Sent at short notice to a job in Borehamwood, I wasn’t expecting to find anything worth shooting.
And yet it has a greater claim to fame than most outposts of suburbia. It has hosted millionaires, kings, the world’s most famous archaeologist, a man of steel and even a smattering of Jedi (and less uplifting; the denizens of Albert Square)
The name Borehamwood is virtually interchangeable with that of the nearby village of Elstree, and it is the Elstree studios (as well as BBC Elstree) that bring a touch of glamour and celebrity to the place. Perhaps glamour is a little misleading, because TV and film are all about illusion of course, the original Star Wars films that were made here on the George Lucas Stage being a case in point. The reality is somewhat more utilitarian.
Most of the complex is fenced off to prevent prying eyes, but I did find a dumping ground of sorts towards the rear of the building which provided this strangely macabre image which seemed fitting for the place where Hammer Horror once made films.
I had a dream on a back lot
and saw my life like a long shot
of smiling faces in a picture parade
of all the stills from the films that you made
that we would see in the Essoldo
after drinking coffee at the Giocondo
Elstree, remember me?
The Buggles, Elstree