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Poetry Magnum Opus

Memories of Ealing Studios

Frank E Gibbard

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Frank E Gibbard

The whitewashed walls of Ealing Studios soared,

Concealing from my wide eyes its magic mystery

When as a youth I saw it across the Walpole* swards,

Unknowing the part it played in cinematic history.


Today from my cheap seat in the leafy green

Sound and vision plays in mind on inner screen.

I swear I heard old Titchfield Thunderbolt rattle by,

And saw Spitfires sweep and splutter cross the sky.


Tough Jack Hawkins, tender urbane Alec Guinness

Gentle spoofing of we British was their business;

Distillation of sensation and true people feeling

A compilation of a nation so produced at Ealing.


Their films were renowned for humour rarely found

In contemporary drawing room play

Or witless Talkies almost cursed by gift of sound

That typified the stifness of their classbound day.


On sunny days of yore in this same park

Turbulent storms raged in studio’s dark,

Ersatz naval craft bobbed in the Ealing tank

Sound effect exploded and “his majesty’s models” sank.


{* Walpole Park adjoined, and still does, Eal. Studios as shown in my new avitar is producing films to this day}


Memories of Ealing Studios (part 2)


I was once a snivelling short-trousered little boy,

Mum held hands with me her then pride and joy.

Now I am in adult mode reflecting on my family tale,

An anecdotal road I often take and any folks regale,

The day Mum met our own film idol Dirk Bogarde

Who Mum saw looking at me curiously very hard.

Apparently he told her they needed kiddies for a part,

But she had shopping so a budding career didn’t start.

As a story it has a subtle kick in the tail I feel anyway

Dirk’s little secret, not yet out then, that he was a gay.

Supping a pint in the pub near Ealing Studio I can reflect

And to the photograph up there of Mr Bogarde, geneflect.

It conveys to me this flashback a beguiling intriguing thought

If Mum had taken another tack, what fate might have brought.

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

this is well crafted frank. i enjoyed reading your tidbit on history. i love this because it protrays such a wonderful tale about a movie(s) prodicing set of stages. magnifecento



Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Frank E Gibbard

That's very nice of you Larse glad you liked. Frank

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Hi Frank,


I can appreciate how you are in adult mode reflecting on (your) family tale. Verse is certainly a good medium for such contemplation. If Mum had taken another tack, we probably would not be enjoying your poetry now.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Hi Frank,


Amazing how you've managed to combine a history of British Cinema with your own dreams and associations of this famous studio! The rumination on what might have been had your mother taken up the offer on your behalf, in the second part of the poem, has a great touch of irony and wistfulness .



I enjoyed this.







Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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