Friday, 27 April 2012


When I was at primary school in Somerton, Somerset (that's just left of London to my US friends!!) the BBC came to our little town to film an adaptation of a WW1 story which they called The Monocled Mutineer. It was based on a real life story of an army desserter called Percy Toplis.

I don't remember much about the occasion as I was quite young, but I have some memories.  How accurate they are is anyone's guess!  I remember we could audition for walk on parts - I didn't.  I remember the square and surrounding area being turned into a French Town - since I've found out it was Etaples. I also remember we had to be very quiet going between classes on certain days as our school was very close to the filming and we didn't want to annoy the bods at the BBC!  Perhaps, that sentence wouldn't have been part of my vocabulary - cynism, I believe, is learnt a little later in life!

The best bit and the bit I always remember was that all of the buildings had a makeover or under depending on how you looked at it.  There were fake shop fronts, cobblestones and even straw scattered on the roads.  I would have been 11/12 at the time and I remember it being really strange walking back from school walking through modern day to a bygone era and back again in a matter of minutes.

Anyhow, I have rambled enough - the reason for the story was that on one of my trips round town with mum in tow and camera in hand I saw that the Globe had some sandbags outside.  That's what started this whole memory - isn't life strange and wonderful at the same time!  Until reading up on the film I didn't realise that is still has a sign saying "Telegraph" which is what it became for the film.

Even the war memorial had a makeover and became the town clock.  I guess they didn't want WW2 veterans being shown in a WW1 film!  The funniest thing of all, we all waited with baited breath for the film to be released - well the adults did - I was probably into something much more fascinating at that age.  I think everyone was keen to Somerton amortilised on film - apparently most of the filming ended up on the cutting room floor! 

10 minutes - 2 weeks of filming, not being aloud out at breaks and lunchtime to play, being sent home early one day (ok, that wasn't exactly a hardship!), having to be quite walking around and they thought us worthy of 10 flippin' minutes - hmmmph!

If you're still awake, this is another layout of my "Highlights of me" album putting this memory to paper.  Someone had better spend more than 10 minutes on me in the future I'm telling you!!!!

Whilst there is a little bit of journalling on the page most of it is hidden on the postcard jutting out of the top of the picture.

Happy Crafting