Friday, 7 November 2014
Grantchester - As Seen On TV!
The village of Grantchester, where I grew up and where my mother still lives, has recently been featured in a TV series called....."Grantchester". It's based on the series of books known as "The Grantchester Mysteries" by James Runcie. It concerns a young vicar who goes around solving crimes and murders in the 1950s and 60s.
During my time in Grantchester there were few crimes other than the odd tractor being illegally parked in the vicinity of one of the village's four pubs. And the only mystery the vicar had to solve was to occasionally locate the missing keys to the vestry.
So when the parish magazine announced that TV cameras were about to be trundled into the streets there was much excitement throughout the community. The road had to be closed during filming as it clearly would not do to have modern four-wheel-drive vehicles speeding through the streets of the 1950s. Residents had to park their cars out of sight and several plants and small trees were imported to hide other eyesores and anachronisms.
Many local people were dressed in styles of the day and spent hours being ushered hither and thither as extras. All this was for a few milliseconds of fame lurking in the shadows of the church as part of the congregation.
As you would expect in a series about a vicar, much of the action takes place in the village church. Having grown up with this building as part of the background scenery to more important adventures, it was many years before I could appreciate the church as the fine structure it is. It certainly looks grand in the film.
I'd never even noticed the cover to the font till this visit when the light was striking it just so. I don't think it played a significant part in the TV series!
I don't intend to review the programmes here - particularly as I only caught one episode myself. I will observe though that it's particularly jarring when locations you know well are suddenly interspersed with bits of studio footage. I know it's how these things have to be filmed but when they say they are going over to the Red Lion pub I expect to see the local pub, not one that's in another village.
I intended to take a few more photos for you but I spent too long chatting with the lady who cleans the church; her husband has not been at all well lately. Then a man whom I haven't seen for several years engaged me in a long conversation about the work the council intend to do to one of the bridges over the river.
That's the kind of drama we usually have around here.