Buses on Screen > Films > Films W > Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999, Tom Courtenay)

Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999, Tom Courtenay)
Paul Williams reports this featured three buses from the Museum of Transport, Manchester, including Manchester 3460 (PND460), a 1956 Leyland Titan PD2/12/MCW.
Chris Lonergan explains: "I can add a little to the contribution from Paul Williams, a fellow GMTS member. I was on the set with two other members during the week long night time filming in the centre of Sheffield in April 1999. PND460 was the only bus which appeared in the film.
Another bus, former Ashton 44, PTE 944C (Leyland PD2/37/Roe) had been taken to Sheffield before filming began because the production assistant responsible for props asked for a blue bus. On the first night of filming the film's assistant director took one look at the bus and made it clear that it would not do - the bus in the film had to be red! Fortunately one of our group had a Museum guide book with him and the assistant director leafed through it as though it were a catalogue! He selected 3460 and we had to return post haste to Manchester to fetch it having phoned ahead to make sure it was prepared for the journey. We returned to the set at about 22.30. The first night of filming did not pass smoothly as between takes the engine of the bus had to be shut down. After the first such event she refused to start! As we had 44 with us we had to repeatedly drive her on and off the set to jump start 3460 before each take, of which there were many including rehearsals.
On the morning after the first night we took both buses back to the Museum where an electrical fault on 3460 was rectified in time for the following, and subsequent, night's filming.
The reference to 3 buses may have come about because of 44 and another bus, former Leigh AEC Renown/East Lancs 15, PTC 114C, which had originally been requested with 44 but couldn't be made available because of a serious brake problem. For continuity reasons, and in view of the relatively short length of the scene which featured the bus, only one could ever have been used, whatever colour was chosen."
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