The Enid Blyton Society

TV locations for the Famous Five series

Discuss the television and film adaptations of Enid Blyton's stories.

Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby petejt » 06 Jan 2018, 05:45

number 6 wrote:Hi Helenbee. Lepe House (Red Towers residence) is situated on a cliff overlooking the Solent, about 2 miles SE of Exbury village. Follow the signs for Lepe Country Park visitor centre & Car park. Once at the centre, walk out of the CP entrance, & head a few hundred yards West along the beach road towards the white building, which sits on the waters edge. This is the Watch house, which is Mr Curton's residence in the 'On Kirrin island again' episode. Continue along the path for another few hundred yards & you'll see Lepe house on your right. You can't miss it! There's no public transport down to Lepe at this time of year, so you'll need to drive to the location. I'd recommend buying the New Forest OS Explorer Map OL22. All F5 locations in the NF can be found on this particular map. :D

Image


Thank you too for this!

I'll link to this post in my spreadsheet and the initial list I posted earlier. You will be credited.
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby petejt » 06 Jan 2018, 06:05

In regards to the secret passages and tunnels (i.e. Exbury House basement kitchens), I have been busy capturing all of the scenes that show these (basically taking photos of the television! Crude but somewhat effective), so I can map them out. I will post them either here, or a separate thread, once I have finished.

I may have mentioned earlier how I saw in 'Fall into Adventure' that part of the tunnels looked like they were above-ground, as there was a window where hedges could be seen outside.

Hello Gary, were the Exbury House basement kitchens able to be accessed from the outside, above ground? Or were they actually above ground, despite being 'under' the house?

I found your memoirs (on the German Famous Five tribute website) where you only remembered small bits of filming 'Five get into a Fix', where you and the Five had posed "for photos near some dirty windows by the Exbury kitchen". So I guess at least part of it was above ground? Are these photos still around?

There's a shot that shows the "mine under the house", where Aily says she recognised Llewellyn Thomas. You can see what looks like white kitchen tiles in a passage behind the dark stone wall. I am guessing that is one of the entrances to the basement from the actual 'kitchen part'? Or maybe one of the internal entrances?

I think the Five (minus Anne) and Jo use this same entrance to enter the tunnel to escape from Red Tower & Markoff in 'Fall into Adventure'.


Another question. Is Bob Cartwright still around? If so, is there any way I could please contact him, or maybe he could be invited to post in these forums? I'd love to ask how he designed and built the secret passage entrances like the Via Occulta, the hidden cupboard in Kirrin Farmhouse, and the bookcase secret passage in Smuggler's Top Mr Lenoir's study (in Exbury House, and the same study used for where Solly Weston is hidden behind another secret panel in Owl's Dene).
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby number 6 » 06 Jan 2018, 13:09

Received an e-mail from Marc Checkley, who is the guy that has the 1978 F5 TV series documentary in the pipeline. He explained that he had been extremely busy since he recorded the interviews/toured the NF locations with Gary, Marcus & Jenny a few years back. He has also had a few copyright issues regarding the rights to the F5 series, which has prevented & slowed down his progress with certain items in the documentary. Also, He undertook a few long term TV projects in Asia, which required a lot of his time & effort. He is now based in Switzerland & doing freelance work, that continues to take up a considerable amount of time, too.

However, Marc is hoping to get the Exbury/Lepe interviews edited properly & put online soon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the F5 series, then he'll try to tackle the rest of the documentary if & when he gets the time. He requested that I keep in touch with him & he will keep me posted about his progress as much as possible.

