Brandy for the Parson

Date: 1952
Director: John Eldridge
Production Company: Group 3

Stars: James Donald, Kenneth More, Jean Lodge, Charles Hawtrey, Alfie Bass, Reginald Beckwith
Location(s): Devon, Dorset, London

Region(s): ,


A young couple become involved with a smuggler after accidentally ramming his boat.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson from source material provided by John Tunstill

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Establishing shot of Paddington station's cab road in W2. The location was seen in 'A Run for Your Money' and 'Miranda'.

Bill Harper (James Donald) spots Petronilla Brand in the crowds at the station. Paddington station, London W2.

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Now shot by Richard Lovejoy. It would have been even easier to spot her today.

Bill and Petronilla Brand (Jean Lodge) get ready to catch their train. Paddington station, London.

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The same station now. Richard was too late to wave them off.

Bill and Petronilla arrive at their very rainy destination. This looks very much like Maiden Newton station in Dorset.

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Clive Rideout confirms it is Maiden Newton and wonders whether the Rover is now in the skip!

The couple set off down Station Road, Maiden Newton.

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Clive Rideout found a much better day for case-carrying. (RL)

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A sunnier day sees the Bill and Petronilla sailing in the Kingsbridge Estuary. Near Salcombe, Devon.

After accidentally ramming and sinking Tony Rackham's boat, the pair take him to France in their boat. Entering the harbour at Torquay, Devon.

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Dave Wilson captured a similar shot, even the cloud cover, now that is dedication! (RL)

The boat heads to moor up inside Torquay harbour.

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Dave Wilson reveals a more prolific boat ownership over the years. (RL)

A gendarme walks his beat in a very French looking Torquay. Victoria Parade with St John's Church on the extreme left in the background.

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Dave Wilson found that "L'eglise St John's" still very evident. (RL)

The couple read an address given by Tony Rackham. The harbour at Torquay in Devon.

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Dave Wilson captures the increased harbour traffic. (RL)

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Bill searches for the address. After much correspondence and investigation and particularly the kind and supportive help of John Tucker at Torquay Library the location has finally been identified as George Street, Torquay by a local resident who not only has "a fabulous knowledge of Torquay but a huge interest in films". The location has, unfortunately since been buried somewhere beneath the Fleet Walk shopping centre. A great and sincere thanks to all who have assisted with the resolution of this location. (RL)

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Bill finds wine merchant Massaud's shop. See Capture 11. (RL)

Petronilla meets Bill at the Cafe des Gourmets. This is the Palm Court Hotel, also seen in 'The System', Torbay Road, Torquay, Devon.

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The modernised location taken by Dave Wilson. (RL)

The pair head back to the boat. A French Torquay again.

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Dave Wilson captures the same scene in colour. (RL)

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Petronilla watches the water as the boat nears England. Unconfirmed location. Ray Edwards is enquiring "is that Holy Trinity Church between the mast and Petronella?". If so, the high chimneys at the end of Island Street and the farmed headland point, could that be brapa016? (RL)

A Customs Inspector (Frederick Piper) waits at the quayside. See Capture 17. If Ray is correct with Capture 15 this could be where there is a car park today, looking over to the Portlemouth. (RL)

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Well, it is certainly Salcombe Harbour, there is a car park and the white house on Portlemouth just right of centre confirms. (RL)

Locals enter the quayside as the Customs Inspector waits behind the fence. This is Salcombe Harbour, I have found photographic evidence to support. (RL)

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Just a few changes! (RL)

The Customs Inspector spots Bill and Petronilla's boat. See Capture 17. (RL)

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And panning slightly right. (RL)

The couple head back to the quayside. Union Street, Salcombe, Devon.

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I can confirm that 'The Fortescue Inn' on the right remains open. (RL)

The Customs Inspector is suspicious of Bill and Petronilla's boat. Possibly Custom House Quay, Salcombe.

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Yes indeed, Custom House Quay, Salcombe, Devon.

Bill invites the Customs Inspector on board the boat. Maybe Custom House Quay, Salcombe.

