[Transcriber: Luci Cummings]
BECTU History Project - Interview No. 360
Date of Transcription: 2001-09-03
Date of Interview: 1987-10-26
Interviewer: Roy Fowler
Interviewee: Ted Candy
Tape 1, Side 1
Roy Fowler: The following recording was made by the ACTT History Project (later the BECTU History Project). It was made on the 26th October 1987 at 111 Wardour Street in London. The subject is Ted Candy; the interviewer is Roy Fowler.
Roy Fowler: Ted, can you tell me when and where you were born?
Ted Candy: I was born in Bedford, er...in 1920 - 2nd January 1920.
Roy Fowler: Right. So what did your father do by way of earning money?
Ted Candy: My father, he died when I was very young, and my mother brought me up with my...erm...We had a big family and she looked after us - she did it all.
Roy Fowler: Yes...
Ted Candy: Um...I went to an ordinary elementary school. I left school at 14. I liked school, I enjoyed it - I was good at some things and bad at others, the same as thousands of people. And at 14, well you've got to get a job. So I did. Um...I left school on the Friday and I started work on the Monday at half-past seven.
Roy Fowler: You were quite lucky - that was the time of the Depression.
Ted Candy: Yes, well that was in 1934. I got a job and I was paid uh...it was 10 shillings a week. That's fifty pence today. It doesn't sound much, but it was quite a lot in those days. You've got to remember that you could buy a lot of things very cheaply in those days. You could buy a, you know I think a bottle of whisky was about three and sixpence. And so, in comparison, it was quite worthwhile. Um...I stayed...I went to work...I was going to be an electrical engineer. I was very interested in that at the time. And then I was ill - I had rheumatic fever, and one or two other things. And I got...I went to a...I got a job on a newspaper. And I was going to...I was a photographer...I was gonna eventually be a photographer, I worked in the dark rooms and, er, I learned a lot about photography, it intrigued me and I liked it. And working for a newspaper, you were independent, you could have a ball. And they were a good crowd of people.
Roy Fowler: That was the local newspaper was it?
Ted Candy: Yes, the Bedfordshire Times. Um...then I was...unfortunately I had three heart attacks when I was 18, um, which kind of stopped me a bit. Then I went to work for the Luton News they ran a series of evening papers as well. And they work - you worked all the hours that God sent, believe me, you did. It was hard work but you learned a lot. And one way of learning is to be in on everything. And, er, then the war started. Well, I knew...I remember the ticker tape, 1939 about the Germans had crossed the Polish border, and the world seemed to stop. You thought it was all gonna be like 1914-18 over again. Because that's the only war you knew about. And of course, it wasn't going to be like that, but you thought so. And there was a certain amount of tension about it all. People took it very calmly, but...that's how it happened to me. Well then, you see, there were restrictions on zinc, which they made...um...the blocks to print the pictures in the newspapers, so there was going to be a restriction on it. So I thought well, the one thing that was top of the pole in those days was the newsreels. They were in everything, did everything. So I wrote to...there were five newsreel companies in those days. That was Paramount, Universal, Pathe, Movietone and Gaumont British. And I wrote to Gaumont British and I wrote to Paramount and I...um...I didn't write to Pathe, but, um, I wrote, I think it was to Universal, I'm not sure. Can't remember now. But anyway, I got an answer from Gaumont British. And they said, well would you like to come up and see us. So I did, and I saw, er, a gentleman by the name of Bishop - Bert Bishop. He was a nice man, he was the production manager for Gaumont's. And then I had to see a Mr Castleton Knight, he was the boss in those days. And I went back home, carried on working and then I got a letter from them saying if you'd like to come up, we'd be pleased to see you, we'll give you a job. And I got 4 pounds, 10 shillings...a week. And, um...I worked for Gaumont's, and after...I went with Eddie Edmonds who was a great character, lovely little fellow. He'd been with Gaumont's since...ooh...1914, he took pictures during the 1914-18 war. Well he was wonderful character, lovely man - frightened to death of his wife, but lovely man. And he married a widow with five children, he had good reason to be frightened of her. Um...then there was Peter Cannon, who was a little chap connected with the Kellino brothers he was. But he was a brilliant, good cameraman, solid as a rock. Um...I'm telling you, these were the first people I met. Er, then there was Ted Hawkins who used to...he was with Paramount, then he came to Gaumont's, and then he went back to Paramount. Um...Bill Hooker he was a soundman, um...They were the principal characters anyway.
Roy Fowler: This is what - 1940?
Ted Candy: Just, yes...um...yes, round about that time - 1940/41. Then the next thing I um, I took pictures in those days. The first job I had to do, I'll always remember it, we worked down at 142 Wardour Street, Film House, Wardour Street, just up the road. And, er, I had to go Marble Arch, where the Duchess of Kent, or was it...no, the Duchess of Gloucester was going to open a new building, which meant, really, all it consisted of was a picture of the car driving up, the crowds cheering, she getting out of the car, waving to the crowd, coming up the steps, coming up to you, passing, smiles at you nicely, goes in...boom. Then she comes out, stands on the steps, waves to people, comes down, gets in the car, drives away, and the crowd all wave. Simple as that. Um...well it would have made us both about 40 ft, if you were lucky, in the newsreel. 'The Duchess of Kent did this, or did that', there were lots of things happening. And um, but I mention this because, at that time, that was the first job I ever did. When I came back they said, "you've got to put your expenses in"...
Roy Fowler: So you actually were the cameraman are you, or assisting someone? You went straight into motion picture camera?
Ted Candy: Yes, yes. Newman Sinclair, no focussing, all guesswork.
Roy Fowler: On a tripod...?
Ted Candy: No, we didn't use a tripod, no. And it was, er, there was no parallax, that was an innovation they brought in later on where you could move the eyepiece to allow for the parallax to the lens. Because it was offset, the eyepiece was in the right-hand corner and the lens was lower down in the left-hand side. So if you were trying to take a picture at, say, 2 yards away, well then you kept the head slightly up, and over to the right, to the left as you looked at it, and you prayed that it was in the middle! And it was nine times out of ten.
Roy Fowler: How was it driven?
Ted Candy: Pardon?
Roy Fowler: How was it driven?
Ted Candy: Clockwork, all clockwork...spring. And um, when I came back, the point of this I was trying to make was, when I came back, you see, having worked on a newspaper, I put my...they said you've got to put your expenses in. So I did - bus to marble Arch, and these are exact figures - 3d. Return bus - Marble Arch to Wardour Street, 3d. 6d total. And I took that up then, take it up to Bishop's, so I took up to Bishop to sign it and he said, "You can't put expenses like this in - it's not allowed". I said, "Well what do you mean? That's what I paid", and he said, "ah yes, but you're not allowed to travel on public transport, because the film you've got is nitrate film". I said, "well it don't make any difference", and he said, "oh it does, you're not allowed to travel on public transport, what you've got to put down is - taxi to Marble Arch, taxi back, and charge for the tea, for your tea, you see, 1 and sixpence". Which made a hell of a difference because now you were getting one and six for tea, three shillings to Marble Arch, three shillings back again, and it was seven and sixpence, whereas you only spent sixpence. So it...to me, I thought it was a marvellous idea. Um, but that was the first thing I ever did, first thing I ever did for Gaumont's, I'll always remember that. Um, and the people that I met, there's the Wyands from Movietone, they were great people - Paul Wyand, Pat Wyand. Jimmy Gemmell, and Jock Gemmell. They were...Jimmy Gemmell worked for Paramount; Jock Gemmell worked for Pathe. Um, and there's Alf Tunwell, of Movietone, Ken Gordon of Pathe, er, Arthur Farmer, Ronnie Read of Paramount, um, and lots of others. But they were all great characters, they were wonderful people. They would stop at nothing. They couldn't care less about anybody else, they only wanted to do the job they were supposed to do. That was the most important thing in the world. Didn't matter a damn what else was, whatever they were gonna do, whatever they were there to do, it wouldn't have mattered if there's have been ten thousand people in front of them, they were going to do it. And they did it, and they were marvellous people. And they could put on the most wonderful act, every one of them. I say this with all sincerity, you couldn't find a group of people like them anywhere in the world. They were fabulous, they really were. Um...and the next...er you did jobs, all kinds of jobs. Er, I mean you went...because the system was then, every three months, the newsreel changed, you see they had, like er, say for instance the first quarter of the year Gaumont's would have the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence if you like, or the Army and the...then Pathe would have, say, the Navy, and one of the other Ministries.
Roy Fowler: This was a wartime pooling arrangement?
Ted Candy: Yes, but you did the job, so if there was a naval job then Pathe got it. If they couldn't send anybody, they hadn't got anybody, then they'd ask one of the other companies to do it for them. Um, you didn't know where you were going, what you were going to do. Um, the first job I got, really, of that type was...um...I was sent down to the Admiralty, Commander Kimmins[?], he was then, he was a great bloke, about 6 foot 6, got the great big flashing teeth, lovely looking bloke. He was an author, he wrote plays. He wrote 'Lock up Your Daughters'. He was...great sense of humour. And er, I got, er, a war correspondent's licence. And that was the first job I did which was, er, 'A Convoy to Malta' in 1942.
Roy Fowler: Excuse me, but what did you have to be or do to get that licence? Was it a matter of security clearance or what? What did they expect?
Ted Candy: All they wanted to know was what your name was, where you lived, which company you worked for and if they put you up then that was it.
Roy Fowler: Oh I see.
Ted Candy: Um, and I got a licence, and I went in to see Commander Kimmins before I left and he said, "have you got your licence?" I said, "yes". He said, "right, let me look at it." And his first words after that was, "that's no good. No self-respecting captain would allow you on board his ship with that. Take it back." Because it was number thirteen. So I had it changed to the number fourteen. So I had Admiralty licence number thirteen and fourteen. I had two. Um, then I'm on this convoy, and I went up to...I won't go into a lot of detail but...up to Thurrock in Scotland. And we sailed from there on the August Bank Holiday Monday.
Roy Fowler: Excuse me, how much gear did you have to carry with you for this sort of job?
Ted Candy: Um, well I did a lot of travelling, but I always had a Newman Sinclair, and a tripod, and you had a spares case, with all the lenses, and you had another spares case with the spare magazines, because each magazine took 200 ft of film. And then you had a container, which was in those days was metal box, film can - film transport can literally in effect, which is what you took the film with because it was all nitrate.
Roy Fowler: How much would, how much stock would you take?
Ted Candy: Well on that convoy I took 10,000 ft.
Roy Fowler: Really?
Ted Candy: Hmm.
Roy Fowler: So that's really rather difficult - that plus your personal effects. Quite a lot of work.
Ted Candy: It was. That's why you always found that most newsreel cameraman had very long arms. They all did. You think, an amplifier, a sound amplifier, weighed 3cwt.
Roy Fowler: Hmm.
Ted Candy: And you had to hump that in, but if you were working in sound you got a soundman and yourself. And if you got, say, an eight storey building, and they said, "well no, there's no lift - you've got to get up there", you'd got to carry it up the stairs. Um, for which we used to charge 10 shillings unload. Which was a fiddle, but it was very good. I mean you earned it, believe me, you earned it. There was nothing given. You did earn it too. And er, I went on this convoy to Malta, I was transferred from one ship to another, I did all the Admirals, the briefings, and all that kind of business, and then we set sail, we got into the Mediterranean...It was the biggest convoy ever to leave this country up to that time. We had twelve merchant ships...um...we had two battleships, the Nelson and the Rodney, we had seven cruisers, five aircraft carriers, and forty-one destroyers, to guard twelve merchant ships, to go between the straits of Gibraltar and to Malta. And they left us just off Cape Bon. But in the meantime they'd sunk the Eagle, they hammered the Indomitable, which was a brand new aircraft carrier. They stopped the Nelson, and then they started to knock the...the merchant ships about.
Roy Fowler: What were you on - which one?
Ted Candy: I'd been transferred from the cruiser the Sheffield to the merchant ship Grand Ferguson. Which...they all carried the same cargo, 7000 tons of high-octane aviation spirit, and 5000 tons of ammunition.
Roy Fowler: Oh Jesus.
Ted Candy: And we got hit, we got ours on August 12th, the beginning of the grouse season. At four minutes to eight, and it was...erm...it was unbelievable really but I mean we were very fortunate, we got off it all right. I swam in the sea for nine hours. I got picked up by a broken-down lifeboat, there's a lot more that happened. Then we left and we got...we landed at an island - Zembra Island, er, where were picked up by the Vichy French from Tunis, who took us into Tunis, where we were put into a prisoner of war camp. And then I went to Tunis Military Hospital, then when I came out of that, they put me in jail for ten days, and then...I, um...
Roy Fowler: In jail, you said?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Why did they put you in jail?
Ted Candy: Well they transferred me from this hospital to...I didn't know where they were going to do, what they were going to do with me. And they took me to the jail, the only thing was that when they wanted to cut my hair off, I wish they had have done, but I stopped them, I said no I wasn't gonna have that, so they put me up on the roof. And I stayed on this fo...[?], on the roof. They kept me up there for 14 days, then took me down, back to the railway station one dark night, and er, put me on train. And there were all the survivors from this convoy. And they took us down to Sfax[?] and put us into a prisoner of war camp there. And that's where we were supposed to spend the rest of the war, but ... um... there were five of us, and the only reason I was included was because I'd got a pair of shoes...er...leather shoes. And, um, we got out, and we walked from Sfax, over the Atlas Mountains, to Constantine in Algeria. And we were arrested by the RAF. We didn't even know they'd invaded, and it was fabulous, it really was, and that took us three weeks. But, um, then they sent us home, er, took us a little while to get home and we eventually got back to Greenock and then from Greenock back to Wardour Street. You always came back to Wardour Street. Er, then, I mean, that was exciting, it was fabulous, and the fact that you survived and there were so many who didn't, and the er...I remember the next job I did after that, was out in the country - thatching - a roof. Showing the...putting the thatch on the roof and this that and the other.
Roy Fowler: This still during the war?
Ted Candy: Yeah. That was for Ireland. You see because during the war the, entire war, we supplied newsreels to Ireland, but we couldn't show a uniform, or anything to do with the war. The weekly reel had to go out...er and I mean, most of the reels consisted of ploughing, thatching, farm work, because people didn't farm in uniform and if you, if you went to a farm when there was land girls you had to move the land girls away if they wore the land girls uniform because the Irish wouldn't show it, if it showed any uniform. So we had to steer clear. It was always...um...all right, just like the Duchess of Kent, or the Duchess of Gloucester opened something, or, there was no military there. As long as there were no uniforms, it was all right to use. And we did that throughout the entire war. As far as Ireland was concerned, as far as we in the newsreel business were concerned, there was no such thing as a war. Um, when you considered the number of Irish people who were fighting the war, who joined the British Army, it was quite remarkable really. I don't know where they thought they'd all gone to, you know. Er, but that's the way of the world, as it was. Then er, that brought us up to the war, then I went through the war, then I went um...oh, no end of things, you know, all the...we had the blitz in between and, at night, each and every person connected with the newsreel, you took it in turns, so, it was your night tonight. Well then if there was a raid, or a blitz on London, then you did it. You didn't...nobody rang you or told you or anything. You got up and you went and did it, whatever you could, whether it was a big raid or a small raid. As long as it was something. Um, you could spend all night wandering around looking for it. But if there wasn't anything, if there were no warnings, then you didn't take it, then the next guy took it the next night. They'd give you a break. If you were in London of course, if you were out away in Manchester or Birmingham then you did whatever happened, if there was a raid up there you did it. You were always looking for stories, everywhere, and you see the newsreel were mean, they didn't have a lot of money, and if they were going to send you anywhere, [coughs] they'd try and work out a route for you, see, so that you could call there, do that, then go on to that and then...um...Well I'll give you an idea, when they brought in this startling thing which was for working on Sunday, you got 10 shillings and 6 pence. It was after the war...er... we never did a single job then, and when it first started they resented that so much...erm...that you got paid for Sunday, because my first contract that I had with Gaumont's was for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That was your working hours. You were always supposed to be there, if you went anywhere, I'll always remember, it had... "as far as we're concerned, if you go to the toilet, you tell this office first." And that's how it was during the war, it really was. Um...but it was all exciting, and people were kind to you, and everywhere you went they helped you no end. And there was never any...[indecipherable] with the newsreels you'll get lots people will tell you that there was fights and arguments and they always used to argue with each other and it was like a battlefield when the newsreels used to got together, that's a load of hooey. They always helped each other. If you went, if you went on a job and there was Paramount, Pathe, Movietone...er...they were there, and you'd just come from somewhere else and you'd come from somewhere else and you'd run out of film, they'd lend you the film to do the job with. So they...they weren't trying to stop you, but they wouldn't tell you anything. They wouldn't say, "Oh I found out that they're going round the back door and they're not coming out the front door at all, they're coming out the back door." He'd slope off quietly on his own, and wander round there, and that's the only way you could do it. You had to please yourself, you had to do as you saw fit. And the wonderful thing about the newsreel was nobody told you what to do. You were entirely freelance. They sent...the only instructions you got was a piece of paper which said so and so ...that's the job - it's in Manchester - nine o'clock...erm...Monday. Er...maximum 400 ft. Which meant...don't shoot more than 400 ft. Now when you got there, you'd look at the story and you...if...you'd look as to how it...what would make the best story, in your opinion. So you had to have a beginning, an ending, and a bit in the middle. And it didn't matter what it was you climb a building, you get your general picture and establish where it was, er...Then you get the arrivals or do whatever it is, whatever it was, whatever the story was, and then you'd finish up with a...a shot showing an identification so that you'd know it was in Manchester. Anybody who saw it in the cinemas in Malta, would know it was Manchester. Um...the Liver Building in Liverpool, they'd know it was Liverpool. You always got...that's the way your mind worked. Er... you did a lot of sport, a lot of football...er, cricket, all kinds of things, if it was on. During the war a lot of things were cancelled but they'd still had a lot of football, a lot of sport, all the time. [coughs] And er...you see they had the races, we used to do the racing. Then I had to do a ...it's only afterwards you realise it...I had to do a picture of a colonel, I think it was a colonel...er just a portrait, just an identification picture, so that they could cut it in if ever they wanted it. During the war...I think it was a colonel or a one star General...Eisenhower. And he wasn't important, and why I remember it so well was because I couldn't spell his name, Eisenhower...now how the hell do you spell Eisenhower? I had to ask his aide, "how do you spell that? Eisenhower". And he said, "E-I..." well that's amazing isn't it? Er...because you always wrote your own dope sheets. And when you went abroad you always parcelled it up, you took it to the airport, or however you were going to send it, during the war, the services took care of that for you. You know, they shipped it back for you. Um...then I was attached to the United States Navy. Um...and that was...I was told, I went...um, home, I had a phone call at home and the guy said, "can you come to Grovesnor Square?" And I said yes. And they said, "don't bother about telling your office - just come." So I said right...I went to Grovesnor Square, and we had a cup of coffee, and I saw various people. And they said, "it's just a dummy rum, we just want to see what's going to happen. Erm...Just sit about the office for the morning, rest of the day, now go home." That was the first time, then the next time...the office knew where I was, but they didn't know what I was doing. Um...then they rang me up and said, "can you come to the er, I want to you to report to the Admiralty tomorrow morning - nine o'clock - be there. And we want all the gear - everything." So you thought, this is it, this is D-Day [laughs]. So you got all your stuff together, all the film, climb down there and er...and they said, "don't want you to get all excited - it's not on. So it's ok, we're just going to take you for a nice little trip." So we went down to er, Fowey[?] in Cornwall. With Daphne... to Daphne du Maurier's place. And we spent er, three days I think it was, there, while they told you all about the fortifications on the Atlantic Wall and everything else. And er, all the correspondents, they took out of London, to see what the effect would be. And then we all came back again. Er...but eventually one day, um, I lived at Chingford at that time, I got a telephone call, and he said, er, by this time I knew him quite well, he said, "have you got all your stuff?" I said yes. He said, "come straight here, don't go to the office, don't tell anybody anything, just come straight here." So I went to Grovesnor Square, and I'd got a little car, black Ford, I bought it for 42 at the...er, in 1941. And I think that was about 6 months old. But it had been stored, because, you know, since...because of the petrol situation, but that was the price of cars. And it was a marvellous little car, ran it for years, went all over this country - 42. So then we came back to Grovesnor Square, I went there and the chap said, "well, there you are, there's your instructions." And there was a letter, which said you will report, with all speed, to er, the United States, Northern Ireland Naval Base [coughs] at Londonderry, where you will report to the Naval Commander. Signed "Admiral Stark. Admiral in charge of United States operations in Europe." And I hadn't told the office where I was going or anything. And I said to the bloke there, "how the hell do I get to Northern Ireland?" And they said, "don't worry, we'll take you." And we went from there to Heston and on the tarmac there was this plane, United States Navy plane, we went in and I was wearing an army uniform, British Army uniform you see, and er, all this gear came with me and went on this plane, and then I went to walk through, and of course the um, British Forces people there said, "just a minute, just a minute, where do you think you're going? You can't leave this country." And the Americans said, "look, as far as you're concerned, far as everybody else is concerned - he's an American. You've never seen him in your life - so forget it." And I just walked out, I mean nobody knew where I was or who I was. I got on the plane, went to Northern Ireland, stayed there. Then I was shipped out, I was on...it was a destroyer - the USS Schubrick[?] and we were going to drop anchor um, 2000 yards from the beaches. And we did that, um, but first of all, before we went there we went down the Irish Sea, which was the first time I'd ever been seasick in my life. And I felt terrible. And then we got down to Plymouth, and then we turned round and went all the way back again, up the Irish Channel, and turned round and went back, because it was delayed 24 hours. And er, I think by that time, I didn't mind, it didn't bother me a bit. I didn't care whether somebody shot me, buried me or drowned me. We went to um, we would be...just off Cherbourg. And we dropped anchor, just um, just before midnight. And there were five destroyers in a row, 2000 yards from the beaches. And I think it was about half past three - four o' clock that morning, we opened fire. But before then, they bombed the beaches. We had a grandstand view, you've never seen anything like it in your life. I've never seen so many planes coming down; I've never seen so many planes on fire. There was always the tail end one, was always ablaze. And you could literally see the bombs hit the ground and bounce, because they never did a scrap of good. 'Cause it was all reinforced concrete and they bounced off it. And it was the... the thing that really destroyed the fortifications on there were the, the next day, with the battleships behind you, the 16-inch armour-piercing shells, they're the ones that did it. You could hear them, too, by God you could. And the um, the invasion started. And that was it. And I was there for three weeks, with the USS Schubrick, and I came back to Plymouth, and I caught the train for London, and I walked into the office in Wardour Street, and the first words I heard were, "where the hell have you been?" I said, "I've been to Normandy, I've been to Cherbourg" I said, "I've been shipping film back everyday." And I had. And they shipped it back, and it went into the pool system.
