Sun Hill is a fictional London suburb which is the setting for British police television drama series The Bill. Sun Hill is also the name of the Metropolitan Police Station at which the drama is based. Geoff McQueen, creator of The Bill, claimed that he named Sun Hill after a street name in his home town of Royston, Hertfordshire.

Location of Sun Hill suburbEdit

The fictional Sun Hill suburb is located in the fictional London borough of Canley in the East End, north of the River Thames. The Borough of Canley is approximately contiguous to the real-life London Borough of Tower Hamlets[1], and in the first few years of The Bill, Sun Hill police station was actually stated as being located in Wapping in Tower Hamlets. Sun Hill has a London E1 postcode, which corresponds to the real-life areas of Whitechapel and Stepney.

Location of Sun Hill police stationEdit

Throughout the series, there have been three filming locations for Sun Hill police station. From the first series, the police station consisted of a set of buildings in Artichoke Hill, Wapping, East London.[2] However, these buildings were next to the News International plant and during the winter of 1985–86 there was much industrial action at the plant which resulted in some altercations between the strikers and what they thought were the real police; those being the actors working on The Bill. Working conditions got so dire, that the production team realised they needed to find another base to set Sun Hill police station.[3] The second location was an old record distribution depot in Barlby Road, North Kensington in North West London [4]. Filming began here in March 1987. In 1989, the owners of the Barlby Road site ordered The Bill out, due to their redevelopment plans for the area. After an extensive search, two sites were selected, the firm-favourite being a disused hospital in Clapham. However, this fell through and the second option was chosen - an old wine distribution warehouse in Merton, South West London. The move was made in March 1990 and the move was disguised on screen by the 'ongoing' refurbishment of Sun Hill police station and then finally, the explosion of a terrorist car-bomb in the station car-park, which ended up killing PC Ken Melvin. The 'address' of Sun Hill police station is given as '2 Sun Hill Road, Sun Hill, Canley E1 4KM'.[5]

References Edit

  1. March, Ian; Gaynor Melville (2009). Crime, Justice and the Media. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 138. ISBN 041544490X. 
  2. Lynch, T. (1992) The Bill, Boxtree: London
  3. Bridge, Carl (2004). "Australia's Britain". Meanjin (University of Melbourne) 63 (3–4): 218. 
  4. Lynch, T. (1992) The Bill, Boxtree: London
  5. Carlton Television, (2006) The Bill: The Official Case Book, Carlton Books: London

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