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March 2017: The Vale of Evesham

September is surely one of the best times to see the Vale of Evesham. Given that the area is often dubbed ‘England’s fruit basket’ it ...More
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The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Year: 1958
Director: Mark Robson
Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Curd Jurgens, Robert Donat, Michael David
Set Locations:
Beddgelert , Gwynedd, Wales (Shanxi Province); Capel Curig, Conwy, Wales (Shanxi Province); Conwy, Wales; Cym Bychan, Llanbedr, Gwynedd & many other locations in North Wales

Ingrid Bergman stars as Gladys Aylward, a British Maid who became a missionary in China, in this 1958 classic. Directed by Mark Robson, the film is based on a true story of a determined Englishwoman who defied the shackles of her lowly status and lack of education to pursue her dream to become a missionary in the tumultuous world of China prior to the Second World War . Ingrid Bergman is joined by Curt Jurgens and Robert Donat in the cast, although Robert Donat unfortunately died before the film was actually released. Jurgens plays Captain Lin Nan, Chinese officer with a Dutch father, who becomes Aylward’s love interest in the story.

Donat plays the local Mandarin, who appoints Gladys Aylward as a foot inspector in order to assist in the eradication of the ancient practice of ‘foot-binding’. As the war with Japan hots up, Captain Lin tries to persuade Gladys to leave China; she refuses and finds herself with fifty orphan children in her care. Having persuaded the Mandarin to convert to Christianity through the example of her Christian love and devotion, Gladys now has to lead the children to the safety of a neighbouring province, away from the Japanese threat.

Although this powerful epic is based on real life, there are some historical inaccuracies. Rice is portrayed as the staple diet, despite the film being set in the north of China, where Noodles were the mainstay diet. The real life Gladys Aylward has also pointed out that the character of Captain Lin was based on Captain Linnan, her real friend who was pure Chinese.

The beautiful rugged landscapes of China were represented by Wales in the film, which provides the majority of the filming locations. The missionary office interior is actually Westminster City School in Palace Street, Westminster in London. The Shaxi province was actually a mixture of places such as Beddgelert in Gwynedd and Capel Curig in Conwy , with some scenes being filmed at Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. The walled city is represented by Morfa Bychan in Porthmadog and Nanmor in Gwynedd. Cym Bychan, Lake Ogwen and the Sygan Copper Mine in Gwynedd also feature in the film.

Gwynedd is a principal area in North West Wales . Popular with tourists seeking out its rugged beauty and prime hiking routes, Gwynedd encompasses the Snowdonia National Park and contains some of the most beautifully mountainous regions to be found in Britain

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A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt. - Aldous Huxley
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On this day:
Battle of Margate - 1387, Elizabeth I dies - 1603, The Real Great Escape - 1944, Dark Side of the Moon Released - 1973
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