There were some wonderful comedy-dramas made by the British film industry in the 1950s. I’m a huge fan of the old Ealing comedies and it was a style which was much copied at the time … but did you know that the Norfolk Broads was the setting and filming location for one such movie?
The 1954 film Conflict of Wings was filmed largely around Hickling Broad, but also featured scenes shot in Ludham village and Wells-next-the-Sea, and it’s a charming period piece. Based on a novel by Don Sharp, and starring John Gregson and Muriel Pavlow, the plot revolves around the compulsory purchase by the Ministry of Defence of a bird sanctuary known as the “Island of Children” which the RAF wish to use for target practice. The villagers are up in arms and do all they can to stop it. Filmed in glorious Eastman colour, this is a wonderful piece of cinema and a lovely nostalgic look back to the Norfolk Broads in the 1950s. Conflict of Wings (also known as Fuss over Feathers in the U.S.) has recently been uploaded in full to YouTube – my thanks to Charles Ruddock for alerting me to this.
Grab yourself some popcorn, sit back and enjoy!