Magnet, The

Date: 1950
Director: Charles Frend
Production Company: Vic Films productions Limited

Stars: Stephen Murray, James Fox, Kay Walsh
Location(s): Liverpool, Widnes?, Wirral, Mersey, New Brighton, Lancashire, London

Region(s): ,


A small boy steals a magnet and accidentally becomes a hero.

Additional Information:

Following the postcard Now shots sent in by Ray Jones from his personal archive he subsequently supplemented those with a rather amusing story of his “scally days”, with more pictures from his archive. Read article.  

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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

Title showing Liverpool Cathedral. These pulls, snips, grabs or then pics were all gathered by Charles Blackman.

A street in the Wirral, maybe Widnes? But which? I think the family might have lived in Penkett Road Wallasey but I'm still not certain, maybe some shots are of the Grove Road area of Wallasey Village, Brian Say, imdb site.

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This is actually in Park Hill Ealing London W5. John Owens discovered it.

Another view of probably, the same street, with some distinctive architecture.

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The other side of the road (Park Hill, Ealing, London) - James Robertson Justice as the tramp. John Owens with the pic.

Wall detail.

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James Fox chalking the 'secret language of tramps' on the gatepost. John Owens.

More wall.

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Distinctive wall. John Owens again.

This is the old ramp leading to the Mersey Ferry. Good social history stuff, and with the two actors.

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From Ray Jones' archives. One can see the main pier through the steel stanchions. Clearly visible is the 'hut' on the landing stage, as mentioned in mg007. See below for more from Ray. (SJ)

Harbourmaster's (?) hut, ferry side.

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The landing stage and pier were located right on the round white building, center/bottom, in this Google Map close up. Fort Perch Rock can also be seen at the top of the marine lake. Thank you Ray. (SJ)

Pier head, Ferry jetty?... mg008 is not the Mersey Ferry floating landing stage at the Pier Haed, Liverpool. It's actually the same thing, only on the other side at New Brighton. Notice the far background. No liverpool side large buildings, but you can just make out the sea wall of the marine lake. You would be looking , roughly, in the mg023 direction. Ray Jones

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And Ray sent this postcard in to prove his case. (SJ)

Probably the original street(s) from the earlier pics with the sequence up to 16.

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This is Mount Avenue in Ealing. Some shots here were tricky due to trees and hedges so this one is copyright Google Streetview. Mount Avenue was also used in 'The Long Memory' - see lm006 and lm007. John Owens.

It says perhaps Avon Cottage or maybe Avril Cottage? A clue sleuths.

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The sign in mg010 actually says 'Devon Cottage' - it's still there though the original sign has gone. It's marked 'Devon' on one of the gateposts - with 'Cottage' on another gatepost further down.The cottage dates from 1796.

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This house next door has been demolished - so no 'now' photo. John Owens.

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Now shot of Mount Avenue by John Owens.

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Another photo of Mount Avenue, taken by John Owens.

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The house and wall in mg014 have been demolished so no now shot. John Owens.

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Again Google Streetview gives the best view due to the height of the camera. John Owens.

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This shot copyright Google Streetview, found by John Owens.

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The old pier at New Brighton, now long gone.

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Andy Barr provides a shot from the same position minus the pier and a sand build up hiding most of the rocks. (RL)

Now we're cooking with gas. As they used to say. New Brighton, the view from Ham and Egg Parade, now called Marine Parade, of Fort Perch.

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The location is well known - Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton - but this is a now shot just for the record. Thanks to John Owens for this.

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Another shot from Andy revealing the lost pier. (RL)

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Railings at New Brighton.

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This shot from Andy witnesses the loss of steps, replaced by rocks. (RL)

Is that Mr Bridges and Pat Roc from "Millions Like Us" looking over the railings?

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Now, with the steps gone.

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Andy proves that the steps really have gone. (RL)


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An archived image from Ray Jones and, Ray adds, as a young scally from Liverpool, some mates and I actually walked around the track of the (then derelict), New Brighton big dipper....mad! (SJ)

Marine Parade.

