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Friday April 12th 2024

The Lady Vanishes | 1938

Alfred Hitchcock’s sprightly thriller is set somewhere in a fictitious European country, but was made almost entirely in the old Gaumont-British Studios, which stood until the Nineties on the west side of Lime Grove, W12, alongside the Goldhawk Road-Shepherds Bush tube line in Shepherds Bush, west London.

Other Hitchcock films of the same period, such as the original version of The Man Who Knew Too Much and The 39 Steps were also filmed here. In 1949, the studio was taken over to become BBC television studios. Lime Grove Studios produced many of the UK’s most famous TV shows, including comedies Hancock's Half-Hour and Steptoe And Son, children’s favourites Andy Pandy, Sooty and Blue Peter, as well as the indestructible Doctor Who.

In 1992 the studios were closed for good, and subsequently demolished. Street names, such as Gaumont Terrace and Gainsborough Court, commemorate the site’s history.

Railway exteriors were filmed on the Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire, and the boat train of the British Southern Railway. Longmoor was a military railway, constructed in 1903 to train soldiers on railway construction and operations. It ran only around five miles, from Bordon (about 10 miles southeast of Salisbury) south to Liss. Until it closed in 1969, it was seen in countless film productions, including The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.