The Leslie Flint Educational Trust

WEB: www.leslieflint.com                  EMAIL: leslieflinttrust@outlook.com

 
 
 

Ginette Spanier (1904-1988)
Photographed in 1959 at a book signing.


Blank sitting with Ginette Spanier

Recorded: May 3rd 1978


“Mickey, I think you’re a little wretch.”

- Leslie Flint


In this rare and very revealing recording of a 'blank sitting'
we hear Leslie Flint and his friend Ginette Spanier 
settle down for a private séance.

The tape recorder is checked and made ready, the curtains are drawn
and the two friends enjoy some private and very natural conversation,
while they wait for Mickey and other spirits to communicate.

As the time passes, the medium and his sitter wait patiently,
and they talk about theatrical friends, holiday plans and even the weather.

After a while, Leslie explains how he has often waited up to an hour
before the spirit voices begin to speak.

At the end of the recording we hear Leslie leave the room, as he joins Bram Rogers and shares the news of what happened...



 

Please read the full transcript below as you listen...


Present: Bram Rogers, Ginette Spanier, Leslie Flint

Communicators: None


Flint:

This séance was recorded on the 3rd of May 1978, Medium Leslie Flint.


Rogers:

That's right...and I'll just, yes...
Now, um...

Flint:
You're all set now?

Rogers:

...when...when it's dark you've just gotta...

Flint:

Oh, I’ve gotta...oh I've got to switch that up...?

Rogers:

...you just switch it up...yeah, 'cause it’s already plugged in and everything...

[Click]

Spanier:

Voilà...

Rogers:
[Laughing]

Rogers:

[to dog] Come on Kit, come on...[claps hands]...that’s right.

Flint:
Okay...

Rogers:
Do you want water - a glass of water?

Flint:

Give me a glass of water, just in case.

Rogers:

Do you think you want – would want a glass of water Ginette?

Spanier:

I don’t think so.

Rogers:
No?


Flint:

Well you never know, one of us might faint!

Rogers:
Oh!

Spanier:
Yes...[Laughing]

Flint:

[Laughing]

Spanier:

Then what do we do?

Flint:

We'll just wait till we have to be revived!

Rogers:
Wait till I have to revive you!

Flint:
This water tastes nice, what's in it?

Rogers:

It’s got a drop of lemon juice...

Flint:
Is that what it is?


[Door slams loudly]

[Curtains pulled closed]


Flint:

Oh well.

Spanier:

I’m delighted you were kind enough to give me this sitting.

Flint:

Well why not? I can’t think of anyone I’d like to sit for more than you.
We’re all set, that’s running isn't it?

[Lamp switched off]


Spanier:
Et voilà...

Flint:
Ahh...

[Long pause]

Flint:
You like your new home?

Spanier:

Oh it is absolutely super...

Flint:

[Coughing]

Spanier:

...it is really marvellous.

Flint:

Is it? Good.

Spanier:

Yes. Really lovely. Small and couldn’t...I mean, that was found for me - that I can tell you.

Flint:

Mmm...and it's easier to run I should think, not too much...

Spanier:

Oh and anyway, now I am alone...you see my husband used to practice in the old apartment, but it was much too big. We had nine rooms, and this is two rooms and very pretty.

[Short pause]

Flint:

How old is Sir Laurence now, seventy?

Spanier:

He’s going to be seventy-one.

Flint:
Seventy-one, ah...

Spanier:

He’s going to be seventy-one I think, in April.

Flint:

Really, mmm...

Spanier:

He's a dear man.

Flint:

I remember, almost his first beginnings, you know. At the old Vic.


Spanier:

Me too...and when he played with John Gielgud.

Flint:

Oh yes way back. I remember his first Hamlet there and all his very early roles.

Spanier:

Wonderful actor, wonderful. And still as keen on it as ever...

Flint:

Oh yes.

I remember the last...not the last time, perhaps the time before...when this friend came - chauffeur bloke - uh, something cropped up, uh, Mickey - to do with Sir Laurence - Mickey came through and said, 'oh', he said, 'there’s a man here who says that Sir Laurence...' or Mr. Olivier, whatever he called him...'has got a sword that belonged to me...'

