Attention! Prepare for an invasion – the Dad’s Army film will have visitors flocking to the East Coast to see the ruggedly beautiful setting.
There will be no repelling of borders – on the contrary there will be a warm welcome from Beverley to Bridlington and Flamborough to Goathland.
Of all the stars – Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Toby Jones, Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta-Jones – none out shine the North Sea, shimmering in an autumn sun, the sweep of white cliffs of Flamborough and Bempton, the charm of Bridlington Old Town or the prettiness of Flamborough North Landing and the cobles resting on it.
There were scenes of this spy-in-the-camp caper shot at the East Riding Theatre in Beverley. While looking round this theatre/cafe – fast gaining a reputation for staging challenging and exciting work – visitors can also enjoy the Minister, shops and River Hull. They may want to check when the races are on or one of the many festivals – chamber and folk music, comedy and literature – the town hosts and make a week of it.
Also inland are shots of the North York Moors Railway steaming its way through an autumn-leafed Ryedale.
Then to the coast – those who think of Bridlington as a row of amusement arcades, crab and candy floss stalls and families shivering on the beach in the summer downpours will choke on their cliches.
Of course, it has arcades (name a seaside resort that does not), sometimes summer can be inclement and there are plenty of seafood stalls – they are part of the town’s fabric.
In fact you can imagine the Eric Gill-style seaside postcards that may well spring from this film. Catherine Zeta-Jones in the character of femme fatale Rose Winters leaning over the sea wall on the front looking dreamily towards the horizon and Bill Nighy as ladies’ man Sgt Wilson gazing lustily at her derriere. The caption reads: Only here for the view.
Bridlington Old Town, though, is full of an olde worlde charm and character. From the Priory to Westgate park and bowling green it is a slice of life almost from another era – which is what made it so perfect for the big screen version of one of TV’s most loved sitcoms.
The film showcases a smidgen of what the Old Town can offer. That is not to be disparaging of what it does show – that is fantastic. In fact, with bunting and banners, chintz and china – the Old Town is the centrepiece of the Dad’s Army film. Plenty of action takes place there incluidng the closing credits parade.
The facias of its tearooms, antique shops and restaurants – The Lamp, Raffles and Burlingtons – are all recognisable. But there is more to the Old Town then meets the cinematographer’s eye. Come see for yourself.
Those of us who live here, know the power of Bempton and Flamborough cliffs.
No-one sings the Vera Lynn song when they come in sight of them but there is no diminshing the power of the sheer chalk faces which brazen it out to the North Sea.
Both areas are a walkers and bird lovers paradise – and the film references that.
The East Coast and its surrounding towns and villages have always looked this good – now the rest of the country knows that, too.
Dad’s Army can be seen at the Forum, Bridlington, Hollywood Plaza, Scarborough, and Parkway Cinema, Beverley, now.