I knew he was a busy chap, but I didn't realise how busy!! Thankfully, no pressure has been placed on him to complete the documentary, & none will be in the future, either. This is his personal project & its up to him how he chooses to progress with it.
I e-mailed Marc back & thanked him for taking time out of his busy schedule to reply, wishing him every success with his future projects. :D
Last edited by number 6 on 09 Jan 2018, 23:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby petejt » 08 Jan 2018, 16:15

^Good to see that something is being done. Thanks for posting!
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby Helenbee » 10 Jan 2018, 16:33

That’s it number 6, I did see that house! It had a mini on the drive. Your exactly right though, I didn’t recognise it! Looks different from the 70’s!
I think I’ve done most of the locations now or least the obvious ones! I mention on here before trying to find out if anyone knew where the house from secret trail was but the conclusion seems to be it’s been demolished as well as 2 Tree’s house.
I hope number 6, that you and your other dectectives on here! Can help locate them!
I was wondering if the location team who worked on them would know or contactable?

Gary, I don’t suppose you have any memory where 2 Trees was?? Was it over near Sowely??
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby Luke » 10 Jan 2018, 20:28

Helenbee wrote: I mention on here before trying to find out if anyone knew where the house from secret trail was but the conclusion seems to be it’s been demolished as well as 2 Tree’s house.


Yes, Helenbee, I guess those two locations are one of the few that are still missing. I figure those two houses have been demolished since they already looked run down almost 40 years ago. Unless someone from the cast or the production team remembers, this will remain a mystery. There are also no other clues in the episode as where these could have been. Even if they had been restored, it would be pretty difficult to recognize them nowadays... :?
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby number 6 » 10 Jan 2018, 20:39

I'm pretty sure I had an idea where the said buildings were located, but the notes on them were amongst those lost several months ago. I agree with Luke, it's more than likely they've succumbed to demolition. However, saying that, I'll see if there are any clues from the episodes that we may have overlooked. :D

Luke, it's nice to hear from you. Where have you been hiding? I was considering sending out a search party to look for you!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby timv » 11 Jan 2018, 10:03

The location of the house in the Secret Trail episode is one of those mysteries that I can't resolve either at the moment. A look at the crucial scenes (around 1 minute into Part 2 of this episode on You Tube downloads) show that it is adjacent to a gravel track that runs between two fields, wire fences on either side, towards a wood and is on fairly flat land. When I checked the likeliest lane , running East from opposite the main gates of Exbury House across fields towards Blackwater Bridge, last summer I found that the only house on it did not match the one in the film as it was an oblong and the one in the film is in two wings set at right angles to each other. Unless the place has been radically rebuilt that isn't it.
I'll keep an eye open this year as I explore more possibilities, but as Gary has said it could be anywhere! I think it is likely to be somewhere around Beaulieu and Exbury, or else to the North around Marchwood where the Kirrin Station scenes were shot - but this is just a guess based on the look of the setting. The house matches the usual style of late C19th cottages in this district; there are dozens of them around Beaulieu. The track appears to be in the middle of a farm; from my own knowledge of the area, the farm tracks around St Leonards and Sowley do not fit the profile as they are either fringed by hedges not wire fences (and have been since the 1970s) or do not have matching cottages on them. There is nothing matching the film scene around Royden Manor and Brockenhurst either. Nor has the layout of tracks around Exbury and St Leonards been touched recently; I was walking them as a teenager in the late 1970s. I'll let you know if I stumble on anything, but I suspect the house has been pulled down.
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby number 6 » 11 Jan 2018, 15:18

The notes I lost contained a vast amount of proven location info & possibilities, etc. I did a recce of the surrounding areas of locations on several occasions. On one of these visits I shown a NF Ranger a still photo of the two trees house from the episode (which I used to do in the early days!) & I'm sure he recognised it, & pointed me in the area it was located. However, It was at the end of my stay in the NF, so I decided to visit the area the following Summer when I'd have more time. Unfortunately, I put the details in with my other notes & then they disappeared some time afterwards! :roll:
I now duplicate my recent notes/pics & store them separately, just to be on the safe side!
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby Luke » 11 Jan 2018, 16:38

number 6 wrote:Luke, it's nice to hear from you. Where have you been hiding? I was considering sending out a search party to look for you!! :lol: :lol:

