SideTrack : Films & Plays with local connections

This Foldout collects the entries for some of the many TV and cinema films which have been filmed locally, and for other films and plays with a local connection

'71Ref 8-59
[2014] A Screen Yorkshire TV drama starring Jack O'Connell about a young British soldier who is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971

Ackley BridgeRef 8-64
Channel 4 TV series about the merger of 2 schools in a segregated British & Pakistani community. The series was filmed at the former St Catherine's Catholic High School in Holmfield. The first episode was broadcast on 7th June 2017

AddictRef 8-31
A film based on the life of playboy gangster, Stephen Smith, and based on his best-selling autobiography, Addict, was filmed in Halifax [Summer of 2005]. Smith, originally from the East End of London, became involved in a life of crime as a teenager and at one point slept rough on the streets – including in the Mixenden area

All Quiet on the Preston FrontRef 8-62
BBC TV comedy series about a local territorial army unit in northern England. Parts were filmed in Todmorden

A boy, a girl, and a bikeRef 8-1
[1948] Filmed in the Upper Calder Valley in the summer of 1948. Many local people were recruited as extras.

Directed by Ralph Smart and starring Honor Blackman, Diana Dors, Patrick Holt, John McCallum, and Anthony Newley, supported by John Blythe, Cyril Chamberlain, Maurice Denham, Leslie Dwyer, Bernard Hepton, Thora Hird, Megs Jenkins, Barry Letts, and local girl Margaret Avery as the juvenile lead, Ginger.

The story is about a local cycle club who invite some new members to join them, and become involved with illegal bookmakers, a stolen bike, a deserter on the run from the police, and a love triangle

Brain of BrighouseRef 8-B668
A play written by Lloyd Peters, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 14:15 pm on Tuesday, 22nd February 2005, and directed by Katherine Beacon. Actors taking part included Philip Jackson.

Plot: Danny Crossley, a child prodigy and successful game-show contestant, believes that TV game-show host, Mike Coster, is his long lost father

Brassed offRef 8-21
[1996] A brass band contest in the story was filmed at the Piece Hall. Starred Ewan MacGregor, Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Stephen Tompkinson

The CitadelRef 8-14
Filmed at Hebden Bridge

A day outRef 8-4
[1972] BBC TV play by Alan Bennett about a group of cyclists who leave Halifax for a ride in the country – set in 1911, just before World War I. The play was filmed at various locations in Calderdale. The opening and final scenes at the War Memorial were filmed at the Edward Akroyd memorial cross in Akroydon

DCI BanksRef 8-52
The pilot for the ITV series, starring Stephen Tomkinson, was filmed in Sowerby Bridge [May 2010].

Filming for a second series began in Elland and Cromwellbottom [April 2011]

Dead Clever : The Life and Crimes of Julie BottomleyRef 8-33
[2005] TV film written by Sally Wainwright and set in Sowerby Bridge and Ripponden

Dennis & the Gibbet Law of HalifaxRef 8-D180
A local drama written by F. C. Nantz about an innocent man who escaped execution on the gibbet. The play was staged at the Theatre Royal, Halifax in 1840, the year after the gibbet was re-discovered.

It is reproduced in several publications including the Halifax Almanack & Parish Year Book [1965].

The play has been attributed to Thomas Crossley

See Mr Dinnis

The DresserRef 8-8
[1983] Film starring Albert Finney & Tom Courtenay – some scenes were filmed in the Piece Hall

Fanny and ElvisRef 8-22
[1998] TV play filmed at Hebden Bridge. A car crash in the play was filmed in the car park at the Mount Skip Inn and St George's Square was covered in artificial snow for some scenes

Foxy ladyRef 8-10
[1982] TV play filmed in Hebden Bridge

FrostRef 8-27
[May 2003] Scenes for an episode of the Yorkshire Television detective series were filmed on the canal around the Brighouse basin. The exterior of the Ritz Ballroom was also used in the same episode.

