Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Railway Children

Hi guys,
I saw a newspaper clipping which asked for information from people involved in the making of the Railway children.

I was 21 when I did general work around the set on the Worth Valley Railway Line. I thought Hollywood had come to Haworth!

The highlight of my experience was when I had to pull the rip cord that released the tree sliding down the embankment in the landslide scene. I was terrified as they counted down to the release.
Alan Littler (ex pat)
Perth. W. Australia

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Harry Baird (1931-2005)

Harry Baird, Pioneer black British film actor
by David McGillivray, Thursday March 17 2005, The Guardian

In 1954, when Carol Reed directed A Kid For Two Farthings, focusing on theethnic mix of London's East End, it was still acceptable for an Indian fortune teller to be played by a made-up white actor. But even then attitudes demanded that the film's young, black boxer, Jamaica, could not be played by someone in blackface.

The part went to Harry Baird, who has died of cancer aged 73. Handsome and athletic, Baird went on to play many noble warriors and pettycriminals, finally becoming a star in Italy. He was also prominent in two films reflecting racial prejudice in Britain, Sapphire (1959) and Flame InThe Streets (1961).

He had more demanding roles in TV adaptations of Green Pastures (1958) andThe Big Knife (1959). In most of his other British films he was cast in minor roles. Exceptions included a gay wrestler, Lillywhite, in a camp romp,The Touchables (1968), and one of the gang in The Italian Job (1969) -Michael Caine was one of Baird's old friends.

Born in Georgetown in what is now Guyana, Baird was obsessed with the cinema from childhood. Aged 17, he joined his brother in London and began training at the YMCA. There he met several young actors, including Joe Robinson. When Robinson was given a starring role in A Kid For Two Farthings, he recommended Baird to Reed.
Harry Baird, actor, born May 12 1931; died February 13 2005

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

Friday, March 18, 2005

Canterbury Tale

Some help from Chris Mayor:

"All locations with map references are listed in detail in:

A Canterbury Tale: Memories of a Classic Wartime Movie

Paul Tritton ISBN 0 9524094 2 9

e.g the butcher's shop is located in Wingham High Street and belonged to Dick Lucy. There is also a picture of the shop as it is now, as there are for many other location shots in the book"

Chris Mayor

Ha'penny Breeze

Having invited friends all and sundry to log on to Reelstreets to see my "Otley" photos which you kindlyposted, I was browsing the unidentified lists when"Ha'penny Breeze" caught my eye. The short answer to its location would be "It's Pin Mill on the RiverOrwell in Suffolk - probably".The long answer is that in 1951 I was visiting my sister who lived in Harwich at the time. The (ratherevocative) theme music was on the radio and my sisterremarked that the film had been made somewhere up the River Orwell. Seeing the film mentioned on the sitemade me wonder whether a recording of the music was available. I started a Google search and initially came up with a mention of the film on with a note from someone saying that they had lived a few miles away from Pin Mill where the film was set. A couple of sites later I came across the Pin Mill Sailing Club site which intimated that they wereshowing "Ha'penny Breeze" in April at their meeting for new members. I put two and two together and may have got five - but then I was never very good at maths. Oh, and I found the original 78 rpm recording of the theme had been recently reissued by Guild Records aspart of a collection of light music of the 50s (GLCD5101). Bliss!
Regards. Alistair Taylor

Shila Gish (1942-2005)

Sheila Gish, died last Wednesday aged 62, Sheila never went for the obvious or the easy.
A pocket Venus - tiny, blonde, and voluptuously, felinely beautiful, born Sheila Gash in Lincoln on St George's Day, 1942. An Army brat, she spent her earliest years in the Sudan and Egypt before being sent to the Royal School for Daughters of Officers of the Army in Bath. But with a name change (which led to inevitable questions about her more famous "relatives", Dorothy and Lillian) she set out to create the Sheila Gish she became.

After Rada she did a stint in repertory at Pitlochry, where she met Roland Curram, her first husband, and the father of her two daughters. She also made her first film appearance, with Curram, in Darling (1965), a paean to the Swinging Sixties directed by John Schlesinger.

Film Location Walkabout

Hello John,
Many thanks for the invitation to meet up in London, it would be great toexplore the film locations you mention. Unfortunately, living in theManchester area and because of work commitments, I will not be able to takepart. Maybe a northwest walkabout can be arranged sometime, as the area hasprovided a backdrop for some fine films, and some admittedly not so fine butstill interesting.
Peter Quigley.

