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 Post subject: The Lost Betjemans - Nick Spotted?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 109
Location: West Yorkshire
I read somewhere that it is rumoured that Nick Drake was caught on camera in the dining hall when John Betjeman made a short film about Marlborough College in, I believe, 1962. This film was lost, presumed destroyed, for many years then was re-discovered and show on TV in the 90's under the title, 'The Lost Betjemans'.

I recently purchased a copy of this on DVD and watched it last night. I sat watching with an open mind and was, to be honest, expecting disappointment! However, in the dining hall clip there is a boy who looks remarkably like Nick did in the photos available taken at the time he was attending Marlborough! If the film was made in 1962 Nick would have been 13 or 14 which fits with the boy in the clip. He is sitting at the end of a large bench table facing sideways on to the camera and is eating what appears to be scones and tea! He looks taller than the other boys he's sitting with, is stooping slightly and has large hands, with seemingly long, bony fingers. His hair is parted on the correct side (compared to the photos) and, intriguingly, he is the only one to have a long, black trenchcoat on the back of his chair.

I maybe bashing a square peg into a round hole given the enigma Nick has become due to the lack of footage available of him but I'd be very interested to hear if anyone has seen the clip and drawn similar conclusions.

Interestingly, I watched the clip with my girlfiriend who, although not a huge Nick Drake fan, has seen many photos and read many magazine articles and on watching the clip said, "That's him!" pointing out the same boy I'd spotted a split second earlier!!

Before anyone asks, I have no idea how to share the clip with everyone and, to be honest, given the age and Black & White quality of the film a YouTube clip or still shot would be of no use whatsoever! I bought the DVD for £5.99 on Amazon so if anyone has a love of Nick Drake and John Betjeman it represents excellent value for money!

Best Wishes!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:54 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
If you play the DVD on a computer you could take a screenshot (and post it on here)of the moment Nick is on there so at least we can help identify him?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 109
Location: West Yorkshire
Hi Stuart

I will give it a go! I know how to capture a still shot - I'm just not sure how to post it on the forum. If you can provide suitably foolproof instructions I'll give it a shot.

I'm not sure that the resemblance will be as clear to see in a 5" x 7" still as on a 32" TV screen but I'll do my best!

Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:09 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:33 pm
Posts: 25
chris w wrote:
Hi Stuart

I will give it a go! I know how to capture a still shot - I'm just not sure how to post it on the forum. If you can provide suitably foolproof instructions I'll give it a shot.

I'm not sure that the resemblance will be as clear to see in a 5" x 7" still as on a 32" TV screen but I'll do my best!

Chris


Sure. Just play the DVD on your computer, then press this:

MAC: Apple+Shift+3
WINDOWS: Print Screen (button on your keyboard), then "paste" into an image program.

Then you can upload the photo at http://www.imageshack.us


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:08 pm
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Location: West Yorkshire
Here goes - I've finally got round to uploading the pics on to Imageshack (as recommended by jbrana - thanks for the tips!).

You can see the stills by clicking on the links below. Now I will say this (disclaimer ahoy!) - I appreciate that this is pretty inconclusive. It's more convincing in the moving picture than as stills but see what you think. I've included a picture of Nick taken from around the time of the film as a comparison.

The only real verification either way for me would be if someone who knew Nick well (Gabrielle springs to mind!) was to confirm one way or t'other!

Anyway, until footage of Nick playing at Les Cousins is discovered in someone's attic...see what you reckon!

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/3117/marlborough1.jpg

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/3464/marlborough2.jpg

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/8537/marlborough3.jpg

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6654/nick1sgg.jpg


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:33 pm
Posts: 25
I'm typically a HUGE skeptic when it comes to these types of claims... however, after reviewing the photos, the kid drinking from the cup looks a great deal like Nick... particularly in the eyes. Also, look at how long his fingers are...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:23 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 109
Location: West Yorkshire
I've managed to upload a video clip of the sequence in the dining hall at Marlborough College - I think it's more convincing than the still shots - see what you think!

If you increase the volume you can enjoy John Betjeman's narration as he reminisces about teatime at Marlborough!

http://img190.imageshack.us/i/marlboroughclipi.mp4/


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:20 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:02 pm
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I'm not sure, but it could well be....

Thanks for posting, a really interesting find!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:21 pm 
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I know this is a super old thread, but I just saw the clip of the video (thanks chris w - I'm amazed ImageShack is still hosting it!) and I too had a shudder of recognition when the boy at the end of the table came into view. It was all in the posture for me. If this is not Nick, the similarity to the photos we have seen of him around this age is uncanny.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:21 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:56 am
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Location: New Jersey
As read about in Pynk Moon!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 109
Location: West Yorkshire
Hi Chris

Yes, the posture seems to be almost the same as in the Hampstead Heath bench pics taken by Keith Morris - the same stooped sitting position.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:06 pm 
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He does look similar, but (and it is a little 'but'!) his facial features look a little thin - Nick seemed to be a little fuller in the face than that. Still, if it is him, it's nice to see him enjoying happier times with friends.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:10 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:05 am
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I would love to believe that this is actually footage of Nick - but having watched it over and over (and over and over...) again, I have even started to wonder if the boy sitting on the right hand side of 'Nick' could also be Nick!

Compare one of the still shots from the film with Nick's school photo from around the same time:

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/3117/marlborough1.jpg

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6654/nick1sgg.jpg

There is definitely a 'look' which makes it incredibly difficult to be really sure one way or another...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:15 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 30
PS: Surely there are some Old Marlburians out there who could confirm whether or not this is Nick?


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