Then began the research. Mr. Wintle dug through register after register of deaths, trying unsuccessfully to find a reference to Frances Gregg. Frustrated, he made one last attempt; he sent off a letter to the local newspaper asking if any reader could recall her. Amazingly enough, Oliver Wilkinson's son happened to be traveling the Westcountry and read Mr. Wintle's letter. He revealed that Frances had been buried under her married name, Josepha Frances Wilkinson. This information led Mr. Wintle to the communal blitz grave at Estover, Plymouth, where Frances is memorialized.
Mr. Wintle then began to plan the film. He was in contact with Oliver Wilkinson, who lent Mr. Wintle his generous assistance. Filming took about six weeks, in Wyncote, Pa, Venice and the Westcountry. The two principle sources of commentary were Mr. Wilkinson, and the late poet and critic, Donald Davie (who later collaborated with Mr. Wintle on a film about Thomas Hardy, A Grin of Bitterness).
Mr. Wintle now works in London, and although Television South West is no more, the film is still available. Those interested in obtaining a copy should contact:
Graham SpinkNote: American viewers should request that the film be converted to NSTC format. The cost, in 2001, was around 40 UK pounds, per copy.
TSW Film and Television Archive
Foot and Bowden Building
Plymouth, PL1 2SP
Devon, United Kingdom
44 1752 202650
The website for the South West Film & Television Archive, which holds the archives of Television South West, is http://www.swfta.org.uk, and they list their contact information as:
South West Film and Television Archive
Royal William Yard
Devon PL1 3RP
Tel: 01752 202650, E-mail: email@example.com
Anyone wishing to contact Mr. Wintle may send email to me, and I will see that it is forwarded.