Fylde on film: Resort life through a lens over the decades

Filming a Kind of Loving in St Annes
Filming a Kind of Loving in St Annes

This week’s Reflections looks back at some of Fylde’s appearances on the big and small screen.

Over the years, the area, with its impressive scenery, has been chosen as the backdrop for the filming of several movies and TV shows.

Filming in St Annes of TV series Rep in 1981

Filming in St Annes of TV series Rep in 1981

These archive pictures show various occasions throughout the last century when towns in Fylde were visited by camera crews.

In the early 1960s, stars came to St Annes to film one of the most memorable British films of the era.

Alan Bates and Blackpool-born June Ritchie were in town to shoot the honeymoon segment of A Kind of Loving, which marked the directorial debut of John Schlesinger, later an Oscar winner for his 1969 Hollywood classic Midnight Cowboy.

It was decided St Annes seafront would be the ideal setting for the film’s honeymoon scene, although the destination in the script is actually Southport.

Common As Muck filming in Lytham, in June 1996

Common As Muck filming in Lytham, in June 1996

But St Annes’ part in the finished movie lasts less than a minute. After a brief panoramic shot of the seafront – clearly taken from a window of the old Majestic Hotel and overlooking the Pier – Bates and Ritchie are seen getting off their bus.

And a St Annes street turned back the clock 40 years, in November 1981.

Instead of the usual traffic and shoppers, there were vintage cars and even a Norton motorcycle parked in Garden Street.

Crowds gathered to watch young men in trilbies walk through the days of St Annes arcade. The “time warp” was for Granada TV series Rep.

St Annes film maker Peter Wilson (kneeling), and the cast from Before The Match, in 1985 in a St Annes Promenade shelter.  From left: Reg Griffiths (photography and editing), Peter Wilson (writer and director), Bob Haley, Tom Lack, Dora Lack, Ian Edmundson, Neil Duerden

St Annes film maker Peter Wilson (kneeling), and the cast from Before The Match, in 1985 in a St Annes Promenade shelter. From left: Reg Griffiths (photography and editing), Peter Wilson (writer and director), Bob Haley, Tom Lack, Dora Lack, Ian Edmundson, Neil Duerden

In 1985, St Annes film-maker Peter Wilson (pictured) used St Annes to film his short video Before The Match, about the issue of football violence.

The film, written, produced and directed by Mr Wilson, tells the story of two “bovver boys” looking for trouble and an elderly couple there for a day trip meeting in a Promenade shelter.

And in 1996, BBC comedy drama serial Common As Muck, starring June Whitfield, was filmed in Lytham.