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Monthly Meetings

The UCVC meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month at the 'Thorney Park Golf Club', Thorney Mill Lane, Iver, Bucks. SL0 9AL (sometimes on 2nd Wednesday in December) starting at 20:00.

21 March  - A Talk By: Mike Payne - The Western films.

I must admit when I saw this on Mike's list I could not resist it. I have always liked “cowboys and Indians” films. As I am rather old my taste are for the 1950's films.

I did not like Shane (1953) but most people did, for me, there was not enough action.

I think the best one is Winchester 73 which is in Black & White. The film is the standard cowboy type, with James Stewart chasing the man who killed his father. They meet at a shooting contest, the prize is a special Winchester 73 rifle, which is very accurate (One of One Thousand) Stewart wins the rifle but the “badie” steals the gun, after fights with Indians & outlaws Stewart gets his man and the rifle.

I think that this film started my interest in Winchester's, when I was target shooting I bought a Winchester Model 52c, it was a very good .22 target rifle, and I did quite well with it. Not good enough for the British team but I was in the County team, until I stopped shooting (got married and when our daughter came along I could not afford the ammunition)  

An expert from the Winchester Company Herb Parsons did the trick shooting, but he trained James Steward in the use of the gun.

My next film is The Gun Fight at the OK Corral (1957). This is based on the true gunfight (which lasted about 30 seconds) in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona with Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holiday, with Earp's two brothers against the Clanton gang, of which three members were killed, Tom & Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton.

The day after I saw this film I started my two years National Service, that's one of the reasons why it’s in my mind. Twenty three years later we went on holiday to the West Coast of USA we stayed at Tucson. I left Anne & Caroline there and I drove to Tombstone. I went to the OK Corral, at the time they had “like” cardboard cutouts where the men stood at the start of the fight.

I also went to the Boot Hill cemetery, where there are about 250 interments, including the McLaury's & Billy Clanton. On their grave marker is says that they were murdered on the streets. There was one for a John Heath who was taken from the jail & hanged by a mob from Bisham (a nearby town)   I found this place very interesting

My final film is the 1959 Rio Bravo with John Wayne, who is the town sheriff. He has arrested the brother of a powerful local rancher. They have to keep him in jail until a US Marshal arrives to collect him. With the help of a drunken deputy, Dean Martin, a young gunfighter Ricky Nelson, and a cripple, Walter Brennam, they hold the ranchers men at bay. It ends when the law men throw sticks of dynamite at a warehouse where the ranchers’ men are & blow it up. This was filmed at Old Tucson Studios, Arizona.  

18 April - A Talk By: Andrea Cameron - History of Hounslow.