As my friend Mick Hart says, you have been around the muscle game a good while Pete, true 68 years in fact. By the way I have not been in the muscle game for 68 years, that is my age.
Some time ago a great friend of mine, top strength historian, David Gentle wrote a rather flattering article on myself, thanks David, we in the “Iron Game” are very lucky to have the two top authors in the strength and bodybuilding world. David Gentle and David Webster OBE, I had better give him his full title or I will be in trouble.
One of the greatest physiques of all time was George Hackenschmidt, why do these top bodybuilders have such difficult names to spell, I still can’t spell Arnold Schwarzenegger. Quite a number of top actors are keen bodybuilders, Dave Prowse who played Darth Vader in Star Wars, (A big friend of Dave Websters), he was also the Green Cross Code man, to help children crossing busy roads.
While doing national service in Gibraltar, I did my first weight lifting, the bloke in charge of one of the guns, had made himself a solid lead dumbell to keep in shape. I rather surprised him by lifting it with one hand to prove I was not just a pretty face). No doubt many of your readers will know I used to do TV and film extra work, before I moved to the flat, I had to give it up because of stress and Multiple Sclerosis, it was just too much. However I did meet many interesting and nice people and some who were absolute shits, I will not name those I consider shits, or my friend Mick will have a court case on his hands. I will only name the nice people, mostly the bigger stars they are the more decent they are.
In those days I was a member of Equity and lived in Marple, I used to give Bruce Jones a lift before he became very well known as Les Battersby in Coronation Street. I was doing my charity collecting for the Stockport branch of MS and Bruce spotted me and shouted through his car window, “Hiya Pete, see you in a minute”, the organiser of the collection did not recognise him and walked over to his car and asked if he could help, Bruce said no I have just seen Pete he is a mate of mine. I have several sister in-laws, six in all one who lives in Marple, was not in the room when brains were given out, however I introduced her to Bruce, she said “Hey you are in Coronation Street”. Bruce grinned and said, “That’s right love. No comment!”
Two of the top TV stars I chatted to were Patricia Routledge (Mrs Bucket) and Charles Dance who gave me my Sunday name of Peter, both very nice people, I was in the film, Century, Charles Dance being the star.
Looking through my old copies of No Bull I spotted a photo of Geoff Morris a former over 50’s Mr Britain, also a champion 6in nail breaker, who Dave Webster credits showing him the correct technique for breaking 6in nails. Geoff was a smashing person, we did a double strength act on wrestling shows, I used to meet him at a nice pub once a month, which was half way for both of us.
I know my friend Jim Bartlett bought some of Geoffs collection. How do I know? because I took Jim to Geoffs lodgings when he died, a sad day for all.
Jim got a job at a sheltered Jewish home complex, not being Jewish he soon moved on, (it is not true he got the sack for asking Jewish kids what their Christian names were.) Jim worked for our old friend Harold Wrigley, packaging and posting his health foods. No doubt many of us know Harold’s wife who died suddenly, a smashing girl was Joyce, she used to pack all Harold’s products before Jim took over. Last I heard of Harold he had gone to live in Spain, with his third wife, he must like wedding cake!
I read Black American show host, Montel Williams has MS, he also trains for bodybuilding like me to keep his MS at bay. I might add Montel has quite a good physique, he did a back pose to prove his point on one of his shows.I would like to thank Pete Lindrop for his contribution to this blog.