Clarendon Road

pic 47
From here I went back to Shenley Road again, and paid a visit to the locations used in A Helping Hound and Up To Scratch, namely Clarendon Road, Maldon Road and Essesx Road. These streets all contain terraced houses and are all much older than the the others I visited. They were built around the turn of the century which fits in with the theme that the Deckers live in East London. The gang visit Mrs Vickers' house in A Helping Hound which is actually number 8 Maldon Road, and this has been spruced up a bit since it was filmed (all thanks to Tiger!). Note the new hardwood door and window frames, and the neat brick wall which has replaced the picket fence and hedge (see pic 47). The lamp post outside is still the same however and there is still a door blocking off the alleyway next door.

pic 48
When Mr Brimble, the landlord (Graham Stark) arrives by car, he is seen turning into Maldon Road from from Clarendon Road (see pic 48), and this part is also seen when Tiger leaves the house later in the episode. While the houses here haven't changed that much, behind you can now see parts of the BBC TV Centre which is where the world-famous soap opera Eastenders is made. These studios were formerly the Neptune, Ideal, British National and ATV Studios before the BBC took over in 1984. Mrs Vickers' house would be worth a lot more today than it was in 1969 as it overlooks George Street and Albert Square, and distinctive parts of the viaduct from the soap opera can be glimpsed between some of the houses which makes quite a surreal scene being a film lot behind a film location. (Also, an interesting coincidence is that actress Pat Coombes who appeared in both A Happy Haunting and United We Stand also appeared in Eastenders as Marge Green in 1989/90).

pic 49

pic 50

pic 51

The back entrance to these studios is almost next door to number 39 Clarendon Road, and it here where Tiger finds the dog Snowflake in A Helping Hound, when she sits outside to tie her shoelace (see pic 49). The house is pretty much the same today with its low painted brick wall and short privet hedge and the GPO manhole is still outside. The other end of Clarendon Road is also shown when Tiger talks to the dog, and this gave me a clue in finding my last location. I recognised a house in Clarendon Road as being one seen in the background when Scooper and Billie visit Mr Furber's lodging house at the end of Up To Scratch (see pic 50). So I travelled along this road, Essex Road (which leads off Clarendon Road) and soon found number 16 on the north side, which was immediately familiar despite the fact that it has been somewhat altered (see pic 51). Sadly this was not a B&B in reality, which was a shame because I was feeling rather tired after my long day and could have done with a rest!

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