The Solitary Rambler

  1. Title 2
  2. Title 3
  3. Title 4
  4. Title 5
  5. Title 5
Filmed 10th May 2018
Post-production completed TBA

Running time 20 minutes

I explore a little of Usk , a delightful small town I visited many times in the past. I often came here before or after a visit to a very special location a few miles away, so I decide to return to this place, which happens to be 25 years since my last visit. Whilst here I think back to that particular day all those years ago when I had unexpectedly encountered a friend walking around here and how I came to call myself “The Solitary Rambler” …..

Filmed in Wentwood in the county of Monmouthshire . Locations include Usk , Cadira Beeches, the Five Paths, Foresters’ Oaks, Gray Hill and Wentwood Reservoir . This is the 100th film and anniversary special marking 25 years of “The Solitary Rambler”.
  1. Title 1
  2. Title 2
  3. Title 3
  4. Title 4
  5. Title 5
Background and production details

Although I would be making several films in 2018 to celebrate the 25th anniversary, I decided one of these films would be an anniversary “special”. My idea was for this 25th anniversary special to be a homage to the very first Solitary Rambler film, the “ Pilot Episode ” shot in 1993, so I would go back to one of the main locations from that first film, which would be Wentwood in Monmouthshire . I decided to also film in the nearby town of Usk which, although didn’t actually feature in the very first film, was referenced several times in that film, so I thought it would make a nice “teaser” before moving on to Wentwood. There would also be direct references to the pilot episode in this new film, which would also include some flashback footage from that first film.
I also wanted to celebrate the first Solitary Rambler film by dressing as I did back then, which was all in black clothing, along with the fedora hat, albeit only for one scene. I bought myself a new pair of black jeans and although I had some black T shirts I decided to buy a new one to wear in this film. Unfortunately I no longer had my old leather jacket, and I wasn’t prepared to pay a fortune for a new one just for the sake of wearing it in one scene, so I decided to make do without it. The most important item of clothing was, of course, the black fedora. Like the jacket, I no longer had the hat, but I managed to buy a cheap one that would be more than suitable just to wear for this one film.
Another idea that came to me at the last minute was that, by sheer coincidence, I knew I would be shooting my 100th film sometime in 2018 and, although I hadn’t planned specifically what I would be making for film number 100, I decided that the 25th anniversary special should be the 100th film, just to make it that much more of a celebration.
On Wednesday 10th May, the day after I had been filming back in the Forest of Dean , I left my Mum’s home in Somerset where I had been staying, and drove over the Second Severn Crossing to make my way to Usk. After parking my car in Maryport Street North car park, the first scenes for the 25th anniversary special were shot at Usk Bridge . I then walked around the town to take shots of Twyn Square, St Mary’s Church, the castle ruins , the prison and the Rural Life Museum. Once all that was in the can I drove off to the day’s main location.
Parking at Cadira Beeches at Wentwood I took some shots here and walked along the track to the Five Paths. Reaching this particular spot and taking the necessary shots I decided to retrace my steps to Cadira Beeches and take a few more shots near there and drive to the last location, which was the car park at Foresters’ Oaks. From there I did the day’s best filming as I walked around the foot of Gray Hill before eventually climbing up onto the top. I tried to recreate similar shots from the pilot episode, i.e. the opening shot of that first film with the slow pan from Wentwood Reservoir around the views of Wentwood Forest, and the scene where I stand on the summit of Gray Hill with my hands on my hips, although on this occasion I was shooting in daylight as opposed to dusk as I had done in that 1993 film.  I also found an opportunity to film a scene where I make a subtle reference to my 1999 film “ Sentiments of Severnside .
Walking down from Gray Hill I made my way to the reservoir, which I was rather shocked to see that there was no water in the reservoir! There was nothing I could do about this of course, so I just carried on filming and tried to get the best shots of the control tower despite there being no water. Walking back to the car I needed to change into my black clothing for the final few shots of the filming, which I did and put on my fedora. I then walked back down towards the reservoir to get these last scenes done, which I managed to do without anyone else being around as I would have felt quite embarrassed had other walkers been there whilst I was wearing all this gear! Once everything was in the can I walked back to my car and rested for a while as I knew I would be driving back home to Derbyshire . After a quick rest I drove back to Usk and decided to have my tea in a local pub before making the long journey home, so I went into the Castle Inn on Twyn Square, which was a very nice place to eat. Once I had some food inside me I felt refreshed enough to start heading home.

Previous: New Fancy and Speech House
Films listed
​by region
Films listed in chronological order