The family of Ronald Avery, a wine merchant in the 1960s who sold to many famous people, say they plan to frame a letter from Alfred Hitchcock found in their wine shop in Bristol in which the legendary film director and producer complained about the difficulties of importing wine into US at the time.
Hitchcock, who was born in east London in 1899, is widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema thanks to films like Psycho, Vertigo, Notorious and The Birds which he made after moving to Hollywood at the beginning of the Second World War.
The letter was discovered by Avery’s grand-daughter Mimi Avery who said she found it while going through her late father’s file at Averys wine merchants but didn’t remember it again not until the organisers Cary Grant Film Festival asked her if they could screen a Hitchcock film in the shop’s cellars.
Mimi Avery said she found the letter when she was sorting out her late father’s files (source: BBC)
Speaking to the BBC, Ms Avery said the family would “keep the letter and frame it”.
She said: “Averys have been exporting round the world since pre-1935.
“My grandfather was born in 1899 and was in the Signals – but although he was involved in World War Two, he was asked to stop and focus on selling more wine to the USA, so that the UK got more taxes that could be used to help the war effort.”
Another of Avery’s grandchildren, Richard, recalls his grandfather telling him the story of Hitchcock visiting their wine shop in Bristol and asking if he could return on another day “and bring a friend” and would “be filming shortly with Ingrid”.
He said: “He had asked Grampy if he could come in one day to taste some Burgundies. However, when he arrived, Grampy apologised and said that he had to taste some Bordeaux samples that day.”
“To our knowledge, the lunch with Ingrid Bergman never happened,” Mr Avery concluded.