Saturday, 18 August 2012

Remember Her Name

Its a peculiar feeling knowing your life has been enriched by someone you never knew –nor will ever meet- but on the anniversary of Mary Millington’s death I find myself reflecting on all the good times in my life that have been born out of having an interest in ‘Mary from Dorking’. On account of her I’ve made many wonderful friends, acquaintances and co-conspirators, been plunged into a few strange but never dull escapades, played a bit part in dirty film history by helping get her previously ‘lost’ 8mm films like Sex is My Business and Special Assignment back into circulation, and even the bad experiences aren’t entirely devoid of entertainment value in retrospect.

So today I can’t help feeling a little sad, and maybe a little guilty, that she isn’t around to share in all of this and bask in her own notoriety. For her life should have been as silly and carefree as a Tom Chantrell poster, but of course real life isn’t like that for any of us, and I’ve heard enough of the horror stories to know that life certainly wasn’t like that for her.

I’d loved to have known what she’d make of this big ol’ thing we call the internet, where a few choice buzzwords into Google image can bring up the kind of photos of people (including ahem…herself) that would have seen her threatened with jail time for selling in the 1970s, or more likely resulted in her having to offer a back hander to bent coppers in order for them to turn the other cheek. What would she have made of the fact that Mr Sullivan’s love of football has now grown to the extent that not only does he still follow his favourite team, he also owns it as well. And I wonder what she would make of the more ‘radicalised’ aspects of her own fanbase, men so profoundly affected by her life and death that at times yours truly can’t help feeling like a fraud and a phony, given that next to their obsession for Mary my own interest in her often seems like a small fry hobby in comparison. And would she get a chuckle out of my recent discovery that on account of her appearance in Come Play With Me, she has managed to acquire an unlikely cult following within the cross dressing community. A discovery that leads me to the realisation that not only are some men still fond of her, a few of them are fond of dressing as her too!! (Well, whatever gets you through the night fellas, although in case you’re wondering I haven’t the inclination to follow in these gents’ stiletto clad footsteps, besides I’m way too hairy and don’t have the legs for it.)
I wish things were different, and that her story had a happy ending, one in which –I don’t know- she runs off with Milton Reid or like the heroine of ‘Cool it Carol’ had a moment of clarity in which she saw all the users, phonies and hangers-on for what they really were and turned her back on all of that in favour of a life of small town obscurity, but a wish is just a wish and there is no point in pretending that the 19th August, 1979 never happened.

In the cold light of day the only thing we can do for her now is to keep her legacy alive, and once in a while spare a thought for her in the dark, strobe studios of our minds. After all no time, place or person ever gets to be remembered unless people are prepared to do the heavy lifting and pass the stories on down throughout the years. Nosey on around in the past and people’s memories and no doubt you’ll encounter many different Mary Millingtons, everyone has their own personal take and perception of her. To fans who met her she is forever enshrined in their memory as an irrepressible 1970s sexpot, ask them ‘what was she like’ and chances are you’ll be rewarded by some priceless tale centred around her ability to shamelessly flirt with the general public. Others knew her as a friend and as a real person away from the limelight and prefer to remember her that way, and then there are those born after the fact to whom Mary’s story is a tantalising window into a world that no longer exists or can be experienced first-hand. Mary Millington is all things to all people, but whoever is telling her story what consistently shines through is the kind, sweet nature of a woman who died before her time and thoroughly warrants a place in the history books.

Something an acquaintance of hers once told me, which I suspect will haunt me today, is “whatever Mary did, or whoever she associated with, she didn’t deserve what happened to her”, chances are that if you are reading this and have made it right to the end, then those words will replay in your mind a couple of times today as well.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Whats Up Superdoc

In order to spare you 89 minutes of sperm donation jokes, Christopher Mitchell holding his stomach in, and Harry H Corbett and Melvyn Hayes mugging for the camera, here is Mary’s 20 second or so appearance in ‘What’s Up Superdoc’ complete with a bottle of champagne and somebody else’s voice.

mary millington by dm_50269f9844635

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Betrayed 1982 Video Release

Ultra-rare VHS release of Betrayed, released by John Lindsay on his Taboo video label in 1982. This turned up on ebay in 2005 and went for something in the region of £300 if not more (I believe a private bid won it in the end) no other copies have surfaced since. 

Photo on the VHS is from the same shoot as the front cover of the ‘Amazing Mary Millington’ autobiography

The Playbirds 1979 Video Release

The first video release of The Playbirds, issued by Hokushin in 1979.  Credit to original uploader.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Rapier magazine – add ons

Here are a couple more of the early MM photos published in Rapier magazine after her death (the rest are here Thanks for ‘ffucs’ for these scans