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Now. The balls get the prize and almost the same ice cream van. Well done Charles.

Fort Perch Rock.

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Now. Perch Rock Fortress. Charles took the pic.

Marine Parade.

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As pic 23. Same place, different angle, so no prizes.

The Amusement Park, Marine Parade, New Brighton.

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Now. Really still the same place. Thanks Charles.

An alleyway, perhaps in old New Brighton? Rowson Street, New Brighton. Alley way runs into Duke Street or if further, Grosvenor Road. Alan sent this in.

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An alley, only missing Sally. Perhaps Alan knows her?

Another alleyway, but this time next door to Redcaps, Victoria Parade, New Brighton.

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Now. Very probably, but a pan shot.

Birkenhead Brewery. And those Sins again. Beware those whose promises are not kept!

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Redcaps, now being tarted up, and Victoria Parade used to be called King's Parade. Picture from Charles Blackman. Whoever said that mg030n is Redcaps now being tarted up has it wrong. This building was formerly the Ferry Hotel which later became a club called The Chelsea Reach. It has now been converted into apartments. Redcaps, the former pub called the Criterion, was on the other side of the alleyway. Welcome correction from Alan.

The Liver Building, comes under our "stately home/public building" category. Public/famous buildings that are easily recognisable. No prizes for this one, even I got it.

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Now. Recognisable "stately home/ public building". Thanks Charles but no premium.

The scene in a park on top of the hills when he plays with a kite is Harrison Drive Park. The old cricket Pavilion is in the back ground, this has been relaced with a more modern rather ugly building. When he runs off after the couple sit on the bench he runs towards the Warren Golf course. Brian Say, imdb site.

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Harrison Park in New Brighton - the landscaping in the park has changed and the cricket pavilion has been replaced by a 'box' type structure - but this is as close as possible to the original Found and photo'd by John Owens, thanks to him.

At the back of mg038. It says "R W Burgess - Houses" on the house at the back. An Estate agent? A clue? What would Jack Frost or Hercule Poirot make of it, or even Albert Finny in "Gumshoe"? Probably Sea Road, Wallasey. Alan again, many thanks.

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Now. Snapped by Alan. John Owens also found this site, but a couple of days too late.

Grove Road, corner of Sea Road, Wallasey. Alan identified the location.

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Nice bit of red brick, from Alan. John Owens also came a close second with this one as well, but there are plenty of other shots to identify in this film.

Kirkway / Mount Pleasant Road, Wallasey. Sleuthed by Alan.

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Another good 'un from Alan.

Mount Pleasant Road, Wallasey. And Alan found this one as well.

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The super sleuth with the Mersey beat, Alan again.

The old Court House on Manor Road Wallasey and still looks the same today. Brian Say, imdb site.

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The Old Court House on Manor Road, Wallasey has not changed - is now used by Wirral Council, John Owens tells us, and he took the pic as well.

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The estate agents on the corner of Manor Road/Queen Street, Wallasey is now a residential property but otherwise hasn't changed. Sleuthed and spotted by John Owens.

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Junction of Kings Road and Park Hill, Ealing. The corner stones of the wall are the same today and the lamp structure at the junction of Park Hill and Mount park Road can be seen behind the parked car. Identified by Vic Pitcher.

This should be easy.

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This house is not in the Wirral - but in Park Hill Ealing (where else ?!). It can be identified for sure by the distinctive door arch and windows and markings above the door and windows. The glass panel above the door is also still there. John Owens.

Now a butchers at the bottom of the Mount Pleasent Road but im still not 100% certain Brian Say, imdb site.

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Neither was I. In fact 233 Seaview Road, Liscard, Wallasey and by the looks of it from this Google Earth shot it is exactly the same drain pipe. (RL)

Next door to mg041

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In fact Edwards "Fancy Drapers" at 229 and 231 Seaview Road, Liscard, Wallasey. This Google Earth shot witnesses that there has been no change to the window frontage. (RL)

This street was used in "Let Him Have It" I'm told. Longworths was a bicycle shop located at No 78 Rowson St New Brighton. Looking at the shop front you can see an alley way. This alley way leads to Duke St then and still as of today. Maureen Pennisi (nee Cooper) who used to live in number 68 Rowson St. Longworths cycle shop, Rowson Street, New Brighton. Alleyway he ran down is at the side but he comes out by the ferry hotel which is/was impossible. Says Alan.

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The shops are long gone and you can now see new houses. This was a well known cycle shop and had a train set in the window. If you put a penny in the slot it made the trains go. I can never remember anything in the alleyway that looks like that fenced off thing so it could have been put there for the film or maybe it was done away with not long after I came on the scene. Alan.

Thought to be off Argyle Street and Market Street in Liverpool. Alleyway at side of Longworths shop.Info from Alan.

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Proof from Maureen of the film unit in action, researched all the way in Australia from a former Liverpudlian. A reverse POV to the screen capture. (SJ)

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A repeat of Capture 44 (RL)

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Andrew Barr provides this shot of the same location today. (RL)

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Carl Rosso suggests this shot was taken in Albion Street in Wallasey. This is in the entrance to what was Billy Dunning's MOT garage up until about 10 years ago (which would be around 2008). It is directly opposite The Clarence pub, but the gateway has since been built across.

Alleyway at back of the Rowson street shops. Alan again with local knowledge.

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A load of old cobbles! Well spotted Alan.

Ray Glenister does not agree with the "now" shot 046n. The screen capture shows the rear of houses at the end of the alley. In reality the Sandrock Hotel stood at the end of the alley which had a different rear and roof line. (RL)

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An extract from "Britain from Above" showing the rear of the Sandrock Hotel. (RL)

Liverpool Cathedral in the distance. Jordan Street. When I last looked, the building next to the parked car was still there, but had trees growing out of the windows. Mike Bradford

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Now. Well done Charles. But "stately home", but thanks all the same.

Ray and Ron Glenister are concerned that the existing "now" shot is from the wrong side of the Cathedral (RL)

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And provide this Google Earth capture to set the record straight. (RL)

Playing cricket on the bomb site. Didn't we all!

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Now. Look at the church tower spires in the distance. Liverpool view by Charles Blackman. A strong probable, so, another tenner for his efforts. The church is St Lukes, which was bombed during the war. The picture is on Rathbone Street, with Rathbone Place on the left. It is all under the cathedral close now, so you can't see as far as the church. Mike Bradford

The bomb damaged area near the cathedral.

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Now. From the Cathedral Close area of new housing, Liverpool.

Cathedral again... could be Alfred St where I lived long since demolished says Mike Marsden.

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Now, from Cathedral Close.

Perhaps Victoria Parade. Many of the shops were arcaded. Most have long since perished. It was never called Victoria Parade but Victoria Road. Says Alan.

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Now, again. Look at the red bay window on the right and the inverted "V" and arch on the windows on the left. Proof enough I think for thanks to Charles.

This was unique and nothing to do with the modern photograph. The place they are standing outside of was the public lavatories, information office and a shelter. Above it was the Avondale cafe and you could sit out on the terrace in good weather. Alan tells us this.

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Copyright free image from Alan, the bay windows between the two men are the architectural proof. Well done Alan.

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From the same series of photographs as appears as Capture 44 "now". Provided by Andy Barr, we fully acknowledge any Copyright if there is any, reiterate our Statement included in "How to Submit" and appreciate the fact that Capture 44 "now" has been on Site since 2015. (RL)

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Andy provides this shot of the same location now advising that the building to the left is a petrol station. (RL)

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From the same series of photographs as appears as Capture 44 "now". Provided by Andy Barr, we fully acknowledge any Copyright if there is any, reiterate our Statement included in "How to Submit" and appreciate the fact that Capture 44 "now" has been on Site since 2015. (RL)

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Andy took this shot from what is now a petrol station forecourt clearly showing the background building as it is now. (RL)