Here’s a picture of a very dapper looking George. I presume at the Gerrard Street Studios in the early ’50s. On the wall centre right is a picture of Norman Wisdom. The other two portraits I recognise but can’t put a name to them.
This is a little bit different! Here’s a classic shot of Pamela Green from The Window Dresser given the Ramon Maiden treatment. Ramon Maiden is an artist from Barcelona inspired by religious and tattoo imagery. Reminds me of Delftware. Lots of great stuff on Ramon’s website. Well worth a peruse. I do like it when contemporary artists find inspiration in the works of Pamela Green and George Harrison Marks. Any artists out their who would like to showcase their work should drop me a line.
Pamela by Lorenzo Di Mauro
Back in 1964 a Harrison Marks photograph of Dawn Grayson, real name Kay Kirkham, wearing only sunglasses and a smile was used for a British Safety Council poster. The caption read “But I always wear my eye protection”. Naturally it caused a bit of a stir. Dawn Grayson, Harrison Marks, the Rev. Gordon Gordon Guinness, the 62 year-old vicar of St. John’s Boscombe, Bournemouth, and a chap from the Safety Council came face to face at the British Safety Council’s headquarters in London, on Monday 19 October, 1964 to discuss the matter.
According to the Daily Express at the time the dialogue went like this
Vicar: It’s salacious propaganda.
Dawn Grayson: If anyone finds anything dirty or sexy in that picture it’s in their minds — not the photo.
Vicar: I feel that a woman’s body is very sacred. It is sensible for her to expose it in certain circumstances, such as to doctors in hospital, not in a striptease club in soho. I feel that a poster like this in a factory will be associated in the minds of the people there with striptease and Soho. I think it will make it far harder for youngsters to keep steady. It is stimulating their desire. It’s making an altogether wrong use of sex appeal.
Dawn Grayson: All I can say if you want to ban nudity you had better put a screen round half the statues in London. I do not see anything sexy about the picture at all. I feel very strongly about this question because my husband, who works in a factory, has had to go to hospital several times to have pieces of steel removed from his eyes because he did not wear safety spectacles.”
Harrison Marks: “Wherever you look in the Vatican there are beautiful nudes. Why is a nude so wonderful in an art galley or a church but something obscene the moment it is taken outside?”
Vicar: Don’t ask me about the Vatican. I’m an ordinary Anglican Vicar.”
Council Controller: There are 1000 eye accidents a week. I see nothing wrong with this poster at all.
Vicar: I think the poster is doing more harm to the morals of the country than good in preventing accidents. It is part of an atmosphere that is in the country. A steady salacious propaganda. I am married and have five children and I am coming across illegitimate children, pregnant unmarried woman and this continuous sex stimulation all the time.
Council Controller: I think it will be one of the greatest safety posters perhaps of all time. We have had 50,000 already and reordered. We are thinking of increasing the size and producing it in colour.
Vicar: The young lady is charming – I think her husband is a very lucky man.
Dawn Grayson: I think the vicar is sweet. Obviously he feels he is doing his job.
A big thank you to the talented Marc of Old Iz New Again for digitally colouring this black and white photo of Pamela Green. His website is definitely worth a peruse. Lots of great images from Ziegfeld girls to Betty Page.
In April 1957, when the first issue of Kamera was ready for the printers, Pamela Green and Harrison Marks decided to go to the Isles of Scilly again — this time taking Marie Deveraux and Lorraine Burnett to work with them. The object of which was not only to take a selection of nudes for their new magazine, but also for a hardcover book entitled Kamera on Location featuring outdoor nudes only. It was their most successful book by far which is reflected in the high price a copy demands today.
In the forward of the book George Harrison Marks talks about going to the Hebrides. According to Pamela’s biography they went to the Isles of Scilly, which actually makes more sense. For all you trivia buffs, the long black wig Pamela occasionally wears in the book was originally made for the French prima ballerina Ludmilla Tchérina, who wore it for her role as Giulietta in the Powell and Pressburger film The Tales of Hoffman.
George Harrison Marks and Pamela Green sometimes dabbled with 3-d photography. The results of which can be seen in Intimate Studies of Beauty No.6. This pocket publication was published by A. Hallé Ltd of London and forms part of a series of at least seven books. Apparently no expense was spared to “combine first class photography, faultless printing and classic posing — all in harmony to capture every aspect of beauty in the female form” and all in 3-D for only 2’6, including spectacles. A bargain for sure!
A set of six lobby cards from the American release of the film As Nature Intended (1961). In America the word Naked in the title was considered to risqué and was dropped. Ironically the US version of the film is far more racy as the UK release had several cuts.
