Tuesday 29 March 2016

A Year of Carrying On: Where it all began

I published my first ever Carry On Blogging post a year ago today, 29 March 2015. I had no idea if it would take off but I thought I'd have a damn good go at it. A year on and I'm still loving every minute of it. So here are my first tentative steps into the world of blogging about the Carry On films...

I've been tweeting about the Carry On films for nearly a year now and while I've loved sharing photos, clips and opinions with all my lovely followers, I felt it was time to expand on 140 characters with some proper blogs. So here we go.

I have absolutely adored the Carry On films since I was a child. I clearly remember my first Carry On film experience. After digging about in a bargain bin in Woolworths (RIP) I came upon a video of Carry On Doctor. Encouraged by my mother, for she is to blame, I spent my hard earned pocket money on this comedy classic and the rest is history. 

As an eight year old child the innuendo mostly passed me by. What I loved as a kid was the pantomime quality the films had. Adults looking silly, doing stupid things but obviously having a great time. Men in drag, scary matrons, funny music and lots of people falling over. I still love all that today and yes, as a 32 year old, I do adore the odd ripe innuendo. As an adult, I've come to cherish the comedy actors who appeared in these films. They really were one offs, never to be repeated. Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas really did strike it lucky with their band of actors, chiefly Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey and my own personal favourite: the glorious Joan Sims. I'm pretty sure we'll never see their like again.

I soon became an avid collector of all the Carry On films. I set the video recorder late at night whenever one appeared and watched them religiously. I still do (ok, not the video recording bit). They represent a Britain that never really existed but sneakingly we'd all admit to wishing we could be a part of. It dealt in cliches and at times they were over the top and incredibly politically incorrect. They drifted in and out of fashion but will always be a part of our culture. They scream Britishness and they do make me proud.

I remember the moment I first saw a Carry On film on the big screen. In my teenage years I dragged a friend to a cinema in Glasgow which had organised a showing of six films back to back throughout one rainy Sunday. Apart from a quick trip out for fish and chips I think we managed through every single one. It was magic. A few years later, before the world of work came calling I made a joyful geeky pilgrimage around some of the locations used in the Carry Ons. We visited Pinewood Studios where of course all 31 films were made. We drove round Pinewood Green, featured in many of the films. We visited Maidenhead Town Hall (Doctor, Again Doctor, Behind); I had my picture taken outside the Wedded Bliss Agency in Windsor and the church used in Carry On Matron. It was anorak time and I adored it. I also took the opportunity to do some blue plaque spotting, tracking down Sid's in Ealing, Kenneth Williams' near Great Portland Street, Joan's in Kensington and Hattie Jacques' out at Earls Court.

So enough of my geeky recollections for now. What about this blog? Well I will use it to natter on about all things Carry On. The films themselves, the actors involved, my views, opinions and any interesting tit bits I can find. I'll also encourage feedback and comments from any fellow Carry On aficionados out there - so get in touch via Twitter or leave a comment here on the blog. 

So Carry On Tweeting, Carry On Following and Carry On Commenting! 

Follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan

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