Last Alteration: Monday 15 July 2019

Filming on the Bonny Mary

The Bonny Mary, filmed 23 June 1966

Reflections by Don Turtle, June 2008

I am pleased to relay the events of filming "Dr Who and the Pirates" on the "Bonny Mary".

Bonny Mary
Bonny Mary
Bonny Mary

The evening before the event, carpenters and a lorry load of wood arrived at the quayside to build the bow up into the sterncastle likened to a galleon.

The next morning the film crew and actors arrived with all the entourage, one of the well-known actors with a strong sounding Yorkshire-like accent was the life and soul of the scene.

As we were about to depart amid cheers, catcalls and horns blowing, I was approached by one of the film officials inquiring about toilet facilities for females; all I could produce was a bucket which apparently satisfied the rules.

To any spectator the whole episode was like a comic opera.

A northwest gale was blowing, the only lee for calmer seas was along the western shoreline. It took me 1/2 hour to reach the calmest spot, by this time the maintenance staff were feeling ill with seasickness, with the exception of the aforementioned actor who was in fits of laughter.

We started to film, anybody that was not actors stayed quiet behind the wheelhouse, I felt sympathetic to some of the actors who were doing a good job under the circumstances and had to break off in the middle of their lines to make a dash to the boat's side to spew.

We persevered and finished the day's filming. The next day was better weather and we finished the episode satisfactorily.

I eventually sold the "Bonny Mary" for a bigger boat "Girl Patricia", whom I went into partnership with a shipmate. The new owner of "Bonny Mary" eventually succumbed to the bureaucratic vandalism of breaking up the boat in return for decommissioning money, and I have a piece of her on my shelf in the form of a candlestick.

Hoping this information is helpful to you.

Yours sincerely
Don Turtle

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