For another episode [as yet, unidentified], some scenes were shot at The Shay

This & associated entries use material contributed by Phil Markham

The Gemma FactorRef 8-50
BBC TV comedy filmed in Heptonstall, Hardcastle Crags and Hebden Bridge [summer 2009]

Gentleman JackRef 8-65

Happy ValleyRef 8-63
BBC ONE TV series [2014] written by Sally Wainwright, and starring Sarah Lancashire and Steve Pemberton, and filmed at Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and other places in the Calder Valley

HeartbeatRef 8-16
From the 1990s, parts of Calderdale have been used for scenes in this Yorkshire Television drama series.

For example, some exterior shots for an episode were filmed at Firth's Carpets, Bailiff Bridge, others have been filmed at The Ritz, Brighouse

Helen of Four GatesRef 8-54
[1920] Film directed by Cecil M. Hepworth and filmed in Hebden Bridge.

Based on a novel by former mill worker Ethel Carnie Holdsworth. It was a silent film with subtitles in the Yorkshire dialect.

A copy of the film was discovered in Montréal and shown at Hebden Bridge Picture House in 2010

This & associated entries use material contributed by David Greaves

Hindle WakesRef 8-39
Outdoor scenes in the 1976 Granada TV production by Sir Laurence Olivier were filmed in Sowerby Bridge. Stars included Donald Pleasance, Rosemary Leach and Jack Hedley

History BoysRef 8-34
[2005] A film written by Alan Bennett and with scenes shot on location in Calderdale and at Fountains Abbey

HoraceRef 8-45
Much of the 1970s six-part TV drama, starring Barry Jackson, was filmed in and around Halifax by Yorkshire Television

This & associated entries use material contributed by Phil Markham

How We Used to LiveRef 8-38
Drama series produced by Yorkshire Television [1990]. The 17th and 19th century buildings in the factory yard at Joseph Dobson's Sweet Factory in Elland was used to represent a Victorian slum in the series

In loving memoryRef 8-11
[1979-1986] TV series starring Thora Hird – was filmed in Luddenden, Halifax & other parts of Calderdale

InheritanceRef 8-28
In February 1967, Granada Television began a 10-part serialisation of Phyllis Bentley's Inheritance trilogy, featuring John Thaw and James Bolam. The series was filmed in Huddersfield and at Sowerby Bridge, Murgatroyd's Mill, Luddenden, and Spring Mill, Rishworth

The Jealous GodRef 8-32
A film, based on John Braine's book and starring Jason Merrells and Denise Welch, was made on location in Calderdale, including The Rex, Elland, where the film was premièred in September 2005

Juliet BravoRef 8-5
[1981] BBC TV series about two female police inspectors in the small fictional town of Hartley, Lancashire. Filmed at Todmorden

KingdomRef 8-49
ITV series. In the episode shown on 5th July 2009, Stockport, the home town of the character played by Karl Davies, was represented by Halifax. Views of the town centre and of Skircoat, as seen from Beacon Hill, were used to depict visits to Stockport. Beacon Hill Road and Southowram Bank was the road into and out of Stockport, seen when Kingdom's car negotiated the hair-pin turn at the top of the Bank

Last of the Summer WineRef 8-6
From the 1970s, many parts of Calderdale have been used for scenes in this long-running BBC TV comedy series which is set in nearby Holmfirth – notably the Cromwell Lakes and Brighouse Canal Basin.

The 2006 Christmas Special was filmed [in June] in Park Street and Thornton Square, Brighouse

Last Tango in HalifaxRef 8-57
BBC ONE TV series [2012] written by Sally Wainwright, and starring Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Walker.

A second series was broadcast in 2013.

Some of the scenes were filmed in Calderdale, including

Others scenes, such as

  • Gillian's farm [was Norden, Rochdale]
  • The hospital car park [was an academy in Manchester]
  • the fictitious Southowram Hall [was Bramhall Hall, Cheshire]
  • Caroline's school [was Bolton Grammar School]

were not

The Last WitchRef 8-58
[2013] SkyLiving TV drama written by Sally Wainwright and starring Anne Reid and Katherine Kelly. Some scenes were filmed at Shibden Hall, Woolshops, and the Acapulco night-club

The League of GentlemenRef 8-61
BBC TV comedy series. Parts were filmed in Todmorden

The life & times of Henry PrattRef 8-12
[1992] ITV television series filmed in the Kilnhurst area of Todmorden

Life on MarsRef 8-36
In May 2006, scenes for the BBC TV drama series set in the 1970s were filmed near the Hippodrome Theatre in Todmorden

Little Malcolm & His Struggle Against the EunuchsRef 8-40
Play by David Halliwell. The play is said to have been based on an incident when Halliwell was expelled from art school.

