Thursday, April 27, 2006


I have been speaking to my mother on the subject of the ‘Sons and Lovers’ film and she has provided the following memories, which I hope you will be able to use on your excellent site.

My mother is something of a local authority on D H Lawrence and actually took me down to the filming at Brinsley Colliery, though, being only two at the time, I don’t have any first-hand recollections.

We started talking about contributing these notes when I came across your site whilst surfing the net and, quite bizarrely, the release on DVD of the film was announced within a couple of weeks. I’ve obtained a copy and my Mother has had the opportunity to view it – happy memories.

If you can use the notes, I would be grateful if you could note my mother’s name, Betty Gill, as the contributor as I’m only the e-messenger as it were!

Thanks – and keep up the good work with your most informative site.
Ian Gill

Sons and Lovers notes.

The black and white version of “Sons and Lovers” (filmed in 1959/60) was the perfect medium for the book.

Parts of the film were filmed on location in Nottinghamshire, in the town of Eastwood – D H Lawrence’s birthplace - and Brinsley, a small village a mile or so to North.

The ‘pit accident’ in the film took place at the disused Brinsley Colliery (Ordnance Survey Map Grid reference SK4648). Although the colliery was no longer in use, the headstocks were still in situ. Some 20 years later, the headstocks were actually moved to form part of the exhibits at the Lound Hall Mining Museum near Retford in North Nottinghamshire. They were later brought back to the, by now, landscaped colliery site and re-erected, though in a slightly different location to the original position they occupied when the mine was operational – some 10 metres further North.

Many of the ‘extras’ for the ‘pit accident’ scenes were local people from Brinsley and Eastwood and the village of Underwood – three miles North of Eastwood.

From recollection, I believe the Brinsley Colliery scenes were filmed in or around December 1959 and I went to watch the filming.

Word had got around a few months earlier that filming was to take place and that ‘extras’ would be required. A list of ‘applicants’ was held by the Pit Manager at the Underwood Colliery, which was still operational at the time and ‘intending’ actors had to contact him.

Some members of my immediate family were taken on as ‘extras’. Uncles Wilf and Alec (White), who had both been miners but were now retired, together with Aunt Edna (Jepson) were in the film. Aunt Edna was actually at school with Jessie Chambers who features greatly in the life of DH Lawrence. After the filming had taken place, a photograph of the ‘extras’ was published in the Nottingham Evening Post and Aunt Edna was highlighted. Enquiries were made by the newspaper as to who the ‘extra’ was and a later follow-up article on her picked out her link to Jessie Chambers.

The costumes for the ‘pit disaster’ scenes were held in the Underwood Miners’ Welfare and Institute (still in existence today) and it was, apparently, a bit chaotic getting everyone suitably attired. Once everyone was ‘in costume’ they were taken the couple of miles to the Brinsley Colliery site by coach.

The ‘extras’ were paid £8 a day – which seemed a fortune to the villagers – and filming took place over two days. The ‘extras’ were kept busy as there were numerous ‘takes’ of them running towards pit headstocks.

The scenes where the women are shown running to the pit, having heard the wail of the alarm siren, were filmed in Wellington Street in Eastwood (a street running parallel with Victoria Street, which is where DH Lawrence was born – at No. 8A – and where the Lawrence Birthplace Museum is now situated).

The Nottingham Evening Post of Friday, 24th June 1960 carried the following headline and story;

“City Premiere of Lawrence Film” – Local scenes in “Sons and Lovers.”

On the strength of the visit in December of location cameras, it is likely that bulk of Eastwood and a big slice of Nottingham will go to see “Sons and Lovers”, the 20th Century Fox version of the D H Lawrence story.

Several hundred people saw it last night at The Elite, Nottingham, when the Nottingham Students’ Charity Carnival Committee secured a simultaneous midnight matinee with the London premiere.

The event is expected to raise £400. Among the guests were Mrs. Edna Jepson (74) of Broad Lane, Brinsley, who was one of the Eastwood extras and Mr William Ernest Lawrence, nephew of D H Lawrence.

Mrs Jepson was at school at the same time as Jessie Chambers – believed to have been the inspiration for the character of Miriam in the novel “Sons and Lovers”.

Mr Jepson remembers working in the pit with Lawrence’s father. He recalls a sports day in which he raced against the future novelist. The young Lawrence beat him.

