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  1. #1
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    A Canterbury Tale Location Walk, Chilham,

    30th August 2009



    "Is there some place around here


    where we can have a pow-wow?"








    Our annual location walk for devotees of A Canterbury Tale will

    be held at Chilham (aka 'Chillingbourne') near Canterbury on

    Sunday, August 30, 2009.




    Meet at Chilham Railway Station at 1.30 pm





    Our first location stop will be Chilham Mill, where the 'battle on the river' scene was filmed and Bob Johnson and Peter Gibbs rewarded Leslie and Terry for finding the evidence that proved that Thomas Colpeper JP was the glueman.



    We will then walk up the hill overlooking the mill to 'Julliberrie's Grave' (pictured above, the location for the 'pow-wow' scene), linger awhile, and walk back to the mill and on to Chilham Square, to discover locations featured as 'Chillingbourne' in several key scenes.



    Explore Chilham village, where Bob and Peter played Catch! and Alison met the bus conductress, Polly Finn. Visit St Mary's Church and The Pilgrims' Way - and listen again to Thomas Colpeper's lecture about 'The Old Road'. Discover the street that was recreated at Denham Studio for the 'cut to the chase' in which Alison, Bob and Peter pursue the Glueman through blacked-out Chillingbourne.



    We will enjoy a picnic somewhere along the way and aim to complete our walk at one of Chilham's pubs between 4 and 5pm.



    The walk will be led by Paul Tritton, author of A Canterbury Tale - Memories of a Classic Wartime Movie and Steve Crook of the Powell & Pressburger Appreciation Society.



    No need to book. Just turn up. Nothing to pay but please give generously to our collection in aid of Kent Kids Miles of Smiles Holiday Respite Home.





    Getting there: Find Chilham on www.streetmap.co.uk. If travelling by car, park at the station, in the village car park off Taylor's Hill, or wherever on-street parking is allowed. If you will be travelling by rail, normally there is a train to Chilham via Ashford at 11.30 from London, Charing Cross, and at 13.00 from Canterbury West, arriving at Chilham at 13.06 and 13.09 respectively. Please check with www.nationalrail.co.uk before your journey because engineering works sometimes disrupt Sunday services. If you arrive late, follow the waymarked 'Stour Valley Walk' from the station to the mill and join us there or at 'Julliberrie's Grave'.





    This is a Powell & Pressburger Appreciation Society event

    For more information visit www.powell-pressburger.org


  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    All being well twixt now and then I will be attending, all be it without my Donkey!



    As i've mentioned on another thread I intend being at Chilham a few hours before the meet to see Judith's former home at Shottenden and check the graves at Chilham churchyard, I did send an e-mail to whom I thought was the local Vicar asking for info but I didn't receive a reply.



    Keeping fingers crossed the Weather will be fine, good to see we're stopping for a Picnic, musn't forget to boil some eggs.



    See you there!

  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Mark O']All being well twixt now and then I will be attending, all be it without my Donkey!



    As i've mentioned on another thread I intend being at Chilham a few hours before the meet to see Judith's former home at Shottenden and check the graves at Chilham churchyard, I did send an e-mail to whom I thought was the local Vicar asking for info but I didn't receive a reply.



    Keeping fingers crossed the Weather will be fine, good to see we're stopping for a Picnic, musn't forget to boil some eggs.



    See you there!


    If you get time, there are a few other locations used in the film near there that we won't be going to in the group but could be worth exploring by yourself.



    Horton's Yard

    The wheelwright & blacksmith's yard is Horton's Yard in Shottenden. Ben Horton (wheelwright) and his brother Neville (blacksmith) both appear in the film as assistants to the actors playing them. Ben's son Eric also appears (in leather jacket).

    Horton's Yard, Shottenden TR 045 542

    I haven't been there for a few years now. It's no longer owned by the Horton family and had fallen into disrepair. There's a new cottage been built just by the entrance to it. I'm not sure if the old sheds are still there.



