River Cree at Sunset
|Creetown, Scotland :
The Wicker Man (2000) :|
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Visitors to Creetown can stay at the Ellangowan Hotel, from there exploring the locations in Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse, Newton Stewart and Burrow Head used in the film. The rather lusty bar-room songs of the "Green Man" are being re-enacted in the bar, although a concert of all the music used in the film would be a real treat. Re-enactions of Willow McGregor's nude dances and 'initiations' would probably not be permitted; they appear to have been filmed in studio sets, somewhere at Sorbie in the Machars.
The writer had the opportunity to visit the Ellangowan Hotel on the sunny afternoon of Sunday 30th April, 2000. He found that most of the convention attendees were visiting the movie locations, but met with the Convention organiser, John Panter, the author Allen Brown of "Inside the Wicker Man" and other cheerful participants. Bill Christie's bar at the Ellangowan was festooned with pictures and posters of the film, and some large sweatshirts were on sale for £ 6.
Instead of the somewhat alarming image of women dressed as the actresses and men as the actors, (the danger at Star Trek conventions) the writer found a remarkably sane and enthusiastic group. At one point a piece of wood with a large nail was passed over with the words that this was part of the Wicker Man. The writer removed his glasses and subjected the wood and nail to an intense scrute, reporting it to be kiln-dried impregnated timber with a slightly rusted steel nail of 1990s manufacture. This nicely successful 'wind-up' was a piece of offcut from the new fencing around the Ellangowan Beer Garden. Since then, the writer had the chance to see the fragmentary remains of the 'real thing' at Burrow Head.
The high points were the purchase from John Panter of a copy of the book "Inside the Wicker Man" and the granting by Allen Brown of his permission to scan up pictures from the book onto the website. The greatest belly-laugh was a copy of the songsheet to be used at 9 p.m. on 30th April to re-enact the songs in the Bar and at other locations ... including 'Willow's Song', once sung to Howie/Woodward by Willow/Ekland. John Panter wisely remarked that it had been the high point in the pubertal lives of many lads in 1973.
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Last updated 12th April 2001.