Punch and Judy Man, The

Date: 1963
Director: Jeremy Summers
Production Company: Associated British Picture Corporation, MacConkey Production

Stars: Tony Hancock, Sylvia Syms, Ronald Fraser, Barbara Murray, John Le Mesurier
Location(s): Essex, West Sussex



A seaside Punch & Judy man is driven to distraction by his social climbing wife and his hatred for the snobbery of local government.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

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Dawn breaks on the seaside town of Piltdown. Facing east along The Esplanade in Bognor Regis on the coast of Sussex.

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Now, later in the day. SD

A Road Sweeper brushes the street as the morning shadows begin to shorten. East Parade on The Esplanade with the Pier standing in the left distance.

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The shops, amusement arcades and hotels were demolished to make way for flats. SD

Workmen put up plaques as part of Piltdown’s forthcoming Gala Illuminations. This is the Promenade running between the beach and The Esplanade with the Pier in the right distance.

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With Connaught House on the left. SD

An Early Riser buys a mug of tea from a street café. Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis with the Pier stretching into the English Channel in the right background.

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The Beach Restaurant burned down in November 2016 and was subsequently demolished. SD

More views of the sleepy south coast town are seen. The beach below The Esplanade at the end of York Road in Bognor Regis with the Bandstand that appears in 'Summer Holiday' to the right of centre.

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The bandstand has survived the changes to The Esplanade. SD

The shot pans left and the junction of York Road and The Esplanade with the Rex Ballroom right of centre comes into view. The area has been cleared and redeveloped.

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The Rex Ballroom was demolished in 1974 and replaced with The Regis Centre. SD

The pan ends as the beach begins to come to life. Facing The Esplanade with properties on East Parade crossing the background.

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Now demolished and replaced with flats. SD

Traffic and pedestrians appear on the streets. The Esplanade in Bognor Regis with the Carlton Hotel left of centre and the Beaulieu Downs and Beaulieu Hotels to the right of centre.

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The Carlton Hotel amazingly survived whilst all around it was demolished. SD

After breakfast, Wally Pinner (Tony Hancock) arrives with his partner Edward Cox to set up their Punch & Judy show. The Esplanade at the southern end of Waterloo Square with The Pier in the background.

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Chris Kyle mimics the camera some forty-five years later.

Wally looks down from the Promenade to where Charles, the Sandman, is entertaining his audience. Looking toward the corner of The Esplanade and Waterloo Square with Pixies Hotel in the background.

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The same corner of The Esplanade and Waterloo Square by Chris Kyle.

On the beach, Charles Arthur Ford (John Le Mesurier) recounts the story depicted in his sand sculptures. The beach beside Bognor Regis Pier with the Pavilion at the seaward end.

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No Pavilion or end of the Pier in this image from Chris Kyle.

After shooing an inquisitive dog away, Charles continues his account of the the last moments of Lord Nelson's life. Bognor Regis Pier with the Pier Theatre and arcade to the top.

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Chris Kyle moves towards the landward end of the Pier for this shot.

Seaside photographer Nevil Shanks (Mario Fabrizi) plies his trade on the Promenade. The Esplanade with buildings on Waterloo Square in the distance.

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The same background buildings survive in Chris's picture.

Edward Cox (Hugh Lloyd) unloads the booth from the back of the Lea Francis shooting brake. The Esplanade with Fitzleet House on Queensway rising in the left distance.

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Not so popular now, but at one time Fitzleet House featured on Bognor Regis post cards. SD

Having persuaded a family to purchase his services, Nevil prepares to create more memories to cherish from Piltdown for just half a crown. Looking out to sea from The Esplanade.

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I don't charge for my photos. This section of The Esplanade by the west side of the pier has now been widened. SD

The ‘Professor’ watches his ‘Bottler’ get into Nevil's way as he struggles with the Punch & Judy booth. The Esplanade with Waterloo Square in the background and the tower of Bognor Regis Methodist Church in the left distance.

