Last Orders | 2001
Two pubs are used to represent the ‘Coach and Horses’, Graham Swift’s fictitious bar, supposedly in ‘Bermondsey’, which is south of the River Thames just east of Tower Bridge.
The interiors were filmed in, what was, the Larkhall Tavern at 96 Larkhall Lane on the corner of Priory Grove, Clapham, SW4. The bar had served up its last pint in 1999 and, since it was due for redevelopment, the filmmakers were free to adapt it to their needs. It’s now a block of luxury flats.
The exterior was The Wishing Well, where you can still get a pint, though it’s now The Victoria Inn, 79 Choumert Road at Bellenden Road, in Peckham, SE15.
Just south of the Victoria Inn, the shop at 192 Bellenden Road at Danby Street, now much smartened up, became ‘Dodds and Son’, the butcher shop owned by Jack (Michael Caine).
And across the street, the funeral home run by Vic (Tom Courtenay), is 157 Bellenden Road. This has since been modernised and its quirky little archway in no more.
Jack passes on the arcane mysteries of the butcher trade to his son in the, now disused, western section of Smithfield Market. The famous meat was where the lads from the Dave Clark Five worked in Catch Us If You Can, became ‘Covent Garden’ market for Richard Attenborough’s biopic Chaplin, with Robert Downey Jr, and was even overrun by the infected in 28 Weeks Later....
Jack’s ashes are taken to be scattered, via a brief tour of Canterbury Cathedral, and a stop for liquid lunch at 400-year-old coaching inn The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel, 16-18 High Street, Rochester. An old coaching inn, it was originally simply The Bull, but after Princess (later Queen) Victoria stayed here for a night in 1836, the ‘Royal Victoria’ bit was added.
The Chatham War Memorial, on Great Lines, northeast of the town overlooking Chatham, is the stop-off, which triggers wartime memories, on the road to Margate.
Jack’s mates say their last goodbyes on ‘Margate Pier’, but the town’s pier was largely destroyed by a storm in 1978. Instead, Eastbourne Pier, Eastbourne in East Sussex, is used – although sand had to be imported to cover Eastbourne’s pebblier beach. Eastbourne Pier seemed to be enjoying screen stardom, also standing in for ‘Brighton Pier’ in the 2010 version of Brighton Rock, and appearing as itself in Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging, but was damaged by a serious fire in 2014.