Roy Fowler: You got onto the beaches did you?
Ted Candy: No, they wouldn't let me land.
Roy Fowler: No?
TC: No, I stayed onboard the USS Schubrick - all the time. Erm...they were marvellous to me, honestly. I had a lot of luck, everybody was very kind to me.
Roy Fowler: Were there US combat cameramen along too?
Ted Candy: No.
Roy Fowler: No? Just you?
Ted Candy: Just me. Um...but it was er, you saw the rocket ships, I'd never seen those before - they frightened me to death! And they were so efficient, they really were, the Americans. But I saw the both sides the British Navy and the American Navy - different worlds. But er, marvellous really you see, cause normally I mean, people didn't see that. The only time I was, was in the war, I was grade 4 at the beginning of the war, unfit for military service, because I had the three heart attacks and um, I suppose if it happened today I'd have been into Harefield and they'd have killed me by giving me a transplant instead of letting me grow out of it. Which I did because I swam, I tell you, I swam in the sea for nearly nine hours, and when I was examined when I came back they said they couldn't believe it, the doctors. They said, "we've passed you A1 now", so it didn't do me any harm. And all the walking across Africa and across Tunis, and the Atlas Mountains, obviously didn't do me any harm. And I've never had the slightest trouble since, and I'm sixty... how old am I now? Just on sixty-eight. So er...I had a marvellous time with the newsreels, I met everybody, I met every politician from Churchill um, Aneurin Bevan, and Ernest Bevin - I knew Ernest Bevin quite well. And I knew Thorneycroft, um, to throw just a few names um, I met a lot of American politicians, and I never met one that wasn't a bloody liar. The biggest liars I ever met were politicians. That's the Gospel truth. I never met an honest one, ever. Um, but I mean, for me, I was only a country boy, but you know, I was with the Queen all over the world. I went with Princess Margaret to the West Indies. I went with Princess Margaret to Africa, to East Africa, to West Africa er... for months. I went to er...Egypt, I got deported from Egypt. Then I went back again for Suez. Um...I went to Ethiopia with Haile Selassie[?], stayed with him. Little old country boy Bedford, it wasn't bad going, I met wonderful people.
Roy Fowler: So let's talk about some of those trips, and some of those stories. You finished the war where?
Ted Candy: I finished the war up here in London, in Wardour Street.
Roy Fowler: Yes, right. So you didn't go through with the armies, or, or any of, um...?
TC: No I came back...No, well we did this...I think the final thing [coughs], the final thing was the Victory parade, you know, the big Victory Parade, and everybody was walking through, and we were told that we'd got to do it. There was the job, we were all detailed out and the positions marked out for you. [Coughs] And you had to be early and all that kind of business, but um, the thing that annoyed me was - we were told that we'd got to wear a uniform. And I said, well I thought it was outrageous because victory parade, was a victory for them, not for us. And er, we were told that if we didn't wear our uniform we'd be fired. And I'll always remember that, very definitely. But anyway, we all did in the end. And it all worked out well. But the victory parade went on all day, that was marvellous. That was the end of the war as such for us. Um, then we were getting back to normal then. You know, as it used to be. We started to ship, er, newsreels abroad. We were shipping them to er, Canada, we supplied newsreels to Canada, er, Africa, every part of Africa, South Africa, we had exchange deals with pretty well every country in the world. Er, and at that time we were putting out a million feet of film a week. Every, every, twice a week. That was a thousand newsreels, which were 1000 ft in length. Monday to Wednesday, then Thursday it was changed, and there was...the transport arrangements for that were fantastic. You think - you can't do it...you couldn't do it today. But they did it then. We used to print a thousand copies. Hadn't got the high-speed machines they've got today. But we used to print a thousand copies, from Wednesday afternoon, lunchtime. And they would be transported to every cinema in the country, including Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, um, north of Scotland and everywhere - by the next morning.
Roy Fowler: Mostly how, by train, by road?
Ted Candy: By train, and by lorries, trucks, film transport. Um, which when you think about that, was some doing. And the lads were marvellous, you know, to turn out the quantity they did.
Roy Fowler: Did Gaumont British have its own lab devoted to the newsreel, or did you use one of the commercial labs?
Ted Candy: No we had the labs were at Lime Grove you see, because they were owned by the Ostrer brothers. And so was Gaumont British, was Ostrer brothers, before the Rank Organisation, General Film Distributors took over. Um, at Lime Grove you had little Percy there, he was the developer. And when you used to take your film in there, he had a wooden frame, a drawing pin, and he'd pin the film on, wrap it round this wooden frame, two hundred ft of it. And then he'd pin it up, and he'd take hold of this frame and I can see him now, he had a rough apron, and he'd dunk this frame into the developer - one-two-three. And he'd do that a few times and there was a little red bulb up on the top, and he'd pick it up, and as he lifted it up like that, to look at it, to look at the film, don't forget you've got a frame with 200 ft of film on it. And he'd look down, and it would drip all over him - absolutely soaking. And he'd look - "I think, think we'll give it a bit more." Bomp! And he'd dunk it a few more times, and in the water, then the fixer, and he'd leave it. Then he'd take the next one and repeat the process.
Roy Fowler: Do you remember his last name?
Ted Candy: I can't remember his name. Percy, Percy...I find I can't.
Roy Fowler: So that was a...
Ted Candy: It'll come back, it'll come back eventually...
Roy Fowler: Ok. That was a separate lab was it?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, it was some labs...
Roy Fowler: Just for the newsreel?
Ted Candy: No that was the labs at Lime Grove, where they did everything there.
Roy Fowler: Including the studio?
Ted Candy: Oh yes. Yes
Roy Fowler: Ah. Do you remember Bill Girdlestone[?]?
Ted Candy: Yes, Bill Girdlestone, and then he went to Rank's same as I did, at Denham, yes.
Roy Fowler: ...Denham, yes.
Ted Candy: I knew Bill Girdlestone very well. I mean he...I'm trying to give you some idea the cost, what it was then. If you had the lads, the lads on overtime, it used to cost eight pence.
Roy Fowler: Per person?
Ted Candy: If you held the lads, we used to sometimes hold the lads, because don't forget, the newsreels in those days, kept the studios going, most of them. The studios were the ones the...the newsreels kept the studios going during the war in more ways than one. When they had the polls during the war, you'd find that all of them carried 100%. The newsreels were the most popular thing in the cinema. Um...that was at Lime Grove, Percy was there, little Percy, as I've told you...
Roy Fowler: Right, we have, we have to s...
Tape 1, side 2
Ted Candy: Sorry, I beg your pardon.
Roy Fowler: Ted Candy, side two. Yes Ted, you were saying...Lime Grove.
Ted Candy: Well the reason I mentioned about Percy was to show you how primitive it was, to what it is today. You know, today you've got, they put in great big, huge rolls of film, start to finish, it goes through, it's colour, they were black and white, and that's how the newsreels were done. And you would, er, as I told you hold them, and that cost eight pence, for overtime. So it had to be thought about very seriously before you held them up. Then there was, er, let's see. We used to work for Wardour Street, you had to...you'd get your instructions there. And you never saw the office, you didn't go into the office, you just came in. Now, and you'd come back, say you'd been to Brighton on a job. You'd come back into Wardour Street, you'd go down to your locker, and on a clip on your locker was a paper then you knew you'd got another job, which you didn't know what it was until you read it. And it said, oh it's tomorrow morning. You might be back at Brighton, where you'd just come from, or it might be in Manchester, or Birmingham, anywhere, anywhere at all. Er, tell you what time you'd got to be there, who you reported to, but that was all. You were supposed to know what the story was. And there'd be the key, the most important thing was, how much they expected. 400 ft, 200 ft, 1000 ft, or whatever they wanted. And that's how you modelled your film. When you got there, if it was a good story, if it was a big story, much bigger than you imagined, you did the best you could, and you shot as much film as you could. And you'd phone up before you left, well you always did, and told them what it was like. Because then you'd take the film direct to the labs. Which, er, in later years they changed from Lime Grove when they packed up out of Lime Grove, they moved to Denham. Well that's 25 miles from Wardour Street. So you'd got to...if you were coming in, you'd come into London, into Wardour Street, and then go to Denham. Or if you were coming from the West Country or anywhere the west side of London, obviously you'd make you way round that way, go into Denham, put your film in, the come into London and pick up your story for tomorrow.
Roy Fowler: It was your responsibility to get the film to the lab was it?
Ted Candy: Oh yeah.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: Now I got a scar on my face, um, I was at Lime grove I did that. Um, I went into the labs, and there it was all in pitch darkness, this was about 11 o'clock at night, and we'd been told, um, that you'd got take the, take the film up, and put it in the safe, which was up on the second floor. Er, you must do that. Well there were no lights on, nobody was there, er, I went up, put it in...found the safe, couldn't find the lights because you didn't know where the lights were, put it in there. Then I could see the lights through the windows, and there was the doorway which you used to walk down the um, fire escape down to the, where the little old red phone box used to be in the centre of Lime Grove. And then you walked out, and walked through the main gate, and there'd be...to the watchman, and you'd just tell him you were leaving, and then you'd walk home. And I walked across the floor, tripped over, went straight through a film dryer. And er, cut my face, and I went to Hammersmith and they stitched it up there. But I had a job the next day, um, and then I'd...I'd got a black eye, great big black eye and my face was all swollen up and I'd got to go to Ascot on the Saturday. For the King George VI, Queen Elizabeth stakes, when Airbourne was running, so you can tell what the date was. And er, they stopped me, they said, "no you can't do it, we can't let you do that." Because I used to like racing. Um, "because in case anybody sees you, they'll think we're the wickedest sods alive to make you work under those..." So I said all right then, suits me, I won't go, I shall go and watch it instead. Well they said, "oh no, no, no, we're taking you out of the paddock, you can do the cut out in the country where no one can see you." So I still copped it, but that was it. Um...
Roy Fowler: Ted how many hours did you put in each week would you say, on average, if there were such a thing as an average?
Ted Candy: Well er, I mean I don't want to make it sound too bad, but er, the hours...Let me tell you, when you had a weeks' holiday you were all at sea, until you got back. Because you didn't know what was happening, you'd lost touch. And nobody wanted to be away, everybody wanted to be there because you knew what was happening, what was going on in the world, you really did. And to go away, and not to know what was happening was purgatory, really was. You'd lost touch, er, you couldn't do that. The hours you worked, according to one of my diaries, I worked for over 12 months, and I never had a Saturday or Sunday off once. And I never got paid one penny piece, for working Saturday or Sunday, because that was part of your job.
Roy Fowler: Did you get time off during the week?
Ted Candy: No.
Roy Fowler: So it was seven days a week?
Ted Candy: Seven days a week. Always was. Nobody comp...the complaints used to be...was okay, this weekend these jobs...er, now this job up at..., we're going to cover the Manchester football match if you like, this that and the other. Nothing wonderful, you know, nothing that anybody couldn't be, get excited about. Um, they'd issue the passes for him and him, he's going up to Manchester, you're going up to Doncaster, you're going to Brighton, this that and the other, and there'd be one bloke left out. And he would complain, what have I done? Why haven't I got the jobs? Why are you isolating me? What have I done that's wrong? Every job I've done has been okay, ask Roy Drew, he was the editor, he's quite happy with it...Why am I being pushed out? Why haven't I got a job? That was the attitude, really was. And when you think about it, it sounds crazy. But it...while they were pushing you, making, giving you the jobs, then you were good. You were doing a great job.
Roy Fowler: What were they paying you?
Ted Candy: I got 4 pounds 10 shillings a week during the war. Um, then the ACT came into being, well as far as I was concerned, and as far as we were concerned, erm, and I got really a big jump to 7 guineas a week. But I'm not saying that I didn't have a rise in between then, because I did. But it wasn't, it was different to what it is today, or what it has been. Er, you got called up at the end of the year, er, Castleton Knight used to say, "you've done a great job, you've been very good, and we appreciate your efforts, and as from the first week in January, you'll get 2 and 6 pence increase, in you pay packet." And you said thank you very much sir that's most kind of you, thank you, I appreciate that. Or you might get 5 bob. Um, it had been known, that you might even get 10 shillings, a week rise, which was quite fantastic. But I mean, you didn't know what anybody else got. I mean it was purely yourself.
Roy Fowler: Hmm.
Ted Candy: Um, you never, you wouldn't dream of asking anybody else, er, what did you get, did you get a rise? You, you'd never ask anybody else. It was purely yourself, and if you had asked them they'd have said, "mind you own business."
Roy Fowler: I'm still curious to know the hours you were putting in to get this 4 pounds 10 a week, er, approximately.
Ted Candy: Well, er I mean, er, you'd go, for instance, erm, if you went away on a job, wherever it was, whatever it was, you went away and you did it until you came back. Er, you wouldn't have any time off when you came back. You just worked again.
Roy Fowler: Aha...
Ted Candy: Um...
Roy Fowler: How much of the time would you spend away from London, away from home?
Ted Candy: Oh gosh, you'd spend, I should say, 90/96/95% of the time away from London. It was only when you were in London that you got bored stiff.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: Because then it would be, you'd be sitting there waiting for something to happen. Waiting for something to happen.
Roy Fowler: Did you have a family at this time?
Ted Candy: Yes, I had a...
Roy Fowler: but the job came before the family in effect.
Ted Candy: Well, I think the reason why I we're still married, and we've got a happy family, a very successful family, thank God, touch wood...Um, was because I was away such a lot. Because we were always coming home, and they was always pleased to see you. My son, who is now 40-odd, I mean he was five years old before I ever saw him at Christmas. I never saw him at Christmas at all until he was 5 years old, first time I ever spent Christmas with him I bought him a motor car. And that was only because I was in the business I was and I knew, I got one, I found out where there was one, I bought it in Wales. And I brought it all the way back in the boot of the car, one of these little pedal cars. Because you couldn't get one anywhere else, you couldn't buy one.
Roy Fowler: We're seeing from today's er, industrial relations point of view, you were being exploited, but you didn't mind it obviously.
Ted Candy: Well, you weren't exploited really, it was a different world, things were different. I mean, if they'd have er, suddenly bought in somebody who said, urm... or a company which said, we're only going to work a shift system of four days a week and it's going to be...we're going to work 40 hours a week, but we're going to work 4 days of 10 hours, then everybody would have said, well, cor, it's not a bad idea. And they would have done. But I mean, the system was such, if you'd have turned round to anybody and said, here just a minute, I want to go home on Saturday and Sunday, I haven't been home for a week, I haven't been home for 10 weeks, I haven't been home for 3 months, 4 months, so I want to go home and I want to have week off - they'd have said, "in that case you don't want to be a newsreel cameraman, you don't want to work for the newsreel, you want a 9 'til 5 job. Go get yourself an office job somewhere or, go and get a job in a factory. You don't want this job." That would have been their attitude.
Roy Fowler: Tell me then about ACT's arrival on the scene: how they organised the newsreels, and the effect that it had.
Ted Candy: Well, the, the er, the thing that I knew was that I was a member of the union, the National Union of Journalists. And I came into...
Roy Fowler: We're talking of when? What year?...
Ted Candy: This was the beginning of the war, 1940. I was a member of the National Union of Journalists. Um, and I met Alf Tunwell of er, Movietone. We were going up to...Lincolnshire. An RAF chappy who died, he got killed about a month later, he'd just won the Victoria Cross, and we were going up there to do pictures of him, and the plane, and all this kind of business. It was moral booster for the public - show this young man whose won the Victoria Cross. And he went up for Movietone, I went up for Gaumont's, and also, er, Ken Gordon went up for Pathe. Ken was an ardent ACTT man. Well he was the president at one time or something. Um...[coughs]...pardon me. And Alf Tunwell was very, very much interested in the ACTT, and he said to me, or the ACT as it was then. He said to me, "you want to join" this, that and the other. And that's how I came, became a member. My number, I can tell you what it was now - 1117 - One thousand one hundred and seventeen. I've still got the cards at home. 1117. Um, George Elvin was the secretary, um, I knew him, he was quite a nice man, we got on very well together. Er, spoke to him, George, he was always very easy to talk to. Um, but I mean, you didn't have a lot, there was nobody coming round, telling you what to do or how to do it, or rules and regulations, it was, the ACT didn't come into it. And when they did, it was the er, the things, the things that I told you, the most startling thing was the 10 and 6 for working Sunday. Never get that.
