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Memories from the English scrap book

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2004-09-06
Saturday May 18th 2002 will definitely go to history as one of my more memorable days. I started the day in London where I visited a friend of mine; Marcus from Sweden He had got an invitation to see a line of Aston Martin cars at Heritage motor centre near Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The model we were most interested in was of course, the new Bond car, Aston Martin Vanquish with a 6.0 litres V12 engine and a prize tag far beyond that of our economy is capable of! We had heard, before going, that there would be a prize draws every half an hour. The prize was having a free ride in of the Aston Martin Vanquishes.

We arrived at 10 a.m. and after an hour nobody had gone with the Vanquish. So, we asked at the reception and they said that they were waiting for the person who had number 2… We said it ‘could have’ been us because we wrote our names over four tickets in the draw and maybe we missed a spot on the winning ticket. This was our lucky strike because they accepted and we became the ones going first. Since the car is two-seated (we were told that babies could possibly go in the back seat though) I went first and then Marcus. From that point I was quite excited, I mean, the car has 460 horse powers and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds! (In Sweden there is no car of this kind in sight where I live)

When the driver (we weren’t aloud to drive, I can’t understand why!) also told me that this car was one of the cars used at the initial press conference at Pinewood Studios I was overwhelmed. After getting back from this test drive and calming down for some minutes, we went to Northampton for the next ‘Bond stop’.

When we arrived at the Moat House Hotel where the Autographica show was held we came to the conclusion that we were a little bit late (not unusual for me) because it was a big queue to the room where all the Bond celebrities had their tables.

Anyway, we started to queue and after some time, when we got closer to the room, a gigantic hand appeared… Of course it was the hand of “Jaws’ or Richard Kiel actually. Another half an hour later we had entered the room and first I spoke a bit with Dave Worrall, Bond expert and president of James Bond Collectors Club.

I met, spoke and took autographs of:

Caroline Munro
Shane Rimmer
Lois Chiles
George Lazenby
Maud Adams
Richard Kiel
Eunice Gayson
Valerie Leon

All of them were very friendly and posed gladly in front of our camera; the kindest of them all were Mrs. Munro because she remembered me from a previous convention in Basildon in December 2000.

After meeting the Bond people we were very satisfied and we thought the show had been professionally organized, so we went back to the London area. On the way down we decided to visit two other Bond related places, Stoke Park Golf Club and Pinewood Studios. These locations are very close to each other even if we didn’t know exactly where they were situated but nothing is impossible for stubborn Bond fans.

Arriving at the golf club was also quite exciting, partly because being a Bond fan and also because I’m a amateur golfer myself. The staff at the club was very kind and helpful and told us a little about the filming of GOLDFINGER and TOMORROW NEVER DIES (Part of “Bridget Jones’ diary’ was also shot at this golf club). The clubhouse was enormously impressive but the pro shop from GOLDFINGER was removed. From the terrace I thought I saw the church from the pre-title sequence in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY but back in Sweden I realised it wasn’t that church… I know the Stoke Pogue Church is close to the golf club though, but seeing the church will be saved for another Bond trip some time in the future then.

Leaving the golf club wasn’t easy although we had the chance to stay, so to speak. There was a wedding going on and we were invited for a drink but politely said no and admitted we weren’t related to the wedding couple.

The final stop of our tour was the heart of itself and one of the major reasons for my hobby, Pinewood Studios. The stop was the shortest of the ones we had done during the day, although it was quite gratifying. We went over to the entrance, where limousines passed despite it were 7.30 pm on a Saturday.

We did get a glimpse of the 007 stage which is gigantic as it's obviously Europe's largest film studio.

Back in London we were tired and exhausted but it didn’t take long before thinking of going in Bond’s footsteps once again.

Anders Frejdh © 2006 From Sweden With Love

(This article was published in issue 19 of James Bond Collectors Club's publication Collecting 007)
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