Great British Railway Journeys Series 11 (2020)

Michael Portillo standing on a train platform with tracks in the background, wearing a blue top and pink blazer. He's smiling at the camera holding a book.

Michael Portillo in Great British Railway Journeys Series 11 © BBC

 

Director: Titus Ogilvy
Starring: Michael Portillo
Executive Producer: John Comerford
Production Company: Boundless West
Kent Locations Used: Canterbury, Maidstone, Chartwell House in Westerham

Great British Railway Journeys is a documentary series in which Michael Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country by train referring to his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide stopping at places of interest.

Produced by Boundless West for the BBC, the episode is directed by Titus Ogilvy with John Comerford as Executive Producer.

In episode 11 Michael Portillo takes a journey from Canterbury to Alexandra Palace exploring the east of England in the inter-war period. Beginning in Canterbury, Michael treads the boards as he uncovers the political message behind a play published in 1936 ABOUT the 12th-century murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket.

In Maidstone, Michael learns of the international origins of the most British symbol of remembrance at the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal before paying his respects at a war memorial based on London’s Cenotaph.

Michael stopped off in Sevenoaks and travelled to nearby Westerham where he visited the country home of one of his political heroes, Sir Winston Churchill and discovers how the 1930s were wilderness years at Chartwell.

Canterbury is a vibrant City that offers a variety of locations ranging from the modern day city, parks and open spaces, historic streets and the world heritage site of Canterbury Cathedral. Canterbury is a popular filming location and has previously been used as a location for filming for Britain’s Christmas Story (2019) and Britain’s Great Cathedrals with Tony Robinson (2018).

As the county town of Kent Maidstone plays an important part in Kent’s history. The River Medway runs though the town centre linking it with other towns such as Rochester and Chatham. The Borough of Maidstone is a popular town for filming, previous productions include Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 (2018)  and popular Netflix show Black Mirror.

Chartwell House, Churchill’s former home. Set in delightful gardens, Chartwell is a National Trust property in Westerham, just outside Sevenoaks, and the rooms remain much as they were when Churchill lived there. Chartwell has previously been used as a film location by productions such as Flog It! (2014) and feature film Darkest Hour (2018).

Episode 11 Canterbury to Alexandra Palace airs on BBC Two at 630pm on Monday 20th January 2020.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Britain’s Christmas Story (2019)

Gareth Malone wearing a suit and the Archbishop of Canterbury smiling at the camera inside the cathedral.

Caption: Gareth Malone and the Archbishop of Canterbury ©BBC

 

Starring: Gareth Malone, Karen Gibson

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations Used: Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury High Street and Dane John Gardens

This two-part series ‘Britain’s Christmas Story’ presented by Gareth Malone and Karen Gibson uncovers some of the origins of our British Christmas traditions and reveals that in the past, our festive season and Christmas Carols were as much about dancing as singing.

Production filmed in Canterbury for part of the series at Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury High Street and Dane John Gardens.

Gareth Malone wearing a black suit being filmed by a film crew of three inside a cathedral. He is interviewing the Archbishop of Canterbury

Filming of Gareth Malone and the Archbishop of Canterbury for Britain’s Christmas Traditions ©BBC

Canterbury Cathedral is a world heritage site and is the oldest and most renowned cathedral in England. Dane John Gardens is an historic park, which dates to 1551. The gardens afford an excellent view of the city and have the city wall along their border.

Canterbury is a popular filming location and has previously been used as a location for filming for Britain’s Great Cathedrals with Tony Robinson (2018) and Coast v Country (2017).

The two-part series airs on BBC One on Sunday 15th December 2019 at 10:40am and on Sunday 22nd December at 09.05am.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Britain’s Great Cathedrals with Tony Robinson (2018)

 

 

Headshot of presenter Tony Robinson standing in a cathedral with his blue coat on.

Presenter of the series Tony Robinson ©Channel 5

 

Director: Tom Cunningham and Mark Williams

Starring: Tony Robinson

Production Company: Channel 5

Kent Locations Used: Canterbury Cathedral and Town

The brand new series Britain’s Great Cathedrals is presented by actor and history enthusiast Tony Robinson (Walking Through History, Time Team, Tony Robinson’s Time Travels). The series examines six monumental British cathedrals and explores their history. In episode two the production visits Canterbury and the beautiful Canterbury Cathedral, seat of the Church of England.

Canterbury is a popular filming location and has previously been used as a location for filming for BBC Bargain Hunt and Time Team Special.

The series can be seen on Channel 5 every Friday at 8pm and Episode 2 featuring Canterbury Cathedral is available on My5.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Last Orders (2002)

Last Orders Movie Poster - 6 cast members stood in a circle laughing at each other in a pub. Last Orders written in white

Last Orders Movie Poster © Metrodome Distribution Ltd.

Director: Fred Schepisi

Writer: Graham Swift (Novel) and Fred Schepisi

Starring: Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Ray Winston, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay

Production Company: Future Films, MBP, Scala Productions, Winchester Films 

Kent Locations: Rochester, the Historic War Memorial in Chatham, The Mount – Old Wives Lees near Chilham, Canterbury Cathedral, Margate

Last Orders is based on the novel of the same name by Graham Swift, and tells the story of how one man’s death affects the lives of those close to him as his best friends make a journey to pursue his final wish to have his ashes scattered at sea.

