Filming Locations

 researched and written by Alan Trevennor

A strange way to get to Brighton!

“Genevieve” is about two friends, Alan McKim and
Ambrose Claverhouse and their partners Wendy and
Rosalind, who take part in the London to Brighton run. 

The run is an annual UK event in which owners of pre-1905
veteran cars parade their vehicles in a non-race from
London to Brighton – a distance of about 55 

In the story things get badly out of hand, and the journey
back from Brighton turns into a no-holds barred race
between the two couples in their respective 
cars – one of which is called Genevieve. 

"Everything was shot within a few miles of the studio because of the short days and the expense. 
We would set off each morning, whatever the weather, and take advantage of whatever turned up,
 often stopping to ask an astonished local if he or she knew of a watersplash, a sharp left-hand bend
 or a small pub with a courtyard, depending on what requirements had been forced on us by the
 weather and the ever-changing schedule.

        -- Cinematographer Christopher Challis, "Are They Really So Awful?"

Being a fan of the film I wondered where all these scenes were filmed and that's why
I wanted to expand the record of filming locations I found on the web, in which a handful
of the locations used are listed.  So, a kind of dizzy detective story began. This article 
and pictures are the result. In fact, it turned out that hardly any of the film was actually 
shot in Brighton, or even on any logical route from London to Brighton!  Most of the many
exterior scenes were filmed south-west of London, or in Buckinghamshire close to
Pinewood Studios near Slough, where the interior shots were filmed. A strange way
to get to Brighton indeed…..

Format of This Information:

To make this information as useful as possible I have listed the locations
in the order they occur in the film. So far as possible I have included the following information:

bulletThe time offset into the film where the scene featuring the location begins 
(taking the start of the title sequence as 00:00:00) these times are in the format
HH:MM:SS (Hours:Mins:Secs) and are taken using my Region 2 DVD copy
of the film as reference – if you have a different format or VHS or off-air recording
there will be some small variation. So far as I am aware there is only one ‘cut’
of the film, though of course TV companies often edit bits out of movies to make
them fit required timeslots.
bulletSummary of scene.
bulletA photograph (where possible) of the scene as it is today.
bulletLocation used – name and place.
bulletHow to get there (if you still can!).
bulletBackground notes on the location and/or the scene including continuity bloopers
 and other notes.

Some of the locations used in Genevieve no longer exist. I haven’t yet been to all the
surviving places, and in one case I have not been able to pinpoint exact spots where
filming took place, so photographs are not available for all scenes as yet. I would be
glad to receive feedback or additional information via this web site.

The Law Courts Building - as seen in
Genevieve (1953)
   The Law Courts Building (2000)

Time 00:02:09: Alan McKim (Gregson) leaving work on a Friday night having told 
colleagues that he is “taking Genevieve to Brighton”. This sequence was shot inside
the Law Courts building in London. This is located in The Strand – just at the eastern end
of the Aldwych one-way system.  In this sequence Gregson he walks out of the public 
entrance of the law courts. The building looks a lot cleaner today than it did in the 
filthy fifties! Also it now has a permanent press/TV posse camped out on the doorstep – 
just visible in my picture.

Gregson starts Genevieve and drives her west along the Strand, with some of the 
windows of the Aldwych church just visible beneath the trees on the right.

Background Info: The scene seems to have been filmed fairly early (long shadows from
south east) on an autumn morning.

Alan McKim arrives home - as seen in
Genevieve (1953)
Rutland Mews South today. 
Note the identical buildings in the background (2001)
Photo: Piet Schreuders

Time 00:02:55: McKim arrives outside his home in Genevieve.  This scene was 
shot around the New Cavendish Street area of London – where there are a handful of
picturesque mews closes like this one. The area lies between Portland Place and 
Harley Street (traditional business place of many of Britain’s best and most expensive
private doctors) and Wimpole Street is close by – famed for being unhappy childhood
home of the Barrett family (Elizabeth Barrett-Browning etc). It had been suggested that
the location used for this scene might be Duchess Mews.

However, I visited there, and came away with doubts. Duchess Mews is rather wider
and not so long as the Genevieve shots suggest.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Dinah Sheridan provided Alan Trevennor additional information
about the Mews location. Piet Schreuders, a good friend who's also a "movie locations"
buff (co-author of "The Beatles' London" with Mark Lewisohn and Adam Smith), 
volunteered to go take a look when he recently visited London. The above photo is 
the result.

