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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I Know Where I'm Going!
A Celebration of This Well Loved Mull Film
The 2010 weekend
One thing I forgot to mention about the Saturday, it was a beautiful day. Bright and warm. That's the thing about the weather in the Western Isles, it's very changeable. But if you don't like one lot of weather there will usually be a different lot along fairly soon.
Sure enough, on Sunday it was a bit overcast and there was some rain in the morning. But that was OK because we didn't plan on going anywhere soon.
After a leisurely breakfast we gathered in the lounge where I treated everybody to The Great IKWIG Quiz. There was a mixture of easy and difficult questions. Some couples or families played as a team, pooling their knowledge. There were 30 questions and the winner, Ian Court got 26 of them correct. That won him a lovely print of Tobermory and the Western Isles, presented by Robert.
After the quiz, Nicolas gave us a short talk on the Maclean/Maclaine clan and some of the gossip about what they used to get up to. That was followed by a general discussion about the film, the Archers, the sights we had seen and what we plan to do for our next quinquennial IKWIG weekend.
Flo McBride showed us some of what she had filmed during our visit in 2005. She was adding to it on this trip.
Most of the group then began to leave, but some of us were staying on for a bit longer. PaPAS group member Nick Dando had been on Mull all week, exploring the place thoroughly. We decided to go and see Duart Castle (The Castle of Sorne in the film). Nick drove so I stood him lunch in a nice hostelry en route.
Duart Castle is a wonderful place. It's the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean. It's open to the public from April to October (they were due to close it for the winter on Monday). You can take the tour through most of the castle where everything is very well laid out and explained.
The biggest surprise to the IKWIG admirer is the main hall. It looks just the same as the hall in the film where Joan met precocious young Cheril. But they never filmed in there. Cheril (Petula Clark) never went to Mull. The Archers took a few measurements and made some sketches in the real hall - and then re-created it all in the studio at Denham. This was probably because it would have been awkward to film in the real hall. Once you have the cameras, lights, microphones and everything else in place, as well as all of the generators that would be necessary to power everything, there's not a lot of room left. The hall has been used for some filming, like When Eight Bells Toll (1971) with Anthony Hopkins and Entrapment (1999) with Sean Connery.
They don't allow photography inside the castle, or not for normal visitors. In 2005 we got special permission for the whole party to not only take stills but also to video when we re-created the scene between Joan & Cheril.
Two shots of Duart showing the changeable nature of the weather on Mull
Photo taken on the way in
Photo taken on the way out
But all good things must eventually come to an end. We made our way back to the hotel where we were joined by a few others like Ian & Ann and the Jones family where we all chatted away until late.
On the Monday morning I got the bus from Tobermory to the ferry and then home via Oban, Glasgow (& Edinburgh, down the east coast line). Another great weekend, we must do it all again sometime.
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