Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pygmalion (1938) and Walkers dry cleaners

My parents Bernard Tunstill and Gertrude Tunstill went to see the film Pygmalion on the 5th December 1938, instead of going on honeymoon.Their marriage had to be kept a secret, as in those days only single women were allowed to be employed at Walkers of Haringey (dry cleaners); where my mother Gertrude (aka G, or later mis-heard and known as Jean) was the manageress (in charge of eight assistants) and earned £1.05p (£1.1s) per week.

There is an exterior shot of Piccadilly Circus in the film and in the background can be seen 'The Criterion Theatre' showing the play 'French without tears'. Leslie Howard, one of the stars of Pygmalion, was acting in that play, during the filming of Pygmalion. A little 'in joke' by the film makers. The following year of course, our parents were blessed with the birth of our 'Dear Leader' aka John Tunstill.

Years later in the late 1970s, I was in the audience of a West End play and sitting in front of me in evening dress, was Wendy Hiller. By that time she was in her sixties and still very slim; I remember seeing how the bones in the top of her spine were quite pronounced!Funny, the things one remembers.