Vernon Sewell is a B-movie film writer / director of the 1950’s who seemed to have an obsession with making films in Shoreham, that included the harbour, boats and often his own boat (which was berthed at Southwick’s Lady Bee).
Films to look out for that were filmed in Shoreham are listed below. Many are directed by Vernon and/or produced at Brighton Studios:
Ghost Ship (1952) https://www.reelstreets.com/films/ghost-ship/
Rogues Yarn (1957),
The Battle for the V1 (1958) https://www.reelstreets.com/films/battle-of-the-v-1/
The Flaw (1955) https://www.reelstreets.com/films/flaw-the/
Shadow of Fear (1963) https://www.reelstreets.com/films/shadow-of-fear/
Dangerous Voyage (1954)
Lady Bee Marina and Tarmount Lane Police station feature in Dangerous Voyage ( and also Ghost Ship and Rogues Yarn). I have a suspicion one of the boats is Vernon’s.
Here’s a curious still from Dangerous Voyage – recognise the spy’s secret map? (featuring a building beyond the lock built on a spit, with 2 chimneys – even though at the time of filming there was only one chimney) .The story was b-movie bunkum about radiation, a bomb and missing stowaways from a salvaged ship in the channel. The poster over eggs the excitement a bit, as you can see from the screen shots.
The Battle for the V1 has been well documented before but a curio in another photograph is worth noting. Nelson picks up the story:
We puzzled a lot about this photo (top – donated by Jean Tyler). How could a WW2 gun appear with the 1950’s eastern harbour arm in the background? Spinalman found the answer with two stills from the 1958 film ‘Battle of the V1.’ The gun was one of the props for a scene filmed on the fort – an 88mm German anti aircraft gun! Real? No, apparently not. Ex Southwick resident Pat Bareham tells us her husband John who worked at Shoreham’s Linscer & Barnes at the time was hired to cover the wooden dummy gun in zinc to make it look more realistic – sandbags were in fact filled with sawdust from Pullins – and John was even roped in as an extra!
Shoreham was a regular location for films produced out of the Brighton Studios – a small single stage film production building in St. Nicholas Road, Brighton. This two storey building was a film studios in the 1950’s and early 60’s – and then became an Auction House, and lately converted to flats.
A summary of Shoreham Films wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Hell Drivers (1957). The story is said to be inspired by the excavation of Truleigh Hill to build the underground ROTOR radar station in the 1950’s. The film’s story is about the rivalry between tipper truck drivers. It is filmed at Ford airfield, and on Beeding Hill and Truleigh Hill. The climax is a truck chase scene ending with a crash over the cliffs above a Beeding quarry.