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In Your Street: Hollywood magic in Down Terrace
Brighton and Hove has provided the backdrop for many films over the years.
Quadrophenia made famous a certain alleyway in The Lanes, Brighton Rock’s iconic opening scene was shot under the Madeira Drive arches and rom-com Wimbledon featured much of the seafront.
But a little less known film set is tucked away on the north-eastern outskirts of the city.
Down Terrace, which is wedged between Freshfield Road and Queen’s Park Road, is pretty unremarkable on the surface.
But the east Brighton road has provided the location for not one but two flims in recent years.
Most famously, it was the location for the crime thriller named after the road, which went on to win a British Independent Film Award in 2009.
Shot in just eight days, director Ben Wheatly chose the street as the base for his underworld criminal family.
The movie tells the story of Bill, who, having recently been released from prison, sets about finding an informer in his gang.
Many of the road’s residents appeared in the film including Bob Hill, who The Argus has previously featured.
Success The film went on to be something of a surprise hit earning plaudits from around the world and putting the road firmly on the map.
But the street was also the setting for another less well known local film called Secretion.
The 2004 zombie-horror movie saw 300-odd undead mutants using the local pub as a makeshift changing room.
After a good few hours with make-up artists, Clements ushered his flesh eating zombies along Down Terrace on the hunt for fresh blood.
However, the film didn’t receive the same reception as Down Terrace and Steven Clements now works as an account manager for Bupa.
Chris Trewick, 54, said: “It’s a nice place to live.
“There are a few interesting characters but that makes it what it is.”
Mr Trewick has lived with his wife Julia in Down Terrace since 1997.
He added: “You’ve got people from all different backgrounds but that’s what I like about it.
“On the whole everyone is really friendly.
“We moved here because you get the quality of house you would in somewhere like Fiveways but for nothing like the price.”
The road itself is a real mix of properties.
On one side is a line of pebble-dashed former council properties with pretty terraced houses on the other.
Families are drawn to the area because of the nearby St Luke’s Infant School and popular Queen’s Park.
Young professionals are attracted by the numerous pubs and bars of Hanover and neighbouring Kemp Town.
Horse racing fans have also got it all on their doorstep with just a short walk to the Brighton track and beautiful views over the city.
But, like many good neighbourhoods, the community is centred around a thriving pub.
But it hasn’t always been rosy for The Hanover.
Manager Sean Burridge, who took over 18 months ago, said: “About ten years ago it was an absolute dive.
“A few years ago it was turned into a pizza pub but we’ve changed things quite a bit recently.
“We’ve tried to make it a real family venue where everyone can feel comfortable.”
The pub’s function room was transformed by Mr Burridge into a community space – and the community has reacted by regularly booking it out.
He said: “We have the local action group, PCSO meetings, drama groups and reading clubs in there during the week.
“Then at weekends we have a lot of children’s parties.
“I work on the basis that if you give something out you get it back.
“What’s really great about the area is the mix of people.
“You get a lot of NHS people, young families, teachers, tradesmen and a few students.
“Young families are great for the early evening trade but we are open from 11am to 11pm so it’s good to have that mix.
“In Fiveways you probably wouldn’t get that variety.”
But the area is not without its problems. As with most other neighbourhoods of Brighton, there is one gripe at the top of everyone’s agenda – parking.
Although the street has not yet had parking meters installed, it has become a hotspot for motorists from the surrounding roads that have.
Jaimata Patel, who runs the local store, said: “Parking is a nightmare.
“We have the school just around the corner so all the staff take to parking on the road.
“Unfortunately it’s a problem across Brighton at the moment.”
But for all the blood, guts, violent crime and undead mutants depicted in films set in Down Terrace, it appears to be a delightful place to live.
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