The village of Lund had a starring role in the film Lease of Life, made in 1954. The village was chosen by Director Charles Frend for the rural sequences in the film and Lund became the fictional village of Hinton St John. The cast included Robert Donat, Adrienne Corri, Kay Walsh and Reginald Beckworth.  "Lease of Life created quite a stir in the village and it is said that some women washed their doorsteps several times a day so that they could have an excuse to watch the film stars at work". (Yorkshire Times July 11, 1969, Lund -a quiet village full of contrasts). 
Villagers were not allowed to pass through the centre of the village during filming and farm workers had to return to work via the B1248; however Mr Teale, the blacksmith, continued to work even when action was taking place in a two walled 'cottage'  which was constructed on the green outside his forge.
Between 'takes' the stars passed the time at the Wellington Inn where they were entertained by the landlord Cyril Bradley and his wife Mary.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed by Charles Frend
Produced by Jack Rix
Written by Eric Ambler (from novel by Pat Jenkins)
Starring Robert Donat
Kay Walsh
Adrienne Corri
Denholm Elliott
Music by Alan Rawsthorne
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Peter Tanner
Distributed by Ealing Studios
Release dates

19 October 1954 (1954-10-19)

Running time

94 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Lease of Life is a 1954 British film drama made by Ealing Studios and directed by Charles Frend. The film was designed as a star-vehicle for Robert Donat, representing his return to the screen after an absence of over three years during which he had been battling the chronic asthma which plagued his life and career.[1] It was a prestige production which was generally respectfully, if not over-enthusiastically, received and gained Donat a nomination as 'Best British Actor' at the 1955 British Academy Film Awards.[2] In common with a number of other Ealing films of the era, Lease of Life focuses on a specific English milieu – in this case a Yorkshire village and its nearby cathedral city – and examines the nuances, quirks and foibles of its day-to-day life. The film is unique in the Ealing canon in having religion as its dominant theme.


William Thorne (Robert Donat) is the vicar of the village of Hinton St. John, living with wife Vera (Kay Walsh) and daughter Susan (Adrienne Corri), an exceptionally gifted pianist. Although the focus of the local community, the Thornes live a life of having to struggle and scrimp to make ends meet financially. Vera is a typical clergy wife, having to sublimate her own needs and desires to the exigencies of her husband's career, as a result tending to live life vicariously through her daughter, whose musical gifts she is determined must not be wasted.

On discovering that he has less than a year to live, Thorne reevaluates his own life and his parishioners and he finds himself happier than before, as he now feels able to speak completely honestly about his beliefs and does his best to demonstrate to his parishioners that religion is not a matter of unthinking adherence to a fixed set of rules, but of freedom to act according to one's conscience. However some of his pronouncements are willfully misunderstood and deemed provocative and controversial. There also remains the worry about how to secure the necessary funds to pay for Susan's tuition at a music college, and fate happens to put temptation in the way.


Robert Donat as Rev. William Thorne
Kay Walsh as Vera Thorne
Adrienne Corri as Susan Thorne
Denholm Elliott as Martin Blake
Walter Fitzgerald as The Dean
Reginald Beckwith as Foley
Cyril Raymond as Headmaster
Vida Hope as Mrs. Sproatley
Beckett Bould as Mr. Sproatley
Jean Anderson as Miss Calthorp
Russell Waters as Russell
Alan Webb as Dr. Pembury
Richard Wattis as Solicitor
Richard Leech as Carter
Frederick Piper as Jeweller
Mark Daly as Spooner
Frank Atkinson as Verger

Location filming

Exterior sequences for Lease of Life were filmed in Beverley (Gilchester) and the nearby village of Lund (Hinton St. John) in the East Riding of Yorkshire.[3] The railway scenes in the film were filmed at Windsor & Eton Central station.


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