The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 4th September 2017
Post-production completed 25th November 2017

Running time 19 minutes

I travel to Wiltshire to explore a little of the North Wessex Downs . My day involves a walk to one of the famous White Horses and a visit to a pretty town with one of Britain’s widest high streets. Later on I look at some ancient barrows and finish up in a lovely village , which once had a connection with the television series “ Doctor Who .....
Filmed in the county of Wiltshire . Locations include the Alton Barnes White Horse , Marlborough and Aldbourne . This is the first film in the North Wessex Downs .
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Background and production details
I had booked two nights’ accommodation in the Travelodge in Devizes at the beginning of September 2017 following a suggestion of making a film or two of “The Solitary Rambler” in Wiltshire . I thought the idea was a good one as Wiltshire would be another new place for me to film. I didn’t know the county well, but I remembered visiting places such as Marlborough , Aldbourne and Avebury as well as seeing one or two of the White Horses . My plan, therefore, was to try and cover some of these previously visited locations in my Wiltshire films. I also only recently discovered that all these places fall within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty , so I decided to highlight my films as taking place in the North Wessex Downs as opposed to Wiltshire.

After my very wet day in Bath on the 3rd September 2017 I spent the first night in the Travelodge in Devizes hoping that the weather for the following couple of days would improve! Rain was still forecast unfortunately, but not as persistent as it had been when I had filmed in Bath. The following morning started off with drizzle and mist, so it wasn’t looking promising. However, to my relief the mist and rain quickly disappeared as the day went on.

I began filming on the outskirts of the village of Alton Barnes , from where I wanted to get a shot of the nearby White Horse, but the mist was obscuring the hills. It did clear a little after a while though, just enough for me to get my White Horse shots. I drove on up the road towards Lockeridge and parked in Pewsey Downs car park, from where I took a path leading to the White Horse, just so that I could capture a few shots of it closer up. I didn’t hang around though as it was still raining a little. I drove on to Marlborough and parked in George Street car park. Thankfully there was no more rain by this time. I just wanted to shoot scenes around the High Street, so basically I filmed from St Peter’s Church at one end of the street at to St Mary’s Church at the other end.

The last location I needed to drive to was Aldbourne. I felt I had to film in this village if I was coming to Wiltshire due to it having been used as arguably the most famous location in a “ Doctor Who ” serial many years ago. However, before filming in Aldbourne I followed the green lane leading north from the village to the Aldbourne Four Barrows and took a few shots around here. Retracing my steps I filmed all around Aldbourne village green to include shots of the surrounding cottages, the Blue Boar Inn and St Michael’s Church. The final shots of the day were on The Square where I came across a couple of litter bins, one looking rather like a Dalek , the other a Tardis , so I HAD to capture some shots of those! Once all the filming was completed I attempted to have a drink in the Blue Boar, but it was closed until 5:30pm, so I just decided to drive back to Devizes and relax in the Travelodge for a while .

There were no specific musical themes in my head for scoring my North Wessex Downs film “Alton Barnes to Aldbourne”. However, I had spent a few days in Wiltshire with my uncle Jim way back in 1989 when my aunty Rose, Jim’s sister, was living in Netheravon on Salisbury Plain . During our stay we explored parts of Wiltshire, which included visits to all the locations I shot for “Alton Barnes to Aldbourne”. Jim was playing a tape in his car radio at the time, which featured a mixture of classical music and soft jazz played with a clarinet, so when I came to post-production on my film I tried to capture that style in my own musical score. Although I’m not personally fond of the clarinet sound on my keyboard, I decided to use it for a couple of sequences in my music, but I mainly used the sounds of the grand piano, synthesized brass, flute, violin and viola.

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