WHILE The Damned may not have gone down in history as the greatest Hammer flick ever made, the film still has a place in the hearts of many residents of Weymouth and Portland. A deluge of responses followed Looking Back's appeal for information on the film and, readers quickly answered the question Where is Shirley Anne standing?' One of the first people to call was Tony Short who identified the house in the background of the shot of Shirley Anne as Cheyne House, an isolated house east of Southwell on Portland.

"It is part of old Portland folklore," said Tony, "because there are no windows on the wall of the house facing the sea. She must have been in the back garden of the house. The rumours were that it was a smuggler joint and that it did not have any windows so it could not be seen what they were doing."

Tony was about 14 at the time of the film being made.

"We were camping out there with friends. We used to go down there and run errands for them. We'd go on pushbikes and buy fags from the local shop. We'd get them their fags and then at feeding time they would hand out cardboard boxes and give us something to eat like sandwiches, oranges and a bit of cake."

While filming was taking place, the crew and male members of the cast stayed in the chalets at the Pennsylvania Castle. Doug Gould, who did the accounts for the castle, met several members of the cast.

"They used to come in for a drink, especially Oliver Reed," he explained. "I met Alexander Knox and MacDonald Carey. One day Shirley Anne Field was having a drink in the bar. There was a phone call for her and she was quite rude to me. Afterwards she apologised for being rude. She was quite nice really."

One family who knew the film location well is the Hendy family. Arron Hendy, whose great uncle and aunt, Harry and Kathleen Pitman, lived at Cheyne House, said: "I have got old cine films of me as a baby in the garden. My father knew all about the location in the photos as he spent lots of time there.

"Shirley Anne Field is in the grounds of Cheyne House, in the driveway. Harry was a long-serving station officer of Weymouth Fire Station. She is standing in front of an old disused pumping station reservoir in the grounds. These reservoirs were originally built by the convicts, dug out of the ground, so, if you look from the road, it only looks like a grassy knoll.

"Interestingly, the next picture on page 17 is in the grounds of Cheyne House, showing where Shirley Anne Field was standing in the other picture. There is a waterworks building on the right hand side, the sea is behind, in the background. The cameraman or photographer would have had the lighthouse to his right."

He added: "My father said there is no church tower nearby - I'm not sure where that reference came from.

"Another note that may be of interest; there are parts of the film shot in the old reservoir. Harry Pitman and my dad converted one of the reservoirs into an outhouse, knocking windows through three-foot stone walls and laying down a floor. The caves in the film were built on the footpath from Cheyne House to the Bill and dug out by the film company."

Nigel Graham of Fortuneswell confirmed: "One or two of the sea caves along the east coast from Southwell to the Bill were used, including more scene-setting shots looking down into the cave hole from its opening (now closed with a grid of steel rails set into concrete) on the meadow above. I was told some years ago that the remains of a brick wall erected in one cave as scenery for the film survived into the early 1970s, but I've not managed to verify that."

Pat McColm added that parts of the caves' were created for the set. "They built up polystyrene rocks," she said. "There are caves there, but they built up the doors' of the cave in polystyrene."

Geoff Pritchard, whose father, Ron, was friends with Harry Pitman visited Cheyne House while there was filming there.

"We went out there purely by chance and we wondered what all those people were doing on the lawn," he said.

"They had a fibreglass rocks made to look like Portland stone. Harry said to me, Bet you can lift one of those rocks.'"

Brian Hendy, Arron's uncle, added that his aunt, Kathleen, was given a cardigan by Shirley Anne Field, but burnt it after she died because it was in such a poor condition.

He said: "Jack Cooper, the stuntman, used to go and visit them afterwards. One particular day he was in the hallway using the phone and there was a shillelagh hanging up and it came down on his head. My uncle said, You didn't get out of that one.'"

Brian's joke of course referred to Jack Cooper's famous stunt of driving his Jaguar off Ferrybridge, which attracted quite a crowd.

Nevertheless, the stunt was not a happy one for Jack Cooper, according to Norman Hirst.

"I was a teenager and I was on the recovery boat with the divers under the bridge," said Norman.

"When he hit the water, the car went upside down and trapped him under it. They managed to get him out. When they took him to shore they took him to a little jetty nearby - people were waiting for him with drinks, but he pushed everybody out of the way and stormed off and said he would never do that sort of stunt again."

Mike Boyce of Portland said: "I saw the railings on the bridge just before the car crashed through - the steel stanchions had been replaced with identical ones made from plaster of paris, and the horizontal steel bars had been replaced with wood. The gutter adjacent to where the car went through was infilled with Tarmac to raise its level to that of the pavement, as can just be made out in the photograph, so that the car didn't leap into the air when it hit the kerb."

The Jaguar was in the care of Eric Thomas for the duration of the film. His wife, Doreen Thomas, sent in the photograph of her husband with the car outside his business, the Jubilee Garage, which was in Gloucester Mews.

She said: "After the car was driven over Ferrybridge, he had to take it back to the garage and get it ready for the next day. The studios offered my husband a job, which he turned down as we had a young family."

Finally, the stills from The Damned brought back sad memories for Portland family the Owens. Stephen Owen was killed falling off the cliff edge by Cheyne House when he was just 15. His brother Dave Owen took a photograph of the spot where his brother died and pointed out the poignancy of the crucifixes in windows. The spot, he says, looks much the same aside from some erosion of the cliff.

"My brother was 15 at the time he was killed at that point. He was collecting seagull eggs and lost his footing and slipped going around that cliff wall. The cliff was a bit eroded there. He died on May 11, 1974; my family's been damned ever since."