Blimey. Some things really are too spooky for words. On Wednesday night we lost Steven Wells (“Swells”), a writer who entertained and inspired so many people (including me at a very impressionable age). It’s choking to read the final piece from any writer who knows it’s coming, but in Wells’ case, the final sentence of his final column turned out to be as shocking as anything he’d ever written. Twenty-four hours after publication, Michael Jackson was off to join him.
The story so far: Having just got myself one of those gadgets which shoehorns video signals into a USB port, I’m now going through hundreds of dusty old VHS tapes gradually expiring in the attic. So far, the oldest full-length, otherwise unobtainable Town recording I’ve found is a Sky Sports “Super Sunday” from September 1993, where Spurs came to Portman Road and drew 2-2, thanks to a late equaliser from Jason Dozzell, who we’d just sold to them. Personally, I found the shots of the old North and Churchmans stands as interesting as anything – some good close-ups as they empty out at the end (Sky didn’t seem as quick to cut to the ads or the studio in those days). Anyway, here’s the last 10 minutes of the show, showing Jason’s goal and the post-match interview…
OK, I’ve finally transferred one of the oldest VHS home movies I have to my Mac, probably with only moments to spare before the tape crumbles into a pile of iron oxide. And it is… the “Thriller” sketch from the 1984 Christmas Cabaret at Elvyn Richards Hall, Loughborough University. That’s me in the pink dress. I was born for the role, darlings.
I’m going to make an attempt at remembering the whole cast, but it’s nearly 25 years ago, and there are a few names which seem to have got lost in the recesses of my memory. However, I hope one or two people who were also involved read this and can fill in the blanks. Email me or make use of the comments box.
Cast in order of appearance:
The MC was the Hall Chairman (I think), Andy Collicott [?]
Guy with moon: Marek [surname?]
Joan the Dining Hall Supervisor: Chris Rand
Michael Jackson: Cliff [surname?]
Rocco the Chef: Simon “SQ” Morris
+1 (boy – Mike?)
Vincent Price voiceover by Chris Hunter at Loughborough Campus Radio!
STOP PRESS – writing this inspired me to make some online investigations into Elvyn Richards Hall 2009-style, and to my shock, it appears to have moved into completely new buildings …and I suspect the old ones we knew and loved have been demolished! Bloody hell, ensuite bathrooms and everything! Check out the 360 view too. I don’t know where the new hall is – the university’s website maps need updating – but I’d be fascinated to know. And also what’s become of the old hall.
Thanks to my mate Paul from the great Stuart Darling for sorting me out with a shiny new VHS player, and a tip of the hat to the new Elgato Video Capture, which mean I now have no excuse for not going through that box of video tapes in the loft and putting all the highlights on DVD or online. More to follow
I feel no comment is necessary.