Mail Van Murder, The

Date: 1957
Director: John Knight
Production Company: Merton Park Studios

Stars: Hy Hazell, Dennis Castle, Gordon Needham
Location(s): London



Scotland Yard: Episode 25 – Detectives pursue a gang of robbers who murdered a postman whilst holding up a mail van.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

Ray and Ron Glenister’s study of the map locations for the referenced Captures can be viewed via this link.

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London . . . cradle of the Commonwealth . . . largest city in the world. The narrator describes where we are as a panning shot begins at Westminster Abbey in SW1.

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734 square miles of buildings and streets . . . in which eight and a quarter million law abiding citizens live, work and play in freedom from fear. Moving eastward, the dome of Central Hall on Storey’s Gate comes into view.

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And here, deep in the heart of this city stands . . . . The shot finds King Charles Street with the North Block housing Home, Foreign and Commonwealth Offices.

. . . Scotland Yard, headquarters of the great police organisation that watches over the safety and security of the people in the constant war against crime. New Scotland Yard seen from Victoria Embankment SW1.

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Now known as the Norman Shaw Buildings. (RL)

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From his comfy chair, Edgar Lustgarten takes up the story, telling us of the Tanner Case which began one morning when a police patrol car drove through the streets.

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The car corners and comes to a stand when the Officers inside come across the dead body of a Postman.

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Later that same day, the gates of a prison opened. Wandsworth Prison on Heathfield Road in London SW18.

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The wrong angle but parked vans and lorries make an alternative shot impossible. (RL)

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Robert Fenton (David Blake Kelly) walks free after serving his sentence for armed robbery. Wandsworth Prison also features in 'Calculated Risk', 'The Criminal', 'Law and Disorder' and many more.

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I am not so sure that prisoners are released from here any more. (RL)

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Another Prisoner walks to the car that has arrived to collect him. Looking onto Heathfield Road with high rise flats on Fitzhugh Avenue visible through the trees.

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A rather hasty shot as many of the awaiting visitors were suspicious of the camera. (RL)

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The former member of the John Tanner Gang watches as the car drives away. Looking northward along Heathfield Road in Wandsworth SW18.

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A garden centre now occupies that corner. (RL)

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Fenton walks through the streets after being unable to get back in touch with Tanner.

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Buying a newspaper, Fenton reads about the Postman who was shot during a mail van theft.

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Fenton makes his way to the club where he knows he can find John Tanner.

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Inspector Hammond (Dennis Castle) and Detective Sergeant Wilson (Gordon Needham) arrive to make enquiries about the mail van robbery as Tanner and Fenton begin to fight inside.

The following morning, John Tanner's body is found in the rubbish when a dustcart empties it's load. The dustcart bears the name of Fulham Borough Council and RL found that this is looking from the refuse works towards Edenvale Street in SW6.

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Richard points out features in the location on this map from the era.

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A Cleaner (Jack Howarth) is questioned by the Inspector as a check is made in the area where the refuse cart made collections.

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Following a tip off from an anonymous caller, Inspector Hammond and the Flying Squad arrive in Wapping.

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Getting out of the car, Sergeant Wilson looks across at the disused Victoria warehouse.

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The men disperse to enter the warehouse.

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Helped by a fellow Policeman, Sergeant Wilson scales the gate.

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Once inside, the Officers begin to search the warehouse.

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The Sergeant runs through the maze of passageways.

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Charlie Sparks (Derek Sydney) is spotted opening registered mail bags at the back of the stolen van.

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When gunfire is heard, Inspector Hammomd climbs a wall into the warehouse as Sparks is shot dead during a struggle with Sergeant Wilson.

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In Paris, Interpol has information about Nicholas Strange, another member of the Tanner gang who had recently been released from prison in Tangier. Just a stock shot for this one.

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The Yard established that just one vessel had arrived from Tangier since Strange's release. A panning view of London Docks is seen as a Crane Operator moves his gantry. A map location of this capture established by Ray and Ron Glenister's can be viewed via the article link in the Header Section of the film. (RL)

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The shot ends as Inspector Hammond and Sergeant Wilson arrive at the docks. A map location of this capture established by Ray and Ron Glenister's can be viewed via the article link in the Header Section of the film. (RL)

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The Detectives board the MS Belascuss to question the Captain. This support feature is only 28 minutes long but it has more locations than films over three times the length!

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A watch is kept on Carla Craig (Hy Hazell) as she is seen to take a taxi. This is William Street looking towards Albert Gate in London SW1.

The camera follows as the young woman crosses the pavement. RL identifies this as William Street looking towards Knightsbridge and Albert Gate beyond.

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Richard also provides this reverse POV image, which is copyright Google, as the area is in the process of total redevelopment.

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Carla enters a beauty parlour where she remains for one hour.

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After shopping in a department store, Carla appears outside the Knightsbridge Post Office and hails a cab.

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The taxi drops Carla at a depository where she has evidently stored a large trunk. No. 1 Motcomb Street, identified by SJ.

Watched by Detective Simms, Fenton is seen to leave the block of flats where Carla lives. The entrance to Kemble House at the southern end of Dean Street in W1.

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Alterations over the years almost disguise the location. (PW)

Fenton hails a taxi. Dean Street with The York Minster public house in the background.

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The pub was officially renamed to The French House in 1984. (PW)

Detective Simms (Edward Dentith) gets into an unmarked car to follow. Facing northward on Dean Street in Soho W1.

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So much for the streets one way system! (PW)

Fenton's cab heads through the City. RL advises that this is Wild Street WC2, looking towards Kemble Street with Magnet House to the left.

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A much redeveloped location. (RL)

The taxi turns into narrower streets. Dryden Street at the junction with Arne Street in WC2 identified by RL.

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Peter provides this up to date view.

The Cabby manoeuvres through parked trucks.

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In collaboration with Ray Glenister we found this to be Kean Street, London WC2 looking towards Kemble Street. (RL)

The taxi escapes from the pursing Detective when a loaded barrow crosses the road between the vehicles.

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Here we found it to be Kean Street as viewed from Kemble Street, London WC2 (RL)

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After Fenton is found murdered, Sergeant Wilson spots the MS Belascuss at London Docks while the Inspector questions the Cab Driver in a nearby warehouse. A map location of this capture established by Ray and Ron Glenister's can be viewed via the article link in the Header Section of the film. (RL)

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The two Detectives head to the freighter to speak again with Captain Manson who had earlier been identified as serving with Strange during the war. A map location of this capture established by Ray and Ron Glenister's can be viewed via the article link in the Header Section of the film. (RL)

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The ship is searched and a valuable clue is discovered.