Our latest ‘I Love Filming In…’ short focuses on Cheshire, the backdrop to ITV’s new World War II drama ‘Home Fires’.
This six-part series follows a close-knit community who are forced to band together when the shadow of the war descends upon their small village. With husbands, fathers, sons and brothers sent off to the battlefields, the wives that are left behind form the Great Paxford Women’s Institute and in doing so find an inner-strength that changes their lives forever.
‘Home Fires’ was created and penned by Simon Block and boasts an impressive cast lead by Francesca Annis and Samantha Bond. The duo are joined by Ruth Gemmell (Utopia), Mark Bonnar (‘Line of Duty’), Claire Rushbrook (‘Collision’), Mark Bazeley (‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’), Frances Grey (‘The Widower’) and Ed Stoppard (‘Cilla’).
The series was inspired by ‘Jambusters’, the latest novel by writer, researcher and historian Julie Summers who also appears in the show in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it walk on role. Watch our new ‘I Love Filming In…’ short below to find out more about how Cheshire features in ITV’s ‘Home Fires’. The film is sponsored by Cheshire East Council and MediaFour production company.
‘Home Fires’ was shot almost exclusively in Cheshire, with many spots in the small village of Bunbury doubling for the fictional village central to the story and home to the Great Paxford Women’s Institute.
The production utilized many local pubs, churches and halls to help flesh out their story. Eagle-eyed viewers will no doubt be able to spot locations like St Boniface Church and The Old Vicarage alongside pubs such as The Dysart Arms and The Nag’s Head. Bunbury butchers RF Burrows & Sons and the Bunbury Village Hall can also be seen throughout the series’ six-episode story.
Creative England were approached by the ‘Home Fires’’ production team to help find a suitable village setting that could form the backdrop to their story. Producers were initially interested in bringing the series to either the West Midlands or North West regions and our Senior Production Liaison Manager Stephen Badham and Production Liaison Manager for the North Bobby Cochrane were on hand to provide logistical support. This involved gathering together relevant county, district and parish councils to discuss the practicality and feasibility of filming in each area.
Ultimately, ‘Home Fires’ chose to shoot in Cheshire and our Production Liaison Manager for the North Bobby Cochrane was able to work with our Cheshire East Film Friendly Partners to help take things forward. Bobby’s support included bringing members of the Cheshire Council and Parish Council together with representatives from ITV to discuss future filming plans and ensuring that the production’s shoot went smoothly.
Our Crew and Facilities Manager Nicky Ball worked closely with Line Producer Rachel Salter to source local crew. As a direct result, Creative England helped to fill 6 roles and provided around 230 days of work. Whilst shooting on location, we estimate that a production of this size would bring approximately £16,000 per day into Cheshire on everything from crew, security and taxis.
Images provided by ITV Studios.