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More props

Another shot from the Mapp and Lucia shoot this Summer. I think reproducing Twistevant’s was the most impressive set building the BBC types got up to. This entire storefront is fake, bolted onto a very plain-fronted white building on the corner. This is all burgundy paint and gold leaf; they must have a good old-fashioned sign painter on staff. When they were done, the whole thing vanished overnight.

There are even period displays inside — for example, you can just make out in the center a revolving rack of seed packets, all from the appropriate era! And all the notices in the windows and all the handbills posted — all of them perfectly period.

The cheese wheels in the foreground are all plastic, but the produce out front is half and half. There would be plastic onions mixed in with real ones. For some reason. I couldn’t work out the rationale — except that any fruit or veg that was cut open was fake, which made sense.

The production crew was very cool about it. When they weren’t actually filming, we were allowed to wander right through the sets and take pictures and gawk at stuff, though they got itchy if anyone pointed a camera at one of the stars. This area is right in the touristy heart of Rye and tourism carried on right throughout, though I did get briefly pinned down in the gun garden while they filmed a scene.

This is apparently in contrast to the Hollywood types in for the filming of Monuments Men. They were real asses to everyone, locals told me.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 9, 2014, 10:17 pm

Hm. Looks like I’m wrong. Google Street View indicates that is the current storefront with a fancy paintjob.

Which is even more impressive, in a way — it means they painted and gold leaf all that signage on the spot.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 9, 2014, 10:18 pm

While you’re in street view, take the opportunity to stroll around Rye. It really is a very cool place.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 9, 2014, 10:22 pm

I loved the seed packets, especially.

What bothered me though was how worryingly familiar it all looked. Unless you’ve lived through a change of your currency, you’ve no idea how thoroughly unpleasant it is.

Strawberries 1/6 a pound? It was only yesterday….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 9, 2014, 11:01 pm

Sticking with Street View, here is the actual greengrocer in Rye high street. It’s much smaller than Twistevant’s, but not all that different otherwise. It’s a block away.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 9, 2014, 11:02 pm

Actually, I think it calls itself a “fruiterer” — which I am hilariously incapable of saying. With my mouth.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 9, 2014, 11:05 pm

And another block away, another fruiterer. This one doubles up with a florist to sell cut flowers.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 9, 2014, 11:06 pm

Here we have the coolest public toilet on the planet. Only, it’s now a little antique store.

I find it a little hard to shop in there…

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: October 9, 2014, 11:52 pm

Decimal currencies are silly & are for silly people.

Comment from Nina
Time: October 10, 2014, 12:15 am

If a film crew did that to my shop I’d want them to just leave it. 🙂

Comment from mojo
Time: October 10, 2014, 12:49 am



Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 10, 2014, 1:02 am

Are there distilleries in Rye? 😉
It looks like a lovely little town, though I am especially fond of little towns what have distilleries.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 10, 2014, 8:47 pm

Eh, there’s a lot you don’t get with Street View, Paula. Like the inside of many of the shops. The Apothecary Coffee Shop, that really was an 18th C apothecary and still has the original sign outside and all the drawers with mysterious labels inside. And Fletcher’s Tea Rooms (Fletcher was a contemporary and pal of Shakespeare and was born in the house).

Comment from David Gillies
Time: October 10, 2014, 8:58 pm

When I was a student, they used to fairly regularly close Prince Consort Road (in between the Imperial College Campus and the block containing the Albert Hall) to film late 19th C. period dramas like the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series. We would rubberneck from the windows of one of the undergraduate physics labs which overlooked it. Apparently the biggest challenge was hiding all the street furniture and road markings out of shot. The yellow no parking lines were simply covered with dust the same colour as the road which was then swept up afterwards. The ratio of faffing about to actual filming seemed to be about 25:1.

Comment from CrabbyOldBat
Time: October 10, 2014, 9:39 pm

Oooh, I’ve been away two days, missed all the Mapp & Lucia goodness. Twistevant’s! Greengages and figs! The Bismarckian Lib-Lib who told the truth in order to deceive – and poor dear Coplen, not very bright, who must have misunderstood Lucia’s orders (“Nothing easier, dear . . .”).

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: October 11, 2014, 3:37 am

I did get briefly pinned down in the gun garden…

Err… What?

Revolver bushes? Pistol beds? Rifle groves?

Deborah @ October 10, 2014, 1:02 am: I am especially fond of little towns what have distilleries.

I’m in Evanston, Illinois, home of Frances E. Willard, co-founder of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and now home to FEW Spirits.

Comment from Carl
Time: October 11, 2014, 9:25 am

The gun garden held cannon for the defence of Rye.

I didn’t know who Fletcher was but the Tea Rooms have a marvellous Shakespearean atmosphere.

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