Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.
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A Tour of Canterbury
You can take an online tour of Canterbury at http://www.hillside.co.uk/tour/. Below I have highlighted a few points of interest connected to the film A Canterbury Tale (1944).
- Enter the city by the West Gate (St Dunstans) as the pilgrims did in the film. The tour starts you on St. Dunstan's Street looking towards the West Gate. Four "steps" along St. Dunstan's Street takes you to the corner of Station Road West. A short way along there is Canterbury's West Station where our pilgrims arrived.
- Our pilgrim's stood just inside the West Gate, where they went their separate ways. Peter asked "the pointing policeman" (Vincent "Jack" Russell) the way to the police station. If you "turn left" at St.Peters Street you get a view "Into Pound Lane" and can see the old police station on the left. It is now the Kent Music School.
- Back to St. Peters Street and turn right, a few "steps" along St. Peters Street is a turning to the left into Friars Street and the Marlowe Theatre. This used to be the Friars Cinema in 1944 and was where the World Premiere of A Canterbury Tale took place.
- Back to St. Peters Street and turn right up St. Peters Street. A few more "steps" up St. Peters Street takes you to The Beaney Institute where the young Michael Powell often attended lectures & exhibitions. This is probably the inspiration for The Colpeper Institute in Chillingbourne.
- A few more "steps" up St. Peters Street takes us to the City Centre and the corner of Mercery Lane, turn left into there to follow the route taken by the soldiers marching behind the military band into the Cathedral. Note the sign hanging on the left (nearly obscured by flowers) yes, Boots the chemist is still on that corner. Their sign can be seen in the film.
- Stop when you get "Into Buttermarket", just to the right of the Cathedral Gate is the tea rooms where Bob & Micky Roczinsky had their tea. Now sadly defunct (but we have hopes). [It has reopened as a Pizza Parlour and a tea room but nobody seems to be able to keep it open for long. Rumour is that the Chapter charges too much rent to make it viable]
You can't take pictures inside the Cathedral (they couldn't in 1944 either - very nearly ALL the scenes inside the Cathedral were filmed in a studio in Denham. But they're so like the real Cathedral that they've fooled many people who have lived near or worked in the Cathdral all their lives.) You can wander around the Cathedral grounds though.
- If we return to St Peters Street and proceed up the hill we get to Butchery Lane Junction (where Alison meets the lady (Kathleen Lucas) who's only comment on the bomb damage is "But you get a very good view of the Cathedral now."
- Next up the hill is St Georges Street. Turn right here for Rose Lane, where Alison goes into Portal's garage to find her caravan. Going to the top of St Georges Street, gives you a sight of St Georges Tower, the remant of a church destroyed in the war.
My thanks to Peter Collinson for the wonderful website giving the tour of Canterbury.
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