Roy Fowler: And that was directly because of the Union was it?
Ted Candy: That was the ACTT. Then the other things was, 7 and 6 pence allowance, of you worked after 7 o'clock at night...Now, 7 and 6, now there weren't the, the income tax wasn't consistent you see because there was um, Pathe, charged 7 and 6 and got it complete. Now, um, Movie, erm, I know Gaumont's you had to, if you were drawing the 7 and 6 which you had to pay for your dinner out of that. Um, but Paramount, they had to pay income tax on it. So they said what the hell's the point, you know, by the time we've written it out and paid income tax on it, and they've added it up, it's pushing us up all the time, they're taking it away from us, not giving it to us. But that was the first two things, was the 7 and 6 after 7 o'clock, and the 10 and 6 for working Sunday.
Roy Fowler: There was no limitation on hours?
Ted Candy: Oh no. No I mean, when they first entered, it was really was funny, I mean we all laughed about it. It was, there was no viciousness about it or...um...everybody was delighted at 10 and 6 pence. But they decided that instead of having just one job, they haven't got to pay you 10 and 6 to work Sunday, they'd find you a job at 9 o'clock, and then there's the Armistice at 11 0'clock, and then you can go on to Hampstead because there's a job there at 4 o'clock. So the one person, one of them would do all three. You might have two, two others to help on the Armistice thing, but they would only do the one job. But the other one would do the two. Because they, you'd got to make it worth while.
Roy Fowler: Did the companies resist...a new sort of agreement?
Ted Candy: No, I don't think so.
Roy Fowler: Really?
Ted Candy: I...they were a bit touchy to start with, but I mean um...You want me to tell the truth?
Roy Fowler: Oh absolutely.
Ted Candy: You do - right, I'll tell you. In my opinion, it was the wrong approach. The newsreel and the film bosses at that time, were very, very um, hard businessmen, and they didn't want this, er, attitude of restriction. And it was the wrong approach. You see, Ken Gordon, who was a charming bloke, he was a lovely fellow, I'm not pulling any punches, but he, um...hustle, bustle, you know, a big man, and a great big man he was. Er, you know, he weighed about 18 stone, 20 stone. Great big tummy on him and all that I mean. And, if he came into a room and hustle bustle, he looked as though he was throwing the place about. And, these people who ran the newsreel, Sir Gordon Craig, Castleton Knight, er Jim Wright of Paramount, and one or two of the others, they didn't, they weren't used to that kind of approach. And if you'd have had suddenly somebody who said, "ah, right, ok Mr Knight, well I'm finished now", "don't, wait, I'd like to talk to you, if you've got a few minutes, can you?" "Yes." "Well, now, you know, it's a little bit unfair," if they'd have started with that attitude "...so and so and so and so, don't you think it would be a good idea, if we could come to an agreement where we could cut the hours down a bit, maybe have an extra day here, or get them to give them a day off there...wouldn't it be a good idea to do that?" I think they'd have said, "Yeah. We'll go along with that... because it's not going to cost any more, we haven't got to employ another 50 people to take care of it, or another"... well, 50...that was more than we employed all together. Well, I mean, that would have been the approach, in my book. That was in the beginning. But I mean, it's easy for me to criticise because I wasn't involved in it. So, you mustn't take that too seriously. Er, if I'd have been involved in it, I would have said, but I wasn't. I was just a member. Um, the newsreels, they um, and the ACTT in my opinion, did a very stupid thing in some respects, when they tried to use the newsreels [coughs] to bring the studios into line. I know it's a war, and they use whatever weapons they can, but they did. They tried to stop the newsreels, because they were the constant ones, because the...through the laboratories. Because the studios could stop or go as they pleased, it didn't make any difference. If you had an overtime ban in the studios, most of the people who were making the films thoroughly enjoyed it, and said that's a good idea, we'll get that. You don't have to work so long. Um, they weren't all that enamoured of overtime. But when you said to us, the newsreels, about overtime, you could hardly leave London, go to Manchester and do the job, and be back here by half past five. You know, you'd be back here by half past nine. Well if you, if you've got to go, what they tried to say was, you drive up as far as, if you like, Birmingham and then turn round and come back - don't go to Manchester. Well, they were the wrong type of people. They knew, they weren't used to that. They, "you can't do that. That's what we're supposed to do. This is our job. If we don't take the film nobody will know it ever happened."
Roy Fowler: So what um, what was the outcome of that?
Ted Candy: Well we still did the job, we still did it, but it wasn't processed. I remember doing the Derby when...Dante won the Derby, and the film was... we took the film and everything else, we took it back to the labs but they never processed it. I mean there was a load of stuff that was never processed, it was processed afterwards, and you, in the libraries and things like that, but um, because it came in the overtime ban.
Roy Fowler: When was this?
Ted Candy: Oh, when was this? This was, well, Dante's Derby was at the end of the war.
Roy Fowler: [Assenting noise]
Ted Candy: Yeah. Do you mind if I smoke?
Roy Fowler: No, go ahead.
Ted Candy: Do you?
Roy Fowler: No I don't, no thank you, no. I don't know if there is an ashtray, we'd better look for one. Shall I stop?
[break in recording]
Ted Candy: The newsreels were terribly independent people. I stress this to you. You, you, that's why you could send... er, a guy from Movietone and a guy from Paramount, if you'd like, and they'd go and do the same story, but they'd come back with different stories. Fundamentally it would be the same, the guts of it would be the same, but their approach would be entirely different.
Roy Fowler: Were you, um, unique in that you were previously a member of the NUJ? In other words, did you see yourself as a journalist, and other people see themselves as technicians, or did people all think of themselves as journalists and filmmakers?
Ted Candy: No, I think they were all film, I mean well, Peter Cannon erm, he wrote for Gaumont's originally right at the beginning when Gaumont's was a silent newsreel. He went up to, he was sent up to Glasgow, he ran then an office up there, well, he used to take the picture, the newsreel, take the picture, develop it, print it, cut it, edit it, put it all together, and also serve in the shop, selling tickets. It was a one man band, he did the lot - everything.
Roy Fowler: [Assents]
Ted Candy: Er, that's how it began, that's how the business began. Er, I mean, I never had an assistant in my life. I went to every country in this world, and I went round the world I should think 6 times at least. I went round the world once with one ticket, from London to London. Erm, in 21 days, in a motor car. Erm, but it was an entirely different world, er, later on you got people, they would [???], and you could understand it, and you could see the point. And they turned round and said, you know er, we ought to do 36 hours instead of 40, or we ought to do 40 instead of 45. Er, it was an improvement on their standard of living if you like, or their time off. But at the beginning, it was never ever suggested, it was never ever dreamed of.
Roy Fowler: You say it was a different world. Is it a world whose passing you regret?
Ted Candy: I'm so sorry that the people who were in it had to go. But I don't believe in this good old days. The good old days, you can keep them. I mean, my mother...when I was young, life was bloody hard. Erm, compared to what it is today, the good old days as such, I don't want to know. I never want to see them again either.
Roy Fowler: Ted, in terms of your own career, we've come up to the end of the war, and the victory parade - could you take us through maybe some of the major stories you covered after that, and the major trips? Especially if there are interesting anecdotes...
Ted Candy: Well...
Roy Fowler: Excuse me, I'm just going to...
[break in recording] RF: Yes
Ted Candy: Well I'll tell you this little point about the war. At the end of the war they had all the material that came from Belsen, Buchenwald and all the other terrible places, and they showed this film, and we had to go to the Ministry of Defence I think it was, to see it. And they looked at it, and the powers that be decided that we couldn't used any of those pictures, because the public would never believe it was real, they would think it was pure propaganda. And that those kind of things just couldn't happen. And so it was decided by the powers that be, that those pictures should not be shown. But, what's his name?... His name escapes me for the moment, he was the boss of Universal, just up the road here. He came back, he cut a story, he made a reel up of all the material, and in spite of everybody, he put it out. And the newspapers, once he'd done that, the newspapers broke the ranks, and they published the stories and everything else, and the following three days later, of course the other newsreels followed suit. And then you got the terrible scandal of the concentration camps. But those pictures wouldn't have been shown if it hadn't been for him. He was the boss of Universal, he did it independently, on his own. I mean you can't believe that a thing like that could possibly happen. But it did. And that's the reason.
Roy Fowler: What was your own...did you go to Belsen?
Ted Candy: No I didn't go to Belsen.
Roy Fowler: Ah, you weren't in any of the camps?
Ted Candy: No, and I thank God I didn't. Ronnie Read went, Ronnie Read was over there and a few others, they went to the, Belsen, and to the other camps. Um, but you see, Movietone had er, an office in Germany throughout the war. And they had pictures of Germans. They ran the newsreel under Goebbels. Well of course when the war ended, they had all the material still. Mind you, it was a bit of a shambles, but they did. And later on in life, when I took over Movietone, I was selling pictures of the Germans, of Hitler, back to the Germans - thoroughly enjoyed that. That was always a sweet touch, that was.
Roy Fowler: So what was one of the major stories that you covered after the war?
Ted Candy: Well I was once sent to er, Egypt for the British Army, to Ismailiya[?] in the British Army base at Ismailiya and I arrived in er, um Cairo at midnight one night, it was quite warm, lovely and I got off the plane and I was immediately met by four gentlemen, Egyptian gentlemen, very nice people who said, "ah, you're Mr Candy. The newsreel - yes. And why have you come to Egypt?" And I said, "well I'm going to Ismailiya the British Army base at Ismailiya." And they said, "but there is no such place." And I said, "well if you get me a map, I'll show you where it is, because that's where I'm going!"
Roy Fowler: This was when? In 46/47, something like that?
Ted Candy: Yes, just before Suez. And he said er, ... so I said, all right, no need to get nasty about it, okay, I'm not going, what am I going to do then? He said, "well we would like you to leave the country as soon as possible, so um, of course you will stay tonight, tomorrow morning we'll take you to the airport and you can go back." And I said, "do I have to go back to London?" They said no. I said, "right, well I'll go to somewhere else." So the next morning when we got up, I got up and we went to the airport, they took me to the airport, and that was the time when you had to have your gear weighed as well as you, and I'll always remember I always used to have 13 packets - 13 pieces. I always used to count thirteen. As long as I'd got thirteen pieces of luggage, I was safe. If I'd only got twelve, then I was in torment because something had gone wrong, I'd lost something. And er, I caught a flight to Ethiopia, to Addis Ababa...and I went there and I had a, stayed in the ground of the palace with Haile Selassie, and I thought I'd go to the British Embassy and tell them what I was doing there. And er, also I wanted them to get in touch with the office and tell them where I was. And I saw the ambassador, his name was Lasalle[?] and I said er, "I've come to see you sir because I thought I'd like to tell that, who I am and what I am and what I'm doing here, and so you would know I was here." And he said to me, "And I presume you will also want my advice." I said, "yes sir, if you're kind enough to give it to me, I'd be delighted. Yes, I'd like your advice." He said, "then get the next bloody plane out of here. Whoever sent you here must be mad." So I said, "well why, what's..." He said, "don't you realise what this is like here? There's a curfew, 7 o'clock at night, if you step outside...I don't care if you're staying in the palace grounds, if you step outside your door at 7 o'clock at night they'll shoot you without any compunction." He said, "if you've got a car, if you run over a woman on the street" he said, "see her next of kin, or whoever is there, doesn't matter if you've killed her or you haven't, don't worry about it, give them seven dollars, Ethiopian dollars, and drive away, they'll be quite happy." He said, but if run over one of the little donkeys, then you're really in trouble." He said, "you'll have to get in touch with me, and I'll do the best I can to help you." And that was the type of place Ethiopia was. I mean, there on King George V Avenue with two bodies hanging on a tree, as a warning.
Roy Fowler: Why? What had they done - do you know?
Ted Candy: No, well there was the uprising, the people who now run Ethiopia, they were the terrorists at the time. And er...
Roy Fowler: Well, it's only, what, a hundred and fifty years that we used to do that in this country too.
Ted Candy: Oh yes. And that was, er, then I was out in Ethiopia, and I did the pictures, you know, of Haile Selassie, he said, er, he was very good to me, because I took some pictures of him once, and he was, on the film, I made him look whiter than he was. And it was purely by chance. And er, from that moment onwards, whenever Haile Selassie came into this side of the world, I had to go and take pictures of him. In Malta, with Mountbatten and all over the place. Um, but he was quite nice to me. Er, so I made a film called 'Spotlight on Ethiopia', while I was over there. Er, I did the er, opening of parliament, showing Haile Selassie dictating his terms, it was most unusual because we'd already, we'd covered the opening of parliament here with its pomp and circumstance, whereas the opening of parliament in Ethiopia, all the tribes were outside with their lion manes round their heads, but Haile Selassie drove up and walked in and parliament as such stood up, and then he just stood there and he laid the law down - what will happen, who will do this, he will be the minister of Finance, he will be the minister of so and so. Um, the first week I was there, he said he'd arranged a picture for me, I didn't know what it was. And he said, you have to take pictures, you know, this will make a good picture for you. And that was in the palace grounds, the square was set up, and all the ambassadors came, and they all sat there, the British ambassador, the American ambassador, everybody, the Russian ambassador, all of them there. And er, in the square they put the triangle, they brought this guy in, tied him up, pulled his shirt off and lashed him. That was Haile Selassie's Finance Minister, Minister of Finance they were tied on that doo-dah.
Roy Fowler: It's a pity we don't do that.
Ted Candy: No, [laughs] but that's what they did, I mean they...the so-called picture, you know, the social life of, er, ...Addis Ababa. Brought up to date. And er, anyway, that was one thing, then a short time later I went back to Suez. For Suez I had to go out, I flew from London to erm, Malta, and Malta to Cyprus.
Roy Fowler: This is the Anglo-French invasion - yes?
Ted Candy: And er, I got to Cyprus because we, because there had been a lot of terrorism in Cyprus, and er, I arrived there, it was midnight, I was always arriving at places at midnight it seems when you think back. And er, I rang up this hotel where I was supposed to be staying, and they said, "no we haven't got any rooms, and we don't know anything about you coming." Because I was supposed to report to the Navy. So I got a taxi and er, I went and stayed at a little hotel. Like a pub, in Cyprus, it was quite nice. I had a single bed, and I got up in the morning and I had a boiled egg, I'll always remember, and some bread and butter, and I rang up the Navy people and I said, "I'm here, in case you're looking for me. I arrived last night at midnight, there was nobody there to meet me, or anything." And they said, "where are you?" I said, "Oh, what's the name of this place? The Golden Crescent or something." And I told them where it was. "Don't move - stay there!" Christ, next thing I knew they'd got armoured jeeps, and a tank outside, come to fetch me. And I said, "well these people have been very nice to me, never said a word." "You don't realise, they shoot you just as soon they'd look at you." I said, "nobody taken a shot at me yet, I'm all right. Quite nice to me." Said, "right, get in that jeep, don't move." I said, "well first of all, I've got to pay, pay them for the night." But that's the type of place Cyprus was. Once you got in with the Navy then it was a piece of cake. They went over to Suez, er, I stayed there on board ship um, right alongside Lessep's[?] statue. Um I mean, and then when we left Suez, um, we left in a hurry, I mean, it was a rearguard action to get out of Suez because they were sniping at you the whole time. And I got a cable telling me to stop on and represent the Newsreel Association.
Roy Fowler: In Suez?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, absolutely. And General Stockwell said, "look, I've never seen or heard anything so bloody stupid in all my life. What do these people think you're doing here?" He said, "if I was to allow you to stay here, you'd last, I should think, approximately three minutes."
Roy Fowler: Who sent the cable? Do you remember?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, the Newsreel Association. Stay on and represent us. In other words, stay there and do some newsreel features.
Roy Fowler: Uh huh.
Ted Candy: But um...
Roy Fowler: Being the pool cameraman, that would have been?
Ted Candy: General Stockwell said no. So I came back. Er, that was that, I went round the world in 21 days with an Austin motor car. And we ran a competition in the cinemas...
Roy Fowler: How did you do that, I mean...
Ted Candy: We flew a car around the world, and they drove it across the land - Austin Motor Company it would have been. We gave er...
Roy Fowler: Was that a promotion for Austin, or, or the newsreel?
Ted Candy: Austin, yeah. And then we...oh it was, but er, people entered for the competition, and if they could [coughs], they had to name the number of hours it would take to get to the gates of Universal Studios in Hollywood. Anyway [indecipherable] somebody got a new car out of it.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: And er, few prizes. But I mean, if you were on your own, you had to ship the stuff back as often as you could and from wherever you could. You had to write the story. You wrote all the details down, because it was only on that that they knew who it was.
Roy Fowler: Were you the only cameraman on that, on that tour?
Ted Candy: Oh yes. I was the only cameraman for the Newsreel Association. Er, the BBC sent cameramen, but he packed up er, I repaired his camera for him at er, Milan, because his camera packed up and it was the only camera he'd got and he wanted to go back home. But I did it for him, I repaired it, put a new spring in for him. So he carried on, otherwise, the BBC wouldn't have covered it. But they did, they only did a little coverage. We ran a big story every three days. And er, that was one, I had a ball on that, thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to the West Indies with Margaret, when she was the young Princess. Every island in the West Indies, er and I covered that for, how's this for population, I covered this for, the BBC, the newsreels, the five newsreel companies here, all the newsreel companies in America, and from then all their supporting countries, which they supplied. It all came from me, one camera. That's what made it interesting. Erm, and you made, you did stories as you went along. I mean, if you go to one island, and there'd be a garden party, well one island is very similar to another, you can't always take a picture of a palm tree, and the Princess underneath it and say, "this is Jamaica" or "this is Trinidad". Um, you'd got a mother with a baby, a big bosomed woman with a little baby, talking to her or something [coughs]. Because they were all the same, so you had to do something different. So you'd do the garden party and the pomp and circumstance if you like, and the waving, and all that kind of business, but then you'd do fashion, if you like, on the hats, and the next island you'd do fashion on the shoes. Er, but I mean, I had a long talk to them about that. And I said, "well for Christ's sake, this is a fairytale Princess, she's a lovely girl" she really was, a marvellous kid, I said, "these people want to see her. What are you putting her in great big black saloon for?" Because don't forget, the windows were quite small in those big cars in those days. I said, "they're coming forward, because they want to see her. And the police are trying to push the crowd back to stop them seeing her. So that's crazy. Put her in an open car. Never mind the sunshine, okay, she can hold a sunshade. But that's what you want to do." Not only that, it made better pictures as far as I was concerned. So they did it! And from that moment onwards, everything was fine. There was no crowd rush forward, they all cheered and ran along with her. And I mean they were... she was safer there than she ever was anywhere in the world. Because they thought the world of her, they worshipped her. And she was charming, she was marvellous, she was always very good. Do anything. Erm, you shipped it back, all you could do. Don't forget in those days, you didn't phone up from Jamaica, cause they, I doubt if you'd have got through. Er, you had to go down to the cable office, and send a cable, night-rate, because it was cheaper. So you had to wait until then, and you wrote the story, shipped it out, you sent a copy for London airport, for the customs to take, and a copy for the office. You always wrapped it up, film, copy for customs, London airport, copy for office, and that got through the customs. And they had somebody to pick it up, and that was it. And that's the way it was done. Um, I went to America, few times.
Roy Fowler: What stories were you on?
