Films of Treasure at the Mill and Trouble at Townsend

First Published 2008 by The Malcolm Saville Society

DVD cover. Click to see full cover
The DVD cover
A DVD containing the two cinema films made from stories by Malcolm Saville.

Treasure at the Mill was made by the Children's Film Foundation and released in 1957. It was filmed at an old mill in Essex, owned at the time by the Pettit family. The family appeared as themselves in the film, and were joined by professional actors in the three major parts.
When the book was published the same year, Harry Pettit senior provided the illustrations. He was a wildlife artist and there is a section about him and his work on the disk as a file which can be read on the computer.
One of his daughters, Merrilyn, who appeared in the film, also appears on the disk and talks about the making of the film.

Trouble at Townsend is a shorter film, and was filmed in Hertfordshire at the farm rented at that time by the Saville family. Jeremy Saville, Malcolm's younger son, introduces the film and leads a visit around he farm in an 'extra' on the disk.
Of particular interest is that Mary - the young girl lead of the film is played by Petula Clark. A delightful casting - there's a lovely scene where she tests out the farm's piano !
Click to enlarge
artwork on the disk itself

There are two extra films on the DVD. These are short films - one featuring the tour of Westend Farm, scene of Trouble at Townsend in book and film, and the other being a look at the filming of Treasure at the Mill and the mill itself in the company of Harry Pettit's elder daughter Merrilyn. These can be played from the DVD in any player.

For the other Extra items you will need to use a computer which has a DVD reader.
The extras files available on the disk include the short appreciation of Harry Pettit's art, already mentioned, and copies of his artwork for the book of Treasure at the Mill as well as the artwork for Trouble at Townsend which was created by Lunt Roberts.

These can be opened using Windows Explorer and selecting the relevant folder.
These files are in 'pdf' format and use the program Adobe Acrobat Reader to access them. If the files do not open see the note at the bottom of the page. The eleven files are in the Documents folder and are as follows:

Harry Pettit - A View of His Art illustrated article by John Allsup
Harry Pettit's Illustrations for 'Treasure at the Mill'
Lunt Roberts' Illustrations for 'Trouble at Townsend'
Malcolm Saville by Mark O'Hanlon an extract from 'The Complete Lone Pine'
Return to Townsend Farm by Stephen Bigger - originally published in Acksherley (the Malcolm Saville Society magazine) 2005.
Saville Pets by Rosemary Dowler originally published in Acksherley
Sunday Morning at the Pictures by Guy Hawley originally from the Gathering in Ludlow in 1996
The Making of the DVD by Mike McGarry 2008
The Malcolm Saville Society by Mike McGarry 2008
The Story of 'The Treasure at the Mill' the history of the story and its publication history - by Mike McGarry
The Story of 'Trouble at Townsend' as the previous article by Mike McGarry 2008 - both are well illustrated.

There are four collections of photographs, two files of Trouble at Townsend, one of the Society's visit there in 2006 and one of the making of the visit film with Jeremy Saville.
Likewise there are two relating to Treasure at the Mill, one of the Society visit to the area in 2005 and the other file of photographs taken in 2007 during the visit to record Merrilyn's memories.

All in all this is a wonderful collection of material. The 'cleaning up' and restoration of the films has been beautifully done and the Society can be very proud of its product.
Most of the work has fallen to Mike McGarry and for the film restoration and filming and so much more the Society is in debt of gratitude to Andy Prada of Fougasse Films, without whose help so freely given this project would not have been anything like as successful. Their website is at, please call and view them !

The DVD is available to buy from the Society, and may be ordered from
Payment may be made by Paypal.
The price now, in May 2015, is £10 including postage within UK, but please check when ordering.

Adobe Reader
In order to read the files, or print them out, you must have the program Adobe Reader installed.
This program may well be already installed, if not then it can be obtained, free, from the website and select 'downloads' from the top menu.

This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Created May 2008
Updated 13th May 2015