Author Topic: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)  (Read 584 times)

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Offline pomme homme

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Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« on: March 03, 2023, 15:27:46 pm »
'Shadow of Fear' is a 1963 spy drama film produced by Butcher's Film Service and featuring a cast whose names are unlikely to mean anything to anyone sixty years later! It is a typical 1960s B film, with little to recommend it beyond the fact that a significant proportion of the location filming was undertaken in Sussex. Drawing upon the resources of the Reelstreets website (https://www.reelstreets.com/films/shadow-of-fear/), these locations include:

Hove - Lansdowne Road
         - Furze Hill

Rottingdean - Windmill
                    - Pond
                    - The Green

Bognor Regis - Wessex Avenue
                      - Marine Parade

Southwick - Brighton 'A' Power Station
                 - Brighton 'B' Power Station
                 - Southwick Canal

Newhaven - Denton Island

It also features an Austin Healey Sprite with a false registration plate and an unusual bonnet (see below). The registration plate appears to be mocked up to show 1770 PQ, but as far as I am aware the letter Q has never been used for British mainland registration numbers. Probably it's 1770 PO, which is a West Sussex registration number issued in 1959-60. Turning now to the bonnet, it has been suggested that it is a Sebring Sprite but, if so, it's not like any Sebring Sprite I've seen. Nor have a seen any Sprite with such a bonnet. Maybe it's an homemade modification, fettled in some amateur mechanic's garage? Over to the car enthusiasts!
 

Online Pete

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2023, 17:08:08 pm »
Wasn't "Q" used for kit cars and non standard builds?
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Offline pomme homme

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2023, 17:53:44 pm »
I think that you may be correct, Pete, but I don't think that this practice was adopted as early as 1959-60 or even 1963. Furthermore, if one looks closely at the photograph it appears that someone has stuck something black across the lower right quadrant of the letter O to make it look like the letter Q.

Online Pete

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2023, 08:05:16 am »
   
from www.bobatoo.co.uk:
A Q number plate means that a vehicle doesn’t have a fully recorded history and the car’s age or identity is in doubt.
However, while many may presume a Q plate registration and the use of the letter ‘Q’ implies a vehicle’s history is ‘Questionable’ - it’s suspected that instead the letter Q is used because this letter is never used in traditional vehicle registration plates.
A Q plate car is therefore easily distinguished as being ‘different’ to other [normal] non-Q plate cars that have a full historical record.

You may be surprised to learn that Q-plates have been used on cars since the 1930s but there are still not many vehicles like this around, hence the likelihood is you are yet to see or notice one.

Once the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency issues a DVLA Q plate for a Q registered vehicle, any previous vehicle registration that may have been erroneously connected to the car is no longer valid.
What sort of cars typically have a Q plate?
A typical Q plate car is usually any of the following types of vehicle:
self-built kit cars or kit converted vehicles
rebuilt vehicles
a radically altered vehicle or significantly modified cars
a military vehicle previously owned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) (whose history is very often classified for security reasons)
cars without a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on them
self-imported vehicles
reconstructed classic cars or vehicles
old vehicles
Sussex Bonfire - a way of life, not just for Nov 5th

Offline pomme homme

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2023, 11:32:11 am »
More on the Q plate issue -

Quote
The ‘Q’ series had a long history in Britain, starting in 1921. Another use for them was to temporarily register a visiting car from a country which did not subscribe to the international conventions. Thus they were unable to circulate using their foreign registration plates. This vehicle entered GB for a rally in 1932, and the Automobile Association issued it this QE 475 tag for the duration. The AA and the RAC were authorized to allocate these plates on behalf of the State, to facilitate motor tourism, as all the complex services were offered by those two venerable Clubs.

Quote
A further note on another photo says QK was in use in 1964. -- In 1983 the format was reversed putting the letters after the numbers so that gives a last possible date for your number. QS was issued by the RAC (Royal Automobile Club).

