Moon and Son (1992)

 Civic Centre, Folkestone- concrete building with cast members being filmed by a crew in front of the building

Behind the scenes, Moon and Son at Civic Centre, Folkestone © Shepway District Council

Creator: Robert Banks Stewart

Directors: Ken Grieve, Robert Tronson, Paul Harrison, Roger Tucker

Writers: Michael Aitkens, Leslie Darbon

Cast: Millicent Martin, John Michie, Laure Killing, Ian Redford, Patrick Drury, John Fitzgerald Jay

Production Company: BBC

Kent locations: Folkestone, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Oare Marshes, Chilham Castle, Crabble Corn Mill, Deal, Folkestone Harbour, Dungeness Estate, The Grand, The Leas Cliff Hall and The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

Moon and Son is a 13-episode BBC series created by Robert Banks Stewart (Doctor Who, My Uncle Silas), which follows a professional fortune teller, Gladys Moon (Millicent Martin), and her son Trevor (John Michie) as they solve a multitude of mysteries.

The series stars Millicent Martin (Alfie, Return to Halloweentown, Days of Our Lives, From a Bird’s Eye View), John Michie (Coronation Street, Taggart, To Walk with Lions), Laure Killing (A Woman’s Revenge, The Violent Earth, Paris Criminal Inquiries), Ian Redford (The Remains of the Day, 3 Men and a Little Lady, Mary and Martha), Patrick Drury (The Awakening, Father Ted) and John Fitzgerald Jay (Roujin Z, Reign).

The production filmed at a variety of locations in Kent and in Nord-Pas-De-Calais across the Channel. Folkestone is the main UK setting and hometown of the Moons. Folkestone Harbour is also used frequently as the Moons travel between Folkestone and Boulogne. The Folkestone area has been used for previous productions including The Tunnel (2013) and Everyone’s Going to Die (2013).

Wittersham Road Station, which is part of Kent and East Sussex Railway, features as a hideout in episode two. It is a versatile historic railway that boasts an extensive list of production credits including Mapp and Lucia (2014) and Last Passenger (2013).

The Oare Marshes appear as the location for Mr Marsh’s (Gregory Floy) business in episode two and again as the quarry lake where his body is discovered. The Oare Marshes is a reserve consisting of one the few grazing marshes left in Kent. Other productions to have filmed there are A Taste of Britain (2014), Channel 4’s Southcliffe (2013) and Great Expectations (2012).

Chilham Castle, a historic building set in the Tudor village of Chilham features as Lady Doddington’s Estate in episode nine of the series. The village of Chilham has welcomed other productions including BBC’s Emma (2009), Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2006) and Dempsey and Makepeace ‘Cry God for Harry’ (1985).

Crabble Corn Mill also features in episode nine as Denham’s Auction House. Recognised as one of Dover’s hidden treasures, Crabble Corn Mill is one of the most complete working Georgian watermills. Dover has often been seen on screen, in particular Dover Castle, in productions such as The Apprentice (2015), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

The Old Boatmen’s Room on Deal’s Marina doubled as Basil’s Chapel in episode 10. Deal boasts a stunning seafront and pier, as well as two Tudor castles and a thriving high street. Other productions to have filmed in Deal include Legacy (2013) and Ruby Blue (2007).

Other locations that appear in Moon and Son include the palm court at Folkestone’s The Grand, which features frequently as Gladys’ preferred haunt for tea. Additionally, The Leas Cliff Hall is home to the final show down of episode two and The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway features in episode twelve as the location of hidden diamonds.

Moon and Son aired in 1992.

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

 

 


Darling Buds of May (1991 – 1993)

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette standing in front of a table of food with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background

 

Director : David Giles, Robert Tronson, Rodney Bennett, Steve Goldie

Writer: H. E Bates, Paul Wheeler, Stephen Bill

Production Company: Excelsior, Yorkshire Television

Kent Filming Locations: Pluckley, Folkestone,

Set in Kent in the 1950’s Darling Buds of May was filmed on location in Pluckley and Folkestone. The programme focused on the Larkin family who appeared to have the ideal family life living off the land.

