Dateline Diamonds

Date: 1965
Director: Jeremy Summers
Production Company: Viscount Films Ltd.

Stars: The Small Faces, Kenneth Cope, William Lucas, Conrad Phillips, George Mikell, Anna Carteret, Burnell Tucker
Location(s): Berkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, London

Region(s): ,


Lester Benson is an ex-con who manages the Small Faces. Fairclough, an ex-army Major turned safecracker, uses Benson to smuggle stolen diamonds out of the country via the pirate Radio London ship.

Additional Information:

Some interesting background to the making of the film is featured at

Screen captures uploaded by PB, who also provided many of the ‘now’ shots.


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The entrance to Harwich port. In the background Major Fairclough (William Lucas) is just arriving in the white Volvo.

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Completely different now, of course. The railway tracks are in the same place, and the station (out of shot, left) provides a fixed reference.

Fairclough gets out of his car. In the background we can see the houses at the end of Parkeston Road (right of shot), and houses in Harcourt Avenue/The Vineway (centre).

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The view now is almost totally obscured by shipping containers and trees, but the end of Parkeston Road is just visible to the right of this shot.

  • 'Now' required

The boat carrying the Small Faces and their manager heads out into the River Stour. Shotley Gate is visible on the far bank.

Fairclough approaches the premises of Berg and Herz, diamond merchants, in Hatton Garden. Somewhere around 46/47/48 Hatton Garden, but difficult to pin down as there have been so many changes. A tip from John Tunstill leads me to a screen shot from 'The Secret Place'. I'm sure this is the same premises that's visible in the right of that shot. The road is also seen in A Fish Called Wanda', 'King of Thieves' and 'Robbery'.

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The dry cleaners is at number 46; the lamp post has clearly changed, and I'm not convinced it hasn't also moved. My best estimate at the moment is that Sienna Buildings, at number 47, is the spot.

Whilst Fairclough is cracking the safe, Lester Benson/Arthur Gittins (Kenneth Cope) is driving around in the getaway car.

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Further north on Hatton Garden.

Benson stops to buy cigarettes from a machine.

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44 Hatton Garden.

Detective Tom Jenkins (Conrad Phillips) drives to work (from 'Deacon's Hill SW5'). Grey's Radio & TV, Fantos, Shirley, Woodhouse & Son, and Boots are visible in this and subsequent frames.

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This is looking up Watford High Street. The old Grey's store, visible right of shot, is still there, now The End. Fantos to Boots have gone, replaced by part of the new Harlequin Centre.

He arrives at the Police Station.

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Watford Police Station, the police vehicles replaced on this occasion by no fewer than four National Grid vans.

and parks at the side.

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Watford Police Station and the Magistrates Court. There are many more trees now.

Jenkins and Paul Verlekt (George Mikell), armed with a sketch of their suspect, now embark on a tour of London, questioning random members of the public. Here is Tom Jenkins at Trafalgar Square.

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Impossible to get the height, of course, but this is the same location today.

Gosh, er...

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The Houses of Parliament from Lambeth Bridge.

Verlekt is at Tower Hill...

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The original viewpoint is now inside a new building.

Jenkins at Waterloo Station

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Loads of changes here . . . . but the clock is still there.

Verlekt at Buckingham Palace.

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Australia Gate, St James's Park.

Jenkins at Waterloo Road.

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The same place today, with more trees.

Verlekt at Lambeth Bridge.

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Much the same today.

Verlekt in Frith Steet.

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62 Frith Street to be exact, just along from locations in 'The Small World of Sammy Lee'.

Fairclough seeks out Benson at the venue where the Small Faces are due to perform. The Parade, Watford, looking across the A412 Rickmansworth Road to the Borough Council offices.

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Watford Pond was undergoing a major renovation when I took the shots here. Now, with the pond partially drained and fenced off for the ongoing work.

Opposite Cakebread Robey, which was at 112-114 The Parade.

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Today, with fence.

Fairclough's address: '8 Radley Court, W1'.

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Sharp eyed Patrick Brown spots Chatsworth Court in Pembroke Road, London NW8 again. He first identified it in Blackout blk011b. We have to be grateful for his paper round! (RL)

Fairclough arrives at George Green (where petrol is 5/2d per gallon).

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No longer a petrol station.

Realising he's been double-crossed, he takes off in a hurry, heading for 'Fraxton'.

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Thanks to the guys at Luigi's for permission to take photos on their forecourt.

  • 'Now' required

A police Wolseley carrying Jenkins and Verlekt speeds along the then brand new M4, just west of junction 5. Despite motion blur, the houses in Ditton Road are recognisable. Today, though, they are completely obscured by trees.

The camera follows the car as it passes. Looking NE across the M4 at J5. Judging by the tower cranes, the blocks of flats in Common Road/Longwood Avenue are under construction.

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Fairclough's Volvo joins the M4 at junction 5; those spiral footbridge ramps are distinctive.

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The correct angle here would require trespass on the motorway.

The police Wolseley arrives in 'Fraxton'. The Parade, Watford, by the pond.

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Now, from a slightly different viewpoint to avoid the fencing.

Fairclough arrives in Fraxton.

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Watford again. Queen's Avenue.

Fairclough arrives in the centre of Fraxton.

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The Parade, Watford. More trees today.

Fairclough hijacks a Jaguar at the back of the venue.

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The car park at the back of the Iceland store.

He drives out past bollards, turning left by the pond. This is the road next to Woolcots (now Yates), that now takes pedestrians through to Sainsbury's car park.

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Nothing remains of the original view.

The police take off in pursuit. The Parade, Watford, looking north east.

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Not from quite the same viewpoint, to avoid the trees.

The Jag speeds past through Fraxton.

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Whippendell Avenue, Watford, at the junction with Euston Avenue.

As Fairclough takes a side turning, the Police car skids to a halt and reverses.

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Whippendell Avenue again, at the junction with Queen's Avenue.

The pursuing police take off down the side road. Curiously, Tom Jenkins' own car is parked on the left.

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Queens Avenue again.

The chase continues...

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...along Kendal Drive, Slough...

...along suburban streets...

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Shaggy Calf Lane, Slough.

...and on...

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into Grasmere Avenue, Slough.

...and on...

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back along Queen's Avenue, Watford.

...and on...

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into The Frithe, Slough.

...and on, along the dock at Harwich.

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We are in Old Harwich now. Just creeping into shot on the right is the Ha'penny Pier.

The Police car skids to a halt outside the Pier Hotel, Harwich -- neatly in the skid marks from the previous take.

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The Pier Hotel today.