Sweenealogy – Maida Vale to Battersea Part 2

We left ‘Part 1’ at Gloucester Road tube station, having picked up the ‘Supersnout’ (S2E03) location where George picks up Regan’s informant, Stickley. From there I had a bit of a longer – fairly pleasant – walk down through Kensington and Chelsea, over the King’s Road and across Old Father Thames via Battersea Bridge. Heading back down river – along paths I ran many times during work lunchtime runs – the next bridge along is the rather grand Albert Bridge, my next ‘location hit’ of the day.

Episode Context – S2E02, “Faces”

Again, no map really necessary here; we’re on the south side of the Thames, looking up at Albert Bridge. The Squad is en route to a ‘dummy run’ robbery being carried out by the gang of robbers led by Tober, whose loot is channeled into funding political / revolutionary objectives. (Quite what those are is only ever really alluded to at best; but likewise, is not really that important in the scheme of the story.) The dummy run – ostensibly to make sure the real job goes to plan – is really aimed at finding out which members of the gang can be trusted, and which might be moles.

The shot of the squad car crossing the bridge seen on the left here was obviously taken from a vantage point up in one of the buildings along the river; I did the best I could from ground level.

Interestingly, a building right in that location – I think it must be the one right on Albert Bridge road – was used as the ‘Data Task’ offices in Season 3 episode, ‘Tomorrow Man’. I took a photo of the building that’s there now, just-in-case (it’s a completely new building) – but haven’t got as far as that episode yet in my planning, so I’m not ready to officially bag it just yet.

At this point in the trek, I had intended to head south-west into the heart of Battersea for a cluster of locations there; however, prevailing circumstances of the day (I was bursting for a Jimmy Riddle) dictated that I head instead into Battersea Park and pick up a few locations around there first. Having changed tack, I decided that I’d reverse the order of some of the other locations and head out to points slightly to the east, before heading back in the other direction.

So, firstly let’s head into the park itself.

Episode Context – S3E03, “Visiting Firemen”

We open this episode with prominent businessman Carew, and his entourage, taking a jog along the lake in Battersea Park (1), where he is intercepted by the robbery squad who suspect him of a job that took place in a diamond merchants in Rotherhithe Square. A chase ensues before a formal charge is made – at which point Carew delivers the return that at the time of the job he was having dinner with Jack Regan.

For all of this group of shots in the park I didn’t have the source images to hand (had clumsily forgotten to transfer them onto my iPad that I take with me on these trips to be able to refer to in order to try and get the best recreations I can); therefore I’ve ‘done the best I could’ from memory. They’re not as exacting as usually I like, but the locations, background architecture etc. are clearly identifiable so they do the job for now. I may or may not ‘correct’ them when I’m next in the park.

We pick up Carew and co jogging along the lake, with the towers of Battersea Power Station visible in the background (and just visible through the trees in the modern day shot – the lake is to the left in this shot too, though heavily hidden by undergrowth):

I think I was a little too far up the path (i.e. I was just about where or behind where the joggers are in the episode shot).

Next we see the robbery squad in their car, observing the group as they jog along by the lake:

The robbery squad races to intercept Carew

Incidentally, you see the tower block in the background of these shots – the one that’s just above the bonnet of the car in the episode shot, and just to the left of centre in the ‘now’ shot? Well let’s head out of the park and nip over there now.

Episode Context – S2E06, “Trap”

Jack is backed into a corner; a reporter called Thomas is out to discredit him by providing evidence that cracking the ‘Golden Maid’ dairy robbery job – a result that led to Regan getting a promotion a few years ago – was only accomplished by Regan having acted outside of the law. Thomas has hidden the informant Regan used for the job. Noah, away somewhere until he can get his article published, and Regan finds himself in a race against time to uncover Noah’s whereabouts. He goes to another of his informants, Hooter, for information. He finds him at work in the basement of a pub, just south of Battersea Park (2).

The pub is long gone, and – even if the ‘cellar’ still exists – there was no way I could get into it to take the comparison shot from below street level 🙂 However, the tower itself still exists, more or less intact from the 70s:

From here I had another longer walk, eastwards in the direction of Nine Elms and the Patmore Estate to pick up one more location before heading back west towards Battersea ‘town’.

Episode Context – S1E05, “Jigsaw”

We’re back on the trail of Eddie Boyse, a recently-released con whom Regan suspects of being involved in a job where a night watchman was seriously injured. During the course of the investigation, the squad make several visits to Eddie’s flat (3) to look for evidence and obtain information.