Mr W E Lawrence’s father – now aged 90 and living in New Milton, near Bournemouth – is depicted in the novel as Morell.

“I remember Bert very well,” says Mr Lawrence. “He was an effeminate type, but had a vitriolic tongue with which he used to defend himself against the lads of Eastwood. He loved flowers and the countryside.

His mother was an autocratic sort, snobbish and ruled Eastwood with a rod of iron. But his father, unlike the character in “Sons and Lovers” was one of the finest men who ever walked.”

Directed by ex-cameraman, Jack Cardiff, whose photography is excellent even though his deep focus on the story is not so sure. “Sons and Lovers” opens with a shot of Eastwood overshadowed by the gaunt, clanking wheels of Brinsley Colliery pithead.

Miners coming off shift clatter down the cobbles of Wellington Street (Victoria Street, where the writer was born, was not suitable for filming. Wellington Street had changed so little in half a century that the film men had only to remove the television aerials).

One way and another, the three weeks work in Eastwood and Nottingham amount to something like a couple of minutes screentime. There’s a view of Nottingham, a brief moment of Drury Hill as the young Paul Morell starts work at Jordan’s, the surgical hosiery factory; and the railway arches at the bottom of the hill.

The Suffragette meeting on a ‘typical Nottingham canal bank’ is a film fake – a picture of Nottingham Castle was superimposed on shots of Harefield, Middlesex. But the pit accident rings true; for here the people of Eastwood play themselves. As the disaster siren croaks its warning, they scuttle anxiously out of their houses and hurry to the colliery, huddling in black shawls, hobnails echoing on the cobbles.

The lined faces of Eastwood – full of character, strained with anxiety – form a fleeting but powerful fragment of photography.

Betty Gill

Well, we couldn’t ask for more, thanks Betty and Ian for sharing with us this amazing information.

Best wishes
John Tunstill

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Well, my real businesses are now starting again with the summer sunshine. Clients are arriving to stay at and also to look at the properties that I have for sale here in Italy,, so although ReelStreets has a huge backlog of material waiting to be loaded on site; including The Titfield Thunderbolt, The Big Sleep, Miracle in Soho, The Blue Lamp, The Lavender Hill Mob, It Always Rains on Sundays, Battle of the Sexes, Magic Christian, The Whisperers, The Wrong Box, Whistle Down the Wind, and a bundle of others; it will now have to take a back seat whilst I devote my time and energy to earning the money needed to support the site, and occasionaly pay my contributors.

We'll keep plugging away, but there won't be much time between now and the autumn to answer all the emails, pull the stills, grade the "now" pics, send everything to the webmaster, answer the queries etc etc etc

But maybe you've got time to enjoy sunny Italy as my guest, and in return, put in eight hours a day at the ReelStreets treadmill? A week of solid work would clear much of the backlog.............I'd feed you as well.............and you'd only need a passing knowlege of simple computering; Word and Adobe Paintshop "beginner's grade" would be sufficient; and of course a knowledge of, interest in, and love of, all our old films.

Hope to see one of you here in Umbria, soon

Best wishes

John Tunstill

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Half a sixpence,musical,1967,locations

hi,just to inform you that the street in half a sixpence,tommy steeles musical,in 1967,is the pantiles in royal tunbridge wells in kent,having recently been there! Also,the gothic mansion that kipps was left by a relative in the film is The oakley court hotel in water oakley in windsor,berkshire.I grew up with a love of the film and have been doing some detective work! carol mellor.

How kind, all these little pieces of the jigsaw go together to create more interest for us all
Thanks again
John Tunstill

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stanley Kubrick

I just spent the last hour or so on the site. Endlessly fascinating.

......................that's why we do it

I was an assistant to Stanley Kubrick from 1965 onwards. When I get some time I'll identify various locations we used. Lolita is a good starting point - Elstree, Bushey, Beaconsfield, etc.

..................time, ah, time

I saw John Gullermin's film, Never Let Go, over the weekend. A lot of good stuff in the Paddington area. Worth putting up on the site.

............along with about 200 others


Ciao from sunny Italy

Horror Hospital

Hi there,

I love the site, even though I haven't had a chance to get out and take any photos - but I have one identification for you - Horror Hospital, Waterloo Station (not very difficult, I know).

..............Godit! Godit!

