Monday, 8 August 2011

50 Years Ago.... " Whistle Down The Wind"

     Monday 8th Aug 2011
         It was by sheer luck that we chose a short walk yesterday owing to the cool unsettled changeable weather.
  On arriving at the village of Downham one of Lancashires prettiest villages we found that the village was holding an exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the making of the film "Whistle Down The Wind"  in the local area . This film proved to be a very popular and is still shown on television.
      The exhibition was opening at 2pm so we'd time for a walk, we decided to find some of the locations from the film that put our area on the map when it caught the imagination of the general public all those years ago.
      The farm chosen for all the main scenes was Worsaw End Farm at the base of Worsaw Hill under the shadow of Pendle Hill.

                                            Pendle Hill

The farm house is almost the same but the trees have grown up all around the farm so the film would be impossible to shoot now because the lines of sight has changed so much.

                        Aerial  view of the farm at the time of filming

                The afternoon improved as we headed back to Downham

The lovely unspoilt village of Downham and not far from this spot a watercolour painted by my Grandfather over 70 years ago.

 Back now to the exhibition in the village hall

The film was produced by Richard Attenborough and directed by Byran Forbes
The story was written by Mary Hayley Bell the wife of John Mills
  Hayley Mills played the part of Kathy Bostock
  Alan Bates Played the part known as "Jesus"
  Two other main parts were played by Alan Barnes and Diane Holgate  local school children from the local Chatburn School and the many young extras were also played by children from the same school.
    Many of the local children from the film turned up for the anniversary  and signed the photo taken from a still frame from the film, most of the young extras and are now around 60 years old.

A few shots of the exhibition and general memorabilia

                                    A tasty Cream Tea

                                  The Farmhouse 50 years ago

The Northern Premier was held at the Odeon Cinema Burnley on the 4th August 1961
  I found it interesting to read that the main actors and film crew stayed at the Keirby Hotel in Burnley and after the days filming the films were sent to Humphries Film Lab. in Manchester for processing  then the film rushes were sent back to Burnley by 10:30 pm and then shown at the local Odeon Cinema near to the hotel.


  1. I am totally enamored by the countryside and small villages and farms of England. I often watch British TV shows more for the scenery than the content... so much of England is so beautiful and your first several photos are wonderful... I would love to visit but with my health problems that isn't likely... I'll just have to keep following blogs like yours! Thank you so much for sharing... Larry

  2. What a great posting and absolutely love the painting your grandfather did all those years ago.

  3. Wonderful post David! How fantastic for that photograph to get lots of signiatures of the 'children' who were involved in the film. I love your grandfather's watercolour too!

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