Carry On Regenerating: how locations from Britain’s sauciest series have changed since

The Carry On series took its brand of innuendo and saucy slapstick across the Home Counties and London. Times have changed, but have the locations?

14 February 2024

By Adam Scovell

Carry On Abroad (1972)

The Carry On series was one of the longest-running and most popular film franchises in the history of British cinema. Produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Gerald Thomas, the 31 films, one television series and four Christmas specials saw a large, regular cast of familiar faces often send up popular genres of the time. Filled with innuendo and sauciness, expertly delivered by the likes of Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Hattie Jacques, the series became a mainstay of cinemas in the post-war years, their satires sometimes becoming more popular than the original films they lampooned.

Though making the most of Pinewood Studios, the Carry On team often got out into the high streets and suburbia of the Home Counties, as well as enjoying the occasional venture into London. Their modern-day-set films, in particular, are often an interesting time capsule of the era’s civic spaces, documenting some very humdrum, everyday locations for posterity.

Here are five locations from the Carry On films as they stand today.

Carry On Sergeant (1958)

Although the first of Gerald Thomas’s films in the series, Carry On Sergeant brought a number of the regulars together early on. Following a ragtag bunch of new recruits facing the trials and tribulations of National Service, the film is largely shot in Stoughton Barracks around Guildford.

Carry On Sergeant (1958)

The barracks have been entirely turned over to housing in the intervening years, retaining many of the original buildings while using its huge parade ground as a public green space. Though the trees now hide the buildings seen in the original shot, they’re very much as they were. 

Carry On Sergeant (1958)

The barrack buildings have since become an incredibly upmarket series of flats and houses. The road created by them is now called Cardwells Keep. 

Carry On Sergeant (1958)

The keep that gives the place its name is also still standing. This shot from the park shows the buildings and what was originally the parade ground. 

Carry On Sergeant (1958)

Carry On Constable (1960)

While usually filming around towns in the Home Counties, which were handily near the various studios used for interior shots, the Carry On team did occasionally venture into the capital for filming. This is evident particularly in Carry On Constable, which uses a number of west London locations.

Carry On Constable (1960)

The police station seen a number of times throughout the film is Hanwell Library on Cherington Road. We see a shot looking west on the road when the three constables, PC Benson (Kenneth Williams), PC Constable (Kenneth Connor) and PC Potter (Leslie Phillips) arrive for duty.

Carry On Constable (1960)

The distinctive arch of Hanwell Library’s entrance also gets a close-up, just to show that it’s definitely a police station and very much not a public library. The lamp was evidently an addition. 

Carry On Constable (1960)

During the sequence of the three new PCs heading to the station, they are shown walking along several streets aside from Cherington Road. Though oblivious to it, they happen upon a robbery at a jeweller’s. The road seen in this shot isn’t far from the real location of the station, being South Ealing Road looking north. 

Carry On Constable (1960)

Carry On Screaming! (1966)

Carry On Screaming! is one of the series’ most celebrated films. A glorious send-up of Hammer horror, the film revels in a deliciously camp gothic style as it follows Detective Sergeant Bung (Harry H. Corbett) and Detective Constable Slobotham (Peter Butterworth) as they investigate the disappearance of a woman in a wood that sits suspiciously close to the mansion of Dr Orlando Watt (Kenneth Williams). The doctor may have a sideline for casting people in wax so they can be sold as shop dummies…

Carry On Screaming! (1966)

In the midst of their investigation, their hunt for the missing woman takes them to see Dan Dann the Lavatory Man (Charles Hawtrey), who supposedly saw what happened to the woman. Dan Dann’s lavatory was on Pinewood Road, specifically at the studio’s old south entrance. The gate is still standing today, though the lavatory is no longer standing.

Carry On Screaming! (1966)

Unfortunately for Bung, Doctor Watt has followed him and is about to unleash an evil emissary against Dan Dann in order to silence him. The shot showing Doctor Watt’s car looks south down Pinewood Road, along with the still-standing gate. 

Carry On Screaming! (1966)

Carry On Doctor (1967)

The Carry On series was perhaps most famed for its medical-themed films and cries of “Ooh matron!” A number of buildings were used to portray hospitals in their various films, but the most architecturally distinctive is the site used in Carry On Doctor.

Carry On Doctor (1967)

The building is the town hall on St Ives Road in Maidenhead. We see the building several times throughout the film, including during the high speed arrival of the ambulance carrying grumpy patient Francis Bigger (Frankie Howerd).  

Carry On Doctor (1967)

Though Maidenhead has seen a huge amount of redevelopment over the years, the building still stands, wedged between newer blocks. Thankfully, its distinctive garden entrance has also survived. 

Carry On Doctor (1967)

Carry On Abroad (1972)

Holding the record for the highest number of cast regulars, Carry On Abroad is one of the last truly great films in the series before it began its steady decline in the 1970s. The film might seem an extravagant choice for a location visit, considering it is mainly set at a Mediterranean holiday destination, except that Elsbels was entirely shot at Pinewood Studios. Before the cast head ‘abroad’, however, they meet at the package holiday office in order to catch a coach to the airport.

Carry On Abroad (1972)

The road that the holiday company have its offices on is the high street in Slough. As can be seen in the photos, the road has been utterly changed from the red-brick low-level street to a distinctly dystopian series of grey blocks. 

Carry On Abroad (1972)

The scene includes multiple shots of the street in both directions, including this one looking east, which shows the how drastically the road has changed in the intervening years. 

Carry On Abroad (1972)

References