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  1. #1
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    In The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) there are still some locations that we haven't identified. We've got some screen grabs that show the scenes.



    "The Bull" - a roadhouse where Spud and his gang of toughs stop off so that Spud can meet up with "Johnnie" before going off to confront Clive Candy.

    There's a strong suspicion that it's on the old A4, Bath Road out of London, possibly between Heathrow & the M25. But there's been a LOT of development work in that area since 1943.



    The other one we'd like to know is where they filmed the despatch riders that carry thre message "War starts at midnight". There are screen grabs of the ford they ride through and where some of the split up. We suspect that was filmed fairly near the studio at Denham.



    If anyone can help with any of these I'd be obliged.



    Thanks



    Steve

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England Alan F's Avatar
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    Did anyone ever find “The Bull?? If not, it’s The Bull Hotel in Gerrards Cross.

    Here is the only picture I can find online, I will replace it with a new picture sometime next week unless someone beats me to it.




  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    Is it still there???

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Did anyone ever find The Bull? If not, it's The Bull Hotel in Gerrards Cross.

    Here is the only picture I can find online, I will replace it with a new picture sometime next week unless someone beats me to it.
    It's not been found yet, and this looks like a good possibility. Well done and thanks. I'll check it against the film.



    It's still there. It's on the A40. It's quite close to Denham

    This is what it looks like now



    Their web site is at http://www.sarova.co.uk/sarova/hotelcollection/bull/



    If you, or anyone, can find any other pictures of it in the 1940s that'd be a great help. Especially of the exterior, the car park and area out the front, the buildings to the right (as you look at it) and the view out to the road.



    Steve

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    I reckon it's a definite. the best view from the film shows the trucks parked on the right portion of the drive of Alan's photo, in front of the wisteria/ivy . where the building was extended...note the railings around the first-floor balcony, just visible between the canvas on the lorries; and the change in proportions of the windows, left and right of the wisteria/ivy thing. Also the ground floor french windows to the lift of the first truck on both shots.

    The actual sign has changed (or was one-sided) but the frame is the same. On another shot, from the front looking out, the top of the little RAC badge is just visible.....well done Alan, we've been looking for this for donkey's years. I wonder if they still have the jukebox...!!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    The drive would at first glance seem to be at the wrong angle, but if you look carefully at Alan's picture, you can just make out a narrow stip of driveway perpendicular to the building, which would meet the road just the other side of the Inn sign, and thus just out of shot.

    Right then Steve, this calls for a PaPas outing. What date was 'Beer Mug' ??

  7. #7
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    The drive would at first glance seem to be at the wrong angle, but if you look carefully at Alan's picture, you can just make out a narrow stip of driveway perpendicular to the building, which would meet the road just the other side of the Inn sign, and thus just out of shot.

    Right then Steve, this calls for a PaPas outing. What date was 'Beer Mug' ??
    "War starts at midnight"



    Shame that Alan's photo isn't from the other side (the left as you're facing The Bull). That's where most of the shots in the film that give any decent detail are from.



    As you say, it certainly looks very hopeful.



    The scenes of the trucks arriving near the start of the film show quite a bit of detail of the front of the main building (from the left) and the buildings over to the right.



    If that photo's not been reversed and if that building to the right is mirrored by a similar one on the left with those railings around the first floor balcony then I think that'd seal it.



    Steve

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    The photo hasn't been reversed, otherwise you wouldn't be able to read 'The Bull Hotel' on the signage above the french windows, as per the current photo you found...through the foliage you can also just make out the shape of the wooden shutter to the window above the cab of the furthest lorry from the camera. I have to say...I'm convinced.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    This might be a case of teaching Grandma to suck eggs, but have the present owners and local paper been contacted? I would have thought there would either be some momento in the hotel itself or a local would have memories of the filming.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    If that Census Number is correct (and it should be prefixed "L") then the GMC CCKW-353 is a Canadian vehicle as the Census Number is in the Canadian War Department batch, and strictly should be CL 4277. The lorry in front seem to have the "CAUTION LEFT HAND DRIVE" stencilling on the tailgate as well as another Canadian Census Number. If that's Gerrard's Cross, then they may have "borrowed" some Canadian troops or vehicles from HAYMILL CAMP, on the Burnham Road, near the Slough Trading Estate.




  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    If that Census Number is correct (and it should be prefixed "L") then the GMC CCKW-353 is a Canadian vehicle as the Census Number is in the Canadian War Department batch, and strictly should be CL 4277. The lorry in front seem to have the "CAUTION LEFT HAND DRIVE" stencilling on the tailgate as well as another Canadian Census Number. If that's Gerrard's Cross, then they may have "borrowed" some Canadian troops or vehicles from HAYMILL CAMP, on the Burnham Road, near the Slough Trading Estate.
    When Churchill objected to the idea of the film - as it was reported to him, they were barred from using any British Army personnel or equipment. But the film has lots of people in uniform and in military vehicles. When he was asked, Micky Powell said (something like) "If you have a good props department, they know how to get such things"



    They could well have borrowed the trucks, and possibly some troops, from the Canadians. Thanks for that



    Steve

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    The drive would at first glance seem to be at the wrong angle, but if you look carefully at Alan's picture, you can just make out a narrow stip of driveway perpendicular to the building, which would meet the road just the other side of the Inn sign, and thus just out of shot.