The cinematic tale of Harrison Marks’ nudist feature Naked as Nature Intended, the iconic film that brought us Pamela Green in her birthday suit, is now available as a book. It features behind the scenes exclusives and never before seen pictures. Order online from Amazon.
Early in her career Pamela Green worked for the Pageantry Model Agency at 16 Charing Cross Road, which was run by Pearl Beresford. Here’s one of the many corset ads she did. Feel free to share any ads you may have come across.
As most of the readers of this blog should know Douglas Webb was one of the Dambusters. May 16th is the 70th anniversary of the raid. It was a breathtaking display of daring, ingenuity and self-sacrifice that had a huge effect on the wartime generation and still inspires us today… and rightly so. I only met Doug a few times but it was incredibly humbling to meet a real hero from history. For a list of anniversary events I suggest you take a look Charles Foster’s Dambusters blog. For more information about Doug and the Dams raid check out the following posts of mine.
Pamela Green and Harrison Marks often photographed models that worked at the various clubs scattered around Soho in the ’60s. One such model was Rusty Gaynor who started working for them in 1962. She ended up being the cover girl of Kamera #55 and featured in her very own Kamera Cine Film (nos. 38), entitled Rusty Gaynor. She worked at the Queens Theatre Club on Berwick Street then run by the notorious Jimmy Humphreys who she married.
The polite Jimmy Humphreys was an old boy of Rochester Borstal and Wormwood Scrubs — the Eton and Oxford of the underworld. In 1962 on his release from Dartmoor prison he was taken under the wing of crime boss Bernie Silver. Drilled by Silver in the ways of the Soho underworld, Jimmy learnt fast and was soon entrusted with greater responsibility. From clip-joint manager he went to strip club manager, and was soon a fifty-fifty partner with Silver.
Jimmy owned the lease on seven porn shops and two strip clubs. When the police raided Soho’s porn shops in the ’60s, they would call up Jimmy and offer him the confiscated stock. He would drive down to Scotland Yard, hand over some cash and fill up his white Rolls Royce with the magazines. He had scores of Metropolitan Police detectives on his payroll. The head of the Flying Squad had a fondness for eating at the Savoy. Jimmy felt it prudent to give him an exercise bike.
Jimmy Humphreys may have officiated in the macho world of the crime boss, but when it came to keeping employees in order and looking after the business on a day-to-day basis, Rusty was in charge.
It all started to unravel for them in 1972 when the Sunday Mirror disclosed that the Flying Squad commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Kenneth Drury had been on holiday in Cyprus with Jimmy Humphreys. In the wake of the investigation Kenneth Drury was suspend the resigned. The Yard decided to mount a full-scale investigation into Jimmy’s business dealings. This led to a series of raids on his shops and his fourth story flat on Dean Street.
Rusty Gaynor was jailed for 4 months in September 1972 for unlawfully possessing a pistol and 5 rounds of ammunition. She was arrested when the gun was found on her at Heathrow airport. She was remanded on bail of £1,000 with two £1,000 sureties. Jimmy Humphreys was in Ibiza and she planned to ‘threaten’ him. She ended up just serving one month of her sentence.
Around about this time Rusty was supposedly having an affair with a petty crook called Peter Garfath. Jimmy vowed revenge. One night at the Dauphin Club in George Street, Marylebone, Humphreys and his henchmen caught up with Peter ‘carved him up’. Humphreys role in that night of violence was to get him a sentence of eight years, but before the law closed in on him he fled to the Continent. He was eventually arrested near Amsterdam on June 7th 1973 at the urgent request of the British Police. While awaiting Jimmy’s extradition Rusty was given a three-month suspended jail sentence and £100 fine plus £300 costs for being party to keeping a brothel.
Jimmy Humphreys was eventually sentenced in April 1974 to eight years for grievous bodily harm. Convinced he had been set-up he began to tell all. He opened his diaries in which he had recorded all his dealings with the police. By the time he had given evidence against all the corrupt officers he had wined and dined, 74 had been arrested, 12 had resigned, 28 retired and 13 were jailed. It was the biggest police scandal in a century and two years into his sentence he was rewarded with a royal pardon.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Jimmy and Rusty went to America. Homesick, they eventually returned to London. In 1994 they were sent to prison for living off the earnings of prostitution; Jimmy got twelve months, Rusty got eight. The judge said they had cleared more than £100,000 over a 20-month period in a highly profitable operation. When Jimmy was arrested he apparently asked one of the arresting officers whether ‘something could be done’ about his charge. He was told this is 1993, not 1973.
Jimmy Humphreys and Rusty Gaynor eventually retired to the South Coast. Jimmy died in Hastings on September 22, 2003, aged 73.