St Davids College


St David's Starring Role

Published: 21.05.2021 ( 3 years ago )

Not many people know St David’s College was used as a location for a major film starring one of the biggest names in British cinema at the time.

‘Unman, Wittering and Zigo’ was released by Paramount Studios in 1971 and was called by the BFI’s Screen online as “a finely wrought psychological drama.”

It stars David Hemmings- best remembered for his roles in British films and television programmes of the 1960s and 1970s, and particularly the iconic film Blow-up in 1966.

Above: David Hemmings entering the Minstrel Hall

Above: A view of the front of our school from the Front Lawn

The plot centres around a new teacher arriving at a school and begins to suspect his predecessor was murdered by the pupils, though his suspicions are written off as paranoia. Although the film is set in Cornwall, some outdoor scenes were filmed in the grounds of St David's College.

In a perhaps rather unusual move the then school Bursar, Lewis Edwards, agreed to accept a racing yacht as payment for use of the grounds. There is a famous picture of the actor David Hemmings presenting the then Head Boy the yacht’s sail bag in front of the school.

The only problem was no one knew how to sail the 30ft vessel according to school Chaplain Reverend Tim Hall.

He arrived at St David's College in 1970 and remembers the yacht lying unused on the terrace.

“I came for my interview and I remember seeing this impressive-looking yacht on the terrace." remembered Revd Tim Hall fondly, "but by the time I started my job, she had disappeared and the talk was no one knew how to sail her.”

That didn't stop the boys at St David's, which was an all-boys school at the time getting excited about the visit of a Hollywood star to their school.