[Piet writes: The mews is Rutland Mews South, a cul-de-sac off Ennismore Street 
(also known as Rutland Mews West). There are other maze-like
incarnations of this
mews, rarely depicted on maps, extending all the way
behind Rutland Gate to the 
The photos I took show that the street is almost unchanged except for the 
"McKim house". This structure,
including McKim's front door, the one to the left 
and the one to the right
(in the film belonging to his neighbor on the stepladder) are 
now one and the same house, the entrance is in the middle, and bears the number 17. 
adjacent houses, seen further back in the still, are 18, 19 and 20 Rutland Mews 
The car enters a garage which is either 8 or 10 Rutland Mews S. The white 
house with pointed gable in the background is the back of 6
Ennismore Street. This 
being a cul-de-sac made it ideal for filming.]

Rutland Gate is in Kensington (nearest Underground stop is Knightsbridge, 
near Harrods). To reach this location, take the M41 South to Sheperd's Bush,
Holland Park Road south, left at Kensington High Street, which becomes 
Kensington Road and Kensington Gore, passing between the Albert Memorial
and Albert Hall. Turn right at Rutland Gate. Or go down Park Lane to 
Hyde Park Corner, turn right into Knightsbridge, which becomes Kensington 
Road, and turn left at Rutland Gate. 

Time 00:13:22: The gathering of cars for the start of the London to Brighton. This scene was filmed
 near the river Thames in London – though I am unsure exactly where.

Time 00:18:00: The cars in this shot are driving down The Mall heading away from Buckingham 
Palace (which is visible in the background).

Time 00:18:24: Ambrose’s car (made by a Dutch company called Spyker) is driving south across 
Westminster Bridge – with Big Ben clock tower in the background.

Background Info:: Ambrose (More) says “Blast these tramlines” and struggles to steer off them. 
Then, we briefly cut away to a view of the Spyker’s wheels on tramlines, and when we go back to 
More and Rosalind (Kendall) as he regains control of the steering – but we are suddenly no longer 
on the bridge, we are somewhere completely different!

Genevieve breaks down in front of the Moor Park
gatehouse - as seen in Genevieve (1953)
   Moor Park gatehouse (2000)

Time 00:19:20: The McKims are driving Genevieve along a fairly narrow lane. He remarks that 
Genevieve is “really behaving herself”, whereupon she backfires and coasts to a stop.

This whole scene was filmed at Batchworth Heath, Hertfordshire, which is on the A404 road between
Rickmansworth and Northwood. The road they are driving down at the start of the scene is called
Batchworth Lane and Genevieve comes to a halt on the edge of the Heath.  Visible in the background
is a gatehouse and lodge. I was quite surprised to find that this still exists. The gatehouse was one of
three entrances to a large country estate called Moor Park. In 1919 the estate was the property of the
3rd Baron Ebury - Lord Robert Victor Grosvenor. The estate (which has a magnificent house at its centre)
had belonged to the Grosvenor family for several generations, but in 1919 Lord Robert decided to sell 
off the estate - reputedly because his new American wife, Florence Padelford, refused to live there! The 
estate was auctioned off and the house and 470 acres of grounds were bought (apparently at a bargain 
price!) by Lord Leverhulme – founder of the Lever (now Unilever) empire.  Leverhulme converted it into
a country club, but this did not prosper and at some stage it became a golf course  – which is what it is 
today, though some of the land was sold off to build housing.

Batchworth Heath has undergone a few changes since this scene from Genevieve was shot there in late 
1952 or early 1953. It is not possible to get the exact same shots of the gatehouse because tree growth
obscures most of the structure from the angle used in Genevieve. Similarly, in the film the heath is more
or less an open space, whereas today (probably because of the volume of traffic using the A404) there
are trees and bushes, which largely screen off the houses from the road. 

A newsreel cameraman captures the McKims - as seen 
in Genevieve (1953)
   Moor Park Gate (2000)

New houses have replaced many of those that are briefly visible in the film. However, one particular 
house with a chimney at either end of its roof is still plainly pretty much the same (though again not 
possible to exactly replicate the Genevieve shot due to tree growth) I believe the house is called Moor 
Park Gate.

