Author Topic: 1974 visit to the Farm  (Read 7482 times)

Offline Peter aka Moggy

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1974 visit to the Farm
« on: March 31, 2010, 11:17:04 PM »
The Summer of 1974 followed my first year at university. Together with two friends I had planned a camping and hiking trip that would start in Yorkshire and go on to the Lake district. Our first stop before the higher Dales was to be Hollin Hall.

I had worked out on the map some time before that these buildings on the Harewood Eastate were the most likely choice for the Follyfoot location but I didn't know for sure. I had simply written to the Harewood Estate asking for permission to camp at Hollin Hall on our way through. My friends (one within a few years to pass selection for the SAS, the other the youngest Archers fan I have ever known) were tolerant of my desire to see the place, as we wouldn't be there for long.

We got a train to Leeds. My memory is that we arrived very late and slinging the rucsacs walked through the night.? We took the lane and then the path from Wike arriving at Spring Wood and crossed Keswick Beck. It was by then dawn, and I could see already it was the right place. I must have sprinted the last couple of hundred yards.

We actually set up our tents adjacent to the wall in front of the house and got a few hours of much needed sleep.

Waking in the full light of day I went for a look round. The yard was already overgrown from a year of neglect, but it was still clearly recognisable. Across the road the house looked from the outside as it ever did.

Closer examination however showed a great square hole in back wall. This was highly convenient, since it enabled us to explore the inside.

I suppose it must have looked like that from the day the YTV film crew finally left a year before. Just like a house someone has just moved out of. Empty, bare, with stuff they couldn't be bothered to take with them strewn across the floor.

What was odd was to discover how a film set creates a solid illusion. The room which was "the Colonel's study" was a good example. There was that familiar fireplace with those solid wooden mouldings. Very little imagination was required to put a warm fire in the grate and Dora's Uncle sitting in the armchair. Until you actually touched those solid wooden mouldings and discovered they were made of painted polystyrene. The damp let in by the hole in the wall was already acting on the Colonel's wallpaper, which was falling off in long strips. A first souvenir.

Access to the house was actually quite useful, since it gave us running water and a place to have a proper wash in the next few mornings.

In the yard what seemed like the remains of the horse oats had burst into a green sward. The Lightning Tree was still there, looking much as expected except a loss of bark around the lower levels. It looked quite fragile however, and my guess was that it wouldn't be there for much longer. This justified my obtaining another souvenir. Just a small projecting branch. I could do with some of the luck.

We explored the empty stables and got up the rickety wooden stairs to "Steve's room". I remember looking out of the window there and allowing my imagination to run away.? In what I think was Copper's stable I found a? door wedge. Another sounvenir.

In what had been clearly the film set car park over the back of the stables was a sign which gave a reality check. The sign read in weather faded 12-inch letters: "Silence: Filming in Progress". This should have been another souvenir, but frankly we couldn't figure out how to carry it with us on the rest of the holiday!

I had with me my dad's old Exacta 35mm camera with which I took series of colour slides of The Farm and the surroundings. Though I have been able to find almost everything else from those times, the slides infuriatingly remain missing.

We had to go into the village for supplies, and part of the way down the track we were overtaken by Lord Lascelles' Land Rover, and he was kind enough to give us a lift. I remember him asking with a grin "Do you spend your holidays visiting old film sites?"

Oh yes. The rest of the trip unravelled. One of my friends discovered he couldn't bear to be away from his fiance. So instead of going on to the uplands, we went back to Leeds to get a train. Feckless youth eh? What would you do with them?? ;D
Peter
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Offline Jane

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 05:43:36 AM »
Thanks for sharing memories of your visit to Hollin Hall all those years a go.

How fabulous to have seen the farmhouse in its origional state and Steve's bedroom? :o? Lots of jealous follyfillies here now I reckon? ;D

Offline dave

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 07:27:27 AM »
You were lucky Moggy to have discovered the place when you did and make an adventure of it. I remember it was one of the best summers ever in the UK in 1976. I only found out where the Farm was when I joined this forum. It must be frustrating not to be able to find the slides of your visit, they could have made fascinating digital copies for use on the forum.

Offline squeakytre

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 08:34:00 AM »
Hi Moggy !

Absolutely fascinating account there-have you got any photos other than slides etc to possibly put on the site?
Have you still got the souvenirs?

