Memorable Moments

The Book Launch Event of On The Buses: The Complete Story

My writing career began  with the publication of On The Buses: The Complete Story published by Apex Publishing Limited and I was to organise a book launch event on Saturday the 3rd of October 2009 which was to be one of the proudest moments of my life.

The venue was The London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London and it was to prove to be a great day. In attendance were family and friends and On The Buses fans and a plethora of On The Buses celebrities. The late Ronnie Wolfe (co-creator and co-writer of On The Buses) graced the event and said a few words and also present were actors and actresses Harry Fielder, Avril Gaynor, Patricia Clapton, Olivia Breeze, the late Hal Dyer and Cheryl Hall.

It filled me with great pride to stand before an audience with such people held in high esteem amongst them and talk in depth about the book. Although the experience of doing such a thing was totally new to me I would like to think I carried myself well throughout the day.

It is certainly a day I will always remember with great fondness.

Meeting The Stars

At the book launch event of On The Buses: The Complete Story i did not expect the chance to get time on my own with the attending celebrities. I realised I would be much sought after to chat, sign copies of the book and answer questions. It therefore came as a great surprise when I received a message from good friend and event photographer Cliff Harris that Hal Dyer had invited me to a glass of wine in a bar adjacent to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. I was thrilled.

Within minutes I was in the company of Hal Dyer and her son and daughter. She was, of course, the wife of the late Michael Robbins (who played Arthur in On The Buses) and appeared in the hit sitcom herself. Hal was charming and down-to-earth and she related quite a few facts about Michael and his reason for leaving On The Buses. It was great chatting alone with her and it is a moment I will always cherish. Sadly, Hal passed away just over three years later but I will always remember that few minutes with Hal with great fondness.

A Revealing Interview

One of the jobs as a published author is to promote your work and one of the ways this is done is through radio interviews. Shortly after On The Buses: The Complete Story was published I attended such an interview in my hometown of Edinburgh with a local radio station called Leith FM.

The radio interviewer was a long standing disc jockey called John Murray and it came as a very pleasant surprise to me when he told me he had interviewed the late great Bob Grant many years earlier for hospital radio in Kirkcaldy, Fife in the 1980s. During my interview that Bob Grant interview was replayed. It was wonderful to hear Bob Grant speak about his early years as an actor, his experiences of On The Buses, his stage career and even an amusing tale about when he was in India. It allowed me to see another side to the actor who was to so sadly take his own life in 2003. Material like this is fairly rare stuff so for me to hear this for the first time was a great experience. Thanks John.

(Large excerpts of this interview are in An A To Z of On The Buses published by Matador Publishing.)

Visiting Locations For The First Time

Working on my fourth book On the Buses: The Filming Locations has been tough work. It has involved plenty of travelling and photography but when you stand at a location that is instantly recognisable from either an episode or spin-off film of On the Buses it is great. Nostalgia hits you and you can picture the legendary cast and crew at work at the exact spot at which you stand. It is even better when it is a tougher location to find and one that is not commonly known as a filming location. The more time consuming it is to discover the location I find that the more rewarding it is when you visit it.

Publishing My Own Book

On the Buses: The Filming Locations is my fourth book to enter publication but stands out from the rest. It will be published under the Caledonian Books Ltd imprint - the publishing company run by myself and my sister. It always a very proud moment when ones book goes into print but when it does so under your own publishing company the sense of achievement is heightened. This publication also differs from my previous books owing to the vast amount of photographs it will contain and that in itself is a challenge garnering these and ensuring they are of a suitable quality. Also the book contains photographs where I have had to add graphics to them which was another challenge not encountered in my previous books. However, the greater the challenge then the greater the sense of achievement.

More memorable moments to follow.....

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