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You are in: Berkshire > Features > Events > 'British Oscars' in Wokingham

Herbert Wilcox in 1965

Herbert Wilcox in 1965

'British Oscars' in Wokingham

Did you know that there is a retirement home in Wokingham that houses four film award statues? In the run up to the 2008 Academy Awards awards ceremony, we find out the story behind the Berkshire's National Film Award statuettes.

The 80th annual Academy Awards, otherwise known at the Oscars, is all set for Sunday 24 February 2008.

Anna Neagle in 1941

Anna Neagle in 1941

But a retirement home in Wokingham has some special award statuettes of its own.

Four National Film Award (NFA) statues are the prize possessions of Glebelands retirement home, run by The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund, which looks after retired actors and film crew.

The NFA is now known as the BAFTA awards, known as the British version of the Oscars.

Watch BBC South Today reporter Ben Moore's video here:

The statuettes were donated by Herbert Wilcox (1890-1977) and Dame Anna Neagle (1904-1986).

Herbert Wilcox in 1965

Herbert Wilcox in 1965

Executive director Peter Hore told BBC Berkshire: "Dame Anna was a very famous actress during the war time and after the war.

"She was married to Herbert Wilcox, a very distinguished producer and director of films, and we have here some of his Oscars from that period."

He added: "He directed films like the Piccadilly Incident (1946) and The Courtneys of Curzon Street (1947), all of them with Dame Anna.

"They were classic films for which he was duly recognised and rewarded."

In the heart of "film-country" as Mr Hore puts it (Pinewood Studios is in Slough), Glebelands cares for the stars of the film and television industry. "The people who you see on the credits", says Mr Hore.

"One of the famous residents, who passed away recently, was Peter Hopkinson, who was a very famous documentary film maker, " he says.

He adds: "We have an Oscar-winning camera man here and the oldest resident is 101."

Angus Walker

Angus Walker

And with such a cast of stars from the silver screen, Glebelands also has some famous visitors popping round.

"Dicky Attenborough come down recently to meet his very distinguished wig maker," says Mr Hore.

Angus Walker is one of the residents at Glebelands. He worked as a construction manager for the Oscar-winning films Dr Zhivago and Nicholas and Alexander.

He told BBC Berkshire of Dr Zhivago: "I was involved in all the sets and the whole of the street scenes. The whole thing was built in Spain outside Madrid."

Quite a surprising location considering the wintry scenes in the film.

He adds: "Part of it was filmed in Finland and part of it in Canada but they were just camera units getting wheat fields."

Mr Walker also worked on the Noel Coward-directed war film In Which We Served (1942).

Of his memories of Noel Coward he says: "He was surprising, the more I saw him the more I admired him."

On Thursday 24 January Glebelands hosts a private premiere screening of Man In The Chair, starring Christopher Plummer. 

Mr Hore says of the film: "It's set in a care home for retired film makers. It's a moving film about the liaison between a young boy and the old people in the care home."

An apt film, then, for Glebelands to show.

last updated: 25/01/2008 at 17:02
created: 23/01/2008

You are in: Berkshire > Features > Events > 'British Oscars' in Wokingham

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