Go Kart Go (Children’s Film Foundation)

Date: 1964
Director: Jan Darnley-Smith
Production Company: George H. Brown Productions

Stars: Dennis Waterman, Jimmy Capehorn, Frazer Hines, Pauline Challoner, Melanie Garland, Robert Ferguson, John Moulder-Brown
Location(s): Hertfordshire, London, Middlesex

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

A gang of children enter a go-kart race but their rivals try to stop them winning using underhand tactics.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson from source material provided by Bob Nichols

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Jimpy (Dennis Waterman) sits in the driving seat as the rest of the Damson Street gang prepare to push their go kart. The top of West Street in Harrow with properties on High Street in the background.

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The same spot. (PW)

'Square-Head' Hedley (Jimmy Capehorn) and Squirt (Melanie Garland) fall behind as the soapbox kart gathers speed. Looking down West Street towards the junction with Short Hill.

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Still as steep! (PW)

Spuggy (John Moulder-Brown), Stiggy (Robert Ferguson) and the others fall behind as the kart speeds down hill. West Street, Harrow. In Middlesex at the time of filming.

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West Street, Harrow. In Greater London at the time of this shot. (PW)

Patchy (Pauline Challoner) holds on as Jimpy steers to avoid people in the street.

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West Street with the junction of Crown Street ahead. (PW)

Looking up West Street with High Street at the top.

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Are your ears popping as we descend further down the hill? (PW)

Jimpy and Patchy spot trouble ahead. Facing east at the junction of West Street with Crown Street.

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The same location. (PW)

Harry Haggetty (Frazer Hines) and the Craven gang walk into the path of the speeding kart. Looking west at the junction of West Street with Crown Street.

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No gang today, just a steady stream of cars. (PW)

A Policeman (Campbell Singer) warns the children about karting in the street and points out a poster advertising the first day of a new go-kart racing season. Looking down West Street from the junction with Crown Street.

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Not much change here. (PW)

The Damson Street gang go to the karting circuit and discover that the Craven gang already race there. Rye House Kart Circuit on Rye Road, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. The filming location is mentioned on the Karting Magazine website.

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With thanks to the Management and Staff of Rye House Karting for their generous co-operation, particularly to Christine for her prompt agreement to my visit and to Jacob for taking me to the appropriate locations. I am afraid I could not get the height without a camera crane.(RL)

The location is now known as Rye House Kart Raceway. The distant cooling towers belong to the original coal-fired Rye House Power Station.

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The cooling towers were demolished in 1991 and cart preparation now requires a substantially larger area. (RL)

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The gang try to think of ways to get their own go kart. Hindes Road in Harrow, Greater London.

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Square-Head helps his Father (Alan White) at work while his pals try to persuade their parents to club together to buy a go kart.

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Before Square-Head can ask his dad about a go kart, Mr. Bundy approaches and tells Mr. Hedley that he's been awarded the groundskeepers contract at the cricket club.

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Woodlouse (Christopher Witty) and Cheesy (Gareth Robinson) set about Square-Head as he walks to the Damson Street gang's den on 'The Waste'.

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The Craven gang members are fought off.

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Square-Head and Jimpy go to the scrap yard to get parts to build their own kart. 'Firestone' is displayed on the background chimney.

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Fred (Wilfrid Brambell) watches as army surplus mopeds are 'borrowed' to build Damson II.

Whilst he hangs around with Basher (Hugh Halliday), Slab (Edward Martin), Woodlouse and Cheesy, Haggetty hears the sound of an engine. This is opposite Byron Court on Byron Road in Harrow.

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Just about recognisable. (PW)

Square-Head tunes his father's big mower in preparation for the cricket ground contract.

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Totally unrecognisable. (PW)

The Craven gang look across the road as the Damson Street gang walk past. The building still stands on Byron Road.

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And here it is. (PW)

After using the big mower engine to power Damson II, Square-Head carries it back home. Byron Road in Harrow with the rear of properties on Welldon Crescent as the backdrop.

