The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Tag Archives: Last of the Summer Wine

The Last Was First on the List

Yesterday was our full day in Holmfirth, but I was just too tired to write it up. We had a full day perusing the town and taking the tour. The town doesn’t seem that big, but it’s built on the side of a hill. Slopes embiggen a place a lot and my legs (or lack thereof) apparently effect my vocabulary and typing ability.

Sid’s Cafe where Ivy held court. We had tea there and found out later that the interiors were done in studio

The day was given over to the express purpose of taking the little bus tour of filming locations for the Britcom Last of the Summer Wine. It was a noble purpose, but we were no match for old ladies with walkers (used for blocking defense) and 30-something mothers with tweens in tow. Add to that a bus with 11 seats and you begin to watch for weapons.

The bus tour doesn’t start running until 11-ish and takes about 45-50 minutes. We were unable to get on any of the first three so we hatched an apparently evil plan (according to an aforementioned 30-something mother with a tween in tow) to check if the LotSW museum was open (it wasn’t) and get back to the bus stop a half hour before it got back and stand where we figured it would re-board.

The Last of the Summer Wine tour bus

Our evil plan worked and we took a very pleasant tour of some beautiful countryside given guidance by an older gentleman by the name of Peter. How he got that quaint, but rattley, bus up some of those hills (and down them! whew…) and around  several tight turns is beyond me! Aside from his nerves-of-steel driving, Peter was very knowledgable and quite entertaining which made for a great 45 minutes.

For any fan of Last of the Summer Wine the bus tour is a must. I’d probably consider one of the later buses, however, to minimize the potential of walker-induced bruising and tween-towing 30-something tantrums. As Americans, I think we were one of the very few, if not only, non-Brit fans of the show there and that probably didn’t help either.

The trash bin next to Nora Batty’s flat. The Wrinkled Stocking is actually a tea room next door to the flat named for Nora’s famous wrinkled hosiery. We didn’t lift the lid so as to not dispel the illusion

Anyways, fun tour. Afterwards, a little clothes shopping, an ice cream, and a good wander filled the rest of our day nicely.

Of Trains, and Cats, and Cafes

Today was the transition from Birmingham to Holmfirth via Huddersfield. Yes, I chose this itinerary in particular.

A graphic on a storefront in Brum. Seems appropriate…

The first bit of fun for the day was the train connection in Manchester Piccadilly station. Apparently the Transpennine trains were having issues of some nature and many of them were delayed – including ours. When it did arrive it was already stuffed and so was the platform where we waited so it became quite the pack job getting people on board. As the ride was 40 minutes and we were carrying 2 large bags and a backpack, besides being of an age where standing for that long would’ve caused us to either collapse in a puddle (if that was possible in that tight crowd) or completely lock in place, we opted to wait for the next train.

This is likely the only photo of me that will ever grace this blog. I’m on the right, Felix is on the left. (in case you were unsure)

The next train was surprisingly empty after the last scrum and we made it to Huddersfield in proper time. So why the stop in Huddersfield? To meet a cat, of course. Specifically Felix the Huddersfield Station Cat (or her understudy Bolt). 4600 miles from home and I was beside myself with excitement to meet a floofy ratter.

And I did! We walked the length of the platform and there she was, taking a well-deserved break from her many duties. I was able to pet her, give her a bit of a rub under the chin, and tell her how wonderful it was to actually meet her in person. (I didn’t want to disturb her napping too much)

Our next leg will take us back through Huddersfield Station so I’ll get another opportunity to give another pet or three.

Compo, Foggy, and Clegg aka Bill Owen, Brian Wilde, and Peter Sallis, respectively)

Holmfirth is only a few miles south of Huddersfield and is where the Britcom Last of the Summer Wine was filmed. We’re in a cute little inn over a quiet pub right next to the River Holme. It even has a private deck off of our room. What we found out when we went out to have a relaxing sit was that it has a view of the iconic Cafe from the show! I had no idea of this when I booked the place so many months back!

As I’ve mentioned before, Mrs Crow and I like to wander and have made some great discoveries doing so. This evening was no exception. Crossing a very narrow bridge we look off to the side to find us by Nora Batty’s stoop (and Compo’s basement flat beneath it)! Approaching, careful to be sure we weren’t tresspassing on anyone’s private areas, we found there to be a bit of museum next door, a cafe and tea shop called, appropriately, The Wrinkled Stocking. It also turns out that you can stay in Nora’s flat! Self-catered, certainly, but i wish I’d known that.

Nora Batty in front of her door. (Kathy Staff)

Tomorrrow we’ll be taking the directed tour of LotSW spots around Holmfirth. Hopefully they will swing through Upperthong Where Bill Owen (Compo) and Peter Sallis (Clegg. he was also the voice of Wallace of Wallace and Gromit fame) are buried side-by-side. They had formed a life-long friendship over the decades the show ran.

Other than all that, Holmfirth is quit a beautiful town full of buildings spanning back to at least the 17th century, and built of well-recognized brown brick. Across the way from us is (I believe) Meltham Clock tower added in 1835 to a chapel built in 1651.

It is built on the side of a rather steep hill, so if you’re intent on walking the town fuel up and be prepared.

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