Terry Bartlam shares his memories with The Last Summer Wine – 1973
Vanessa and I moved to The Elms in November 2010 from the moors in the Bronte Country.
In 1973 a new television show written by Roy Clarke was screened, it was titled The Last of the Summer Wine.
My Father watched it in the early days but at that time it was not something that grabbed my interest, it was not until the mid-80’s when I rediscovered the show and fully absorbed by the characters.
In 2000 we moved to Yorkshire not far from where the show was filmed and I took every opportunity to track down the filming of the show, which could be within a 20-mile radius of Holmfirth, it was a fantastic time seeing many of the cast in person.
By 2004 I was well known to the crew and many of the cast allowing me plenty of photo opportunities.One day I was shocked when the director Mr Alan JW Bell asked if I would be a background artist for a brief scene in the village of Meltham, I was so shocked at the chance to be in this show, I had to speak to Mr Bell again to make sure I understood him fully, I had to wait almost a year to see myself in the episode, my part last almost ten seconds.
I appeared in two further episodes including the very last and so did my cars, which managed more airtime than me, I was devastated when the BBC announced the show would be no more, all those wonderful actors now out of work and most of an age that they would not be offered anything else.
I have kept in touch with some of the cast and crew but sadly many of them are no longer with us, I am so pleased I made to effort to track them down when filming, the chance to see so many wonderful actors including, Sir Norman Wisdom, Peter Sallis, Frank Thornton, Kathy Staff, Jean Alexandra, Ken Kitson, Burt Kwouk, Stephen Lewis, to name but a few.
On two occasions I attended a dinner event which included many of the cast along with the talented Mr Roy Clarke, what wonderful memories, sitting down to dinner with these superb actors.
In 2002 I started a fan based website, and a few years later added a forum, which has worldwide membership, at the time there were several websites for fans, these days mine is the only one still running www.summerwine.net , I always welcome new members to the forum, to chat about what is claimed to be the longest-running comedy TV show.
Terry Bartlam – 12 Maple Avenue