    Right then Steve, this calls for a PaPas outing. What date was 'Beer Mug' ??
    Actually, if you go onto the hotel's website and click on the 360 degree panorama it definitely shows the drive the vehicles are parked on. Scroll down the list and click on General Facilites - The Bull Hotel.



    http://www.sarova.co.uk/sarova/hotelcollection/bull/

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    Have a look at this address until you feel sick going round and round in circles.



    http://www.sarova.co.uk/360/bull/bed...mageSrc=z49266



    Nick

  14. #14
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Actually, if you go onto the hotel's website and click on the 360 degree panorama it definitely shows the drive the vehicles are parked on. Scroll down the list and click on General Facilites - The Bull Hotel.



    http://www.sarova.co.uk/sarova/hotelcollection/bull/
    Thanks, but the camera's on the wrong driveway

    It is looking ever more hopeful though



    Steve

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    Thanks, but the camera's on the wrong driveway

    It is looking ever more hopeful though



    Steve
    Are you sure - it looks like the same driveway as in the 2nd photo penfold posted.



    I'd originally used the link Nick posted but kept getting an error message when I tried to post it here the first time.

  16. #16
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Are you sure - it looks like the same driveway as in the 2nd photo penfold posted.



    I'd originally used the link Nick posted but kept getting an error message when I tried to post it here the first time.
    The camera for the panoramic view is about where the lorries arrive. But the camera that filmed those lorries is further to the left



    Steve

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    That Canadian Army thing is interesting....I wonder if the Massey family pulled some strings???

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Oh now there's a name! The Masseys had dealings in the early days of the automobile in Canada. However I noticed that there were some differences between the lorries, e.g. the lead one has a Census Number on the bonnet/hood, whereas the next doesn't, and there are differences in the tailgate stencilling. If they were indedd Canadian vehicles and troops, then there use is down to a call to Canadian Military HQ in the then former Sun Life Assurance Co of Canada building in 2,3 & 4 Cockspur Street, SW1, behind the Canadian High Commission. There were Canadian troops as I said a short distance away and they would be otherwise kicking their heels...depending on whether this was before or after Dieppe!



    I also noticed in the shots not featured here that there is a London Transport COUNTRY area compulsory stop, so Gerrards Cross could well be "it". That was just about as far west as the LT area went to.



    I don't know if this map image will work but I use this 1945 OS to track down pre-nationalisation railways. I found The Bull in Gerrard's Cross:

    http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#499,187,1



    I was rather intrigued by the shot of the Ford. I wondered if it was Ford Lane near Iver, Bucks?

  19. #19
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Oh now there's a name! The Masseys had dealings in the early days of the automobile in Canada. However I noticed that there were some differences between the lorries, e.g. the lead one has a Census Number on the bonnet/hood, whereas the next doesn't, and there are differences in the tailgate stencilling. If they were indedd Canadian vehicles and troops, then there use is down to a call to Canadian Military HQ in the then former Sun Life Assurance Co of Canada building in 2,3 & 4 Cockspur Street, SW1, behind the Canadian High Commission. There were Canadian troops as I said a short distance away and they would be otherwise kicking their heels...depending on whether this was before or after Dieppe!



    I also noticed in the shots not featured here that there is a London Transport COUNTRY area compulsory stop, so Gerrards Cross could well be "it". That was just about as far west as the LT area went to.



    I don't know if this map image will work but I use this 1945 OS to track down pre-nationalisation railways. I found The Bull in Gerrard's Cross:

    http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#499,187,1



    I was rather intrigued by the shot of the Ford. I wondered if it was Ford Lane near Iver, Bucks?

    I just looked up The Bull in Gerrards Cross in the online Yellow Pages. That gave me the postcode, SL9 7PA, which I then put into Multimap to give me this map



    I'd like to know where the ford was as well. I suspect that's not too far from the studio at Denham either. Whenever I see it I always feel sorry for the second rider who gets all the spray from the first one



    Those despatch riders are riding quite fast (and the film is speeded up a bit) but they're very precise. It has been suggested that they could have been from a precision team like the white helmets.



    Remember that Ray Massey's big brother Vincent was the Canadian High Commissioner in London at the time. He had already helped The Archers getting permissions to film 49th Parallel in Canada. Vincent read the prologue for that. He went on to become the first Canadian born Govorner General of Canada and was effectively the highest ranking Canadian in the UK in 1943 so I wouldn't have thought that getting any Canadian trucks, or even soldiers, would have been much of a problem.



    The Dieppe raid (or disaster) was in August '42 and that's when they were filming Blimp (July '42 for 12 weeks)



    Steve

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    I just looked up The Bull in Gerrards Cross in the online Yellow Pages. That gave me the postcode, SL9 7PA, which I then put into Multimap to give me this map



    I'd like to know where the ford was as well. I suspect that's not too far from the studio at Denham either. Whenever I see it I always feel sorry for the second rider who gets all the spray from the first one


    Couldn't be just to the ENE of the Bull, could it? There is a pond shown with a road [W Common] ending right in it.

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