MY MEETING WITH PETER CUSHING

By Fraser Tennant

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I met him in his hometown of Whitstable in Kent, England in July of 1986. I was there with my family on holiday and we had went there specifically with the hope of meeting him. We went to a bookshop he frequented first of all but were told by the owner that he was away. Feeling rather disappointed, we were on the point of leaving Whitstable when we decided to go into the Tudor Tea Rooms (a favourite haunt of Mr. Cushing I later found out). My mother walked in first, then suddenly stopped and turned round, motioning me forward. I walked in, turned a corner and came almost face to face with Peter Cushing.

I was only 15 at the time and was armed with a number of photographs and a copy of his autobiography which had just come out at that time. Feeling intimidated, my father went over and introduced me to Mr. Cushing. I went over and stood face to face with him and had a chat. He had a copy of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with him as he was having his tea. I can only assume this was in preparation for the aborted Abbots Cry Tyburn television film.

Before he left he came over and talked to the rest of my family; about the recent Royal Wedding, House of the Long Shadows film, Lee and Price among other things. He was an absolute gentleman and it really was an amazing experience to meet someone in the flesh that you knew from all those famous characters. For days afterwards I could hardly believe it. The only experience I think could be comparable to that was if I ever get the chance to meet Christopher Lee. Anyway, before he left, he signed my book and pictures as well as posing for a photograph with my father and I.

It was a great day. One which I will not forget for obvious reasons. I was quite upset in August 1994 when I heard that he had passed away. Even so, I still collect his films etc and have recently sent away for a copy of his 1968 Hound of the Baskervilles TV appearance (only a few from this series are left).

THE END

COPYRIGHT FRASER TENNANT, 2002