Monday, July 14, 2008

The Fast Lady

I have just discovered your site, amazing. I am currently writing and photographing a book for Random House on all things peculiarly English in the landscape, and one chapter is dedicated to typically English film locations, particularly period pieces.

I was sent your link because I have been discussing with a friend the 1962 film The Fast Lady, recently given to me for a birthday present along with its companion piece, the 1963 Father Came Too. I can't accurately identify the obviously real shopping streets, which one assumes is Beaconsfield (new) or similar. I say this because I do know that some street scenes were shot on a back lot at Independent Artist's studios in Old Beaconsfield (now the National Film and Television School). These are the ones with well-defined pavement edges, made-up shop names and trees in the far background. A typical one is the scene you've pictured with the Bentley stuck at an angle behind the worse-for-wear Austin.

The reason I know all this is because as a fourteen year old I managed to escape from my parents on a trip to Old Beaconsfield and went exploring. I discovered the high wooden gates to the studio open and wandered in, and unchallenged found myself staring at a street of shops, fronts only with scaffolding supports at the rear.They used the same set for Father Came Too with shop names re-painted, such as the estate agent where Leslie Philips worked.

Hope this is useful, doubtless I will communicate again as I get further into it.

Kind regards

Peter Ashley

PS. Peter we were waiting for your further communication, but yes thanks for this its most useful and we hope to hear from you again in the future.