JAMES Bond star Sir Roger Moore was going to school in Chester long before his city-born successor Daniel Craig made an appearance.
Sir Roger, who has just turned 81, recalls being evacuated to the city as a youngster during the war in his autobiography My Word is My Bond.
While suffering from impetigo during the London Blitz he was sent to join his mother in Chester to stay with the family of colleagues of his father, who was a London police constable.
Sir Roger wrote: “My father had to stay on in London, at Bow Street. From my lonely room I sent dad a pathetic card, telling him how sad I was and, fortunately, he came to my rescue. I can remember him coming into my solitary sickroom, taking a quick look around and saying ‘come on, son, get dressed. I’m taking you up to mum in Chester’.
“Chester was brilliant. The Ryans, with whom my mother was staying, could not have made me feel more welcome. The father of the house was in charge of a railway signal box in Chester and I spent many happy hours among all the levers that changed the points and signals, sometimes even being allowed to pull them when required.
“In the evenings the adults would play cards while I would sleepily lean my head against my mother’s ribs and doze.
“I did go to school for a short time in Chester, but I always wore my Battersea Grammar cap! We only stayed there a few months before, early in 1940, moving back to London and Albert Square.”
Sir Roger’s connections with Chester surfaced previously, when he joined the campaign to try to save the former Odeon cinema because he said he had continued his “romance with cinema and Hollywood” there.
His autobiography marks a career in television and movies spanning seven decades. Most notably he played Simon Templar in The Saint, portrayed Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders and made seven films as James Bond.
The book, £18.99, is available in WHSmith and all other good bookshops.