23 Gloucester Crescent


Have you ever been moved by a film to the point that you felt the need to visit its setting? I had that feeling with ‘The Lady in the Van’, made the more poignant by the fact it is based on a true story.

Having only watched the film for the first time last month, yesterday, I visited the famous street and house whilst transiting through London. Situated in Camden and near Regents Park, it was a surreal experience to be walking down what felt to me, like a film set, which obviously it wasn’t, this was real. Seeing the house where Alan Bennett lived and the very spot where Miss Shepherd’s van was anchored for 15 years, helped me to connect the dots and feel something akin to closure.

The house looked in need of repair; despite its c£3 million price tag, and the street seemingly unaware of the moving story of Miss Shepherd. In the film, a blue plack is unveiled in remembrance of this woman. Whilst no plack exists in real life, I’m glad the story lives on through the film, theatre, and literature.