my own deadline.  Perhaps that’s what I should do every month. Above are some of the things I bought off Cliff under the Westway who pointed out that Fiona Hawthorne had done a sketch of him so I went looking for it down the Portobello Road.  I found it.

Quick sketch of Cliff under the Westway by Fiona Hawthorne hanging on the wall up the Portobello Road

Quick sketch of Cliff under the Westway by Fiona Hawthorne hanging on the wall up the Portobello Road April 2016

He didn’t mind me taking a photo of him one Sunday morning.  He’s not on the internet so if you are interested in magazine ephemera he is there only on Sundays.  I just can’t get over what great things I find down there.

Cliff under the Westway April 16 2016

Cliff under the Westway April 16 2016

Here are some rather weird images I have found recently at the Bloomsbury Postcard Fair.

Unknown postcard

Unknown postcard


On back is written Frances Jones of Gainsborough Lincs Possibly on 6th Birthday

On back is written Frances Jones of Gainsborough Lincs Possibly on 6th Birthday

Unmarked unknown postcard

Unmarked unknown postcard

This is great this postcard…

A Curious Love Letter undated unmarked on the back

A Curious Love Letter undated unmarked on the back

I just can’t believe what beautiful things we used to create on paper.

Novelty postcard unmarked

Novelty of unmarked postcard

Contents of Novelty unmarked postcard

I saw Jah Wobble at the Dingwalls with Mark and BJ Cole who did an album with him some years ago.   I have seen BJ Cole play a number of times.  He’s a legend but he wasn’t playing that night.  It brought back memories of my support gig for Peter Murphy at that venue some years ago.  Jah Wobble was fantastic.  Never had I fully understood the power of the bass until that gig.

Jah Wobble 14 April 2016

Jah Wobble 14 April 2016 (Photo by Lettie)

The Dingwalls seemed so clean.  I remember watching The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in what I imagine was a smoky filled dive that stank of beer and reefa outside. Last week the venue was packed with young guys probably every bass player in London and the familiar balding heads of blokes who never forget their heroes  ….

Jah Wobble Dingwalls 14 April 2016

Jah Wobble Dingwalls 14 April 2016

I also went to see Rich Hall who, whilst picking out members of the audience, found out that the guy at the front who was seated on his own (cause his mate couldn’t make it) was a Mojo Magazine journalist.  He was excellent as he always is and what a great band so I hope he wrote a great review!

I spent a lot of my twenties in the bars.  Even though I was in a band, I wasted a lot of time.  But maybe nothing is a waste. I always had time to watch a good film and was a pilgrim to the local video shops wherever I was – in Acton, Video City in Notting Hill, Brixton and now my local library.  I’ve been watching the films of Pressburger and Powell. Beautiful, dreamlike and full of colour.

From Film Review by F.Maurice Speed 1951-2 Two sceneces from Tales of Hoffman - London films Powell and Pressburger

From Film Review by F.Maurice Speed 1951-2 Two scenes from Tales of Hoffman – London films Powell and Pressburger

I also watch a lot of film noir.  Gloria Gaynor used to stuff cotton wall in her mouth so she could get that perfect pout.

Gloria Grahame in R.K.O Radio's Roughshod from Film Review 1951-2


Unknown undated little book of magic tricks.jpeg

Unknown undated little book of magic tricks

Over and out for now… x

Unmarked postcard

Unmarked postcard

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