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.
Never Knowingly Overdressed
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.
At long last the cinematic tale of Harrison Marks’ nudist feature Naked as Nature Intended, the iconic film that brought us Pamela Green in her birthday suit. Behind the scenes exclusives and never before seen pictures. The text is taken from Pamela’s unpublished biography. This hardback book is available to order online from people like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Spread the word — share it on Facebook, write an Amazon review — it all helps. Sample pages below.
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.
From Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom, the team behind 24 Hour Party People, Cock and Bull Story and The Trip, comes the fast, funny and outrageously true story of Paul Raymond, the controversial entrepreneur and property baron who established the Raymond Revue Bar and went on to become Britain’s richest man. With a screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh, The Look of Love co-stars Anna Friel, Imogen Poots and Tamsin Egerton as the women in Raymond’s life, alongside a great roster of British comic talent including Chris Addison, David Walliams, Simon Bird and Matt Lucas.
After starting his show business career as a mind-reader in a cabaret act, Paul Raymond went on to become Britain’s richest man and a modern King Midas. With an entrepreneurial eye and a realisation that sex sells, he began building his empire of gentleman’s clubs, porn magazines and nude theatre — provoking outrage and titillation in equal measure. Raymond’s personal life was as colourful as his revue shows. His marriage to Jean, a nude dancer and choreographer, ended in a difficult divorce when he met Fiona Richmond. His daughter Debbie was the true love of his life, his business partner and heir to his empire — until her tragic and untimely death aged 36. Three weeks later Raymond was named Britain’s richest man and his fortune put at 1.5billion.
The film is based on the book Members Only by my good friend Paul Willetts. While doing the research for the book he manage to interview Pamela Green. Probably the last interview she did. Paul has written two other books of non-fiction – Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia and North Soho 999 and he’s edited four much-praised collections of writing by the bohemian dandy, Julian Maclaren-Ross.
The Look of Love will be released in the UK on 26th April, 2013
I would like to thank Gavcrimson for allowing me to re-post this article from his blog.
I recently managed to get hold of the US version of Naked As Nature Intended (1961), and was pleasantly surprised to find a very different version of the film than the one I’d previously encountered on video in the UK. In fact it turns out the film was completely re-worked for its American release by Crown International. Not only was the narration re-voiced for the American market, but the US version also draws on ‘stronger’ takes than appear in the UK version, and more tantalizingly includes all of the footage cut from the film’s British release version by the censor John Trevelyan in 1961. Material that was generally thought of as being lost, since the film’s original negatives – which are held by the BFI – were cut, and the censored footage was also missing from subsequent UK video releases.
Officially the only BBFC cuts made to the film, re-printed in and quoted here from John Hamilton’s book about Tony Tenser, were:
Remove all shots of girls on beach when they are seen front view, naked or virtually naked, full length.
Remove shot of Pamela posing on the edge of the water, with a filmy scarf in her hair.
Remove all shots of girls, both before and during the game with a ball, when they are seen naked front view, full length”.
Of course this doesn’t really tell the whole story, since back then a lot of censorship took place at a script or post-production stage, and its been well documented that even before the ‘official’ censorship began, Trevelyan axed a couple of scenes from Naked as Nature Intended. Trevelyan seems to have been especially fixated by the idea that the film was “really” about lesbianism, and on the basis of the material cut from the UK version but reinstated for the American release, he seems to have been more concerned with removing that perceived aspect to the film rather than the nudity itself. It’s very hard not to turn Trevelyan into a figure of fun in all of this and portray him as some kind of doddery old fool, shifting through nudist films for any lesbian subtexts and accidental full frontal shots. In fairness we are talking here about a film in which two of the main female characters work as petrol pump attendants, don’t appear to have boyfriends and go on nudist holidays together, so maybe Trevelyan was onto something. Also according to one of my more colourful sources of info for that era there was a bit of chatter within the industry about someone connected to the film (in a none directorial capacity). Now whether “those rumours” about this person were true or not, if this gossip did reach Trevelyan’s ears it would explain why he was so on the look out for any lesbian leanings to the film.
