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Saturday May 18th 2024

It Always Rains On Sunday | 1947

It Always Rains On Sunday film location: Clarence Way, Chalk Farm, London
It Always Rains On Sunday location: ‘Coronet Grove, Bethnal Green’: Clarence Way, Chalk Farm, London

Maybe slightly artificial by the standards we're used to now from the likes of Ken Loach, this sad, downbeat melodrama from Ealing Studios was one of the first attempts to put working-class life and culture centre screen, with its petty shysters and Yiddish slang.

The novel it's based on was written by Arthur La Bern, the author of Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square, filmed in 1972 by Alfred Hitchcock as Frenzy.

It's almost a darker twin to Brief Encounter as Rose Sandigate (Googie Withers) hides escaped convict and old flame Tommy Swann (John McCallum) under the noses of her family in her ‘East End’ terraced house.

There a a couple of shots of the real East End, around Petticoat Lane, and a couple of studio recreations, but ‘Coronet Grove’ is Clarence Way, Chalk Farm, in northwest London, just north of bustling Camden Town.

The street remains pretty much unchanged, though naturally rather gentrified, but the truncated, damaged spire of the church of Most Holy Trinity With St Barnabas in the background has been stripped back to its tower.

Rose’s daughter Vi (Susan Shaw) runs along nearby Hartland Road to make a phone call.

The hypocritical fence, Mr Neesley, lives alongside the railway bridge, at 60 Hawley Road. Incidentally, the same house became the rundown boarding house in 1961 drama Flame In The Streets and home to struggling actor Dexter King (Jeff Goldblum) in Mel Smith’s 1989 comedy, The Tall Guy.

The startling climax in the benighted rail yards was filmed in the old Temple Mills sidings.