Iron Maiden, The

Date: 1963
Director: Gerald Thomas
Production Company: Peter Rogers Productions

Stars: Michael Craig, Anne Helm, Jeff Donnell, Alan Hale Jr., Noel Purcell, Cecil Parker
Location(s): Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire



After many mishaps and misunderstandings, an aircraft designer with a passion for traction engines wins over an American airline president . . . . and his daughter.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

Also known as ‘The Swinging Maiden’ (US Title)

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Aircraft designer Jack Hopkins (Michael Craig) leaves the house and climbs aboard his beloved traction engine, The Iron Maiden. This is Lowlands on Fagnall Lane in Winchmore Hill, Buckinghamshire.

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At Southampton Docks, Paul Fisher the American owner of TransGlobal Airlines, arrives with his family. This is the area between Passenger & Goods Sheds numbers 106 and 107 at the Western Docks.

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On the quayside, Humphrey Gore-Brown (John Standing) waits to drive Mr. Fisher and his family to their London hotel before meeting with his father, aeroplane manufacturer Lord Upshott. In the left background, Passenger & Goods Shed 106 is now the Mayflower Passenger Terminal.

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Paul Fisher (Alan Hale Jr.), his wife Miriam (Jeff Donnell) and his daughter Kathy (Anne Helm) walk over to the Cadillac that has accompanied them across the Atlantic. Outside the eastern end of Passenger & Goods Shed number 107 off Herbert Walker Avenue in Southampton, Hampshire.

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Seeing that the Fisher's have brought their own car, Humphrey proposes that they follow him to London. Looking across to buildings lining Herbert Walker Avenue at Southampton's Western Docks.

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On the journey, the cars are separated by delivery van when another Rolls Royce overtakes to lead the convoy. Peter Adams is sure this is the main A404 heading towards Amersham opposite Woodrow on the left just before Whielden Lane to the right of the bend. Whielden Lane runs up to Winchmore Hill and The Plough public house where other shots where filmed.

The two prestige cars pass through a small village followed by the delivery van and the Fishers. Facing the Potters Arms on Fagnall Lane, Winchmore Hill to the south-west of Amersham in Buckinghamshire.

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Virtually everything has changed. (RL)

Unseen because of the Cadillac's left hand drive, Humphrey turns off the main road whilst the second Rolls continues onward. Looking north toward the junction of The Hill and Coleshill Lane from Fagnall Lane in Winchmore Hill with The Plough public house to the right. Peter Adams advises that The Plough was once owned by Barbara Windsor.

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Fagnall Lane has expanded. (RL)

Kathy eventually manages to overtake the van but continues to follow the wrong car.

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An amazing coincidence, I received an email from Peter Adams advising of the location as I was out taking the other shots. Penn Street Farm between Winchmore Hill and Penn Street just past The Hit Or Miss Inn and up the road from The Plough seen in Capture 8. (RL)

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Along a narrow lane, the Rolls Royce turns into the driveway of a large house, followed by the Cadillac.

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The Rolls Royce Driver (Peter Jesson) walks towards the unexpected visitors before directing them onto the right road.

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Humphrey's Rolls Royce brings Paul Fisher and his daughter to view the latest aircraft on offer for sale by Sir Giles Thompson's company. IMDB suggests Radlett Aerodrome in Hertfordshire.

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Sir Giles Thompson (Cecil Parker) learns that a traction engine had collided with Paul Fisher's Cadillac on the road to London.

The day after the collision, Jack is persuaded by Sir Giles to visit the Fisher's at their hotel and introduce himself to Paul as the aircraft's designer. In front of the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane, London W1.

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Not quite so busy for once. SJ

Jack escorts Kathy from the hotel after agreeing to drive her to see the Goldenbergers in Tring. The forecourt of the Dorchester Hotel between Park Lane and Deanery Street. The hotel is seen in 'Glad Tidings', 'Cloak Without Dagger' and 'Strange Bedfellows' among many.

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Perhaps a little more decorative. SJ

Pulling away from the forecourt, the Alvis Convertible joins traffic on the main road. Park Lane in Mayfair W1.

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Peter ventured to Park Lane.

The camera pans with the car. Park Lane with Stanhope Gate to the left. The location features in 'Spring in Park Lane' and 'This Happy Breed'.

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This up to date view is also provided by Peter.

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On the way to her friends house, Jack stops off to visit The Duchess of Avon, a traction engine at a fairground and Kathy gets stuck on the big wheel. Gordon Thomson advises that Producer Peter Rogers provided the shooting schedule in 'Old Glory' June 2002 and as a result places this and the fairground sequence at Drummers Yard (paddock) which was attached to the home of Producer Peter Rogers in Amersham Road, Beaconsfield. (RL)

While stopping by one morning after Jack resigns his position, Kathy climbs on board The Iron Maiden to move her from blocking her car. Outside Lowlands on Fagnall Lane, Winchmore Hill.

