Monday, July 02, 2012

Una Stubbs: Role Model

Una today
Yesterday's Observer Review had an interview with Una Stubbs.
This morning I did a Google search, and as I expected, it caused a Tumblr storm.
Let me quote from the article:

"Rehearsals have been extremely physical. 'We have two hours' warm-up and it's really fierce, like being trained for the SAS', says Stubbs. 'There are press-ups and a lot of leaping and jumping.'

Una, back in the day

So far she has taken it all in her stride. 'I get teased a lot [by the rest of the cast] when I can do things they can't physically,' she giggles. 'Because I'm a dancer, obviously I've still got a bit of that and they all go, 'Wow'. It's like Granny Takes a Trip!

'A lot of people say to me, 'Can you still dance?' Yes!' she shrieks. 'Although I think if you do dance when you're older it's better to dance with a little restraint. I can't bear it when you see those old dears flinging themselves around, going, 'I'll show 'em.'"

She is 75 years old.

That does it.

I have got to get fit.

You might be too young to remember this, but she was quite well-known in the early 90's for a series of How-to-Sew videos.  I remember reading an article about how she loved buying fabric from Liberty and was working on a Vogue Issey Miyake pattern.  I bought the pattern but I never made the shirt!  (...and sold the pattern on Ebay several years ago - this is a picture from Etsy!)

There are a couple of books out there with her name on them - but I think it was only "In Stitches" that she wrote herself. It's a rather lovely embroidery book which inspired me (at the time -1980's) to get busy with my needle and some pillowcases.  In it, she shows a sketch she did of her lanky teenaged son, in preparation for an embroidery.  Fab!  Despite looking quite dated, I need a copy to keep (and it's only one penny at Amazon).

I just did a search, and as well as the expected videos of Worzel Gummidge there is a vinyl copy of "Have Fun Keep Fit" - who knew - a fitness LP?!  Someone really ought to commission her to make a new dvd  for women of a certain age - I would buy it!


Minnado said...

Oh I do like Una Stubbs, she is a great example of how good you can be at 75 if you are lucky. (does that make sense?) Don't forget her in Summer Holiday with Cliff! And didn't she play the landlady in Sherlock quite recently? I must stop or I will blab on and on in a Una-thon. I missed out completely on the fact she had made sewing videos though.

Dibs said...

I don't much about her. Infact, I had never heard of her, probably coz I did not grow up in the UK. Minnado I think you are right about her being the landlady in Sherlock Holmes. She looks really familiar, so I am sure it was her.

Dichohecho said...

I recognise the name but wasn't aware really of what she actually did/does. (but then I'm a 1990 baby).
Recently(ish) I came across a book with a foreword by her in Oxfam Bookshop which contained this wonder:

LinB said...

Never heard of Una Stubbs before your posting, but I still own the Vogue Issey Miyake. I made all three pieces -- the coat several times. Shirt is so awesome that someone stole it off the back of my chair at work when I went out for lunch and left it there, one summer day in Canton, Georgia. (No, I did not go topless to the Dairy Queen. I had worn the shirt as an overblouse that morning, but it got too hot to keep it on all day.)

Jane said...

Hoorah for Una Stubbs, what a wonderful example she is, can't believe she's 75. Don't forget her energetic and spirited performances as team captain in Give us a Clue, along with her male equivalent and fellow ex-dancer the lovely Lionel Blair! x

sylkotwist said...

I didn't know Una had done sewing and keep fit too, multiple talents! She used to freak me out a little in Wurzle Gummage (if I'm honest!) but she is the most perfect Mrs Hudson!

Kestrel said...

Jeez, can't believe she's 75, she looks great. Am sure I've seen that book in a charity shop too.

natalie said...

I have that Issey Miyake pattern!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Isn't she incredible! I have a copy of In Stitches tucked away somewhere, I must fish it out :D

Lynne said...

I had no idea she is 75! She's fantastic, and I'd forgotten she was on Give Us A Clue until Jane mentioned it.

Lizzi said...

I bought that book for 10p at a car book sale. I love it.

Scruffybadger said...

I also was unaware of her stitching & it really does go to show that it is possible to keep fit & dont let what you think abiout your age get in your way, Una of course sounds super fit, & that kind of role modelling is really inspirational.