Ted Candy: I can't even remember half of them. I mean, I'll give you an instance. I went to five countries in Europe. I never stayed the night in one. In one week. I came back to this country every day. I never stayed overnight in one of them. Went to Holland, back to this country, then went to Belgium, back to this country. Went to France, back to this country, back to Holland again, then to Ireland, and back again. In one week. That's how it was done.
Roy Fowler: You said earlier that er, there wasn't every one honest politician, what prompted that statement? What were your dealings with the politicians?
Ted Candy: Well, I've got to be careful here...
Roy Fowler: No you don't.
Ted Candy: But er no, you see, they weren't truthful. You knew 'em. You travelled around with them, I mean it's like you, you might say to me, erm, "I loathe smokers. Please don't smoke because I can't stand smoking." I can understand that, people say that, okay, I won't smoke. But let's say that to you if you like. But once they got in front of the audience they'd turn round and say, "oh I mean smoke if you want to - do whatever you like, doesn't bother me a bit." You know very well that he's just kicked the dog. You'll turn round and say, I love the dog, love dogs oh, but you'd kicked the bloody thing ten minutes before. In more ways than one.
Roy Fowler: Was there any one politician worse in your estimation than another?
Ted Candy: I thought Aneurin Bevan was a past master. He used to, if you take his speeches as he recorded them, he always said... he always did the same thing. He would, like a good comic, he would start off, he'd tell them something, give them interested, then he'd tell them a story. And they'd laugh. And he'd wait until they stopped laughing, until they were absolutely quiet, and then he'd tell them what he wanted to tell them.
Tape 2, side 1
Roy Fowler: Ted Candy, side 3. Yes, Ted you were saying, about Bevan...
Ted Candy: I was, and the other point I wanted to make, apart from the politicians, you see is, people buy the rights of things today, they're sold. Well, we did that, I mean before I joined the newsreels, one of the things they told me about, which was when they bought the rights to the test match. Now everybody remembers this, but I'll tell you this as it was told to me, because I wasn't there. Well that was at the oval, and they decided they'd have a balloon, a big balloon to stop anybody else from filming from off the flats opposite. So they rose, the balloon rose up and down with them, when they moved the camera on to the roof, the balloon moved up. When they brought it down to the second floor, then the balloon moved down. This was done consistently you see. This was the time of Bradman, um, great Australian. And er, lunchtime came you see, off they go, they leave the bloke who's waiting by the balloon, and er, I think it was Paramount, they had a bloke nobody knew, because you see you knew everybody. They came up to apparently to the little fellow who was on the winch, "cor it's amazing the way you keep up and down this balloon, cor." They said, "why is it?" And he told him, you see and he said, "ah, well what are you doing now?" He said, "well they've gone to lunch, but you know, I'm standing by." So he said, "that's all right, you go to lunch, I'll stand by for you, I'll watch it." "Would you?" Right, - off! To have a drink you see. So he did, well as soon as he'd gone he just undid it, let it go - wallop. So er, that was that. So they'd got to do something, they brought in a searchlight, so that as Paramount moved, they shone the searchlight into Paramount's lenses. Wherever they moved, that was it. Well that was the time when Bradman complained, said he couldn't see, because somebody kept shining this searchlight at him [laughs]. Er, well that's the kind of thing that happened. But you see you'd got the boys Jimmy Gemmell was a past master, so was er, they all were. Er, I've seen them at the Variety Hall in um, Birkenhead, often for a bit of fun, see if you were going to cover the Grand National, everybody was involved. Was the one time when everybody worked together, beyond any shadow of a doubt. You'd got your side to do, you'd got your bit to do, and it was all hello Jimmy, how are you, and this, that and the other. And we always used to go to the theatre in Birkenhead. Used to take over the first two front rows of the seats, the Variety Theatre. Er, the day before the Grand National, then we'd all go to various places and then all meet up at Aintree. Well, before the BBC ever did the Grand National, this happened, before it was ever televised at all. Years - year after year we did it. And er, I mean, they'd stand in the queue outside, I've seen Jimmy Gemmell do a busking act outside. He'd have cap, hat on the floor, this that and the other, do a little dance, Harry Abbott...one of the best performers ever, used to do a little tap dance and a little song, move his arms, bounce about. The people would throw the money in the hat, as they noticed the queue starting to move they'd pick it all up, get in the queue, move in with them, and they'd be sitting in the front seats. And the er, I think the best thing they brought the place to a halt was when the, the comedian was on stage and they didn't think much to him. And they rather gave him a little bit of a, oh you know, going over, and he did this thing he shouldn't have done. He leaned over, and he said, "if you can do better, you come and do it." And they did, make no mistake, they really put on a show that was second to none. And this was how they were. Um, they were completely outrageous some of the things they used to do. I mean, Jimmy Gemmell used to dress up as Gandhi, he had an act. And er, we were staying at Liverpool, I think it was in the Adelphi, and er, they were kidding him on, and they said, "go on Jimmy do your act - go on, do your Gandhi act." So he said, right, so he goes upstairs, takes his clothes off, puts his sheet on, does all that...got this sheet tied round him. [laughs] And he came down - of course, course everybody's gone then! and he walks into the lounge, and there's everybody looking at him saying, "Christ, what's this? A white Indian? What's happening? What's this guy doing?" But they did some outrageous things, I mean they barricaded a room, because there was one chap, he could walk on water. He had no fear of heights of any kind. And he was Liverpudlian, and he stacked everything in this room, and then he stacked everything and got out the window, walked round the ledge. Well of course when they...they even moved the refrigerator up from downstairs, that caused the trouble. All the way up the stairs and put it in this room, locked it in. And then he walked round, got through the window, and that was fine. But, in the end they had to get the fire brigade, with a long ladder to get up on the outside to get into the room because they couldn't move the...key didn't move, the door wouldn't move, they tried to break it down. But when they moved the refrigerator they ruined all the carpets, so the newsreels had to pay for the carpets, which wasn't very popular. Um, so they stopped that. Then you had the Cotters at Movietone, you see Terry Cotter was an outrageous, um, leg-puller, and er, I mean the classic story of all time, they had a long runner carpet, down the corridor to Gordon Craig's office. And he couldn't resist it, this chap standing there, knocking at Gordon Craig's old door. Said, "come in", as he opened the door, he got the carpet and pulled it. And he shot straight into the office. Um, oh he did some outrageous things. I mean, there was never any viciousness as such. Er, he, when Pathe had the rights to the FA Cup final, I mean, Terry waited outside, and he saw the bloke with the film, and he said to him, "you got the film then - Pathe?" And the bloke said yes, and he said, "right, thanks very much, give it to us." Right, give it to him, he put it in the back of the car, took it away. I mean, Movietone put their reel out and everything else, Pathe hadn't got any film. They were going raving mad, "where is it? What's happened?" And er, course in the end, it all came out, well Terry said, "well I didn't think it would upset them that much." Fancy that - he got all annoyed about it. You see, when they used to pinch things, you see, if anybody got the rights, the obvious thing was, when anybody had the rights to anything, the other four companies immediately said, "right - we'll pinch it. We'll show them they can't do this kind of thing, we'll destroy that idea for a start." So you'd get - don't forget, the cameras weren't small, or tiny, or... you know, they were all bulky and big, so you'd have a rash of picnics, you had people with big baskets, with the, taking the family on a picnic to the FA Cup final. And you'd get a lot of people in wicker chairs, you know, invalids, being pushed in with crutches which were tripods and all this kind of business, they'd all arrive. Well the only thing you could do is put as many of your own people on the gates as possible because you recognised them. You'd know who it was, "hello, come on, off - outside". That was the only way you could do it. Er, some of the things they did, but they had to be that way because that was the circumstances at the time. Now, if you said today [coughs], oh well the BBC have got the rights to so and so, well everybody would walk away. You wouldn't, they wouldn't say, "well, that's the biggest incentive we've ever known to pinch it - we'll do it, we'll publish it." (Oh sorry.) We'll publish it, which is what they should have done. Er, but they wouldn't do it today, they'd walk away and say, "well, it belongs to the BBC." We bought the 1948 Olympic Games, er, Castleton Knight bought that. Um, we did that, we had all the cameras, colour, they had no colour. What we did there was we had a, um, bi-pack, two strip colour system from America. It was half a crown a foot to be processed. Um, it was an overall red picture. But it was colour. And colour was colour.
Roy Fowler: Was it Technicolor, the Technicolor bi-pack?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Or another system?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, Technicolor bi-pack. But we had to ship it back to the United States, and it took six weeks for us to see it, before it came back. And, because of course in those days er, at the beginning, you know, in 1948 it wasn't so bad. But in the beginning, you know, people didn't fly to America, overnight. If, if you could have flown to America, you'd have had a statue put up to you at London Airport. Er, what girls were doing during the war, flying these planes back, had never been done before. The quickest way across the Atlantic was on the Queen Mary, you know, Queen Elizabeth, Le Harvre, Le Harvre to New York. That was it. Um, but it's not like today, where you can get on a plane and back, and I mean when you think that today, you see it as it happens from the other side of the world. That's the difference.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: It's a different world.
Roy Fowler: What were some of the other incidents in the newsreel wars, as they're called I think, when you were out to wreck someone else's coverage, or steal their...?
Ted Candy: You didn't do any damage, I mean, er, they used to run a sweepstake for the people who got them, the newsreel stuff back from Epsom say, first. That was for the despatch riders. Er, they worked there, but as I say, nobody ever um, did any damage. I mean it was always on a practical joke basis.
Roy Fowler: But if you could nobble him, you would.
Ted Candy: Well you wouldn't hurt him. I mean there was nothing like that.
Roy Fowler: I understand that, but if you could prevent him getting the story - you would.
Ted Candy: Well, you didn't try to prevent him getting the story, because it was his job. Er, if you got the rights then you were entitled to tell him to get out. You'd get him removed, because, just the same as if you were pinching it, and he'd got the rights. Although you could be the best of friends, he'd say, "I knew you bastard, I knew you'd be here, now get on, come on." Get rid of him, take him out, and they'd march you out and throw you outside. Well, what you'd do is you'd go along to the next gateway and pay again and go in.
Roy Fowler: Can you remember any specific stories of those circumstances, when people got stories despite all the er, all the odds?
Ted Candy: Well, I'll tell you. I went up to the Lincoln, to cover the...the Lincoln is a particular race, because it's, you've got a road that runs right alongside. And they had the BBC, you see, once they came into being they took, the BBC had a car, you had a police car leading the way, then you had a BBC car, then you had the newsreel car behind it, the Lincoln, because it was a straight mile. And they used to start off, pick it up, and run it along. And they'd do the follow. Well, we decided one day, as Pathe had got the rights, we'd pinch it. So we put a car in a farmer's hut, Leslie Murray was involved in this, and young John Cotter. Well they, as this police car moved off, they drove out, and they got in front of the police car, and they held them all back, because they were getting the picture. So the police car, he couldn't get in front of them, because it was a narrow road, and you'd got people watching the race so you can't. And they were belting along there, you know, at 55 miles an hour, so the police car couldn't take a chance. So they stayed behind, and then they go, once you get up to the top, they go round the stands, you see, you break off and go round the stands. Well of course he carried on, because the BBC were in an uproar, and the police wanted to...but of course they got out of the district and they got over the um, area before the police could catch them. Um, but that was one thing. Then the same time Pathe was doing it, and I was trying to get some stuff in the paddock and the finish, and there was a guy named Kibbey[?], who worked for Pathe at that time, big bloke, who went to Australia, he was only a youngster, after the war. Er, in the end he went to, immigrated to Australia. And he said er, he was there, and I was trying to go in, and, um, doing the best I can to keep out of the way. And er, Kibbey said, "hello Ted, how are you? What are you doing here?" I said, "I've come up to watch the Lincoln." He said, "oh, I thought you might be covering it." I said, "well, you've got the rights." "Well" he said, "I thought you might be." I said, "well", and he said, "isn't that your gear over there?" I said yes. And he said, "you are covering it aren't you?" I said, "yes", well he said, "where you going to do it then?" And I said, "I'm going to do it from over there." I thought, that's it, it's the end of the world, he's going to throw me out. And he said, "well you don't want to do that. Come up on my rostrum, you'll get a much better picture there." So we did. I mean, there's no wars. That was just one incident.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: As far as he was concerned he said, "I couldn't care less whether you get the pictures or not. I'm getting a picture, you're getting a picture, we're both going to put the newsreels out. That's it." And the newsreel were a commercial proposition, that's what you've got to remember. You had to sell them. The classic story of all time was the, the Leeds, I think he came from Leeds, the Leeds exhibitor, who was Jewish. And we were putting out a full reel, on this er, upstart Hitler. And he turned round and said, "I don't want this bloody idiot Hitler on my screens, I want this local agricultural show, from Leeds." So we had to go and cover that, to make a special for Leeds. And they never saw our story on Hitler and his rise to power and what was going on in Germany, because he didn't want it, he was a Jewish man, too. But he paid for the newsreel, so he wanted this agricultural show, the local show. That's the type of thing they had.
Roy Fowler: Did you do a lot of local coverage specifically for a major exhibitor?
Ted Candy: No, not an awful lot.
Roy Fowler: No because that must have been an expensive...
Ted Candy: When you think about it, it was much less than you would imagine.
Roy Fowler: Well, an expensive proposition I would have thought, to make up a special reel. Ted, um, along with, you say the newsreel wars didn't really exist, um how about faking, were stories ever faked in your experience, to your knowledge?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, I can tell you, tell you er, a story that was faked because it was impossible to do. You couldn't do it. The RAF bombed, um Budapest. Now, we got an aerial...they bombed it, I mean they did, they bombed it with a thousand bomber raid. And there was the, we hadn't got any pictures of the bomb, we'd got the pictures of the bombers taking off. Er, the bombers taking off, silhouetted against the sky, and taking off, a thousand bombers take off to bomb Budapest. And we'd got pictures of them arriving, coming back. But we hadn't got any pictures of the bombing. So, we had to make a story of the bombing, and we got a map, and there's Budapest, and there's the river, Budapest, ba-ba-bang. We did this at Denham, and we did the plane flying, and we did a tube, of...we went and bought a sixpenny puncture outfit, John Bull puncture outfit, and we put little blobs of glue on there, and then lit them. Because we were doing it with a Mitchell. And with a Mitchell you could turn it back, as you know, superimpose one picture on the other. And we lit these bombs, as they hit the deck. In the end we set fire to the river, we set fire to everything. We set fire to the bloody map - bang! But we got the bit of stuff we needed. And at that time, Britain was having a rough time. They were being hammered, in more ways than one. And I remember standing at the back of the Odeon at Barnet, and you saw this thousand bomber raid, this that and the other. And you saw these silhouettes take off, against the sky, all this droning planes taking off, and then you saw the night, the flashes, the bombs dropping, er you saw it burn, and you saw the flames and all this that and the other. It was quite an impression, bang, and then you saw the planes come back. Now the people stood up and clapped, "hooray!" They were cheering, they really were. And I thought, if you knew that half the picture you saw was phoney, was faked, but in detail, in actual fact it was a true story, but the pictures of the actual bombing were not true, they were phoney, but the impression they gave - it was only an impression. But it gave the people something to, to cling on to. Never mind about what they're doing to us, let's give them some of it back.
Roy Fowler: Well yes. That was propaganda.
Ted Candy: Oh yes, I agree with you.
Roy Fowler: Of which there was a great deal, but um, in peacetime, were there fake stories?
Ted Candy: No, I don't think so.
Roy Fowler: It was all on the level?
Ted Candy: All the stuff I can remember. But I mean, when you say phoney stories, the er, if you were going to do a story on um, say, um, Germany, politicians, you'd use a picture of, because you were going to say, um, right President Roosevelt, you brought in President Roosevelt, you'd show a picture of President Roosevelt. It might be only 10 feet, 15 feet, 10 feet, but you showed the picture of him, but it wasn't the picture of Roosevelt as he was there. It's a picture, a library picture. Just the same as you might say, and er, um, one of the politicians who's...like Foster Dulles[?] for instance, er, you haven't got a picture of him there but you, you got him there, but it was a big news item, that was it, you were just making a fact. And you were showing the people concerned with that. But it wasn't taken at the point, at the place. Nobody took the pictures there, because nobody was allowed. But that's the only kind of fake that you could say that there was. [Coughs]
Roy Fowler: In the heyday there were five British reels, and so ten issues all together, each week. That's a great deal of coverage, is it not?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Did each ...newsreel have its own sort of identity, its own character, would you say?
Ted Candy: Oh yes. And everybody was er, I mean each...they were very proud of that. And er, each time they would have a showing, and they would show all the newsreels together. They'd have the show copy, they'd put on er, like it might be at Film House, or at Pathe's, or Movietone in Soho Square, one of those three - they'd show all the newsreels.
Roy Fowler: Was this a regular occurrence - every week?
Ted Candy: Yes, yes. And they'd er, if you weren't doing anything, you went sat in and watched them, because it'd give you a chance to see all the others. But I mean I didn't see it very often, but um, nor did anybody else, but all the powers that be did you see. And then they'd, then you were wide open because then they'd say, "why didn't you get that picture of so and so on that story?" And you'd say, "but I did". Then it was the turn of the bloke in charge of the editing, he'd say, "why the hell didn't you use that picture." And it was, er, in the end you used to say, "well, would you like me to follow the Paramount's cameraman round. I'll follow him round all the time, I'll do exactly the same as he does, because, or do you want him to follow me, or what? Which do you want?" Because you couldn't do it. But what they were seeing, were, five completed stories.
Roy Fowler: Hmm.
Ted Candy: And each one had treated it in a different way. But it was fundamentally the same story.
Roy Fowler: Right.
Ted Candy: But, then when you've got the five to pick from you say, "oh well that one was much better". They like the way that was done, that was polished. Although they had the same material, that did, that did, and that did. It wasn't quite so good as that one, the way it was completed, the way it was done.
Roy Fowler: Of the reels, which, try to be objective about this, which do you think, or which was perceived as the slickest, the most polished perhaps?
Ted Candy: Um.
Roy Fowler: The most admired?
Ted Candy: I would say that Gaumont's were very good. I mean I'm prejudiced in there to a certain extent - I'm being honest.
Roy Fowler: Hmmm, difficult not to be, right.
Ted Candy: But I mean, you always thought, I mean I dare say if you had Jimmy Gemmell sitting here now, if you asked him the same question, he'd say without a doubt Paramount.
Roy Fowler: Well let me ask you then, which was your second favourite reel?
Ted Candy: I liked Paramount. I thought they were very good. I liked Movietone, I mean, don't make any mistake, I didn't think the er, the Universal never had the same facilities as the other reels, so it would be, um, not fair to compare them.
Roy Fowler: It was the backing was it? They didn't have the backup?
Ted Candy: Er, they didn't have the power of the others. Er, for instance, I mean, they didn't have a sound outfit.
Roy Fowler: Oh really?
Ted Candy: No. They ran it all silent, with dubbed sound everywhere. They couldn't put on a speech, or record a speech. Um...
Roy Fowler: Was there a political bias to the reels would you say? Altogether, or separately, individually?
