Borehamwood


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Sadly there wasn't time to sing "Grannie's Rocking Chair" as I had to move on to Borehamwood, which was just a mile or so away. Although my first port of call in the town should have been the Associated British Studios, where the show was filmed, I first stopped to take a look at Station Road. This short cul-de-sac, which is located next to Elstree Station, was used in Tiger Takes Off in the chase sequence where the gang first pursue Tiger in the hovercraft. In those days this was a quiet side street with a country-flavour, with red brick cottages and a wooden barn at one end. Today however it is almost unrecognisable save for the distinctive gas towers (now just one tower) in the background (see pic 14). The cottages and barn have been demolished to make way for modern flats and a much-needed bus terminus (no hovercrafts allowed however!).


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Then I found myself cycling down Shenley Road, the town's high street, with its many shops and offices. This now busy street was a lot quieter in the days of the Deckers and was featured in three memorable episodes. In Tiger Takes Off, the gang chase Tiger in the hover which is seen near Station Road (see pic 15) and later going towards the brow of the hill (see pic 16). In The Pop Singer we see Albert handing out leaflets advertising the gangs' scrapyard "discothek" where he stands in front of a cafe, The Studio Snack Bar. Amazingly the cafe is still there, still has the same name, and has hardly changed! (see pic 17). There is also another sequence with Albert where he stands near a children's clothes shop called Nurseryland, which has long since gone. This was located further up the high street, near Clarendon Road (see pic 18) and is now a newsagents. It would also seem to be this part of the road which was used in the Planet 7 commercial in Invaders From Space (the Spacemen give away free samples of Planet 7 candy), although viwed from the opposite direction, looking down the hill.


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In the sequence in The Pop Singer, when we first see the policeman, the sign of a public house can be briefly glimpsed in the background in a long shot.. This pub, the Red Lion, was the once very famous, and was a popular haunt with the stars and crew who used the studios in Borehamwood. However today it has now been transformed into a McDonalds restaurant so the sign has gone (see pic 19). But this building, with its distinctive 1930's architecture is still the same and was also briefly glimpsed in the background in Robbie The Robot when Robbie leaves Frank Thornton's house (see pic 20).



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