The newsreel cameraman escapes past the Green Man
pub - as seen in Genevieve (1953)
   The Green Man pub (2000)

Within this scene Alan McKim chases the newsreel cameraman up the road because he has filmed 
Wendy spilling the contents of a flask all over her dress. The building in the background of this 
sequence is the Green Man pub (one of two pubs on Batchworth Heath). The Green Man apparently
dates from at least 1728, when a man called Richard Ryder was then landlord. As before, it is not 
possible to get the Genevieve shot of the pub due to tree and bushes growth.  I did not have time 
to go inside the pub to see if they have any Genevieve related memorabilia on display.

Background Information:: The Batchworth sequence has some interesting continuity errors!


At the very start of the sequence, just before Genevieve breaks down, the shadows of the 
camera truck, the crew and even the microphone boom over the McKims are plainly visible 
on the grass verge to their right! 


After Genevieve comes to a halt she is parked on the left of the road, with just enough room
to her right for a car to pass (as the “flint” man does), and they are very close to a sharp right
bend which is part of a Y junction. By the time the newsreel cameraman comes past they are
on a far wider road.


Whilst he is filming them, they appear to be facing away from the junction Then, when Alan
McKim chases the newsreel cameraman up the road, we are plainly no longer close to a 
Junction at all!


When Wendy disappears to change her clothes behind some bushes, we get a shot of Genevieve
sitting in the middle of the Y junction. When Wendy gets back in the car, it appears to have
moved over to the right hand side of the road.


Near the end of the scene (at about 00:23:00) the McKims are sitting in Genevieve ‘discussing’ 
whether to go on with the journey or not, and there is a woman hovering in the background plainly
 wondering what’s going on (“Oooh look, Doris – they’re making a film over there!”).

Of course, none of this matters in the slightest and I only noticed these things when I was studying the 
scene to get location clues, but it goes to show how much discontinuity film makers can actually get 
away with! I must have seen this scene many times before and never noticed any of these points!

Time 00:23:26: We get a short shot of the Spyker heading along the dual carriageway section of the
Farnham Common road. This is the A355 heading south from junction 2 of the M40 motorway.  
I don’t believe it is possible to get this shot now, partly because the road is busy, but also due to tree 
and bush growth. The scene following (in which first Genevieve and then the Spyker break down) 
is also on the A355 just north of Farnham Royal.

Genevieve heads for the T-junction of Horton Road 
and the Stanwell Moor Road - as seen in 
Genevieve (1953)
   The same roadway today (2000)

Time 00:26:32: Just after Gregson says the line “did you see his expression?” Genevieve is seen 
driving down towards a T-junction and seems to turn right (despite the Brighton sign pointing left!). 
You can see the signpost (Horton Road) in the shot (see still below).

Not towards Brighton at all! Junction, Horton Road and
 Stanwell Moor road
   The same junction today (2000).

The shape of the visible bit of Horton Road (see other film still) makes me 95% sure that it is the junction 
of Horton Road with the Stanwell Moor Road – the A3044.  This is fairly near the modern-day 
A3113/A3044 junction. As with many of the Genevieve locations around this area there have been 
some quite dramatic changes in the area due to the construction of the M25 motorway (which circles 
London) and the vast expansion of Heathrow Airport, whose runway ends only about half a mile away 
from Horton Road (see plane on background of one of my Horton Road pictures).

Incidentally, in the shot following this one Genevieve seems to be shown turning back INTO Horton Road! 
Several of the other exterior locations used in the film are within a mile or so of this spot – as we shall see.

Time 00:28:00: Most of the general shots of Brighton are genuine. I have not been to Brighton to try to 
replicate the shots. However, there is a shot of Brunswick Square in this sequence, according to my info 
sources there is no such street in Brighton so that needs to be checked out at some stage!

Kenneth More starts his Spyker
outside the One Pin in Hedgerley 
- as seen in Genevieve (1953) 
At least some things never change - 
The One Pin Pub today (2000)

Time 00:51:30: After the Brighton sequences (mostly studio sets) the two men have quarreled and 
have decided to race back to London. Ambrose conceitedly stops off for a drink or two at a pub, 
confident that he can still win! The McKims briefly stop outside the pub to talk to Ambrose 
and Rosalind, but decide to get going and not stay for a drink. The pub sequence is a mixture of 
studio and exterior shots. The pub used for this scene was the One Pin, which is at Hedgerley – 
about 4 miles from Pinewood Studios where the film was based. Hedgerley is just off the A355 road, 
south of junction 2 of the M40 motorway in Buckinghamshire.

