Cat no. 1682

Queen of He(a)rts Queen of Hearts / Queen of Herts

Running time30:58 Black & White Sound c.1946 Hertfordshire

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A travelogue of 1945 Hertfordshire.


DocumentaryTravel / Travelogue

A travelogue of Hertfordshire beginning with exterior scenes of Hatfield House. The commentary recalls the association of the house with Queen Elizabeth I. There are views of Hatfield, including the Eight Bells Inn, a Benskins public house. This claims to be where Bill Sykes took refuge after the murder of Nancy. Countryside shots show milestones to Reading on an old disused road. There are shots of Watling Street, the famous Roman Road, leading to Verulamium, St. Albans.

Here there are scenes of the town, of remains of Roman buildings and of the Abbey of St. Edmund. There are exterior and interior scenes of the Olde Fighting Cocks Inn, one of many that claims to be the oldest in England. This building was formerly the boathouse of the Abbey and during the 18th century a cock fighting pit. Countryside shots include a Church and a school before the film visits the Grammar School at Berkhamstead. There are scenes of pupils and masters shot around the school built in 1544. There are brief street scenes and shots of the ruined Castle. In the ruins are statues brought away from the blitz in London.The film shows shots of Water End, now a dry stream bed before visiting Hertford. The place where four rivers converge is shown. There are street and river scenes. There are shots of Hertford Castle where Queen Isabella died. There is a still of the Great Bed Of Ware and shots of the street and of the River Lea. The 14th century Franciscan Priory is also shown. A sequence shows the preparation and harvesting of watercress. It is later washed, boxed and taken to London.

At Waltham Abbey there are shots of the ruined and the new Abbey. There are shots of Ye Olde Four Swans Hotel and nearby Waltham Cross. The Strathmore Arms at St. Pauls (?) is shown and the commentary explains its connections with Queen Elizabeth and the Bowes-Lyon family. There are village scenes of Weston and shots of the oldest inhabitant. The story of the Weston Giant is told and the two stones shown, fifteen feet apart, that allegedly mark his final resting place. The village lockup at Shenley features along with the stocks and whipping post at Albery. These are followed by the Folly Gates at Mimms.A sequence shows crafts in Hertfordshire. These include a blacksmith shoeing a horse and thatchers at work on the farm and in the building trade. The woods that were Dick Turpin's hideout are shown before a lengthy sequence featuring Elstree Studios. These shows sets, including models, workshops and filming in process. The model maker features. Derelict windmills and watermills from the county are shown. There are shots of a water garden at an old watermill. There are also shots of a weir and a canal.

Industry in the county is shown by way of the gravel pits and a threshing sequence. The final sequence shows the warehouses by the canal at Ware and shows canal barges on the canal. Lock gates are negotiated and road bridges moved aside. The film ends with scenes of the canal.

Background Information:

Begun by R Widgey Newman before his early death in 1944, aged 44, this film was completed by his wife, Joan. She can be seen in shots in the film, including the shots of the stocks and whipping post at Albery.

Featured Buildings:

Abbey of St. Edmund; The Olde Fighting Cocks Inn; Grammar School at Berkhamstead; Berkhamstead Castle; Elstree Studios; Eight Bells Inn; Hatfield House; Hertford Castle; The Folly Gates at Mimms; The Strathmore Arms; Waltham Abbey; Ye Olde Four Swans Hotel; Ware Priory

An AIP Production for Ariston Films

J. Widgey Newman

Adolf Fried

William R. Plaskitt; Frederick Lack (camera assistant); P.Briggs (camera assistant)

J. Widgey Newman

M. Raeburn (musical arrangements)

Harry Sheridan

Neil Arden

Norman Griffin (settings)

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