Series seven of Great British Railway returns to BBC Two, as presenter Michael Portillo travels on the great train routes of Europe and retraces the journeys featured in George Bradshaw’s 1913 Continental Railway Guide.
In episode six of the new series, Portillo embarks on a new railway journey along the south coast of England which starts at the port of Dover where he is inspired by a brave Victorian sea captain to plunge into the English Channel. Next he takes the spectacular Romney, Hythe & Dymchurchminiature steam railway through the Romney Marsh to Dungeness before heading to Eastbourne.
Episode 16 sees Michael Portillo journey from Ashfordto Sevenoaks starting by lending a hand at a state-of-the-art train maintenance plant which is home to the High Speed 1 trains. Next he tracks east to Marden and is moved by music played on Queen Victoria’s personal piano before ending his journey in Sevenoaks where he ends the journey at Knole Park, seat of the Sackville-West family.
The market town of Ashfordhas shops, eateries, a designer outlet shopping centre and has great links with London and Europe which are just a train ride away through Ashford International train station. Ashfordand surrounding areas has been used as a film location from visiting productions including The Apprentice(2015), The Monuments Men (2014) andEmma(2009).
Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lubna Azabal, Eve Best, Andrew Buchan, Janet McTeer, Tobias Menzies, Genevieve O’Reilly, Katherine Parkinson, Stephen Rea
Production company: BBC Worldwide, Drama Republic, Eight Rooks, SundanceTV
Kent Locations: Cottage in New Romney, Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm, Dengemarsh Road, Romney Marsh
This BBC Two political thriller focuses on Nessa Stein (Gyllenhaal), a young woman who inherits her Zionist father’s weaponry business and gradually changes its purpose to laying data cables between Israel and the West Bank. As she continues to promote reconciliation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, she inevitably finds herself in the middle of a political maelstrom.
The eight part drama was written and directed by BAFTA recipient Hugo Blick (Up in Town, Sensitive Skin, The Shadow Line) and stars an award winning cast, including Maggie Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Secretary, The Dark Knight), Lubna Azabal (Incendies, Body of Lies), Eve Best (The King’s Speech,Much Ado About Nothing), Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, Nowhere Boy), Janet McTeer (Parade’s End,Tumbleweeds), Tobias Menzies (Casino Royale, Game of Thrones), Genevieve O’Reilly (Episodes, Spooks), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd,The Boat That Rocked) and Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta, The Shadow Line).
In the summer of 2013, The Honourable Woman crew spent 2 days filming at several locations in the Romney Marsh area, including a cottage in New Romney, Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm, and Dengemarsh Road.
Parade’s End is based on Ford Madox Ford’s novels written between 1924 and 1928, with the screenplay adapted by renowned English playwright and screenwriter Sir Tom Stoppard. The costume drama features a stellar cast and is set in the midst of the First World War with a love triangle threatening to question everything lead character Christopher Tietjens stands for.
Shown in five parts, at the centre is English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Warhorse, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) who enters a turbulent relationship with socialite Sylvia played by Rebecca Hall(Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town, The Awakening). After Sylvia falls pregnant, Christopher decides to follow his morals and marry her, even though he is uncertain if the child is his.
The couple have a rocky relationship but Christopher vows to stay faithful to his wife, however when he meets strong willed suffragette Valentine Wannop (Adelaide Clemens – X-Men Origins: Wolverine) he finds himself falling in love with her. With his morals questioned, will he follow his heart, or stay with his wife?
Dorton House is a school in Sevenoaks run by The Royal London Institute for the Blind and caters for pupils with visual impairments. The Grade-II listed building saw its dining room transformed into a gentleman’s club, with the library serving as the Cabinet War Office and the Wedgewood Room as the bedroom of Valentine Wannop.
Dungeness and St Mary’s Bay also briefly feature in the programme, in scenes with a girl cycling past. Dungeness is a unique expanse of shingle beach with cottages and lighthouses and is a popular filming location having previously welcomed Doctor Who, Countrywise Kitchen and photo shoots for Vogue and Harrods Magazine. St Mary’s Bay is a delightful coastal village between Dymchurch and south to Littlestone and this is its big screen debut.
Parade’s End was shown from Friday 24th August 2012 at 21:00 on BBC Two and is now available to buy on DVD.
In a brand new BBC series, well-known presenters and experts including food critic Giles Coren, take us on a journey around Britain to discover how food is grown around the country and explore how the landscape, history and climate shape what kind of food we grow.
The Kent episode sees Giles sail on the River Medway, following old trade routes as he and the team visit various places to discover the history of Kentish foods such as the hops and beer, cherries, Romney Marshsheep, native oysters, lavender and cobnuts.
The presenting team is headed up by Giles Coren (Gordon Ramsay’s The F-Word), who is joined by some familiar faces including historian Lucy Worsley (If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home), archaeologist Alex Langlands (Time Team), gardener Alys Fowler (Gardener’s World), and EthnobotanistJames Wong (Countryfile).
During his Kent visit, Giles discovers what British beer tasted like before hops arrived from Europe when he visitsKent Life, Alys investigates the origin of English cherries, and Lucy heads to Whistable in search of shellfish. They also visit Romney Marshto learn about the lives of shepherds.