And he said, 'there's something wrong with...' and Mickey couldn’t pronounce the word properly - 'scabbard' he said.
'It’s [got] something wrong with it and he's got it. And this man says that he used to use this sword.'

Well, he told Sir Laurence Oliver and the chauffeur about this and Laurence said,
'well if you go up...' - I don't know it was on the second or third floor - but he says, 'in a room there, in a glass case, there is a sword and the scabbard is very worn. It belonged to Edmund Kean, the actor.'


Spanier:

Of course, it was one that...

Flint:

Yeah and, uh, the chauffeur knew absolutely nothing about this.

Spanier:

No.

Flint:

Neither, of course, did I. But, evidently, he’s got the sword that Edmund Kean used on the stage in Richard III.

Spanier:

And I think the great - I have...I’ve seen it.

Flint:

You have?

Spanier:

Oh yes.

Flint:

Ah...

Spanier:

Because it was handed down to him, I don’t know who by.

Flint:

Oh.

Spanier:

It might have been Hawtrey, I am not certain.

Flint:

Uh-huh...


Spanier:

And now he’ll have to hand it on to somebody else.

Flint:

Really?


Spanier:

I don’t know who he’s going to hand it on to.

Flint:

Good Lord...

Spanier:

Maybe to a museum, I’m not certain.

Flint:

Could be, yes.

Spanier:

[Coughing]

Flint:

Well, he’s had lots of different messages.

Spanier:

How wonderful, I’m so pleased.

Flint:

[Loud coughing]

Spanier:

That must be...it must make a great difference to him.

Flint:

Mmm...

Spanier:

I really love him dearly.

Flint:

Do you know Michael Redgrave at all?

Spanier:

Yes, but not very....

Flint:
No.

Spanier:

I mean, um, casually more...

Flint:
Yes.

Spanier:

While Laurence Oliver was and is...and was one of our greatest friends and they - he stayed with us so much you see...

Flint:
Yes.

Spanier:

We used to spend all our holidays together and of course he has remained one of my great loves. We communicate sort of regularly...

Flint:

Yes.

Spanier:

...but not frequently.

Flint:

No, no.
[Loud coughing]

[Pause]

Flint:

I used to like Michael Redgrave, um, many years ago I used to see a lot of his plays. But I’m told he is a very sad man now, he drinks too much or something.

Spanier:

I believe so.

Flint:

It is very sad.

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

And he has difficulty in remembering his lines.

Spanier:

Yes, um, that’s been going on for some time, not being able to remember his lines. Sad...[somebody with his talent]...

Flint:

Sad family really isn’t it? And Vanessa is always in trouble.

Spanier:

Yes, she’s a great actress.

Flint:

Mmm. Her 'Rosalind' was marvellous.

Spanier:

Uh, she’s in a film in London now.

Flint:

Is she?

Spanier:

The one for which she got the Oscar in America.

Flint:

Mmm hmm.

Spanier:

Called 'Julia', it's a beautiful film.

Flint:

Really?

Spanier:

Mmm.

[Pause]

Flint:

I don’t suppose you have much time to do theatres and things now?

Spanier:

You? I don’t wonder.

Flint:

No, you dear, not me.

Spanier:

Me! Oh well I'm not so keen on the - the theatre in France.

Flint:

No?

Spanier:

But, uh, when I come here I manage to see one or two things.

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

Because the standard here is fantastic. But I must come often, it's silly to wait six months to come to England.


Flint:

It must be very difficult for you to get away isn't it?

Spanier:

Yes, but I just must make the effort.

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

If I'm any good, I must be able to delegate authority.

Flint:

Mmm.

[Pause]


Flint:

You got a good staff?

Spanier:

Yes, charming.

[Pause]


Flint:

[Loud coughing]


[Long silence until 11:45]


Flint:

[Loud coughing]


[Long silence until 20:24]


Flint:

[Loud coughing]


[Distant sounds of traffic outside and the sound of Flint breathing until 27:20]

Flint:

Mickey’s a long time...