Yes, the pub is still there and looks somewhat the same.  I have not been inside to look for mementos 
of the day the Genevieve crew came to visit. Incidentally, I am far from sure that the shots looking away
from the pub (when Ambrose gets some fellow pub-goers to push his Spyker when it won't start) 
were filmed at Hedgerley. Due to vast increases in undergrowth in the intervening years it is difficult
 to judge.

Ambrose Claverhouse
is thoroughly convinced
he'll win the race and stops
for drinks at The One Pin Pub
- as seen in Genevieve (1953) 
Forty-seven years later (2000)

The shortcut 'round the flock of sheep 
- as seen in Genevieve (1953) 
   Still prone to flooding? Hawkswood Lane today (2000)

Time 00:56:00: Ambrose (having finally got on the road) finds himself stuck behind a flock of sheep 
being herded along a lane. He decides to take a short cut and ends up stuck in a ford – where a small
stream flows across the road.  Rosalind has to get out and – up to her ankles in icy water – push the car.

The ford sequence was filmed at 
Hawkswood Lane, which is about
 3 miles from Pinewood Studios. 
This location is actually very near 
the modern-day M40 and M25 
interchange – Hawkswood Lane 
passes over the M40 within sight 
of the interchange, though the lane 
cannot be reached from there. 

As seen in Genevieve (1953) 

The ford today is a
sorry sight and has a
makeshift bridge, 
which seems to have
been vandalized. I tried
to see if I could catch
the water flowing
properly across the
road, but no luck so
far. (2000)

How do you get to this spot today? Get to junction 1 on the M40 motorway. Come off the 
M40 and follow signs for A412 southwest towards Slough. About 1.8 miles along the A412, 
turn right into Sevenhills Road. Go along Sevenhills Road for about 1.2 miles until you come 
to the T-junction with Pinewood Road, at which you turn right.  Carry on for about half a mile, 
Pinewood Lane becomes Alderbourne Lane. Hawkswood Lane is a right turn off Alderbourne 
Lane. If you go to this location, be very aware that vehicles seem to use it as a short cut and 
some of them come down here rather fast – so please be careful.

Time 00:57:28 Meanwhile…. The McKims have been making good progress. Too good, Genevieve 
is boiling up. They stop on a bridge over a river and Wendy tries to find a vessel of some sort to take 
water from the river to the car.  She knocks at the door of a house with a white gate (the name Mill House
is visible on the gate) but gets no answer and so goes to the river, where she finds an old oil can – which 
has holes in it. As they struggle to find some water for Genevieve, Ambrose and Rosalind pass by and 
once again take the lead.

In 1952/1953 it’s obvious 
that the Mill is in bad shape
 (you can see daylight through
 the roof in one of the film shots!). 
Someone who works there told 
me that the mill was bought in 
1959 by its current owner and 
renovated. Previously a company 
producing Ayers Asthma Cures 
occupied part of it!
This sequence was filmed near 
Stanwell, southwest of London.
The river is the Colne, and the mill 
is Stanwell Mill and it is on Horton 
Road, about half a mile from the 
Horton Road location we saw earlier. 
The mill straddles the River Colne.
The house adjoining the mill is now
called the Old Mill House.
To get to this spot, take the M25
 motorway and come off at junction 14.  
Take the Horton Road exit from the 
roundabout over the M25, towards 
Staines (eastbound – beware because 
Horton Road continues westbound on 
the other side of this roundabout too) 
and the mill is about a quarter mile 
down Horton Road.


The  'nice man' gives Genevieve a tow past the pumping 
house - as seen in Genevieve (1953)
The pumping house today (2000)

Time 00:59:23: Having found some water to stop Genevieve from boiling over the McKims hit the road
again. Whilst Ambrose has some adventures fetching a doctor to a mother about to give birth, meanwhile
Genevieve again breaks down. This leads into what I call the “crash sequence” (my favourite sequence in the
film!). A nice man stops to tow Genevieve to a garage. Whilst being towed, the McKims start to have
another ‘discussion’ and – not paying attention – crash into the rear of the nice man’s car as he brakes when
they reach a garage.  As the nice man and Alan McKim ‘discuss’ the damage, Ambrose and Rosalind turn
up in the Spyker and everybody simultaneously joins in several ‘discussions’!

