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Autograph collection could be worth a few bob...

Geoffrey Shryhane's memories and musings in the Wigan Observer every Tuesday
Geoffrey Shryhane's memories and musings in the Wigan Observer every Tuesday

Our top columnist Geoffrey Shryhane reveals how it is not the done thing for a reporter to ask celebs for their autographs...

When the years have rolled by and times have changed, some folks say their biggest enemy is time.

Too much time to fill the hours once occupied by work.

True, some folks are glad to retire but those who have enjoyed going to work every day for 40 years have a different story to tell. Especially those who have no appetite for “do it yourself” jobs in the home.

An article in one of the glossy magazines dealt with senior citizens refinding pleasure in old hobbies. And it struck a chord.

One of my absorbing hobbies – the only one, in fact – was collecting autographs. Not just soap stars, but serious stuff. Prime Ministers, Hollywood greats and folks who had really made their mark.

The signatures were houses in a special yellow-bound album and it was tucked away years ago.

Downsizing an old wardrobe I came across the book – and took quiet pleasure in seeing those signatures.

Having done a lot of show business reporting, I was always aware that it was not done for us hacks to ask for the signatures of those we were interviewing. Jack Lemon and Charlton Heston.

My pages of autographs were obtained by writing a note and sending a stamped addressed envelope. It worked almost every time.

So whose inky signatures dance through my old book.?

Well there’s Ginger Rogers, Noel Coward, Charlie Chaplain, Field Marshal Montgomery, Prime Ministers Harold Wilson, and Edward Heath, writers Hammond Innes, Jeffrey Archer, Alan

Bennett and Agatha Christie, artists Lowry and Henry Moore and actors Mae West, Jimmy Stewart, Lord Olivier, the full Dad’s Army cast, not forgetting George Best.

The autographs are worth a bob or two... so if you see me driving my new Jag, please wave.