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It is Customs House Quay and I should have been further back but without a moored boat it is nor possible. (RL)

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Customs Officers patrol the quayside and the estuary. Likely to be the Kingsbridge Estuary, Devon.

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The Officers search for clues along the banks of the estuary. Appears to be the Kingsbridge Estuary, Devon.

Tony Rackham (Kenneth More) heads to Frost & Minch, Wine Merchants. St James's Street, London SW1 also seen in 'The Breaking of Bumbo'.

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The same location now.

Ponies borrowed from a circus are used to transport the smuggled brandy into Redworth's barn.

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Clive Rideout has identified this as The Tithe Barn, Cerne Abbas and grateful thanks to the owner who allowed him allowed him through the house to take the shots from the garden, the thanks of RS as well. (RL)

Bill and Petronilla lead the line of brandy laden ponies into the village of Cordley. Abbey Street at the junction with Long Street, Cerne Abbas with St Mary's Church in the background.

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Very little has changed in the intervening years. (RL)

George Crumb (Charles Hawtrey) enters Albert Cornick's shop. Long Street opposite Abbey Street.

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The property still looks sad but Clive Rideout managed to snap a replacement shot without a car blocking the shot. (RL)

Bill, Petronilla and the ponies enter the courtyard of The New Inn on Long Street, Cerne Abbas, Dorset.

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No genuine horsepower in 2014. (RL)

The Customs Inspector questions George Crumb. Long Street again.

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No much is allowed to change in Cerne Abbas...fortunately. (RL)

Dallyn drives into The New Inn. Long Street, Cerne Abbas.

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Now. (RL)

The courtyard at the back of The New Inn on Long Street, Cerne Abbas.

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Now. (RL)

The Customs Inspector gives chase after Dallyn's van leaves the New Inn. Long Street, Cerne Abbas.

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Even a parked car to complete the scene. (RL)

The Inspector heads down Duck Street from Long Street in Cerne Abbas.

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Now in colour. (RL)

The Inspector pursues Dallyn's van into the countryside. Mike Sear found this location on the West Stafford road near Dorchester at the turning for Lower Bockhampton. The building in the right distance is Stafford House owned by Julian Fellowes.

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Clive Rideout prefers the Google view, providing a higher angle and a better image. (RL)

Dallyn's van gets held up. An level crossing on a Southern Region main line.

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Clive Rideout again, spotting the location two miles west of brapa034.(RL)

Tony, George, Bill and Petronilla load Redworth's (Michael Trubshawe) cart.

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The Tithe Barn at Cerne once more but without the gate, thanks to Clive and the house owners a second time. (RL)

Tony waves off Redworth.

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and a wave to Clive and the owners.(RL)

Redworth acknowledges the Customs officials as he sets off to make deliveries.

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Clive Rideout identifies this as Barton Farm, towards Dorchester Road, Cerne. Housing development hampers the correct angle shot, there is always something! (RL)

Redworth delivers brandy to the Parson (Frank Tickle).

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The Manse, Long Street, Cerne. Clive Rideout advises that this is to the left of brapa029. (RL)

The Parson watches as Redworth leaves.

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Clive Rideout wonders if it was a faint whiff of cognac from the open window.....could be! (RL)

Bill, Petronilla and Tony follow the Customs Officers into Redworth's barn. Unknown location.

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Another shot from Clive of The Tithe Barn at Cerne Abbas. (RL)

Redworth watches George, Tony, Bill and Petronilla as they leave court. Outside the Old Crown Court on High Street, Dorchester, Dorset.

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As Clive Rideout says, "63 years later and essentially the place". (RL)

George Crumb watches as Tony bids farewell to Bill and Petronilla. Custom House Quay, Salcombe, Devon.

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Once again I needed a moored boat to get the exact angle. (RL)

The pair get into the car. Custom House Quay, Salcombe.

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A few improvements during the intervening years. (RL)

Tony Rackham and George Crumb drive away. Union Street, Salcombe, Devon.

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If you go late enough you can avoid all the tourists! (RL)

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