Well, Number 6, I'm glad you were looking for me :) but truth is, I have been captured by Rookie and spent my time at Owl's Dene...!! :)
No fact is, I have always followed this forum but I was just too lazy maybe to log in...shame on me! :oops: :oops:

About the two houses, maybe the owner of Decoy Pond Farm knows something if the photo stills are shown to her and if the opportunity was there to ask her (without being obtrusive of course). She seems to be a goldmine of information.
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby number 6 » 11 Jan 2018, 20:22

No worries, Luke! Tell you the truth, I'm sometimes the same regarding logging-in. :roll:

I never thought of asking Jane (Decoy PF) regarding the said buildings. Maybe she only knows about the Mystery Moor episode which was filmed in & around her farm. That would be understandable. However, she may recognise the buildings from the still pics (?). I've got her phone number, so I may give her a courtesy call one day & ask if it's possible to pop in to see her for a few minutes when I'm down that way in July, where I'll probably resume the search for the end credits scene. At least that way she'll expect me.

I wonder if anyone would remember the two buildings after 40 years? If they were demolished, then folk would probably forget about them. However, if one or both buildings were listed, then they may have been renovated & still be around. When I shown the NF Rangers still pics from the series, it was only two years after the programme came to an end. The locations were still fresh in people's memories. I did find a few locations by this method, but I suppose it would be a slim chance of being successful in the present day. :|
Last edited by number 6 on 19 Jan 2018, 11:22, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby timv » 16 Jan 2018, 10:08

Regarding the location of the house used for Two Trees in the 'Hike Together' episode, as it appears in the end scenes of Part Two in the YouTube downloads:
I have checked a photographic collection of 1900s-1980s pictures of New Forest country houses and smaller farmhouses/ private residences, which includes official photos at the time of sale by local estate agents. I was hoping that there might be a clue here as it is pretty comprehensive and includes 'gentlemen's residences' in the coastal towns as well as in their own grounds in the countryside, but none of the pictures fit the film shots. The collection gives me some ideas, as below.

The tower on the right hand side of the house as the children approach it is the main distinctive feature, and probably indicates a fairly well off Victorian or Edwardian owner/ architect with cash to spend on ornamental features. (The portico around the door is another hint of this.) A retired or part-time 'professional' owner apeing the wealthier gentry with a 'mini-mansion'? There are quite a few towered C19th houses around the Forest, but all in the photo database are of houses with towers built of white stone, not red brick. The house in the film does not fit any known ones in the vicinity of Lymington, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Exbury, Hythe, Lyndhurst, or along the coast West in the Victorian/ Edwardian 'new build' residential villages of Milford on Sea, New Milton/ Barton, or Highcliffe (or inland around Hordle); the last few of these were full of these small mansions in their own grounds. I suspect it could be a minor house in Highcliffe or a suburb of Bournemouth or Southampton - which have plenty of these red brick buildings. It was clearly derelict and about to be pulled down in 1978 when the film crew or a 'scout' spotted it and asked to use it. It's now probably a modern housing estate. But without a definite clue I can't place it closer than this!
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Re: TV locations for the Famous Five series

Postby number 6 » 19 Jan 2018, 11:48

Blimey! You've been busy timv! You've certainly covered a lot of ground! I think the location for two trees will remain a mystery for a while, at least. :D

However, I can remember thinking (a few years ago), that the brief scene from the Hike episode may have been stock footage from another production, or filmed by chance as an opportunity to add to stock pics that could be used in the series. Similar stock footage were used in various episodes, ie Red Towers residence seen from the sea (Durlston Castle in Dorset) & Windsor Castle seen from the train in another, etc. Maybe someone from the production team came across the location quite by chance, or knew of it, which could've been on the outskirts of London, close to the Southern TV studies? This may explain why the location doesn't fit with the type of buildings found in & around the NF. It's just a theory, a possibility. This explanation may jog Gary's memory. I don't know. :D
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