For 41 years from 1970 Louise and I made props for film and television. For most of that time we were at Shepperton Studios until they pulled down our workshop in 2011 to make way for a perimeter road around the site. Shades of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – well, it had been our world.
For all that time we kept a diary. It would have been impossible to operate without one. One Friday in the 1990’s we sent in props for 15 different shows to the BBC – six A4 pages of props, four pages taped to the existing two page a day diary. We still have all the diaries, the bare bones of memories, standing in rows in the loft. It is these that I intend to flesh out, fill in the details, but like a real memory it might appear fragmented. For the moment I am not going to worry about chronological order, just get the damn thing started.
And why ‘The Moon in our Eyes’? We never did have stars in our eyes but we certainly worked at night a lot.
I gave up the Civil Service on the 28th February 1973 to work full time making props. Thirty-eight years later on the same date we finally closed our workshop. It was to be pulled down and we sprayed a ten-foot stencil across the front and side of the building. ‘That’s all folks’ in the style of the Loony Tunes cartoon. It seemed fitting. It had been very loony at times, hovering on the edge of the real world, beset with problems created in the imagination of others; often exaggerated to the point of despair. Sometimes the only thing to do was laugh and carry on, as the world slipped into chaos behind you. Like a cartoon is would soon be over. Tomorrow would bring its next set of problems. Yesterday’s panics were all in the skip, as was our workshop three days later.