This episode is called Ringer and the location shots are filmed on a disused double track viaduct in 1985, no track, curved formation. At first I thought the Blackwall line E of Stepney East (now DLR, but surely clearance there underway in 85?) or the Limehouse curve; but the wider shots led me to consider either near the Selby St coal depot (Whitechapel), or near Millwall Junction. Viewable on UKTV player. Any info gladly received! Forgot to mention; OHE visible in some shots on operational line nearby
This episode is called Ringer and the location shots are filmed on a disused double track viaduct in 1985, no track, curved formation. At first I thought the Blackwall line E of Stepney East (now DLR, but surely clearance there underway in 85?) or the Limehouse curve; but the wider shots led me to consider either near the Selby St coal depot (Whitechapel), or near Millwall Junction. Viewable on UKTV player. Any info gladly received!
It's on youtube:
if that helps anyone who knows the area well. ImDB helpfully tells us this episode was filmed in England-well, there's a thing!!
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Post by norbitonflyer on Sept 30, 2017 22:16:09 GMT
Most of The Bill was actually filmed in south London, after the studios moved to Merton in 1990. (The Cambridge estate in Norbiton was used for location filming on the infamous "Jasmine Allen"). But in 1985 the studios were in Wapping, and most filming was done in that area. (The move was forced by the News International industrial dispute in 1986, and in particular altercations when strikers mistook actors in police uniform for the real thing).
The OHLE makes it evident this is north of the River. I think it is indeed the Limehouse viaduct. Early on there is a station in shot with a two-word name - Stepney East? At one point a street sign for --emming Street is also seen. There is a Hemming Street nearby.
Construction of the DLR did not start until 1985, after the Parliamentary Bills received the Royal Assent that year. That episode was first broadcast in the first week of 1986, and could well have been filmed before any work started on the Limehouse viaduct.
It was interesting to watch an episode from more than 30 years ago.... the entire length of a career for most who join the job.
But back to the question...
I’m sure that in one scene an adjacent rail line can be seen in the far distance. Given the proximity of the base, I’d suggest the Limehouse area. The council flats in the background also match those adjacent to the line out of Fenchurch Street, route the DLR now runs on and disused viaducts leading to the then disused docks on the Isle of Dogs.
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NF -- when you say the Limehouse viaduct, presumably you mean the Limehouse curve? The reason I went off that idea is that it was much more constrained by houses close up to the viaduct than the Bill shots seem to illustrate. I walked that viaduct when it was in use for storing derelict wagons, entered only from the south: and it just didn't seen right. Another thought might be the viaduct leading to the MR goods depot (by Pinchin St) but have no idea of its state in 1985, if not actually demolished. There were LCC blocks of flats (1930s)off Ellen St that might be the backdrop. Hemming St -- thanks NF, I missed that -- is actually very near the Selby St coal drops; could the 2-word name be Bethnal Green?
I thought not, but I was looking too close to Bethnal Green station. Given a suitably long telephoto shot Bethnal Green could appear in the background of a shot of what is left of the viaduct leading to the Selby Street depot. maps.nls.uk/view/102345861 for a pre-war view - the area will have changed a lot by 1985.
This is what it looks like now email@example.com,-0.0637984,132a,35y,20.33h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 - note that it is still a car-breakers' yard, although the viaduct is much shorter now than in the film. (The houses on Granary Road look new enough to have been built in the last 30 years)
The junction of Hemming Street and Selby Street, (street sign seen in one in-car shot) is almost directly over the East London Line tunnel between Whitechapel and Shoreditch.
One episode of The Bill was filmed in my old school, St Clement Danes in Du Cane Road, East Acton (or was it Shepherd's Bush). It was most peculiar watching them in all of the corridors and playgrounds that I was so familiar with. They also filmed an episode in Wormholt Road and Steventon Road, also near my school, near where I lived until I was 7, and where many of my relatived used to live. I would guess that the program (trying not to call it a show) was filmed all over London.
NF, thank you---I think we are there. Yes, the Granary Rd houses and flats are archetypal late 80s-early 90s. Next door is Pellew House, 1930s LCC flats. As far as I can see, there were two curved viaducts in close proximity, a very wide - 6 track - one leading off the south side of the GEML to wagon storage sidings, where the J67 0-6-0T goods station pilot could usually be seen in its own little shed in the 50s, and a 2-track one leading north from the sidings and the ELR to the coal drops. I guess it was this viaduct the detective constable is shown atop. The chute down which various actors jump into a mound of tyres may be one of the actual coal drops. The houses in Hemming St/Vallance Rd had been badly bombed, which explains the wide area of desolation depicted Altogether, a nice memorial of the railway archaeology of Bethnal Green. The OS 25" plan 1950-63 on www.old-maps.co.uk and best accessed by searching Bethnal Green, is a good guide
Love this thread, so far! I’ve watched The Bill on and off for decades — both when it was first being broadcast and then again in later years on UK Gold etc. Having lived in Tooting for god knows how many years I’m always spotting local shots around Merton Abbey Mills / Colliers Wood station etc when watching. norbitonflyer - fascinated to read of the Wapping situation and answers a long-standing question in my mind re: why the main filming locations moved. In latter years I also noticed quite a bit of the filming moved back out east to Wapping (Shadwell Basin etc) for a few episodes in the early ‘00s, before the program came to an end.
A good way of checking this is from the Birdseye feature in Maps Bing. The stub of the wide viaduct leaving the GEML can be seen clearly crossing Vallance Rd and Hemming St, when viewed from the south. Its width can be judged by viewing from the east.The narrower viaduct, on which Dashwood is seen, and the site of the coal drops, was between Surma Close and Hemming St; it has been totally demolished. The image on the Britain from Above website (Whitechapel High St and environs 1937) is too small to get any detail, unless a forum member has access to the zoom facility
Jimini, the accepted story is that actors were set on by protestors (who thought they were echt police) at the News International plant adjacent, but the unofficial one is that the owners of the site of Sun Hill nick (commercial premises leased out) gave Thames notice as they'd had a better offer!
And just to note that Peter Kay's London's Railway heritage v2 NE has pictures taken in 1971 of this area (and the general dereliction still apparent in the Bill episode). It also features a map with the triangular junction planned but never built at the top of the ELR here. The sidings on the film appear to have been built on the planned trackbed of this line to the south of the GEML.