Filming In Leigh 1979

One of my early memories of Leigh took place on a chilly March evening in 1979.

News had spread through the town that a film crew were working on a new movie release to be set in and around Southend.

The Film, entitled Bloody Kids, centred around the activities of two Southend juveniles, and the opening scene of the film featured a car crash. From memory, this involved staging a lorry crashing through the barriers of Belton Bridge, the railway bridge that connects Belton Gardens to the main street in Old Leigh. A film trailer had been set up close to the Crooked Billet, and there were camera crews, lighting rigs and a general bustle of moviemakers. Most prominent in my memory is the sight of various police cars, fire engines and police bikes attending the fake road accident. I stood there with my parents for several hours watching the process of making the opening of the movie.

The highlight of the evening for me was collecting the autograph of the film’s lead, Richard Beckinsale, who was best known as Ronnie Barker’s cellmate Godber, in the sitcom Porridge.

Shockingly, Richard Beckinsale suffered a heart attack and died a few days later, aged only 31.

The film was re-cast, and finally released at the end of 1979. The film, featuring a number of locations in and around Southend was released on DVD for the first time at the end of 2009 – Bloody Kids at Amazon

Bloody Kids DVD Cover

One Comment

  1. Greg Tanner 29 June 2012 Reply

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *