HARWICH received the film star treatment as camera crews returned to shoot in locations around the town.

Parts of the town have been taken back to the 1900s as the film set transformed areas including King’s Quay Street by the Electric Palace cinema.

Film crews set up camp on Sunday and have been filming for what is believed to be a second Downton Abbey movie.

It has generated a buzz among residents who have been flocking to catch a glimpse of the cast.

And for Beverley Caleno, who owns the Old Bank Studios alongside husband, Nigel, in King’s Quay Street, it has been the perfect tonic to the past year’s troubles.

Gazette: Kings Quay Street, where filming has been taking placeKings Quay Street, where filming has been taking place

“We knew they were going to come down but were sworn to secrecy,” she said.

“Nigel and I live opposite where it is all going on and our building has even featured in the background of a number of shots.

“Because Nigel is a painter, he wanted an exciting project to focus on and so he painted Dame Maggie Smith, inspired by what was going on.

“We showed it to the crew and the artistic director took a picture of it - it would be amazing if Dame Maggie saw this.

“We had the painting displayed in our window but they made us take it down in case it was featured in any of the shots - it would have certainly looked out of place.”

Gazette: Nigel Caleno Nigel Caleno

Among the cast will be Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael and Jim Carter.

Mrs Caleno said she can’t wait to see the end product.

She added: “We rely on people visiting our studios, and so it’s just been a horrible year for everyone.

“Having something so positive and exciting going on has been a real tonic to the past year and a bit of excitement for us; it’s a fantastic opportunity.

“The crew were nice and down to earth.

“It’s also a bit of notoriety for Harwich as a town. It’s so lovely here and it can often be unfairly acknowledged.

“It’s really lovely that such a big project wanted to film here.

The sequel is set to be released this Christmas.