Anyway these are the differences I’ve been able to spot by comparing the British and American versions.
While Naked as Nature Intended is never likely to be regarded as the most exciting film ever made, the added bits and bobs of nudity do give the film more of a pulse. Plus the sustained nudity throughout makes the film play more like a typical American nudie of the era, as opposed to the British version which keeps its audience in suspense with around 40 minutes of travelogue before showing nudity of any kind. What really distinguishes the American version from the British one however is the narration. Whereas the UK narration comes across like something out of a Pathe news reel with a couple of George Harrison Marks’ old music hall one liners thrown in, the American narration is far more obvious in its sexploitation motives.
In particular there are lots of leery ‘carrot on the stick’ type comments to the audience, during the nothing special opening scenes showing the girls working 9 to 5 jobs, emphasizing that the girls will end up taking their clothes off at a nudist camp… eventually. The unnamed American narrator actually soon becomes bored by having to talk over all the British travelogue footage and “introduces” his British friend Cedric to chat through several sequences, at which point the narration actually reverts back to the original Guy Kingsley Poynter narration. Even so our American narrator cant help but occasionally chipping to take the piss, remarking “Oh, that’s a good one” after one of the film’s bad puns and “I’ll treasure that information” after some Kingsley Poynter titbit about Cornwall which is of bugger all interest to Americans.
Given the American narration track was put together by Crown International rather than Marks himself, this version can hardly be considered true to Marks’ original vision, and I suppose a ‘Director’s Cut’ version of the film would include the UK narration track and all of the censored material put back in. Still at least the American version has preserved the material cut from the film, and its existence suggests that they might be versions of other 1960s British horror and sexploitation films existing overseas that managed to sneak back in footage cut from the UK releases. We can but hope.
The photographer George Harrison Marks married Vivienne Warren his second wife in 1963. According to The News of the World at the time Vivienne Warren was the sister of Vicki Martin. I haven’t been able to confirm this. George was notorious for making things up. Different surnames and a big age difference between them raises some questions, however her story is an interesting one nevertheless. If anyone knows any more please add to the post with a comment.
Vicki Martin was Born Valerie Mewes in 1931. She was best friends with Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in the UK (1955). The pair had both worked at Murray’s Club in Soho, where Stephen Ward, of the Profumo Scandal, later met Christine Keeler. Stephen Ward claimed to have met Vicki Martin in a doorway on Oxford Street during a thunderstorm. Ward produced many female protégés and apparently Vicki Martin was the prototype. She was also a friend of the Maharajah of Cooch-Behar, whose horse racing colours, were once prominent on the British turf. Vicki had an affliction for car accidents. Apparently she had 12 of them over four years and was killed outright in her 13th crash.
She one of two people killed when the car she was driving collided with another vehicle on the Henley road near Maidenhead, Berkshire (January 9th 1955). The cars met almost head-on. Miss Martin and the driver of the other car were killed outright.
Miss Martin’s companion, was the Canadian Terence Robertson, author of a number of books and the first proponent of the Jack the Ripper victim Fairy Fay. He claimed Fairy Fay was a murdered in the alleys of Commercial Road on Boxing Night, 1887, while taking a short cut home from a Mitre Square pub.
In the other car were the newly weds Mr and Mrs David Salisbury Haig who were returning from a dance in London. Mr Haig, who was 41, was killed and his wife was injured. They had been married only six weeks. Mr Haig was a scientific officer of the National Coal Board.
The wrecked cars were found by Sir David Salt, of Cookham Berkshire. “The girl was dead on the road.” he said, “and I have since wondered how she came to be on the road, because the door of the car was shut.”
Vicki and the Maharajah of Cooch-Behar had met at a film party for It Started in Paradise (1952), a British drama set in the world of haute couture. Vicki played a model in the film. The actress, Kay Kendall, who was a friend of Stephen Ward’s, also had a part.
Vicki and the Maharajah were both injured in July 1953, when the car in which they were travelling was involved in an accident with a van near Baldock Hertfordshire. They were returning from the races at Newmarket. The Maharajah of Couch-Behar received a severe head injury and Vicki Martin was detained at the hospital with leg injuries.
