Monday, May 29, 2017

Readers Write and Monday Miscellany


Yesterday I posted a story about Diana Dors (1931-1984), born Diana Fluck, an English busty, blond sex symbol of the latter half of the 20th century. 

Byter Steve M sent me a lengthy email about his meeting with Diana Dors and I set it out in full below. Following that email is a bit of miscellany about Diana Dors and an idea for a new ongoing series of posts.

Thanks, Steve. 

Steve’s email:
Good morning Otto,

I just got back from my usual Sunday round of visits to the Church, the Synagogue, the Mosque and the Temple (I am not taking any chances!) and there in my Bytes was an article about Swindon and Diana Fluck-Dors!

I spent my formative years living in Stratton St. Margaret, just outside Swindon, and I did in fact have a brush with fame, meeting Diana Dors personally! Sadly, she was in the twilight years of her career, but we locals were spellbound at being in her presence, and when she was invited to open a fete (not the one mentioned in your Bytes) in Stratton St(Saint, not street) Margaret we turned up in droves. It was a great occasion and as I recall, a beautiful day. Ms Dors arrived modestly and somewhat incongruously, in a pink left-hand drive open topped Cadillac along with her long time beau, Alan Lake and two body guards. They did a lap of the field in the car, then stopped near a small stage where Diana made a speech and cut the ribbon. I remember that everyone stared, open mouthed at the glamorous big bosomed blonde, as we had only seen the likes of her in film and on television. To see her live and in the flesh, as it were, was a very impactful experience. I remember she had a fur stole, a very glamorous sparkly dress and a neckline that seemed to plunge to her knees! Her make-up was impeccable, as indeed were her bosoms, and whilst everyone gawped at her clothes and her sparkling jewellery I stared elsewhere and have not stopped staring in that general direction ever since!

At the request of the local Vicar, Diana agreed to sign a few autographs, so we all queued up nervously, waiting for our moment to actually meet some real Hollywood glamour. My time came and Diana scribbled on the scruffy piece of paper I shoved in front of her. I remember standing there, gobsmacked, shaking at the knees, staring at her chest. I suppose she was waiting for me to move on, but I was going nowhere! She handed me the piece of paper back and spoke in that husky voice of hers, “Well, is that what you wanted?”

The moment froze, everyone seemed to stare at me. All my mates, the crowd behind us, the two burly bodyguards and Alan Lake. To this day I don’t know why, but I continued to stare at her chest and replied, “No. I want something else.” There was a sharp intake of breath all around, and Alan Lake gave me a killer stare. Diana huffed and said “So, what is it that you want, sonny?” 
“I want a kiss.” I replied. 
Those who know me well will be the first to admit that I am a quiet, shy wall-flower and don’t have an impertinent bone in my body, so where such an impudent request came from, I will never know. Diana burst out laughing, reached forward and placed an arm on each of my shoulders, stared into my eyes, fluttered her eyelids and said “You cheeky little sod!” Everyone roared with laughter and she gave me a smacker of a kiss on the cheek! She wore bright red lipstick and the imprint of the kiss became visible several minutes later when my blush subsided.

That meeting led to two things. My first sexual experience (I was on my own and it was ten minutes after that kiss, - I just could not get the vision of those beautiful bosoms out of my mind) and a fascination with famous people and the effect they have on mere mortals, like me.

Swindon is a working class old railway town, and it has produced its fair share of celebrities over the years. From my childhood, I recall Justin Hayward from the Moody Blues, Rick Davies from Supertramp, the wonderful Gilbert O’Sullivan (I witnessed his rise to fame through his brother Kevin, a sort of acquaintance more than a friend, who used to drive around in gold Mercedes limousine while we all had beat-up Ford Escorts!) and the eccentric and very funny Julian Clary. Also the world renowned zoologist Desmond Morris, and the rock band XTC. Sports wise, one of the best right-wingers in football, Don Rogers (unknown outside the UK but a God in English soccer circles, and I grew up just one street away from him. All our dad’s drove Hillman Minx’s and Ford Cortina’s but Don swanked around Stratton in a massive Jaguar XJ12.

Ah, Swindon. I still have links through a close family connection who moved out here and rekindled our relationship and many years, and on our property we have a games/party room with a sign near the door naming it the Swindon Outback Pub.

Seeing Diana Dors in your Bytes brought back many memories... good times mostly... ah... Swindon. Thank you Otto!

Steve m

A 2 minute Diana Dors bio:

Diana Mary Fluck was born in Swindon, England, in 1931, a fact which Swindon honoured her in 1991 with a statue of her (notwithstanding that the then Mayor of Swindon in 1960 denounced her for “bringing shame on the town”):

Dors first came to public notice as a Marilyn Monroe-style blonde bombshell, promoted by her first husband Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling. She also became known for the adult parties reportedly held at her house, it later being revealed that she secretly filmed her celebrity guests having sex with men and women provided by her and hubby. She liked to watch the films and kept an archive of the best ones. It inspired the Archbishop of Canterbury to refer to her in a sermon as a “wayward hussy”.

In her later years she showed a genuine talent for TV, recordings and cabaret, and gained new popularity as a regular chat-show guest.

Dors died in 1931 of ovarian cancer, aged 52.

She claimed to have left a large fortune to her son in her will, via a secret code in the possession of her third husband actor Alan Lake. But after Lake’s suicide, this code was never found, and the whereabouts of the fortune remains a mystery.

Some quotes:

"I was the first home-grown sex symbol, rather like Britain`s naughty seaside postcards. When Marilyn Monroe`s first film was shown here [The Asphalt Jungle (1950)], a columnist actually wrote: `How much like our Diana Dors she is`."

Diana Dors to husband Alan Lake: “Will you still love me when I’m old and fat?”
Alan Lake: “I do.”

“I said to this priest, ‘Am I expected to believe that if I went out and had an affair that God was really going to be upset? Okay, thou shalt not kill... steal... but thou shalt not commit adultery? If no one is any the wiser, what the hell difference does it make?’. He was lovely. He told me the Commandments were laid down for a lot of guys living in the desert.”

“The figure was fabulous, but my face was never much, little eyes and lips like rubber tires, I did well because I was the first and only British blonde bombshell.” 

Diana Dors appears on the Sgt Pepper album cover:


Which gives rise to an announcement, new Bytes series: The Sgt Pepper Cover.
It will be a look at the making of the cover and a Who's Who of the people on it.

It starts this coming weekend. 

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