Ted Candy: I would have thought there was, very definitely, I would have said they were all Conservative, make no mistake.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: I mean I remember the time when Atlee was Prime Minister, he was elected Prime Minister. Well, er, we were looking through the stuff that we'd already got, um, and Mr Howard, who was actually the Mayor of Chiswick, he was the er, he was the fall guy editor. Because you always had an editor who was the one who was going to take the brunt of any trouble. But he had no power as such on the reel. It was always the General Manager who decided what was what. And er, there was this election, General Election in this country, we saw the stuff we'd got, this was how they were going to put it out. And somebody said, "well supposing, what happens if Labour wins - if Atlee gets in?" Because Churchill was going to walk it, I think that's right. "Oh my Christ! We haven't got a picture of Atlee - we haven't got anything!" See, this was the type of thing. So we had to get in touch with Atlee, we took him down to the East End, he stood in a block of flats in the centre, he made a speech, we got all these housewives to lean forward over the balcony so we could take their pictures, and they laughed, and played about, they were great fun. And he gave them a speech, and he did it purely for us. And he had them in stitches half the time I'll tell you; he was a brilliant, brilliant man. And he did this that and the other, and he put his point over, we were there for I should think, he gave us about half an hour. And we'd done all the stuff we wanted, we got Mr Atlee. He couldn't be nicer. And er, it happened, he won it. So, apart from the fact that, the things you couldn't get ready, you'd got all the Labour, we'd now got this reel on Mr Atlee, bang, bang, bang. So we could put it out. We could then do all the stuff as it was, as it turned up. You know, the last minute this, the excitement of the crowds, because we always used to do it in Trafalgar Square when they used to have the election. All that kind of business, that all came up. [Coughs] But, if we hadn't have done, if we hadn't have done that - we wouldn't have had a picture to show.
Roy Fowler: Was there any attempt to make him look foolish?
Ted Candy: On no.
Roy Fowler: No.
Ted Candy: Oh no.
Roy Fowler: So it was quite straight. Was there any attempt to promote Churchill, to make him bigger, or more important than [indecipherable]?
Ted Candy: No, you see, you got, I mean it's, how can I put this to you? You see, Churchill only had to stand there with a cigar. Now if somebody's going to read detail out of what he's done, you know, the first thing you have to say, whether it's right, wrong or might be in your way of thinking or not, he turns round and says, "Sir Winston Churchill - the bulldog breed, the man with the cigar, the man who won the war...this that and the other, boom, boom, boom." They reeled off all these things. Well he became powerful, overall powerful the picture. If you'd got him, a picture of him playing hopscotch, he wouldn't have looked so good. But I mean, there he was mmm mmm mmm [doing impression of Churchill], he looked like a bloody bulldog [? - interrupted by RF].
Roy Fowler: So the bias lay in the selection of material. Right.
Ted Candy: That's the thing.
Roy Fowler: Well that still goes on today with television news.
Ted Candy: Of course, but I mean, don't misunderstand me but er, every, every cameraman that was there, I mean, he had his likes and dislikes. And if the bloke was a good'un, you know, always got time for you - "what do you want me to do? Right I'll jump off that roof - okay, as long as I land on my feet, is that alright?" Yes, right, bang, he'd do it for you. Well you all, he was always good because you'd, he'd always give you the time, he'd always do it for you, he'd...therefore you had better pictures of him. Now if you'd got somebody who, who turned round and said er, "what are you doing here? I don't want a picture, I don't want any of that." You knew damn well he did, but he'd put on a show, and you'd say, "right well I shan't take any pictures of him. The only picture I want to take of him is the back of his head." And so you did. I mean, that was...people who were nice to you made your job easier. For instance, like the Queen Mum. I mean, she was the best in the world. Because she always did the job for you. All you had to do was stand there. Wherever you stood, whether you put a rostrum up and a tripod, and a camera and the sound and microphone or whatever it was, you just put it there and left it. Because, if she was reviewing 10,000 guardsmen, she'd walk along until she got to the point, and then she'd stop. And then she'd turn and she'd say, "and what..." I mean you've already picked the guardsman you want - he looks good and he's got rows and rows of medals, you know which one it is. And she'd stand there [does an impression of the Queen Mother's voice], and she's turning half to you and half to him, and she's talking away [more impression] "ooh how marvellous", this that and the other. And she's more or less look up at you and if you liked you'd turn round and say, "thank you ma'am". Then she'd carry on. If you didn't, if you were still grinding away, she'd stay there, stay there all bloody day. But she'd go, then she'd go on, turn round, but you knew where you were.
Roy Fowler: Why was she doing that?
Ted Candy: Well she did the Coronation, when we did the Coronation, that was, er, she wanted to know where the cameras were. When we did the Jubilee, she wanted to know where the cameras were. Which side of the road and where were all the cameras going to be, because that was where she wanted to ...she didn't want to be facing this way, if the cameras were there. She wanted to...she knew her stuff, she knew...
Roy Fowler: What was her interest do you think? Helping you, or helping the family business?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, marvellous woman - marvellous, marvellous, marvellous, marvellous. She was selling the Royal Family. She did a marvellous job. And she was always the most gracious of ladies. Really, I'm and ardent Royalist, believe me. I couldn't, I wouldn't have their job, not for all the money in the world. I find them, I find them...they're so good, they're the highest paid, if you like. But you get them for nothing - that's what it amounts to. As far as we were concerned. You could, if you turned round, no matter who else it was, you could say the Queen was going through Denham at 7 o'clock in the morning and it's pouring down with rain, there'd be somebody there waiting to wave to her, bomp. There is nobody else in the world they'll do that for. They're marvellous people. And I think of all the times I've spent - the hours I've spent, where you've had cameras watching, all they want you to do is to just touch it. I mean if you were standing there and your nose itched, and you just wanted to do that, nobody would take the slightest bit of notice of you or me. But on the front cover of Life next week you've got Margaret holding her hand like that, holding her nose, which they're using - bang. They've got to be so careful, at that time. See don't forget at that time, with the Royal Family, you couldn't have a microphone. Nobody could record what was said. That was the agreement. You could record the music, you could record everything else, but you couldn't record what they said. If you did, you didn't use it. And I mean, a few years ago, the Royal Family, it was very much, I mean, not so easy as it is today. Therefore, when you got the facility, you took full advantage of it, and you did the best job you could. And if they let you - get away with something, well then that was great. But I mean er, the law was, no microphones, no sound. What the conversation was, was entirely private, always was. But then the, when the television came in, and they started putting microphones from the side of the crowd, long range, um, what do you call them, disc microphones picking up the sound and using it, that's when I said, well we'll do the same. And er, there was quite a bit of trouble about it, but in the end it was all sorted out.
Roy Fowler: Ted, who were the best newsreel cameramen in your opinion?
Ted Candy: The best...well there was well, they were all good, they were all, I didn't know any bad ones.
Roy Fowler: So they didn't last, if they weren't good, if they were...
Ted Candy: They were all good ones. They could all work, they all had their own idiosyncrasies, they all had their own way of doing things. You got one bloke who was er, absolutely brilliant, with, say, a 36-inch lens, 24-inch lens, he had the patience, and he would, he did a marvellous job of it. You'd got another bloke who would cover boxing extremely well. You'd get another cameraman who would be an artist at the horse racing. Er, you'd get another bloke who would do the, the run-of-the-mill stories, but was always up to date with what was happening, and therefore he was one step ahead of everybody else. Um...
Roy Fowler: How many were there at Gaumont British at any one time?
Ted Candy: Well altogether at all five, five newsreels, I don't think they ever had more than er, um, that's including soundmen as well, I don't think they ever had more than forty people all together...
Roy Fowler: Really?
Ted Candy: ...in the five.
Roy Fowler: Was there a considerable turnover? Or was it a job for life? Did they stay with you?
Ted Candy: Now, well, you see, there was nowhere else to go. Put it that way. Er, once you were involved in it, you were involved in it. I mean you, I can't imagine anybody jumping with joy of you walked in and said "I'm looking for a job", "well what were you doing before?" "Well I was a newsreel cameraman." They might say, "well did you cover that story that we saw the other week which I liked." You'd say yes, they say, "well that was very good, you did very well. But unfortunately, er, we're building motorways, or, we're building houses, or we're um, selling this, therefore you're no good to us."
Roy Fowler: Well you could have gotten into documentary filming perhaps...
Ted Candy: Yes but there was nothing, nothing [indecipherable]
Roy Fowler: It wouldn't have been so exciting - it wouldn't have pleased you?
Ted Candy: Not only that, you see, it was exciting, you went - I mean, you just think, as I told you - I went round the world, at least six times. I've been to every country that you care to mention. I went to Russia after the war, when Joe Stalin died - I went to Russia. I was the first one into Russia, from this country. And I got, my stuff was the first back. I learnt two words in Russia, which were the passport to anywhere - 'paciba', 'pashospa'[?]
Roy Fowler: Oh I know what the first means, but what was the second?
Ted Candy: Thank you - please and thank you. And the.. with those-two expressions you can get anywhere. It worked with me, in Egypt, in North Africa, in Libya, in the...South Africa, in Mauritius, in Australia, in Canada - you name it. Everywhere I went - in Caracas, in er, South America, Brazil, um...the Far East, the Middle East, Sweden, and...different types of people, there's nothing more different than the Swedes are to the rest of Scandinavia in my opinion. Er, they're entirely different, but it always works the same. As long as you're polite, and you say please and thank you, you'll always get away with it.
Roy Fowler: Yes. Ted, how about Sanger, your feelings about him, Gerry Sanger?
Ted Candy: A well, now, I...I'd like to make statement here...In all my years, and I've been working for 51 years, but in the years...in my years in the film business I met two real gentlemen. One of them was Gerry Sanger and the other one was Lord Rank. And they're the two I would rate as the two, real, in the meaning of the word, gentlemen. They were first class gentlemen.
Roy Fowler: Well, that's a remarkable endorsement. Did you meet um, J. Arthur?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: He was charming, and always considerate...and er, he was a different kettle of fish entirely. He always appreciated what you had to do, and he always said, "oh it's marvellous. It's wonderful - how did you do it? How did you do that?" And he was always, you know, sometimes you'd look at him and you'd think well, just a minute, what the hell's he doing talking to me? You know, I'm down here on the ground, I'm one of the, the ants who are working here, and he's an eagle up there. What's he talking to me for, what's he trying to do? But he wasn't, he was always the same. He was a charming man - a gentleman. And Gerry Sanger, I never heard him ever say, and I knew Gerry quite well over a great many years, but I never, ever heard him say one word against anybody. And that's the gospel truth. The most honest man I ever met, was a Mr Bateman that worked for Rank's. He was the most honest man I ever met in my life. He would, he would screw you, for one foot of film. I had memos, to say, "you should have in your possession, 2862 feet of film. I have your returns here which says that you have 2681 [sic] feet. Would you please explain where the one foot has gone?" For one feet [sic] of film, he'd want to know where it was. But he wouldn't cheat you of a ha'penny. He'd stand up and fight everybody to see that you got what was yours. I'd trust him with my life, and yours as well.
Roy Fowler: Bateman was who?
Ted Candy: He was an accountant, a chartered account, who worked for the Rank Organisation.
Roy Fowler: I see.
Ted Candy: At the beginning, he ran Radio Pictures, he was the secretary, the chartered secretary of Radio Pictures. And he was, he had three big film companies to run. He was the secretary, the chartered secretary. But a certain gentleman went along to him one night and said er, "from now on I want you to make er, two sets of books. One you do in pencil, bam, bam, bam." And he said, "not me you don't. I don't do that. I either do it my way or I don't do it at all." And three weeks later, he was demoted, and he was demoted. And he finished up on the...with us. Now why was a [???] man like Bateman, with his accomplishments, and qualifications doing a job that any, let's face it, fourth-rate accountant could do? And yet he stayed with us all the time, he died working for us. But he was a lovely man, lovely man. And he'd stand up to the powers that be if he, if he thought you were entitled to 3 shillings more than you got, he would stand up for you - he would fight for you. Never mind about if it 3 pounds, for was 3 pounds he'd take them all on. But I mean, even...even for the...he'd be just as hard on you, of you were trying to...swing one penny piece, but he'd be just as hard on anybody else who was trying to cheat you of a penny.
Roy Fowler: Was he aware of all the fiddling that went on, on expenses?
Ted Candy: There was never any fiddling on the expenses, as true as I'm riding this bike. No, he...when you say "fiddling on expenses"...now look, I'll give you an instance: I went to Russia, now when I got there, the Russians stipulated that you couldn't take any money out of the country. You could cash it, you could get the money through the bank. But once you'd cashed it, you couldn't take out roubles and you couldn't pay it back into the account. Now I'm there at the International Hotel, there's a gentleman from Sweden, who's a salesman, he's just going back to Sweden, he said to me, "you have come a way, how long are you staying here?" I said, "Yes, I'll be here for about three months." I think - six weeks, three months. And he said, "oh well, you could use this then, because it's no good to me." And he gave me a wad of money. Now, I took it and said, "thank you very much". And he explained the system to me. Now, if that's a fiddle, that I took that money and I used it, and then I charged the company for it, then that's a fiddle.
Roy Fowler: Mmm. Well I was thinking of relatively innocent things, er, much earlier you said thruppence on a bus became three bob in a taxi.
Ted Candy: Yes, well I was illustrating that to show you how n...nave I was because, I mean, nobody else ever used the er...
Roy Fowler: It's still a fiddle.
Ted Candy: Oh yes, absolutely. And I mean, er, just the same as I can tell you that, I mean, old Eddie who was an absolute genius, marvellous bloke, I mean he always used to...he'd do the job, but he'd do an elevated shot from somewhere, and if he got an elevated shot in his reel, in his story, you could rest assured he'd got charged for a ladder. Because he always charged for it - 5 shillings.
Roy Fowler: Um, that's a good space to point to the...break I think.
Tape 2, side 2
Roy Fowler: Ted Candy, side four. Um, no, I was thinking, when we were talking about fiddling, it was a relatively innocent and universal practice, I would have, I would have thought.
Ted Candy: Well I should think, if you work it out...I mean the most money, even when I got the best, after television came in, and er, I was offered a job by television, and then the company offered me a job to counteract that, so that I stayed with them. I mean, the most I think I ever got, was about 32 pounds a week. And that was at the end, that was in 1960.
Roy Fowler: Right. No, I wasn't for one moment, pointing any fingers...it's often said about me, my most creative work was done on an expense account. So...
Ted Candy: I quite agree with one of the comments that [coughs], pardon me, you know Hungerford Bridge...across the Thames, London.
Roy Fowler: Oh yes, yes.
Ted Candy: Well one guy put in for a taxi over Hungerford Bridge. And the classical comment that was always made about expenses was one bloke, he said, "you've put in everything you possibly can on this expense account. The only thing is you haven't put in tip to cable for carrying current, but everything else you've got." No, I mean, we used to go, well, I...you're going up to Glasgow. You've got, say, six big cases and a tripod and everything else. Well, you hump it yourself, you put it in the guards van yourself, you've got a, a trolley, you've loaded it up, and you take it and you put it in the guards van and then when you get out the other end you get a trolley and you go up to the guards van and you load it all in and check it in, and you push it out, and you put in the taxi and you get to the hotel. Well you've done it all yourself. So you put in "tip to porter - two and sixpence" er, "tip to porter the other end - two and sixpence". Er, that is technically fiddling, but I mean, you could have done just the same as...we had a super accountant on the um, over here, he's still alive - wickedest man that ever lived (but that's another story). But um, he didn't like this unload that they used to show when we had the original, in the early days when they had the soundman and the cameramen, they used to have to unload this, piles of equipment. And you think that, you'd got a connection that used to weigh 4 pounds, in weight - a brass connection, a cable. That weighed 4 pounds, just to clamp it together. Not these little tiny, like they are on there, but great big clamps. Er, you got to hump it up, you got 10 shillings - 10 shillings unload. Now that um, this genius suddenly said, "we'll stop this". So he did. He said, "no, from now on I want a receipt". So they said, "certainly". So the first job they go to, there it is, "right, now we want a couple of labourers, where can we get a couple of labourers from?" "Well I don't know where you'll get them from". "Right, we'll go and get them from the council". So they hired a couple of blokes from the council, ba, ba, bam, and got a bill for it. Yes, paid for, so much an hour - that's it. They put it in. From that moment onwards they turned round and said, "well don't worry about that any more, that's all right, the unload stays, yes, yes, yes". I should think it did too, because the only thing that they were charging was for what they were entitled to. They were entitled to spend it. I mean if er, if you were from here to Luton, and I'd got to go and I'm supposed to go by train, well if you're going up there with me and you're taking me in your car, well I'll pay you for the petrol. But I'm not going to say...it's not going to stop me from charging the company the train fare there and back because they were prepared to pay that in the first place.
Roy Fowler: Right. Well, in the light anyway of the poor salaries they paid, and the quite extraordinary conditions, it seems little enough recompense, I would think.
Ted Candy: And you see, they'd never, I mean they never gave you a big expense account for entertaining or something like that, which is...which you could make money on.
Roy Fowler: Mmm.
Ted Candy: I mean, the most I ever had, I did a trip, that car around the world. And they said er, old Castleton Knight he said to me before I went, he said, "now look, you know you're, you're carrying the name of Gaumont-British, you're an ambassador". I said, "yes sir, I know all about that". So he said, "right. For any small town that you're in, or small area, we'll give you 2 pound a day social expenses. For any big town, like New York or Los Angeles, we'll give you 5 pounds a day social expenses". I said, thank you very much, charming". Well, when you work out, I did the job and I did it well - everybody said so. And I gave...I put my expenses in, Mr Bateman said to me, "I think you did extremely well Ted. You've done a marvellous job, you did well". Well it had to go to Knight for signing, and he turned round and said, "what's this about this social expenses?" And I said, "well that's what you said". "I wouldn't say a thing like that! Don't be ridiculous". I said, "just a minute, stay where you are behind that desk, don't move". And I went out and I got hold of Mr Bateman, I said, "can you come in a minute, Mr Bateman please?" He came in. I said, "Mr Bateman, Mr Knight can't remember when he told me that I could have 2 pound social expenses and 5 pound social expenses. Do you recall that?" "Most definitely", he said, "I was here, sitting here at the time, and of course Mr Knight that's exactly what you said." And old Knight said, "Oh, oh well in that case I'll sign it, that's all right then."
Roy Fowler: Had he forgotten, or was trying to...
Ted Candy: Oh he was only trying...playing hard to get.
Roy Fowler: Cheap.
Ted Candy: He would have given it to me in the end. Undoubtedly. But he would have made me pay for it, in more ways than one.
Roy Fowler: Tell us more about him, because I meant to ask you before.
Ted Candy: He was the...he was the best showman I ever met. He could sell anything to anybody. Er, he'd get you to do anything, with enthusiasm. With his, he was going to do it, "we're going to do this, we're going to do that, we're going to do this, we're going to do that." And you'd find yourself doing it, although you'd said at the beginning, "I'll never do it again". But I mean, I'll give you an instance. We were in 127 Wardour Street up the road here, and the King died in Sandringham. George Fleischman who's over in Ireland, he was sitting at his desk, at the desk with Castleton Knight. And I knocked the door and I went in to him, and I'd torn the tickertape off, I said, "Mr Knight, I've got some bad news for you, the King is dead." And he said, "I'm very sorry, because he was a good man," this that and the other. [indecipherable] the King is dead. And I swear to you, that exactly as I tell you this happened, he picked up the phone and he rang Technicolor. And...George somebody or other he rang, when he rang Technicolor. And he said, "I want an option on every Technicolor camera". He told him first of all that the King was dead and all this that and the other, then he said, "I want an option, on the entire, every Technicolor camera in Europe, and I want an option on the plant and I want it in writing, and I want it today", this, that and the other. And they said, "oh for the funeral? It'll be for the funeral", and he said, "no, it'll be for the coronation" - bonk. And I thought, "Jesus Christ, I'm thinking about the funeral", you know, the dum, dum, de-dum [sings funeral march], and the sons and all the kings and princes of Europe walking behind like they'd done before, and always have done. I thought, "my god, this guy, he's thinking way ahead of that - the coronation". And of course he was absolutely right. And er, he got the chop from John Davis for that too. Although if he hadn't have done the coronation, I tell you straight, there would have been no Rank organisation today. The reason the Rank organisation is alive and kicking today is because Castleton Knight did that coronation. He made more money than they'd ever seen up to that time. And they were in such a bad way they needed it.