Spanier:

Yes. Do you remember, it's happened before?

Flint:

Pardon?

Spanier:

It's happened, several...I mean...

Flint:

Really?

Spanier:

Do you think it’s hopeless?

Flint:

I forget you know. When...when you came last time did we get results?

Spanier:

It was fabulous last time.

Flint:

It was?

Spanier:
The last time two times were fabulous.

Flint:

Oh. But you have sat, when...

Spanier:

I’ve had...twice where nothing's happened.

Flint:

Really?

Spanier:
Yeah...

Flint:
Oh dear, Of course, you see, one never knows.

Spanier:

Of course not.

Flint:

You can’t demand it of course or...
I don’t know whether this means anything, but for what it’s worth, but...

Spanier:

You always are wonderful with me.

Flint:

Well, I don’t know whether there's anything to this or not...

Spanier:

Yes?

Flint:

But I...I know it sounds crackers to say this, but I saw a most beautiful peacock with its tail all spread out, you know?

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

Beautiful. Whether the symbol...it's symbolic of something, I haven’t a clue. Some people are very superstitious about peacock feathers.

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

But um...

Spanier:

We did go one...I mean, there was a hotel where there...and then next door there was a castle where there were peacocks.

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

We went there ages ago.

Flint:

No, I should imagine that, if it's anything at all, it is something heavily symbolic in some way. I don’t quite know what but, uh, I don’t know what it's all about, if anything.

I'm always a little doubtful if I get what I call 'mental pictures' and things. Although often they turn out to be correct, but I am so used to Mickey and others talking, and that to me is the most important thing and more impressive...

Spanier:

But you’ve been wonderful with me often.

Flint:
Have I?

Spanier:
Yes, when nothing else works...

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

...you have extraordinary feelings.


Flint:

Really?

Spanier:

Yeah.

Flint:

Well I forget. I get a...I remember some things very well...

Spanier:

Of course, but you can’t remember...

Flint:

[Sniffing and sighing]
You're working on a new book are you?

Spanier:

No.

Flint:

Oh you’re not?

Spanier:

Frankly not.

Flint:

Oh?

Spanier:

I don't I think...I think I've said everything I’ve got to say.

Flint:

Ah.

Spanier:

And, uh...so I’m just running this place, learning this new job and, uh...it’s very absorbing.

[Pause]

Flint:

[Yawning]

Spanier:

I feel so much that I would like to call them...

Flint:

I beg your pardon?


Spanier:

One feels like calling them and saying come and talk to me.

Flint:

Ah.
Well I always feel that, if they can come, they will.

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

And though, possibly, there are times when, to all outward appearances, we get little or nothing I’m quite sure they are there.

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

And their disappointment must be just as great as ours, if not greater...

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

...if they can’t make it.

Spanier:

If they've not been able to get through...

Flint:

We don’t know, of course, what the problems are.

Spanier:

No of course.

[Pause]

[Flint sniffing and sighing - otherwise, silence until until 38:53]


Spanier:

Does it sometimes happen that they come as late as this?

Flint:

Well, quite frankly, the whole thing is so variable that one really never knows. Sometimes we’ve sat for an hour and nothing has happened, then all of a sudden something does, you know. Another time you’ll sit and within four or five minutes or something...

Spanier:

Yes.


Flint:

...a very short time anyway, something transpires; Mickey comes or something, you know. I find that there are no hard and fast rules and one never can really be sure as to what...in fact, one never knows what may or may not happen. Usually Mickey comes fairly quickly, well usually - well it might be in quarter of an hour, ten minutes...

[Pause]

Flint:
[Loud coughing]

[Pause]

Flint:
Mickey? Mickey?

[Silence until 43.14]

Flint:
What time do you have to be at the Cook sisters?

Spanier:

Oh I don’t want to keep you longer than you can...

Flint:

Pardon?

Spanier:

...uh, any time.

Flint:

Oh I see.

