Growing up in East Yorkshire, there wasn't much opportunity to gather autographs from famous folk. After all, you didn't get many A list stars holidaying at Withernsea or even Bridlington further up the coast. East Yorkshire was a peaceful back water and some would say that the same is true today.
One Saturday in 1964 I was in the "Hammonds" department store in the centre of Hull with my mother when I spotted a famous face from "Dixon of Dock Green" on the BBC. It was Peter Byrne who played Detective Andy Crawford. He was starring in a play at Hull New Theatre. My mother came over to him with me and fortunately she had a notebook with her. I never seemed to have the autograph book handy. Here is Peter Byrne...and here's his autograph...
Hattie Jacques was a legendary comedy star in this country. Here's her image and the autograph she gave me...
Every September, a cricket festival is held at the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough. I was there in September 1964 to see Sir Frank Worrell's XI take on an England XI. Frank Worrell was a legendary West Indian cricketer who hailed originally from Barbados. He even appeared on one of that nation's postage stamps as you cam see at the top of this blogpost. Tragically he died from leukemia just three years after I acquired his autograph. He is buried in Westminster Abbey where last Saturday's coronation occurred...
Of all the autographs I gathered, I am most proud of Chris Chilton's signature. He remains Hull City's all time leading goalscorer and a local legend. He died in a nursing home in 2021 - from dementia that was probably linked to all the years he spent heading footballs
Nowadays I would never consider asking a famous person for his or her autograph. The idea of it is a little demeaning. Even if Elon Musk parked a Tesla vehicle outside our house and the passengers who got out were Madonna, David Attenborough and Naomi Campbell, my autograph book would not make an appearance. Instead I'd probably ask Muskrat how long he was going to be.
I admit that my autographs are not hugely impressive.
Did you collect any worthy autographs yourself? Pray, do tell...
I will say Hattie's signature is the most interesting, though it looks like the first and last names were written by two different people.ReplyDelete
She may have been schizophrenic.Delete
Yes, I have some, I have a few. But they will wait for a post on MY blog. Thanks for the idea, YP.ReplyDelete
But it is MY intellectual property! You cannot do that you villain!Delete
Not a single autograph. My ex husband and I had supper once with a very nice actor, whom my sister in law was trying to get into bed. I didn't realize she was trying to hit on him, he was married! I don't think she ever forgave me for that one. I just enjoyed talking to him.ReplyDelete
Was your sister-in-law also a nurse? It can be difficult to get some patients into bed.Delete
No, she was a drunk.Delete
I've never asked for or received a single famous person's autograph.ReplyDelete
I want to know what you will do with those autographs now?
I will sell the autograph book to you for $250 AUS including postage!Delete
oh! well since you are including postage......what a deal :)Delete
I have an autograph book too but it is filled with autographs from family and friends when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I'm so pleased to have my grandpa's and grandma's signatures along with my parents and my aunt. They signed with their address and phone number and it brings back such sweet memories to me.ReplyDelete
The autograph book with a painted wooden cover had been my father's before it was mine and the first autograph is dated March 22, 1938 and it is signed by Chief Joe Sekakuku from the Hopi tribe whom my Dad saw as a boy when he visited Arizona.
I am glad to hear that a native American got pride of place in the autograph book.Delete
I don't have any famous ones, but I do have my Grandmother's autograph book from early last century, and it is a fascinating mix of poems, beautiful pen and ink drawings, and even watercolour paintings from her friends!ReplyDelete
I have come across similar "autograph books" that serve a very different purpose from just gathering signatures.Delete
I have never owned an autograph book but I own several books signed by their authors.ReplyDelete
The scene you describe with Elon Musk pulling up in front of your house made me chuckle.
I am glad that image was not lost on you! It's nice to have a chuckle.Delete
I started a petition to ban people from collecting autographs. Up to now I have 16,000 signatures.ReplyDelete
Ha-ha! So silly I love it!Delete
No actual autographs, but for a while, in my teens, it seemed the fashion to collect signed photographs of well known celebrities. I think I collected one or two of pop stars and actors of the day, but can't even remember who they were now. They have all popped their socks!ReplyDelete
I guess that Frankie Vaughan, Ronnie Hilton and David Whitfield would have been amongst them.Delete
David Whitfield was my mother's favourite. Never heard of Ronnie Hilton, mine were the Beatles etc...but not Cliff Richard.Delete
I'm not sure they'd be considered worthy of anyone but myself, but I did have an autograph from Aussie rock singer/actor Jon English. I went backstage after his performance in a comedy version of The Mikado and asked him to sign my program, he did and I got a surprise at just how tall he was! He towered over little old me! Years later the program got thrown out by accident :(ReplyDelete
I also got and autograph many years before the JE one, on a napkin by Ross D. Wylie, another Aussie singer, not at all well known, he performed at an "Army" dinner or whatever it was, I don't exactly remember it was so long ago. I still have that signature tucked away somewhere.
What a shame the Jon English autograph got thrown out! He was only 66 when he died.Delete
What if Elon Musk asked for your autograph?ReplyDelete
I can't see that happening as I am a nobody.Delete
Vincent Price, on the back of my business card at the time. Have Elon's car towed.ReplyDelete
Vincent Price! Now he really was a "somebody"!Delete
I never have collected autographs for the same reason you mentioned you wouldn't in today's time. But if the Elon Musk parking his Tesla scenario played out, I wouldn't mind a look through your front window. I'm not above a little ogling.ReplyDelete
A little ogling never did anyone any harm.Delete
I never quite got the excitement of autographs. Plus, I've never really met any famous people so...ReplyDelete
I once had autographs from astronaut Neil Armstrong and Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, but I don't have either one of them now.ReplyDelete
I have two autograph books from my youth, but here they were used for friends to write little verses in, with their names at the end. I should do a post about them now that you've reminded me. Will you be keeping yours or are they something you will let go of now that you have taken photos of some of them?ReplyDelete