Roy Fowler: And you say he got fired?
Ted Candy: Well he got hauled over the coal, coals for it two years later.
Roy Fowler: Hmmm. What, for committing [indecipherable]...
Ted Candy: "Who gave, who gave you the authority to do that?" That was John Davis, I mean he gave him a rough time. But er, Castleton Knight had er, not only his own ability, and er, tremendous strength, and he'd back you one hundred percent. That's where his strengths lie. If you were going to do anything, he'd move heaven and earth for you, he'd fight for you - tooth and nail. Um, even if you had to give way in the end, he'd still give way, but he'd fight, he really would.
Roy Fowler: He was a good boss then?
Ted Candy: Oh, he was a good boss, he had his idiosyncrasies the same as everybody else. He'd fire you just as leave look at you, then start you on again. And then if you turned round and give him a rough time, he'd turn round and probably give you a raise. Just to show you there was no ill feeling.
Roy Fowler: Was there a barrier between management and the staff? How did you call him?
Ted Candy: Er, I always called him C.K., Mr Knight, you know, and er, he used to be, he was very human, very ordinary. Um, he had a brilliant, brilliant mind when he set his mind to anything. When he wanted to do something - he'd do it. And er, he had great showmanship. I mean, when we did this film on Arnheim, he did it on next to nothing, on a shoestring. And er, when he put it on at the...er, Gaumont Haymarket, he had searchlights on the top of the theatre, going across the sky. And the crowds stopped to watch because the war hadn't been over very long, and they thought, "Christ, they're all coming back, what's going on?" There were these searchlights, he had all the police outside on horses, white horses. He staged it, he stage-managed everything, but always with a reason. Er, I've never seen a man work so hard he did on that Olympic Games. Er, after all the ballyhoo and all the pomp and circumstance, a lot of work has to be done. And he did that, by god he did. In two days he put that picture together and finished it. And I mean, that wanted some doing. He was brilliant, brilliant. Mind you, he had some brilliant people working for him. I don't mean, I'm not referring to myself, I mean, Roy Drew, and John O'Kelly, they were hard workers, brilliant workers, they really were.
Roy Fowler: They were editors, or...?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Ah.
Ted Candy: Yeah, down at Denham. That's where it was done. You see, and...everything was so different in those days, you didn't have tapes...you know, it was all done on...And when, if during the war you wanted the sound of the bombs, and sound of the gunfire, well they used to put a camera up on the roof, Poland Street garage, a thousand foot camera, and just point it up to the sky. I mean, there's nothing to look at, you couldn't see anything, but you'd here, whomp, whomp whomp. That was the bombs dropping.
Roy Fowler: This was what, a single system camera?
Ted Candy: Yeah, sound, sound camera.
Roy Fowler: ...sound camera.
Ted Candy: Then you'd switch it on, and you'd got to, a microphone out there, you'd wait when you thought it was going to happen - whomp, whomp. Then it'd get closer - whomp, whomp, whomp. When you'd think there was a lull in it, you'd switch it off. Then you'd switch it on again, if you'd got the anti-aircraft - bang, bang, bang. Switch it on, you'd get it going up. Well then they'd take, that would be processed the same as the ...the film, the picture, but you'd got the track, that's all. And you'd use it in the usual way. Um, I mean, in the latter stages, of my life, we were laying magnetic tape, you know, if you wanted a racing car, you'd got a picture of a racing car starting you'd look at it and say, "right, that's a Ferrari, right we want a track of a Ferrari", you used to put it on, lay it on.
Roy Fowler: Right.
Ted Candy: I mean, that's what you did. If it was an aeroplane, you'd put it on.
Roy Fowler: [assenting noises]
Ted Candy: Um...
Roy Fowler: Let's talk about the last days, the final days, when it all began to fall apart. When was there an inkling that the fate of the Newsreels was sealed?
Ted Candy: Well, you knew it was, because the...you knew it couldn't go on because A) it was costing us more to print the bloody things, than the money we could get in for it.
Roy Fowler: When was that apparent?
Ted Candy: Well, I was running Movietone at the end, um, and we were paying Rank something like 25 pound a reel for printing. And we were charging Rank 20 pound a week, twenty pound an issue, to show it.
Roy Fowler: Hmm. Ted you say you were running Movietone.
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Tell us about that, er I thought you were still with G.B., but...
Ted Candy: No, well G.B. news packed up you see. Paramount packed up first of all.
Roy Fowler: That was when?
Ted Candy: Er...
Roy Fowler: Roughly, if you can't remember exactly.
Ted Candy: Oh, that was about 1956.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: Er, than er, Gaumont's packed up about 1960, just after. Then we took on, we started to make 'Look at Life', until '69. And that was very profitable, and very...we kept all the people the same people.
Roy Fowler: You were a cameraman for 'Look at Life'?
Ted Candy: No, I ran the camera side.
Roy Fowler: What, assigning cameramen?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Assigning, and er...
Ted Candy: Yes, and deciding what we were going to do, and how we were going to do it.
Roy Fowler: You would choose the subjects? Or you would set up the servicing?
Ted Candy: No, I'd go to all the meetings and I'd say, "well, you come up with suggestions of your own". But you'd then give reasons why you couldn't do that.
Roy Fowler: [assents]
Ted Candy: They'd come up with some right bloody stupid ideas which would have cost us thousands and thousand of pounds to do. Well you've got to keep within the bounds of what you've got to spend.
Roy Fowler: What was your budget?
Ted Candy: Um, not very much. You'd be surprised.
Roy Fowler: Well can you remember?
Ted Candy: Er, couldn't tell you, I can't remember exactly, but it was very, very little.
Roy Fowler: You were getting one reel out per month.
Ted Candy: Per week.
Roy Fowler: Per week!
Ted Candy: Every week.
Roy Fowler: Oh.
Ted Candy: We did 52 a year. And then the occasional special thing here or there. Um, but it was er, you were dealing with people who had no idea what you could do with a camera, what you couldn't. Er, they had no idea of limitations, and the way you could do it. Um, you had to explain everything to them, all right you can show a picture if you like, somebody says something about stress. Now if you wanted to illustrate this with a picture, in the old days they would show somebody holding their head, you know, "oh Christ I'm going barmy" and then they'd cut to a shot of a rope slowly but surely breaking, you know, untwining and...that was the illustration of stress. When you suddenly say you want to show the stress in the general public outside, then all you can do is, you're going to take pictures, through a window or something, and show then crossing the road, with the cars and the flashing lights, and the stop go stop go, and the cars going across - the stress of it all - this is modern day life. You can't suddenly take pictures of people's eyeballs in the street as they're walking along, and suddenly see a reflection in a window, of a person walking along, and do the reflection in the window, and then cut to their face walking in. You don't know who they are, you've never seen them before in your life, you don't know what they are, and then you've got to quote to them, that this lady is under dire stress, she could turn round afterwards and say, "you were joking. I'll sue you from here 'til Christmas". Er, you had to explain all this to people. That's what the meeting used to take place [sic]. Then you used to say, "well leave it with me and we'll do it, but we'll have to do it our way, my way, because otherwise you can't do it at all". And then you'd go away and do it - that's what it amounted to. But um, then when that ended, er, I went to Percy...I wrote to Movietone, I went to see Movietone, I wanted to see Percy Livingstone, he was the boss of Movietone. And he wasn't there, he was in America. And I said to Percy Livingstone, or his ADC who was there, I said well, "he doesn't know me from Adam, but I understand that Movietone, you still run Movietone from this office, so what I'd like to do, is I would like to give this list to you, of all these people who have been so brilliant in their lifetime. And are being thrown on the waste heap by being made redundant". I said, "now there's all their names, what they do, what they can, and their telephone numbers, their address, and everything else....
Roy Fowler: So Ted...
Ted Candy: ...and I would like Mr Livingstone to consider them".
Roy Fowler: To interrupt you for a moment, the Rank organisation just slung you out after...thirty years' service, or...?
Ted Candy: Yes. For which I get a very small pension. I paid in for it. Um, and that's what I did, to try and keep them in the business, because they were too good to throw out and become, um, take any job they can, because you know, in the film business you know it as well as I do, that if the circumstances are such, er, then they've got to survive, or they had to. I mean, some of the big shots eventually were driving vans at one time, because they couldn't get a job anywhere else. Eventually they'd come back. But er, that's what I did, and I was amazed to hear that I'd got a telephone call from er, Twentieth Century Fox, saying er, "could you come back, could you come call in the office, we'd like to see you". So I said yes, so I went back to see him, I thought they were going to say, "well, we can take two of your people, but we can't take any more, which two would you recommend for this job?" Instead of that they said er, "we got all these names and this that and the other, we understand, but now we see that your name is not on this list". I said, "no, it's not". They said, "well, we wanted to know where you're going to work, what you're going to do". I said, "what am I going to do? I'm going to take my wife on a holiday". I said, "we're going to have a ball. I'm fed up of worrying about redundancy and people losing their jobs. That's for me, I'm going out, I'm going to play golf and forget about it". And they said, "well, have you got a job?". I said, "no, I'll think about that when I come back". And they said, "well, would you like to add your name to this list, and tell us what you can do, what you do". I said, "no", I said, "I'm not really interested in it. I'll decide when I come back, I'm going away". And that was that. And then I got a telephone call, "Mr Percy Livingstone would like to see you, would you come and see him". I said, "yes". So I went and saw him again, said, "what's it all about". He said, "um, I'd like to offer you a job". I said, "well that's very kind of you. Thank you very much. May I ask what the job is?" He said, "well, I want somebody to take over Movietone, I want somebody to run Movietone". And he said er, "we're losing, they're losing money hand over fist. And it means the end, I've got to stop it". He said, "and I don't want to do that, I'd like to keep it going. So that's the first job. And the other one, I'd like to make some shorts, and I'd like a producer". And he said, "so, now if you'd like to become, if you'd like to take on the job producing shorts for me, you're in. If you'd like to take on the job of running Movietone, you can". He said, "it's up to you". I said, "alright, well I'll tell you what Percy, if I take over Movietone, I'll run them both. I'll do then both or not at all. Because I know what you're going to do, you're all the same, you're going to use Movietone to make your shorts anyway, so I'm going to be, that's all you're going to do. So that's what you're trying to do". And I said, "if I'm going to do it, I do it both ways. I want to have the final say over this that and the other". And I said, "from now on I'm going to make my own name, I'm not making other people's. So I want you to understand that before we even start". And he said er, "that's it". He said, "you'll have to give me time, I just want to check up on this that and the other". I said, "yes". When I saw him he said, "[coughs] I haven't had time to check up on your, you know, on you". I said, "you don't want to worry. I've had time to check up on you, I've found out a little bit about you so I know exactly where we stand". I said, "so don't worry about it, everything will be all right". And it was. And then we kept Movietone going for about another 15 years. Um, which was a struggle, on a shoestring. We made a few bob...er, but they wouldn't spend it the way I wanted them to. I had no interest. They never, I had no part of Movietone. I realised afterwards what I should have done, I should have bought it. I should have said, "I'll tell you what, I'll give you 25 thousand for it" - they'd have taken it. Could have made a fortune then. But, instead of that, er, I took it on, I ran it, I made him a lot of money and we kept everybody employed right up to the end. We were the last one. And even then we kept it going afterwards. We developed the library whilst we were running it and we made it into a world-wide set-up, on a very small scale. Um, because, a) we had no money for advertising, we had no money to...do anything about it, it was just catch-as-catch-can and using friendship, people you knew, and that's what we did. And er, it developed, it really did. If Lady Rothermere had of helped us with a little money now and again we'd have probably done a lot better. But they wanted to take it out and didn't want to put it in.
Roy Fowler: Why her? They were shareholders?
Ted Candy: Yes, Lord Rothermere and she was 45%, and Twentieth Century Fox was 55%. But, er Fox were very good. And I'll tell you this much, if I hadn't have worked those last fifteen years for Fox, I wouldn't be sitting here. I'd have st...I'd have been working somewhere or other swinging a pick or digging a hole in the ground, because I couldn't have lived the way I live now without Fox. Fox were marvellous.
Roy Fowler: What happened to the others who also were let go and weren't so lucky. They just went out of the business?
Ted Candy: Well, they were all older, old enough to retire...
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh...
Ted Candy: They all got a pension from Fox, which nobody paid in for, it was all supplementary, nobody had to pay a penny for them.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: And er, I got them to agree to bring their pension scheme up to date, which they did, which made all the difference in the world. Now I gave John, I got John O'Kelly back, who was, used to be with Gaumont's and he was there at Pinewood, running their library there, working in their library there. I got him back, to work for Movietone. He retired from, with Rank, and then he retired from Fox. And this is just between you and me, it's of no interest to anybody else, but his pension that he got for the few years he worked for Fox, was ten times for the forty-five years he worked for Rank.
Roy Fowler: I can believe that.
Ted Candy: That's a fact.
Roy Fowler: Uh-hmm...When finally did Movietone close down?
Ted Candy: Um, when did we close down? I've got the final poster up on my wall at home. Um, with the signature of everybody who was working on it on the last day. Um, when was it? About 19...70, 80, I think we closed down in 1979. About 1979, 1980.
Roy Fowler: Hmm. It had really ceased to be a Newsreel of course at that stage hadn't it - because...
Ted Candy: ...No, we were still putting out a reel, one a week, in colour.
Roy Fowler: But it was less news, and more topics I suppose...
Ted Candy: Well it was no good competing with the news as such as we used to.
Roy Fowler: That's my point.
Ted Candy: It was a spectacular news. What we did was er, all right, the Derby. But we had to make it different. In other words, everybody knew the winner before we even put the reel out, so you'd got to make it spectacular. So we stuck, instead of er, we couldn't afford to build 75 foot towers like they used to, when you used to do the Derby from the start to the finish in one sweep - that's how they did it originally. The old Newsreels always did the same, great big tower up on the do-dah. Er, we used to put, you'd go down the seven furlong start, you'd spend a day down there trying to find a different angle, and, so that you saw the horses coming up, and then you run them slow motion, so you saw nostrils going, and all this, and the faces of the jocks and the whips coming up, and you made it live. You made a different type of picture of it. You wouldn't have done that in the Newsreel because they'd have said, "Christ we can't afford to run this bloody thing. It runs for 50, 120 ft. Well we only want 5 ft of that." But it made a marvellous picture of it. You tried to make the picture, make it different. And, they did very well at that. That was the only way you could do it.
Roy Fowler: How many cinemas was it going into at the end?
Ted Candy: Er, well you see you had first run cinemas, they were the money-spinners. If you had the first run cinemas, er, it was the first showing...er
Roy Fowler: So how many prints per, per issue, per edition?
Ted Candy: Oh we got, it was down to about 35 prints, you see. Er, it was costing us more to buy the prints than it was to sell them on the first run. Then there was the second run - they used to run them a week, and then nine days, and then eventually you'd get them up in the north of Scotland, they'd get, they'd pay er, one pound. You know, which hardly paid for the transportation.
Roy Fowler: Hmmm. Did you have a budget? A weekly budget?
Ted Candy: No. We just had to make a profit.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: At the end of the period, er, we had a, I mean we started off with er, meetings once a month, and in the end we didn't have a meeting once every twelve months. They left you on your own. All, the only thing you had to...account to Fox was what your bank balance was, and what was happening and how much money you'd got.
Roy Fowler: What was your exact position then, Ted, at this stage? Were you managing Movietone?
Ted Candy: I was General Manager. We didn't have a Managing Director. Um, we had the, I was the General Manager, and er, I was also um, a director of the company, they made me director. I didn't get anything for it, it just meant I kept in the know as to what was going on, and I could argue with them.
Roy Fowler: And you carried the can.
Ted Candy: Yes. Well it always looked good, you know, you were a Director of the company.
Roy Fowler: How many short subjects did you make?
Ted Candy: Ooh, I should think about 30, 40.
Roy Fowler: Yes, what was that - one a month? Or, er...
Ted Candy: No, we used to make one for Fox you see. If they'd got a, because it's no good, it was no good making a short to try and sell it. Because you'd never sell the bloody thing because nobody would buy it. Rank wouldn't buy it, because they'd all re-issue the old ones rather than buy new ones. So what I did, I levered Fox into the position that if they'd got a film coming over, and if it ran for just so long and the programme was...then I used to say, "that's a short. We can put a short in there." Now I used to sell...the film, the short to Fox. And they would pay me for it, which would make a profit. They would make a very nice profit out of it too, on the distribution.
Roy Fowler: Mmm.
Ted Candy: And all that kind of thing. Because we always had to pay the distributors anyway...
Roy Fowler: Right.
Ted Candy: ...so it didn't matter whether we were winning, losing or...drawing.
Roy Fowler: Well they couldn't, they couldn't lose with Eady anyway could they?
Ted Candy: No, well they...exactly.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: And that was the thing. I mean it's just the same as 'Look at Life'. That was done on an Eady money basis. Um, and it was a very profitable set-up. Really was. Er, but there again they all get um, all these people get very um, how can I say? I want to be topical, they get a touch of the Lester Piggott's, they get greedy.
Roy Fowler: Ah yes.
Ted Candy: They get greedy. They're not content. Now, um, some people if they had a income of 10,000 a year at one time, they would have said, "I'm in the seventh heaven of delight, I'm grateful", but you see there are some people that are not cont...satisfied with that. They're not satisfied, they want 50,000, they want 100,000, they want 200,000. They're never satisfied. Um, and so eventually the engine blows up.
Roy Fowler: Well, we're living through it once again are we not? And they bring it all tumbling down. I remember fifty years or so ago, my father used to say, "there are two motivations in the city of London, one is greed and one is fear."
TC: [coughs] Exactly.
Roy Fowler: We're seeing it operate now.
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Ted I feel that maybe we should backtrack a little on ...um...'Look at Life'. Is there anything more to be said of that since it was an indigenous reel for the Rank organisation?
Ted Candy: Oh, yes. I mean, we were, I was running the camera side, and they said um, "we're going to close down Gaumont British News". And that wasn't because of the um, television, as everybody seems to think it was, but it was a particular policy. Because Castleton Knight was leaving, he left because John Davis forced him to, that's beside the point. But that's primarily...
Roy Fowler: Well no, it's, it's a matter of history, so it's good to know, he was forced out again after years of loyal service.
Ted Candy: Well that's what I'm saying...
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: But I mean um, I couldn't prove it to you.
Roy Fowler: No. Well the stories of...
Ted Candy: It could be denied most emphatically. But one of the, kind of thing was, I mean we had, um, a signature tune, the March of the Movies. Um, Moviet...um Gaumont was la, da da da da da da da da dum[sings]...
Roy Fowler: "Leslie Mitchell recording"[impersonating Mitchell]
Ted Candy: This was um, not Leslie Mitchell, that was Movietone...
Roy Fowler: Oh sorry, forgive me, forgive me - Emmett.
Ted Candy: It was um, Ted Emmett. And he was brilliant, genius he was. Absolute genius. He had a wonderful sense of humour. And he could, he could... he'd got a bloke, Roy Drew, who was a brilliant editor, who could work, he would, never give up. He'd make something out of nothing. But, he couldn't see the funny side of anything.
