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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 April, 2004, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Reunion for film classic's cast
Ingrid Bergman played Gladys Aylward on screen
Ingrid Bergman starred as Gladys Aylward in the film
A reunion of extras from a classic Hollywood movie is being held in north Wales near to where the film was shot.

In 1958, children from Liverpool's Chinese community were used as extras in the Inn of the Sixth Happiness, which starred Ingrid Bergman.

Organisers are trying to track them down for the event at Beddgelert next month to launch the new North Wales Film and Television Trail.

Snowdonia doubled as China in the film about missionary Gladys Aylward.

It was amazing, it was really great and I have extremely fond memories of the experience
Perry Lee, former child extra

The film was based on the true story of how she led a group of orphans to safety across the mountains in war-torn China.

The film is being featured as part of the new film trail which is being organised by the Wales Screen Commission.

The Commission wants to invite the film's "orphans" to a special ceremony in Beddgelert on 28 May.

A commemorative plaque will be unveiled by the actor Burt Kwouk who played the part of the Chinese schoolteacher Li who sacrificed his life to save the children.

One of those children was Perry Lee who is now a 51-year-old housing manager.

He said: "It was amazing, it was really great and I have extremely fond memories of the experience.

Mount Snowdon
In the summer of 1958 Snowdonia doubled as worn-torn China

"Once they had decided to film in Snowdonia, the Chinese community in Liverpool was the obvious place to come to find the children to play the parts of the orphans.

"I was just turned six and my brother William was four and a half.

"We got paid 12.50 a week which was a lot of money in those days so I got a bike out of it and he got a little scooter.

"For a six year old it was tremendously exciting but it wasn't all glamour.

"We weren't allowed to wear shoes. If you were lucky you were allowed to wear pumps and if you were very unlucky you had to have rags tied around your feet - painted red to simulate blood.

"And we had to dive in the cow pats whenever the Japanese planes came over.

"You were never conscious of the cameras being trained on you but my big scene was the river crossing when Ingrid Bergman grabbed me."

Actor Mr Kwouk is perhaps better known these days as the manservant of Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films but Inn of the Sixth Happiness was the one that launched his movie career.

He said: "They were a lively bunch but very well behaved, they had chaperones and they were very well taken care of."

Wales Screen Commission spokesman Richard Coombs said: "The unveiling ceremony in Beddgelert will double up as the main launch for the whole of the film trail.

"It would be brilliant if we could find as many as possible of the former 'orphans' so we can invite them along to the ceremony."

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Mr Coombs either by phone on 01248 353769 or by emailing richardcoombs@gwynedd.gov.uk

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