Quote
Back in 1972 I was flying with the RAF in Germany. I came back to the UK to pick up my brand new duty free car to take back to Germany. I was issued with QM 6532. This allowed me to use the car in the UK for up to 6 months (if necessary) before exporting it abroad. I then had to keep it overseas for a minimum of 12 months before bringing it back (permanently) to the UK to avoid all the purchase taxes, etc. When I did return permanently I was issued with the current registration number AUR 107N (1974), being the first date of registration in the UK. The Q plates were very common in those days with thousands upon thousands of military personnel doing the same thing.

[source: mgaguru.com]

Interestingly, all of the above references are to Q as a prefix. My recollection is that, in later years, when Q became more widely used for kit cars, amongst other vehicles of indeterminate ages, again the Q was a prefix. The registration plate on the Austin Healey Sprite, which appears in 'Shadow of Fear', employs Q as a suffix (or, to be more precise, within the body of the registration number). But, I suspect, the only surefire way to determine whether 1770 PQ is a genuine registration number is to see whether it was issued, when and to what car and, if it proves not to have been issued or not to an Austin Healey Sprite (or a derivative thereof), to do a similar search against 1770 PO. I seem to think that Tim Sargeant has some knowledge in this field.


Online Tim Sargeant

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2023, 12:53:44 pm »
Thank you for that prod!
I would think that the correct registration number for this Austin Healey Sprite was 1770 PO. However this number is not in use today.
The reversed issue (that is with the numbers in front of the letters) of 'PO' by West Sussex County Council at Chichester was March 1959 to February 1960.
(1959 up to number 8270PO commencing January 1960 with 8271PO. The issue was completed in February 1960 and 9999PO is in use today on a Toyota.
1959 ties in nicely with the Sprite illustrated which would therefore date from April 1959.
This model of AH Sprite was commonly known as the 'frogeye' as the standard BMC bonnet had headlamps which were 'perched' on top of the bonnet.
Many people did not like this and about half a dozen firms made fibreglass bonnets with faired-in headlamps similar to the one illustrated.
I can't remember all these manufacturers now but a local one was Lenham Sports Cars at Lenham in North Kent who also made a 'fastback' closed body as well.
( A very much modified one of which I had for a few years but don't have a pic of it on here. It was sold to Germany where Sprites were quite popular at the time.)
As quoted above Sebring also made a bonnet with faired-in headlamps but the one shown is not a Sebring version. A trawl through Motor Sport or Autosport magazines
of the period would probably identify the manufacturer.
'Q' registration numbers were originally issued to vehicles for which the original date of manufacture could not be ascertained. These included; Kit cars, ex military
vehicles, (nothing to do with security!) and vehicles which had been re-built from parts of an original vehicle, but not enough parts to claim use of the original number plate.
For instance vehicles which had been fitted with a new chassis or bodyshell after an accident, or insurance 'write-offs'. Somewhere I've got a listing of the 'original' parts
required to be used in a rebuilt vehicle in order to claim re-use of the original registration number when it was put back on the road. There were also those which had
been purchased in the UK and temporarily used here until the owner took it back to their home country. What was known as the' Home Delivery Export Scheme', and
these were not subject to UK purchase tax.
DVLC made this very complicated and I think it has now been discontinued as I haven't seen a 'Q' plate for years other than on the odd ex-military vehicle at vintage shows.
(For those unamiliar with my terminology: DVLC, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre at Swansea. Later replaced by DVLA, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.)
PS: The spot or fog lights either side of the grille are Notek 'Blue Spot', widely regarded as the best in the 1950s. The hilly road behind could be in West Sussex.

Offline pomme homme

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2023, 13:35:29 pm »
The hilly road behind could be in West Sussex.

My first thought was that it's the Ditchling Beacon road, but it doesn't look right for that. Thus I'd hazard a guess that it's the Saddlescombe (Withdean to Poynings) Road.

Online Tim Sargeant

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Re: Film: 'Shadow of Fear' (1963)
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2023, 14:10:16 pm »

A lot of things, cars, planes, etc were 'dressed up' for use in films.
Marchant & Cox, fibreglass moulders at Hastings made a number of half size Spitfires for the film 'Dunkirk'.
Filmed from the right angle and distance they appeared to be the real thing!