Poet’s Pub

Date: 1949
Director: Frederick Wilson
Production Company: Aquila Film

Stars: Derek Bond, Rona Anderson, James Robertson Justice, Barbara Murray, Leslie Dwyer
Location(s): Buckinghamshire, Essex



An Oxford poet plays host to various eccentric characters after being persuaded to manage an historic country inn.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

Buy this film on Amazon link

Can you help:

If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.

  • 'Now' required

Watched on television, undergraduate poet Saturday Keith takes part in the Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. To the top, Barnes Railway Bridge crosses the Thames in London SW13.

<?php echo 2; ?>

Saturday Keith visits The Old Downy Pelican where he is offered a job managing the premises by new owner Lady Mercy Cotton. A matted shot of Le Talbooth Hotel at Gun Hill south of Stratford St. Mary in Essex identified on the Wakefield CAMRA website.

image no 2

With thanks to Keighley for allowing me free access to take all the relevant shots that reveal significant changes over the years. (RL)

<?php echo 3; ?>

Soon after the Oxford rowing blue takes over running the ancient inn, trade begins to increase. Looking in the direction of Stratford St Mary on Lower Street with Stratford Bridge crossing the River Stour.

image no 3

Other than more greenery very much the same. (RL)

<?php echo 4; ?>

The camera follows Elmer Van Buren as he drives into the car park of the, now renamed, Downy Pelican. Le Talbooth at Gun Hill, Dedham to the north of Colchester.

image no 4

From this angle it remains very much the same. (RL)

<?php echo 5; ?>

Quentin Cotton (Peter Croft) puts the finishing touches on one of the pub signs. The frontage of Le Talbooth, established as a restaurant, after filming, in 1952.

image no 5

I couldn't ask the owner to move his car. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

Nelly Bly crosses the road and enters the Post Office to send a telegram. Village Road, Denham in Buckinghamshire.

<?php echo 7; ?>

A masque is held at the Downy Pelican. The topiary in the right background may give this location away.

image no 7

With so many changes over the years it is difficult to know whether it is the same bush or a different location but it looks about right for our purposes. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

Driven away in Quentin's car, Joanna Benbow is kidnapped by Williams which prompts the film's car chase. Various parts of Denham feature in 'Don't Take It to Heart', 'The Man in the Moon', 'Great Day', 'Made in Heaven', 'Murder She Said', 'The Square Peg', 'Captain Clegg' and 'The Games' amongst many.

  • 'Now' required

The car approaches the bridge over the River Misbourne on Village Road, Denham.

<?php echo 10; ?>

Professor Benbow, Lady Cotton and Holly set off in pursuit. Another matted view of Le Talbooth in the Dedham Vale. The present property dates from the 19th century but a building has stood on the site since the 16th century.

image no 10

Nothing matted in this shot. (RL)

<?php echo 11; ?>

The car turns onto the main road as Saturday and Quentin follow in a bus. Facing Lower Street from the driveway of Le Talbooth.

image no 11

And nearly 70 years on. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

The chase continues along Village Road in Denham.

<?php echo 13; ?>

The high class criminal drives through a ford before turning off the road and demanding that Joanna hands over a jewelled glove. Hawkswood Lane about halfway between Pinewood Studios and Fulmer in Buckinghamshire. The location was seen in 'The Final Test', 'Don't Talk to Strange Men' and 'Genevieve'.

image no 13

The same location with the Alder Bourne still flowing across the road. (PW)

<?php echo 14; ?>

Escaping from Williams, Benbow (Rona Anderson) heads towards the bus driven by Saturday. The Alder Bourne ford on Hawkswood Lane.

image no 14

More road and less water when I visited. (PW)

<?php echo 15; ?>

Saturday Keith (Derek Bond) is reunited with Joanna. The Alder Bourne crossing Hawkswood Lane south of Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire.

image no 15

And once again. (PW)

  • 'Now' required

Higgins turns his motorcycle after being stopped for speeding by PC Windle. Looking east, towards the wall of St Mary's church yard on Village Road in Denham.