On location: Swallows and Amazons


A jokey clapperboard drawn on the side of a tent on the Yorkshire location of Swallows and Amazons, summer 2015. (Image by Tony Earnshaw. Copyright: Tony Earnshaw, 2015)

Last summer on a glorious August day I visited Plumpton Rocks, near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, to deliver a location report from the set of Swallows and Amazons.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be on location for a clutch of movies and TV shows over the years. The first was Wall of Tyranny in 1987. Then, over time, I reported from the sets of The Secret Garden (at Allerton Park, Knaresborough) in 1992, Brassed Off (filmed in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire) in 1995, FairyTale – A True Story (in Keighley) in 1996, Little Voice (from Scarborough) in 1997, and more recently L.A. Without a Map (from a Victorian cemetery in Bradford) in 1998, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (from Potter HQ at Leavesden Studios), ’71 (from a Blackburn terraced street doubling as Belfast in the 1970s) and Dark River (Skipton) just two weeks ago.


Streets are closed as director Yann Demange films a riot for ’71. Blackburn, 2013. (Image by Tony Earnshaw. Copyright: Tony Earnshaw, 2013) 

Being on set is a privilege. It’s also a magnificent insight into the rigours and discipline of filmmaking.

Swallows and Amazons is a throwback to a time when kids got their kicks from the great outdoors. You can read my piece in The Yorkshire Post on August 13.

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