The play was first performed in 1965, directed by Mike Leigh and with Halliwell in the title rôle. It was produced at London's Garrick Theatre with John Hurt in the lead, and on Broadway. Hurt also starred in the 1974 film version

Nicholas NicklebyRef 8-24
[Spring 2002] Film starring Jamie Bell as Nicholas Nickleby, Jim Broadbent as Wackford Squeers, and Juliet Stevenson as Mrs Squeers. Gibson's Mill stood in for the school, Dotheboys Hall

No love for JohnnieRef 8-2
[1960] Film starring Peter Finch – included the famous devil's cauldron view in the opening sequence

Oranges are not the only fruitRef 8-9
[1990] BBC TV drama – based on the novel by Jeanette Winterson – about the life of a young girl, Jeanette, who has been adopted by working-class evangelists in the North of England, in the 1960s. Parts were filmed in Todmorden

Our KidRef 8-44
The 1973 Yorkshire TV comedy series about life in a northern town, starring Barrie Rutter and Ken Platt. Some scenes were shot in Woodside, Halifax, where the Buslingthorpe family lived

This & associated entries use material contributed by Phil Markham

PulseRef 8-53
[2010] BBC TV medical drama starring Claire Foy.

The pilot series was filmed at Calderdale Royal Hospital and the filming in the mortuary was continually interrupted by the arrival of corpses

Mrs Ratcliffe's RevolutionRef 8-37
The comedy-drama set in 1968 was filmed in September 2006 at various locations in and around Halifax, including the Halifax High School building, Elmfield Terrace, Savile Park, People's Park, Savile Park and the North Bridge Leisure Centre.

The film starred Catherine Tate and Iain Glen, and was directed by Bille Eltringham, and produced by Leslee Unwin

Red RidingRef 8-41
In September 2008, Sean Bean, Warren Clarke and Andrew Garfield were in Calderdale and other places in Yorkshire, to film a Channel Four production Red Riding. The story is adapted from David Peace's Red Riding Quartet which is set in Yorkshire in the 1970s and early 80s at the time of the Ripper murders. Scenes were filmed at Arden Road Social Club, Halifax

Rita, Sue and Bob Too!Ref 8-47
1986 film filmed in Halifax, Bradford, Haworth and Baildon

Room at the TopRef 8-3
[1959] The film version of John Braine's novel – starring Laurence Harvey – had some scenes filmed in Halifax at places such as The Clarence Hotel, Halifax, All Souls' Church, and Halifax Town Hall

Room at the TopRef 8-55
[2010] A remake of the 1959 film of John Braine's book was filmed for BBC4 in Halifax – using Shaw Lodge Mills and Todmorden Hippodrome – and in Leeds and Bradford.

Because of copyright problems, the showing of the 4 part drama had to be cancelled before transmission in April 2011

Sainsbury's AdvertisementRef 8-51
[October/November 2009] Hebden Bridge was covered in artificial snow for a scene in the Sainsbury's Christmas advert starring Jamie Oliver

SeaforthRef 8-15
Filmed at Hebden Bridge and other parts of the West Riding

SharpeRef 8-18
Some scenes were filmed at Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge and East Riddlesden Hall

ShirleyRef 8-46
In 1922, Charlotte Brontë's novel Shirley, was filmed on the moors between Haworth and Colne.

Waggons from the Murgatroyd family's Oats Royd Mills, Luddenden, were used in the film. When the action commenced, the horses bolted and ran

Small FryRef 8-60
Short film made by the Hebden Bridge Cinema Section [1952]. The film won a commendation for Amateur Cine World.

A gamekeeper shows the wonders of nature to a small boy as they walk around Hardcastle Crags.


