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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Many moons ago Prisoner fans such as Peter Dunn and Steve Dix suggested that THE PRISONER runway was Santa Pod (RAF Podington).



    I think this may possibly not have been wrong!















    Comments please.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    The various coppices do match up, don't they......

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    It will take a visit to the actual location to get proof positive - from the ground level photos of the drag track there could be an unacceptable dip in the runway.



    Still, I can keep finding images that look quite good.







    It also looks like the sun is in the right position for Santa Pod as well.

  4. #4
    Member Country: UK
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    As mentioned half way down page 2, I live a stones throw away from 'Santa Pod', don't know if I can be of any assistance, I've only been there once many years ago.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK Chevyman's Avatar
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    I'm unsure of this but it might be worth checking which year the 'Pod' became a drag strip?



    I'm saying this because the old main runway is now used for the 1/4 mile



    Meanwhile I'm going to e-mail a friend who still races there and knows the current management

  6. #6
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    name='Anthony McKay']from the ground level photos of the drag track there could be an unacceptable dip in the runway.


    A dip? Looks like a hump to me...

    Pic of car at Santa Pod



    But, the images you posted above are very promising - especially the presence of the building in the trees on the left of the runway.

  7. #7
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    name='Chevyman']I'm unsure of this but it might be worth checking which year the 'Pod' became a drag strip?


    1966 according to Wikipedia - which would mean no planes. Handy for filming!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK Chevyman's Avatar
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    1966 it is. I'm just wondering how long after that before various buildings were erected there.......spectator stands, gantries etc.



    IIRC there is a dip in the dragstrip just after the 1/4 mile finish line. I've found some footage which shows this:-



    Santa Pod Raceway - Drag Racing - Two Seater Dragster



    Go to the bottom of the page and click on "Watch 2 seater dragster video"

  9. #9
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    I've an old NME from 1967 somewhere upstairs which advertises the place so that would definately prove it was open then.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    name='Chevyman']I'm unsure of this but it might be worth checking which year the 'Pod' became a drag strip?



    I'm saying this because the old main runway is now used for the 1/4 mile



    Meanwhile I'm going to e-mail a friend who still races there and knows the current management


    Thanks Chevyman.



    The filming took place during the third week of August 1966.



    It looks like the Lotus is driving towards the 1/4 mile drag strip down a far part of the deceleration area, so the stands would not feature in the sequence.



    If we were in luck, records of an application to film might still exist in the Santa Pod files.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    name='Anthony McKay']If we were in luck, records of an application to film might still exist in the Santa Pod files.


    Oh God, I hope so. I'd love to see this long-running discussion brought to a conclusion!


  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    I am a mere seeker of truth, or the nearest non-union equivalent that makes me happy.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Tony...



    Take a look at this. Drag racing from Santa Pod 1967/68...



    You might be able to match up the landscape?



    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9DsLaTkwMI[/ame]

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Thanks to Mike - Game, set and possitive match!



    Look at the background at 0:58, 1:15, 1:24



    This IS it!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Okay been surfing the net and found this, it seems that Santa Pod opened as a racing venue five months before the opening titles for The Prisoner was filmed.







    April 11th 1966 - The U.K.s first permanent, purpose built dragstrip opened, Santa Pod Raceway near Wellingborough.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Don't you just love it when a plan comes together!




  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    That's terrific. Some excellent research, and team-work!

  18. #18
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    name='Anthony McKay']Many moons ago Prisoner fans such as Peter Dunn and Steve Dix suggested that THE PRISONER runway was Santa Pod (RAF Podington).



    I think this may possibly not have been wrong!







    Comments please.


    I don't think the building on the right of the Prisoner shot is the one you've identified on the left of the aerial shot taken from the opposite direction (in the Priz it's too close to the runway) - but it may be represented by the blip at the right-hand edge of the dispersal pad between your building and the runway.

    Otherwise it's a damned good match - down even to the "shrubbery" between the two larger wooded areas on the left of the Priz shot.

    But has anyone directly connected with that day's filming ever put Podington forward? It just seems quite a bit further from Borehamwood than most of the other realistic "possibles" - though I agree, it's a better bet than Bovingdon or Radlett.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK Chevyman's Avatar
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    My friend who has raced there for many years has replied as follows:-



    The owners at the time were first granted permission to run the site as a drag strip complex in 1966 although it had been used unofficially for some speed trials and other motor events beforehand; it was named Santa Pod after the legendary Santa Ana dragstrip in the US and the local village of Poddington. Font of information ainít I?



    Anytime



    Cheers




    Even though Anthony looks like he's sorted now, I thought he might like the additional info?

  20. #20
    Member Country: UK
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    What baffles me is you only see the car racing down the strip for about 3 seconds and then thats it, as said before I live close but Im an hours drive from the Hertfordshire's studios, seems a way to go just for a couple of seconds footage?

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