Keighley in Film
Keighley was the setting for the film Blow Dry starring Josh Hartnett, Alan Rickman, and Bill Nighy. Blow Dry opens with the announcement that Keighley will host the 2000 British Hair Championships. Although set in the town, the film was shot mainly in Batley. Most of the 2004 filmYasmin was shot in Keighley. Written by local author Simon Beaufoy and mostly filmed in the Lawkholme area of the town, it tells the story of a British Muslim woman who has her life disrupted by the impact of the September 11th attacks in America. Mr Beaufoy said that although the film was originally set in Oldham, it “worked its way across the Pennines”. Simon Beaufoy is also the writer of the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and The Full Monty.
Utley Cemetery contains the grave of war hero Christopher Ingham, a veteran of the conflict against Napoleon. He was a member of the Duke of Wellington’s elite 95th Rifle Regiment and fought in 10 battles against the French in Spain, France and Belgium. These included the Spanish Peninsula War and the Battle of Waterloo, for which he was awarded several medals, including the Peninsula Medal. He became the landlord of the Reservoir Tavern in West Lane and died in 1866. Some local historians believe Mr Ingham’s heroism inspired author Bernard Cornwell’s saga about Major Richard Sharpe, played by Sheffield-born Sean Bean in the TV adaptation. Indeed, the series episode Sharpe’s Justice, which focuses on the roots of the title character, is set in and around Keighley and was filmed largely at East Riddlesden Hall.
The 2009 TV adaptation of Wuthering Heights was shot largely on location at East Riddlesden Hall. A new adaptation of Jane Eyre is set to boost tourism. Welcome to Yorkshire, the region’s tourism agency, has already rolled out the campaign across America to make potential tourists aware of Brontë Country and Yorkshire.
A great part of the 2004 BBC television drama North and South starring Richard Armitage was shot at Dalton Mills. But the town’s principal film location is without doubt the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, whose Keighley, Ingrow, Damems and Oakworth stations have featured in major films such as The Railway Children and Yanks, and also in innumerable TV dramas, serials and adverts including Sherlock Holmes, Testament of Youth, Miss Marple, Poirot, Peaky Blinders, A Robber’s Tale and A Touch of Frost. Most recently the Council Chamber in the Town Hall on Bow Street has been used in the TV serial South Riding.