Throughout the journey, Jack’s companions share their own individual memories of him and how he made an impact on their lives. Flashbacks are used throughout the film stretching through six decades telling the story of the group of London pals as they make their heart felt journey to say goodbye to their friend.

Directed by Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees of Separation, A Cry in the Dark) and starring a host of acting talent including Michael Caine (The Italian Job, Batman Begins), Ray Winston (The Departed, The Sweeney), Bob Hoskins (Made in Dagenham, Ruby Blue), David Hemmings (The Rainbow Jacket, Gangs of New York), Tom Courtenay (Doctor Zhivago, The Golden Compass) and Helen Mirren (Calendar Girls, The Queen).

Rochester was used as a stop off during the friend’s journey and you can see them drive over Rochester Bridge and also walk down the high street. Rochester is a historic City that boasts an impressive cathedral and castle and has many links with Charles Dickens. Previous productions to have filmed in the area include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012)and Veer (2009).

The Historic War Memorial in Chatham features in film for the scenes where the men stop off and reminisce about their time at war. Nearby, The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular location having been used for productions such as Dom Hemingway (2013) Call The Midwife (2012-2013) and Children of Men (2006).

The Mount in Old Wives Lees was also one of the stop offs on the groups journey and is used for the flashback scenes of how Jack met his wife Amy. Neighboring village to Chilham, has a remarkable fifteenth century square of black and white timbered buildings and has been used for a variety of filming projects including Channel 4 comedy Chickens (2011)and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2005).

Canterbury Cathedral was used within the film as the characters make a stop to the grounds and look around the Cathedral. Canterbury is a vibrant City with parks and open spaces, shopping areas and neighbouring quaint, traditional towns. Previous productions that have shot in Canterbury include Canterbury Tales (2003).

Margate features in the final scenes of the film where the men scatter Jack’s ashes from the harbor arm. Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, and period housing. The Old Town has lots to offer including galleries, quirky shops and trendy cafes. Margate is a popular location having previously welcomed productions such as BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012).

Last Orders was released in UK cinemas in January 2002 and is now available to buy on DVD.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


A Canterbury Tale (1944)

 

 

The two soldiers sat at a cafe table, a women is stood in between with a tray serving them.

The two soldiers in a cafe © Granada International

Directed  and Written by: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Starring: Eric Portman, John Sweet, Shelia Sim and Dennis Price

Production Company:  The Archers, Independent Producers

Kent Filming Locations: City of Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral, Chilham, Fordwich, Little Stour, Selling, Wickhambreaux and Wingham

Inspired by the Chaucer tales, this classic film by cinema legends Powell and Pressburger tells the story of a modern day pilgrimage to the beautiful city of Canterbury. Set in the 1940’s amidst the drama of World War II, the film opens with the chance meeting of American G.I Bob Johnson (John Sweet), Land Girl Alison Smith (Shelia Sim) and British Soldier Peter Gibbs (Dennis Price).

On disembarking a train headed for Canterbury, the three arrive in the sleepy fictional village of Chillingbourne. Soldier Peter Gibbs has been stationed at a nearby Army Camp, Alison is due to start work on a local farm and G.I Bob accidentally got off the train believing it to be the stop for Canterbury. On leaving the station to walk to the town hall, Alison is attacked by the Glue Man, a mysterious assailant who pours glue onto the hair of local girls. The three decide to stay in the area in order to do some sleuthing.

Another local Kent village, Fordwich was used for r exterior shots of “Chillingbourne” village. Before the Wantsum Channel, a stretch of water that divided The Isle of Thanet from Kent, dried up Fordwich was the main port serving Canterbury.Filmed at Denham Studios and on location around Kent, the film is a visually stunning walk through some of the most scenic locations in the county. Selling Train Station cameos as Chillingbourne Station, where the three main protagonists first meet.  Several Kentish villages were used for the fictional location of Chillingbourne.  The historical village of Wingham was established in Roman times but it has been inhabited since the Stone Age.  In 1286, the Archbishop of Canterbury founded a college in the area and many of the local buildings date back to this time, including The Red Lion Inn which was used for exterior shots of The Hand of Glory Inn for the film.

Near the picturesque village of Chilham, Chilham Mill provided the perfect backdrop for the charming scene where American soldier Joe sails in a row boat with the local children. The mill is the best preserved on the River Stour. It is said that the village itself was inspiration for the name of fictional village Chillingbourne in the film and if true, this would certainly not be the last time Chilham inspired filmmakers. A popular tourist attraction for the county, TV drama’s such as Miss Marple (2006) and Poirot (1995) have filmed in the village.

Another local mill in nearby village Wickhambreaux also appeared in the film. As Joe and land girl Alison ride on a cart through the beautiful Kent countryside, the mill features in the background of the shot. The perfect rural setting, the village was once home to Joan of Kent who was wife to Edward Plantagenet, the father of infamous English King Richard II.

The City of Canterbury steals the show at the end of the film as the setting for the dramatic parade of soldiers through the main High Street.  The city skyline is dominated by the stunning Cathedral which is the oldest in England. Canterbury is a place that is both steeped in heritage and tradition and a modern, bustling city.  A Canterbury Tale gives a modern day viewer an insight into how the Second World War affected the city, but even with visible bomb damage, many of the streets used can still be recognised today.  The Cathedral itself paid homage to A Canterbury Tale in 2006 when the film was screened in the Cathedral Nave.

A Canterbury Tale is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.