Plank, The (1967)

Date: 1967
Director: Eric Sykes
Production Company: Associated London Films

Stars: Eric Sykes, Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Edwards, Roy Castle, Graham Stark, Stratford Johns, Jim Dale, Jimmy Tarbuck
Location(s): Berkshire, London, Middlesex

Region(s): ,


A classic British comedy short about two workmen and a plank of wood featuring stars of the day. This story is told with music and a sort of “wordless dialogue” which consists of a few mumbled sounds to convey the appropriate emotion.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by  John Tunstill and Phil Wilkinson


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The film begins with two workmen laying floorboards in a house under construction. Elstow Avenue on Caversham Park Village, Reading in Berkshire. Identified on the Caversham Park Village Association website.

When they find that they are one plank short of completing the floor, The Larger Workman (Tommy Cooper) leads the way to the car and they drive to the timber merchants. Ashburnham Road on the corner with Willow Bank, Ham near Richmond identified by Neil Rigby.

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Well done Neil. Clive Brett with the help of Google shows just how much the development has matured over the years. (RL)

After getting lost in the timber yard, the larger workman directs his colleague out. IMDB states Delamere Road, Southall, Middlesex

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Delamere Road indeed but the site has been redeveloped into housing. (RL)

Delamere Road now in Hayes, but Southall at the time of filming. The entrance to the timber yard is now occupied by houses.

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But the other properties remain. (RL)

The smaller workman (Eric Sykes) gets out after parking the car in a less than ideal position. Delamere Road.

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More orderly parking today. (RL)

The two head back into the yard as a van approaches wanting to leave. Delamere Road, Southall.

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That hedge had to go to park in the front garden. Best possible shot without trespassing. (RL)

The van driver looks to see if he can move parked cars along so that he can get on his way. Delamere Road looking towards the crossroads with Berwick Avenue.

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Unusually today, fewer cars. (RL)

As the van driver returns the workmen secure their plank to the car. Delamere Road, Southall in Middlesex.

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No such chaos today. (RL)

A delivery man (Roy Castle) rests in the back of his van, unfortunately he sits on the overhanging plank.

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Now just a quiet suburban road with added greenery.

The workmen set of back to the house with the delivery man clinging onto the plank. Looking west on Lower Richmond Road at the junction with Erpingham Road and Sefton Street in Putney.

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Clive Brett with the support of Google shows a more embracing shot from that junction. And the zebra crossing? (RL)

Approaching Lower Putney Common on Lower Richmond Road, London SW15.

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The new replacement for the Putney Hospital, seen in Nuns on the Run, is hidden behind the trees. SJ

Facing east on Lower Richmond Road, Putney at the junction with Gladwyn Road and Salvin Road.

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Yet another zebra crossing has been lost. Replacing Clive's Google shot. SJ

Lower Richmond Road with the entrance to Festing Road to the left which, incidentally, is the road that Mr Benn's "Festive Road" was based on.

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Well, I never knew that. It turns out, and a plaque celebrates it, that the cartoonist David McKee lived at 54 Festing Road in the 70s. Also seen in The Big Sleep. SJ

Lower Richmond Road at the junction with Ashlone Road and Stanbridge Road SW15.

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The postbox is still there. SJ

A policeman (Jimmy Edwards) appears from the police station. Ellison Road, Barnes SW13.

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If it ever was a real police station it certainly is not now and no handlebars of either type. (RL) Replacing Clive's Google shot. SJ

As he mounts his cycle, the officer spots the car carrying the delivery man. Ellison Road.

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The lawn has vanished. SJ

The car passes with its screaming passenger. Cleveland Gardens SW13.

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Replacing Clive's google shot but the low sun of a winter's day has its hazards. SJ

As the car turns a sharp corner, the delivery man is thrown into the back of a dustcart and the plank breaks free from the roof. Cleveland Gardens at the junction with Terrace Gardens, Barnes.

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What a difference a lick of paint makes. Clive/Google. (RL)

A dustman picks up the plank and moves it from the roadway. On the left, Cleveland Gardens runs towards The Terrace from the corner of Terrace Gardens.

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Rebuilding to the left. SJ

The dustmen run away when the delivery man appears from the rubbish in the back of their truck. Terrace Gardens SW13.

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Changes here too. This and many other locations were also seen in The Plank (1979) as well but they will have to wait another time unless someone beats me to it. SJ

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The delivery man looks out from the back of the dustcart. Terrace Gardens at the junction with Limes Avenue.

Meanwhile, a painter (Jim Dale) appears from a side door to continue his job. Cleveland Gardens in Barnes. Location identified by Paul Wilson.

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Cleveland Gardens now from Paul Wilson. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

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As the painter stands on the plank, a car approaches and runs over it. Facing south east on Cleveland Gardens at the corner of Terrace Gardens.

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Paint is spilled over the householder (Barney Gilbraith) who has come to his door and the policeman intervenes in the ensuing argument. Cleveland Gardens with Terrace Gardens to the right.

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Nearby, an American Tourist (Rex Garner) films his Wife (Libby Morris). Station Road looking towards Barnes High Street in the left background.

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The Workmen's car runs into the Tourist as he steps back into the road. Station Road with Essex Court on the left.

When apologies have been exchanged, the car drives away. Station Road facing the junction with Barnes High Street and Church Road in SW13.

