Bombshell for Blondes on Local Film Set By Melanie Fullard
As you may have heard, there's a movie crew in town filming Girl's Night Out, a British film centred around the VE Day celebrations on May 8th 1945. The main characters are Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret who, it is said, went into London dancing on that very night. Hull's old town is being transformed to resemble iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Ritz.
The film company advertised in the local paper for extras and held auditions at the Royal Station hotel and these were very well attended. I was one of the attendees.
The audition involved having your picture taken whilst holding a card number (a bit usual suspects!). We were then told that we would hear from them.
After a week with no reply I gave them a call and enquired if I had been successful; the auditions had been mostly filled with the city's under-25 drama students whilst I sat like Mrs. Fox in '40s regalia, as I had been instructed to do prior to event.
When I spoke to the assistant, her first question was, 'What's your hair colour?'
'Blonde-highlighted' was the reply.
'Ah, we're having trouble with too many blondes but come in to make up and we'll have a look.'
I turned up at the marquee in Blanket Row and spoke to make up. 'Can't have any bottle blondes.' she told me. 'People didn't dye their hair until the 50's so it's not authentic.'
Strange comment, I thought. Jean Harlow and Veronica Lake etc. were the original blonde bombshells, when during the 30's and 40s peroxide was all the rage. Anyway, I agreed to get my roots sorted out, and return a 'natural' blonde a couple of days later.
Back I went, hoping that I would now fit the criteria. Not in the category of Jean Harlow etc. but a pale imitation.
After all this was not for the starring role, just a face in a large crowd being filmed at night. Not a documentary but a fictional piece based loosely on fact.
Not a chance. The producers were adamant there would be no blonde, the make up lady informed me; 'Not even victory-rolled under a hat?' I asked. No, even that was too much blonde! Seemed to me like some reverse 'Nazism' was occurring?
Why weren't we told before or at audition if the production team knew what they were looking for? I could have saved myself the time and effort.
I was confused so I asked around and heard reports of blonde girls dying their hair brown to get a part. Not for the part of Elizabeth you understand, just an extra! I needed to clarify the facts. Who better to ask than the people who were there for real?
As I work with elderly people, I surveyed the ladies, some now in their late 90s:
'Peggy, did you dye your hair back then?' I asked.
'Course we did, love - if we could get hold of the peroxide, we did it! Ooh, but it did sting! We put gravy browning on our legs and drew the seams on as well if we had to!'
So, there you have it. This lady was one of the very first seven WAFS and had been there for real.
This is not sour grapes but I felt that not only was I misled, but also misinformed. Was I disappointed not to have been chosen? You bet your ration book I was!
It seems we can be asked to stretch our imagination to believe that Princess Elizabeth went out partying, and that Hull Can be mistaken for London if you tart it up, but hair dye - that's going a bit too far!
I told Peggy my story. 'Well, ' she replied, 'ye can tell 'em from me, they know nowt! No blondes? What a load of bleedin' rubbish! '
Sometimes, people like to alter the facts, artistically or otherwise, but the truth is out there!
Opinions - City of Culture: A Writers' Point Of View
As we move ever closer to Decision Day for City of Culture 2017, ThisisUll.com sought out the thoughts and opinions of a section of the community
whose voices are seldom heard and asked how winning City of Culture would benefit local writers.
This was their chance to talk frankly about how the winning City of Culture status might impact on their
Opinions - The End of The Boathouse By Elektro Diesel Photographs by Philip Rhodes
This morning I was informed that as of 1st March 2012, The Boathouse no longer exists as a venue for the Arts here in Hull.
This effectively means that Hull has lost the only place left where Artists could be just that, a place where experimentation was actively encouraged, and where like-minded (or not) creatives would come together and celebrate contemporary arts in all its forms, but mostly, experimental sounds and music.
Opinions - Plea For Bus Shelter By Mrs. Flanagan
Hull City Council, would you please, please consider erecting a bus shelter for the public, at the number 28 stop outside the funeral parlour at the Northpoint shopping centre in Bransholme?
The weather here is absolutely treacherous and I dread taking a daily trip to get my shopping essentials.
