Carry On, Teacher: Setting

Figure 1.--Here we see the outsude of the school--Maudlin Street Secondary Modern School, a dreary school in a dreary neighborhood. Many state schools in ineer cities looked like this. Maudlin Street was a fictitious name, but it was an actual school--Drayton Secondary School in Ealing. This was a London neighborhood.

The movie is set in the fictional Maudlin Street Secondary Modern School. American readers need to know that a Secondary Modern was a secondary schools with generally low academic standards. The best students and teachers were at Grammar Schools (academically seclective secondary schools). A secondary modern was probably chosen because it was easier to make fun of the staff and many were coeducational. The grammar schools were mostly single-gender schools. The exterior shots show a real rather dreary looking brick school in a dreary looking neighborhood. Not a tree or a blade of grass in sight. Presumably the school was chosen as a backdrop as to why the Headmaster wanted to move to a different school. The name was concocted to furher this impression, 'maudlin' in English is often associated with drunkedness, but here probably means something like excessively sentimental. The staff and teenagers in the school were actors, but the exteriors were shot at a real school. And the producers seem to gone out of their way to find one that looked like it come right out of the pages of a Charles Dickens novel. And the school yard was just as dreary as the building. There were actually still a lot of schools like that in London and other British cities.


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Created: 8:21 PM 9/21/2011
Last updated: 8:57 PM 9/23/2011