Also, for me, one of the most magical things about OHMSS has always been the wonderful winter sports setting. This liking for an Alpine location may have stemmed in part from the fact I was actually born in a place called Klagenfurt in Austria. My father Fred senior, an NCO in the British army, was stationed over there when he met and married my mother, Irmgard. My mother, the eldest of five sisters was born in Germany, but the family had subsequently moved to Austria prior to WWII where they settled in a small village called Nikolasdorf.

As a young child growing up we would sometimes go and visit my grandparents in the winter, travelling by steamer across the English Channel, my mother and me, her sister Erica, who had also married a soldier, and her eldest son Bobby. We then carried on the journey from either France or Holland, depending on which route we were taking, via overnight express train down into Austria. Those continental rail journeys for me, although long and sometimes boring, were at the same time both exciting and filled with anticipation. I still can recall the smells of steam trains, the wood panelling on the carriages mixed with exotic tobaccos, eau de cologne, real coffee, green apples and garlic! The excitement of each new station with the added smells of vendors plying their wurst potato pancakes and pretzels and then eventually the almost quiet of the final train journey through snow filled countryside. It is very true when Proust states that smell has such a strong power to vividly bring back memories.

Diana Rigg & George Lazenby pose for photographs

Nikolasdorf is set in a valley surrounded by mountains and pine forests. Winter times were especially fun for my cousin Bobby and I as we would go out schlitten fahren (sledging) all the time with some of the local kids up on the high slopes. Each time daring one another to set off from a higher spot and take more risks by building little mounds out of the snow at the bottom to aim our sledge for, and a brief, but exhilarating ride down the slope before taking-off down to the next slope. Then eventually return home at the end of the day a little sore, exhausted, hungry and very, very wet!

Bond Girl Joanna Lumley enjoys the Swiss air

Due to its location a lot of the local children would also use skis to get around the area. On one occasion we were invited to have a go at skiing ourselves down the road through the village which was on a slight slope. Because we had taken a shine to a couple of the girls, and they in turn were intrigued by the two English boys, we gave it a go, but with some pretty awful results!

Many years later, when I worked in the travel industry, I went with my great friend Graham Rye on a winter sports holiday to the Austrian Voralberg. However, at the time, although we paid next to nothing for the trip, thanks to it being a special travel agents deal, we didn’t have enough money between us at the time to actually afford to hire skis and give it a go!

It was not until 2006 at the ripe old age of 54 that I did finally get to realise a desire to actually ski properly, well sort of; and in the very area they had filmed OHMSS. Before I go on though I think I should recap how this nearly a lifetime’s ambition came to fruition.

For 27 years I have been very happily married to my long-suffering wife Carole, who dislikes the snow and cold weather and has always refused to go on a Winter Sports holiday, despite my protests that it would not be as cold and miserable as she thought it would. Instead, we would always go somewhere warm and sunny like the Greek islands, which we in fact did several times and thoroughly enjoyed, both before and after we had our children.

However, whilst Nick, our eldest son, was at University and fast approaching his 21st birthday in January 2006, we both scratched our heads about what we should do and/or buy him to celebrate his coming of age and, hopefully, impending graduation


007 MAGAZINE On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 76-page special publication

007 MAGAZINE On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 76-page special publication

007 MAGAZINE On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 76-page special publication

007 MAGAZINE On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 76-page special publication

Originally published as two separate 36-page issues in the 007 MAGAZINE ARCHIVE FILES series in 2010, (and out of print and unavailable since 2011) this latest edition features both complete issues together in one publication with a new cover and inside front and back covers. Purchase now!