After the accident she spoke of her romance with her Indian Prince. “I am so very fond of him as I feel he is of me. But there is little hope of our romance coming to anything’, she said. “You see, it is the Tiger’s mother, by the way I call the Maharajah “Tiger’ and he calls me “méchante’, French for naughty girl, who is putting her foot down”.
The Maharajah of Cooch-Behar first marriage took place privately at Cooch-Behar, 1949 to Nancy Valentine of New York, a former screen actress, which is a complete other story.
His second marriage was to the London model Gina (Georgina May) Egan in 1956. Gina played a beauty queen contestant in the British film Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951). Vicki Martin’s friend, Ruth Ellis, had a walk-on part in the same film. Diana Dors and Joan Collins also appear.
On January 31 1970, Terence Robertson took his own life in a New York hotel room. At the time he had been commissioned to write a history of the notorious Canadian Jewish Bronfman family but had found out things they didn’t want him to write about. The Bronfman’s made a fortune selling alcohol to American gangsters during Prohibition. Terence Robertson was found in his room minutes before he died of barbiturate poisoning.
Vicki Martin lived at 75 Cadogan Place, Chelsea, London.
He’s an extremely rare picture of Pamela Green with Rita Landre together. It was taken for the book Pamela that was printed by Luxor Press (ca 1956). George and Pam received a few copies of the book, but they never got paid. Their prints and transparencies were never returned either. The book has 66 pages and cost 18/-. Copies for sale occasionally appear on the Abe Books website .
Every year Pamela Green and George Harrison Marks would send out a custom Christmas card. This is the image from the front of their card in 1961, the year the film Naked as Nature Intended came out. The caption inside reads “Well — Do YOU read the small print on contracts!” To all the readers of this blog season’s greetings and best wishes for the coming year. Have fun.
Jean Sporle was a model who worked for Pamela Green and George Harrison Marks in the early days of Kamera. She was born in London and was evacuated during the Blitz, but returned once the war was over. She got a job as a typist and one holiday with a group of friends she went on a trip to Clacton. “There was a beauty contest advertised on a poster at the pier. All my friends said I should enter so I did for a laugh. And I won! I couldn’t believe it. I can’t remember what the prize was but it was a decent amount of cash. I do remember it was such a giggle.”
Approached by one of the other contestants Jean was asked if she wanted to go on the ‘circuit’. One of her friends persuaded her to enter a local competition in Eastbourne. Local competitions, however, were for local girls and entrants were closely vetted. “I gave the beauty contest circuit up as a bad job, but I’d got a taste for modelling. I decided I’d like to try modelling or be a film extra, so I started going to a café on Gerrard Street where all the would-be actors and actresses hung out. A bit further down the street was a photographer’s studio belonging to Harrison Marks. In the entrance hall they had photographs of glamour models in bikinis. It took me an age to get enough courage to enter.”
A platinum blonde lady called Pamela Green, the photographer’s ‘wife’, greeted Jean. I told them “I’d done some bikini shots for Spick and Span and was looking for more work.” They promptly booked her for a photo shoot. In 1956 Jean was earning £3.50 a week as a typist, for a two-hour shoot she would earn £2. “George was a very kind gent with a fun sense of humour. I was never alone with him, as Pamela would help direct. They were both very good to me. As my confidence grew I was persuaded to go topless. Nudes were all they did really.”
“I was nervous during my first shoot. I couldn’t stop shaking. George and Pam was both very patient. I had to balance on top of a vaulting horse covered in white paper. I sneaked into the darkroom to look at the proofs to make sure they were all right. It was only then I stopped shaking. My mum thought I should have a job that didn’t require me to take my clothes of, but my dad was very proud of me.”
When George and Pam found out Jean could type she ended up working for them in the office. It was around this time that the first few issues of Kamera were being produced. Every one was really excited about it. Jean appeared in the early issues of Kamera featuring on the covers of issue two and twenty-seven.
Jean remembers working in the shop one day when a man came in. He was smartly dressed and gave her a hand written list of magazines he wanted. She collected them together and rang the sale in the till. “They’re not for me, they are for my brother,” he said. “He’s an artist.” After which he quickly left the shop. “It was such a taboo thing back then.”