Spanier:

That isn’t the point, I mean if you feel that there's nothing...

Flint:

Oh no, no, no. I’m not worried about time, my time is my own. No, I was just concerned about you, I didn’t know if you...

Spanier:

Oh no they, um, anytime, but, er, if you think it's hopeless then...

Flint:

Oh no I don’t mind sitting. I’m quite happy to wait. Maybe they are having problem or difficulty and maybe they'll overcome whatever it is if - should there be any problem and come through. Sometimes we've sat for, oh, three quarters of an hour before anything happened. We don’t know how difficult or what their problems may be.

Spanier:

No, of course.

Flint:

All we have to do is just patiently sit and hope that they'll be able to manifest.

Spanier:

Yes.

[Pause]


Flint:

You meeting them in town are you?

Spanier:

No, uh, at their flat.

Flint:

Oh, their flat.

Spanier:

We are having a little cold meal there...

Flint:

Oh I see.

Spanier:

So we can talk, you see...

Flint:

Oh, I see.

Spanier:

...and listen to some of their tapes.

[Pause]


Spanier:

I haven’t seen them, well, since the last time I was in London...

Flint:

Mmm? Were you not on television some little while back?

Spanier:

Pardon?

Flint:

Were you not on television?

Spanier:

Yes, uh, well...

Flint:

Some little while back...

Spanier:

Well that was...

Flint:

I have some vague remembrance of it.

Spanier:

Yes. Yes and I’ve been on the radio here too...

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

...about two weeks ago.

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

Television; I don’t know if I’ve been on television since I last sat because I...last time I sat, from what I gathered on the tape, I had been on television the day before.

Flint:

Ah, yes. I had some vague remembrance of, I couldn’t remember whether it was television or whether it was radio.

Spanier:

The radio; I have been on this program about two weeks ago, I think.

Flint:

Really?


Spanier:

It’s called, 'Unaccustomed As I Am' - which is about lecturing.

Flint:

Oh that must...

Spanier:

I did the American bit.

Flint:

Oh that must be what it was then.

[Pause]


Flint:

Do you think you may go back to the States at all?

Spanier:

Oh, I've become awfully un-adventuresome about travelling.

Flint:

[Laughing]

Spanier:
Though I did...though I did go to...

Flint:

Yes.

Spanier:

Barbados this summer...

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

…this winter.


Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

Which cut the winter beautifully, but, um, I always say I’ll go.

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

And then I don’t. I have many friends there.

[Pause]


Spanier:
And do you think you go in the winter?


Flint:

Well we think, I feel, Bram feels that, if we go, the ideal time would be to go, say, to California for January, February and March...

Spanier:

Absolutely.

Flint:

...to miss the three worst months here, you know.

Spanier:

It’s so lovely...

Flint:
Mmm.

Spanier:

...getting away from...I know how, well, I was only three weeks in Barbados.

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

To bathe and have some sun!

Flint:

Yes.
I don’t know, the climatic conditions seem to be changing worldwide. This winter...

Spanier:
It’s very changeable.

Flint:

...they had a very bad winter in California...

Spanier:
Yes.

Flint:
...rain and landslides and...

Spanier:

Terrible.

Flint:

...all sorts of things.

Spanier:

And unbelievable snow in the east.

Flint:

Mmm.
That must have been frightening, some places were very bad.

Spanier:

Mmm.

Flint:

We had a bad winter in a way, over here. But London seemed to have escaped the snow more or less, you know.

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

But it was very cold and miserable and depressing.

Spanier:

There hasn’t been any feeling of spring in the air.

Flint:

No, it’s been shocking. Usually this time we have beautiful sun and warmth...

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

...and flowers all coming up and...

Spanier:
And I mean, the chestnut trees in Paris...

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

Um, will be prac...the flowers will be over and we won’t have enjoyed them because of the rain.

Flint:

No? It’s sad.
I suppose Paris, like everywhere else, is changing?

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

I believe the Champs-Elysées is very much changed.

Spanier:

Oh goodness, yes.
It’s still a beautiful city.