The first two shots in this sequence
 were filmed on the A3044 road, about 
half a mile from the Horton Road & A3044 
junction that we saw earlier. The road 
here runs between the King George VI 
and Staines Reservoir – two of a number 
of huge man-made lakes that provide 
west London with most of its water supply. 
The walls of these two reservoirs are plainly 
visible on either side of the road in 
this frame enlargement.


This view is from the top of the walls of the Staines Reservoir 
looking down on to the A3044. It is just possible to get this shot 
of the old pumping house which matches the one used in 
Genevieve, however two trees have somewhat obscured the building. 
   For purposes of side-by-side comparison: the frame
- as seen in Genevieve (1953)

To get to this location take the M25 motorway to junction 14, and then take the A3113 (Airport Way). You will come to a roundabout at which you should turn right onto the A3044 towards Staines. Carry on for about one mile and you will reach the old pumping house. Again, mind out for the traffic, it’s a lot busier than it was in the early 1950s!

Ambrose (Kenneth More) and Alan (John Gregson) have words
outside Merrimans Filtering Media. As seen in Genevieve (1953)
Detail from the picture at left. Note covered 
portions of the sign! (See text below)

The latter shots in the crash sequence take place outside the depot of Merrimans Filtering Media. I think that
 this was a company that extracted and sold gravel and similar stuff for water filtration beds at the Staines
 Reservoirs. Merrimans Filtering Media’s main telephone number was Uxbridge 1940 (according to the
 1950 telephone directory) and the number 1940 is just visible on their building in the background to the
 latter shots in the crash sequence. When you know what to look for you can just about see that the crew
 have put a white sheet over the “Uxbridge” part of this signage! Presumably someone in the film crew
 realised that Uxbridge is definitely not on the route from London to Brighton and made the effort to hide the
 word in case it was visible in this scene!

Seconds before Genevieve
crashes into the rear of the
red car belonging to the
'nice man' who offered Alan
and Wendy a tow.

Locating the spot where these scenes
were filmed turned out to be the 
hardest part of this whole investigation.

Merriman’s had three addresses. Two of these were at West Drayton Road in Hillingdon (109 West
Drayton Road seems to have been their main office), in southwest London. The third was at Moor Lane
near Staines and joined on to the upper end of Horton Road at the time Genevieve was shooting. As a
company Merriman’s no longer exists (best guess is it ceased trading in the 1960s) and there are now no
traces of its premises – except that at West Drayton Road there is a sheltered housing complex, which is
called ‘Merrimans.’ West Drayton Road has been widened and extensively built upon and there is now no
number 109 - the numbering skips from 103 to 111. Similarly, with the Moor Lane site at Staines, no trace
remains of Merrimans.

So this leaves us with a puzzle. Which of the Merriman sites is the one we see in the film? 1950's vintage
large scale Ordnance Survey maps of the two possible areas (West Drayton Road and Moor Lane) show
that it is unlikely that West Drayton Road was the location. Even in those days there was a fairly busy main
road (the A437) crossing West Drayton Road quite close to where Merriman’s would have been - and there
is no trace of a nearby main road in any of the crash sequence shots. Although there was a gravel pit off
West Drayton Road, it doesn’t seem – judging from the maps – to have had a parallel driveway to the road
(see the still). So that leaves us with Moor Lane, Staines. The OS map of this area shows a gravel pit with a
driveway onto Moor Lane which almost exactly matches the driveway we can see in the film. 

However, the map also shows that there was a large pond directly opposite this driveway and no buildings.
The “Asta Garage” clearly was really located directly opposite Merrimans. And yet, there are no 1952 trade
directory records or telephone directory listings for the Asta Garage. My theory is that the Asta Garage did
not exist, and that it was constructed for the film as an external set opposite Merrimans. It isn’t a very big
garage and so I don’t suppose this would have been too hard – though I am unsure why they would have
done this rather than find a real garage! I am 95% sure therefore that this location is just outside Merrimans
gravel pit & depot in Moor Lane. If I am right then anything that remains of Merriman’s Filtering Media – as
shown in Genevieve - is now buried under the embankment of the M25 motorway somewhere between
junction 13 and 14. The northernmost part of Moor Lane was cut in two by the construction of the
motorway during the 1980s, and the area around the motorway considerably re-arranged. I wonder if they
took before and after photos during the building of this section of the M25? I have taken no modern photos
here because there are simply no points of reference!

