On the Fiddle

Date: 1961
Director: Cyril Frankel
Production Company: Anglo Amalgamated / S Benjamin Fisz

Stars: Alfred Lynch, Cecil Parker, Sean Connery, Wilfrid Hyde White, Kathleen Harrison, Eleanor Summerfield, Eric Barker, John Le Mesurier, Stanley Holloway, Victor Maddern
Location(s): London, Surrey

Region(s): ,


Couple of East End lads join the RAF, with fun for all.

Additional Information:

Roy Barnacle, a regular contributor to our site, living in Canada, but brought up in London, pulled the stills and provided the captions. Many thanks Roy.


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Alfred Lynch gets hauled into an RAF enlisting station. Police station, public building? RB. Christopher Matheson locates this as 85-88 Minories, London EC3. The west side of the Minories is to the left. The doorway that they are entering is that in Capture 22 under the R.A.F recruitment banner. The 1954 Kelly's Directory list the premises as occupied by the 'Institute of Marine Engineers'.

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With the redevelopment of the area and realignment of the roads it is difficult to be exact but this is virtually the same scene now. (RL)

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Lynch and Connery marching to a RAF camp somewhere. RB. I went to Cardington and then Wilmslow. JT.

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Same pair waiting for a bus. Bus is a Bristol in white, company name blanked out and licence plate is CAP I think. RB. Tony Hagon suggests a Brighton Hove and District K6 if it's a CAP registration.

Some seaside town, Bournemouth maybe? RB. Hove, Sussex, Kings Way, junction of Western Street. Paul Osborne The hotel on the left is the old Bedford Hotel on King's Road just in Brighton, the border with Hove being just behind the camera, as is the derelict West Pier. The hotel caught fire in 1964 in dubious circumstances, with two people dying. That's Bedford Square in the middle. Info from Tony Hagon with thanks.

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The Bedford Hotel was replaced by what is now the Holiday Inn, and is seen to the right of the picture helping to ruin the skyline. SD

This is definitely a Southern station, but no name in view. RB. But they were all taken down in the war and hidden. It was thought that the Germans didn't have maps. JT.

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The station is the same as in “Heavens Above” (hvn005) and is in fact Shepperton station. Nice and close for the studios. Robin J. Brooks

Somewhere in southern England, as the war newsreels would say. RB. A pretty village, do you know it? JT.

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St James Church, Shere. The lorry appears from Church Lane. Our thanks to Robin Brooks.

Kathleen Harrison inspects a lorry, probably in the same village. RB.

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Shere, Middle Street, viewed from The Square. The church in otf006 is off to the right, the pub, The White Horse, to the left, behind the lorry. Robin Brooks took this.

Stan Holloway and Harrison in the same place. RB.

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Shere. View across The Square. The Church is hidden by the house in the centre of the picture. Robin again.

Holloway opening his (Cooksley's) gates, in the same town. RB.

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Similar view to Capture 9, but taken further back, in the gateway that gives access to the rear of the pub. Exact angle not possible due to an inconsiderately parked car! The gates have gone, but the retainer for the right hand post is still there. Our thanks to Robin Brooks.

Lorry drives away from Cooksley's establishment. RB.

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The lorry drives away up Shere Lane. The timbered building on the right is part of the pub. Robin Brooks on a roll.

Same little spire or steeple as in Capture7. RB.

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Similar view to Capture7. Lower Street off to the left. Same willow tree in the foreground. Yep, Robin took this as well.

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A port staging area. Real or fake? RB.

