Looking back at James Bond

Picture: Shutterstock

LETTER OF THE DAY: Stunned by price of rail ticket

0
Have your say

Some younger fans associate the role with Daniel Craig, while to their parents it will always be Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore or Sean Connery. Everyone has their favourite Bond and for Honor Blackman it will always be Connery.

She should know. After all, the 88-year-old actress starred alongside him as Pussy Galore in 1964’s Goldfinger.

Honor Blackman and Sean Connery in Goldfinger � 1964 Danjaq, LLC and United Artsts Corporation.

Honor Blackman and Sean Connery in Goldfinger � 1964 Danjaq, LLC and United Artsts Corporation.

‘He was the one who played it best,’ explains Honor.

‘I shall always be attached to the original. I think Daniel Craig is a terrific actor, but I look on Sean as Bond.

She adds: ‘He was a mercilessly enchanting person, lovely, funny, wicked and very sexy.

‘It was a pleasure working with him because he’s such a great person.’

One of the most famous Bond girls of all time, Honor is part of a small group of actors who will forever be associated with the legendary franchise.

So much so that she will be heading to the Beaulieu National Motor Museum next Saturday and Sunday to see the Bond In Motion exhibition from 10.30am until 4pm.

In the middle of her own tour, she will appear alongside Richard Kiel, who is known to many as the formidable Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), to sign autographs and pose with fans for photographs.

‘I should think that I’ll be inspecting all the old Bond cars in the exhibition,’ she smiles.

‘I’ll ask to go for a ride in all the cars and I might well be refused! And I shall certainly sign some autographs.’

The Bond In Motion exhibition features 50 vehicles from the iconic films to celebrate 50 years since the first one was released.

We all know that 007 loves an Aston Martin, but there have been dozens of machines that have graced the silver screen, including gadget-laden Jaguars, bullet-ridden Land Rovers and racing motorcycles.

And they’re all just the other side of the New Forest at Beaulieu National Motor Museum.

Bond In Motion is at the attraction until January 5, and features vehicles including Bond’s trusty Aston Martin DBS from Quantum Of Solace, the jet flown in Octopussy and the BMW from Tomorrow Never Dies.

Doug Hill is the museum manager and chief engineer, and has been at Beaulieu for the past four decades.

‘I came here as an apprentice when I was just 16 years old in the restoration shop,’ explains Doug, now 56.

Bond In Motion came about after a small exhibition at the start of the year which proved to be successful, as Doug explains.

‘It was worth repeating. Bond is an enduring image and to many people he’s almost like a celebrity, which is attractive to a lot of people.

‘It’s still very popular and whoever plays Bond will always be a famous face.’

The exhibition includes cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds and jets, among others.

Doug says: ‘In every Bond film the vehicles are always a major factor, so it fits in perfectly with what we are doing.

‘We wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary and we felt we would be the ideal location.’

Named as a Gold Winner by VisitEngland in the 2013 Awards for Excellence, Beaulieu attracts nearly 400,000 visitors a year.

Other exhibitions include the World Of Top Gear, with vehicles from the TV presenters’ ambitious challenges, and On Screen Cars, which includes Del Boy’s Reliant Regal and Mr Bean’s lime green Mini.

There’s even a replica 1912 open-topped London bus and a monorail at the museum.

With more than 100 cars at the museum, as well as other vehicles, it aims to chart the history of British motoring.

Doug explains: ‘We have four land-speed record cars and a large selection of F1 cars.

‘Most people come to the museum and will probably see a car they remember, or their mum, dad or grandparents remember.’

And it’s not just the motors that are the appeal, as Beaulieu has a range of other attractions.

‘It’s not just the motor museum available here,’ adds Doug, ‘although that is a big part of it.’

‘We have a stately home, which is putting on events leading up to Christmas, and the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey.

‘We also have the gardens and grounds.’

The Secret Army Exhibition is based at Beaulieu, and tells the story of the secret agents during the Second World War. There’s also Dipstick’s Driving Circuit and The Stig Driving Challenge.

Doug says: ‘I like to think there’s something for everyone and I think even though everyone may not be interested in cars, they could still come along and enjoy themselves.

‘They could go to the house and the children have a play area.’

Beaulieu is in the middle of redevelopment, as Doug adds: ‘We are looking at new exhibitions and hope to develop further into areas such as motorsport and our smaller objects.

‘It’s important that we share the information about everything we have here, as well as letting people get up close to it.’

Go to beaulieu.co.uk for more information.