What do these films have in common ?
The Carry On Series
The Red Shoes
Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang
The Fifth Element
Interview With a Vampire
Eyes Wide Shut
Answer ? They were all made at Pinewood studios, just a few miles from Uxbridge. All the Carry-on films plus other blockbusters have had at least part of the filming done here.
There are no studio tours, but you can sometimes get a look around by professing undying interest ina a particular file of TV series which may organise a 'special event' at the studios.
You can however drive by the famous half-timbered 'stars' entrance. You might also glimpse some odds and ends in the back-lots here like a double decker bus or the like just left about.
Just as a footnote, I notice that the small housing development opposite the gates was named (very cheesiliy) 'Bond Close'. Ha Ha
At Perivale on the A40 heading out of London, just before Uxbridge, lies this impressive pile. If you happen to be taking this road out towards Oxford (and onto the M40) then look out for the Hoover building. Built in the 1930's, it was the head office and distribution centre for Hoover products. For the rather mundane task of sending out vacuum cleaners to the masses they built this wonderful example or Art Deco design.
Nowadays it says 'Hoover buliding' rather than 'Hoover Limited' on the front as it has been turned into a large supermarket by Tesco's. I must admit that they have done a stunning job, spending millions in the process, of restoring the building's facade to it's pristine glory.
Also of great benefit is the fact you can nip inside for your groceries.
As something like one pound in every six goes through a Tesco's store in a week, you could say that the building still hoovers up large amounts of cash...and yes they do sell Hoover vacuum machines inside !
The windows are located in the London Underground Uxbridge Station. It does seem quite out of context but is worth looking at if you use the station.