How to get to Moor Lane: Take the M25 to junction 13. When you come off the motorway take the
B376 towards Hythe End and Wraysbury. After a few hundred yards you will come to a roundabout at
which you should turn left into Wraysbury Road – heading towards Staines. Moor lane is about 2
miles down this road, on your left just before you get to Staines town centre.

Ambrose gets the bad - and totally untrue - news
that the McKims have been in an accident. As seen in
Genevieve (1953)
The good news is that The Jolly Woodman is still open
for business! (2000)

Time 01:05:20Ambrose sabotaged Genevieve at the garage. Alan is hopping mad and stops at a phone box
to call a pub landlord friend. When Ambrose passes the pub the landlord flags him down and tells him that
the McKims have had a bad accident. Ambrose quickly turns round and starts heading back the way he
came, only to meet the McKims, who are perfectly OK.

This little scene was filmed outside the Jolly Woodman pub, which is close to Burnham Beeches,

How to get to The Jolly Woodman pub: The pub is on Littleworth Road - about two miles southeast of
the village of Wooburn, Bucks. Take the M40 and come off at junction 2 (the A355). Head south on
the A355 (towards Slough). After less than a quarter mile turn right for Burnham (Burnham Road)
and follow this road for about 2.5 miles through all its twists and turns and you will come to the pub
on your left.

Tavistock Road looking toward the People's Snack 
Bar - as seen in Genevieve (1953)
   Tavistock Road and the Snack Bar today (2000).

Time 01:08:30  Having left Ambrose behind again (by the device of informing the traffic police that
Ambrose had made a false report of Genevieve being a stolen vehicle) Alan is annoyed to find that 
Wendy needs to make a stop! They find a pub near a railway bridge and stop there. Ambrose catches up
with them and an argument, reconciliation, and a fresh argument ensue before they start the last leg of the

This sequence was filmed in Tavistock Road – close to West Drayton station in West London – just off
Yiewsley High Street. The railway is the London to Bristol line (the old Great Western Railway). There is a
bridge that goes under the railway at this point and it is visible at various points in the sequence. A far larger
concrete under bridge replaced this, sometime in the 1970s, and the road was scooped out underneath the
bridge to allow higher vehicles to pass under it. This has changed the road width and the heights of various
elements in the scene (like road slopes and pitch etc) and made it almost impossible to replicate photo angles.

The little green hut in the background which (in 1952/1953 has a Pepsi Cola sign on it) is a café called the
People’s Snack Bar and - remarkably - it’s still there and in business.  There were no Genevieve mementos
in the café (there are now!).  

The De Burgh Arms as seen in Genevieve (1953)    The De Burgh Arms today (2000)

The pub across the road from the snack bar is called the De Burgh Arms and that is still there too. They must
have built a set replicating the steps of the De Burgh Arms at Pinewood Studios because there are some
interior shots in which the two couples sit and eat ice cream on the steps. Similarly they built a set
representing the area around the People’s Café (it’s on this set that the two men almost come to blows
“hawling like brooligans” before the police arrive) and the whole sequence is an ad-hoc mixture of location
and interior shots (see below). I would guess they got rained off the location or perhaps they attracted too
much of a crowd to complete external shots to Henry’s satisfaction. To judge by the length and direction of
the shadows they were shooting at this location fairly early in the morning.

Tavistock Road: The bridge under the railway 
- as seen in Genevieve (1953)
Tavistock Road: The bridge under the railway 
today (2000)
At the end of the scene the 
two cars are shown heading 
northwards up 
Yiewsley High Street 
heading towards 
the Johnson’s Wax Company’s 
London office (as was). 
Henry Cornelius probably 
set up his camera on the railway 
embankment beside the bridge 
to get this shot.

Background Information: The set representing the café area is missing a small pathway that leads up behind
the café. In the location shots you can see two people emerging from this pathway as the Spyker pulls up
having just arrived on the scene. It’s also visible near the end of the scene as the cars leave to resume the
race. Within the scene the pathway comes and goes, according to whether studio or location shots are
used!  As before, this really doesn’t matter and I’d never have noticed it if not studying the film closely.
However, I bet old Henry noticed it whilst editing the film!

