The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 27th May 2015
Post-production completed 16th July
Running time 19 minutes
Whilst staying in  Lancashire  for a few days I decide to visit the village and local countryside where one of my favourite films was made. It is an absolute thrill and delight for me to visit some of the filming locations of “ Whistle Down the Wind ”.....
Filmed in the Ribble Valley  and Forest of Bowland in the county of  Lancashire . Locations include  Clitheroe , Worsaw Hill and  Downham .
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Background and production details
I wanted to make a film of “The Solitary Rambler” in some of the locations of the 1961 film “ Whistle Down the Wind ” starring  Hayley Mills  and  Alan Bates , which was a film I was always very fond of. Part of its appeal for me was the location filming in the  Lancashire  countryside, so after researching online I managed to track down the exact locations of the primary settings in the film. The village of  Downham , near  Clitheroe , was one such location, and another was Worsaw End Farm below Worsaw Hill. This house was used as the farm where Hayley Mills and her onscreen family lived and included the barn, in which Alan Bates was hiding.

My day filming “ Proud in Pendle ” had been very exhausting, so the following day I was looking to make a film involving a much more leisurely walk! This was my second day in Lancashire at the end of May 2015, and I decided to film a few shots around Clitheroe, the town in which I was staying for three nights. I would then move on to Downham, from where I would do a short walk that would pass Worsaw Hill and the farm from “Whistle Down the Wind”.

After a very nice breakfast in my excellent  guest house  in Clitheroe I walked into the town centre to begin filming “Delight in Downham”. I took some shots along Castle Street before walking up to  Clitheroe Castle  to film a few scenes of the ruin and the views from it. I took a few more shots of Castle Street before walking back to the guest house to collect my car. I drove to Downham, parking up in the village on arrival and shot many scenes around this picturesque location. It was lovely filming here and for me was easily recognisable from “Whistle Down the Wind”.

Eventually I followed the lane to  Chatburn , where on reaching the edge of this particular village I followed a footpath that headed in the direction of Worsaw Hill. Arriving at Worsaw End Farm was wonderful as I could almost feel myself being on the film set of “Whistle Down the Wind”. Filming as many shots as I could, including the barn, I was happy that I had captured the feel of the 1961 film. I also filmed a shot of me walking past a telegraph pole on Worsaw Hill behind the farm, which I also recognised from the film, and so I tried to recreate a similar shot where Hayley Mills had also walked past this pole. I arrived back in Downham just before 3pm to complete the day of filming when it started to rain, brilliant timing on my part! Despite the wet weather, however, I still managed to squeeze in a Downham ice cream from the  little shop  in the village!
The post-production was quite a long process on this occasion. It took no time at all for me to edit the scenes together, write and record the commentary and carry out any overdubbing, but the music seemed to take me ages. Sometimes I’m on a roll composing a new soundtrack, but this time I struggled to come up with anything I was happy with. I recorded a short piano piece, which I began to add to the first shots of Clitheroe, but then I found that I was just not satisfied with what I had come up with. I deleted the soundtrack I had so far created before coming up with a different theme, which I was happier with. However, when I began to add that to my edited film I was still not satisfied. There was actually nothing wrong with the soundtrack this time, but for me it did not fit the atmosphere and mood I wanted to create for “Delight in Downham”, so that got deleted too. Eventually I came up with a softer theme using the sound of the synthesized strings, which I was lot happier with, so at long last I had my soundtrack. I also recorded my own short rendition of the theme from “Whistle Down the Wind”, which I used at some of the Worsaw End Farm scenes and the end titles.
Next: Bleakness of Bowland
Previous: Proud in Pendle
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