“I got fired from a temp job for Brook Street. The office they sent me to they had a Kamera calendar up on the wall. It was quickly turned to the page I featured on, July. All the guys walked past my window where I was typing and giving me strange looks, later that day the personal department, or human resources as they call them now, gave me a week’s salary and told me to leave as I was causing a disturbance.”
It wasn’t long before Jean was helping out in the dark room. Once the photos were developed they had to be doctored. Not everything could be shown despite them being “nude”. “I would take the photos and scrape off the pubic area with a razor blade and then pixel in a smooth area with a fine brush and black and white paint. That’s when they were fit for publication.”
“I was always late for work, slipping into to the shop and crawling under the counter asking if George was about only to crawl into his knees. I remember on one occasion, when I was on time, I sat at my desk and opened a drawer to put my bag in and saw a huge spider. I screamed uncontrollably. Everybody came to see what was happening. The spider was a prop. George was laughing his head off saying he wished he had filmed it. I could have had a heart attack!”
One day when Jean was in the reception area making tea, a gentleman came in to buy some books. He said to George pointing at me “Is that Rita Landre?” “At the time my hair was long and the same colour as the wig Pam wore. George saw an opportunity to prove that Rita and Pam were different people, so came over to me told me not to turn round full face on. The gentleman then asked if he could meet me and get sign a photo. George explained I was French, shy and couldn’t speak English. I do not know what would have happened if the chap had spoken French. In the end he settled for a signed photo of Rita in the post.”
Pam and George had a cat called Uncle. As a publicity stunt George pretended that it had gone missing. He advertised in a national paper offering a reward of five pounds, not a bad amount in the sixties. Uncle was put in the dark room out-of-the-way. It wasn’t long before people started turning up with cats in their arms. Uncle escaped, however, and Jean was sent to find him. “I knew he used to go over the roof to Brenda’s next door. Brenda was a prostitute and Uncle used to sleep at the end of her bed. I climbed the stairs and hoped she didn’t have a client. I knocked on the door and said, “Excuse me, madam”. I heard a grunt that seemed to beckon me in. As I opened the door I saw Brenda, lying under a client. She was a big lady in her 50s. She waved a hand at me to come and take Uncle who was curled up on the end of her bed. I grabbed him and charged back down the stairs. Needless to say George did not have to pay up and announced the cat had been found.”
George did quite a few portraits of film and stage stars, which resulted in him getting invites to film premieres and social functions. Just some of the people Jean got to meet were Barbara Windsor, the composer and playwright Leslie Bricusse, the actress Yvonne Romain and Anthony Newley. George drove a Oldsmobile and on one occasion, when he was giving Jean a lift, he was trying negotiate his way out of Lex’s Garage on Brewer Street, just as Dianna Dors was driving her pink Cadillac in. “The language was an education. I don’t remember who got out of whose way.
Having all these contacts it wasn’t long before Jean got her chance to appear in a film. A nervous agent contacted her asking her if she would mind appearing topless. “I didn’t, especially as then they told me they were paying £40 for one day’s filming!” The topless scene was in Cliff Richards first film Serious Charge (1959), the one where he sings Living Doll. In the scene she was in the teenage gang break into the Lido late at night and have a lark.
“I had to dive into the swimming pool, once in a bikini, once wearing a petticoat and once topless. The petticoat was shot for the American market, the bikini for the UK and the topless version for the French. I even got to say a line — Do you think you ought to do that Larry?” The film was accidentally ruined and the whole thing had to be shot again on another day resulting in Jean getting paid £80.
Jean also starred alongside Pamela in the first 8mm striptease film shot by Harrison Marks, called Art for Arts Sake, but more about that another time.
Jean continued with photographic modelling until 1962. “I’d appeared on the front cover of Reveille, had a bikini shoot in News of the World and the West London Observer. I loved seeing myself on a front cover. The attention you got was very flattering. I laugh now when I think of the lads on the stalls of Berwick Street Market treating me like royalty, having a laugh and trying to buy me a cup of coffee.”