    The Pilgrim's Road

    Where Alison is ambushed by the bren carriers led by Peter Gibbs is filmed on Old Wye Lane, Chilham. The camera watches the carriers go down through the Rye Field and another carrier goes across the field on the other side of the Lane.

    Old Wye Lane TR 081 531

    Rye Field

    (camera position) TR 083 530

    The lane is still recognisable, especially if you go to the top of the rye field to get the same angle on it.



    A Roll in the Grass

    After a walk through the beech wood [Sheila looking lovely] Alison thinks she hears the sounds of the old pilgrims. Colpeper is lying in the long grass and Alison lies down beside him.

    Bob and Peter come up the hill talking about the tea drinking nations. They survey the 'noble prospect' of the view of Canterbury and the River Stour, neither of which can actually be seen from where they were.

    The views of the Cathedral seen when Alison emerges from the wood and later when Bob says 'Cast your eye around that noble prospect' show the Cathedral from the south-west, but the encroachment of chestnut coppices and scribby woodland over what was once open downland has now blocked off any such views that may have been obtained from Chilmans Downs in 1943. However similar 'noble prospects' can be enjoyed from Godmersham Park, the northern end of Church Wood, the eastern end of Howfield Wood and several other vantage points in the Stour Valley.

    The view of the River Stour cut into the scene where Peter and Bob pick blackberries and discuss the tea-drinking nations was filmed from Godmersham Downs. We see the River Stour meandering towards a railway bridge near Trimworth Manor and, in the background, Tye Wood and Oxen Lees Wood.

    Scene in the long grass TR 078 527

    Sandy Lane

    The beech wood TR 075 527

    But when you get to the field, it is just a field



    Check the full list of locations to see if any others appeal.



    Steve

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Just 2 weeks to go until this year's ACT location walk.



    If, like me, you are indolent, idle, or generally unused to walking then now might be a good time to start getting a bit of exercise. We won't be doing any marathon distances or speed marching, we'll only be taking a gentle stroll around Chilham and the environs. But we do usually cover a few miles so it may be worth getting a bit of exercise before the great day so that it's not too much of a shock to your poor old body (well mine's certainly getting old ).



    Don't do anything too drastic, but it could be a good idea to do a few gentle walks around your local beauty spots or even just a walk into your local town or village instead of getting in the car or on the bus. That should be enough. Start with a few gentle strolls of about 20 minutes. Then build up from there when you find that getting easier.



    Steve

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Good advice about getting some exercise Steve, i hope i'm still able to make it as i'm starting a new job next week which involves weekend working and i'm keeping fingers crossed i won't be required that Sunday, i've just had a few days recently in Kent as last mini-holiday for this year and as i was so close to Chilham paid a visit incase i have to miss the walk, i also found Judith Furse' former home in nearby Shottenden.........



































    Judith Furse lived here......







    Neighbouring Cottage on left.......







    View Judith would have had from side of cottage (in reverse, Judith cottage to right of Oast House)








  6. #6
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Mark O']Good advice about getting some exercise Steve, i hope i'm still able to make it as i'm starting a new job next week which involves weekend working and i'm keeping fingers crossed i won't be required that Sunday, i've just had a few days recently in Kent as last mini-holiday for this year and as i was so close to Chilham paid a visit incase i have to miss the walk, i also found Judith Furse' former home in nearby Shottenden.........



    Judith Furse lived here....






    Thanks Mark, I'll try to check out Judith's house while I'm there.



    Where is it? On the main road through Shottenden or on one of the side roads?



    Hope to see you, and anyone else, in Chillingbourne (Chilham) on Sunday 30th



    Steve

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Lovely pics, Mark and congratulations on the new job. Is it the same sort of thing as you do now?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    name='CaptainWaggett']Lovely pics, Mark and congratulations on the new job. Is it the same sort of thing as you do now?


