LOTSW's location: Holmfirth
Tea Time Tidbit for the week of February 4, 2019
One of the biggest stars in Last of the Summer Wine is the location in which the series was filmed – Holmfirth. If you’re a long-time viewer of the show you might already have figured out that while the name ‘Holmfirth’ is frequently displayed on buses and signposts, it’s never actually mentioned verbally. Regardless, Holmfirth has become known the world over as the center of Summer Wine Country. It might come as a surprise to learn, therefore, that very little filming actually took place in the town, it’s streets being far too narrow to accommodate a film crew. Instead, many scenes taking place in glorious settings outside of the town.
The handful of Holmfirth locations that were used were a former chip and fish shop, which became ‘Sid and Ivy’s Café’, the row of houses in which Clegg and his neighbors Howard and Pearl resided and Nora Batty’s house.
In real-life, Nora Batty’s house was owned by a lady called Sonia Lee, who had no idea when she moved into her Holmfirth house shortly before the filming of the pilot episode of the series in 1972, that her home would become a tourist attraction. Fortunately for the producers, Lee, who lived in the house until 2004 didn’t seem mind the attention. In fact, having Bill Owen, who played Compo, on your doorstep sometimes came in handy – particularly when the actor had a break between filming and Lee needed someone to watch her children while she ran an errand.
Nora Batty’s steps
Lee also got along with Kathy Staff who played the object of Compo’s affections, Nora Batty. In fact, Staff would reportedly drive from her home in Cheshire to visit Lee and her family. Lee seems to have had infinite patience putting up with what she once described as being ‘droves and droves’ of visitors. In fact, at one point Holmfirth was attracting 60,000 visitors a year – triple the population of the town!
The front door of Lee's home at 28 Huddersfield Road was so familiar to fans of the show that when the house needed a new front door, the BBC paid for it, but saved the old one which they installed whenever filming started up. There’ll be two opportunities to see that front door this week, when Last of the Summer Wine airs at 1:30pm and at 3:30pm weekdays on MPT. Note: the 3:30pm program is different to the one at 1:30pm.
To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117