Villagers in a lather over the invasion of TV soaps cameras

The television programme
Crossroads will return without many of its defining features - from the woolly-hatted character Benny to the credits rolling diagonally across the screen - but events this week suggest hitches during filming are not all in the past.

The television programme Crossroads will return without many of its defining features - from the woolly-hatted character Benny to the credits rolling diagonally across the screen - but events this week suggest hitches during filming are not all in the past.

Despite having ploughed millions into a custom-built set in Nottingham, Carlton TV will also be filming from Wednesday in the idyllic Leicestershire village of Redmile, where it will run into a campaign of fierce resistance. Redmile is the new setting for the soap's fictional Kings Oak village.

Such is the zest for a remake of the old ATV soap that 240 episodes have been commissioned. That will probably bring Carlton TV to the village every week for a year.

But the people who live there are not pleased with the razzmatazz. A meeting two weeks ago attracted 80 of the village's 240 adults to a local pub, and an anti- Crossroads petition was raised.

On Tuesday morning, the show's producers arrived tomeet the villagers in one of the protester's houses. (There is no parish hall, the church heating is on the blink and the two pubs weren't open.)

The Carlton shilling helped to smooth things over. A £200 contribution towards amenities was promised to the parish council for each of the filming visits. There are also separate financial arrangements with the people who live in the village's beautiful "church corner", where most of the filming will be done.

The parish council says most of the residents are in favour of the filming but object to the number of episodes, of which 65 were expected initially.

And there's a question of content. Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson, a resident and arch- opponent, said: "We were told it will go out before the watershed, but so does Grange Hill, The Bill and Emmerdale and there have been rape scenes and murders in those programmes, which we do not want in this village."

The villagers were apparently unmoved by the wealth brought by the long-running television series Last of the Summer Wine to Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. There, after 27 years of filming, life has begun to imitate art.

Compo's Café and the Wrinkled Stocking Tearooms, modelled on the series, compete for 20,000 tourists a year, and a museum to the series has been set up in Compo's "home".

Holmfirth's residents were devastated when Kathy Staff - alias Nora Batty - left the series last year. Sonia Lee, a villager, said."I have no idea if they will still use my house. My back steps have come to be known as Nora's steps,"

But even Holmfirth has its disgruntled locals. A dam in the area was allegedly polluted when two cars were dumped in it for one scene. The resulting protest reflected well the delicate business of location filming.

Twenty miles away in Hadfield, north Derbyshire, tempers were so frayed when a 60-strong BBC crew arrived to film The League of Gentlemen that the Glossop Chronicle ran a story headlined "Plague of Gentlemen". A community meeting was called to discuss what to do if the producers returned for another series.

An inhabitant of Goathland, the North York Moors town where ITV's Heartbeat is set, said she would not have bought a cottage there had she known it was to become the programme's location.

"I have had to put up net curtains because it's like living in a goldfish bowl," she said. "You go to the local shop for groceries and you can't get in for visitors looking for souvenirs."

But there are benefits once the cameras have gone. A research paper last year shows that visitors numbers to a place increase by 77 per cent, on average, five years after the release of a film made there. The number of visitors to Cornwall leapt by 10,000 a year after Poldark came out in the Seventies, while southern Florida saw an almost 20 per cent rise attributed to Miami Vice.

Redmile's predicament best matches that of Esholt, a village near Bradford where Emmerdale was filmed for 10 years until producers announced that three episodes a week were too much and the location was moved to Leeds.

"The TV crews carried a bag of money to persuade people to move their cars," an Esholt resident said. "My friend got terribly irate when they hissed 'Quiet on the set'. She said, 'It's not a set, it's my lawn'." At one point, there were 500 coach trips a year to the Woolpack Inn in Esholt.

The fact that Redmile's depleted farming industry needs all the help it can get has done nothing to sway the views of residents. But they are beginning to realise they have little legal clout. "Other than the Human Rights Act we have no privacy laws at our disposal," said John Rawling, Redmile's parish council chairman.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Guru Careers: PR Account Director / SAM

£50 - 60k (DOE) + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A PR Account Director / SAM ...

Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Insight Analyst

£32 - £37K + extensive benefits: Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Ins...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific