Stalybridge, over the years, has been quite popular as a filming location for many productions. Most famously of all was the mighty "Yanks" starring Richard Gere. The earliest one I can remember is "Jossy's Giants", a children's drama from the mid eighties based on the fortunes of a fictional junior football team called the Glipton Giants. In 2009 the BBC3 Comedy Show We Are Klang was filmed at the Victoria Market Hall and around the town centre along with scenes from Coronation Street, Making Out, Common As Muck and The League of Gentlemen.
This time we are visited by the highly regarded German production company UFAFiction, renowned for their high quality drama and TV movies. When I visited them on their very busy set at The Wharf Tavern today they were filming scenes for a TV Movie entitled "The Last Trace". Set on the south coast of England it plots the story of the mysterious disappearance of a local woman and attempts to discover if she has just disappeared or whether she faced an untimely end.
On set were both English and German actors, each speaking their parts in their own language. When the movie hits the screens a clever dubbing technique will be used and it will be an entirely German language film.
I spoke to Joseph Cairns, the location manager, about the new Charlotte Link penned TV movie and asked him why Stalybridge was chosen as a location and The Wharf Tavern in particular. He said "We needed a location that had character as well as space. We used The Wharf for the same reason. It has the right look and feel for the story and had the space we needed to house the production crew as well as supply accommodation."
They will be filming again in town tomorrow but that won't be the last we see of the crew. They are returning again in April to film scenes for a second movie. When we hear more we will make sure you're the first to know.
It's good to see Stalybridge getting some recognition and equally good to know it's not just our community that sees the character in the unique buildings in our historical town. Europe sees it too!