Sat 28 August 2010
And we’re off! This morning we left the hotel at 9am and headed out of the city (which is very busy and colourful this weekend as it’s the Pride Festival) into the rolling hills of Yorkshire. Tomorrow the BBC airs the last ever episode of the world’s longest running sit-com, Last of the Summer Wine. LOTSW is in its 31st series, and I know many Canadians and Americans love to watch it. So it seemed fitting that our first call was the pretty town of Holmfirth, where the series has been filmed for all those years. We had about an hour’s free time to explore – some visited the Wrinkled Stocking café, some Sid’s Café (as featured in the show). There was also the Summer Wine Museum, based in the house where Compo lived – and several members of the group took the opportunity to have a photo taken posing on Nora Batty’s steps.
We then boarded the coach and headed over the Saddleworth Moors to Ashton-under-Lyne. We passed the town hall, which doubled for Weatherfield Town Hall when Alf Roberts was Mayor, and called at the canal quayside where Richard Hillman tried to kill the Platts – but only killed himself! It’s also where David Platt staged his suicide to disrupt Sarah’s second marriage attempt to Jason.
Next, and final stop, was the wedding location used for Jason and Sarah’s first wedding attempt (he escaped through the toilet window) and Steve and Becky’s two weddings. Another couple marry there too (but as it’s not been shown yet in Canada, I’ll keep it quiet!). Whilst we were there a real couple were tying the knot!
Now, this morning’s itinerary was hastily rearranged last week and we set off an hour earlier than planned and had a little less time at each stop than planned. The reason? When I attended the glitzy ‘opening night’ of the Corrie! Stage show at the Lowry I found out that they were adding some extra performances and that the show would now close today. Karen at Kemptville Travel immediately got working and managed to secure 40 seats for today’s matinee. What a treat for everyone and what a great way to get the tour off to a golden 50th start! Everyone enjoyed the show which is hosted by Charles Lawson (Jim McDonald) and in which 5 hugely talented performers appear as over 50 characters!
It was then back to the hotel for a couple of hours before we made for the historic Briton’s Protection inn, which is over 200 years old. We enjoyed a great dinner and a Corrie quiz with some fiendish questions (Do you know Derek Wilton’s middle name?) set by me and some great prizes of Corrie books published over the past 30 years.
Spoiler bit – Gail marries Joe there.
Derek’s middle name was Bernard.