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Tony's Facets

Submitted by Tony Catherall

In 1961, Vic and me had been under intense training for our parachute training in Singapore. We had sweated and toiled for six weeks before we were to complete our first descent.
The first picture is of us boarding a Twin Pioneer Aircraft, look, Vic is shorter than me, we were apprehensive of course for our first jump, but as soon as we completed we were up again for the next one. Believe me jumping in Singapore under the blue skies is fantastic, we were to do lots more together.
Twenty years later in 1981, I was in the Fire Service. I played a lot of golf then being in the Surrey Fire Brigade Team, we travelled all over England and Scotland representing our county (with pay of course), my handicap then was (9). I had booked Dickie Henderson for a charity do (for the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund) at the Felbridge Hotel East Grinstead West Sussex. His fee then was 1000,00 + Vat. Whilst having a drink at the bar afterwards he mentioned he was playing in the first ever Bob Hope Classic at the RAC Golf Club at Epsom. As it was for charity again, I offered to Caddy for him, here we are at the club on the first day before we went out with Bob Hope himself and dear Seve Ballesteros, it was a great five hours, lots of laughs.
In my then role as Marketing Co-ordinator at the Fire Brigade HQ at Reigate between 1986-90, I had an idea to purchase a Trident Jet from BA at Heathrow, it's in the background on our drill yard. I sold its facilities for training purposes and it made lots of money for the Surrey County Council. In 1998, we got Pierre Picton to bring Chitty Chitty Bang Bang down for the day and here we are in the lovely machine.
Debbie Greenwood (now working on QVC) was a lovely person, she had recently won the Miss UK title. She was filming a video at my base The Wray Park Centre at Reigate. I arranged all this and here we are standing by an old Fire Brigade pump in the centre.
The 8th June 1994, two days after I had started to work for 340 International Television in Mijas Spain. I had my own TV Sports programme, it turned out to be lots of fun and I interviewed many famous and not so famous people, they were all wonderful people with great stories to tell. My very first interviewee was Paul McNamee, a Wimbledon men's Doubles winner with his partner Paul McNamara. I didn't know it at the time, but as I was interviewing Paul he was auditioning me for further interviews with all the greats of Tennis in the following month at the Lew Hoad Tennis Centre at Mijas, that's another story but it all came to pass.
Afterwards whilst we were having a cup of tea in the canteen I got a message, that I had to rush down to Puerto Banus near Marbella where an up and coming footballer had agreed to be interviewed whilst he was on holiday there with three friends. All the outside broadcast crew drove down and we boarded the huge boat over 50 metres long, 'Blue Chrystal' owned by a former Red Star Brigade Goalkeeper Petrovic. I really then didn't know a lot about the twenty-one year old Manchester United left winger, but was told he was very good and was then worth 15 million pounds.
Apparently I was to be only the second person (after Desmond Lynham) to interview Ryan. We did a seven minute interview, Ryan was great, friendly, cooperative and interesting.
After we had finished, I was then informed that although the pictures were OK, the sound wasn't satisfactory. I went up to Ryan and told him this and said " can we do it again". "Of course" he replied and we sat down again together and went through it all in the heat of a June day in Spain, I still have a copy of it all on VHS. Something like 60 or 70 interviews followed and even now here at Epworth I am still meeting interesting people and hearing their stories, now we put them on new technology called CD's & DVD's, funny how the world changes, during ones lifetime, all starting for me on a small black & white picture from an Agfa camera bought in Gibraltar on our way out to the Far East in 1959, who says I'm old.
I hope you have enjoyed this little story, maybe I can tell you another soon.
Have a great day,
Best Wishes
Anthony E Catherall 
P01: Vic & Tony boarding Twin Pioneer, Singapore 1961.
P02: Tony with Dickie Henderson, RAC Club Epsom,  1980.
P03: Pierre Picton with Tony in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,1988.
P04: Debbie Greenwood & Tony, at Wray Park Centre at Reigate, 7.3.1989.
P05: Paul Mc Namee & Tony, June 8 1984.
P06: Tony & Ryan Giggs, Puerto Banus, June 8 1984.