Sunday, 29 August 2010
Tracking down Billy Casper.
One thing that was pleasing is that the film locations are virtually all in the same small area and Billy's walks can almost be done in real time and almost in order.
Some things have changed almost all the pits and factories seen in the film have gone. In fact its salutatory that if Billy did follow the lumpen Jed down the pit. He and his brother would ten years later be out on strike facing more time above ground looking for work.
Watching the film again that evening we decide to find some of the other sites and with the help of this site we found the field where billy flew Kes (which you can see from A back window). Sadly the council/school in their wisdom has put up a huge fence round the site to curtail modern day Billy gaining access (although some kids seem to have snuck on). Pleasingly we aslo saw a pair of Kestrels on the power lines on the field rest ready to go hawking for for their dinner over the grassland and surrounding recently planted scrub.
Thwarted in photo op we were heading home when we bumped into a living breathing Billy Casper; well his 50 year old self. A fascinating guy who filled us in with all the local walks and history. Apparently and I'm choosing to believe this story as a kid he actually showed Barry Hines (a teacher at his school at the time) the nest site used in the film!
So a wonderful day with excellent weather, we are hoping to get some pics of Billy's school which is being closed this term to move to another site, so we we will hopefuly be able to snap the famous showers and footy pitch as well!