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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

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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Submitted by Derek Baldwin

Gathering at Fordwich
[Writer Paul Tritton with fans of the wartime film A Canterbury Tale in Fordwich]

Film fans' nostalgic steps

Fans of the wartime film A Canterbury Tale got together to visit some of the original locations.

A talk and a guided walk around the town of Fordwich was organised by Paul Tritton, who is writing a book about the film, and Michael Beck of the Fordwich Trust.

More than 100 people from around Kent turned up to learn more about the Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger feature film from 1944.

Mr Tritton said: "The popularity of the film never ceases to amaze me, but I think it has to do with nostalgia.

"People of a certain generation can remember that gentle pace of life in the 1940s, the good manners and the way country people lived." Of a certain generation? Have a look at the ages of some of the people in the photos - Steve

In his talk, Mr Tritton explained that Fordwich was chosen by Michael Powell because he was a former King's School pupil and remembered many of the buildings from his childhood.

The group visited the parish church, the manor house which features as the Culpeper Institute [Colpeper Institute] and the George and Dragon, which became a pub called the Hand of Glory. [Well it was partly the George and Dragon, Fordwich and partly the Red Lion in Wingham]

The tour ended at the town hall. Mr Tritton said: "That was the most interesting part of the day. The people who made the film reproduced the court room back at their studio. They had the jury bench, the pleading bar, everything, right down to the smallest detail of King Charles II's coat of arms."

Mr Tritton and his wife Pat re-enacted one of the town hall scenes. Very brave of them, they were great - Steve

Among those taking part were people who actually worked on the film in 1943. Pat Hayers, the continuity girl, travelled from Sevenoaks. Jim Pople, second assistant film editor at 16 years of age, filmed the day's proceedings.

Len Smith, David Todd and Charlie Tamsitt were all schoolboys living in Fordwich when they took part in a battle scene between two rival gangs on the river near Chilham Mills.

Soon, Mr Tritton will also be meeting two usherettes who were working at the Friars Cinema, now the Marlowe Theatre, for the film's world premiere. Soon? They were there all day - Steve

His book will be published in autumn 2000 and profits will go to a local children's charity. A Canterbury Tale will be shown at Canterbury Christ Church University College in October.

Kent Messenger "Extra" 10th September 1999

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