Roy Fowler: This is Emmett?
Ted Candy: That was Roy Drew.
Roy Fowler: Ah, sorry.
Ted Candy: But Ted Emmett could. He was the, he could see the humour in any picture, he'd see anything and he'd say, "oh we'll do this, we'll twist that round and use it that way" bang, bang, bang. And it was funny. And it would make the audience laugh. Now you know as well as I do, you get a cinema, it's spontaneous. As soon as one laughs, they all laugh. One laugh will lead to another, will lead to another. And er, if, like the old Charlie Chaplin pictures, he made them laugh, he had them crying the next minute. As long as you do that, you'll always win. Um, but I mean, we were told we'd got to change the title, change the signature tune after all these years. And er...
Roy Fowler: Where did that come from, South Street?
Ted Candy: Yes. And then er, they said, "has it been done, why hasn't it been done", this that and the other, and then they come out with the 64 dollar question you know, "either you do it or I'll get somebody who will." And um, I couldn't believe it. I'll never believe it. But um, when old Knight was retiring I thought, "well that's it, he's been a friend of mine for years, he never told me". Then he said, um, "I am retiring, I'm going", and I said, "why do you do that, what the hell are you up to?" And he said, "well, circumstances are such that there's, that's the only thing left open to me", he said, "I can manage all right, so I'm retiring". So he did. And he said er, "the chap I'm going to..." well I said, "who's taking over from you?" And he said, "there's a man named Grafton Green", he was the editor of 'The Sketch', 'The Daily Sketch'. And I said, "oh", and he introduced me to him, he was quite a nice man. Um, I said to old Knight, "do you want this bloke to take this job or not?" I said, "because if you don't want him to have the job, he won't have it three weeks, that I'll guarantee to you." And he said, old Knight, I said, "because we'll stop him, stop him dead in his tracks, because he knows nothing at all about it, nothing at all." And he said er, "oh no, he's quite a nice man" he said, " help him all you can." I said, "right", so we did. And we made him, no two ways about it. I mean, he was er, this is the, [noise, possibly Ted moving, interferes with the sound during this sentence] he was the biggest snob I ever met in my life. I never met a man like him, ever.
Roy Fowler: This is the one coming in?
Ted Candy: Grafton Green. J-e-e-esus Christ, you couldn't believe it, you couldn't believe that the world, that people existed still the same. I mean, such a bloody liar too. He really was. You know, one of his favourite words was "kinsmen", "he's a kinsmen of mine". You know and this that and the other. But he never, ever mentioned his brother, who I happen to know. But er, he worked as a sweeper-upper at Wimbledon dog track. And I assure you, it didn't go down well with me. Anyway, that's between you, me and the gatepost. But er, I would say he was, Grafton Green, knew as much about the film business, a little bit less than that frame of that picture.
Roy Fowler: How much longer did the reel survive after he came in?
Ted Candy: Well it survived, we survived ten years we kept it going.
Roy Fowler: As long as that?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: What was your function then, were you still a cameraman, or had you...
Ted Candy: ...No, I ran the cameras. I set it up, and I did the stories, and, as I say, we went to the meetings, and I told them what they could do and what they couldn't do.
Ted Candy: And even had a, um, the powers that be that used to come down from er, just up the road here, Rank Film Distributors, they said, "when we have the meeting, would you please keep your head still". I said, "I don't know what you mean, I don't know what you're talking about". He said, "from now on, will you keep your head still?" I said, "I always keep my head still, what are you talking about?" He said, "when somebody says something, look at Grafton Green, you always look at them and go...[pause]", and he says, "well, perhaps we shall have to think about that, well, I-I-it has possibilities but..." And then he said, "you go like this" and he said, "ooh yes, that's a very good idea", so why do we have him there - why don't we ask you? Save a lot of time and trouble.
Roy Fowler: I should point out for the tape that you were nodding your head either up and down or side to side.
Ted Candy: Yes. But that was the way it was done. But you'd got to help him, you'd got to protect him, um, which is what we did. And so we made it work, and it was the only way we made it work. It wasn't because I nodded my head, believe me. It was the fact, the reason was, we got three or four cameramen - Peter Cannon was still there, um, Bill Hooker was er, he changed from sound to a camera, then we had Albert Wherry, who was a lovely kid. He died when he was 45. Um, but he was a worker, second to none - do anything. Um, I wanted to do, when we did picture when they built that Post Office tower. I thought I saw that commercial the other day, which was up there, and I thought how long it'd take them today to do it. We hadn't got anything like that, we couldn't get a helicopter, we couldn't afford one. But not only that, they wouldn't let you fly a helicopter over there. So we put him up on the end of a crane. You know, one of those buckets...
Roy Fowler: Yes, yes.
Ted Candy: ...he went up the top, sat there, good as gold, did it all, lowered him down, pulled him up. He did zoom shots and all the [coughs] and they looked fantastic, marvellous. And he did a marvellous job. He really was.
Roy Fowler: What was...
Ted Candy: But they made it possible.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: They did.
Roy Fowler: Well that's, that's so often the case isn't it? The foot soldiers actually do the graft and make it work.
Ted Candy: They did.
Roy Fowler: What would you say at that stage, was the level of competence of Rank executives? I mean, was that typical do you think, or was he a one-off?
Ted Candy: No. No, no, no. I think the vast majority of Rank at that time, I mean, don't forget you had a strong-arm man, at the top - John Davis. Now John Davis was a good man for the period of time when it was essential that you had somebody like that, to hold it together. But he was also er, the wrong kind of man, because I always feel, this is only my opinion, that the power structure went to his head a little bit. Um, you could, nobody worth his salt, who's going to be a man, is going to be told what to do and how to do it all the time. Sooner or later he's going to turn round and say, "Just a minute, I know my job, I'll do it the way I know is right". Not the...I mean I've had people say to me, "well we've got to do so and so", and I've said, "well, I don't know how you're going to do it". They said, "look, it doesn't matter - we've got to do it". Then I've said, "right well er, I'm sorry, but I just don't know how to do it, so you'll have to tell us how to do it because I can't do it. I wouldn't know the first way of doing it. Now how do we do it - you tell me". And the only answer was, "oh but the Chairman wants it". I said, "I'll tell the Chairman, I'll ring him up". I knew him, I'd been away with him [from] time to time, I said, "I'll ring him up, tell him. There's only one way I know we could do this. And we'd have to employ one person, that's Jesus Christ, because he's the only bloke I know who could do it, nobody else. Nobody else in this world could do what you're asking us to do. And therefore I can't do it."
Tape 3, side 1
Ted Candy: And I mean, he ruled with a rod of iron, I've got a docket now, at home, which says, when he first started, which says, "nobody shall spend 10 pounds without my authority, J. Davis." Now I mean, we're running a Newsreel. And, I'm down at Folkestone, there's a training ship that's missing, you know, one of these with all these kids on. These great big old... And there's the local p - the press boys from Fleet Street and everybody else is there. "Right, we're hire a tug, and we'll go out and look for it. That's the only thing we can do. Because it's supposed to be somewhere in the North Sea. Right, because you can't go out in a rowing boat." "Right, how much are we going to pay? Well if we all chip in 25 quid we can charter the thing for the, 12 hours, or whatever you like. So we can go out 6 hours, and 6 hours back, see if we can find it."
[Abrupt cut on the tape, followed by a long pause.]
Roy Fowler: Right, this is side er, 5. Sorry Ted, I wasn't prepared for that break. You were saying, um, Folkestone, and you called the office to get the money for the tug.
Ted Candy: Yes. And I rang Mr Howard, and he said, "what's the matter?" I said, "now what about this 10 pound Mr Howard - I want to hire this tug. Can I have your ok to do it?" And the phone went dead. I rang back again, because I thought I'd been cut off - nobody in. The phone girls were there, and they said, yes I'll put you through - no reply, no reply. Couldn't get any reply.
Roy Fowler: What was he doing - hiding under the desk?
Ted Candy: Oh, just nobody would take the responsibility you see. I couldn't get hold of old Knight, old Knight would have said, "do it", so I did. I knew what he'd say, so I did it. So I spent the 25 pound, I thought, Christ, if we don't find this boat, there'll be hell to pay now. But that was the kind of thing, that happened.
Roy Fowler: An atmosphere of fear?
Ted Candy: Oh absolutely. But you see...
Roy Fowler: Was your job on the line, if you took a decision like that?
Ted Candy: Well I thought I could talk my way out of it. I've got...a strong reason. And er, I couldn't see him being that stupid. But anyway, um, I think he, um, you see, if you're going to, in my book, if you're going to employ people, you employ them because a) they can do something that you want them to do. No whether it's...if you employ a gardener and he's got a spade and he's going to dig a garden, you don't tell him how to do it. You just say, "I would like to see a bed of flowers there", and you let him do it because he knows more about it than you do. If you're going to stand by the side of him and say, "ooh, stick the, push the shovel down, push the spade down a bit further, no don't take it as deep as that", there's no point in having him. He knows more about it than you do - let him do it. And that was always my policy anyway, I had people work for me, and I used to say "right, well that's what you're going to do. Now tell me what you do, tell me what you do." "Well I thought we'd do this, and then I thought we'd go and have a look at that and do this..." "Great, sounds fine, I like the idea - do it." Bang. And I'll tell you this much, er, I don't think I had one failure. It always worked because you gave them the responsibility, and most people, if you give them the responsibility, they'll see it through. They won't run away and hide their head under a pillow because they're frightened. They'll do it, most people will. And I was lucky, I had them all who did it, they helped me no end, all of them. But I mean, great people, I met a lot of famous people, a lot of poor people, a lot of rich people. But in this business, that we were in, I think the greatest showman of them all was Castleton Knight, for exploitation, and I think one of the bravest men I ever met was Jim Wright of Paramount. I mean he was the boss of Paramount, Paramount News. He didn't, he didn't have to go to the war, he didn't have to be involved, he didn't have to hear a shot fired. Instead if that, he went with the American forces on their bombing raids, daylight bombing raids and I've taken a picture of Jim Wright when he stepped out of a plane, when he was hosed down, with a hosepipe, because he was covered, er, because they got hit with a cannon shell and all kinds of things happened. But I mean, to me, he was a brave man. When he died I went to his funeral. Because I had to go. Do you know there was not a soul from Paramount? There wasn't even a wreath.
Roy Fowler: Why was that?
Ted Candy: I think that Paramount had changed hands two or three times, nobody even knew he existed. Er, his obituary was in The Times, er, you know his son, erm, Jimmy Wright junior...
Roy Fowler: Is that his son?
Ted Candy: ...that's his son...
Roy Fowler: I didn't realise.
Ted Candy: ...yeah, oh yes. And er, I saw Jim there. And he thanked me for coming, and all this, that and the other. Well out of all the people he knew in the business, there was only two people there. There was er, Power from Kodak's - what's his name, Power, and er, myself, the two of us went. You know, after all the years he put in there, it seemed to me a bit much.
Roy Fowler: It's a pretty shitty business on occasions, isn't it.
Ted Candy: And I would have thought that, I would have thought they would have done something, I thought they would have done.
Roy Fowler: What happened if one stood up to Davis? Because some bullies retreat - could you call his bluff, if such it was?
Ted Candy: No, but before I tell you that, can I tell you, I went away with John Davis to various Cannes Film Festivals, um, to er, Venice Film Festival, er to various others - Berlin Festival. I mean he, to my way of thinking he was brilliant in what he was doing at times. When circumstances were such, but he never had the...the people he had, were small fry in my book, because they hadn't got the guts to stand up to him. If you say to somebody, they were bought, pure and simple, that I'm convinced. You know, they'd turn round, I mean, oh, they'd suddenly go, got a big car, big expense account, this, that and the other and a big salary. Now they didn't want to lose it. I can understand that too, I wouldn't have wanted to have lost it. But there are some things that you've got to stand up for, there are some things you've got to be counted on. And one of them is your, what you yourself are, what you yourself do. But er, they hadn't got anybody like that, if he had have done, they'd have probably done much better. He had one bloke I knew very well, Harry Norris, he was a great man. He was the Assistant Managing Director of the Rank Organisation, but he left, unfortunately - but he was brilliant, a brilliant man. The others, I don't think there was one of them, in the same category as Davis. John Davis, Sir John Davis was in a lot of respects brilliant. And in, to me personally, he couldn't be nicer, er every time I've told him, when I've had to tell him something, er, and he's always explained things to me. Er, like I was doing some pictures there and I said, "ooh, Mr Davis, would you do this, would you come in?" And he said, "no, I don't want to be in this picture". I said, "right, we'll arrange another one", and I wondered why not. And he's come over later and he's said er, "I must explain to you why I didn't want to be in this picture", and he's explained it. And you said, "oh I quite understand, I didn't realise that. Thank you very much for telling me." And he didn't have to tell me - I was employed by him. He could have turned round and said, "you're fired for even asking".
Roy Fowler: Mmm.
Ted Candy: Um, he was always generous to me, he was always nice, he never ever expected you to do anything. Um, he'd expect you to work, but he always wanted to take you out and give you a good time. He said to me one day, "if I see you with that bloody camera any more, I'll fire you. You leave it where it is, I'm going to take you out, we're going to have a good time." And he did. "Leave that camera at home, leave it, I don't want to see you with it - just leave it." Um, he couldn't be nicer.
Roy Fowler: He was a good companion on an occasion like that?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, and I think, I'll tell you seriously I think if you were in trouble of any kind, and you, I think John Davis would be a first-class man to appeal to, because I think he'd help you.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: I think he would. I don't think he'd run away. That's my opinion. Mind you, I don't...have to ask him, but I mean, um, I would assume that anyway. I would think so from what I know of him. But he was always nice to me, he was always good to me. Um, and I could always see his point in lots of things. But I must say, I don't think much to the people he had working for him. I thought they were a load of rubbish, most of them. And should never have been in the positions they had. His one weakness, in my book, he couldn't pick the right people. Because the right people wouldn't work for him, that was the point. Because he wouldn't give them the freedom. But er, what else is there?
Roy Fowler: Well in, you say um, Fox Movietone closed down in, in '79, so you were still a comparatively young man. What then did you do?
Ted Candy: Ah, '79/'80 maybe. I retired in '85, I was 65, I was 60, 59, 60 then. Um, well then we went to work on, we made some shorts, I did a lot of work for countries abroad, because we still had the contacts with them and what they wanted doing...
Roy Fowler: ...uh-huh...
Ted Candy: and we covered stories for them, and shorts and documentaries, and er, um, we built the library up. Spent a lot of money on that.
Roy Fowler: You were running the library?
Ted Candy: Yeah, by hook or by crook we were going to build that up, and we did. We built it up so that it was a very big money spinner too. Good business.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh. A lot of that must have been the nitrate stock - did you have...
Ted Candy: ...a hell of a lot of it...
Roy Fowler: ...did you have a plan to er, transfer it to...
Ted Candy: ...yes, I wanted to transfer it. I got them to do a deal, I got, um, Rank's to agree, Jim Downer[?], I said "look, you've got all these people here, they don't, they're not all working all the time. Now if I gave you, say, 200 reels, and I want them transferred onto safety stock, um, you've got to make me a new negative. Um, there's no rush, nobody's saying those 200 cans have got to be done by 4 o'clock this afternoon. Doesn't matter whether they're done this week, this fortnight's time, three week's time, six week's time, two month's time, okay. Whenever you've got any done, just fill-in. Now I want a special deal on that." And he quoted me prices, and then we beat, and then I beat him down, and then he helped me on that. And er, then I said to him, "it's going to work out at about...we'd got about 6-10 million ft to do" "Oh Christ!" So I said, "well it'll keep us going for a few years won't it? Keep you running." Um, but then you see, they hadn't come up with the money. "Oh well we'll consider it, we'll consider it." But you see, without, they do something about it. I mean every month we were throwing a can of film away, can of film away. You see, there's pictures, not the famous pictures, I'm not talking about those. There's the little police car, with the two policemen with the tall hats, was the first motorised policemen in England. There they were in a little two-seater car. If they'd have arrested anybody they couldn't put him in anywhere, the only way they could have done it was put him in the boot. But there they were, down a little country lane - [Ted makes car noise]. That was the first police car. That was the first motorised police in this country.
Roy Fowler: And that's been lost?
Ted Candy: No, that's there. But that's a picture. It's not famous, nobody's ever going to turn round and say "right, we're going to put it on the 9 o'clock News". But, for my grandchildren...
Roy Fowler: ...yes...
Ted Candy: ...that would be interesting. When they see today [Ted makes siren noise], streaking along the motorway, that's how it all started.
Roy Fowler: It's says far more about life as it then was than a shot of any politician, doesn't it?
Ted Candy: It does, it does, I quite agree. Um, you see, there's so much that's being lost, thrown away, really is. I mean ... I held stories like the Prince Charles' wedding, I did that, on 35mm colour stock. Um, I had the entire negative duped, and the original negative I had sealed up. Then the duped negative, they used it. But the original negative, never been touched, and that's kept there. Um, not for this year, not for next year, not for ten year's time. But my idea was that would come in handy if you like, in 500 years' time, or in 200 years' time, or in 100 years' time probably they'll be able to put it onto paper, I don't know. But it will be there.
Roy Fowler: It will go onto a computer I think...
Ted Candy: Yes...
Roy Fowler: ...digital...
Ted Candy: [laughs] Quite possibly. But you see er, oh I got, I tell you seriously, all the enthusiasm for that got beaten out of me because nobody would listen. I go onto um, the minister, who was he, the Minister for Arts and Christ knows what. And I wrote him a long letter explaining to him how I'd, the work I'd done over the years on various things that had helped his party, and um, now the time had come when I wanted some help, how about this, that and the other. And I detailed it all out. And er, how friends of his and people he knew would be forgotten in history unless this film was protected, etc, etc, etc. Because...Thorneycroft...was the Minister...
Roy Fowler: ...yes...
Ted Candy: ...when he was there. And he wrote me a very nice letter back saying, "Dear Mr Candy, I do appreciate your difficulties, this, that and the other. But, the only thing is, we allow so much to the arts, so much money per year to the arts, and so much to this, that and the other, and so much to the Film Council or something, or this, that and the other. The only thing I can suggest is that you appeal to them. So that was that. I wrote to him again a couple of times. I wrote to lots of other people. Er, if I'd have known what I know now I'd have gone with a begging bowl and I'd have tried to get a sponsor for it. Saying that, for instance, every time you show this film, you've got to show a clip of Kellogg's Cornflakes. Because then I could have got the money to do it.
Roy Fowler: Ted, I guess we're getting towards the end now. Is there anything that you would like to add to what we've done in terms of your career, what's happened to you, places you've been, people you've met?
Ted Candy: Well I'd like to, if I can, to put...when I say, "it's a different world now". Like for instance, I explained to you how I cut my face. Now I've got a permanent scar on the side of my face now. I didn't get any compensation for that but I didn't expect any. I also, when I was in Ethiopia, I broke my back, but I didn't get any compensation for that...
Roy Fowler: ...how did that happen?
Ted Candy: I fell off a truck. I was using...instead of using a truck with the proper clamps and all that kind of thing, I was doing, surrounded by these tribesmen you see, and they'd got a flatbed lorry. He was driving down, and I said to this, nice little boy who was driving, I said, "stay steady, don't for Christ's sake slam those brakes on." Well of course we were in the middle of a mob, when of course one of them immediately stops in front of, so he slams the brakes on, and I went straight over the side. Bang. And er, I cracked my spine across the back. Er, anyway, we survived that was the main thing.
Roy Fowler: What was the hospital like in Addis Ababa?
