Maurice Day, Wells Carnival Stalwart, Pub Singer, Raconteur and thoroughly good egg, was responsible for getting us this Gig. He was aware we had done similar work for the BBC production of the costume drama “He knew he was right”. Maurice, was, once upon a time, a club member and is now a Vice President so he couldn’t really go anywhere else. Maurice told us that he would do all the negotiations and also liase with the film crew on a daily basis during the shoot. This, he said was going to be a small British made film on a tiny budget.
The director was Edgar Wright who was a local lad who enjoyed success with the film “Sean of The Dead” and was bringing two of it’s stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost down to the west country for a bit of cheese and cider. No body else of any significance would be starring in what Maurice thought was going to be bit of a cops and robbers comedy caper, Somerset’s answer to “The Bill”.
Filming was scheduled to start in and around Wells on Sunday 7th May (2006) and ending on 2nd June. We would be responsible for all the Road Closures and general stewarding. My remit was to provide the staff cover and John Phipps would marshal the troops on a daily basis. Simple. Well it wasn’t quite like that as I was due to go holiday for the first two weeks of filming, which meant I had to have all the staffing levels sorted before I left.
Filming wasn’t everyday but it was most days and the hours were not always social. Plus due to work commitments many of the members were not available, so some of the old boys and associates had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of retirement to provide cover. About this time rumours were circulating that some big names were joining the cast and perhaps something big was in the offing. Nevertheless, bugger this I thought, I had my paddle, and I was off up the Nile so I gave Maurice and John their list and left them to it.
On my return all was well, the team were now fully settled into the routine of filming, they were working well with the crew and there was a good friendly buzz both on and off the set. The cast apparently now included a wealth of household names, which included Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Edward Woodward, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Billie Whitelaw, Bill Bailey, Chris Waitt and Stephen Merchant to name but a few. Many of these had been on location, which added to the general excitement that was being felt around the town. I was fully updated by my now expert colleagues on all the thrills and spills to date and also the storyline which tells us of an over-active 'policeman officer', Nicholas Angel (Played by Simon Pegg) who is sent to work his duties out in the countryside, to avoid his use of excessive arrests.
Suspicions arrive in the town however, as people start getting killed 'accidentally'. Coupled with his rather unprofessional partner Danny Butterman (played by Nick Frost) they get themselves into suspicious circumstances, which Nicholas Angel fails to ignore. There was just over a week of filming left to do, so I had the opportunity to do my bit and get involved, and it was great, we were filming in Wells Market Place, St.Cuthberts & around New Street, also on the B3139 Wells to Dulcote Road and Ebbor Gorge at Deerleap. However all good things come to an end but before the Film went on general release we had our own “Hot Fuzz” Premiere in the city’s small Film Centre.
We stayed right to the very end of the credits just to see our name Globe Stewards roll by. The stars came to Premiere and the party afterwards in Kudos nightclub and happily chatted away and even signed some memorabilia for me. Both Maurice Day and John Phipps worked tirelessly for us over the four weeks period and deserve a vote of thanks. As I have already stated all the cast and crew were great and it was a real pleasure to work with them in particular we should mention Ben Gladstone the Films Location Manager who was the real deal.