I used to attend memorial services for stars I had known or had admired on the screen over the years. The last occasion was a couple of years ago for Philip Madoc, who enjoyed a long career and was always willing to turn up for my events. Although he often played villains he was a fun person and a pleasure to meet.

My memory is slipping a bit but I think the first one I attended was for Dame Anna Neagle in 1986 at Westminster Abbey. Anna of course had once been a resident in both Borehamwood and Elstree in the 1930s and together with her director and producer husband Herbert Wilcox made several highly successful movies in Borehamwood in the pre and post-war years.

At one time if not still, Spring In Park Lane held the record for the most number of admissions to UK cinemas. Those of course were the days when we had 4,500 cinemas and people often attended once or twice a week.

Anna also shot a great war movie called Odette at the old Gate Studios, opposite the present-day railway station in Borehamwood.

Back in the late 1980s I was the programme consultant on a two-part BBC television documentary called Elstree, Britain's Hollywood. We persuaded a chap who had been a runner on that film to climb onto the roof of the then slightly dilapidated Gate Studio. You may well ask why. Well, the studio had originally been built just at the end of the silent era when the proximity of the railway did not matter. However, even when converted for sound proofing it still meant some poor chap had to sit on the roof and sound an alarm when a train was approaching so filming could stop. Naturally trains were then steam driven and not as frequent as nowadays.

I was honoured to invite Dame Anna back to Elstree Studios in 1984 for one of my events and she was great company. It was her last visit after 50 years and she agreed to have a close named after her on the then new housing development on the old MGM backlot, the studio at which she had made Spring In Park Lane 40 years earlier.

I recall attending the service for Peter Cushing at the actors' church in Covent Garden. I remember an ill-looking Paul Eddington being there, sitting next to Joanna Lumley and Donald Sinden, who quipped 'if this church was any colder we will all be joining Peter'.

I must devote a column to my memories of Peter, who was a real gentleman and a lovely human being.

I guess the grandest of these memorial services was for Laurence Olivier at Westminster Abbey in 1989. It was the hottest ticket in town but I managed to cadge an invite so the late Andrew Mitchell, the about-to-retire managing director of Elstree Studios and myself could attend. We were allocated wonderful seats in the front row facing the main aisle so everybody had to pass us, including the procession bearing his various honours, carried by a star-studded cast.

Everybody from the world of theatre and film seemed to be in attendance but alas I cannot recall who made the speeches. Somewhere in the attic I have a video copy taken from a live television coverage in which I can be seen a couple of times, 30 years younger and with hair and a 32-inch waist.

When the service finished it was a bit of a free-for-all as we crowded into the aisle to exit the Abbey. Three images still stick in my memory. Behind us were Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Michael Caine, but they veered off to go out of a side door. A little way in front of us was Joan Collins, ready for the battery of photographers waiting outside. Directly in front of me was a slightly stooped greyed hair gent who seemed happy to blend in with the rest of us unknowns. As we ground to a halt he turned and smiled at me, saying something like 'this is showbiz'. It was the great Jack Lemmon, but on this occasion like us just an extra.

I will recall some of the other occasions another time but that is enough name dropping for another week and hopefully we can travel again down Memory Lane next week.