Wiltshire village set for War Horse boost

This Is Wiltshire: The Duke and Duchess at the UK premiere of War Horse The Duke and Duchess at the UK premiere of War Horse

Excitement is brewing in Castle Combe as it prepares for its role in Steven Spielberg’s new film, War Horse, which will be in cinemas from today (Friday).

The film was premiered in London’s Leicester Square last weekend, with main guests, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, joined by 600 serving and former military personnel and their families, as well as beneficiaries of military charities.

It is anticipated that the release of the film today will encourage even more tourists to flock to the popular village in search of its history and the Cotswolds architecture.

Anna Roberts, who co-runs the Old Rectory Tearooms, said: “This film will have an impact on tourism, but how much remains to be seen.

“It will be one of those films that people will remember. It’s a classic story and I think it will be wonderful.

“It was a completely different kettle of fish compared to the other two [Stardust and Wolfman], when War Horse was being filmed. It was more exciting.”

As well as appearing in those films, Castle Combe has been seen on TV in Agatha Christie’s Poirot and is in the book Find Me A Spy, Catch Me A Traitor by Raymond Austin.

Sally Constable, church warden at St Andrew’s Church, said: “War Horse was a lovely production. I’m very interested in the historical side of it. They had the most amazing sets and costumes. It transformed the village.

“I will definitely see it at the cinema. I’m sure there will be more interest in the village following the film.”

Castle Combe Parish Council chairman Fred Winup believes the village does not need promoting, as it is already known worldwide.

He said: “It’s nice that someone like Spielberg wanted to come here to shoot scenes for the film.

“What he was looking for is something that was still authentic and the location manager said that Spielberg likes the village.”

In return for the upheaval and inconveniences of filming, the village received an undisclosed fee that will be ploughed back into the community.

Cllr Winup believes most people found having the film crew in the village enjoyable.

“I think people quite enjoyed the experience,” he said. “The crew, as they always are, were so professional and courteous.”

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