Cheers Pete

Offline Peter aka Moggy

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 10:54:45 AM »
I have one black and white photo taken by flash on the walk from Wike up the Leeds road. That's where that roll of film ran out and I put the colour slide film in. The b/w print got put in a lbum and saved. The slides were in an Agfa box, and have missing for a while.? :(

But I will continue to look. We will have to turn out the attic sometime this year in any event. Krys my wife and I have decided that we must have a substantial chuck out of junk accumulated over 25 years in the present house!

The souvenirs I still have. The wallpaper was carefully put away in my old "Follyfoot file" which has lived in the attic all these years. I made a pen stand out of the wedge and the small fragment of tree branch, which I used for quite a while after and still have.
Peter
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Offline Loopy

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2010, 01:14:51 PM »
Hi Moggy

Wonderful, wonderful memories.? How I envy you your souveniers - although I did take some stones and a piece of wood from the hidden lake when I was there last year.::)

It must have been wonderful seeing it in all its glory so soon after they had finished filming.? I wish I could have looked out of Steve's window.:D *Big sigh* :D

Thank you for sharing this and I do hope you come across those slides in the near future.? Wouldn't it be fantastic to see them again.?



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Offline Peter aka Moggy

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2010, 03:45:29 PM »
I've found the b/w picture, and the first thing it tells me on the back is that my memory of the year is wrong? :-[ it was actually 1974! (Cue Beano in Still Crazy "What - you mean it didn't happen? That was one of my best memories"!)

Sorry about that. Obviously premature senility setting in. I've "adjusted" my post. :-[ :-[

The next thing the note on the back of the photo tells me is that we arrived in Leeds 20 minutes late for the final bus of the day so we decided to walk all the way to Hollin Hall.

The photo was actually taken at about 3.30 am on 27th July 1974 in Roundhay Park Lane on the northern fringe of Leeds, near Wike. And here it is:



I'm sorry it's not a very good one. That's me in the middle with my LSE t-shirt on, just barely getting down before the flash went.

Peter
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Offline Jane

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2010, 05:35:42 PM »
Oh well done for finding the photo moggy  :)


Offline Loopy

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 08:30:12 PM »
Great photo Moggy... just a year earlier and who knows what or who you would have seen!!? ?::)
The photo is a great keepsake , you have 1st Prize for seeing Hollin Hall, or should I say Follyfoot Farm, as we know and love it.
I would have given anything to do that. :)


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Offline Soniks

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 09:18:17 PM »
Very interesting reading...thanks for posting... >41<

Offline mjmdvm

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 05:46:28 PM »
Thanks for sharing your amazing memories Moggy.  You were so lucky to get to see the Farm when you did and to get your great souvenirs.

It'd be a good story to submit to Jane Royston for her book, along with photos of your "treasures". :)
MJM

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Offline Sabrina

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 07:58:26 AM »
What a fantastic tale, Moggy! I had to giggle (albeit sadly) at the impermanence of the Colonel's study. One would have thought it a typical solid farmhouse room with a proper mantelpiece. Did you get upstairs to Dora's room?

But yes I'm one of the jealous Follyfillies at you getting into Steve's room  :D :D.

I hope you find the slides- that would be magical! (And I hope you still have the souvenirs.)
Cheers
Sabrina x
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Offline Peter aka Moggy

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 05:56:41 PM »
Quote
What a fantastic tale, Moggy! I had to giggle (albeit sadly) at the impermanence of the Colonel's study. One would have thought it a typical solid farmhouse room with a proper mantelpiece. Did you get upstairs to Dora's room?

I hope you find the slides- that would be magical! (And I hope you still have the souvenirs.)

We looked everywhere in the house - from top to bottom - well, you never know what we might have found! Basically it was very bare. If YTV left anything worth having, I suspect someone else had been in already  :)

My only strong memories are the horrendous state of the cellar and the impermament fireplace in the study. Oh - and the kitchen where we got our wash!

Paid another visit to my mum's today it being Easter, and although still have not found the slides, have managed to lay my hands again on the pen stand I made from the wedge and the fragment of the lightning tree, and the wallpaper!  Photos to follow when I can organise it.

I wondered if I scanned the wallpaper it might be of use to Louise as a page background for the website. There's authenticity  :)
Peter
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Offline Loopy

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 06:50:55 PM »
Oh yes, go for it Moggy.  Authentic wallpaper - how cool would that be.   8-)


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Offline Jane

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Re: 1974 visit to the Farm
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 07:11:29 PM »
Quote
Oh yes, go for it Moggy.? Authentic wallpaper - how cool would that be.? ?8-)

Very cool!!   8)