Hertsmere Civic Offices – Borehamwood – Thursday afternoon & evening 8th May 2014 –

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Members of the Chain Gang, including Deputy Lieutenant Jo Connell and husband Mike, and High Sheriff Fergus McMullen and his wife Kate

A long day today with many interesting activities and a beautiful buffet dinner at Paul Morris, Mayor of Hertsmere and his wife Linda’s home. Most of the Chain Gang attended and we all met at the Civic offices for a coffee before we were whisked off to a visit of the Elstree UTC.  Elstree UTC is a unique development in educational opportunities for young people and is at the very forefront of the union of technology and creativity. Its basically a school for students who want to be creative in the media world. With sound and vision studios they are learning how to make projects come alive. It was really interesting listening to Moira Green, the Principal, telling us about the UTC and its aims. Back on the minibus  at 3.15 for a trip and tour of Elstree Studios which has firmly established itself as the number one Film and Television Studio in London.  We were introduced to Morris Bright, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, (the studio site is owned by Hertsmere). Morris is also a Director of the studios and gave a short talk about its 86 year history. Elstree has been the studio of choice for many legendary producers and directors from Hitchcock,  Lucas, Spielberg and Kubrick to Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn.  The tour was conducted by Managing Director Roger Morris and we visited the studio complex and the television control rooms. There is an arrangement with Elstree Studios which involves BBC Studios and Post Production investing in the Elstree Studios complex and offering a mix of fully equipped HD television studio spaces. Elstree is a totally independent studio providing seven film and TV stages. The two large stages are the tallest in the UK with a height of 50ft. Stars such as Cliff Richard, Robbie Williams, Kylie, Madonna, Take That, Westlife, Muse and many other artists have found these stages ideal for their tour rehearsals. The Studios also offers workshops, extensive production offices, dressing rooms, wardrobe and make up rooms plus 40 onsite media related support services from lighting to post production and special effects. 
We visited the studio which will host the next series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and finished the tour in the Rushes Bar for drinks and refreshments. At 5.30  the Mayors and Chairs left for an evening buffet dinner at Paul and Linda Morris’ home. What a delightful way to finish a perfect day in the company of many new found friends and aquaintenances. The meal was delicious!
 
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The motley and slightly damp crew outside the soon to be ‘Strictly’ Stage,
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Our perfect hosts Paul and Linda
 
More photos will soon be available on my flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/chairmanlesmead/sets/
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