FROM ESHOLT TO BECKINDALE (1980s) film no: 3381
The long-running soap opera, Emmerdale, is filmed on location in the village of Esholt, near Bradford. This film documents how Esholt is changed into the fictional village of Beckindale for the television programme. It also examines the effect the series has on the village and its people.
Titles: ‘From Esholt To Beckindale’ ‘A Village Transformed’
The film opens with Yorkshire Television lorries arriving at the village of Esholt. The film crew unload the equipment that will be used in the production, such as cables, cameras, sound booms and dollies used for tracking shots. The producer, Ken Leckenby, interviews Mr Turner, who was the owner of ‘The Falcon’ pub when filming first begun there.
A film crew puts up a police sign as well as hangs a sign changing “The Falcon” to the “Woolpack Inn.” Mr Ellis, the church warden, is interviewed, and he notes that receipts in the church box have greatly increased from the contributions of film crew and tourists. Cameras are waterproofed with plastic sheets. Mr Rimmer, the current owner of ‘The Falcon’ pub, is interviewed, and he notes the large increase in tourists since Emmerdale started filming there.
In a catering truck bacon cobs are made for the film crew. Another elderly local is interviewed, and he comments that he has never heard anyone grumbling about the filming. The actors arrive on set and enter the pub. These include Arthur Pentelow who played Henry Wilks, and Sheila Mercier who played Annie Sugden. The actors then perform scenes which are filmed outside the pub.
Commentary by George Duncan
Produced by Ken Leckenby
This film is one of very many produced by Mercury Movie Makers, a part of Leeds Cine Club who specialised in making 16mm film. They made very many good quality films – many held with the YFA – going back to the early 1960s, of which this film from the 1980s is an excellent example (for more on MMM see the Context for A Vision Fulfilled). Ken Leckenby in particular made Out and About films featuring local events and the natural environmental of Yorkshire, which he very rarely ventured out from. The making of Emmerdale Farm was an obvious topic for the group as at the time they were situated in Sexton Lodge next to the Church of St Paul in Esholt, and thus were perfectly placed to witness the shooting of the well known soap series.