Jan’s cuppa - with Doris Day

PUBLISHED: 12:08 03 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 September 2014

Doris and Eddie Foy Jnr in The Pajama Game.

Doris and Eddie Foy Jnr in The Pajama Game.


Among the audience at a Wymondham film show and exhibition to pay tribute to Doris Day, now in her 90s, will be one of her biggest fans who has met the Hollywood star over tea and cakes at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

Doris Day fan Jan Jelves with her LP signed by the star.Doris Day fan Jan Jelves with her LP signed by the star.

“It was all a bit of a blur. I never thought I would get to meet Doris. She was so lovely,” said Jan Jelves, who has been a devoted fan since her family took her to see her movies Tea for Two when she was a teenager in the early in the early 1950s.

“I was smitten and I have been a member of the Doris Day Appreciation Society ever since,” said Jan, who has lived in Wymondham for nearly 30 years.

“I first tried to see her back in the 1950s when she was making the film The Man Who Knew Too Much and staying at The Savoy. My friend and I were among all the fans who were outside the hotel waiting for a glimpse of Doris,” said Jan.

“Unfortunately she was filming at London Airport but we did get to see her son and husband,” said Jan who has all of her records which she has collected over the years.

Jan Jelves's Doris Day LP, autographed by the star in 1976 on a visit to London.Jan Jelves's Doris Day LP, autographed by the star in 1976 on a visit to London.

Then, in 1976, along with a small group of other members of the appreciation society, she was invited to share tea with Doris at the grand Dorchester.

“She was very friendly and signed the sleeve of my LP Love Him which I still treasure today,” added Jan.

Among those with Jan on that memorable day were two organisers of the star’s fan club and one of them, Suffolk-born Sydney Wood, travelled to California in 1979 to become Doris’ housekeeper, working for her at her former home in Beverly Hills and at her Carmel estate.

Jan’s cherished collection of Doris memorabilia will be on display at the Wymondham Ex-Services Club this Sunday at 2.30pm when The Regal Experience group screen The Pajama Game which was made way back in 1957 but is a timeless musical with terrific tunes and great dances.

“As members of the appreciation society we went on coaches to see the film and yes, we did all wear our pajamas,” laughed Jan.

Doris celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year and nowadays keeps out of the spotlight, devoting much of her time to caring for animals.

There will also be a supporting short, Musical Movieland, from the golden days of Hollywood.

Tickets cost £5 (concs £4) from Maureen Dodman (01953 605593) or Michael Armstrong (01953 603246) and at Simply Cards, Market Street, Wymondham.

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