The Long Memory (1953)

 

The Long Memory film poster- a man and women hugging, the man is faced away from the camera. The Long Memory written in yellow

The Long Memory film poster © General Film Distributors (GFD)

Director: Robert Hamer

Starring: John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars

Production Company: J. Arthur Rank Organisation, Europa, British Film-Makers

Kent Locations Used: Gravesend, Stangate Creek

The Long Memory is a black and white 1953 film based on the 1951 novel of the same name by Howard Clewes. The crime thriller is about Philip Davidson (John Mills) who is wrongfully convicted for murder and given parole after 12 years. Will Philip choose revenge upon the witnesses who lied during the trial, or give himself a fresh start?

Directed by Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets, Dead of Night, Father Brown), the film stars John Mills (Gandhi, Bean, Great Expectations), John McCallum (Skippy, Boney, Attack Force Z) and Elizabeth Sellars (The Barefoot Contessa, The Chalk Garden, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England).

Queen Street and Granby Road in Gravesend feature in the film as the locations for the two Tim Pewsey residences.

black and white image of Stangate Creek, with a wooden fence in front

The Long Memory screenshot at Stangate Creek © General Film Distributors (GFD)

 Gravesend street at night with a man in a trench coat walking away from the camera down the middle

The Long Memory screenshot at Gravesend © General Film Distributors (GFD)

The marshes of the Medway Estuary around Stangate Creek and Iwade were used as the location where Phillip Davidson’s (John Mills) barge is moored.

The historic market town of Gravesend is on the south bank of the River Thames and boasts a cast iron pier, promenade and high street. The area is easily accessible with train links at the nearby Ebbsfleet International station and is close to the M25. The Gravesend area has previously welcomed film productions such as The Interceptor (2015), Babylon (2014) and Age of Heroes (2011).

Stangate Creek is part of the River Medway and has been used as a film location by productions such as Mr Turner (2014), feature film adaption Great Expectations (2012) and the BBC’s Great Expectations (1999).

The Long Memory was released in 1978 and is now available 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. 


The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947)

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Arthur Alce (John McCallum) stood next to each other in front of a tree

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Arthur Alce (John McCallum) © Ealing Studios

Directed by: Charles Frend and Robert Hamer

Starring: Googie Withers, Jean Kent, John McCallum, Derek Bond, Henry Mollison, Chips Rafferty, Sonia Holm

Production Company: Ealing Studios

Kent Locations Used: Romney Marsh, St Clements Church, Dungeness beach, The New Inn, The Woolpack Inn

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) inherits Little Baynham Sheep Farm after the death of her father and decides to defy tradition and run the farm herself. However, her resilient dedication to make the farm a success as well as stubbornness to accept help means she risks losing the man she truly loves.

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Martin (Derek Bond) talking on Dungeness beach with the lighthouse behind

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Martin (Derek Bond) on Dungeness beach © Ealing Studios

Starring Googie Withers (Shine, Dead of Night), Jean Kent (The Browning Version, The Prince and the Showgirl), John McCallum (Skippy, Barrier Reef), Derek Bond (The Hand, Scott of the Antartic), Henry Mollison (The Man in the White Suit, Chelsea Story), Chips Rafferty (Mutiny on the Bound, the Sundowners), and Sonia Holm (Miranda, the Calendar).

A historical British drama largely filmed on location on the idyllic Romney Marsh. The Marsh covers an area of 100 square miles and is one of three great coastal marshlands of Southern England. Dungeness features as the setting for the romantic scenes where Joanna and her fiancé Martin (Derek Bond) take a trip to the beach. Romney Marsh and Dungeness have since welcomed productions such as Parades End (2012) and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries – Natural Causes (2006).

St Clement’s Church in Old Romney features in the film as the local church where a Christmas carol service is held for the villagers. It is one of the oldest churches in Kent, constructed in the 12th century. The same church later doubled as Dr Syn’s Dymchurch parish in Walt Disney’s production of Dr Syn (1964).

The No.3 train was hired out by the production team from the Kent and East Sussex Railway for the scene at Lydd Town Station, where Joanna greets her sister.  The train was disguised with plates reading ‘SE&CR’. Kent and East Sussex Railway has also featured in Last Passenger (2013).

Other Kent Locations include The New Inn, a grade II listed pub situated on New Romney High Street and The Woolpack Inn, a 600 year old Inn located in the heart of the marsh.

The Film first premiered in 1947 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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