    Thanks Captain, it is a driving job doing home deliveries for a well known supermarket chain.



    Steve, Judith's house is the last house on the left in the village on Shottenden Road heading south-west towards Charing, (signpost says Charing) it's after the four way junction with Denne Manor Lane to the south and Goldups Lane to the north, take care whilst driving as the roads are quite narrow, looking forward to meeting you at long last!

  9. #9
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Mark O']Steve, Judith's house is the last house on the left in the village on Shottenden Road heading south-west towards Charing, (signpost says Charing) it's after the four way junction with Denne Manor Lane to the south and Goldups Lane to the north, take care whilst driving as the roads are quite narrow, looking forward to meeting you at long last!


    They are very narrow roads. It's also a "blink and you miss it" village



    I've been there a few times. The wheelwrights yard that they used in the film is in Shottenden.



    When you're heading east, where Shottenden Road becomes Soleshill Road (and forks to the right) if you take the left fork then it's a short way down there on the left. It hasn't been used as a wheelwrights for many years and there's now a cottage built at the entrance, called something like The Old Forge Cottage.



    The cottage on that fork is Rose cottage (actually cottages, there are two of them) and there's a nice tale to be told about them.



    Bill Paton was a tough little Shetlander. Michael Powell met him when he was making The Edge of the World (1937) and Bill had acted as Michael's personal assistant ever since then. Bill was a quiet man and there don't seem to be many photos of him, but he was a man who commanded immense respect. When they were filming on location, if there was a crowd of people hanging around who were making a bit too much of a noise then Michael would ask Bill to go and sort them out - and they were quickly sorted! I would imagine that once you'd been 'sorted' by Bill you quickly behaved yourself



    When they finished the filming on any of their films, Micky would want to head off to the hills of Scotland for a break to clear his head. Bill would always have the rucksack packed and ready and was there to join Micky on these escapes.



    But when they came to make A Canterbury Tale Bill wasn't around, he had joined the Navy for the duration.



    When they wanted an old fashioned wheelwrights yard complete with a forge and timber store for A Canterbury Tale Micky knew just where to go. He had grown up in the area and knew every building and every field. The wheelwright's yard at Shottenden was run by two brothers, Ben & Neville Horton. Ben was the wheelwright & Neville was the blacksmith. The yard had been run by Hortons for generations. Their parts were played by actors in the film but the real Horton brothers act as assistants to the actors who are playing them.



    Neville Horton had a daughter named Myrtle. She wasn't around for most of the filming because she was working as a Red Cross nurse in London. But she came home to see her folks just as the film was being wrapped up. And as it happens Bill Paton came home on leave at just that time and was able to join in the fun at the party that was held - which is where he met Myrtle



    They were married soon after and they both carried on working as assistants to Micky Powell for many years afterwards. They "retired" to Rose Cottage, Shottenden in about 1970 and lived there for many happy years. Bill died in 1997 and Myrtle stayed at the cottage until she got too ill to live alone and had to go into a care home. She died in 2006 and is still much missed. A lovely couple.



    We took John Sweet back there in 2000 when he came to visit. But it was already badly run down by then and it was a bit of a sad part to his visit.



    There was another Horton son. Eric, son of Ben Horton, is also seen in the film. He's the young man in the leather jacket helping put the wheel back onto the cart. He ran the yard for some years but his own son wasn't interested in taking it over and it was all sold. The end of an era but there just wasn't the call for wheelwrights and blacksmiths services any more.



    Steve

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Nice story there Steve, I watched the film this week to refresh my memory of it all, Blacksmiths sure were busy places once but I guess we must progress.



    Just checked the Weather for the Canterbury area for Sunday and it's 'Sunny intervals', so it'll be nice and dry instead of the usual Bank holiday washout cliche' weekend!



    See you at 1.30

  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Mark O']Nice story there Steve, I watched the film this week to refresh my memory of it all, Blacksmiths sure were busy places once but I guess we must progress.



