Tag Archives: BBC

BBC drama in Blackheath

What Remains BBC TV drama
OK, I admit it. The house from the excellent new BBC drama “What Remains” was driving me nuts. It’s somewhere in Blackheath, but where? I wandered up and down Pond Road, thinking it was near the railway bridge… Close, but no cigar.

What Remains house 2

I knew I’d seen it before. Then one of the production designers tweeted that it was in Eliot Park.

And here it is, looking considerably less spooky surrounded by leaves and blossom on Google Streetview!

There’s a great post about the production here. Amazingly, the interiors of the house were all shot in a studio.

It’s a good first episode – hopefully the other three parts will live up to the first.  If you’ve ever lived in flats inside a converted Victorian house, it will push many buttons – the way sound travels in unexpected ways, the timers on the lights, the uncared-for communal areas.  It has lots to say about modern life in a city, and online too.  Don’t be put off by Frank Gallagher.  It’s a subtle performance, and the house really feels like the star of the show.

Anyway, there’s a good review of the first episode in the Telegraph, complete with a fantastic new genre “Norwood Noir”, which should clearly be “Blackheath Butchery”… Can’t wait to find out whodunnit. It’s clearly not going to be the teacher.

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Missiles demoed on Blackheath – BBC News

Missiles on BBC News
BBC News package about the missiles. No voxpops.

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Filming at the Farmers Market

Aldo Zilli filming at the Blackheath Farmers Market for a BBC TV show
I promise I do go to other places besides the Farmers Market, honest. As I was wandering up, I saw this message from Blackheath’s Premier Twitterer, Richard Bacon. He said that Aldo Zilli is at the Farmer’s Market, so it must be good…

And sure enough, there Mr Zilli was, filming a new BBC series due to go out in the summer, tentatively called “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” (who says the BBC is dumbing down?), whereby a load of “celebrity chefs” go to farmers markets in various cities, and then use the food at various posh restaurants. Apparently Nick Nairn was also wandering around the market too.

It sounds like a recipe for an angry AA Gill column to me, but anyway, the episode being filmed at the Blackheath Farmers Market will be about The Mercer, on Threadneedle Street in London.

Which is all great, except that I wouldn’t know Aldo Zilli, Nick Nairn or The Mercer, if I hadn’t just been told about them… Lord Reith had a rule forbidding the use of the word “famous”: If the person is famous, then the audience doesn’t need to be told that they are, as they will already be instantly recognisable, and if the person isn’t famous, then it is a lie. For less media-saturated times…

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Sightseeing near Blackheath

Severndroog Castle

This creepy looking building is 9 minutes from Blackheath by train. 3 stops away from London takes you to Falconwood, where a fair amount of steep walking through forests eventually opens up to reveal this curious building. It is called Severndroog Castle, although it is more of a folly than a castle. It was the subject of a BBC Restoration programme, although it never actually got restored. The walk from the station takes you down a bland A-road, then down a forest path for a few minutes.

Severndroog Castle fields nearbyThe forest opens up to reveal Oxleas Meadow, which according to a sign nearby, has a water reservoir beneath it.

Severndroog Castle cafe nearby

At the top of the hill is a nice little cafe, selling teas, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and ice creams.

More aimless wandering through the forest (an A-to-Z really isn’t the best way to navigate when there aren’t any roads), and the Castle appears near the top of the hill.

Severndroog Castle cracked wallIt really is quite strange. It’s in a pretty terrible state, with cracks down the walls, and graffiti around what would have been the main entrance. I wouldn’t like to come and see it at night…

Severndroog Castle Fake Window

The upper windows have been shattered, and the lower ones have been blocked up, apart from the fake painted windows, which stare at you like blind eyes.

This plaque explains that the castle was built to:

“commemorate that gallant officers achievements in the East Indies, during his command of the Company’s Marine Forces in those seas, and in particular to record the conquest of the Castle of Severndroog off the coast of Malabar, which fell to his superior valour and able conduct on the 2nd day of April 1755”

The castle was built by Sir William James’ grieving wife to commemorate her husband. Her husband was part of the East India Company, which might explain why the place feels creepy…

The castle was opened to visitors last year, as part of the Open House event, and from the look of the open house website, it will be accessible this year on the weekend of 20th & 21st September.

Finally, take a look at this astonishing photograph of the castle by flickr user Short Sharp Shot. Most of his photos are taken around south east London, and all of them are great.

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