My Bond with the Nene Valley

Contributor: Marc Hernandez
Type: Image or Photograph
Recorded: 10/03/2018

I've lived in an around the Nene Valley since my family moved to Oundle in 1977 when I was 3. I have a lot of fond memories of swimming and rafting in the River as a kid, but my favourite things about the river have been the many cameo appearances the river's made in film work around the Nene Valley Railway. Freddie Mercury and his bandmates from Queen steaming over the Lynch Bridge River crossing on the back of the Miracle Express for the Breakthru' music video (1989) and it's part in the James Bond film, Octopussy (1983).

Both of these feature in the book I'm writing.

'All Time Spy - Our Bond with the Nene Valley' by Marc Hernandez: Due for release in 2019. A short extract from it is listed below.

The River Nene or The River Nein?

An integral part of Ian Fleming's daily routine whilst writing his James Bond novels at ‘Goldeneye' - his home in Jamaica was the way he chose to relax. Around the cool, crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea he made time to swim and snorkel - slipping under the tranquil waves to explore the coves and reefs; passing shoals of exotically coloured fish and immersing himself in the ocean's kaleidoscope of colour. Unfortunately, the nearest stretch of water to my golden-brick coloured house in Peterborough is the River Nene. The murky waters are devoid of coves and reefs and for safety reasons I wouldn't recommend anyone trying to swim in it these days. The strong current and undertow are as unpredictable as they are deadly, but one specific film moment ensures it's a must see location for James Bond fans visiting the Nene Valley Railway. In Octopussy (1983) the River Nene, weir lock at Orton Mere became the River Spree, weir lock, Berlin in the opening sequence of the film. It's where 009; dressed as a clown fell wounded into the river - fleeing from the circus knife throwing twins Mischka and Grischka. People often pose for a photograph in the exact spot 009 stood in before he dropped into the water washing down river, and scrambling out in order to deliver a Faberge egg to the British ambassador's residence.

It's also the exact spot on the River Nene I almost suffered a similar fate in 1988 when a calippo ice lolly was thrown at me by Stu, one of my school friends as we playfully reinacted the scene. The film had just been shown on TV so we went in search of missing Fabergé eggs in case any used in the filming had washed up on the riverbank. After an exhaustive search, the only eggs we found belonged to an irate mallard duck who forced us to leave in a hurry before it grabbed our ice lollies. An extract from the book ‘All Time Spy – Our Bond with the Nene Valley' by Marc Hernandez due for release in 2019.

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