Friday, 28 May 2010

updates is the blog of novelist Frank Egerton.

The Downton Abbey film crew returned this week, setting up a mini funfair in the square below the church.

I assumed they would be filming during the day but just after I'd got off the bus back from work yesterday, I bumped into my friend John. And he said they were doing night filming.

So off I went at ten-thirty or so to watch a few scenes. Couldn't get too close and didn't spot anyone famous, but the set was great. The helter-skelter is apparently an authentic early twentieth century one--the last of its kind (but maybe that's a village myth). Then there was this extraordinary inflatable glowing sausage roll jigging about in the sky just to the right of the church's east window. A prop? No, some sort of helium filled lighting rig--intended to suggest moonlight?

Anyway the crew seemed to be having to reshoot a few scenes and the buzz was that they might be back tonight. Yesterday was supposed to be their last day in Bampton.

How appropriate to have a funfair in the little square. Not that people probably think of it as a square because it's so tiny. And yet it is certainly four-sided and was, according to the prof from Queen's College, who knows about village history, the original market square in the days when the church served an Anglo-Saxon monastery. (You can still see some of the higgledy-piggledy Anglos-Saxon masonry inside the twelfth century tower.)

Meanwhile on the banks of the Oxford canal the duck family is growing up--and snoozing. Hard work, growing.

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