To get to this location take the M4 to junction 4, and follow the signs for the A408 towards West
Drayton and Yiewsley (roughly northbound). After about 2 miles turn left off the A408, following the
signs for the Horton Road industrial estate. Drive through the industrial estate for about one mile,
until you reach the junction with Yiewsley High Street. Turn left onto the High Street and Tavistock
Road is the second turning on the right just before the under bridge.

Time 01:14:30: The couples 
now go for broke, racing like 
maniacs along crowded urban 
roads (well, as much as one can 
in a veteran car!). They race through 
a shopping centre and are brought to 
a screeching halt by some kids using a 
pedestrian crossing. A little girl (Director 
Henry Cornelius recruited his daughter 
for the role) has dropped her ice cream 
and wants to save as much as possible 
by scraping it up off the road whilst our 
heroes wait impatiently.

Ice Cream.jpg (135446 bytes)

I have not had time to physically search for 
this location. However, I believe it may be 
Tooting High Road in south London. A couple
 of shop names match businesses in that road 
at this time (Geo Carter & Sons being one) 
according to the 1950 telephone directory 
for south London. (The black and white publicity 
still at left, a recent discovery, should allow 
identification of the precise location.)

Time 01:16:00: Ambrose gets 
stuck behind a slow car driven 
by a lady and whilst trying to 
overtake her on the inside 
(remember driving on the left 
was the norm in the UK then 
as now!) he somehow gets 
hemmed in between the lady’s 
parked car and a truck which 
pulls in and parks behind him – 
a very neatly done stunt in fact!

I identified the location for this shot from the shop name. However the exact scene no longer exists because
the entire street has been demolished and the area has been redeveloped (during 2000). The street shown in
the film is Chapel Street Uxbridge – and the shop shown is F&V Payne, 33 Chapel Street Uxbridge. This
was located just off Uxbridge town centre. Uxbridge reference library have a black & white photo of these
same buildings, taken from a different angle. I think that a few of the shots leading up this shot were also
filmed in Uxbridge, because there is a bus heading for West Drayton (about three miles south of Uxbridge)
and some shop names also suggest Uxbridge.

Time 01:16:44: The McKims and their opponents both get stuck at a junction where a policeman is directing traffic. An old gentleman (played by Arthur Wontner) tells McKim that he used to own a Darracq in his youth, and proceeds to engage him in conversation, whilst Ambrose gets under way again. The old gentleman tells McKim about his own memories of the car while McKim misses his chance to get through the junction!

I have been unable to verify it on the spot, but I believe this scene may have been shot at the junction of Lewisham High Street and the A20 road in south London.

Time 01:19:20: The McKims – 
resigned to defeat – drive along the 
Albert Embankment beside the river Thames. 
To their surprise they come across Ambrose 
and Rosalind who have somehow managed 
to crash into a fruit barrow making an unholy 
mess on the road. Realising that the race is on 
again the two cars head for the finish point on 
Westminster Bridge. Genevieve breaks down 
just short of the finish and has to be pushed onto 
the bridge, whilst at the last moment Ambrose 
gets stuck in tramlines again and gets taken away 
from the bridge, leaving Genevieve to get on the 
bridge first and win the race.

Most of these final shots are taken around the Lambeth area along the Albert Embankment on the south bank
of the Thames in central London – probably on a Sunday morning judging by the lack of traffic and people.

Background Information: It’s interesting to note that Westminster bridge is slightly arched and yet
Genevieve manages to win the race by coasting onto it when her handbrake slips into the off position!

cast and car.jpg (65774 bytes)CONCLUSION:  I have by no means covered all the locations 
used in the film, and I am sure that other people will be able to add to 
this list – and I intend to do so myself. It’s a great exercise in detection 
and enormous fun – but also rather frustrating trying to retrace the wheel tracks of Genevieve - but I’m glad I did it and I hope it turns out to be of interest to film buffs now and in the future.

Alan Trevennor.

All text and pictures (except pictures from the film) by Alan Trevennor. The text and original pictures remain the property of Alan Trevennor and are © Alan Trevennor 2000.



South Buckinghamshire has a well-done, fascinating web
page about the movies shot there. Recommended, and
worth a visit! Write to the South Buck District Council 
at the Council Office, Windsor Road, Slough SL1 2HN... 
and request their movie map, which offers a guide to walking 
tours of the many movie locations!


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