1966 Norman Rhodes
The visit by actor Victor Maddern to Mayfield in 1966
I had never seen an actor other than on television or the cinema screen. So to hear that one was going to talk to some of the school was very exciting. The venue was the library on the top floor of the school.
There was a stage in there and rows of chairs were arranged in front of it for us to sit on. When Victor Maddern walked in, alongside one of the teachers, a deep silence fell upon the whole area. Some teachers with free periods had gathered at the back of the library, and they started to clap and welcome our guest. We all soon follwed. Victor Maddern was introduced and he began to talk about his career in films, television and the entertaiment industry in general. He came across as a very down to earth and interesting person, talking to us as if we had all known him for some time. I will always remember him as a local person (he was born in Seven Kings) from a local school (he attended Beal Modern) who made good as an actor and worked alongside great stars of stage, screen and television including; David Niven, Sir Michael Redgrave, Dirk Bogarde, Sir John Mills and Trevor Howard.
The photo shows Victor in the role of Sergeant Owen in the 1955 film, ‘Carrington VC ‘. During his acting career Victor Maddern performed in more than 200 films and also appeared on television and the stage. Film appearances include: Fabian of the Yard, Footsteps in the Fog, I’m All Right Jack, Cockleshell Heroes, Circus of Fear, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Magic Christian and several of the ‘Carry On’ films.
Television credits include: The Adventures of Robin Hood, Gideon’s Way, Mogul, The Avengers, The Baron, Dixon of Dock Green, The Prisoner, Doctor Who (in the serial Fury from the Deep), The Saint, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Softly Softly, Miss Marple, The Beiderbecke Tapes, The Bill, The Dick Emery Show and The Darling Buds of May.
I remember this event very well. He had forgotten the date and turned up late. Hicks was very much relieved. Although always playing the cockney geyser, he came over so Hollywood, what with the soft shoes and – am I making this up(?) – the pink Cadillac. From Upminster, I recall.