A normal day at the Lewis Collins Friendship Circle
Hi to all the "Lew" fans reading this, ladies and gents!
We would like to introduce ourselves to you all. Here goes: the former "LCFC Team" Ruth, Chris (former secretary), Debbie and Deb. Our team was much bigger at the start; we include Ann (former secretary1) Terry, her husband and Sally, her daughter. Not forgetting "BILL" Lew's dad. And of course Lew, the main man.
Where to start? My name is Ruth and I was a member of the team from 1978-1982, and must say that I loved every minute of it. Such very happy fun times. People I met through Lew and places we the team went. You will read memories from the four of us that have stayed good friends still to this very day.
Myself and Debbie dealt with all the fan mail that came in for Lew and there were lots and lots. Some days there was so much, once the post bag had been emptied we could not see the floor. We all got on great and worked well together. Myself and Debbie went on The Professionals set as did other members of the team from time to time. What a great time we had and, with Lew around, a great laugh. Slush Fund was one of the episodes we saw filmed. I know that a lot of you know each episode's title, so next time you see it think of us behind the camera. Lew was a kind-hearted person and had a wicked sense of humour, and always had me in stitches, to the point of tears running down my cheeks some days. VERY MUCH MISSED. Bill, Lew's dad, was always on hand to oversee things. In those early days we did everything by hand - no computers. Tell a lie: we did have a typewriter. Membership cards that I know a lot of you still have, again all hand-done.
Time was always taken with all the FC membership packs. Lew would sit for hours signing the photos. He always said to us if a fan has taken the trouble to write to him, we always write back. SAE PLEASE - I bet you remember that on every newsletter. Talking of the newsletter, God they were very busy days - all hands to the deck as they say - and sometimes more help was needed from outside. I know some fans were able to come along and give us a hand which we were very grateful for, so if you are one of them that helped out from time to time a great big "THANK YOU" from us. xx
I could go on writing forever but I will pass you over to the other team members, so they can share their memories of Lew with you too. Any questions we will be happy to answer if we can. Starting to sound like the old FC again!
Love Ruth x
In 1980 I decided to apply to help with The Lewis Collins fan club, as at the time my colleagues at work said I would never get to meet the man himself. I was up for the challenge and applied to be part of the team. Fortunately I was accepted and what followed was a series of exciting events and lifelong friendships.
We the "girls" would meet at Lew's place in North London or down in Buckinghamshire to go through the mail and requests for fan club memorabilia such as photos, badges and t-shirts. We would also spend time collating newsletters to go out to each of the fans on a quarterly basis. Lots of stamp licking.
My first meeting with Lew was at his home in North London, when he walked through the room in his bikers leathers, took off his motorbike helmet and said "Alright girls?" Those eyelashes for a man were incredible, not to mention the leather! My first question to him was "ARE YOU AMBIDEXTROUS?" (As in the Profs he was seen holding a gun left- and then right-handed). The girls laughed and Lew said "Where did you get this one Chris?" That was the start of a lifelong friendship with the"LCFC" Team and a period of time with "Bodie" of The Professionals.
Throughout the LCFC years Lew was always an absolute gentleman and a complete laugh and would always make the effort to get back to see us, work permitting. Even when The Profs had stopped filming he would always offer to take us out for drinks, normally to The Old Bull And Bush and in later years The Greyhound in Buckinghamshire. Lew made us feel welcome and part of his team.
Over the years he would attend PR events and always still have time for us. Events such as The Hillingdon Show, Eastcote signing session, This is Your Life and of course the opening of
Who Dares Wins and the after-show party, the team were invited. Memories forever.
Love Deb x
The discos.... We used to have so much fun at the FC discos. Always held at the 10th Para Drill hall in Finchley North London. We all worked very hard to decorate the hall all day before the fun began in the evening. It took us all day. At one we even had a parachute put up by the 10th Para guys. Big thanks goes out to those guys, just in case any of you are reading this. THANK YOU. The music was always great and we thank Chris for organizing that for us. We all dressed up as "FLAPPERS" on one occasion (1920s) - that was a great night. Lew being Lew was up for dressing up too. White jacket, black trousers - he looked the part. Tickets always sold out very quickly so we used to say "first come first served". We so much enjoyed meeting you all on these nights. We know Lew so enjoyed those discos. And again the letters we used to get after saying how much you enjoyed yourselves made us feel well worth doing all the hard work. It is just so very nice to speak to you all today, brings back times for us just like it was yesterday in some ways. Well I will sign off now and hand you over to our great friend Chris (Former secretary)
Love Debbie x
Some time around 1985 or so, Lew invited the group to join him at a local night club. the evening wore on with fun, laughter, and drinks. At some point, Lew must have headed for the snake tank inside the club. One minute I am chatting to friends and enjoying the night and the next I feel a large snake being wrapped around my neck. Thoughtful Lew, with cigar in one hand and snake in the other, thought I'd enjoy a cold reptile on me. The snake proceeded to make itself as comfortable as a necklace. When I felt it start squeezing my neck, I urged Lew to remove it immediately. He thought it was all a good joke, which it was - once the snake was safely back inside its home, and no longer strangling me. Such a joker, that boy.
Love Chris x
After the Friendship Circle shut down the former Team kept in contact on and off over the years with Lew and each other. Every now and then we would meet up. Sometimes Lew would just drop by to spend the evening with us. Sometimes it would just be the girls. As Deb has said in her memories, we were close at the start of the FC and today we still are,a band of sisters that just stayed together as a result of being one family. As you can see from the pub photo from some time back, just the old gang being together. Fantastic as always.
We the former "LCFC Team" would like to send our very best wishes to all Lew's fans today, where ever you are in the world. And we send love and best wishes to Michelle, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron for letting us share our very special memories of our time with Lew. Very much missed by us all. Love Ruth, Debbie, Chris and Deb. xx
Lewis Collins Memorial
Mike Colton of the Allied Special Forces Association has provided a brief article about the above memorial, which the Friendship Circle ladies assisted in organising.