Eddie’s flat is in Ascalon Street – though we’re only given a ‘visual hint’ as to its exact whereabouts within a block. Initially we see an aerial establishing shot, including a tower block that no longer exists. Naturally I couldn’t get anything approaching this view; however, a street-level view here shows the elevated railway line crossing another line beneath it, that can seen on the very right-hand side of the episode shot:

In a more close-up street-level view we see Jack and George looking up at Eddie’s flat:

I’ll admit to a slight hesitation, here; the configuration of the chimneys, and positioning of drainpipes is not exactly the same between these then-and-now shots. However, given the layout of the building (i.e. the way you are looking ‘into’ the right-angle between two parts of the block) this was – having walked round the entire estate – the only place that matched up. My conclusion is that either the original block no longer exists (there are some newer developments on the same estate) or that this is the correctl location but it has undergone some remodeling in the intervening 40-50 years. Either way, this is one where I’m vaguely content to say ‘correct location, matching architectural style, if not the exact same place’.

With that little visit to Eddie’s manor taken care of, it was time for another longer walk back past Battersea Park, and down to what would turn out to be the final cluster of locations for the day. (I was headed in the general direction of Wandsworth, and the ‘Le Gothique’ beer festival that evening; had there been time I had earmarked a few locations over there to pick up – as it turned out I found myself hungry and having forgotten to drink anything for hours, so I ended up grabbing some pre-festival food instead. But no matter, back to the quest.)

The final set of hits for the day took me to Battersea ‘town’ (as I’m calling it; don’t know the exact distinction, but it’s called Battersea on a map and it’s where Battersea High Street is – despite being a good few miles away from the power station and the dogs’ and cats’ home). It also took me within a stones throw, again, of the riverside path I’ve run along during countless lunchtimes; as with the Railway Tap / Porchester pub in Part 1 (and a good few other locations) it was only when I came to research the episode in question that I realised that I’d have been close enough to just nip over and take a few pics mid-run.

Episode Context – S2E06, “Trap”

We’re finishing up back on the episode where Regan is attempting to uncover the whereabouts of the former snout, Noah, who is being held in secret by a reporter and pressurised into giving testimony that incriminates Jack. To further complicate matters, the gang who was put away by Noah’s evidence is also now after him in order to make him ‘sing a different song’. Noah’s mother, whom he idolises, is wrapped up in all of this as the reporter has promised to give him money to help her out if he implicates Regan – whilst the gang realise that if they follow Regan long enough, he may lead them to Noah. Thus, both outfits converge on her flat (1).

Here we see exterior view of the flats off Vicarage Crescent where Noah’s mother lives:

Realising they’ve been tailed, Regan and Carter (in ‘civvy’ wheels – because all of this is taking place away from the eyes of Haskins and the Fifth-Floor, and is strictly not official squad business) play a game of car cat-and mouse with the gang around the estate, before evading them via one of the estate exits (2)

and speeding away:

From here I had a short walk round to Battersea High Street, and the location of Manny Bellow’s minicab offices. Manny claims to be a legitimate businessman whose hands are clean; in reality he was involved with the dairy robbery gang, and has been ‘looking after’ their money whilst they were inside. As with Noah’s Mum, both the squad and the robbers decide to pay him a visit.

Here we see the external view of ‘Three Way Minicabs’ (3) on Battersea High Street:

The pub is now ‘The Woodman’ (‘gentrified’); the shop that served as the cab office is now a residential building (number 62), and another has been built next door, in what was previously the yard adjacent to the shop.

A quick nip round the corner from here took me into Trott St (4), where earlier in the episode Regan talks to Carter on the phone about what’s going on – whilst being watched from a car by two of the gang. This road is now all built-up residential, and more or less unrecognisable from the demolition and clearing going on in the 70s; the phone box Regan is in would be somewhere roughly just ‘this side’ of the pink gate on the left:

And, so with the sun dipping, and thoughts of food and a beer festival growing, I headed from here to what was to be the final location for the day on Shuttleworth Road (5); here we see a shot of Regan and Carter as they are en-route to Manny’s offices:

A little tricky to get the exact angle I wanted – cars kept coming down the road at me! Still, the building you can see on the right is more or less the same as it was back then – likewise the houses on the left, a lick of paint here or there notwithstanding.

With that, a first epic Sweeney day in several years drew to a close! It remained only to walk (several miles more) to Wandsworth (where, incidentally, I took some shots of the underpasses used in ‘A Clockwork Orange’), grab some food and then head off for the evening’s beer-related shenanigans.


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