Well hopefully we have all clung onto the wreckage for another week and I sense things will soon start to improve, but slowly. I hear that EastEnders might resume filming at the BBC Elstree Centre, albeit restricted to storylines that allow distancing on set and perhaps with crew members taking on the role of extras to reduce the number of people involved. Plans are also afoot at Elstree Studios to work out how Strictly Come Dancing can be made in the autumn as it is such a popular programme. It is not easy for producers but it is important to try and maintain a sense of normality for the viewers and bolster public morale.

When a big Hollywood star of yesteryear passes away to the great studio in the sky it does attract media attention, for instance with the loss of Kirk Douglas a few months ago. However most names of the past are not given a mention. I know many of my readers are film fans so here is a round up of some actors we have lost in recent times. Do you recall Michael J Pollard, best remembered for his supporting role in the 1960s film Bonnie And Clyde? Or Robert Walker Jnr, who inherited his acting genes from his father who was a star in his day?

I had the pleasure to meet Nicky Henson, Stuart Whitman, who made it to 92, and of course the great Nicholas Parsons. And that great character actor Michael Medwin, who was ever reliable in so many British films.

I never met but remember Ed ‘Kookie’ Byrnes, who was forever combing his hair in the 1960s TV series 77 Sunset Strip. We have also lost Hollywood television star Robert Conrad, and closer to home Christopher Beeny. You will remember him as Edward the footman in that classic television series Upstairs, Downstairs. I thank them all for the entertainment that gave us. I could go on but that is showbiz.

As we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the Second World War ending in Europe, what was the fate of the studios in Borehamwood during those dark years? The newly built giant studios sited off Elstree Way was taken over, at first to store government files and then for aircraft manufacturing. Luckily it was bombed only once. In 1944 MGM purchased the studio, greatly expanded it and after the war upgraded the facilities.

Elstree Studios closed with the outbreak of the war in 1939 and was taken over to act as a supply facility for the army. As many troops were stationed nearby a ‘garrison theatre’ was created to entertain those in the armed services. During the war Warner Brothers bought a lot of shares in the company that owned Elstree and the decision was made to modernise and expand the facility, hence Elstree did not reopen until three years after VE Day.

What is now the BBC Elstree Centre was then a film studio that was allowed to continue making films, albeit parts of the site was used as a sugar storage facility. The likes of George Formby, Vera Lynn and Old Mother Riley starred in films to boost morale. 75 years plus ago they understood the value of such efforts, as we must today.

Paul Welsh MBE is a Borehamwood writer and historian of Elstree Studios