This term the exhibition cabinets in the Bean Academic Centre which are reserved for promoting the school's archive collections are housing a display entitled "The Story Behind the Photograph". The display includes photographs of tractor-driving by Brentwood boys in 1941, the march to St Paul's Cathedral for the school's 400th anniversary in 1957, and the filming of "Secret Places" on the school site in September 1983. You might spot some familiar buildings and classrooms in these clips from the film.
The film “Secret Places” is about young girls growing up during World War II. A large part of the action of the film takes place in the fictional Albert Lodge School for Girls. In their search for a suitable film location, the producers were looking for a school which had not altered since the 1940s, preferably with an arboretum, which is one of the girls’ “secret places”.
A search through aerial photographs to find schools of the right era that were not surrounded by modern buildings gave a short list of The Friends’ School, Saffron Walden and Brentwood.
Brentwood was chosen. “It was our dream come true”, said one of the producers. “It turned out to be a Victorian complex where the clock had stopped somewhere in the ‘forties, to the point of still having the original desks and inkwells. Even the buildings which had been constructed later had been built to style. The whole place was perfect. There was even a boiler room, the other ‘secret place’, tucked beneath the stage in the hall.”
Were you at the School at the time? Were you involved at all in this film? If yes, we would love to hear your stories and recollections - post them in the comments section.