severalls - ditchingham maltings | inside out
03-04|06|06

Inside Out: The Shoot

The director, Martin Friend, was keen to keep the shoot as real as possible. Therefore he’d negotiated with the upper echelons of the BBC that we should trespass for real, arguing the public’s right to know. Having gained this permission, the onus was on me to find a couple of sites in the eastern region which were photogenic, historically interesting, complimentary with each other and, most importantly, allowed easy access for a film crew.

Eventually we whittled my dream list of locations (originally drawn up when the BBC were talking about gaining permission to film) down to several potentials. In the end we settled on Severalls and Ditchingham Maltings; the two sites complimented each other well, the access was potentially easy, and we could theoretically film without being disturbed.

Therefore, on the 3rd June, I drove the now familiar route to Colchester, turning up at the rendezous late as the one-way system had been dramatically remodelled since my last visit. It was a glorious day and I found the film crew in the beer garden, sipping beer and looking apprehensive. As my only demand, I’d asked for the crew to be severely cut down, to the extent that we’d even lost the show’s usual presenter and I’d be fronting the camera. From Martin’s point of view, there was the issue of shooting enough good footage to make a ten minute segment using a relatively untested presenter on a rather prickly subject (although later I found out he’d spoken with Clive Dunn, the director of the Rauceby Resoration Nation piece about my presenting).

We all had another round of drinks and then set off.



One of the eastern ward day rooms at Severalls. The Christmas decorations are still up. Which is very unlucky.