Over the gate...

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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Chiswick House: then & now - part 1.


Much as I love London (and I suppose I must), there are few more hellish places than, for example, Oxford Street on a hot day. Conversely, Chiswick House and gardens. Chiswick House (don't forget those gardens) is as lovely a spot as you will ever find, and made all the more so by the constant frissons engendered by happening upon oddly familiar places.
It was, of course, the locale for a pair of promo films from May '66 (one's called Rain and one's called Paperback Writer). Starting with Rain, and the gate that opens the film, seen from both sides, then and the noo:


Remarkably, the grounds don't seem to have changed much at all, since the day of filming (give or take a Ringo/statue/bush or two); the cedar tree branch, so familiar from the film and Nowhere Man ep, still there (and still covered in children when I visited):


The conservatory has undergone some refurbishment, but remains recognisable. The main difference is that the central portion, which saw much of the action, has been stripped of foliage/statuary:


One of my favourite Beatle pics, from the back cover of the 70s re-issue of Paperback Writer, much pored over as a nipper whilst the disc got spun to death (and odd it was too to be standing on the very spot all these years after the fact). The gate seen in the pic and promos isn't there anymore:


The area behind the conservatory, then as now, is home to vegetable patches and the like, and not usually open to the public. Hence, they hung out here between takes, attempting to avoid the massed ranks of teenagers from the school across the road:


Finally for part 1, a couple of pics taken near the second gate, between the conservatory and the car park; still, too, the same these days:


Note Mr Bicknell, bringing up the rear:


Part 2 to follow, like it or not. Thanks as ever to The Beatles' London (Schreuders, Lewisohn & Smith) for guidance (though wandering around lost is no chore at Chiswick (did I mention those gardens?)).

3 comments:

  1. Great post. Its good to see some places haven't changed! I might have to get myself down there and make a D.I.Y. Nowhere Man EP cover!

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  2. Do we know who the photogrpaher is of the Chiswick Gardens Paperback writer photos?

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    Replies
    1. I'm almost certain it was Robert Whitaker. I was at one of his exhibits a few years ago and a Chiswick photo was on display.

      (answered 2 years too late)

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