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Chris Kyle is spot on with this shot.

Following an altercation between Edward and Mario, Wally urges his partner towards their pitch on the beach. The Esplanade with the landward end of the Pier in the background.

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Chris Kyle takes a closer view of the location now.

While hammering pegs into the sand, Wally and Edward look up to see a young boy watching. Looking up at Bognor Regis Pier from the beach.

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Two years after filming, bits started falling off. SD

Arriving far too early, Peter (Nicholas Webb) waits for the show to start. One of the groynes on the beach below the Pier.

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The replacement groyne. SD

Following a poorly remunerated show and a lunchtime spent in The Trident, heavy rain spoils the afternoon. Looking towards the corner of York Road and The Esplanade.

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This end of York Road is now a pedestrianised area beside The Regis Centre. The shop, which provided shelter, was demolished in 1974. SD

Over on the Promenade, Peter is spotted sheltering from the downpour. Looking from East Parade onto The Esplanade in Bognor Regis.

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Now, with a smaller replacement shelter. SD

Wally calls Peter across the deserted road to discover that he’s waiting for the rain to stop before walking home. East Parade on The Esplanade with the corner of York Road to the right.

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The adapted phone box and cash point is not original and was installed only a few years ago. SD

After the thrupenny fare is handed to the young lad, Wally walks with him towards the bus stop. The since demolished and replaced East Parade.

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East Parade and The Esplanade can also be seen in 'The Leather Boys'. SD

Through the pouring rain the pair approach The Igloo ice cream parlour. Outside Lansdowne House on The Esplanade, Bognor Regis.

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Stephen Dean explains that the lower part of the buildings look completely different now, but the upper floors have hardly changed.

Wally takes Peter into The Igloo where the two of them enjoy a ‘Piltdown Glory’ ice cream sundae. The Esplanade with Lansdowne House on the left and the Connaught Hotel to the right.

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Proof of how the upper floors have hardly changed. SD

After grudgingly agreeing to perform a show during the Gala celebrations, Wally steps into the street outside the gift shop where he and wife Delia live. The Steyne with The Esplanade crossing the background.

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While photographing this location I was spotted by Robert from Borehamwood who, by chance, was also seeking out the locations for 'The Punch And Judy Man'. SD

Sitting on a bench, Wally curses himself for being a fool to accept. Steyne Gardens in Bognor Regis.

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This is at the southern end of Steyne Gardens facing the west side of The Steyne. Hanover House Hotel in the centre has been demolished and replaced by Richard House, but Lynncott Hotel on the left still exists and is now The QE2 pub. The gap on the right was filled by Langford House in 1964. SD

In his head, Wally enacts what he sees as the pretentious behaviour of the town's elite. Buildings on the west side of The Steyne provide the backdrop.

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15 and 17 The Steyne. 17 was originally Dudley House Hotel, but now just Dudley House. SD

As he passes a rubbish bin, Wally reads aloud “Drop your litter in the bin”. Facing west on Belmont Street with the corner of York Road to the left and the entrance to The Arcade between the pillars on the right.

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Chris Kyle found the Arcade's pillars.

Looking through an off license window, Wally echoes an advertisement asking ‘Why Not Wine?”. Looking out onto West Street with properties on The Steyne in the background.

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Taking this shot as close as possible to the screen capture, Chris Kyle advises that the off license has since been replaced by flats.

Wally makes his way towards the sea front. The corner of The Esplanade and Waterloo Square with the now demolished Beach Hotel to the right.

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The Beach Hotel, which had become The Beach Restaurant, burned down in November 2016. SD

A Morris Minor noisily starts away after Wally crosses the road. Facing Waterloo Square from The Esplanade.

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There is no longer a zebra crossing here. SD

Fearing for his own sanity, Wally reaches the Promenade. Looking east along The Esplanade in Bognor Regis.

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Chris Kyle provides this comparison.

Bognor Regis Pier is seen in ‘Poor Cow', 'Consuming Passions', ‘Summer Holiday’ and ‘The Woman in Question’ while various lengths of The Esplanade appear in ‘The Leather Boys’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’.

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The famous pier now. SD

Wally's unhinged actions continue. The beach at Bognor Regis with the Pier filling the background. The Pier Theatre opened in the 1910s.

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The theatre is now an amusement arcade and nightclub. SD

Meeting him on the beach, Charles walks with Wally. Dating from 1865, the once 1000 feet long pier has been reduced to 350 feet following storm damage in 1964, 1965 and 1999.

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The much reduced pier now. SD

Wally breaks the news that he's appearing at the Gala. The Pavilion at the seaward end of the Pier was added in 1900.

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What's left of the Pier captured by Chris Kyle.

The Sandman is asked to accompany Delia to the Gala. Facing The Esplanade from the beach with The Royal Hotel in the background.

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The Royal Hotel is currently closed and is due to be converted into flats. SD

Onlookers gather on the sea front to see Lady Caterham and other dignitaries arrive for the Gala Illumination switching on ceremony. Facing west on The Esplanade with The Royal Hotel to the right.

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Sadly, no one arriving at the hotel now. SD

Arriving to entertain the Mayor and his guests at the Gala reception, Wally parks his shooting brake outside The Royal Hotel.

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Cars continue to park outside though. SD

When the car comes to a stand, the door is opened and Lady Jane Caterham (Barbara Murray) steps out. Looking from The Royal Hotel onto The Esplanade with the Pavilion at the end of the Pier visible top left. A similar view was seen in 'Wish You Were Here'.

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The pier is now far too short to be seen in the corner of the picture. SD

Lady Jane is escorted into the hotel where she is met by the Mayor. Looking onto The Esplanade from The Royal Hotel.

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The view from the empty hotel now. SD

Residents and visitors alike cheer and take photographs of the town’s elite. The Esplanade outside The Royal Hotel in Bognor Regis. Janice Garrett contacted us to say that her Mum is the lady with the camera with her Dad standing behind her whilst she appears to the bottom left of the capture and adds "We were just there in the crowds as the actors came to the front of the Royal, but a school friend and I were hired as extras for three days."

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None of the town's elite for me to photograph today. SD

Social climber Delia Pinner (Sylvia Syms) is shocked as her husband raises his arms to the watching crowd. In front of The Royal Hotel on The Esplanade.

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Now starting to look slightly abandoned. SD

Piltdown’s Gala Illuminations are switched on before the bulbs begin to short circuit and the evening descends into chaos. The illuminated Pier entrance at Southend on Sea in Essex.

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The entrance to Southend On Sea Pier now. The illuminations were switched off in 2007. (SD)

Deciding to move on, Wally and Delia pack their belongings into the shooting brake and set of for pastures new. Outside the Connaught Hotel on The Esplanade with the Steyne Court Hotel on the left and The Royal Hotel to the right of centre beyond The Steyne.

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Connaught Hotel is now Connaught House. The Steyne Court Hotel is now a guest house and The Royal Hotel is now waiting redevelopment. SD

Life goes on in the seaside town as Wally drives along The Esplanade. Looking westward on The Esplanade outside The Royal Hotel with the Steyne Court Hotel in the centre left background.

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During filming, the crew stayed at The Royal Hotel while Tony Hancock stayed at the grander Royal Norfolk Hotel. There is a plaque on the gate post which reads "While filming in Bognor in 1962 Tony Hancock (comedy actor) 1924-1968 stayed at The Royal Norfolk Hotel". SD

A last look at Piltdown through the end titles before ‘The Punch & Judy Man’ and his wife leave town. The Esplanade in Bognor Regis, Sussex with the Rex Ballroom and Theatre Royal to the right.

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Now with the Regis Centre replacing the Rex Ballroom and Theatre Royal. SD