Pop and Ma sat by the River with a picnic smiling at the camera

Pop and Ma by the River © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming- scaffolding with crew on surround it

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming © Roger Holmes

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront- cast and crew stood on the beach with filming equipment

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront © Shepway District Council

Amazingly, ‘Pop’ Larkin (David Jason) has managed to avoid the tax man. In the first six episodes, tax inspector Cedric (Philip Franks) comes to the farm to collect debts and ends up abandoning his career to live the dream of country living and marry ‘Pop’s’ daughter, Mariette (Catherine Zeta Jones). The programme has long been accredited with launching Catherine Zeta Jones’ career.

The series was hugely successful and achieved high viewing figures throughout its run. The effects are still felt in the lovely village of Pluckley, Kent which still welcomes those seeking a glimpse of the ‘perfick’ life.

For many, Darling Buds of May reflects the dream Kentish Life, involving living in an Oast House and enjoying the countryside that Kent has to offer with family and friends. It is perhaps this, which made the series so popular.

Pluckley to this day remains a sleepy countryside village but it is not only famous for its Darling Buds of May appearances, it is also renowned for its more ghostly inhabitants. Pluckley has earned the title of the most haunted village in Britain. It is said that 12 to 16 ghosts inhabit the village and every year on Halloween tourists inundate the village to see if they too can have a supernatural experience. The village however remains unspoilt and picturesque, reminding visitors of its Kentish beauty as depicted in the series.

The series aired between 1991 and 1993 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Someone Behind the Door (1972)

 

Someone Behind the Door film poster- image of a mans face, underneath is a smoking gun. Someone Behind the Door written in white on a black background

Someone Behind the Door © GSF

Directed by: Nicholas Gessner

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Charles Bronson & Jill Ireland

Production Company: Comacico, Lira Films, Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie (SNC)

Kent Filming Locations Used: Folkestone

Filmed in 1971, Someone Behind the Door stars Charles Bronson as the violent amnesiac caught in a dysfunctional relationship between husband and wife. Anthony Perkins stars as the cuckolded husband to cheating wife Jill Ireland. When Bronson is found on the beach next to the body of a murdered girl, Perkins sees the perfect opportunity to wreak revenge by conditioning Bronson to believe that Perkins’ wife is his own and that her supposed betrayal should be punished.

A chilling crime drama, Someone Behind the Door was shot almost entirely on location in Folkestone. The stunning vista of Folkestone’s beaches and sea views are the perfect backdrop to this dramatic tale. A residential property overlooking the sea from The Leas became home to cast and crew and featured as perkins’ home. The Folkestone beach features as the scene of Bronson’s grisly crime and his inevitable capture by local police.

Folkestone and surrounding areas have been used by productions such as Sky Atlantic drama The Tunnel (2013), Is Anybody There? (2009) and The Battle of Britain (1969).

Someone Behind the Door was released in cinemas in 1972 and can now be purchased on DVD.

 

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


Battle of Britain (1969)

Battle of Britain movie poster- montage of characters from the film in square boxes, Battle of Britain written in red on top with a sun set scene of a town skyline above

Battle of Britain © United Artists

Director:  Guy Hamilton

Writers:  James Kennaway, Wilfred Greatorex, Derek Dempster, Derek Wood.

Starring:  Michael Caine, Trevor Howard , Harry Andrews, Christopher Plummer

Production Company: Spitfire Productions

Kent Locations Used: Denton, The Jackdaw Inn (Denton), Chilham, RAF Hawkinge

Set in 1940, the film tells the tale of the epic battle of Britain. Nazi Germany is attacking the airfields of the south east as part of Operation Sea Lion, and in order to stop the enemy from achieving their goals for invasion, the British Royal Air force must fight a desperate battle for control of the skies.

With death defying aerial acrobatics, this historical re-enactment takes the audience to the heart of World War II. With the Luftwaffe advancing onto London, the RAF must gather their destroyed resources and launch a critical attack.

Starring Michael Caine (The Dark Knight, The Italian Job), this feature was not to be his last visit to the county: the actor returned in Is Anybody There? , the touching story of the friendship between a young boy and a retired magician, which was filmed in Folkestone and Hythe.

