Filming in Chipping Campden for Lockwood & co, and COVID and its effects on local events and festivals
Netflix will be using Chipping Campden to film a small part of a series that they are producing, called Lockwood and Co, which is a 5-part supernatural and thriller book series written by Jonathan Stroud.
The intended audience is for people aged 9 and up, but it can also be classified as a series that young adults could enjoy, as well as the rest of the family. The series includes the books: “The Empty Grave”, “The Whispering Skull” and “The Hollow Bay”, with others also in the series. The books are about an agency that solves hauntings that are terrorising locals. Occurring around a modern-day alternative London, it is run by Anthony Lockwood, and has Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins on the team who are around 15 years old. They both use their “talents” and expertise to help throughout their investigations.
Filming started in July of 2021, and it will consist of episodes to tell the storyline, not a movie per book like other authors have done. These episodes are predicted to be around 60 minutes each with there being 8 episodes being made. No date as to when it will be released to stream on Netflix has been confirmed. Filming stages had been set up in the market square car park by the town hall. Throughout this time, there were alternative parking options at the Chipping Campden School. There was to be a memorial statue on the filming set which is a part of the series, and is set in an alternative London. Filming will also be occurring in the historic Market Hall, and the old court room in the old police station, where the Information Centre is located.
The new date for filming is currently unknown but was originally booked for the 3rd and 4th, but due to a leading member of the cast testing positive for COVID-19, a new date is likely to be curated for a future time. That could mean two weeks from now, or it could be next year. There will be road closures, but business is intended to run as usual, so hopefully few disruptions will occur. We, as a town, collectively hope that the production will be coming back again soon.
This isn’t the first time that COVID-19 has disrupted events occurring in Chipping Campden, and as a result have been rescheduled for later in the year or have been altogether cancelled for hope that next year will be safer for all those attending and running the events. Example of those effected are Campden’s historic Dover’s Games, Scuttlebrook Wake, Chipping Campden Literature Festival and Chipping Campden Music Festal.
Campden Literature Festival, which showcases the works of authors and other writing enthusiasts through talks, discussions, lectures, interviews and other means, is usually held around the 8th-4th of May, but this year has been postponed to later this year to September from Monday 20th– Saturday 25th. Tickets can be booked on their website https://www.campdenlitfest.co.uk, but can also be done by posting the form, which is available on their website. Over the lockdown period, people who have always aspired to write a book of some sort have taken it up as an activity to keep them occupied which, in turn, will bring in new authors to the literature scene in the coming future. There are talks on how to get published and find an agent among other events occurring at this year’s festival. Further information can be found on their website if you are interested.
Campden Music Festival has also been postponed from its usual time in the month of May to Monday 6th – Saturday 18th of September, with another event occurring on Monday the 20th as well. Seating will be socially distanced, and performers will be playing twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. A full performance guide is available on their website, https://campdenmusicfestival.co.uk, as well as booking. Please note that this new date is for this year only because of COVID.
Robert Dover’s Games, Scuttlebrook Wake and the Open Gardens weekend will all be back in 2022 as usual.
In general, COVID has disrupted sectors such as these and many others. It has threatened closure of businesses and shops, though many have moved to selling online, where possible, to try and keep afloat. Though the shutdown of the film set had caused an inconvenience to many, it was exciting while it lasted. So far, there has been no notice when they will be coming back, and they haven’t said (yet!) that they won’t be coming back. This which is great news for our tourism, as it will be another reason to visit, and will help the businesses opening back up after the lockdowns which prevented them from doing so for so long.
By Roisin Davis