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Trips to Boston, Lincs (OOOAIM) - October 2008
Nick Dando is now living near Boston and went exploring for locations in October 2008:
Thanks to Colin Holland at work, we've been able to identify one of the OOOAIM locations. This is the cycle ride to the church. Colin says that his late father was able to watch the filming of the cycle journey and the meeting with the armoured cars ("Noisy beggars"). This all took place not very far from where I live, and it's somewhere I've been on a number of occasions.
This is Crowland Washes on the edge of Crowland in Lincolnshire. The scene of the cyclists along the side of a watercourse (see below), between rows of pollarded trees is the B1166 that runs almost due east-west from the edges of Crowland to the crossroads with the pub and the water tower, just over the River Welland. The windmill in the picture is the Archers at work to disguise a water tower, which is still there.
The scenes with the armoured cars are on the road that heads north north east towards Spalding, to the left of Crowland Fodder Lots. It's a fearsome road to ride a motorcycle on as the surface has suffered a good deal of "heave".
Colin said that there was a breach of the banks holding the River Welland, along the road to Spalding, and some armoured cars belonging to the Home Guard tumbled off the bank into the river and are still there. Apparently divers still visit the wreck site. Fascinating if true! These could possibly be the Guy armoured cars, as seen in the film, as they were only built in very limited numbers and were mostly used for homeland security duties.
I'm not sure where the scenes where the cyclists are passing in front of some trees may have been filmed, as the area now is rather devoid of trees.
When I have time next week, weather permitting, I'll go over there and take some photos to see if it matches up.
Later, Nick added ...
I took some photos this morning, and the Crowland Washes certainly holds up to investigation. I'd always hoped it was the location as it had the right set-up and feel, but had always discounted it before now. After all, why travel so far from Boston? The bridge at the end of the straight section has been replaced since the film was made, as has the water tower, which appears to have changed location, and is now very large; although study of the windmill on the left-hand side of the screen grab does show an unnaturally large buliding, to me at least.
I think that the camera must have been mounted on a platform to allow a view over the River Welland, as the spire of Deeping St Nicholas church is visible on the horizon.
I'm now not entirely convinced with the road to Spalding being where the German armoured cars drive past, but I'll check with Colin. The road travels along the raised bank (which is 20 or more feet high) by the side of the river and then takes a sharp turn to the left, but the armoured cars are travelling on a slightly raised road next to a ditch. But you can see the raised bank at the extreme right of the Approaching Germans picture.
I'm going to go back when the leaves have finally fallen (and when the dead swan I had to stand next to has been taken away by foxes!) so that I can get a clearer view across to the horizon.
Crowland Washes, 29 Oct 2008
On the way to the church
Crowland Washes, 29 Oct 2008
Listen to that siren
They've gone past us
I think they've gone now
This is what it looks like now
If you look at the German Armoured Car 3.jpg you can see a dredging crane on the river bank, which isn't visible in the other shots. Perhaps the filming, presumably by a second unit, was done over several days?
Some of the images I took yesterday are still waiting for me to process the film, but the digital shots (taken with a lens made in 1938!) show some Then and Now shots of the meeting of the escape party when they are cycling across country to the church with the German armoured cars (actually Guy armoured cars).
Again, judging by the original screen captures, the film camera was mounted on a platform, or in the case of the armoured car scenes, on the back of a vehicle, to raise it up above normal eye-level.
As for the location, this is on the Crowland to Spalding road, a couple of miles further down the River Welland from where the shots of the cyclists approaching a large windmill were taken. The shots were taken at a place called Four Mile Bar, looking towards Cowbit, which is hidden behind the embankment for the Welland. You can see Cowbit House in the trees to the left of the screen.
A closer view is here
The road from the south west and Crowland, comes to a sharp bend after following the bank of the Welland and then turns to the north west and drops down to the T-junction. The road then either heads to Greenlands Farm or north east towards Cowbit House. The armoured cars are coming down the road from the direction of Cowbit House.
Grid reference is TF257154.
See also Nick's exploration of the area in September 2009
Other OOOAIM trips