The Farnborough Explorer
Interesting Things Around Farnborough

The Home Made Car

The Home Made Car is a 'Trade Film' made by BP in 1963. It was filmed in and around Farnborough.

It was nominated for an Oscar in 1964, and won the Berlin Silver Bear special prize for best short film and a Youth Film Award honourable mention for the best short film suitable for young people.

During the switchover to colour TV, which started in 1967, the BBC broadcast many 'Trade Films' as well as Test Cards, to enable engineers to tune in the televisions. The Home Made Car became one of the most loved short films of the period.


The film is available, together with many other trade films on the disc Lunch Hour click on Lunch Hour image to right. Although still in copyright, it has been uploaded to Youtube:
Part 1 here
Part 2 here

Extracts have also been used to make a pop video for the 1968 song "Sunday Will Never Be The Same Again" by Eleanor Bodel.
Watch it here






Panorama of Cambridge Road West, Farnborough


The Scrap Yard

The film starts on a rainy day in a scrap yard, with the young man looking for a car.

This scene was filmed at two locations, the first is at an old pertol station, the location of which is unknown. The building in the background has a catslide roof to the back which is possibly identifiable. Notice the 1920s petrol pumps in the foreground. Especially interesting is the pump with the optic on the top. This was an early feature so that motorists could view the fuel to ensure it had not been adulterated or contaminated. Delivery was in gallons or multiples of gallons. The petrol pumps are seated into a concrete moulded base with an interestingly Art-Deco curve to it which indicates its originality.



The second part of this sequence is more revealing. As the young man is going to the scrap yard owner to purchase the Morris. He passes a shed that indicates that the area isn't really a scrap yard but is a lumber yard. This is the Cove Saw Mill. In the last image here, you can see the side of the Plough and Horses Pub, which still remains although the Saw Mill is now gone.

The saw mill is on the 1961 OS map and is replaced by the present estate by the 1966 OS map. So the mill was probably in its death-throws when this film was made.

Blackwell Cottage

The majority of the film takes place at Blackwell Cottage, which is located in Cambridge Road West. The property still exists today although the garage is long since gone, having been replaced by a separate detached house (see panorama at top).

Today, the sloping wall with the arched entrance gate has gone to allow space for the separate house next door. It is nice to see that the sign from the original gate is still present, although now fixed to what is left of the wall.

View Location on Map

Church Circle

When the young man chases the rag and bone man who has made off with the radiator grill and two wings, he watches the cart turn left into Alexandra Road and gives chase, turning left into Church Circle, which is further down Canterbury Road West on the other side of Alexandra Road.

View Location on Map

The Garage

Panorama of Buck's Horn Oak Location,



The location for the father's garage was not in Farnborough, but at Buck's Horn Oak some twelve miles away on the A325.

View Location on Map

The original house-cum-office where the young lady works for her father as receptionist is still present as is the welding shop behind. The original pumps were in front of the house. If you look carefully and compare with the film, the new petrol station is on the site of the old Post office and PO Stores.

The pumps are somewhat different today however.

The garage is no longer a BP as well - shame!

Touring in the Countryside

The final sequence of the film, has the young man, the young woman, her sister and his dog, touring the countryside at a more leisurely pace than the young lady had previously been able to do with the sportscar driving oaf. This part of our green and pleasant land is filmed at Seale, along Elsted Road. This screenshot looks over the war memorial to the church, and then further along Elstead Road.

View Location on Map



Main Characters

The Car is the Star
It is a blue 1923 'Bull-Nose' Morris Oxford

Young Man: Ronald Chudley
Originally from New Zealand, Ronald moved to the UK, then emigrated to Canada to concentrate on his writing career. Ronald is now a very successful Canadian Mystery Author.

Ron Chudley's Website
Ronald Chudley's IMDB Page

Young Woman: Caroline Mortimer
Caroline's resume
Caroline Mortimer's IMDB Page

Young Woman's Sister: Sandra Leo
Sandra did one more film after The Home Made Car, then moved onto other things.

Sandra Leo's IMDB Page

Sportscar driving oaf: Anthony James
The sportscar is an Austin Healey 100-Six by the way

Anthony James' IMDB Page

Young Woman's Father/Garage Owner: Frank Siemen
Frank Siemen's IMDB Page

Young Man's Aunt: Alice Bowes
Alice Bowe's IMDB Page

Young Man's Dog: Unknown


Can you identify any of these people - Possibly Farnborough Locals

Possibly an executive from BP

Executive's Chauffer

Old Man in Car
Possibly a local man

Rag and Bone Man
Possibly a local man

Scrap Yard Owner
Possibly a local man