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THIS WEEK Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle: Resignation of Prime Minister

COMMUNITY Return of the Polyphony Vocal Ensemble

BUSINESS Ten local food establishments sign up to Pevensey Food Festival



The Quiet Woman, partly filmed at Star Inn, Normans Bay, with Dora Bryan in supporting role, now showing on Talking Pictures channel

Regular Bay Life reader, Jane Beej Ranger writes to tell us about a fascinating Normans Bay location film that is being shown on the Talking Pictures channel.

She says, “The Quiet Woman, a film currently on Talking Pictures was filmed at The Star, Norman’s Bay, the setting for the film . I spotted a Martello tower! Outside shots are definitely the Star”.

Included with her message is a link to the, Reelstreets, website, a film buffs paradise that captures scene locations from films and gives a variety of interesting extra location material facts.

The Reelstreets Quiet Woman page shows stills from the film.

Interestingly, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, the famous comedy-drama directed by John Ford, appears to date to the next year, 1952, entirely unconnected, with the exception of the similarity in the title.

Jane is also right about the Talking Pictures channel showing the film. On at 15:00 today (Friday 27 April). We assume that there will be a repeat at some time. The Talking Pictures schedule can be seen here.

The plot of the film revolves around Duncan McLeod (Derek Bond), a gentleman artist and former Naval officer, assisted by his crewman Lefty Brown (Michael Balfour), engaged in smuggling contraband liquor between France and Britain across the English Channel.

Duncan and Lefty store the liquor at the Quiet Woman, a local pub in their coastal town, only to find one day that its complicit owner has moved away without telling them, and the pub is now being run by Jane Foster (Jane Hylton) and her maid Elsie (Dora Bryan).

No doubt the choice of location of the Star Inn at Normans Bay, would have been informed by the long history of the inn and the story of smuggling is Sussex.

James Donne, Former editor of the Sussex County magazine suggested, in an article published on the Star Inn website, “when the river Ashburn was diverted to the “Sluice” (now Normans’ Bay) this created a small port and there is documentary evidence to prove that it was well established by 1607.

“Even at that time it was involved in smuggling in one form or another. Wool, shorn from thousands of sheep on the marshes was being smuggled to France to evade customs duty and because they worked only at night the smugglers were known as “Owlers”.

Dora Bryan, with her supporting role in The Quiet Woman film, was a star of stage and screen. She died aged 91, in 2014, at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

She appeared in Last Of The Summer Wine, the St Trinian’s films and Absolutely Fabulous.

At the time of The Quiet Women film (1951) she would have been 28. Her other films in the fifties included Ealing’s The Blue Lamp (1950).The Cockleshell Heroes (1955), and Carry On Sergeant (1958).

Special thanks to Jane Beej Ranger for the information about the film and pointing us to the film stills website and the scheduling on the Talking Pictures channel.

Jane adds, “It’s available on dvd from Amazon if anyone’s interested.”

Karen Hudson, the go-ahead landlady of the Bay Hotel who has been in post for a year and done so much to rejuvenate the fortunes of the public house and hotel with varoety of new family orientated features, told Bay Life today (27 April), “this will be one of the afternoon film matinee at the Bay Hotel in June.”