    Just checked the Weather for the Canterbury area for Sunday and it's 'Sunny intervals', so it'll be nice and dry instead of the usual Bank holiday washout cliche' weekend!



    See you at 1.30
    Yes, it looks like it won't be too hot either. Perfect weather for a nice stroll in a Kentish village



    Steve

  12. #12
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Back again. A good turn out, 50+ people, many of whom hadn't been on one of our walks before.



    I met some interesting people



    Steve

  13. #13
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    name='Steve Crook']Back again. A good turn out, 50+ people, many of whom hadn't been on one of our walks before.



    I met some interesting people



    Steve


    Will we be getting a full report, please?



    It would be nice to get there sometime but it is a 600 mile round trip and I've absolutely no other reason to come down to the south so can't really justify it.

  14. #14
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    It's a little too far for me too, but if there were to be one of your walks here in the north-west, I'd love to join.



    I hope you had a great day, by the way.

  15. #15
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Carl V']It's a little too far for me too, but if there were to be one of your walks here in the north-west, I'd love to join.



    I hope you had a great day, by the way.


    We'll just move Canterbury and the surrounding area up to the north-west



    The report should be done sometime today. The photos will take a bit longer. I didn't take any myself but lots of other people did and said they'll send them to me



    Steve

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: England
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    name='Steve Crook']We'll just move Canterbury and the surrounding area up to the north-west



    Steve


    That's not a bad idea. However, the weather here in Cheshire is usually more unsettled than in Kent.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    name='Steve Crook']Back again. A good turn out, 50+ people, many of whom hadn't been on one of our walks before.





    I met some interesting people



    Steve


    As did I Steve, it was a pleasure to meet you, and Santonix, along with Paul Tritton, I can't recall the name of the chap with the stand and the old pics of previous walks, Chilham and the DVD with ACT playing on it, but anyway he remembered Judith Furse living in Shottenden and told me the legendary Lotte' Lenya was her partner which was a complete surprise to me!



    I'll post some pics once they're uploaded to the old bucket.

  18. #18
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Mark O']As did I Steve, it was a pleasure to meet you, and Santonix, along with Paul Tritton, I can't recall the name of the chap with the stand and the old pics of previous walks, Chilham and the DVD with ACT playing on it, but anyway he remembered Judith Furse living in Shottenden and told me the legendary Lotte' Lenya was her partner which was a complete surprise to me!



    I'll post some pics once they're uploaded to the old bucket.


    That was John Clark with the photos & the DVD. He was in the film, in the blacksmith's yard he's the small boy sitting on the bricks wearing the big welly boots. He's also seen in Canterbury just as the band turns into Mercery Lane (past the Boots sign) towards the Cathedral. John & his Mum are standing on the corner.



    Did you get to meet the other stars of the film who were there? Len Smith who played General Leslie and David Todd who played Commander Todd (the boy crying in the back of the boat). Len usually makes an appearance but David can't always make it for our gatherings.



    But here they both are, with Sheila Sim, in Canterbury Cathedral in September 2007.





    And the lady looking over David's right shoulder is Win Tamsitt, the widow of Jimmy Tamsitt (General Terry) so that's the closest we'll get to having the three boys back together with Alison Smith



    I mentioned Judith to a few people who live and they said they'd dig through the parish records and see if they can find out where she is buried.



    Steve

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    I did have the privilege of meeting Len and David Steve, great to see they still enjoy being associated with it all, keeping fingers crossed Judith's past can be unearthed, i did take a good look around Chilham churchyard on my previous visit but all to no avail, my instinct tells me poor Judith was cremated at one of Canterbury's Crematoriums but who knows?



    Here's a few pics to be going on with, gathering at Chilham station, watch out for that through train!............





















    Paul and Steve briefing us about what we'll see........









    Steve Crook, Mark O, and Santonix meet for the very first time........




  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    'Pow wow' scene filmed here......
















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