Thursday, 23 May 2013
This coming Sunday (26th May 2013) the gentleman of horror, Peter Cushing, would have been 100 years old. As a teenager I was a huge fan. I still am really. I find it very hard to turn over if one of his films are being aired - Not only was I a Hammer aficionado, but a Sherlock Holmes fanatic and he was one of the best.
I met him all too briefly as a teenager - I ventured to London to a signing that both he and Christopher Lee were attending at Forbidden Planet Bookstore I think. The queue was huge. I took along my VHS copy of the Hammer classic Hound of the Baskervilles. My turn came and sensing my nervousness he asked me where I was from. He was astounded that I had travelled from rural Gloucestershire and we had a natter for a while about birds (which he knew an awful lot about) and rivers. He loved the names of my Cotswold streams especially the Windrush and Evenlode. An over zealous shop assistant moved me on as there were rumblings in the queue, but it was worth it!
This Sunday, for the first time since January 1972, BBC4 Extra are airing the radio programme Sounds Natural. Peter is interviewed about his love of the British Countryside and birds.
You may enjoy his lovely voice here in a programme of appreciation (Great Lives from 2008) that Mark Gatiss did for Radio 4.
I thought of him this week as I heard my first cuckoo of the year in the Dorset Purbecks - I think he too would have liked that very much. I'll be raising a glass in his memory this Sunday and I hope you will too.