One of Hollywood’s top celebrities Brad Pitt is currently filming in the quiet, sleepy village of West Hanningfield, a few miles south of Chelmsford.
He is filming a zombie film at the Essex and Suffolk water works just off the Middlemead Road. The old treatment works provide a perfect setting for a Korean prison, with a little magic from the props team.
Filming is restricted to one part of the treatments works and the site is fully operational throughout.
As someone who was brought up in West Hanningfield during the 1970’s and 1980’s I can assure readers that there really is not a lot there. There used to be a sweet shop, but that closed a couple of decades ago.
The only pub, The Three Compasses, is a nice little village pub and worth a visit. There is a hairdressers there that my mum still goes to. But apart from that there is not a lot to see or do in West Hanningfield. Just up the road is South Hanningfield which as the reservoir visitor attraction that offers bird watching, nature walks and talks.
Brad Pitt is most famous for his portrayal as Tyler Durden in Fight Club. There are rumours that he may be visiting Dale Farm to take a look at Europe’s largest traveller camp before it is closed down later this month.
World War Z
World War Z is due to be released before Christmas 2011. The full title is World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War which is the title of a 2006 novel by Max Brooks that tells the story of a world destroyed after a Zombie War. It is similar to I Am Legend, the film in which Will Smith plays a sole survivor in a city inhabited by zombie like mutant humans.
Brad Pitt is playing the lead character, Brooks, who is a United Nations Postwar Commission agent. The film is really about survivalism in an anarchistic world which has literally be turned upside down in every sense – politically, culturally and religiously, as a result of the zombie infestations.
There are 3 Hanningfields south of Chelmsford, East Hanningfield (the largest of the villages), South Hanningfield and West Hanningfield.
Hanngingfield reservoir is the one of the largest artificial fresh water lakes in the country. It has nature reserves, a visitor centre and cafes. There is also a fishing lodge. The reservoir was created in 1957 when the Sandon Valley was flooded. Two main buildings were destroyed, Giffords Farm and Fremnells Manor. Local folklore talks of buildings surviving under the water and that sometime church bells can be heard ringing beneath the water, however, these tales are not true.