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Considerable greenery growth that made finding some other locations very difficult. (RL)

Jack and his mate Fred Trotter (Sam Kydd) run from the house when they hear the traction engine start away. Lowlands on Fagnall Lane in Winchmore Hill.

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An almost correct angle given that the house is now very secluded. (RL)

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Kathy does her best to steer but The Iron Maiden crashes through a barn. The John Fowler & Co road locomotive Kitchener was built in 1920 and converted into a showman's engine before being brought for preservation in 1952. Gordon Thomson advising that Producer Peter Rogers provided the shooting schedule in 'Old Glory' June 2002 tells us that this Penn Bottom Farm, Gravelly Way, Penn Bottom, Bucks. opposite Penn House farm house. (RL)

Following repairs, Jack and Fred set off for the annual traction engine rally at Woburn Abbey, calling in on Mrs. Trotter to collect food. Fagnall Farm Cottages on Fagnall Lane, Winchmore Hill.

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At least some of the cottages were still visible. (RL)

The shot moves with The Iron Maiden as Paul Fisher arrives in his Cadillac. Fagnall Farm Cottages adjacent to Fagnall Farm.

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And here is the other end. (RL)

Laden with supplies, Fred leaves the house but slips on his Son's roller skate which had been left on the footpath. Outside No. 1 Fagnall Farm Cottages on Fagnall Lane in Winchmore Hill, Buckinghamshire.

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Chris Blackburn provides this shot adding "As I approached I noticed the owner of the house in his front garden and asked if I could come onto the property to take a few shots. He was very friendly and told me that he has been living at that address since before 'The Iron Maiden' was made and remembers Michael Craig, Sam Kydd, Sam’s son who played his son in the film and Joan Sims. His most vivid recollection was that Joan asked him if she could use the loo!".

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With Mr. Fisher on board, The Iron Maiden sets off for the rally at Woburn Abbey. The showman's engine was renamed The Iron Maiden when the film was made and has retained the name.

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With the airline tycoon now acting as fireman, Gordon Thomson advising that Producer Peter Rogers provided the shooting schedule in 'Old Glory' June 2002 tells us that the engine takes water from the River Misbourne at Highmoor Cottages (road) Little Missenden, Bucks. Gordon pinpoints the exact location as an hundred or so metres east of the Village Hall where the River Misbourne crosses the road. It is generally accepted that the telephone box was a prop. As PW says, K6 design with a K2 door. (RL)

Paul leaves a telephone box after calling his wife and daughter to make excuses for not attending Henley Regatta the next day. The Magpies public house at the junction of Magpie Lane and Amersham Road in Coleshill, Buckinghamshire.

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It has undergone a number of changes, even the name, now The Harte and Magpies. (RL)

The two men finish their refreshment before hitting the road again. Looking along Magpies Lane from outside The Magpies. The pub spent some time known as The Mulberry Bush before becoming takings it’s current name of The Harte & Magpies.

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Still identifiable. (RL)

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Miriam and Kathy are taken to Henley Regatta by Humphrey and Lord Upshott (Roland Culver).

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Cheering on the American rowers, Mrs. Fisher and her daughter watch the racing on the Thames.

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Vicar (Brian Oulton) walks over to Sir Digby as he sets a trap for Jack and The Iron Maiden. Gordon Thomson advising that Producer Peter Rogers provided the shooting schedule in 'Old Glory' June 2002 tells us that this is Delaford Park Estate, Iver, Bucks. and that the facade of a house was fitted onto a derelict building. (RL)

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Admiral Sir Digby Trevelyan (Noel Purcell) and the Vicar walk towards the traction engine that they are taking to the rally. Heatherden Hall at Pinewood Studios, also seen in 'Carry On Nurse', 'Consuming Passions', 'From Russia with Love', 'Twice Around the Daffodils' and many more.

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The Admiral and his fireman admire the Dreadnought. Heatherden Hall, Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire.

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The steam rally gets under way at Woburn Abbey. Across the lake stands Woburn Abbey House near Woburn in Bedfordshire.

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Humphrey drives Miriam, Kathy and his father to the abbey on the invite of His Grace The Duke of Bedford.

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The Duke of Bedford (John Russell, the Duke of Bedford) escorts Lord Upshott and his party through the grounds of Woburn Abbey. Scenes for 'Up in the World' and 'Crossplot' were shot at the stately home.

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The Duke and his guests are driven to the park where the traction engine rally is taking place.

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Having run out of coal, Paul throws anything that will burn into the firebox, including their clothes.

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The Iron Maiden reaches Woburn Abbey. Park Street, Woburn in Bedfordshire.

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The Iron Maiden enters the park just in time to register for the grand parade. The entrance to Woburn Abbey on Park Street. 'The Jigsaw Man' drove through the same gateway.

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Followed closely by The Iron Maiden, Dreadnought races Lady Caroline across Woburn Park in Bedfordshire.