Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden – Lights of London location

A trip to London last weekend, took me close enough to Tower Bridge to visit, for the first time, the Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden in London. In 1976, this particular stretch of the Thames riverbank was still a wasteland, and had not been redeveloped since suffering repeated bombings during the Blitz.

With the iconic Tower Bridge in the background, and no city traffic to contend with, the area made an ideal place for director Pennant Roberts to shoot the sequences from Lights of London II in which (during a motorbike sortie for supplies) Manny attempts to shoot dead the dissident Wally. The on-location staging of this short sequence helps to reinforce the ‘sense of place’ in the episode. That said, it was not obvious (from how the area was framed on screen) that the wasteland was immediately adjacent to the River Thames.

Today the area is completely unrecognisable, and the site of a huge development of luxury flats. The building of the commemorative garden, in memory of those Londoners who died during the bombing of the capital in World War II, is dominated by its large dove sculpture. Its creation was a contractual requirement for the developers of the surrounding apartment complexes.

Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden
Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden, London

Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden commemorates the civilians who died in the London blitz which commenced on 7 September 1940 and ended on 10 May 1941. London was initially bombed for 57 consecutive nights. Many other cities and areas suffered but the East End of London was one of the worst hit areas due to its proximity to the docks with 436 Londoners killed and 1,666 injured on the first night alone, and with total casualties near to 30,000

Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden, Wapping High Street, London E1 (see Google maps)

Survivors fan gathering at Hampton Court, Saturday 29 June 2013

Survivors fan Steve Clutterbuck is organising an informal gathering for fans at Hampton Court in Herefordshire on Saturday 29 June 2013. Says Steve:

If anyone fancies a trip out to visit Hampton Court near Leominster, enjoy a walk around the grounds and get a chance to meet fellow Survivors fans, there is an informal picnic being arranged on Saturday 29 June 2013. On Friday 28 June, if anyone’s interested, we could perhaps arrange to visit some other nearby Survivors filming locations. If anyone is interested in joining in on either day, please get in touch via my website.

Updated: Organiser Steve Clutterbuck has shared a video of the tour of the castle interior which fans joined on the day –
 

Another Survivors filming location that has gone away…

The garage and workshop visited by Abby in the opening minutes of Survivors‘ series one episode Corn Dolly (located in the Herefordshire village of Llangrove) has been demolished.

Corn Dolly - the garage and workshop where Abby and the group encounter Charles Vaughan
Corn Dolly – the garage and workshop where Abby and the group first meet Charles Vaughan

The exterior of the building was used as a filming location during the first series on-location filming block in January 1975 (while the interior sequences were shot on video at BBC Television Centre several weeks later).

The workshop, located adjacent to the village school and close to the Post Office, remained in active use until at least 2005, but has since closed and been boarded up.

The building has now been demolished, the land cleared, and the site put up for auction.

The garage and workshop in Llangrove has gone away - April 2013
The garage and workshop in Llangrove has gone away – April 2013

‘Sparks’ Imber Church enjoys annual open days

St Giles Church, in the abandoned village of Imber on Salisbury Common (the main location for series three episode Sparks) enjoyed one of its all-too-brief annual open weekends at the end of September, as reported on the BBC News site (29 September 2012).

Deserted Salisbury Plain village of Imber opened to public

A village in Wiltshire that was abandoned during World War II and then taken over by the military opened for the weekend.

The village of Imber is normally closed to the public as it is in a military training zone on Salisbury Plain.

More than 100 people attended a service at St Giles Church, in Imber, on Salisbury Plain.

On Sunday, a full peal of the bells was rung which took some two-and-a-half hours to complete.

It is the fifth time a full peal has been rung since a new set of six bells was re-hung in August 2010, after the original bells were taken out in 1950.

The entire civilian population of the village was ordered to leave in December 1943 to provide a training area for American troops preparing for the invasion of Europe during World War II.

They were never allowed to return.

Since 2005, when the church was taken over by the Churches Conservation Trust, more than £300,000 has been spent on renovations.

St Giles Church, Imber

Photo and text (c) BBC News