Sunday, June 09, 2002
Section: NEWS
Updated: May 27, 2002 15:46

Memories sparked by a classic movie
Dozens of Shropshire screen "stars" packed a Much Wenlock historic building to celebrate a special showing in the county of Powell and Pressburger's classic movie Gone To Earth.

Ivor and Sybil LewisMore than 50 people who appeared as extras in the film over 50 years ago met up again and chatted about the time that Hollywood came to Shropshire.

Gone To Earth, an adaptation of Shropshire author Mary Webb's novel, was released in 1950.

Much of the filming had been done on location in the Much Wenlock and Snailbeach areas.

The son of the film's director Columba Powell joined members of the Mary Webb Society to take a nostalgic walk at one of the locations in the county used by his late father in the making of the film.

The film, starring Jennifer Jones and made in 1949 using scores of local extras, was shown yesterday as part of a dedicated Mary Webb weekend included in the Much Wenlock Festival bumper programme.

Vivian Phillips and Val TartSybil Lewis, of Harmer Hill, and her husband Ivor were teenagers when the film was made, much of it in the remote hill country near Snailbeach where they lived at the time.

They were both members of the Lord's Hill Baptist Choir at Snailbeach and sang during the baptism scene in the film.

Mrs Lewis said: "It was a highlight and is something that we will never forget. We are quite proud to have At the receptionbeen in it and my grandfather, who was the choir conductor, was very proud. When we practised the hymns he would say the music would be heard all over the world."

She added that Ivor was then her boyfriend and the couple sat on a bank and watched Jennifer Jones being baptised for one scene.

Mrs Lewis said: "I remember she was held under too long and she came up gasping."

She added: "We were very young when the film was made but a year later we were married in the same chapel that we were filmed in."

Today Carol Meekins, organiser, said: "There were some wonderful people at the afternoon screening, all taking a trip down memory lane. We screened the film in the afternoon and the evening and both were a complete sell-out. I think we could have easily had another sell-out.

"People from all walks of life came to see it because they could connect with it."


Looking back:
Have you seen today's picture from the past?

Shropshire web cams:
WebcamSee the new Beatties being built in Telford or the River Severn at Shrewsbury


Copyright Shropshire Newspapers, 2002