Yes - I worked for Don for several years - initially at the Empire Leicester Square, and then we opened the Cat's Whiskers in Streatham - that had been where I had my first pro job, when it was the Streatham Locarno.
Some years ago now, Don had retired, and moved to Cobham (from Wimbledon). One Sunday morning I was over that way, so I thought I'd look him up. We sat and yarned in his conservatory and saw off a bottle of red... and he told me he was dying. He said they were keeping him comfortable, and he was able to play jazz sessions at a local pub - sitting down. It was some kind of blood cancer. Not long after, I opened my paper and there was an obituary. I was so glad I'd taken the trouble to pop in that day...
I nearly became related to John Bluthal. We took my widowed Dad to a celebrity thrash, where he met John's sister. The two took to each other and by the end of the evening were swapping phone numbers and holding hands. Unfortunately he had to go back to Aberdeen the following day and passions waned.
On a similar note, the outfitter who dressed the Are You Being Served set every week said that every item of clothing displayed had a sleeve removed, or something similar, to render it useless - otherwise (as happened after the recording of the pilot) everything would disappear before the next episode.
Ah, Woodies! Five and a match would have been of a less well-known brand usually, sold loose... Masters Navy Cut or similar. I regularly spent my school dinner money on them, daft sod.
1956 saw me plucked from the bosom of me fambly, and sent away to play Airmen. When I reported, I learned that if I could get into the RAF Music Service I could do three years as a regular instead of the two years National Service, Since I didn't want spend two years as a clerk on some soggy Northern airfield, and since the regular was paid at least twice as much as a NS man, I figured I would have a go - flannelled my way through an audition and was passed Musician II. Spent two and a half of the three years in the Middle East and Africa, playing jazz whenever the opportunity arose, and everything from Beethoven 5 to the Bum-Dusters March when it didn't.
Consequently, home affairs in the latter half of the 50s is terra incognita to me. I know that when I got home again, that damned Rock'n'Roll still hadn't gone away...