Veterans of Merton's movie industry have returned to the borough to swap stories about the area's showbusiness past.

The reunion took place at the site of Merton Park Studios, which once played host to famous names including Peter Sellers, John Thaw and Stanley Baker.

Ken Rowles, who organised the meeting, was amazed by the number of former employees who returned to reminisce about life on set.

"There were cameramen, directors and sound technicians. It certainly brought back a lot of memories," he said.

Mr Rowles, who now lives in Kent, is making a DVD documenting the history of the studios in Kingston Road for the archives of the British Film Institute.

At the reunion he interviewed former studio employees to record their memories of Merton Park.

After meeting at the Leather Bottle pub, the group visited the offices of insurance company Bedford, which stand on the old studio site.

There they examined photographs recording the area's silver screen past.

Mr Rowles said it was important to document an important chapter in the history of British cinema - and claimed that even though it shut down more than 40 years ago, Merton Park was fondly remembered by many who worked in the industry.

"People still say to me why did it close?' It was such an industrious little place," he said.

The reunion attracted 20 people including John Hough, a former director of TV series The Avengers.

The studio opened its doors in 1931 and during the war produced propaganda films to aid the British war effort. By the 50s it had switched to making features.

EastEnders star Barbara Windsor appeared in Sparrows Can't Sing, one of her first major pictures, at the studios.

About 130 B-movies, mostly crime-based, were made at the studios, with production reaching its peak in the early 60s.

The last film was made in 1967, before Merton Park closed due to financial mismanagement.