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from www.kentonline.couk – One of Medway’s best-loved heritage sites has been used to film a TV porn series.
Fort Amherst was offered £1,200 by the film crew behind the programme, which is being shown on the pay-per-view station The Adult Channel.
It follows the explicit antics of “America’s finest undercover agent” Michael Tight, who flits between smashing the criminal underworld and having sex.
But it has caused upset among some at the attraction in Dock Road, Chatham, which is run by a charitable trust and whose volunteers include mental health patients and young offenders.
The scenes for ‘Tight Rider’ were shot in the fort’s historic tunnels, which re-opened thanks to a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
One volunteer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “I’m no prude, but this is completely inappropriate for a place which gets charity grants”.
It is believed the chairman of the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust at the time, Martin Rogers, left his post after concerns were raised. He declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his departure.
One trustee has also claimed a donation has been held back in the wake of the filming.
Documents seen by our sister paper the Medway Messenger confirm Playboy TV agreed to film for up to 10 hours inside the fort’s 200-year-old labyrinth of tunnels.
It is understood a representative of the fort was informed the filming would include adult scenes.
The crew used a closed set during the day on May 16, yards from where fort volunteers normally work.
Tight Rider is a spoof of the 1980s detective hit Knight Rider and stars Slovakian actress Natalli D’Angelo [pictured].
A trailer on YouTube shows Michael Tight tied to a chair by criminals who are ready to kill him – but not before Miss D’Angelo gets “a little piece of him before he dies”. The film was showing on the Adult Channel this week.
The filming was slammed by trustee Matthew Hill, who is also the chief executive of the Chatham Maritime Trust, which provides funds for children’s “bug hunts” at the fort.
He said: “I think it’s absolutely appalling. There must be far better ways of raising funds through filming rights and I do support a full investigation which I have urged the new chairman to carry out.”
Mr Hill warned it could sway future charity grants against the fort, adding: “Different people have different views, but personally I think if you want to film porn, do it in a warehouse or wherever they do it. I would not allow porn to be filmed on Chatham Maritime Trust’s land.
“I am aware of one private donor holding back as a result of this.” He added: “I would like to stress that I only accepted the post of trustee in the middle of August and only became aware of this filming a few weeks ago.”
Several prominent figures sit on the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust.
Trustees include former Medway Council legal officer Deborah Upton and River ward councillor Andrew Mackness (Con).
Cllr Mackness said: “I can’t comment as a trustee but as a ward councillor, I absolutely distance myself from both the process that enabled the booking to occur, and register my distaste for the actual filming.
“I support the trust’s investigation and I believe anyone who was aware of that booking prior to it taking place should resign.”
“I support the trust’s investigation and I believe anyone who was aware of that booking prior to it taking place should resign” – Cllr Andrew Mackness
Trust chairman Edmund Gulvin said: “Fort Amherst confirms that a professional film company in the adult entertainment industry filmed scenes at Fort Amherst during May of this year.
“The contract was handled by a third party location company employed by us and was a private hiring of the Fort.
“The filming was conducted under a closed set policy and there was no public access to the set at any time during the filming.”
“We are currently reviewing our procedures for filming as a result of this booking.”
The fort was built from 1755 to protect Chatham Dockyard, but never saw combat and was declared obsolete in 1820, although its tunnels were used in the Second World War.
More recently, it has been a widely-loved tourist attraction, described by English Heritage as the most complete Napoleonic fortification in Britain and is a key part of Medway’s World Heritage Site bid.
It is run by volunteers who stage re-enactments and are devoted to retaining a crucial part of Chatham’s history.
However, accounts filed with the Charity Commission show the trust’s income dropped from a peak of £150,000 in 2010-11 to £114,000 last year.
Private hire fees were among the worst-hit: down from £58,000 in 2010-11 to just £9,000 last year.
To boost revenues the fort was signed up with a location scout agency called The Collective, which acted as middle-man in the contract with Playboy TV.