And the pictures I have predate the movie by 10 or 20 years, which is even weirder, although I can get a current photo of the station concourse if you want as I live about 300 yards away.

..........Wonderful, yes please, we'll blog them. I used to live in Kennington Road.

Is it ok if I use a picture on my site - ?

.............well done, a splendid site. I have???? or had, a souvenier
programme for the opening of the Troc in the Old Kent Road....1936???

It's on this page and as you see I have acknowledged your site as the source and added a link as well - I hope that is ok (cheaper than a tenner!)

............sure is , and I'll ask my techie to link to you as well.

If not I'll remove it of course, but I hope you'll agree it will please three sets of fans at one go - old movies, old stations AND old cinemas!

Thanks for the great site and hopefully for your OK for the picture. And when you have a spare few months, why not plot them all on to a Google map?!?

............when...................oh when..................oh when!!!

see (only kidding, it's a teeny bit tedious, and I've only got a few dozen to do, I can't imagine how long your lot would take...).

...........nor me, perhaps a task for YOUR retirement!
Best wishes
John Tunstill

Mark Kerr

Friday, April 14, 2006

out of interest

i first became aware of the power of film locations while passing through a small town called hope in british columbia which had a perfectly interesting history as a mining town but the thing that townspeople chose to celebrate in a big way was that it was the location for the first rambo film, first blood. the town guide gave a rambo tour in some detail. i've been interested in locations ever since - or the way narrative imparts mystery and glamour to a place. there are sound of music tours of course... and one person writing on a hitchcock site described his ecstasy at touching the handle of a door that james stewart had touched in vertigo - well it was a church... places given strange bogus histories that can have as much enchantment as troy or mycenae.

..............this fascination is with us all

as an occasional location spotter i have a couple to share

.............a bit difficult to get into, but a few shots from the film, thankyou

and ,

again, slow to get into, but interesting. But no contact details for PunkPedal, we should be linked

both quite well known i think - well i put the village of the damned location on the imdb site. do you know the location of the church in children of the damned by any chance?

............yes, of course, it's fully covered in the subscriber's section

as i live in brighton i can probably supply some of the locations - there's quite a few you have omitted such as the small alley near the hideout. the chase around brighton doesn't make a lot of topograpical sense - but that's the delight of film.

...........are we here talking about Brighton Rock?

this location is in hong kong if you ever saw chungking express

...........but currently Reel Streets is only for UK films, but thanks anyway, and a good lead

this is a ghoulish non-film location and there is a narrative that connects the images the strangest thing was coming across the name written across some windows in brixton at the time i was taking the pictures.

anyway keep up the good work,


mike stoakes

..........You too. Are you Punk Pedal, he doesn't give his name on his site and you both live in Brighton, with similar interests, so, putting two and two together and making five.................
Best wishes

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blue Lamp, that fore-runner of Dixon of Dock Green will hit this screen shortly. Most of the references to the locations used in film state that there is nothing left to identify with the beat of this west London Bobby, JackWarner. Gladys Henson and Dirk Bogard also starred and the action took place around the Paddington, Edgware Road, Harrow Road and Ladbrook Grove areas of West London. If you want a preview of the 70+ pics that will be loaded soon, send a short email "Blue Lamp", and we'll send you a fact a trailer, not a trialer!

The Big Sleep, this time with Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles was brought to London after the original was made many years previously with Humphrey Bogard and Lauren Bacall, in, I think, Los Angeles. But the 1950's version was made around the West End of London, Victoria, Buckingam Gate, Gloucester Road, Putney, Herfordshire and, would you believe, Ramsgate in Kent, of all places.
Want a preview taster? Send an email "Big Sleep".


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hammer Film Productions

Hi John,
Just discovered your site on film locations and I think I'll be able to solve numerous locations your unsure of.

I edited and published Dark Terrors, a magazine dedicated to Hammer Film Productions, for ten years and have extensive knowledge of the companies films and the locations they used.

The Anniversary (produced by Hammer in 1967) is one location I can clear up.
This is not a real building site but a set built on the Elstree Studios lot.
Filming took place on the set on 7 July 1967 under the direction of Roy Ward Baker. Hammer gave me the complete run of Daily Progress Sheets for this film which details all locations etc. I have such material on numerous other films and will be in touch when I've got more info for you.
Best wishes,
Mike murphy