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Production Village - London RIP

Production Village

"A real North London oddity was the Production Village in Cricklewood Lane NW2. It was a phenomenon that leaves you utterly dumbstruck as to the reasons behind its creation. Image © Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence."

Production Village

RIP Production Village - mine’s a Hogs Grunt

A real North London oddity was the Production Village in Cricklewood Lane NW2. It was a phenomenon that leaves you utterly dumbstruck as to the reasons behind its creation. On a fairly unremarkable north west London suburban road was this bizarre country village with its own village green and a pond and a bar serving a ghastly beverage called a Hog’s Grunt. This was the name of the pub in this strange rural idyll.

I believe it was originally the film studios of the Samuleson family who I think were pioneering filmmakers, hence its name. However, I have no idea if any films were made there. It seemed so peculiar that anybody would go to such lengths to create such an authentic rural recreation in the middle of suburban north west London. It was as if we were running out of real countryside and needed to build fake countryside in the most inappropriate setting.

At first, in the early 80s it was a big success, but in later years Production Village became seedy. It was the place where people went to score drugs. It ceased to be ludicrously camp and became a little more heavy. There was violence. The last time I went there, a gang of boys were giving grief to the local residents, shouting, fighting and running, and in the brawl a mate of mine had his earring ripped out. We never returned.

Not long after, Production Village closed and on the site are now a gym and a students’ residential hall. Until recently, half of a garish blue sign for the Production Village hung over the road but now even this has gone. The Production Village was one of those weird artefacts that seem so of their time that you’re sorry they’ve gone, but at the same time you’re glad they’re not around any more.

Mine’s a Hog’s Grunt!