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ChrisJBrady

Flower of Gloster - to be released on DVD in Sept. 2015

272 posts in this topic

Mods - please allow this post - which is not a sale pitch - but some exciting and long awaited news. Thank you. CJB

 

===

 

Flower of Gloster - 2 x DVD release - Sept 2015

 

This is a very long awaited 'lost' t.v. series that started many folks on the long path to holidaying / living on the canals.

 

The gods in their ivory towers must be listening ...

 

http://networkonair.com/shop/2225-flower-of-gloster-the-the-complete-series-5027626436841.html

 

"The first Granada Television series to be filmed in colour (though initially transmitted in black and white), this popular children's adventure featured a star who is 72 feet long and painted in cheerful shades of red and yellow! She is The Flower of Gloster, a converted canal barge which over the course of the series winds her way from Wales, through the inland waterways of England to the Pool of London at Tower Bridge.

"When their boatyard owner father is taken ill, ten-year-old Michael, his twelve-year-old sister Elizabeth and elder brother Dick decide to deliver a narrow-boat to a buyer on his behalf. During their 220-mile trip, they make new friends but also encounter all kinds of danger and difficulties, played out against the changing pattern of the British countryside."

CJB.

===
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That's good news, thank you for letting us know.

Which boat "played" the Flower of Gloster?

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Thanks for this info. I have completed the "notify me when" option for September when it will be available.

What year was this first broadcasted?

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This info. from another board:

"Professional canal boater Alan Jones reported some year's back: "Chocolate Charlie (Atkins) told me that he was the skipper of the 'Flower of Gloster' for all the series. The narrow boat was the 'Jupiter' which was built of wood by Woods in 1934 as a prototype for what became the Star class and was number 56 in the GU fleet. (See 'The George & The Mary' by Alan H. Faulkner.) Charlie said the boat, hired from its then owner, was not in good condition and he was always afraid it would sink at any time.

"Grenada TV employed a young Oxford graduate to oversee the education of the young actors during the voyage and the filming. She gave a fascinating talk about it to Worsley Cruising Club"

Alan Jones

====

THE FLOWER OF GLOSTER (1967)


www.televisionheaven.co.uk/shows_fi_to_fu.htm

"The first drama series to be filmed in colour by Granada Television (two years before ITV's regular colour service began), The Flower Of Gloster was about four youngsters who crew a narrow-boat from North Wales to London and their adventures on Britain's inland waterways. In fact, the series was largely experimental in more ways than one, the tales being a mixture of plotted storylines, natural history and improvisation.

"The lead characters played themselves (all the character first names were the names of the actors) and any chance to take in a place of historical interest on their journey (Woburn Abbey, Stoke Bruerne Museum - which portrays the heritage of 200 years of inland waterways) was taken up by the series producer Bill Grundy. This all mixed in rather oddly with the fictional tales of haunted forests and 'bovver' boys.

"The plot involved Richard Doherty (Richard O'Callaghan), eldest son of Jim (Jim Doherty), a boatyard owner from Wales who is unable to deliver a new barge to London when he breaks his leg in an accident. So Richard takes the helm and is accompanied by his sister Elizabeth (Elizabeth Doherty) and they are soon joined by their young brother Mike (Mike Doherty) and their friend Annette (Annette Roberston), and for 13 weeks they traverse the waterways of west England passing towns, cities and villages.

"Chris McMaster, who the following year would bring a different type of children's action/adventure series to the screen when he devised Freewheelers, wrote the series. The name of the boat and series title was inspired by Ernest Temple Thurston's evocative account of a springtime journey by barge around the canals of Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, 'The Flower of Gloster' first published in 1911.

"Producer Bill Grundy went on to television notoriety when he interviewed the Sex Pistols on live television, inadvertently kicking off the whole punk rock era, and ending his own TV career."

====

Additional info.:

"The film was shot on 16 mm with the sound on a separate tape.This required a special projector which we called a double header. When chairman or secretary of the Manchester Branch of IWA I approached the local Granada studio with a request that they show an episode at the branch meeting. They were surprised to learn that the projection room at the largest of the theatres in the Roscoe Building was equipped with the the right equipment. Arrangements were made to pay for the professional projectionist and on the night 400 members and friends enjoyed the episode shown in glorious high definition colour and sound. Presenting the episode with a full description of it making was Stuart Hall. This was certainly the largest ever Manchester Branch meeting.

"it is possible that the film still exists in some dusty Granada vault but it is doubted that in the present circumstances it will ever see the light of day, or be rebroadcast."

Chris Potter

====

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Thanks for the info. What a shame that it's a story for children, I'm sure it will be wasted on some of them!

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I apparently appeared twice in that series, once walking along the towpath at Stoke Bruerne, and once appearing after climbing up a lock gate on the Stoke Bruerne flight to get off the boat (no lock ladders in those days). I remember the camera being around at the time, but didn't see either screening. However, plenty of people at work claimed to have seen me!!.

 

When they filmed the part of the series at Stoke Bruerne, their boat had broken down, so they used (uncredited) our boat, Pisces, for the scene where the children were pulling the boat along by rope. In reality most of the pulling was done by our crew. We were promised a modest fee for "lending" our boat for what ended up to be half the day, but it never arrived.

