We were contacted by past resident of Francis Street Terry Allsop whose neighbour Gill remembered the filming. She had newspaper cuttings from the time with the headline ‘Wartime in Hill Street’.
The filming took place on Monday 15 November 1976 and was reported in the local press on the following Friday, complete with photographs of director Richard Attenborough and other members of the crew.
The Berkshire Chronicle reports say “…television aerials were taken down, sandbags and ARP [air raid precaution] notices put up…”
The very short scene appears about 45 minutes into the film. Planes are shown flying over Katesgrove on their way to the Netherlands with men and equipment to take part in operation Market Garden. Actors standing in Hill Street look up at the sky as if following their flight path, there is a horse and cart in the street and a car parked at the Francis Street junction. An ARP warden’s post is also on this corner and you can see the Francis Street sign on a house wall in the still from the film at reelstreets.com.
The all-star cast included Dirk Bogarde, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford and Liv Ullmann. It was first shown in cinemas in 1977 and was recently shown on TV.