Reporting for duty in cinemas this week is ‘Dad’s Army’, a nostalgic revisit of the popular BBC sitcom of the same name, but which UK filming locations feature within the finished film?
Directed by Oliver Parker, this 2016 adaptation is set in the fictional town of Walmington-on-Sea and features an all star cast; with Toby Jones donning the iconic uniform of Home Guard Unit leader, Captain Mainwaring. Jones is joined by Bill Nighy’s Sergeant Wilson, Michael Gambon’s Private Godfrey, Tom Courtenay’s Lance Corporal Jones, Daniel Mays’ Private Walker and Blake Harrison as the not too bright Private Pike.
It’s 1944 and with the end of the Second World War in sight, Mainwaring’s ragtag troupe is thrown off guard when a beautiful journalist played by Catherine Zeta Jones drops in to report on their antics. To make matters worse, rumours have begun to spread of a German spy operating on the Home Guard’s small-town turf. With nothing but their wits to guide them, it’s up to Mainwaring and his unit to protect Walmington-On-Sea from certain chaos.
Although ‘Dad’s Army’ is set on the South coast of England, filming actually took place entirely in Yorkshire, almost 300 miles north of the English Channel.
Throughout the shoot, Creative England’s Production Services Team worked closely with filmmakers to offer expert location and crewing support and advice. When the search for locations began in the Summer of 2014, Our Production Liaison Manager for Yorkshire, Chris Hordley, was on hand to show the film’s director and producer the magnificent Yorkshire coastline, highlighting a selection of unique uk filming locations including the chalk cliffs around Flamborough and also Bempton in East Yorkshire which feature prominently in the film.
During production, the ‘Dad’s Army’ crew transformed Bridlington’s Old Town into the fictional seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea, with many local pubs and shops given a period makeover. The Black Lion pub, also in Bridlington, was transformed into the Royal Oak Inn to host a ceremony scene, while the East Riding Theatre in Beverly was used as Captain Mainwaring’s drill hall. A shop front in Bridlington’s Old Town hosted Walmington’s Marigold Tea Rooms and Yorkshire beauty parlour The Beauty Bank can be seen as the bank where Captain Mainwaring works when he’s not on duty.
Additional sequences were filmed at regional tourist hotspots including as Sewerby Hall and Gardens and the historic market town of Beverley in East Yorkshire; and Duncombe Park, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Hemsley in North Yorkshire. Meanwhile the exterior of Leeds Town Hall and Leeds City Centre make an appearance, cleverly disguised as the war torn streets of 1940’s London.
Creative England’s Production Services Team worked closely with our Filming Partners in East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Scarborough Council to secure the necessary filming permissions to ensure a smooth shoot. Additional assistance came from Leeds City Council who provided access to a number of additional filming spots. To find out how you can become a film partner, visit our Film Partnerships page.
Yorkshire gave us a host of stunning locations that worked perfectly for Dad’s Army and we also had a phenomenal team made up primarily of local crew from Yorkshire thanks to regional support from Creative England. Their assistance along with East Riding Council and the people of Bridlington was second to none.
Danny Gulliver, Line Producer, Dad’s Army
The Crewing team at Creative England also worked alongside the production to help source local crew by sending out regular job postings on their behalf directly to the crew listed on our national database. At least 11 crew (both main team and dailies) were employed as a result of the job posting service, creating over 200 days of work.
Among the crew members who worked on ‘Dad’s Army’ were Prop Master Michael Betts and Production Sound Mixer Martin Beresford both based in Yorkshire . Click on their respective links to find out more about their roles. If you would like to be considered for and alerted to other Film and TV productions looking for crew in Yorkshire, head here to sign up to our free crew database
‘Dad’s Army’ is a Universal Pictures International presentation of a DJ Films production, supported by Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, in association with British Film Company, Worldwide Theatrix Ltd and Jimmy Perry Productions. Produced by Damian Jones, ‘Dad’s Army’ has Jimmy Perry, Ann Croft, Penny Croft, Hugo Heppell, Steve Milne, Christian Eisenbeiss, Josephine Rose and Miles Ketley serving as Executive Producers. Universal Pictures International, through its division Universal Pictures International Production (UPIP) has acquired worldwide rights to the film. Creative England worked with the production to secure locations, filming permissions and regional crew.