Hammer Glamour

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to be booked by a photographer who is fast becoming one of my favourites to work with for a Hammer Glamour style shoot at the iconic Bray Studios in Windsor.

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What an amazing experience shooting in a location so rich in horror movie history. 

Hammer Horror occupied Bray Studios from 1952 to 1966 unleashing a whole new era of horror and pumping out numerous titles such as The Curse Of Frankenstein, The Horror Of Dracula and  The Reptile.

Hammer launched the careers of both Peter Cushing and Sir Christopher Lee but their films also featured an array of scantily dress, glamorous young women many of whom went on to become stars such as Joanna Lumley, Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Valerie Leon, Ursula Andress, Stephanie Beacham and Kate O,Mara, the list goes on and it’s these women who were the inspiration behind the theme of my shoot.

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My shoots precise location was ‘sound stage 3’ (which was originally stage 2 back in the 50’s) where I believe Frankenstein’s lab was filmed in 1957’s The Curse Of Frankenstein. The big door at the front is even the same although the sliding mechanism could do with a dash of WD40 these days!

I made a trip to Beyond Retro especially to purchase some vintage Hammer style, sheer night gowns (as if I need an excuse to shop) for the shoot and I finally managed to find a reason to wear a 1960’s wedding dress I bought from Judy’s Vintage Fair earlier this year. I have to say I’ve come back feeling very inspired after spending the day on hallowed Hammer ground.

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In 15+ years of modelling, this has got to be my favourite location to have shot in.

Unfortunately, the old house, Down Place which was built in 1750 is now pretty derelict even though the sound stages on site are still used by the film industry. 

I often feel like I was born in the wrong era, film wise, fashion wise, music wise and just general lifestyle and I’d love to have been around doing what I do now way back when Hammer was in its hey day, somebody bring me a time machine!!!

Seriously though, I’d love to see horror movies being made again with that old classic Hammer style. 

I was also spoiled after the shoot with a tour of the WHOLE studio lot and an amazing vegan vampire lunch at Oakley Court which was also used for many a Hammer film and might also be recognised by fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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The Museum Of Witchcraft

The first time I went to The Last Tuesday Society it was for an evening of Absinthe tasting whilst getting up close and personal with all kinds of wonderful scaly beasts, I think at one point I had a snake cuddling my neck, a bearded dragon balanced on my chest and a chameleon perched on my finger, that night the Victor Wynd museum of curiosities that lurks beneath the quirky cocktail bar was closed so I jumped at the chance to go back for the launch night of the temporary exhibit from Cornwall’s Museum Of Witchcraft and to finally see the permanent collection in the basement.

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The Museum Of Witchcraft was founded by Cecil Williamson and opened in 1951 in Castletown, Isle Of Man and was moved to is’s current location in Boscastle, Cornwall in 1960 and through various gifts and acquisitions over the years the collection has grown to be the largest of its type in the world.

The exhibition in London features photographs and a mix of magical objects including a witch mirror, like something straight from the evil queens lair in Snow White, a wax poppet, spells, charms, a fortune telling tea cup and items from a black magicians alter, scary!

After a couple of complementary Hendrik’s gin & tonics from Victor Wynd himself I descended the spiral staircase to feast my eyes upon the wonders that lay below.

Wow, what a collection, erotica, taxidermy, fairies, shrunken heads, a mummified penis and apparently Kylie’s poo although I’m pretty sure that can’t be real, I mean, Kylie doesn’t poo right?

The Museum Of Witchcraft exhibition is running until the end of February so don’t worry if you’re too busy with Christmassy stuff this month, there’s still a time to catch it in the new year.