was LOTSW filmed in Holmfirth? It's All Thanks To Barry Took! Click here
HAPPENED IN JANUARY, 1973?
- Britain joined the EEC..
- A cease-fire was
declared in Vietnam (though fighting would continue for another few
- The Open University
awarded its first ever degree…
- President Nixon was
sworn in for a second term of office…
- The average weekly wage
was in the region of £16.
- And Compo, Clegg and
Blamire shambled into the nation’s television consciousness in the
pilot episode of Last of the Summer Wine, broadcast at 8pm on
Thursday, January 4, 1973.
About 30 glorious years on,
the show is more popular than ever, and is comfortably enshrined as the
longest-running British television sitcom.
What’s more, every single
episode of every series has been written by Roy Clarke, who has also
managed to make time to create and write other successful sit-coms,
including Rosie, Open all Hours and Keeping up Appearances.
It all started on a winter's evening in
1973. The television presenter on BBC1 casually announced that a new TV comedy series was
about to grace the small screen, set in a little town in the north of England.
Viewers all over the country enjoyed the antics of three special characters and the place
where it was filmed. So much so, that the series is still running today - making it the
BBC's longest running comedy series ever. It has even been broadcast in over 25 countries
across the world, including USA, Australia and Canada.
As most people now know, the
special little town where Summer Wine is filmed is none other than Holmfirth, on the
fringe of the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Regulars in Holmfirth are well used to
seeing the filming in parts of town and at other nearby locations, including
One resident said: "I don't
like to admit it in public, but I still get a thrill out of seeing the BBC crew move in to
set up their lighting and rigging in a part of town, it is quite a meticulous task. Then
the actors arrive, usually to a cheer from the audience, and they have a smile for
everyone. I just love to see the faces on the tourists when they walk round the corner to
see a slice of "Pinewood" here in town. They come from all over because of
Summer Wine fame...and there they are filming the series in front of their very
Nora Batty's steps and Sid's
Café are still the number one tourist attractions, along with the Summer Wine Museum,
Wrinkled Stocking café and, of course, the popular TV-location tours and guided walks run
from the centre of town.
was it Filmed in Holmfirth? Its all Thanks to Barry Took!
Last of the Summer Wine could have been filmed around the industrial
streets of Doncaster or Rotherham had it not been for this man Barry Took
(pictured right at the LOTSW exhibition in Holmfirth).
Barry was making a programme for TV about Working Men's Clubs and filmed at
Every Sunday lunch time the club staged a strip show to a packed concert
room and he and his film crew came up to the little known backwater to
include the show in his programme. Mr Took was later speaking to Jimmy
Gilbert about a location for a half hour programme to be shown in Comedy
Playhouse, when Barry suddenly remembered his trip to this beautiful
little known town of Holmfirth.
The producer and author Roy Clarke came up to check it out, saw the
valley, liked it and the rest is history. The half hour show became a
series, the one series became several and the several turned out to be the
longest running TV comedy series in the world. Thanks to Mr.Took,
Holmfirth has hosted this successful show for more than 32 years. The
combination of inoffensive gentle humor, brilliant script writing and
beautiful countryside have contributed to the success of the show. Oh !
and what about the music? Holmfirth - little backwater ? No - Summer Wine
Footnote: The Summer Wine connection stayed at Burnlee WMC for many
years. During the busy summer filming sessions, the BBC crews parked their
fleet of lighting and generator trucks in the big car park, off Woodhead
Road. Sadly this came to an end in 2002 when the little club was
demolished and the site developed for luxury housing.
Editor's Note: Many thanks Malcolm Howarth for supplying the above
story and photo.