Ted Candy: Well I got up alright, and er, I thought I'd hurt myself and I was out of breath, things like that. And um, this Jewish, he was looking for the lost tribe, I mean, you always meet people don't you? But he was looking for the lost tribe of er, from Israel, er Jewish, who were in Ethiopia. And I thought, "well he's a nut". Um, he was a German, and he happened to be a medical student. He had been apparently. And he got hold of me, and there was nobody, there was no medic or no doctors or anything else, and he said, "come" and he got hold of me, took my back, and he got this bandage, and he soaked it, in this water, and he bound me up from my hips to my chest. And he just bound it around tight, tight as could be, all the way round. And then he pinned it up and taped it up. And I kept that on. And that dried, and tight as wax that was. And I was alright. I mean I could, I couldn't move, but I could get about, I could move my legs. And er, I didn't think I'd hurt anything, I didn't think I'd done anything. But I knocked, you know, on a Camiflex[?] camera you have an inching knob, which you push in to turn the shutter out. Well when I fell I knocked that off. But I could do it without it, I could tape it over, and I could carry on without that. You just, you couldn't, you had to just switch it on and off to move the shutter. Well when I came back, I'd been back about six weeks, and then I'd got to go to Egypt, again. And I'm going back to Egypt again, after having been thrown out once, and they said er, the insurance wanted to know how the camera was damaged.
Roy Fowler: Not the cameraman!
Ted Candy: No, the camera, that's all it was see, and I explained to them what had happened, and I made this report, so they then turned round and said, "well you'll have to be examined by the bank [Rank?] doctors [so] before we'll insure you to go abroad again". So I saw Teddy whatshisname, who was the first Rank doctor, nice man, and he examined me, and he said, well I was working on my car at the time, when I got called across. He said er, "I think it would be better if you went to er, Middlesex Hospital, I'll make an appointment for you to go there." So I went up to Middlesex Hospital, and they took x-rays, and then they slapped all this plaster all over me. And I got a case of plastering. And they said, "you mustn't do anything for three weeks!" So, it was great. But er, that was the kind of thing. Now er...
Roy Fowler: No compensation?
Ted Candy: None at all. No question of it. But then you didn't expect it you see. That's the whole point.
Roy Fowler: I'm surprised they didn't carry some kind of insurance policy. What would have happened if you'd lost your life?
Ted Candy: Ah yes, well you'd got an insurance policy then.
Roy Fowler: Right. But no, nothing to cover injury?
Ted Candy: No. You got an insurance policy if you lost an eye, a leg, an arm, both legs, both arms, both eyes, or you were dead.
Roy Fowler: So, do you know what it would have paid if you'd lost your life?
Ted Candy: Well when I was missing in the, on that convoy to Malta, I was missing for about six weeks. Um, presumed killed you see. Well the insurance policy was for 2500 pounds. I wasn't married or anything. It would have gone to my mother. My mother, God bless her. Anyway, um, they were very good - old Knight was very good to me about that. Because he arranged for them, instead of paying her 2500 pounds, to pay her 1000 pounds in cash, and 1500 pound in shares, which would bring her an income in. Which I thought was very well thought out and done. And er, they'd made sure it was alright for her, which was good. But then unfortunately I turned up you see - was alive. But um, no, I tell you, Eddie Edmonds, I mentioned that, he went to, during the war this was, the end of the war, we had Ford V8s, big Ford V8s, American Ford V8s. And they all had spare wheels with the little clip on, which you used to put the flange on, the cover. We used to carry it on the top of the truck, which was a big wooden [Studebaker???]. Well if you had to put a rostrum on, a portable rostrum, you had to take that wheel off, put the rostrum on, and then drive, you know, then put the spare wheel on the top. And, he stood on the top of this truck in Poland Street Garage, and he threw the wheel off the top, and the flange got caught on the ring on his finger. And it pulled him off, and he cracked down onto the um, um, concrete floor, [coughs] which must have been a hell of a shock. Anyway, he went to the Ministry of Information, the job he was doing, the Ministry of Information, was all the er, Generals were being given Russian awards you know, for [???] and Christ knows what. They were given awards which entitled them to free rides on the trams in Moscow, as well as the decoration you know, and that kind of thing, which was rife at that time. And er, he rang up and said, "I've done it, I've done this. But I fell off and hurt my back. Could you possibly get somebody to come and pick the things up and you know, take them back?" Said "yes". So we went and picked it up, he went to the hospital, he came back, he broke his back. But he carried on and did the job first.
Roy Fowler: Mmm.
Ted Candy: No, no question about "Christ I can't go on". He must have been in absolute agony.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: But he did the job - that's what I mean. See, these guys they were, that was the whole point. You couldn't say, "oh I can't do it". I mean I've seen Eddie come back from the, er, the East Coast when the floods came in, where we had to scrape the mud off his ears and give him a wash before he could go to the Dorchester to do a job because everybody else was out, we were all going to other places. Really, I mean that.
Roy Fowler: Mmmm.
Ted Candy: There was no question about, you can't believe, you were, I've never heard anybody, ever, in all my life, say, "I can't do that, I don't want to go there, I can't do that." I only ever heard one person say that, that was me. And the old man said to me about when Mountbatten was Viceroy of India. And he said, "I want you to go to India and be with Mountbatten, you'll be on his staff, you'll take pictures of Mountbatten" and all this. And I said, "please, I don't mind, I've never turned down wars, fasts, floods or famines. Please don't send me to India," I couldn't stand it, I couldn't stand the poverty. And so I didn't go. John Turner went.
Roy Fowler: Right. Um, what else were we going to cover? Or is this now toward the end of your working life that we're talking about?
Ted Candy: Yes. But there's one other thing, that I got... When I retired, and I told everybody I was retiring...
Roy Fowler: ...you retired at 65?
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: Fox didn't want me to, I must say that, in all fairness. Well there's been changes there, and er, I knew it was no good. You can't teach old dogs new tricks. And I...I got a very interesting letter saying, "the Queen has decided to make you a member of the Royal Victorian Order", which I was thrilled and delighted with. And so I'm a member of the Royal Victorian Order. And I went to the Palace, I'd covered the investitures many times, I'd even covered the one inside, er, the first one that was filmed inside. And that was when Matt Busby got his er, knighthood, and she was marvellous to us. And when I went there, all I wanted to do was to say thank you very much, thank you ma'am. And I never got the chance. Because she said, "oh Mr Candy" she said, "this is a small thank you, for all you've done for me and my family, and I thank you very much indeed." And I said, "well thank you ma'am". I nearly fell over backwards. But er, that was the last thing I got. I've been very fortunate, I've had a ball. I mean, you, you can, believe me, when you think, what chance has anybody today? I mean I never went to a good school, I never went to university. What chance have they got today, of going round the world? And, it wasn't paid a lot of money, but at least I was paid for it, and I kept my family, um, gave them a good education and all that kind of business. And I had a ball. And I went everywhere. I went, as I told you, I went saw Kruschev, who was quite nice to me, smiled, got out of his car, stood while I took his picture and was quite happy.
Roy Fowler: This was where - in Russia?
Ted Candy: Yes. And I went all over the Kremlin, and had a look round, it was like the Tower of London more than anything. And they were very good to me, very kind. Er, I liked the people. I liked the people everywhere.
Roy Fowler: So, would there be any chance of you choosing another career, given an opportunity to do it over again?
Ted Candy: No.
Roy Fowler: You would have chosen precisely what you did?
Ted Candy: Oh, I couldn't have done better. As far as I'm concerned, I've had a ball. I've met the nicest people, I worked with some of the characters, maybe the rest the rest of the world didn't know them so well, but I do. And I can think back, and they were marvellous, fabulous people.
Roy Fowler: Someone that I recorded a week or so ago - I wonder if possibly you knew him, that's Adolphe Simon.
Ted Candy: Of course, he was the Frenchman who came over with Pathe, to work for Pathe. Then he was at um, he worked with Pathe, then he retired. Simon must be ninety-odd.
Roy Fowler: Ninety-three.
Ted Candy: Yes, marvellous bloke, always used to wear a black tammy.
Roy Fowler: Really?
Ted Candy: Did he tell you that?
Roy Fowler: No...a French beret do you mean?
Ted Candy: Oh yes, French beret, always. Simon, 'ooh, c'est ce bon.' Oh yes, oh yes. He was...
Roy Fowler: ...he's still very lucid...
Ted Candy: ...charming bloke...
Roy Fowler: ...indeed...
Ted Candy: Oh yes. Well he was. Do you know, honestly, I thought he'd died. I did really.
Roy Fowler: No, he's um, he's in a home, a nursing home, but his daughter and his son-in-law brought him over to their house, which is out, near Uxbridge, to be interviewed. So we interviewed him.
Ted Candy: Well I am pleased. Because he, he's a marvellous bloke. Ninety-three. And you see, um, he was a soundman. Now, there was a...
Roy Fowler: ...he began as a cameraman actually, he switched to sound with the coming of sound. But before that...
Ted Candy: ...well you see, when I came into it, it was sound. And you see, when the first sound, I looked at no end of the first sound reels. And what they did was, they put a microphone up, and that was the important thing. This was real sound you were hearing, I mean if, someone was going to make a speech in the er, in the park or something, there's a platform, and in the background is a bloke ringing a bell, well you just let it run, because that was the point, you could hear him ringing the bell. If the clock tower decided to chime twelve, or two or three in the afternoon, the bloke who's speaking, he stopped, because it went "doiiing, doiing", but they recorded that, oh that was marvellous you see, that's sound. And you could see it, didn't change the lens, didn't change the picture, just the sound was there to run, run it. Didn't matter what happened, let it run to pick up the sound. Sound was the all...the god. And er, when I knew Sim, because he'd been there a long time when I came on the scene, er, when I met him, he was the soundman for Pathe. Now, of all the people around, I think I knew Sim, he was always quiet, gentle and he'd always, "how are you, how's [???], how is so and so. Oh yes, good, good, good. And how did you get on?" this, that and the other, that type of thing. But er, I was, I was never close to Sim, put it that way. We were all friends, but you see, he was a soundman, I was cameraman, big difference. I didn't understand what he was doing, and as far as I was concerned, he didn't understand what I was doing. Obviously, he knew more than I did!
Roy Fowler: Yes.
Ted Candy: Well I'm damned. Do you know - I thought he was dead? You see I went - Bill Hooker died the other week. There's only one person I know of...who's still around, who's still alive, that's John O'Kelly. Out of all the people I knew at Gaumont's at the beginning, he's the only who's left - John O'Kelly. Er, and I mean, he started to work for Gaumont's when he was fourteen. And I mean, he's ten years older than I am.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: So he must have...his family, his daughter married a Spaniard, a very good way of goings on. And he goes over there quite a lot, he spends a lot of time over there.
Roy Fowler: We'll have to try and get to him then. Because he obviously must have seen a great deal in history.
Ted Candy: Well he saw more than I did.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: But er, he and I were, we've always been good friends. You see John...
Roy Fowler: ...where does he live in this country?
Ted Candy: Er, I'll give you his telephone number, got it here [sound of Ted reaching into his pocket]. He lives in Barnes.
Roy Fowler: Oh well that's useful.
Ted Candy: And John O' Kelly is [quotes phone number]
Roy Fowler: Well I'll take that from you when we've finished if I may.
Ted Candy: That's him. And Pat Holder...
Roy Fowler: Well I'll take these, as suggestions from you. Shall we er, then, bring the interview to an end Ted, what do you think?
Ted Candy: Yes...
Roy Fowler: ...have we covered enough?
Ted Candy: ...I can't think of anything else you want to say.
Roy Fowler: No, I mean from my point of view, I think we've gone into each of the areas. As I say, if anything else occurs to you, that you feel is left out, or not covered enough then, best you say.
Ted Candy: Well as far as I can see, all you really want is, um, you want the gist as far as possible to give an idea, just a flavour of what it was like to work there.
Roy Fowler: That's right.
Ted Candy: I mean, I hope I haven't given the impression that it was, nobody ever had a laugh or enjoyed life, because they did.
Roy Fowler: Oh no, I think you've made it clear that um...
Ted Candy: ...they worked very hard...
Roy Fowler: ...yes...
Ted Candy: ...but they er...
Roy Fowler: A lot of practical joking...
Ted Candy: Ooh, a hell of a lot. You knew, I mean, I'll tell you one instance, give you an idea, I mean, there was, been doing the Marines, you know as they used to be with the white helmets, pith helmets and all the pipe clay and this, that and the other. And the officer in charge in front with his sword [Ted makes the noise of a sword being waved about]. Well Leslie Murray was late turning up, and all the others were over there, all ready for the cameraman, they were all in trucks, all in lined up you see, ready to start this parade. Then along the parade ground came this truck. It was Leslie Murray and he was late. And he'd got to get to where those trucks were and line up with them. And as he came across the parade ground you see everybody, he threw an anchor out on the end of a rope, dragged it along, as it shot across sparks were flying, as though he was trying to slow down. Well of course the entire parade fell apart, I mean, no mistake about it, I mean, you see the picture. They were no longer to attention, they were just about laughing themselves sick. But that's the kind of thing you do. Nobody else would have dared done it. And one of the others, just, we had to move from one side to the other, see, when they'd done this. And they put a chain round the back axle of the truck and round the lamppost. Everybody moved off, he went to drive off and chooom, the wheels bit in, this bloody lamppost was slowly but surely coming down towards him before he realised what would happen. Er, as you said, about the cameraman, when you think about it, I think the best cameraman I ever met was a bloke named Harding, Jack Harding. He was the wickedest. But I think he was the best of a type. I mean, Jack Harding would take a camera, and one magazine, and he'd carry the camera as it was, without the case, without any spares or anything else, bang, bang, bang. He'd have a toothbrush in his top pocket, and you'd see him walking across the station. "Where you going Jack?" "I'm just going up to Manchester to do a story". And he'd do it, and he'd cut it in the camera.
Roy Fowler: Mmm.
Ted Candy: Absolutely - come back. I never, no more dare do that than the man in the moon, but he could. And he'd got enough assurance, and er, he was always, he knew exactly what he was doing. Mind you, he'd come unstuck now and again but he'd always got a very good reason.
Roy Fowler: That breed of man, what do you think he'd be doing nowadays?
Ted Candy: Well, I should think he'd be um, I should think he'd be, either mixed up with racing or er, on the Stock Exchange or something.
Roy Fowler: A piratical element to their nature - yes?
Ted Candy: Yes, a little bit.
Roy Fowler: Oh right.
Ted Candy: No, I don't know what he'd be doing. Bonny, ah yes, always called everybody bonny. "Hello bonny, how are you bonny?" See the trouble is, you forget so many things, and it's only when you're talking then it suddenly comes back to you, and you begin to see it all again. And it's been a long time. And they were marvellous days, I'll tell you straight, I, I can't think of anything I could have done, that would have ever been half the life I had - great. Jackie, you know little Jacky McCarten[?], well when I, when Castleton Knight retired you see, in the last days of Gaumont British, um, old Knight said, "would you come in, would you do it?" Because all the others were all retiring, Bishop retired, and everybody else retired, and it left this new man, Grafton Green, with no staff and nobody to do anything. So he said, "would you stay on, will you come in? You know, don't pack up camerawork, come in" And I said, "yes all right, um, if it's going to mean any more money to me." "Yes", this, that and the other, "right". And I'd got two children, and that's all I was really worried about, but anyway, I thought "Right, I'll do it my way." And er, Mrs McCarten said er, she was there, and I said to her, "how would you like to be my secretary?" She said, "I'd love to", I said, "right, you are". So that's where I first met her, and she stayed. We were good friends for a long, long time. We still are good friends, but I mean we worked together well. She was brilliant, she was marvellous.
Roy Fowler: Who:
Ted Candy: Jacky. Because we, she was with me with 'Look at Life' as well. And we did um, I mean, we improvised so much. I mean, we made, we'd got nothing to work with, I mean we made a cotton reel do the work of a tank, believe me. I mean, and that girl could do anything, she was marvellous. And if there was a subject, which I, there are a very, a great many which I knew absolutely nothing whatsoever about, and I'd just mention it to her, and I'd say, "Jack, do you know anything about this?" She'd say, "no, but I'll find out". "Right, you do that. If you can find out, get a book on it or something, we'll, we're all right, we've got three days in which to do that." So she would. That night she'd go to the library and she'd read every word on it and she'd got a specialised library up in Hampstead and not only would she, the next morning I used to pick her up and bring her into work, not only would she have the entire thing, but the specific things that I wanted to know, she'd have all typed out, every bit of it, absolutely. Bloody marvellous! She...no payment for that, no over-time for that. I mean everybody did what they...just to keep the bloody thing going.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh. I didn't know she was there.
Ted Candy: Oh yes, Jack was brilliant. Good, she was marvellous.
Roy Fowler: We have two or three minutes left on this tape. It might be nice to give your recollections of Joe Telford.
Ted Candy: Well as I told you quite honestly, I didn't know very much about Joe. I knew him, he was always jolly, always outspoken. Um, at er, when he was with the Rank advertising films, but I didn't come into much with him when they moved away from Film House. Then, they moved back to, when we moved to er, Park Royal, the old Ilford place, from Wardour Street, er, well from Denham actually, we moved out to Denham, then we moved to er, it was really a changeover you see. What happened was, we were in Wardour Street, then they moved us down to Denham because we had Denham as our cutting rooms and everything else. So they moved all of us down there, cameras as well.
Roy Fowler: Uh-huh.
Ted Candy: And when we ran 'Look of Life' we ran it from Denham. Then suddenly, this should be interesting, um, they moved us from Denham, we had to move out so that Movietone could move in, so they, because they were moving from Soho Square. But now, nobody knew anything about this, and I met Paul Wyand one day, and he said er, "have you heard about this deal between Fox and Rank's?" And I said, "deal Paul? What deal?" Oh he said, "don't give me that, you know all about it - we're moving into Denham." I said, "really? When's that?" "You know the dates, you know everything about it." I said, "I don't." And he thought I was kidding him, but I wasn't. I didn't know the first thing about it. And the best of it was, nor did anybody else. That was set up by John Davis for the shares situation, when he was trying to garnish all the shares in because Fox had so many shares in Gaumont British and Odeon, see? But we didn't know anything about it. Grafton Green didn't know anything about it, when I told him he had a fit, nearly fell off his chair! I said, "you do realise we're moving?" "What are you talking about?" I said, "well we're moving, we're moving to Park Royal, the old Ilford place." That's where Visnews is now. "No, don't believe it." I said, "well we are, you can ask all your friends in Wardour Street." So of course he was in an absolute panic. But he didn't know either. But we were all moved. And you just think, what kind of a move that was, with all the film stock, all the library...[abrupt end of side]
Tape 3, side 2
Ted Candy: ...kind of move that was, with all the film stock, all the library material, everything that had to be moved out, Christ. Tremendous.
Roy Fowler: Ted, we're just about there on this tape.
Ted Candy: Well thank you very much indeed for your kindness.
Roy Fowler: Well thank you sir.
Ted Candy: Well that's very kind of you.
Roy Fowler: It's been very interesting.
Ted Candy: I'm sorry it's not more explicit, and I'm sorry I can't remember all the details of things, and there's a couple of names I can't remember.
Roy Fowler: We've covered some stirring times, I think, one way and another.
Ted Candy: Yes.
Roy Fowler: Well I hope you'll continue to enjoy your retirement down in the West Country.
Ted Candy: Thank you very much. I'm sure I will.
Roy Fowler: Good. Well thank you most kindly.
(End of interview)