Who Was Doris Weems?

Back in June I published an article from Caper Magazine on ‘Ewhurst Manor’ and the owners, but noticed that the first page seemed to be missing.  I’ve been on the hunt for it and finally a few weeks ago found a full version of Caper Vol.9 No.4 from July 1963, which included the full article, result! I now have the first page, which is included below, but it got me thinking, who is the woman taking the photo?
Sad as it may sound I was able to identify Jayne Tracey from the rear view, but the woman taking the photo in this shot made me curious.  She also partly appears in a second shot from the same article, again with JT modelling.
Having dug around I found a further two photographs that appear to be taken at the same time at Ewhurst, but this time in colour.
With these two photographs was a name … Doris Weems, which is new to meI’ve tried to find out more about her, but as of yet come up blank.  So, who was Doris Weems and what was her relationship to Harrison Marks or to Ewhurst itself?
If anyone can shed some further light on this question please do let me know?



Ewhurst Manor Uncovered

Throughout posts on this site you will see references made to ‘Ewhurst Manor’ on photographs both inside and outside of this residence.  It seemed that Ewhurst had a history and as it cropped up on more than one occasion I started to do some digging to see what I could find.  I found a very good Yahoo group called ‘60sglam-Ewhurst‘, which tries to document all of the photo’s taken at Ewhurst by location, but very little about the house itself!

Front View of Ewhurst

Then, more by accident than luck I came across the ‘Randall and Hopkirk (Declassified)’ site.  If you remember R&H Deceased (as I do!) this is a fantastic site run by a group of dedicated people.  Not only have they set themselves the huge task of documenting all things R&HD, but also identifying all the locations where the series was filmed.  There amongst the episode guide was a document about episode 2 ‘What a sweet little room’ and trying to identify a cottage, which was Ewhurst! 

The following are edited extracts directly from ‘Randall and Hopkirk (Declassified)’ and I would like to thank everyone over there for the effort in identifying the history behind Ewhurst and the information and photography* 

Ewhurst – A Photography & Film Paradise

‘Ewhurst Manor’ was located at 37 Furzehill Road, Borehamwood and was used by several ITC productions as a filming location, but it had seamier side at that time in the late 1950’s and 60’s. It had become a favourite location for the photographing of young ladies in various states of undress and the filming of ‘glamour’ films by a variety of photographers and film makers, the most famous being George Harrison Marks. The owner of the house, Mrs. Doris Clifford was reputedly a great champion of Marks’ endeavours and he filmed many 8mm movie shorts and staged numerous photographic glamour shoots at the manor house. The films included Nightmare at Elm Manor (1963) and Visit from Venus (1964) to name two and Nightmare at Elm Manor (aka Flesh and Fantasie) was filmed both in the grounds and in the house itself in 1963. The glamour photography side involved models such as Margaret Nolan, Lorraine Burnett, June Palmer and Vivienne Warren and photo’s can be found in variuos locations within the house and within the grounds themselves. Mrs. Clifford encouraged film makers to use her property and she would make a ‘nominal charge’ for the filming and photographic sessions.

Margaret Nolan Posing on The Staircase inside Ewhurst

Ewhurst – The House & History

The only information concerning ‘Ewhurst Manor’ and the Cliffords has, until now, been sourced from one article in an American adult magazine of the 1960s, Caper.  This may be the source of where Ewhurst Manor got it’s name as it is entirely possible that the name was made up for the feature as the name ‘Ewhurst Manor’ affords significantly more mystique than ’37 Furzehill Road’!

The house itself was south-east facing and was built on the former Whitehouse Farm. The entrance to Ewhurst was via a narrow track road that went past White House. The house was divided into two distinct properties which were adjoining: the three storey main house and the cottage. This was a two-storey building which can be seen to the extreme left of the top picture on this page.

The Whitehouse Farm estate was originally spread over 200 acres. However, this land was gradually sold off to cover death duties and declining wealth and by the time Alec Clifford inherited the houses and land, it was necessary to sell off most of the remaining land for similar reasons. By the time that Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), the other ITC series and the likes of George Harrison Marks were filming at the house, the estate is believed to have been shrunk down to between three and four acres only.  The manor house is reputed to have dated back to the 18th century and, along with White House, was originally built as farm dwellings.



Ewhurst Today

Today, there is nothing surviving of the Ewhurst Manor or White House estates, bar perhaps a tree or two. A modern housing estate now stands on the Ewhurst Estate and the Ewhurst name has not survived, not even down to a local road name. White House is commemorated by Whitehouse Avenue, and part of this road runs parallel with where the front of Ewhurst Manor once stood and cuts through the former location of the Ewhurst pond). The houses on Mildred Avenue which can be seen on the maps above – Widbrook, Beaulieu, Grey Cot and Furze Lodge – still remain today and these properties now mark the north-western perimeter of the housing estate built on the site of Elstree Manor. 

Again, many thanks to the ‘Randall and Hopkirk (Declassified)’ site for all of the above information as it was a fascinating insight into the history of ‘Ewhurst Manor’ and it’s glorious past!

As I identify photo’s taken at ‘Ewhurst’ I will tag then with either ‘Ewhurst Indoors’ or ‘Ewhurst Outdoors’ and try and identify where they were taken, but that may not be easy as there seems to be no recorded layout of ‘Ewhurst’ other than via the photographs.