Walmington-on-Sea was a seaside town. Located on the channel coast of England, it was part of the national "front line" following the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk during the Second World War.
Walmington-on-Sea had a pleasure pier, with a 20-foot-wide gap (6.1 m) blown in the middle to prevent it from being used as a landing stage by invading forces. The beach is lined with barbed wire and other defences, including mines, pill boxes and anti-tank blocks.
There was a sweet shop, The Novelty Rock Emporium, at least one bank (Swallow Bank, run by George Mainwaring), the Marigold tea-rooms, Anne's Pantry, the Dutch Oven, a butcher's shop, greengrocer's, undertaker's and numerous pubs including the Red Lion, which all suggest it was a reasonably-sized place. Like most British towns, it also had a church, Saint Aldhelm's, with a hall next door which was used for community acts such as putting on a Christmas pantomime and a place for the sea scouts to parade.
LocationEditIt is never specified where the town is, and the clues given are contradictory. There are frequent references to Eastbourne, which is also on the same train line (My_Brother_and_I), as well as to Hastings; this points to a location in East Sussex, with some suggesting that it could be based on Bexhill-on-Sea, although Bexhill has no pier. On the other hand, the platoon's cap badges clearly show the county symbol of Kent. Deal has been suggested since it has a pier and is next to Walmer: possibly the inspiration for the name "Walmington". Another suggestion is the town of Wilmington in Kent.
Birchington on Sea on the North Kent coast is another credible inspiration, especially since its neighbouring town is Westgate, a name very reminiscent of the Walmington platoons rivals in Eastgate.
In reality, outdoor TV scenes were filmed at Thetford, an inland town in Norfolk, thus giving no clue as to the scriptwriters' preferences. The 1971 film moved location to Chalfont St Giles, even further from the coast.
|George Mainwaring||Bank Manger|
|Arthur Wilson||Bank Clerk|
|Frank Pike||Office Boy|
|Private Sponge||Sheep Farmer|