June 2023

The 486th Meeting of Henley Men’s Probus Club was held at Badgemore Park on June 13th, 2023.

This month’s guest speaker was Mike Payne who spoke about ‘A History of the Pinewood Studios’.

Mike Payne @HenleyMensProbus Club in May 2023. Photo copyright Henley Men's Probus Club.

The studio is located near Denham in Bucks, and was built in the former gardens of Hetherden Hall, but now extended well beyond that. Charles Boot was the inspiration and the money behind that.

The house remains in use for grand weddings and the gardens are still maintained for use in film production.

Joseph Arthur (JR) Rank came on board in 1936 to launch the studios. The first film was London Melody with Anna Neagle followed by Gangway and Sailing Away with Jessie Matthews.

The Take Away films were produced there. Later, Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean produced major films at Pinewood. Genevieve and The Importance of being Ernest were followed after.

Major stars were Dirk Bogart, James Robertson Justice, Norman Wisdom, Kenneth More featured in popular films. The 26 Carry On films and 25 Bond were made there. All were very successful as were the Batman films that followed.

Films continue to be made there as are TV productions.