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Now captured by Paul Wilson. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

The Workmen pull over to purchase cigarettes. Looking along Cleveland Road from Station Road, Barnes. Location identified by Paul Wilson.

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Paul Wilson sent this picture. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

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The Larger Workman notices that the plank is no longer on the car's roof. Paul Wilson advises that the shop is at the junction of Station Road and Cleveland Road.

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"It's gone!" The buildings to the left stand on Station Road.

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After searching nearby for the plank, the Smaller Workman has trouble with the car's bonnet. Cleveland Road, Barnes in London SW13.

The Policeman continues to deal with the paint incident. Malthouse Passage at the corner of Cleveland Gardens and Terrace Gardens in Barnes identified by Paul Wilson.

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Paul Wilson captured the same rebuilt corner now. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

After retrieving the plank, the Larger Workman heads back to the car. Limes Avenue, Barnes in London SW13. Location identified by Paul Wilson.

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The same place now by Paul Wilson. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

The American couple carry on with their filming. Station Road with Essex Court in the left background.

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Acknowledging that this is not quite the correct angle a shot from Alan Underwood whose website is dedicated to the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough Association. The shot however, does full justice to both the capture and the trough. (RL)

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Getting ready for the perfect shot. Station Road with Barnes Pond in the background. In the distance is The Crescent, a location used in 'The Deadly Affair'.

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The Larger Workman walks past with the plank, knocking the American woman into the horse trough that she is sitting on. Swinging 180 degrees from image plnk034 brings Essex Court into view.

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Smelling very strongly of refuse, the Delivery Man joins a bus queue. Cleveland Road facing Cleveland Gardens.

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As the queue disperses, a bus approaches. Cleveland Road in Barnes SW13.

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Passengers leave the bus as the Delivery Man boards. Cleveland Road looking towards Station Road.

In another part of town, the Policeman watches an Old Man (Howard Douglas) attempt to cross a busy road. Junction of Cleveland Gardens and Cleveland Road, Barnes. Identified by Paul Wilson.

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The same location from Paul Wilson who advises that in the film it looks like a main road, but the reality is that they are two small side roads. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

Congestion is caused as the Workmen cross with the plank. Looking towards the River Thames on Cleveland Road at the junction with Cleveland Gardens.

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Clive send this Google image that proves the exact location. (RL)

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The plank is moved on. The corner of Cleveland Road and Cleveland Gardens, Barnes SW13.

At a nearby pub, the plank causes problems for a window cleaner. Cleveland Gardens, Barnes. Location identified by Paul Wilson.

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Now by Paul Wilson. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

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The Policeman takes notes after the road incident. Facing away from the River Thames on Cleveland Road at the junction with Cleveland Gardens.

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When they finally secure the plank back onto the car,the Workmen continue their journey to the house. The junction of Cleveland Road and Station Road with Barnes Green on the right.

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The pair turn off the main road to join a queue of cars. Clive Abbey places this as Milton Gardens at the junction with Upper Richmond Road, East Sheen, London SW14. (RL)

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The Larger Workman catches sight of a Man (Ronnie Brody) carrying a nude statue.

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The Policeman continues on his beat. The Avenue by the corner of Ennerdale Road, Richmond TW9. The houses behind Jimmy Edwards have been demolished adds Neil Rigby (NR).

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A Girl (Clovissa Newcombe) walks past as the 'copper' mounts his cycle. Ennerdale Road near the corner with The Avenue in TW9. (NR)

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A Van Driver (Graham Stark) and his Mate (Ian Wilson) spot the Girl who waves, needing a lift. It was surely a different era! The Avenue in TW9 with an entrance to Kew Gardens in the background. (NR)

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After the Girl is picked up, the Policeman spots the Workmen's car with its troublesome cargo. The Avenue with St Luke's church in view. (NR)

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A truck approaches the car from behind as the preceding van is gained on. Ennerdale Road with the junction of The Avenue in Richmond. (NR)

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The plank gets trapped in the back of the van and, from behind, the front of the truck. Ennerdale Road with the junction of The Avenue TW9. (NR)

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The van and the truck continue ahead with the plank stuck between them as the car turns off. Ennerdale Road with the junction of The Avenue, TW9. (NR)

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A queue of traffic holds up the van and the truck. Hatherley Road coming from Ennerdale Road. (NR)

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Pulling away, the van leaves the truck with the plank firmly stuck in the cab bodywork. Facing north on Ennerdale Road at the junction with The Avenue, Richmond.

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A mini stops and the driver asks directions from the Policeman as the truck approaches. Ennerdale Road by the junction with The Avenue heading North. (NR)

When they find that their load has again disappeared, the Workmen get into an argument with a Council Cement Layer (Dave Freeman) when trying to take his plank. Ellison Road, Barnes with Cleveland Road in the left background. London SW13. Location identified by Paul Wilson.

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And Paul also provided the proof adding that the police station is on the other side of this building. Image originally uploaded 29/06/2008.

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After directing the mini driver, the Policeman is 'picked up' by the plank sticking out of the truck's front. Ennerdale Road passing Eversfield Road TW9. (NR)

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The two Workmen find their plank outside the police station as, inside, its victims complain to the desk sergeant. Ellison Road, London SW13. The building appears to be a hall or library at the time of filming but is now in residential use.