A look at the Stay Close mansion featured in Netflix drama filmed in Lancashire
Written by Skywave Radio News on January 12, 2022
Netflix’s new series Stay Close has it all and then some, so it’s no surprise that it has fast become the most-watched drama on the streaming site.
Filming for the show took place across Lancashire and other parts of the North West, with crews seen in locations including Blackpool, Chorley and Morecambe as well as Runcorn and Manchester.
The locations homes of the central characters – Megan Shaw and her family and Sarah Green – have now been revealed, and are both just streets apart in Didsbury, Manchester.
Manchester Evening News spoke to Gerry Collins, who lives in the house owned by Sarah Green in the hit drama, situated on Spath Road, Didsbury, who has allowed his home to be used by filming crews regularly down the years.
Gerry, who is a consultant surgeon at the Alexandra Hospital, relishes the fact his house is used for filming and enjoys that more friends have commented about his house being used in the show than any of the previous times it has been used as a location.
In Stay Close, the house is owned by Sarah Green who is played by actress Belinda Stewart-Wilson. It becomes central to the mysteries being investigated in the drama by DS Broome played by James Nesbitt and DS Cartwright played by Jo Joyner.
And other star names from the cast also filmed there including Eddie Izzard as lawyer Harry and Cush Jumbo as Megan.
Gerry said: “It’s interesting, they make the place look fabulous.
“There’s shots of the house, it’s a big house anyway, but they make it look like a huge house.
“It’s a completely different environment to me in my working life, so I find it quite interesting actually.
“I’m a cancer surgeon. It’s completely different and you need that, you know?
“It’s very good for me in some ways, it’s a completely different outlook.”
He said: “I’ve not watched it yet, but I’ve been sent loads of photos of the house in it.
“I got Netflix for Christmas, so I’ll have to marathon it.”
It is customary for film crews to redecorate or reorganise the houses they film in, and the huge Didsbury mansion used as the Shaw’s family home was painted specifically for the show and redressed every time filming occurred at the property.
But for Gerry at his home, the only issue the director had with his property was due to a lockdown project in the garden, where purple, green, and white painted deck posts were a cause for concern.
Gerry explained: “During the big lockdown last year, my wife got pretty much locked down in Ireland and I was here on my own.
“I got into decorating the garden and stuff like that, so I treated the deck, and I painted the posts that are around the deck and I got very adventurous so I chose the Wimbledon colours.
“The director said ‘no way, not having that’, so they painted them back to how they were, much to my wife’s approval as it happens.”
Gerry’s house also isn’t the only one in the area which has featured on the TV, flyers through the letterboxes of Didsbury’s wealth of Victorian mansions that fit the bill aren’t uncommon.
And Gerry says he for one enjoys the attention his house gets when it has been featured.
He said: “What normally happens is they put flyers in the door of various houses, and this house is already on the sort of file.
“It’s on a file where they’ve got photos of everything so, you know they know in advance what they want. Do they want a Victorian house or a trendy house? If they want a Victorian house, then clearly this would be on their list.”
Gerry explained that Spath Road is notorious for filming, saying: “The big attraction about Spath Road is it’s quite wide and they can park their trucks.
“Numerous houses, I mean we’ve got quite a few friends on this road, and pretty much all of them have had some sort of filming done.
“The other point is, of course, because of that when there is filming going on the neighbours don’t b***h because they’ve all had it themselves.
“I imagine that would be a huge plus for the industry.”
The series, which consists of eight episodes, centres around mum Megan, played by actress Cush Jumbo, and how a dark secret from her past comes back to haunt her.
At the same time detectives are investigating a missing persons case which is led by Nesbitt’s character Broome.
Those watching the show have spotted locations from across the region including Blackpool beach, Morecambe Promenade as well as St Helens Dream Sculpture near Wigan, the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Halton and the former nightclub Shorrocks Hill in Formby.
Mark O’Hanlon, location manager for Stay Close explained that he knew of Spath Road already, having filmed on the street many years before and chose Gerry’s house for its classic feel.
He said: “ It’s a slightly different feel. I used the house next door to it for a show called Blue Murder about 20 years ago.
“You get to know certain roads.
“The house is beautiful but it looks a little sad. It’s ready for a renovation and that’s what we wanted.
“We wanted Sarah Green not to have moved on (in her life) since the day that Stewart Green left.
“You go in a lot of houses, I call them Sarah Beeny’s, where they are all white walls and wooden floors.
“They all generically look the same.
“That’s the worst thing when you are looking for a house for a show because you have no idea about the inside when you are stood looking through the window.
“You get really excited and then you go inside and it’s awful. They’ve taken all the original features out and just made it into a standard house.”
As seen in the show, Gerry’s beautiful house is full of original features, including the stained glass front door, classically designed living spaces and normal wood coloured deck posts.
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