The Battle of Britain featured some of the best of Kent’s locations. The village of Chilham was mentioned on fictional signs at the control centre at the end of the film. A popular filming location in the county, Chilham is most famous for appearing in Agatha Christie adaptations.  Miss Marple: The Moving Finger was filmed almost entirely in the village and it was also home for a special Christmas episode of Poirot.

Another Kent Village, Denton, appeared in the film. The local pub, The Jackdaw Inn, had a cameo as the scene for Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music) and his on-screen wife, giving the audience an insight into the personal effects of war. The Jackdaw Inn has a room devoted to RAF World War II memorabilia and is a must see for any history buff.

RAF Hawkinge was the obvious choice as a location for the film. With a rich military history, the site is now a museum with the largest collection of Battle of Britain artefacts on show in the country.

The Battle of Britain was released in 1969 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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


Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951)

Black and white image of a beauty pageant - girls on the stage with an audience watching

Lady Godiva Rides Again screenshot © London Film Productions

Director: Frank Launder

Writers: Frank Launder, Val Valentine

Starring: Pauline Stroud, Dennis Price, John McCallum, Stanley Holloway, Diana Dors

Production Company: ZSA

Kent location used: Folkestone – The Leas Cliff Hall, The Metropole, Rotunda Amusement Park and Folkestone West Train Station

Lady Godiva Rides Again is a British comedy film about a small town girl who wins a local beauty pageant and finds herself unprepared for the cutthroat world of fame when she competes in a rigged Fascination Soap beauty competition.

The film was inspired by the 1950 Miss Kent beauty pageant which was held at The Leas Cliff Hall where director and writer Frank Launder was one of the judges in the competition.

The film was directed by Frank Launder (The Lady Vanishes, The Green Man, The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery) who also co-wrote alongside Val Valentine (We Dive at Dawn, Rich and Strange, Blue Murder at St. Trinian’s).

The cast includes Pauline Stroud (Skyport, Harpers West One), John McCallum (The Long Memory, Skippy, Boney), Dennis Price (Kind Hearts and Coronets, Tunes of Glory, Victim), Stanley Holloway (My Fair Lady, Brief Encounter, The Lavender Hill Mob) and Diana Dors (The Unholy Wife, I Married a Woman, A Kid for Two Farthings).

Cast members arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951

Cast members arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951 © Kent Photo Archive

 

Diana Dors and Dennis Hamilton arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951

Diana Dors and Dennis Hamilton arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951 © Kent Photo Archive

Parade on the Leas during filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again Folkestone July 1951- row of cars driving along the road

Parade on the Leas during filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again Folkestone July 1951 © Kent Photo Archive

Pauline Stroud arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951

Pauline Stroud arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951 © Kent Photo Archive

Diana Dors and Dennis Hamilton arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951 Pauline Stroud arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951

Diana Dors and Dennis Hamilton arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951 Pauline Stroud arriving at the Metropole Hotel Folkestone for the filming of Lady Godiva Rides Again July 1951 © Kent Photo Archive

exterior of The Metropole hotel and pavement in front

Lady Godiva Rides Again screenshot at The Metropole © London Film Productions

The production visited Folkestone where they filmed at The Leas Cliff Hall, which was used as the location for the beauty competition and The Metropole, which was the setting for the seaside hotel hosting the Fascination Soap Pageant. Folkestone West Train Station features in the film for the scenes where Marjorie Clark (Pauline Stroud), arrives and meets Dolores August (Diana Dors). The now closed Rotunda Amusement Park was also used for the scenes where Larry (John McCallum) and Marjorie visit and go on rides.

Folkestone is a town in the Shepway district of Kent and boasts a beach, quaint streets and many studios and galleries at the Creative Quarter. The Leas Cliff Hall is a theatre and entertainment venue offering splendid views across the channel. The Metropole is an old spa hotel which has been redeveloped into flats. The area has used for filming by productions such as The Tunnel (2013), Is Anybody There? (2009) and The Darling Buds of May (1991 – 1993).

Lady Godiva Rides Again was released in cinemas on October 1951 and is now available to buy on DVD.

With kind thanks to Kent Photo Archive for allowing us to share their images.

 

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