Last of the Summer Wine

Last of the Summer Wine

Last night a much loved British TV institution came to an end, loved by some, loathed by others as utterly unfunny, but then all comedy is like that; surfing the net you read such diverse comments, some about the show but for many it’s intertwined with their views about old age, it seems to me other than Waiting for God, the Golden Girls and of course Dad’s Army, I don’t seem to recall much comedy writing about getting old. I have read that to Roy Clarke, who has written all 31 series of the show, the break through for him was when he stopped thinking of the characters as old men and started to see then as kids; To me it reminds you that we are all young at heart and can still have fun.

My ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ has two phased, the golden years of the show when it pulled in almost a third of the total viewing public with Foggy, Compo, and Clegg strolling about up to no good no doubt; and more recently in the past couple of series particularly this last one with the brilliant Russ Abbot taking a more central role, not to mention the occasional appearance of Cannon and Ball, these are the stars of the end of the pier Summer Shows I enjoyed as a child and still love to watch perform today, incidentally going to see Cannon and Ball in Great Yarmouth on Friday night. They along with the other stalwarts of classic British TV comedies from across the years, stars I remember from my youth, pre video recorders, pre remote controls, when you planned your evening around your favourite shows and argued as to who was going to get up and channel channels!

I also recall my first visit to Holmfirth, we were staying in Barnsley for my first Christmas at Lisa’s mums and she said we could go for a drive out and see where they film Last of the Summer Wine’ at the time I suppose I assumed that they just used a series of locations to fit the look of the series and did not know most of the location filming took place in one place, anyway it was not that far form Barnsley and the Dales did not disappoint as it had snowed the night before and was quite spectacular for my first visit. We wondered around the town seeing all the sites where Sides Café was and the famous steps where Compo harassed Nora Batty or was that the other was around. I was like a kid in a sweet shop, Lisa and her sister were slightly more bored and just wanted to stay in the warmth of the shops.

The ending of the series is a great shame and its amazing surfing the net the comment it has had about its appeal and its place in our culture.

From a Adult care point of view its been interesting to read the comments about ageism, particularly the one from Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director for Age UK

“Despite living in an ageing society with more over 60s than under-18s, the media remains obsessed with youth culture and older people and viewers are often sidelined. Television is incredibly powerful and if ageism is to be stamped out in society generally, the media needs to represent positive images of older people. Time and again the public have made it clear they want to see older people treated equally, whether on TV or in the workplace. Broadcasters must take this lesson to heart.”

It seems to me that there is an obsession with youth and its all rather understandable, basically the world is run by men and women in their late 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s and most I suspect look back to their lost youth rather than forward to their old age, their undiscovered county as someone one put it.

In my role as Portfolio Holder on the County Council I am privilege to meet with older people and discuss services for us all as we get older and the thing that strikes we most is that there is a resource and wealth of knowledge experience and skills that we must tap into if we are to cope with an ageing society.

The other thing that I often ponder is why older people are not a bigger voice in our society and I suspect as the baby boomer generation start to look at their older age I think we are in for a new era of Foggys, Compos, and Cleggs who not only grow old disgracefully, they will get organised and start to have a bigger voice in our society and frankly become far more demanding in our society than the generation before them.   

Interesting times ahead but I for one shall miss that gentle funny Sunday evening treat of a new episode of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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