Edited by David Schweizer
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This info. from another board:

"Professional canal boater Alan Jones reported some year's back: "Chocolate Charlie (Atkins) told me that he was the skipper of the 'Flower of Gloster' for all the series. The narrow boat was the 'Jupiter' which was built of wood by Woods in 1934 as a prototype for what became the Star class and was number 56 in the GU fleet. (See 'The George & The Mary' by Alan H. Faulkner.) Charlie said the boat, hired from its then owner, was not in good condition and he was always afraid it would sink at any time."

 

 

I didn't know that Alan was a 'professional canal boater', unless that was a different Alan from who I think it iswink.png

I came on the scene when, IIRC, filming was more or less complete but I did have some involvement (for a year or two afterwards) in trying to keep it afloat.

It had a little Petter watercooled twin, don't know the exact model. Owned by Michael Sampson, he kept the name after the filming.

Tim

Edited by Timleech
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I used to know a guy in the mid 80's (pete) who owned a wooden motor called "Flower of Gloster" it was in a bad way and he cut the front of it and bolted a steel front on at Pitstone wharf.

Don't know if this was the same boat but I found a couple of old photos..

 

I think the butty rotting in the background was the wooden boat Leam

 

2.jpg

 

1.jpg

Edited by Admiral
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I used to know a guy in the mid 80's (pete) who owned a wooden motor called "Flower of Gloster" it was in a bad way and he cut the front of it and bolted a steel front on at Pitstone wharf.

Don't know if this was the same boat but I found a couple of old photos..

 

I think the butty rotting in the background was the wooden boat Leam

 

2.jpg

 

1.jpg

 

I remember seeing Flower of Gloster with its steel bow on (I think) the southern Oxford probabli in the late 80s / early 90s. It looked very sorry for itself.

 

My father owned (ex Clayton tar boat) Leam in the 1970s. I last saw it afloat in Battlebridge Basin in about 1982. I gather she was broken up a few years later. Not enough detail in that picture to tell if is is Leam though.

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Taken at the 1967 Leicester IWA rally. It appears to be the same boat as the one in David's post, and it looks like Charlie Atkins steering

 

C14%20%20Flower%20of%20Gloster%20Leicest

 

 

C15%20Steel%20Band%20on%20%20Flower%20of

Edited by David Schweizer
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I lived at Pitstone for a while and I am pretty sure it was Leam.. I have another photo of it somewhere..

 

3.jpg

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I have slides taken of the same boat at the Liverpool rally in 68. The steerer is indeed Charlie Atkins snr, a younger Tony Lewery was responsible for the lettering and decoration. I recall catching odd episodes on our black and white telly at home .... Much has now changed....not half....

 

Dave

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I lived at Pitstone for a while and I am pretty sure it was Leam.. I have another photo of it somewhere..

 

3.jpg

 

Yes, that is Leam's back cabin as I remember it. She had been motorised by putting a Petter PH2W in the back of the hull, with a stern tube bored through the stern post, and the front edge of the rudder cut away to provide room for the prop (which you can see in the picture). The back cabin had been shortened to provide a bit of a cruiser stern.

 

Very sad!

Edited by David Mack
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I didn't know that Alan was a 'professional canal boater', unless that was a different Alan from who I think it iswink.png

I came on the scene when, IIRC, filming was more or less complete but I did have some involvement (for a year or two afterwards) in trying to keep it afloat.

It had a little Petter watercooled twin, don't know the exact model. Owned by Michael Sampson, he kept the name after the filming.

Tim

Does this bring back any memories, Tim, with the doors open to get in for pumping. The year was 1972.

gallery_6938_2_1107.jpg

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Does this bring back any memories, Tim, with the doors open to get in for pumping. The year was 1972.

gallery_6938_2_1107.jpg

 

Ah yes, on the opposite bank is the Middle Northwich butty then named Kestrel, which Michael Sampson had recently acquired and towed up from the Midlands somewhere with the Flower of Gloster. FofG is tied alongside the day boat which we (rather later, I think) named PHOEBE and which was subsequently donated to the Boat Museum, the name seems to have stuck.

 

Tim

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Ah yes, on the opposite bank is the Middle Northwich butty then named Kestrel, which Michael Sampson had recently acquired and towed up from the Midlands somewhere with the Flower of Gloster. FofG is tied alongside the day boat which we (rather later, I think) named PHOEBE and which was subsequently donated to the Boat Museum, the name seems to have stuck.

 

Tim

 

And still around, owned by a forum member. I sold him a swivel lamp for the cabin recently.

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Thanks for this fantastic and long awaited news CJB!

I understood from previous request for info/availability that there were only a couple of episodes extant and I think this series was what got me into boats and canals.

It must have some of the only footage of 'Chocolate' Charlie Atkins and much else besides.

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Mr Charlie Atkins niece lives next door to me, so she will be happy to see it I'm sure.

 

Darren

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I owned flower of Gloster for a while. I also have some other pictures of her having the steel nose put on at Pitstone wharf. I understood her to be a hotel boat prior to the filming and according to Pete she was originally polly. Granada kindly sent me a video tape of at least one episode in which the children are travelling through Buckinghamshire. I'm really looking forward to seeing the series although as I recall there was no real script.

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I owned flower of Gloster for a while. I understood her to be a hotel boat prior to the filming and according to Pete she was originally polly.

My records suggest that Pete was correct, but it was only ever named POLLY as a horse boat captain.gif

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Network on Air is now showing it as no longer available - Amazon say it is available for pre-order but don't give a date - HMV say it is available for pre-order with a release date of 1st January 2018

 

http://store.hmv.com/film-tv/dvd/the-flower-of-gloster-the-complete-series

 

I can't wait that long!!!!

 

Cheers Graham

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