This film is part of Free

J.G. - John Ivor Golding

A glimpse of the life of a chain-smoking, proud-to-be-gay raconteur-of-sorts and resident of Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff.

Biopic 1973 14 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Neil White, who produced this film in his final year at Newport Film School, met his subject in a pub in Cardiff. John Ivor Golding, on day release from Whitchurch (psychiatric) Hospital, would hold court in the city’s bars. He enjoys the attention of the camera, his thoughts and opinions voiced-over, and he celebrates homosexuality, recently legalised in the UK for those aged 21 and over. Puffing away, he warns that smoking is not the cancer-causer but “milk! Milk, my dear.”

Neil White discovered that many of Golding’s fantastic tales were actually true. He had been a Merchant Seaman, a photographer for Picture Post and a dancer in a BBC troupe. He had spent some years in London, where he met e.g. Eric Clapton and David Litvinoff (who associated with e.g. the Krays and Mick Jagger), featured in the magazine ‘Oz’ and appeared in Philippe Mora’s film ‘Trouble in Molopolis’ (1969) with Germaine Greer (he recalls that “she was not facetious enough to come to my intellect or vibrations”). He is believed to have been the inspiration for the title character of Harold Pinter’s play ‘The Caretaker’. NB: Homosexuality was legalised for 21s and over in 1967.