In 1954, Richard Thorp was a young actor at the start of a career which would take him to the dizzy heights of playing the pub landlord in Emmerdale when he was offered the role of one of the pilots in The Dam Busters. Like many of the cast he bore a strong resemblance to the character he played, Sqn Ldr Henry Maudslay.
Mr Thorp has recently been involved in a campaign for a permanent memorial to the real life men of 617 Squadron at one of the dams they used for training – the Nant-y-Gro dam in mid Wales.
He told the Western Mail:
I loved filming Dam Busters. I was very proud to be in it. It made me realise how incredibly brave these young men were…The Lancaster bombers used to shake like jellies. I’ve been up in one and they are freezing cold with the wind rushing right through them…When we were making the film, three batty Polish pilots were the only ones brave enough to fly them.