Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back in the Day...

When a Toffee Crisp cost just 3p...

When the food offered at the family meal table wasn't always of the best quality...

When the cars were petrol guzzlers and were slightly unreliable...

When the fashions weren't always of the best possible taste...

When there were three day weeks, stand pipes in the street due to drought, power cuts and high inflation rates...

Communities were still sure to come together to celebrate a Silver Jubilee...

Whatever the weather!

Well, that is what happened today too, for the climax to the filming at Shepton Mallet.

The final community day, scheduled to be held on the Market Place in a street party style, had to find a new venue - Quickly!

And all went ahead as planned.
It was a wonderful send-off for the families and core customers involved in the making of the BBC history based documentary series, all about the average high street and how it changed within 100 years, from 1870 to 1970. Hubby and I were very pleased to be there to witness the grand finale to the show.
I shall really miss all the activity in the town, as a lot has happened within those two short months. Looking back, I enjoyed the Victorian era best. A lot of the retail activity spilled out on to the Market Place and so the community was a lot more involved with each other. Shopping each day was a social event in itself and I'm sure it would have been very easy for everyone to get to know everyone else, with lives far more entwined together. Fast forward to the 1970's and shopping happened behind closed doors, was often self-service, with people popping quickly in and out for convenience products.
Perhaps, when the programme is aired in the autumn, it will have an inspirational effect and will make people re-evaluate what is on offer on their local high street, rather than always rushing to the out-of-town supermarket or to sit at a PC and order on-line.
For Shepton Mallet itself, I hope that it will be seen in the good light that shone through at the street party event this afternoon. Perhaps new business owners will be encouraged to set up in the town. Also, if more local people and tourists came back and started using the shops - the ones that have weathered the tough financial years and watched customer numbers fall - to feel the community spirit that is within us all, and to work together, the town CAN be a more thriving and beautiful place once again.
Thanks to Wall to Wall and the BBC for choosing Shepton Mallet as the location for the series...May the positive energy that comes from the programme be an inspiration to all the struggling villages, towns and cities in the country.
Niki x


  1. Wasn't that only yesterday? I have really enjoyed your posts through the ages, I'm sad its finished, I look forward to seeing the programme now, lets hope it has done some lasting good for your community.

  2. I've really enjoyed watching all the activity and look forward to the show.

  3. Is the show going to be available in the U.S? I hope so. I loved Cranford and all the other BBC productions we've seen.

  4. Hej Hej
    oooh I remember those 3p Toffee Crisps my Dad always loved the Plain Chocolate, which came in a blue wrapper.

    I have family who lived in Shappton Mallet and I live in Sweden... I have only just recently found out that your town is twinned with BOLLNAS in Sweden, and that is my nearest town to where I live...small world!

    I have been following your blog a while now...I would loove to own or work in a wonderful shop just like yours, and the filming must have been really exciting for you!

    Look forward to watching the series.


  5. I read your Blog every day and have really enjoyed the bits about the BBC filming. We'll be in the UK in September and hope to go to the Shepton Mallet Antique Fair and visit your beautiful shop.

  6. Dear Niki
    Thank you for keeping us entertained over the last few weeks with your frequent filming bulletins. I have really enjoyed seeing Shepton Mallet's alter ego and really look forward to the series being aired on television this autumn.
    Now Vesta Curries had a lot to play in my early romance... it was the first (dubious) meal that I cooked for my boyfriend at the age of 15. We are still together so it can't have been that bad!

    Michele x

  7. Hi Niki

    Michele's comment re Vesta Curry took me back!!!!

    What a shame it rained today after all that wonderful whether when they were filming. However, it seems as if the 'British Bulldog/Dunkirk spirit' overcame all odds and everyone turned out regardless.

    I'm sure you'll miss all the activity, but hopefully the Shepton locals will continue to visit their local shops and keep the new life of Shepton going strong.

    sUE XX

  8. Thanks for all your posts about the filming. I've enjoyed reading them and can't wait to see the tv series. I have a big soft spot for 70s cars and love the yellow Triumph Spitfire in the photo. At least it would brighten up a rainy day!

  9. Hi Niki!
    Thank you for these beautiful pictures!
    You know I love the Victorian ...
    is the age that most makes me dream!
    When you flip through your book,
    for me it is a travel
    in the past ... lovely!!!!!
    I wish you a good Friday,
    see you soon, Maria.
    (With translator)

  10. Hi Niki
    I've really enjoyed glimpsing the decades and the BBC experience via your posts! Though it wasn't ideal in many ways, I have a huge soft spot for the 1970's as the first decade I really felt aware of :-) And there are so many things like the joy of being free to be a child in the 1970's which I will always be grateful to have experienced - we could roam wherever we liked and were just allowed to be children!
    I love your photos and fancy seeing the Vesta dried food range - Vesta Chow Mein with Crispy Noodles was my favourite meal back in the day - given my ultra-healthy style of eating now, is quite a revelation! But you know, I would love to try those crispy noodles again - even if they turned out to be disgusting!!
    I hope you have a good day at the Flea tomorrow, we're not sure if we'll be going or not, but will see what the day brings.
    I hope all is well with you and yours - have a lovely week off and plenty of time in your garden room with your feet up :-)
    Denise x


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx