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  1. #21
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    Welwyn Film Studios



    Warwick Ward, who’s long career was somewhat convoluted and included travels and film making on the continent, including Germany in the run up to WW2. Producer for Associated British and later (1946) Executive Producer. A list of his credits at Welwyn Garden City studio (not necessarily exhaustive) includes.



    The Last Chance (1937

    French Leave (1937)

    Saturday Night Revue (1937)

    The Gables Mystery (1938)

    Night Alone (1938)

    Almost a Honeymoon (1938)

    Save a Little Sunshine (1938)

    Me and My Pal (1939)

    Dead Men Are Dangerous (1939)

    Suspected Person (1942)

    Warn That Man (1943)

    The Man from Morocco (1945)

    Quiet Weekend (1946)

    My Brother Jonathan (1948)

    The Dancing Years (1950)



    I can find no evidence as to where British National Films Limited, used studios but their setups and landscapes seem consistent with Welwyn.



    Pure speculation, but some of he exteriors of the 1949 film ‘Train of Events’ which gives locations at Euston, look very much like stock footage which could have been taken at the 1935 Welwyn rail disaster. What sort of movieman could pass up a train crash 200 yards from he studio!



    During WW2 the Crown Film Unit, The Ministry of Information and the G.P.O. Film Unit, made wartime propaganda films which are hard to find full documentation on, partly because the motives of some are less anti Fascist than pro Soviet.



    John Mortimer writer wrote scripts for the Crown Film Unit during World War II. Communist writer Ted Willis was another incumbent. During the war Philby, Burgess and McLean, were all in the vicinity. The Frythe, Brickendonbury etc.



    During this time Hollywood director John Ford at least visited if not directed.



    Also in the area were George Bernard Shaw, Lewis Crassic Gibbon, H.G.Wells, and St John Philby. John Buchan visited the studios.



    Millions Like Us (1943) Location Given as Denham Studios but the canteen where the singsong takes place looks suspiciously like Murphy Radio’s, half a mile from Welwyn Studios



    The Gentle Sex (1943) Locations given as Denham studios and Cumbria but the army camp gates appear to be the gates of Welwyn Studios (the factory units opposite were there for many years and may still be), The parade ground looks like the, then, Millgreen Camp and the road march looks like the lane between there and the now Q.E. 2 hospital.



    Peter Ustinov’s Private Angelo (1949) on the film credits, Welwyn Garden City Studios



    Garden Citizens who rode on the extended influence of the studios: Dinah Sheridan, Edmund Purdom, Maurice Kaufman, Wendy Hall, John Plowman, Eric Sayward, various young ladies who have appeared in commercials.



    Intriguing is the allegation in the Comedy series ‘Dinner Ladies’ that Audrey Hepburn lived in Welwyn Garden City, which adds further questions to her story preceding her meteoric rise in the fifties.

  2. #22
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    The 1937 Will Hay film 'Oh Mr Porter' may have filmed at a station on the Basingstoke to Alton branch line in Hampshire but; the business with the water tower is on Welwyn Garden City station. The final rail chase, back off the branch line onto the mainline, is off the Hertford branch for sure. Visible in the field on the outside of the bend are strange racks with panels on them. They are sheets of coloured plastic, experimentaly weathering in the sun, at I.C.I plastics, as was, at

    Welwyn Garden City.

  3. #23
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    Hi to all! As a previous employee of Polycell I would like to share with you some of the facts concerning the old studios which I acquired over the years. I remember being told by one of my older colleagues that when Polycell took over the building from the tobacco company Ardath in 1951 they decided to re-concrete the floor of the main studio (the planned warehouse) As they broke up the old concrete they discovered some items used during filming, one of which was a complete ship! Up until the day we were made redundant (June 1999) all the camera gantries were still in situ high up in the warehouse (presumably used for aerial shots) On the wall leading into our old reception area there stood a lovely brass plate in memoriam of the studios (This I was going to remove before I left but forgot!) It was still there when the building was demolished so it either got lost in the rubble or one of the demo crew inherited a nice commemoration to the studios! Some of the books available related to Welwyn Garden City's history contain information & pictures relating to the studios - they quite often plucked members of the public off the street to be used as extras! We had our engineering dept. doors facing the railway line - the large wooden doors were I was told the original main entrance to the studios, it was a pleasure to think I was treading the same ground as a few famous actors from yesteryear. it seems really strange now to see the whole area flattened now, wonder how long it will stay like it?

  4. #24
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    Hi Antony. Always nice to get a first hand account like yours

  5. #25
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    welwyn broadwater road - Google Maps



    Is any of the site still visible or had it gone by the time it was googled ?

  6. #26
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    The studio building is shown, its on the west side of Broadwater Rd in about the middle of the map (vertically) as it first opens from that link. Its the one with the rusty roofing panels around the west and north edges, these being single story add ons to the much higher main building.

  7. #27
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    If you go to BING maps and select Birds Eye view you can actually see the building in the very early stages of demolition - a sad sight.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannay
    The 1937 Will Hay film 'Oh Mr Porter' may have filmed at a station on the Basingstoke to Alton branch line in Hampshire but; the business with the water tower is on Welwyn Garden City station.




    Sorry, this is incorrect. The opening shots of this film with the Silver Fox and the water tower was filmed at Hertford North Station on platform two not Welwyn Garden City Station. They built a wooden extension to the platform so that the water tower was underneath the people. In real life the tower was beyond the end of the platform.



    The station is identical today except the Welwyn Branch platform has closed. You can still see the Bridge House Pub (formally the Sele Arms) in the background as you can in the film.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PS68060
    welwyn broadwater road - Google Maps



    Is any of the site still visible or had it gone by the time it was googled ?


    I drove past it today. The site is flattened but there were some extra buildings added to the campus, maybe in the 50's, 60's (by a German Architect?) which ARE listed and they are still standing. The whole area is very sad and sorry looking, well done Tesco's!

  10. #30
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