Highbury - Highbury in The Arts

Highbury in The Arts

For 40 years from 1965, Highbury New Park was home to Wessex Studios. Created by Beatles producer Sir George Martin (who grew up on Drayton Park in Highbury), the studios saw the recording of some of the best-known albums created by bands including Queen, Genesis, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols and the Clash. The building is now a block of residential apartments called "The Recording Studio" and located at 106, Highbury New Park. (Refs: George Martin speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs; The Independent, Nov 3 2004; the "Queen - Days of our Lives" documentary screened by BBC4 in April 2012.)

Highbury was also home to a movie/TV/recording studio further along the same street, at 65A Highbury New Park; these studios had a training school next door in a disused church hall. Built initially as a as a music conservatoire in 1890, the site became a recording studio in 1926 for the Piccadilly label. In 1933, they became the Highbury (film) Studios and in 1945 they were acquired by the Rank Organisation. Due to economic difficulties, Rank closed the studios down and they were demolished in 1960. Athenaeum Court, a block of flats, now occupies the site.

The following books and films feature parts of Highbury:

  • The book A London Family 1870-1900 by Molly Hughes, ISBN 0-19-282896-7. In particular it mentions Highbury New Park.
  • The film Killing Her Softly was partially filmed on Highbury New Park.
  • The film Fever Pitch was filmed around the Arsenal stadium and along Highbury Hill.
  • The film Four Weddings and a Funeral begins with Hugh Grant trying to hail a taxi at Highbury Corner and ends in front of the houses that run along the edge of Highbury Fields.
  • The film The Arsenal Stadium Mystery was filmed in and around the Arsenal stadium.
  • The poem Summoned by Bells by John Betjeman. This verse autobiography mentions Highbury several times, including St Saviours Church on Aberdeen Park, which he used to attend. St Saviours closed in 1980 and is now an art studio.
  • Highbury is where the fictional comedy character Mr Bean lives.
  • Writer Alan Moore recorded a 'beat seance' in and about Highbury, titled 'The Highbury Working'.
  • In the early 70's a drama was filmed by the BBC called "The House on Highbury Hill".
  • Highbury is mentioned in Vanity Fair, the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray; in chapter 4, the Sedleys are said to be going "to dine with Alderman Balls, at Highbury Barn."
  • The novel Emma by Jane Austen is set in a village called Highbury, though located in Surrey.
  • Highbury is mentioned in The Fire Sermon, part III of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land: "Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew / Undid me."

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Famous quotes containing the word arts:

    In a very ugly and sensible age, the arts borrow, not from life, but from each other.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)