The BBC 'Just William' at Hitchin British Schools

Filming classroom scenes

By Ann Judge

The Gallery classroom in 1954, with boys and recording crew
Terry Ransome
The classroom became crowded with all the crew needed
Terry Ransome
Bruce MacKinnon as teacher Mr Attwater, Denis Lawson as Mr Marks the Headmaster, and John Sessions as Mr Wellbecker
Terry Ransome
"Boys will be boys"
Terry Ransome
Director Paul Seed and Producer John Chapman saying farewell to the boys at the end of filming
Terry Ransome
William and Ginger at their desks
Terry Ransome

BBC TV was filming across Hertfordshire in the summer of 2010 for a new series of ‘Just William’ stories.  For the classroom scenes they chose the British Schools’ Gallery Classroom.

For one week the classroom (that first opened in 1854) became a classroom in William’s Chinnington Hall School, 1954 – a time shift of exactly 100 years! The film crew needed more space than the one classroom however – they took over the Lancasterian schoolroom and the Edwardian classrooms for recording equipment and support areas as well. What’s more, a large number of catering, wardrobe and make-up vans were all parked at a “base” at Hitchin
Girls’ School. Other filming for the series included Hertfordshire locations at Bennington Lordship, Walkern Hall and a school hall in Harpenden.

Stars who came to the British Schools included Daniel Roche (of the TV series ‘Outnumbered’) as William Brown, Bruce MacKinnon as teacher Mr Attwater, Denis Lawson as Mr Marks the Headmaster, and John Sessions as Mr Wellbecker. Lisa Kaye played the school secretary – and some 20 other ‘schoolboys’ in grey uniform and short trousers really looked ‘at home’ in the old school surroundings.

This page was added on 10/09/2010.

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