PeterLets try and organise this for mid July.
Who else wants to take part?
Can you suggest a route, and the films?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

location of filming in London for Blacklimelight 1938 film

Do you know the location in London for the film Blacklimelight 1938?
My uncle played the reporter.
Thanks, Deanna T. Ashing

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Passport to Pimlico

Just looking at Passport to Pimlico, pic10 is the bridge over Lambeth
Road with Lambeth Palace in the background and pict 12 doesn't look like
Hercules Road, more like Lambeth Road taken from China Hall Estate,
Hercules Road has no bus lanes and is full of railway arches opposite the
flats that are down there. ~ Ray Simmons

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Blow Up

'I'm just finishing a long piece on Blow Up (for a book on representation of London) and am trying to find any films shot in the London Wall/Barbican area before redevelopment began in the mid 50s. What I'd like are scenes in the rubble: do you anywhere these might occur, or where I might start looking?'
~ Roland-Fran├žois Lack

All the Way Up

'Great website! I noticed that you have no locations for 'All The Way Up.' There is an aerial shot of St Albans market place in Herts in one of the early scenes. I would imagine that many of the other locations are around Borehamwood and Herts in general. If I get time, I'll see if I can dig the film out and find more.I used to live in both St Albans and Borehamwood, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Keep up the good work!' ~ Tim Disney

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Georgy Girl - the hairdresser!

I'm Alec Bregonzi who played (uncredited) the Hairdressing Salon Manager in the film 'Georgy Girl' & the Salon was in Kensington High Street. It was vaguely opposite the old Derry & Tom's store & Kensington High St. tube station. I enticed Lynn Redgrave in to have her hair styled & showed her out - a little bored - with the creation she quickly washed away!! OK?

Alec Bregonzi

Otley - Location Shots

Alistair Taylor has sent us some shots of the filming of "Otley":

Attached are the photos of the filming of "Otley" in Bromyard Avenue in 1968. They show two of the three Vauxhalls used for the Luttrell School of Motoring, with Tom Courtenay sitting around waiting for something to happen.

The original negatives should still be in existence, but I suspect they are hidden away in the attic. Cheers, Alistair

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Yorkshire Locations

an email from Chris Phipps:

I was enthralled by the idea of your site, I frequently produce items on Yorkshire social history for Yorkshire /Tyne Tees tv and have long harboured the idea of devoting an item to vintage movies made in Yorkshire

I am anxious to view " A Boy a Girl and a Bike", as i am in touch with people who witnessed the filming in Wharfedale, I have 1 lobby card still from the film, how can i view the film, can you or someone supply a vhs copy, do cycling clubs still screen it ?

Other films which may interest you "One Man's Meat / One Mans Poison", starring Bette Davis , filmed near Settle and Wharfedale, she stayed at the Falcoln hotel in Settle.

The Turn of the Tide, based on Leo Walmsley book and shot on location at Robin Hood's Bay / Whitby starring Niall McGiniss, the first film ever financed by J Arthur Rnk and allegedly the 1st British location movie?

There was also a Robert Donat movie shot in Yorkshire too, hope this is is of interest to you.'

Chris Phipps

Thursday, March 03, 2005

South Wales Locations

Some help from David Jones:

1. It is my understanding that "How Green is my Valley" was partially filmed in Evanstown, Gilfach Goch, Near Pontypridd.

.......................are there any local reports in newspapers of the time? My understanding, from the sources that I have seen, is that it was all filmed in California!

2. A recent film "Very Annie Mary" was filmed in Pontycymmer & Llangeinor, Near Bridgend. recent David? We only go up to the 1980's.

3. I have also read in newspapers that "Proud Valley" was filmed in Pontycymmer.

......................that's the stuff, well done, thanks

4. Several films have also been filmed at Caerphilly Castle. I shall endeavour to send you a list of them.


Keep up the good work,

................yes, we will, and thanks again for your help.

Good Guys Die Young

In this film, there is a distinctive archway across the road by the building starring as the post office which Laurence Harvey et al. try to rob.

Opposite the "post office" is the building starring as the pub where the four conspirators meet. (No doubt the pub interior is a set.) I'm sure I've seen the archway in at least one other B&W British film of the forties or fifties.

Is it a real archway (perhaps now demolished) or was that also a set? If real, where was it?

Many thanks for any ideas you may have. ~ John Muhlhaus

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Otley - Bromyard Avenue Acton

'I have just met up with your excellent site via a link on David Absalom's British Pictures site.
Just a little snippet on "Otley" -some of it was filmed in Bromyard Avenue, Acton, opposite what was then Government Buildings.

At that time I was PA to the RAF Provost Marshal and my office overlooked the Avenue, so I saw them filming all morning what took about 20 seconds on screen.

I managed to get a couple of photos of the goings-on and would be happy to let you have copies if you are interested. As it so happened I was posted out to the Defence Attache staff in Moscow in November 1968 and it was some time before I saw the film.'

Regards, Alistair Taylor