More information about 'The Bargee' film.

Bargee revisited.

By Alan French


A few years ago, I submitted some information  on a film website that I belong to regarding the comedy film THE BARGEE. The submission was shortly after submitted to the Herts Memories website as well as Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers website  However, for whatever reason, I did not send a follow up response that was submitted to Britmovie. So I make amends now. It read thusly like this as follows:- Hi.

Research on microfilm here in the library has produced the following results:-

In the Hemel Hempstead Gazette published September 30th 1963, there is a small article on the front page regarding THE BARGEE, plus two photographs. One is of Harry H. Corbett and Ronnie Barker, possibly chatting to one another. Ronnie Barker is at an angle which does not show his face. The other photograph is of Eric Sykes with a bearded man holding a clip board.

The heading is, “Sykes and Corbett at Boxmoor.” The article then goes on to say that Associated British Pictures had been filming that week at Boxmoor Wharf (Hemel Hempstead.) On the Wednesday they moved to Bourne End. It does not mention that the spot in Bourne End was Winkwell, which earlb’s contribution refers in brief detail. For those unfamiliar with Hemel Hempstead, Bourne End is the last outpost of civilized Hemel Hempstead before we hit Berkhamsted. The story claims that it is producer Duncan Wood’s first film following his success in television. It does give brief reference to Harry H. Corbett’s success in STEPTOE AND SON. No other stars of the film appear other than than Eric Sykes, Ronnie Barker and Harry H. Corbett. It does say that filming was taking place along the canal near London to Birmingham.

I suspect that is why the location filming of John Dickinson’s Apsley Mill is not referred to is that it was to be shot a little later. When I witnessed the Apsley Mill’s session, I was told by someone from the film crew that this sequence was the last day of location, and that Ronnie Barker was the only star required on that day.

I regret that the copy from the microfilm is of inferior quality to reproduce here. Plus the fact I am not sure where I stand with copyright. Sorry. So please take note from the two members who witnessed the location filming and contributed to this thread, which I think has proven more interesting as it has progressed.   Additional information:- earlb is the user name of someone else who also contributed some comments on the Britmovie thread.   There is more than one Britmovie oganisation. My one is the one as listed above. Make sure you consult the correct Britmovie which is linked on Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers’ website.   I will also be submitting this to both the Herts Memories and Our Dacorum websites.   Copyright Alan French 2010 & 2013   Note: Previous submission can be found either as ‘The Memoirs of Alan French’ or ‘The Bargee’. It is an eyewitness account of the film’s making.

This page was added on 04/08/2013.

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  • I watched the filming of the Bargee as an 8-year-old in Hemel Hempstead. It was partly filmed on the canal by the Roses Lime Juice factory which is now B & Q. I remember seeing Harry H Corbett who was famous as Harold Steptoe in Steptoe and Son.

    By Stan Brewster (25/12/2021)
  • Since submission, Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers have changed to a new website

    By Alan French (22/07/2016)