Primrose Hill looked after Paddington Bear during filming

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Primrose Hill plays Notting Hill in Paddington, coming to cinema screens today – starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Broadbent.

Ben Whishaw voices the beloved Peruvian bear, with Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon lending their voices as the other bears.

Writer Alan Bennett was among residents involved in discussions that secured donations, for a local library and community centre, from the filmmaker.

The beautiful pastel-coloured Chalcot Crescent in Camden is rendered as the Notting Hill neighbourhood of the Browns, who bring Paddington to live in their home.

Local resident Beverley Silverstone recommends all London residents should join a local association and get involved in the filming going on around them.

Beverley says, “The community association worked with the council to develop a set of guidelines for filmmakers in Primrose Hill. The guidelines help us inform the way film companies work in the area, addressing inconveniences such as night filming and parking, and ensuring good communications with residents. We can arrange for big trucks to be parked nearby, but not on the crescent.”

Primrose Hill Community Association member Pam White adds, “We also raised a voluntary donation for our association and library, which was so welcome.

“The community association is filled with important local events, like ballroom dancing, bridge, choir, and a library run by volunteers. This donation went toward improvements as varied as a new BBQ, a defibrillator, and a coach trip to the seaside for local people.”

Councillor Abdul Hai, Camden Council Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Culture, says, “With its iconic and historic buildings and streets, Camden remains a popular place for filmmakers, and we make sure that filmmakers work effectively alongside the people who live and work here.

“Having such great opportunities for residents to get involved is really exciting. Working so closely with the production team meant that the local residents had a say over the possible disruption from filming and negotiated a donation for the local library and community centre in return.”

The production was filming in the street for five days and returned later for a few re-shoots. They rented an empty home in the street as a production office and created a screening room upstairs with a live feed during filming. Residents and children in particular, enjoyed dropping by to spend time in the viewing room and asking questions about the filming process.

Beverley Silverstone says, “A lot of the locals really enjoyed seeing actors in the street and seeing the production at work. It’s great for resident groups if they can get involved in controlling filming and the benefits it can bring to the community.”

There’s more information about the Primrose Hill Community Association here.

Take a look at the Paddington trailer here.