"From 800+ celebrities and famous people whom have read from my books in Yorkshire school assemblies during 1990-2000, someone I got to like and admire very much was Prunella Scales and her husband Timothy West. Both have publicly read for me on four or five occasions each.
I was sad to hear on today's radio that Prunella is battling Alzheimer's, but knowing her fortitude, I feel almost as sorry for the condition, as I know she won't allow it to get her down.
I will never forget the very first time I met Prunella in person. I expected to see Sybil from 'Fawlty Towers' and true to the character she is in real life, that is who I did see. If ever a person and their television character were one and the same, it is Prunella Scales and Sybil. Whether I was talking to Sybil from ‘Faulty Towers’ or Prunella Scales, actress and CBE, I could never distinguish. I recall meeting her off a train at Leeds Railway Station. My very first sight of her was to see her waving a brolly at some poor railway attendant wheeling her luggage as she berated the poor man. It was only as she approached when I realised that her train porter was none other than her husband Timothy West.
Never being a woman who would settle for second best where she had access to first -class provision, whenever she read for me, I always arranged for her to be collected in a vintage car. The chauffeur drove us from Leeds to a school in Kirkheaton, Huddersfield in a 1925 vintage Bentley. We were driven the 15 miles distance at a maximum speed of 15 mph and I remember hundreds of people waving to us as we passed by. I wasn't quite sure whether or not they waved because they recognized Prunella or whether they were simply admiring the car and returning her hand gestures, but for a moment I could have sworn that Prunella had naturally and effortlessly slipped back into the role of Queen Elizabeth 11.
Prunella and Timothy, thank you both so much for having read so many times for me during 1990-2000 and helping me to raise awareness and much needed monies in my charitable works. Prunella, I pray that as your memory gradually fades that you first forget any bad experiences in your life and that you those last memories you recall are of the many good times." William Forde: March 4th, 2014. (For those who would like to read more extensively about my experiences with Prunella Scales, simply log on to the section in my web site http://www.fordefables.co.uk/cars-for-stars.html)