Contact us on 01851 705743 or

One of the few remaining crew members from the original Ealing Studios movie Whisky Galore has passed away at the age of 96.

Ken Westbury was fresh out of National Service when he travelled to Barra as part of the film crew.

He was the clapper loader, or second assistant camera operator, whose main task was loading the raw film stock into camera magazines, operating the clapperboard (slate) at the beginning of each take, marking the actors as necessary, and maintaining all records and paperwork for the camera department.

However, Westbury was no novice during the filming of Whisky Galore, which was a 1949 box office hit.

He started work at Ealing Studios in 1942, leaving Willesden technical college aged 15 to join their camera workshop at Ealing, running errands and sweeping the floor.

After Whisky Galore, Westbury became a film camera operator and TV director of photography in his own right.

His credits include Z Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective, and Tenko.

Image: Ken Westbury as a young clapper boy on the 1945 set of Johnny Frenchman.