Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Special, All Creatures Great & Small - Anglophile Friday

James Herriot and Helen
played by
Christopher Timothy and Helen Drinkwater

Photo via

When All Creatures Great & Small was on PBS in the 1980s, I looked forward to Sunday evenings when I'd make a cup of cocoa and get it ready just in time to sit down and hear that cheerful opening tune of 'All Creatures.' That, of course, is where my love of Yorkshire began.

The TV series was based on the books by 'James Herriot' (Alf Wight), who began his veterinary practice in c. 1940 in the Yorkshire Dales and Moors, working out of 23 Kirkgate in the town of Thirsk.

From YouTube, my very favorite episode of All Creatures Great & Small
(or at least one of my favorite. I loved so many of them!)
It's one of the Christmas specials, the one with
the REAL Helen.

From left to right: Robert Hardy (Sigfried) has a long, long list of movies to his credit, including Sherlock Holmes, Foyle's War, and Inspector Morse. Christopher Timothy dropped off my radar until I saw him in an old mystery movie.  Margaretta Scott (Mrs. Pomfrey) turned up in a Dorothy L. Sayers' movie as Lord Peter's mother, and Peter Davison (Tristan) was Dr. Who and Campion, among his many credits (and some discredits, I think, like Distant Shores.)  

I don't know how anyone can grow up in Yorkshire and ever move away.
Photo via

 The Dispensary
Now part of the World of James Herriot museum
at 23 Kirkgate, Thirsk

 The Kitchen
Now part of The World of James Herriot museum

So this evening, go make yourself a cup of cocoa and enjoy the above YouTube video, which will take you to that wonderful world of All Creatures Great & Small set in the 1940s Yorkshire. You won't be sorry.

This post was written earlier in the week and scheduled to publish. I will be away from the computer today to spend time with my daughter who is visiting from Texas. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping in!

See you next week. 


'Midnight Jasmine'
Natural, Handcrafted Vegan Soap

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

hi Judy Hope you have a great time with your daughter from Texas. I loved those programmes ans have the book. May I wish your and your family a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS? I won't be posting or commenting as mush over this season.

Pamela Gordon said...

I remember seeing a few episodes of this program when it was on television. The stories were a favourite of our children as well. Enjoy your weekend.

Vee said...

Thank you. I may well have a go on Sunday afternoon when we're stuck here in freezing rain and snow. I love "the real" Helen.

Christina Paul said...

I remember seeing the tv movie in the 70's as a child and just loved it- I'll have to put this version of the series on my to-watch list! Seems many of my favorite shows are set in Yorkshire- like Downton Abbey :) Wishing you a happy Christmas and Wonderful 2014!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, this looks so good. I'll check out tv guide right now! Enjoy your company! Happy holidays!

Susie said...

This is such an interesting post. I love seeing the English countryside and their towns. I love all English movies that are old, or period pieces. Blessings to you for agreat weekend. xoxo,Susie

MadSnapper said...

my favorite today is the one with the chickens crossing that beautiful lane. gorgeous. and our neighbors painted there door that exact orange.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Oh! I think I might have to dig out our collection and start watching them again.
We so agree with you on the "real" Helen! ;)

Noelle the dreamer said...

Wonderful post Judy, thank you for sharing!
We love the series and in fact see it every year (the whole set). I also collect all the books and must agree with you: if you live in Yorkshire, why would you move anywhere else...Ex-RAF says the economy might have something to do with pooper!
Merry Christmas,

Robin said...

I loved that show also. One year we drove the circular route of the opening of the show. We drove thru the water splash, over the cute little bridge, we have pictures of us at all of those locations. We have personal letters from James Wight that I will cherish forever. Have a wonderful visit with your daughter.

Amy Burzese said...

I remember that being on, but I probably didn't watch it. I do love shows set in England and surrounding countryside and we have watched several over the years. Of course, Downton Abbey reigns on high right now. Merry, merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I loved Yorshire when we visited. My daughter loved those stories, but I didn't know there was a series.

Lynn Blaylock said...

How strange, I have no culture but I have always had a love for PBS. Most likely it is the only culture that made it's way to Sandy Ridge, NC.
I just love all your post.

Merry Christmas!

Suzan said...

Lovely photo of Yorkshire!! I've never watched that series, but love Downtown Abbey!! Merry Christmas!!

laurie said...

Very interesting read!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Rick said...

Love that Yorkshire shot, and I agree - how could anyone move away from a postcard like that.

Have a blessed Christmas, and all the best in 2014.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Lovely. Yorkshire is great - but I can tell you that right now it's extremely wet and windy!

J_on_tour said...

I remember some of these episodes well at the time. I never associated the film locations with anything in particular. Sad to say I have only ever passed through Thirsk on a handful of occasions … must give it more justice sometime.


Related Posts with Thumbnails