Faversham is a beautiful, historic market town which boasts nearly 500 listed buildings and is set on the picturesque Faversham Creek. It has many restaurants, shops, attractions and beautiful walks. The Favershamarea has been used as a film location for A Taste of Britain(2014), Southcliffe (2013) and Great Expectations(2012).
Maidstone is the county town of Kent. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it to Rochester and the Thames Estuary. The Kent Life Museum is situated by the M20, only 5 minutes away from Maidstone, and is a great family day out. It boasts 28 acres of land, hops, oast houses, some adorable animals, and fascinating historic buildings from various periods. Productions that have filmed in Maidstone include Rustom (2016), Later… with Jools Holland(2015) and Couples Come Dine With Me(2014).
Documentary reuniting Kent born artist Kit Williams with the Golden Hare
Production Company: BBC
In 1979, Kit William’s children’s book ‘Masquerade’ was published. The meticulously illustrated book gave clues to the whereabouts of an object hidden by Kit. This was supposed to be a great treasure in the shape of a jewel encrusted Golden Hare.. It was hidden in a plain ceramic sculpture, also depicting a hare.
The release of the book triggered a publicity storm that saw people digging up gardens and land all over Britain in their quest to find the priceless hare. Consequently, the book was a huge success and the Golden Hare was eventually found in the summer of 1982 by Ken Thomas. The Hare was later sold at auction for £31,900.
Kit was vilified by his fellow artists who felt that his credibility had been tarnished by the hunt for the hare. The BBC Four programme looks at the effect of the book on Kit Williams and his career and includes interviews with the elusive artist, as well as reuniting him with the Golden Hare for the first time in 30 years.
Kit Williams was brought up in Kent and re-visited the county and the locations that inspired him during filming. When Kit lived in Whitstable, he wrote messages on pieces of driftwood before sending them out to sea, a scene dramatised in Littlestone, at the edge the Romney Marsh, another landscape that inspired the young artist. The beautiful church St Thomas A Beckett at Fairfield, as well as Walland Marsh feature in the programme. The Marsh Tableaux were recreated on the Stodmarsh Nature Reserve near Canterbury.
The programme will be aired on BBC Four on Wednesday2nd December2009 at 9pm.
Starring: Patrick McGoohan, George Cole, Michael Hordern, Tony Britton, Sean Scully, Alan Dobie
Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Kent Locations Used: Romney Marsh, St Clement’s Church Old Romney
In 18th Century England, the Vicar of Dymchurch (Patrick McGoohan) takes on the alias of The Scarecrow. Alongside his gang of smugglers, they turn against the King and his high taxes, by smuggling goods across the Romney Marshes. The Scarecrow comes under threat from the Kings army after they learn of his rebel gang, and he becomes a wanted man. Aided by the locals, the Scarecrow must come up with a plan to get rid of the Kings army whilst maintaining his successful smuggling operations that many locals have come to rely on.
The film was released as part of the DisneyTreasures Collection in 1964. Walt Disney adapted the stories from the original DR Syn books written by Russell Thorndike, and the later book ‘Christopher Syn’ written by William Buchanan. Originally, the production was only intended to be aired in three parts on Disney’s weekly television show Wonderful World of Colour, but was later adapted for release on DVD.
The film stars Patrick McGoohan (Treasure Planet, Columbo), George Cole (The Dinner Party, My Good Friend),Michael Hordern (Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden), Tony Britton (The Way We Live Now, Don’t Tell Father), Sean Scully (Two Door Mansion, Evil Never Dies) and Alan Dobie (The Hospice, Kessler).
Romney Marshes were the background to the production and so featured throughout the film and consist of around 100 square miles of coastal marshlands located in South EastKent. It is a popular tourist destination due to its sandy beaches, historic buildings and diverse landscape which is perfect for walkers and cyclists. Romney Marsh has also featured in Parades End (2012), Great Expectations (2012) and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries – Natural Causes(2006).
St Clement’s Church in Old Romney doubled as Dr Syn’s Dymchurch parish church in the production. Walt Disney funded the repair of the building in order to use it as a filming location. The interior was painted pink by the crew and remains so to this day.
The 3 Part TV series first aired in 1963 and is available to watch on DVD.
Stars: Roger Livesey, Honor Blackman, Richard Burton
Production Company: Association of Cinema Technicians (A.C.T.)
Kent Locations Used: New Romney, Romney Marsh
British comedy film Green Grow the Rushes is based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Howard Clewes. Captain Biddle (Roger Livesey) smuggles alcohol along with Robert (Richard Burton), who poses as a fisherman, but when a reporter, Meg (Honor Blackman), arrives in town as well as a group of Government officials investigating the lack of farming on the marshes, will their scheme be exposed?
The film is directed by Derek Twist (Police Dog, Rx For Murder, All Over the Town) and stars Roger Livesey (The Entertainer, A Matter of Life and Death, The League of Gentlemen), Honor Blackman (Goldfinger,The Avengers, Bridget Jones’s Diary) and a young Richard Burton (Anne of the Thousand Days,Nineteen Eighty-Four, Where Eagles Dare).
Green Grow the Rushes was filmed in New Romney and on Romney Marsh which double as the town and marshland.
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.
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 (DerekBond) 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.