Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman - Get them to the church on time!

Colin Firth  on location at St Monans Church.''Pic: George McLuskie
Colin Firth on location at St Monans Church.''Pic: George McLuskie

St MONANS was bathed in a lively, sunny and enthralled atmosphere on Saturday as a pair of high-profile Hollywood stars came to the village.

Academy Award winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman were in the East Neuk to film sequences for ‘The Railway Man’, based on the best-selling novel by Eric Lomax.

And quick action by villagers and shop staff got the production back on track when a mix-up over flowers signalled a potential problem.

It was the busiest that many residents had ever seen the village, as the production company rolled in to shoot sequences at the harbour and the historic kirk.

Streets were packed with parked vehicles as people turned out in huge numbers to catch a glimpse of the two stars.

Large crowds lined the approach to the kirk, where the main car park was filled with movie-makers’ trucks, trailers and other vehicles.

Onlookers said there was a genuinely excited and warm buzz around the village, enhanced by the weather.

A 12-hour-plus working day for the crew began with shots at the harbour, then sequences at the church on either side of lunchtime.

The film-makers had also arranged to park vehicles at nearby Ardross Farm by Elie – which hosted 17 articulated lorries and 40 cars.

Despite this huge carnival of traffic, farm shop manager Nikki Pollock said the whole process was organised very professionally, while costume designers and other crew members frequented the shop.

Back in St Monans, the Spar Shop – which provides a wedding floral service through Flower By Janet – came to the rescue when the buttonholes, needed for the wedding of Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman’s characters, went missing with only half an hour to spare.

Spar’s Janet Williamson, church session clerk Nora Gardner and the movie’s props buyer swiftly made up 17 white carnations with ferns and tinfoil stem wraps, to save the day.

Mrs Gardner said there was a “lovely atmosphere” and people got very much closer to the action than they’d imagined. “It was amazing how smoothly everything went and everybody felt they’d had a good time,” she added.

For more pictures see this week’s East Fife Mail, on sale now.