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Six film productions with scenes shot in Preston over the past 60 years

Posted on - 9th October, 2014 - 7:02pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, History, Nostalgia, Videos
Hindle Wakes Mill

Horoocks’ Yard Works Cotton Mill, Preston, in a scene from the 1952 version of Hindle Wakes

While considering our news today of a Hollywood film being made in Preston we started to think of the number of productions that have been filmed, at least in part, in the town of Preston.
Over many years there have been mainstream and television films made using various locations in Preston. The first film that comes to mind is Hindle Wakes, a 1952 black and white production which was shown nationally. The main theme of this film was about the wakes weeks of the old mill towns and in particular the external mill shots used the location of the former Horrockses Cotton Mill in the Yard Works off Stanley Street in Preston.

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Alan Bates with Lavell's kiosk inside the Miller Arcade, Preston, in a scene from the film A Kind of Loving

Alan Bates inside the Miller Arcade, Preston, in a scene from the film A Kind of Loving

Moving forward another ten years and we have the film ‘A Kind of Loving’ which was based on a gritty northern romantic tale of a couple who worked at the same company and attempted to make a go of it despite many domestic obstacles in their path. There are a number of scenes shot in Preston, one being in the Miller Arcade at night. In the film, Vic (Alan Bates) and Ingrid (June Ritchie), meet outside Lavell’s sweet and tobacco kiosk which was formerly in the centre of the arcade. The still in the above image shows Vic impatiently waiting for Ingrid to show up.

Fair Game 1994

Fair Game 1994

Our third offering is a film that was made in 1994 called Fair Game which was a made for television and mainly used two locations in Preston, one being the Harris Library and the other used the interior of the Black Horse Hotel in Friargate. The main theme of the story was based around the 1970 football World Cup and involved an Italian man looking for his related family having discovered that they originated in the north of England. The two leading characters, Marco and Ellie, were played by actors Massimo Bellinzoni and Lena Headey of TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Game of Thrones. You can view an 8 part version of this film and see some really great Preston views from the 1994 film on Youtube here.

Moll Flanders series from Granada TV

Alex Kingston as Moll Flanders in the Granada TV series The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders

Preston has also been the place of choice for a fair share of TV series programmes, three of which were filmed at Hoghton Towers. In 1996  The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, from Granada TV, was a series set in the 18 century and based on the novel by Daniel Defoe starring Alex Kingston and Daniel Craig. This was the life story of  Moll Flanders who had the knack of getting through life by the skin of her teeth but always managing to come up trumps in the end with her feminine charms and cunning ways.

The Greater Manchester Police team in Life on Mars

The Greater Manchester Police team in Life on Mars

Another TV series filmed partly at Hoghton Towers was the 1970’s style GreaterManchester Police series, Life on Mars. This was semi science fiction story of Sam Tyler a modern day policeman played by John Simm, who suffered being in a coma following a traffic accident and regains conciousness only to find that he has apparently travelled back in time to the 1970’s. To a certain extent his Nemesis became the detective inspector Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister, who refuses to follow correct police procedure and is somewhat of a maverick police officer.

Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave and John Hannah in the ITV series Cold Blood

Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave and John Hannah in the ITV series Cold Blood

Our final offering of a partly made Preston film scene shot in Hoghton is the chilling series from BBC1 TV which was known as Cold Blood, this being a programme which starred Matthew Kelly as Brian Wicklow, a former serial killer who assists the police with investigations. John Hannah and Jemma Redgrave also played starring roles in this series.

So there you have it. Say what you like about Preston but it definitely has its attraction to the film and television industry.

Do you know of any mainstream production scenes that have been filmed in Preston? Let us know in the comments below.

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