We left Part 1 on the SW side of Holland Park, having just (re)visited Oakwood Court – this time actually being aware that there was an episode location to be had rather than just walking through to somewhere else. As mentioned, more of this ‘retreading old ground’ was about to come – several times over, in fact; to that end I headed North, and back to ‘The Bush’.
Episode Context – S2E09, “Stay Lucky, Eh?”
Crime kingpin Tony Kirby has put up two grand front-money for a job being pulled by two of his young villains, Tyson and Jenner. The job goes exactly to plan, and the pair make it away with piles of cash back to their hideout (1). However, it seems a mystery third-party has been tipped off about the job, and is laying in wait for them on their return. Caught with their guard down, the pair are robbed at gunpoint and relieved of their spoils. In the ensuing fray, Jenner gets a bullet in the leg which needs urgent medical attention; just as much of a problem – they will now have to explain to a less than understanding Kirby why his two grand outlay has netted him nothing in return.
Tyson and Jenner’s hideout is a small lock-up in Royal Crescent Mews, just across the West Cross Route from Shepherd’s Bush Station. We’ve been here before – S1E02, “Jackpot” – where The Sweeney intercept a gang of robbers after a job, and in the massive punch-up that ensues a bag containing £35,000 goes missing. This time, we’re looking from the ‘dead end’ down to the right of the Mews as you enter it, back up the curve – i.e. towards where the Jackpot scenes took place, the latter having been filmed looking back towards where we are below:
I didn’t bring any milk bottles with me; nonetheless you get a pretty good sense that the general ‘frames’ of the buildings have not changed. As mentioned in the past though, the upkeep – and price tags – are an entirely different matter.
Walking a bit further North, we’re onto yet another previously-visited location seen from a different angle (2). The parade of shops on Swanscome Road is where ‘Lionel off of Brush Strokes’ accosts the teacher who worked with Carter’s missus in S2E05, “Hit and Run”. This time around, we’re looking at where Regan and Carter chase Tyson in and out of the flats and shopping area as they attempt to figure out who is behind the robbery and what’s happened to the money.
Here we see Tyson scarpering along the parade of shops and out onto St. Anne’s Road:
Tyson doubles back into the service alleyway that runs into the flats, which you can see in the middle of the second set of shots above:
In the alleyway, Tyson winds George before scarpering off again – where he is intercepted and knicked by Regan, back in the courtyard in the middle of the flats, where (a slightly breathless) George catches up with them:
The interior area of the flats has changed quite a bit – from a big open patch of grass to a fenced-in ‘peace garden’; there are a lot of old bits of the flats / buildings that have been knocked down as well, and new sheltered housing and other accommodation built in their place – so it’s sometimes a little hard to get your bearings from the original episode shots to what you’re looking at today. The ones above are all pretty clear; the next couple less so, as a lot of old concrete walkways we’re about to see got demolished.
The area in question (3) is just a few paces up St. Anne’s Road towards where Queensdale Crescent joins it; here we see Skef Warren (Boysie? Never heard of him) – one of Kirby’s heavies – catching up with Jenner’s Mrs. They can’t find Jenner, so they’re taking the next best thing in their attempt to get hold of the missing money. Skef follows Liz (yeah, ‘er off of Eastenders) and drags her into Kirby’s car for a little chat.
Looking at the “then and now” you can see that the raised walkway surrounded by railings ran right along St. Anne’s Road and round into the entrance to Queensdale Crescent. Liz walks down St. Anne’s Road (first pair – it’s the road to the left of the red brick flats in the ‘now’ shot), and round into Queensdale Crescent in the shadow of the raised area (last pair). The red brick flats have been built where the raised area was torn down. In between those 2 viewpoints, we see Skef jump over the railings down to “street level” to accost Liz. All of that raised area is gone as just mentioned; there’s a cafe (‘Nourish Hub’) along the street front, and the pub that was on the opposite side of Queensdale Crescent (you can’t see it in the episode shot) is now yet more flats. In addition, there’s been a lot of new building behind where this was shot, which now obscures a good deal of the view of the old tower blocks you used to get. Still, the general sense is still there. (I did a fair bit of detective work searching for old photos online in order to check I’d definitely got the right spot – eventually found the “telling” one on an architecture site that showed the designs for the renovation of the area.)
After spending time in and around the towers, it was time to head NE to the next spot, in the direction of Notting Hill.
Episode Context – S2E11, “I Want The Man”
Back to the case of a missing set of gems (front for an even bigger job), a missing informant (“Popeye”, who was caught in the act of phoning Regan with info on the job) and Frankie Little – the recently released small time crook who is on over his head. Popeye has spotted Frankie going into a restaurant (4 on the previous map) with an unknown woman; he phones Regan from a nearby phone box (5). Unfortunately for him, whilst he’s got eyes on Little, someone else has him in their sights.
This is Popeye’s view from the phone booth, looking back to the restaurant (the dark-fronted building just left of centre. (There’s those ‘trees in full leaf’ obscuring the now-shot, that I mentioned in the intro to Part 1!)
The Squad arrive on the scene:
Regan enters the restaurant through the front door:
Unfortunately, the mystery accomplice has been tipped off by staff and has fled out the back way; Regan and co. follow and search the immediate area, but to no avail. (All they find is a blonde wig dumped in the bins round the back.) They exit the back yard out onto the side-street:
Incidentally – the restaurant in question – “Julie’s” – is still going under the same name today.
More coming up in Part 3!