Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Me and Barbara Windsor.

I don't think I have told you the story of me and Barbara Windsor....

I am telling you now because during a big shed tidy up I came across the Christmas Card and postcards I from Ms Windsor herself.

The story goes something like this......

A few years ago, Barbara Windsor was on a TV programme, something like those programs where you research your past.  Anyway, she had a lovely bracelet on, which was mentioned the next day on our beading forum Bead Buddies.

A few of us did a bit of Googling and found some very tiny thumbnails, but nothing we could really have a good look at.  So I decided to write to her...

Dear Ms Windsor,
Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Sue Simmons and I own and run a Bead Shop in Cumbria.
I also run an online Forum for Beaders (www.beadbuddies.co.uk/forum), and one of my members started a discussion about a bracelet you were wearing, and I quote…

Did anyone watch the re-showing of the "Who Do you Think You Are" programme for BW tonight - I couldn't take my eyes off the bracelet Barbara Windsor was sporting - caught a few glimpses of a silver thing with dotty-ed lampies I think??”

This has turned into a quest to try and find a photograph of said bracelet, and the only one we can find is a very small one (attached)

So we wondered, as a group, if you had a better photograph of your bracelet, or if you can tell us the bead artist who made it?
I know this is a really strange request, but Beaders are funny creatures and this will bother them for ages if I cannot get to the bottom of it.
Also, if you would be happy for us to do this, we would like to make you a piece of jewellery in your favourite colours, as a collective work.

Thank you so much for your time.

Didn't really expect a reply at all, well, celebrities have better things to do with their time don't they?  But lo and behold, only a few days later there was a message on my answerphone - from Barbara Windsor!!!

She just said there was a lovely story surrounding the bracelet and she would call me sometime to tell me.

A few weeks went past and I had given up hope of another phone call, when the phone rang  "Hello Sue, Barbara here, how are you darling?"  WHOOP WHOOP!!

She told me the story of the bracelet, which sadly had since been lost.  So I offered to make her a new one.

There was no photo of the piece, so I just had to wing it.  I ended up with this... my hand-made glass beads, swarovski crystal, strung on sterling silver with my signature tag.

I sent it off and a few days later got another call, she was delighted and wanted another - but brighter and bolder this time, and on elastic.

Ok, so bright and bold it was, I used orphan beads from Kathy (My Precious) and some polymer clay beads from Elise Canning, and strung them up on strong elastic.  

She loved that one too  :)

At this point we decided as a Forum that it was quite fun to send gifts to celebrities, so we got together a list from the cast of females at Eastenders and made them all a little sometime.

I sent a fused hand-made glass ring each to 'Shirley' and 'Heather' and a beaded necklace to 'Pat', and got signed postcards in return :)

Later that year I got a Christmas Card , hand signed and personal.  How lovely.

Maybe it's time to do another collective gift box .......


  1. That was me who saw her on whodyathinkyaare ...

    I didn't realise you got all those cards!!!

    Was a great moment :)

  2. It was, I did remember, I just didn't know if I should name you or not, and I had nothing to link to :) But I did remember.

  3. I have a similar story dressing a celeb, but she has become far an away less than that,not only for her wretched mother, title of current movie with Meryl Streep, but her fall from grace after racist comment on TV. Nice story Sooz x

  4. How fabulous!

    It was very nice of Barbara to get back to you like that! Wow.

    Carol XXX

  5. I know, she's so lovely, she phoned me a couple of times after that too.


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