place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
Week - [Live
TV Interview - St. Weonard's School]
[AGA Open Day - Topical Photography] [Survivors
- Nature Watch]
years on . . . Back in the good old days of 1975,
along with another seven to ten million viewers I used
to enjoy watching Terry Nation's television series, 'Survivors,'
which was broadcast on BBC1, beginning at 08:10 of a Wednesday
evening. The series told the story of a small group who
survived in a world without technology, following a population
loss of around 99.9% due to a plague.
was not immediately apparent on watching the programme
however was that, much
of the first series of 'Survivors' was filmed in and around
the local area, with a location in Ross-on-Wye Town featuring
in the very first episode 'The Fourth Horseman.' The cast
of the series stayed at the Chase Hotel during filming
and were bussed to the various other local locations,
this small article and maybe further follow on features,
I thought it would be intersting to point out some of
the film locations for both local people and visitors
alike. I have already discovered that the series still
has a huge following!
Fourth Horseman'. A few characters who were destined
to survive the illness were introduced to the viewer in
this, the beginning of the first series. The Ross-on-Wye
scene was filmed at night, in the rain. People were dying
by the millions and 'David Grant' the character played
by actor, Peter Bowles met the local doctor to persuade
him to visit his apparently dying wife, Abby (Carolyn
Seymour). As it turned out, Abby survived the illness,
awaking after a sleep of several days to discover her
husband, David dead on the sofa.
The second episode followed a few of the survivors and
how they came to meet up with one another. As well as
locations in Lydney and Clenchers Mill Ford, Bromsberrow,
the programme featured the church at Harewood End. The
church, now redundant and forming part of the estate owned
by the Duchy of Cornwall is pictured below. A workman
on the estate turned a blind eye, allowing me access last
week to photograph the building from exactly the same
location as that used towards end of the episode and the
beginning of the next. Survivors, Jenny Richards, (Lucy
Fleming) and her, by now travelling companion, Greg Peterson
(Ian McCulloch) spotted a bonfire in the distance at night
and the couple decided to investigate. On arriving at
the church and having walked past the two distinctive
graves in the foreground, they met up with Abby Grant
to form a trio.
. . .
Ref: DSC_0911 Nikon
Away'. Continuing the story with the trio leaving
Harewood End, locations in Mordiford, Withington, Hoarwithy
and petrol pumps just outside Hampton Bishop were used.
Foy Bridge however featured extremely prominently. After
driving over Mordiford Bridge, escaping a not so friendly
community of survivors, the newly formed group, Greg,
Jenny and Abby travel alongside the River Wye, stopping
at Foy, where Abby, wondering whether her son had survived,
got out of the car, walking onto the suspension bridge.
There, she is seen, standing deep in thought, on the spot
from which I took the photograph below a few years ago.
Nothing much has changed about the bridge during the past
thirty years, although the 'kissing gate,' on the Brampton
Abbotts side of the bridge and pictured in the heading,
could perhaps do with a fresh coat of paint and some restoration
. . .
Dolly'. Pictured left is well known local character,
Bernard Matthews of Llangrove, in the workshop of his
garage, opposite the village Post Office. I took this
photograph last Wednesday, 13th April 2005.
owned the garage back in 1975 and well remembers the filming
of this episode by his petrol pumps, which are sadly no
longer there to photograph.
were paid to keep very quiet for the day, whilst the filming
went on over there,' he remembered, pointing to where
the pumps had once stood. 'The place had to sound deserted.'
Llangrove Garage, survivor, Greg was attempting to devise
a pump to retrieve petrol from the tanks in order to fuel
other main location used during this episode was Bernithan
DVD sets are available of at least the first and second
series of 'Survivors'. I bought series one from Amazon
to help me with this article and I am currently watching
it through again, using my lap-top, in bed. It is as good
to watch today as it was thirty years ago!
will publish more location photographs during the coming
weeks as I discover them. In the meantime however, further
information on Terry Nation's 'Survivors' can be found
on the web site of Bob
Meades, which I discovered during my initial research.
Thank you, Bob.
PS. If you
happen to be viewing from Llangrove and are able to show this
article to Bernard, I would be grateful if you would do so.
Although a version will probably be published in a future Ross
Recorder, which I know he reads, it would be nice if he were
able to view the web version as well. Bernard is a great, very
popular and very photogenic local personality!
pure coincidence, this article is published on the thirtieth
anniversary week of the first 'Survivors' broadcast. The first
episode was broadcast on 16th April 1975 but I did not find
this information out until after having already written it,
deciding my own publication date. Not being much of a television
watcher or 'Radio Times' reader these days myself, (the
chance would be a fine thing) I didn't see the article about
Survivors in the magazine. I was told about the anniversary
by my friend, Kevin Sale, after mentioning to him that I had
written the above.
Greater Stitchwort - Stellaria holostea. Photographed
in the woods at the Doward, close to King Arthur's Cave,
this plant flowers in April and is generally common in
open woodland and hedgerows. The insect on the flower
to the right is an added bonus.
Bulbous Buttercup - Ranunculus bulbosus. An early
specimen, photographed in Dymock Wood, this plant usually
favours dry grassland during the month of May.
[Photograph Copyright Information]
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