Opinions - How Many Fingers Have You Got Up? By Dobski
First of all, shame on you if you may be thinking that I'm talking about a woman gauging her 'capacity', you've got a filthy mind. I'm talking about that age old saying 'you can count your friends on one hand'. My suggestion is that you'll have spare fingers too when you really think about it.
The dictionary definition of a friend varies slightly but is basically someone who you know well, likes you, enjoys your company and respects your opinions.
Opinions - Time For A Football Revolution? By James Marsters
It's been a while since I've been tempted to write a whingeing article and it was this week's announcement of the winning world cup bids for 2018 and 2022 which brought me out of hibernation.
Now, as an Englishman, you might scoff and claim that I am a disgruntled fan who is suffering from an acute bout of sour grapes but I'm being honest when I say that I didn't want England to win the bid in the first place.
Opinions - Merry Christmas From Hull City Council Or Hull Not Fair By Dave Fox
I haven't had a whinge for quite a while now but recently something caught my attention and forced me to put pen to paper.
I've never really had a problem with Hull City Council despite them squandering my money on fibre-glass frogs and turning rush hour into a nightmare by putting road-works on most of our main roads all at the same time.
Whilst stuck in traffic yesterday I noticed a poster issued by Hull City Council which on first glance
Opinions - Big and Daft? By Dobski
A case of Natural Selection?
A question I've often asked myself is, and don't take this literally, but generally, are you less likely to be intelligent, the bigger your physical stature? We've all heard the saying, 'The larger the collar, the lower the IQ!', right?
Reasons I have thought this are ... when you look around at the jobs most big people do, they are usually something that demands a big person. Jobs like doorman
Opinions - Doing Drugs With Your Kids (Is It totally Wrong?) By Dobski
This idea may seem abhorrent at first thought and to most concerned, it probably is beyond even question, but let's think about it a bit.
Of course no-one in their right mind would endorse a combination of mother/father-son/ daughter sat in some squalid flat 'jacking' each other up, or passing a crack-pipe back and forth. To indulge in either of these substances at any age or situation is a path to almost inevitable destruction,
Opinions - Who Were You? By Dobski
Rock 'n' Roll, Teddy-boys, Hippies, Mods and Rockers, Punk, Hip-Hop, Rave, just some of the globally recognised scenes popular culture has spawned since the birth of recorded music as we know it. Scenes created, nurtured, often by a few, picked up on by the masses, and willfully adopted worldwide.
Most members of previous generations can instantly identify, when asked, which of these cults/ movements they associated themselves with as a youth.
Opinions - Arrest The Pope! By Christopher Skolik
To purposefully put out mad and dangerous notions; ('No Condoms, Death is Good, Sahame and Guilt that would seem to lead to Institutional Paedophilia'; do I need to go on here?) as FACTUAL - should be certainly criminal.
He can think this utter tosh, but it should be qualified with a psychological health warning, eg. 'No evidence - may lead to AIDS and mass starvation, lead normal male sezuality into twisted paedophilia', maybe.
Look into his eyes - or those of JP2.
Opinions - Jon Venables: Better a Monster than a No Mark? By Christopher Skolik
Thompson and Venables where already 'monsters' when they met James Bulger. That much is clear. Everyone is agreed on that. Circumstances had left the two 10 year olds so numb that self induced trauma was all they had left.
After the events on the railway track the nation was shocked - but we could have started screening for similar kids. We know the signs, but we howled, and baptised
Opinions - East Riding Writers By Jan Mc Geachie
Perhaps you can solve the mystery of why there is little here to help promote writers here in East Riding?
To enter the New Writing North awards you have to live in Tyne and Wear, the Tees Valley, County Durham or Northumberland. Signposts only have Writers Resource Centres in Sheffield Barnsley and Rotherham. NAWG lists nine writers clubs in Yorkshire, the largest county in England - yet the Wolds remains a literary wilderness.
Opinions - An Ordinary Blokes Blog By Gary Clark
Why am I worried at my age in life? I've been quite successful so far, for an Endike lad. I say that because nothing much was expected of us when were turfed out of school at 15 with a limited education under our belts. Although we did not realise it at the time, until it was too late.
You see we were all in the same boat. No-one knew any better, that's what we did; suffered the boringness of a Secondary school education, then followed our older