I included this because the house was so unusual architecturally so perhaps someone knows of it. RB. Tape over the windows, but usually in greater quantities, was a protection against flying glass when the bombs went off. They said! JT... This is the same house that featured in 'The House That Dripped Blood' (and I have already submitted info regarding its location in that film). It was a lodge house at the entrance leading to Littleton House, located in the grounds of Shepperton Studios. The lodge was located behind a gate, on Squire's Bridge Road, Shepperton. Only the gate posts now remain. modern housing is now built on the site. Michael Garfield

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Replacing Michael's picture with a now shot of the lodge location. SD

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Christopher Matheson provides this additional capture, a few frames earlier than Capture 15, for the purposes of historic record. Facing west in Cable Street, E1. The buildings at extreme left are on the corner of Leman Street (the frontage) and Royal Mint Street (out of frame at left). The Cable Cafe was at 1 Cable Street, at the corner with Mill Yard, but is only listed in Kelly's under the owner's name, so there's no mention of 'Cable Cafe'. The men are crossing Mill Yard. (RL)

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Replacing Christopher's Google View. (RL)

The Cable Cafe may be on Cable Street, RB. Looks like it might be as that area was seriously run-down in 1961. JT.

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The Cafe was in Cable Street and also features in River Beat (rb019). All demolished to make way for the Dockland Light Railway. (RL)

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Another shot of the street, near the caff. RB.

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Cable Street, London E1 looking east from the corner of Ensign Street. (RL)

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Christopher also provides this additional capture for the record. The Blue Cafe was at 14 Cable Street (but once again only listed using the owner's name in Kelly's) and the men are walking south in Ensign Street. Markeson, tobacconist, was at 1 Ensign Street, on the east side. (RL)

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The less interesting scene now. (RL)

Outside an Underground station somewhere. The crowd is under an arch and the LT roundel can be seen further down on the building. RB. Phil Russell says that this is looking south down Watney Street, London, E1. The old underground station is on the right. A better, and crisper shot from Nick Cooper

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The original East London line station building has now been demolished, and replaced with the small takeaway against the viaduct, and beyond it a bicycle hire docking station. This means the London Transport symbol remains on the site, albeit smaller, and in a different colour! Nick Cooper As Sandra Crossley points out, we are actually talking about Shadwell Station here.

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This shot was taken behind the camera for otf17. RB.

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Cliffs. These are supposed to be in France - maybe! RB. Or Italy? JT.

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A convent supposedly in France. RB.

Not a good picture, but I thought the pub or inn sign was unusual for spotting. RB.

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Mark Scott identifies this as The Black Swan at Ockham, Surrey and provides a Google Image link to show that the rustic porch has gone and the building has been extended. He advises that the same pub appeared in "Inn For Trouble" (1960) and other films. Replacing Marks Google Shot showing even more changes having been made during the last four years.(RL)

An old mill supposedly in France but it has a rather rustic English look about it. RB.

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This was Newark Mill, situated at Newark Lock, Ripley, Surrey. The mill burnt down in 1966. It also appeared in 'The Adventures Of Robin Hood' TV series. Image copyright Google Streetview. SD

A cinema? RB.

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No, according to at least "pre-war" maps this was a genuine "War Department" property on Minories/Tower Hill, London EC3. Located as a result of Clive Turner's tenacious labours re Capture 23. (RL)

Charringtons pub on corner, railway bridge in background, East London maybe. RB. I said the East End maybe because it looks like an electric gantry across the tracks and the only overhead electrified railway that I knew of in the film period was the line out of Liverpool Street. In OTF001 the building is the same as in OTF022 and 023 pix. The recruitment center is opposite the Charringtons pub, which is betwixt the recruitment center and the railway bridge. RB.

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Despite being on the other side of the world Clive Turner has finally established this long outstanding location. He identifies the pub as the "Crown & Shears", 83 & 84 Minories, London EC3 which was on the corner of Royal Mint Street. An excellent picture of the pub confirming the architecture etc can be seen in National Brewery collection on the Historypin website. There has been substantial re-development and road widening changes but I thought his hard work deserved an as near as possible "now" shot. (RL)

An additional screen capture to show more of the pub's detail.

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The recruitment centre has made way for road widening and the pub has long gone. (RL)