Flint:

Yes of course.

Spanier:

But the Champs-Elysées is terribly tatty. It's like Oxford Street.

Flint:

Pity isn't it? You should have thought they would have protected those lovely old buildings.

Spanier:

But still, if you go by the river and in the evening, on a nice evening, then that's still beautiful with the Louvre.

Flint:

Uh-huh...

Spanier:

[unintelligible] it really is beautiful there. But still, all the streets are...

Flint:

But you don’t get the muggings and things that we get...

Spanier:

Oh yes, you do.

Flint:

You do?

Spanier:

I had my bag stolen.

Flint:

Really?

Spanier:

Yes, a cyclist - motor cyclist, like in Italy.

Flint:

Good heavens.

Spanier:

They go up on to the path and if you, um, if you have it hanging on your arm...

Flint:

Mmm.

Spanier:

Yip - and it’s gone.

Flint:

Tut. Good Lord!
Huh.

[Pause]

Flint:
Rome is in a terrible state isn’t it? Italy. Frightening.

Spanier:

Oh ghastly.

Flint:

Absolutely frightening, Rome.

Spanier:

Ghastly.

Flint:

I don’t know what’s happening to the world, I really don’t.

Spanier:

It really is in a, I mean, a mess.

Flint:

Mmm. Well perhaps I’m old fashioned or something, I don’t know what it is, but I think the permissive society has got a lot to do with it. I think we are too easy, too lenient and give way too much...

Spanier:

I agree with you...

Flint:

To the young,

Spanier:

...completely.

Flint:

I believe in freedom, but I think...

Spanier:

Oh I’m glad that I was brought up severely.

Flint:

I mean, I, I, I used to get occasionally caned at school, but I don’t think it did me any harm.

Not that I think that one should cane children unnecessarily, obviously, but...I don’t know, I just feel somehow with the permissive society, the rot has set in, you know.

Spanier:

I agree with you completely.

Flint:

I mean in the old days...

Spanier:

Completely.

Flint:

...the young people, they stayed at home with their parents...

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

...and they were looked after and they took an interest in their home and their parents. But now they leave home and they set up, well I don’t know, some back room with somebody and they live promiscuously, and all the rest of it. I just don’t understand the mentality of the - a lot of the young. Perhaps that’s because I’m out of date, but...

Spanier:

Well I feel like you about it, completely.

Flint:

I’m sure that this permissive society is the root of a lot of our trouble.
I believe in freedom. I think that one should be free, as far as is possible, providing you don’t hurt anyone else in the consequence, you know, but...


Spanier:

One should have a little discipline, don’t you think?

Flint:

Mmm.
Well London has become frightful now, what with muggings and one thing or other. Dreadful. Well I hardly ever go out unless I have to, and then I usually have a cab there and back.

Spanier:

Yes.

Flint:

[Loud coughing]
Mickey, I think you’re a little wretch.

Spanier:

[Sniggering]

Flint:

You really are.

Spanier:

Oh yes Mickey. I was so looking forward to talking to you.

Flint:

When do you go away?

Spanier:

Tomorrow.

Flint:

Oh, you go back tomorrow?

Spanier:
Yes.

Flint:

Oh. Tut.

Spanier:

Tomorrow evening.

Flint:

Huh!
[Yawns]

[Pause]

Spanier:

Will you be here in August, if I come August?

Flint:

Uh, yes, I’m going to, for one week, to the Edinburgh Festival.

Spanier:

Oh, yes.

Flint:

The last...well, I’m going on the 28th of August until...

Spanier:

Oh yes.

Flint:

...the following Saturday or whenever that is.

Spanier:

Interesting. Do you lecture a lot?

Flint:

No, I don’t...I haven’t done anything for, oh, eighteen months or something. And now it’s suddenly started up again. I’ve had several requests and I thought, well, when they asked me to do the Edinburgh Festival, uh, I thought well this is really something.

Spanier:

Of course it is.

Flint:

Because it's one of the things, you know.

Spanier:

Definitely.

