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Thursday 10 July 2014

Out of The Archive

    My wife was having a bit of a sort out in the cupboard on the landing the other day, and she came across a file. It was one of my old ESCAPE files in which I would put miscellaneous items relating to either 'the Prisoner' or Portmeirion. In this case the file contained a number of photographs taken at Portmeirion, while on a day trip there, and during the 1995 'Prisoner' convention.
    Pictured above is Peter Howell {the Professor} watching and appreciating a re-enactment from 'Dance of the Dead' performed by the Village Touring Theatre group during the Sunday evening at the 1995 convention. This was the first time Peter Howell had been to Portmeirion. A local man to Portmeirion was a stand-in for the Professor during the filming of 'The General.'
 The Prisoner Shop
   Now I fully understand that to some who might be reading this, the name of Max Hora will be anathema, but when the above photograph was taken during a day-trip to Portmeirion in 1995 {I remember that because the Ship Shop had been completely gutted as a complete refurbishment of the building was taking place} so at that time Max was a friend to all, and a dearly liked character, who was at the very heart of appreciation for 'the Prisoner' in having been the proprietor of the Prisoner shop for 17 years. And like it or not, he is an important part of Six of One history.
   However the reason for posting the picture is really because of the Prisoner shop itself. Today's Prisoner shop at Portmeirion does not hold a candle to the one pictured here. It was always well stocked with everything 'the Prisoner' enthusiast could wish for. From books to pens, pictures and postcards. Badges and stickers, posters, videos. Penny Farthing writing paper and matching envelopes, Prisoner mugs and calendars. 'T' shirts and sweat shirts. The Prisoner shop was like an Aladdin's cave, or sweet shop that you just had to go into and browse. There was always something new to see, to buy, and to talk to Max about. Mind you in the autumn months the Prisoner shop could be awfully cold, and damp, there was never any heating laid on. But there was an atmosphere {that would be due to the cats} of friendship and conviviality. Not just from the welcoming proprietor, but from fellow enthusiasts of 'the Prisoner.' The shop was also a meeting place for old friends, and to make new ones. I passed many a happy time in that shop of bygone times, and was happy to spend my money there, to leave the Prisoner shop with a bag full of 'Prisoner' related items. And it must be remembered, no matter ones opinion, if it had not been for Max Hora there would have been no Prisoner shop in Portmeirion for many fans of 'the Prisoner' to enjoy for all those years.

Be seeing you


  1. Max Hora "was at the very heart of appreciation for 'the Prisoner' when Six of One was first formed." What makes you think that?

    1. Hello Anonymous,
      Thank you for that, my mistake, and I've made an amendment to the blog. I suppose it was a slip of the keyboard, seeing as Max has been around within Prisoner appreciation for so many years. What I meant to say was that Max Hora was at the heart of Prisoner appreciation, what with running the Prisoner shop for 17 years.

      Can I ask, were you there when Dave Barrie first formed Six of One? And if you were, what was the society like in those early days?

      Very kind regards