Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Smallest Show on Earth (Locations)

Hi, I watched "The Smallest Show on Earth" (Basil Dearden, 1957)on the TV yesterday and was pleased to see that some of the outside scenes were filmed in the Potteries (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire)near to where I live. The last scene on the train was a view of Longton (one of the six Pottery towns)as they were heading south-east towards Derby. Longton Church (St James) is clearly visible on the right in the distance. Earlier as a train was leaving "Sloughborough" Station an announcement was made that it would be calling at "Longport, Middleport and Alsager", all stations to the north of Stoke on the present Derby-Crewe line. At Longton Station there is a bridge very like one where the "Bijou" was filmed - but not the two bridges we can see together.
Hope this is of interest to someone!
Cheers, Maureen Turner

Well done
Thanks so much, we'll blog your information
Many thanks
john Tunstill

Cheers, what I didn't say was that the strange-shaped chimineys shown beside the railway lines on two or three shots are bottle kilns - (used for firing pottery in the numerous "pot-banks")once a distinctive feature of the Potteries landscape. There are still some left, notably in Longton at the Gladstone Pottery Museum.
Thanks for your site -it helps to keep interest in film and local history alive.