Flint:

And it's never...they’ve never asked ever before any psychic or anything like that, to do anything.

Spanier:

I think it’s wonderful.

[Loud clink of a glass of water]

Spanier:
I expect to be back, beginning of August, so if I may write to you when I know the dates?

Flint:

Well you know I will always see you whenever it’s...

Spanier:

Thank you.

Flint:

I mean, I’d make it at midnight if I had to.

Spanier:

Oh gosh!


Flint:

No I would honestly, uh, but, um...

Spanier:

There’s nothing one...


Flint:

I think one has to accept the obvious fact Ginette, that one cannot, with this subject, guarantee anything.

Spanier:

Of course not.

Flint:

I mean, there will be days when my powers function and other days when they just don’t and I can’t command or demand anything.

Spanier:

Of course not.

Flint:

I mean I’m as disappointed as you are.

Spanier:

I’m sure.

Flint:

I really am, very - and I know Bram will be very upset, when he knows that we got nothing, but...and nothing would make me happier, than for you to go away walking on air.

Spanier:

I'm sure.

Flint:

and say 'how very marvellous'...

Spanier:

I’m sure.

Flint:

...but I can’t make it happen.


Spanier:

Of course not. And, I mean, it’s happened before.


Flint:

Mmm.


Spanier:

And the next time it’s been alright.


Flint:

I'll put the light on.


Spanier:

Yes.


[Lamp switched on]


Flint:

No, I think if Mickey were able...


Spanier:

Yes.


Flint:

You see this is what’s happening. As I’m getting older, to be quite frank about this, uh, it’s quite obvious that they're finding more and more difficulty in making contact.

I, I have perhaps a marvellous sitting one day and perhaps two days later equally nice people, sincere people get nothing at all. You - one never - one can’t say, you know.


Spanier:

Well, of course not.


Flint:

One just never knows.

I seem to have lost my spectacles and I’m lost without them. But this is me you see, I...


Spanier:

I must say I, I had to leave, uh, early this morning to fetch my spectacles that I had dropped.


Flint:

Did you?


Spanier:

Yes. I drop things.


Flint:

I’m getting like that too you know. I, I suppose I [laughing] I’ll find them.

Do you do stupid things? No of course you don't.


Spanier:

Oh I spend my life doing it.


Flint:

Do you?


Spanier:

Yes.


Flint:

And, uh, when did you say you would come again? In September, or, or August?


Spanier:

August, I was thinking of, uh, having an actual holiday with my sister in England, and then going on to....have you got them?


Flint:

No! I shall find them of course, but I’m so lost without them. I’ll put another light on so we can see what we are doing.

[Click]

Ahh, I don’t know what I did with them. I obviously had them on but, um...do you find you do silly things like that?


Spanier:

Ho! I spend my life doing it.


Flint:

I can’t imagine you...because you are so efficient.


Spanier:

Oh, uh...listen...not, uh...


Flint:

Pardon?


Spanier:

Not as much as all that. My sisters are efficient.


Flint:

[Laughing] This is crazy!


Spanier:

Do you think they could be under this cushion?


Flint:

It's crazy! No, you wouldn’t, no you wouldn’t...


Spanier:

Perhaps we must stop that...


Flint:

Anyway I've got another pair somewhere, I'll find them. Er?


Spanier:

Yesterday I left them behind. Well, I had to go and call for them this morning.


Flint:

I’ll go and get my other specs, would you excuse me a moment?


Spanier:

Yes.


Flint:

I’m so lost without...


[Curtains pulled open]


Flint:
...my spectacles.


Spanier:

And we must stop the tape there.


[Door opens]

[Muffled speech]

Flint to Bram:
...not a thing...complete blank.

[Sound of footsteps]


[Bram enters the room]

Spanier to Bram:

Lovely photograph.


Rogers:

No one wanted to know you?


Spanier:

No.


Rogers:

No? Ha-ha! Isn't it [shocking?]


Spanier:

No. They cold shouldered me!


END OF RECORDING



This transcript was kindly created for the Trust by Coleen Mackenzie - May 2018