Sunday, September 18, 2011
It Takes a bit of a change
Another great fan story from the January 1980 issue of "The Write Thing." This one was written about a fan encounter with George Harrison at Friar Park (which aren't too easy to come by!) and was written by Denise Nichols.
Angela, Graeme and myself had arrived in Henley on August 12, 1979. We wasted no time in getting down to Friar Park the next day. We were waiting at the gates early in the morning until about 4pm. During this time we were told by many people who kept going in and out of the gates that George was on holiday in Greece.
One gardener became very friendly with us, and when he knew that we wouldn't be able ot see George, took pity on us and told us to wait outside the gates at 5pm on Friday and he would show us around the grounds, to see all the caves and lakes etc. But when Friday the 17th August came he told us that he was upset that he couldn't take us around because George was coming home from Heathrow Airport in 1/2 hour. WHAT? We all screamed!
We waited until 8pm for him in the pouring rain, but no sign of him. Arriving at the gates the next day, the gardener told us that George's plane had been delayed and he'd arrived after 8. Later that day, a white Mercedes came down the road and inside was Terry Doran, Dhani and Dhani's nanny. Dhani was just beautiful, just like his dad, with his flash-fry quality looks already and he's only one!! After we saw Dhani, I just happened to be standing near the gates when I saw this figure walking down the road toward us. Was it George? He was dressed in a red jacket, blue jeans and yellow wellingtons. It certainly looked like George from the way he was walking.
Monday was our last day in Henley, we had to leave by 3pm to catch the bus back to London. The gardeners were surprised to find us still sitting there. They said if they saw George they would tell him that we were still there. not long after that a gold Porsche comes roaring down the road. It was George! I think he actually came down to see us! I couldn't believe I was actually looking at him for a moment, but when he got out for the Porsche and said hello, I would have believed anything! He opened the gates, while Angela, Graeme and myself were still sitting down on the ground. He didn't look too pleased at first to find us sitting there (you know how he just looks right at you). He stood by the gate and asked us what we were doing? Well, it was obvious that we were waiting for him, although you just couldn't tell him that, whilst his gorgeous eyes were focused on oyurs. Then he said he didn't like to have us waiting outside the gates all day. He looked across to where our ruck sacks and my suitcase were and asked, "Have you slept outside here all night?" Angela found her voice and said, "We've only been here for a couple of hours." Then George asked, "Were you here yesterday?" "I replied very softly, "We've been here all week." George then said that he didn't want to have us waiting outside all day, because it looked like an exhibition!
Then he stood there silent for about 5 secs and then smiled a most gorgeous smile. He looked right at me and said, "Are you form Scotland then?" I replied, "Non, I from Great Yarmouth." George said, "Oh, Great Yarmouth!" (and seemed to be thinking of something quietly to himself- probably trying to remember where Gt. Yarmouth is!) but he said, "It makes a bit of a change, having someone come from Great Yarmouth. Nobody ever comes form there. People go there for a holiday." George was still standing by the gates and the 3 of us were still sitting down. George looked at the books and things we had on my suitcase, so I asked him if he would mind signing some things for us. He said, "Sure" and crouched down right in front of me! (gasp!) Angela came round and crouched beside George. George then said, "Then you need to go and enjoy yourself on your holiday."
Then I asked if it was okay for me to take pictures and he said, "oh course it is," so I took some while he was signing some things for us. There's one picture in "Yesterday and Today" (page 46) that has me and Angela going crackers over, so we had him sign that, he gave a grin each time, so he must have been thinking what we were thinking. I had my tape recorder near so I tried to sneak my hand around to turn it on, but I saw George watching me, and after I had it turned on he said, "Stop that." He said it so sexy too! After he signed everything he got up and said, "I'll be going now." We all watched George go back to his Porsche and drive it past the gates. When he got out to close the gates he said, "I'd appreciate it though, if you could go now, because we'll have all these other people hanging around, they may think there's some sort of attraction around here." Who's he kidding? I hadn't noticed that a crowd of people had begun to gather and watch what was going on. We said OK, we're on our way now. George said bye bye and got back into his Porsche.
We were sitting in Falaise Square nearby when I happened to spot Olivia walking around the shops. She was accompanied by Terry Doran. We didn't want to bother her so we just watched her walking until she disappeared around the corner. 20 August 1979 will always be a day to remember for Angela, Graeme and myself, and I hope that we shall have many more splendid days to remember like that one in the future...