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An increase in garage and living space is evident. (PW)

Byron Road, Harrow with Byron Court coming into view on the left.

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Greenery replaces the red of the removed phone box. (PW)

The finely tuned engine is replaced into the mower and Mr. Hedley starts it up. Although the buildings across Hindes Road still stand, the site of the Hedley's home has been redeveloped as Gainsborough Court.

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And this is taken from the grounds of Gainsborough Lodge. (PW)

The mower takes off, smashing through the garden fence and careering up the road.

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Hindes Road in Harrow. (PW)

Mr. Hedley and the gang chase after the mower. The corner of Hindes Road and Welldon Crescent with Station Road in the distance.

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Still leafy, still suburban. (PW)

The mower causes mayhem throughout the town. Looking towards West Street from Victoria Terrace, Harrow.

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The same road now. (PW)

Whilst on his round, the Postman (Cardew Robinson) enters an alleyway. The entrance to Nora Terrace, sometimes Nora Place, on West Street in Harrow.

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Don't let the sign fool you, Meadow View is further on through the entrance-way. (PW)

The mower speeds out of the alleyway with the Postman on board. To the right of centre is the bottom of Short Hill on West Street.

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Now in colour, with added parked cars and road works. (PW)

Painters spot the approaching mower. Outside The Castle Inn at the corner of West Street and Crown Street.

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Everything still in situ. (PW)

The inevitable happens. Outside The Castle Inn on West Street.

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A little retro-decoration on the background building. (PW)

A Greengrocer (Harry Locke) stares in disbelief as the mower runs out of control towards him. Facing south-west on Crown Street, Harrow.

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No shops here now. (PW)

The crowd race past the Greengrocer in pursuit of the mower. Crown Street with West Street in the distance.

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The huge windows give away the former use of the properties. (PW)

Crown Street from the corner of West Street in Harrow.

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A trip to capture comparison shots wouldn't be the same without the obligatory renovation. (PW)

Yes, the mower passes the pub again. Looking up at the frontage of The Castle Inn in Harrow.

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Almost time for a drink after taking all these pictures! (PW)

More chaos as the errant machine continues unabated. Crown Street again.

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With a rebuilt terrace, thankfully in keeping. See, it is possible to build tastefully. (PW)

The Castle Inn at the junction of West Street and Crown Street.

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Amazing, there are less cars in the modern shot than the screen capture! (PW)

Outside the Hedley's house, a Policeman (Graham Stark) steps on a nail sticking through part of the damaged fence.

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There's the tell tale Post Office manhole cover. (PW)

Mr. Hedley and the gang follow the mower into the garden after the Policeman is knocked down. Hindes Road in Harrow.

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No mower would get through those bars. (PW)

When they realise how much go kart racing means to the children, the parents club together and buy a proper chassis to build Damson III.

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Somehow, this shot is lacking something. Oh yes, the houses that appear to have been swept away to build another mega hyper super market. (PW)

Woodlouse watches as the chassis is unloaded from the van.

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Hindes Road, Harrow. (PW)

Squirt follows Woodlouse who reports the delivery to the rest of the Craven gang. Looking towards St. Ann's Road, now Greenhill Way, on Byron Road with Byron Court on the right. The distant buildings have since been demolished and replaced.

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Trees now hide Byron Court, but unfortunately not the monolithic shopping centre that occupies the heart of Harrow. (PW)

With a plan to dispose of the new chassis, Slab and Basher watch as the box, now filled with scrap, is taken to the Damson Street gang's den on 'The Waste'. The corner of Hindes Road and Welldon Crescent in Harrow, Greater London.

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Another telecoms access cover to confirm the place. (PW)

The Craven gang sabotage the Damson Street kart before the next meeting. Rye House Kart Circuit, Rye Road, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. The bridge to the right carries the railway running between Harlow and Broxbourne over the Lea River Navigation.

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The growth and success of the Circuit is clearly evident. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

After Damson III's axle breaks Square Head, Stiggy and Spuggy return to Fred's junk yard to pick up a replacement which allows them to win the next race and the trophy.

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