  • Richard Pickles played the child
  • Fred Sunderland, the gamekeeper
  • Sheila Hartley, the boy's mother
  • George Crabtree, the boy's father

Ken Crabtree, the manager of the Hebden Bridge branch of the Halifax Building Society, was the director of the film

This & associated entries use material contributed by Bob Pickles

SparkhouseRef 8-23
[2002] BBC1 TV drama written by Sally Wainwright. Described as a reworking of the Wuthering Heights theme – well, it did have a boy, a girl, and a moor – was filmed in and around Hebden Bridge and Todmorden

Stay LuckyRef 8-13
[1989] Yorkshire TV series – starring Dennis Waterman and Kay Francis – was filmed at Sowerby Bridge canal basin

Strongbow advertisementRef 8-48
[April 2009] An advert for Strongbow cider was filmed on Beacon Hill

Summer LoveRef 8-30
[July and November 2003] The BBC UK Film Foundation adaptation of Helen Cross's novel My Summer of Love, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, was filmed in Halifax, Todmorden, and the Ritz Ballroom in Brighouse

Ted & SylviaRef 8-25
[2002] A BBC biographical film about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath starring Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow was filmed at Mytholmroyd. Shame that Daniel Craig couldn't pronounce Mytholmroyd correctly!

This EnglandRef 8-35
[1966] Filming began in Hebden Bridge for an episode in the Granada TV Series

This Sporting LifeRef 8-43
The 1963 film about rugby league in a northern town, and starring Richard Harris.

Some scenes were shot at Thrum Hall

This & associated entries use material contributed by Phil Markham

This town of oursRef 8-29
[1972] A promotional film about Halifax produced by the Halifax Ciné Club. The film records the changes which were taking place at a time when redevelopment was rife, and immigration was having its first impact on the town

UnforgivenRef 8-42
In September 2008, Peter Davison, Suranne Jones, Will Mellor, and Jemma Redgrave starred in an ITV production which was filmed at Gibbet Street, Halifax and Soyland. The offices of law firm, Finn Gledhill, at Barum Top were used.

The film, written by Sally Wainwright, tells the story of a woman released after serving 15 years in prison for the murder of 2 policemen

Walker's Crisps advertisementRef 8-26
[November 2002] One of a series of adverts starring Gary Lineker was filmed at Trooper Lane, Southowram, near the houses at High Grove Place which stands just below Blaithroyd Lane

We of the West RidingRef 8-56
[1945] A 20-minute black and white film in which a young boy describes his family's life and the woollen mills of the West Riding.

Craig Barritt tells me that

members of his family played the Sykes family in the film, some of which was filmed at 24 Woodside Place, Boothtown. Originally another family had been chosen for the film, however they declined, and suggested the Coldwell family to the film makers.

  • His mother Eva who died in 2008, is seen outside the house and later sitting around the dining table, her face slightly obscured by flowers. She recalls that she rode her bike during the film, however it is difficult to identify her
  • His grandfather Albert Coldwell is seen checking cloth in the factory, which is at Dean Clough, and releasing pigeons
  • His grandmother Ethel Coldwell is seen cleaning outside 24 Woodside Place and working in the factory
  • His uncle Kenneth Coldwell is seen working in the factory and at the Shay watching Halifax Town
  • His aunt Ivy is seen lip-reading in the factory

Writer: Phyllis Bentley
Director: Ken Annakin
Narrator: Norman Shelley

This & associated entries use material contributed by Craig Barritt

Where the heart isRef 8-17
Parts of Calderdale have been used for scenes in this TV drama series which is set in nearby Slaithwaite.

In March 2004, an episode starring Martin Kemp was filmed at The Ritz, Brighouse

Mr Wroe's VirginsRef 8-19
[1993] Some of the TV series was shot at Heptonstall

Wuthering HeightsRef 8-20
[1991] An adaptation of the classic Wuthering Heights, starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, used Shibden Hall for some locations – although you'd find it hard to spot them. East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley was more easily recognisable

YanksRef 8-7
[1979] Film starring Richard Gere, Vanessa Redgrave – some scenes were filmed at Southowram Bank

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 12:33 / 3rd April 2024 / 38286

Page Ref: MMF109

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