Monday, 12 December 2016
557 The Lancashire Lads
First viewed : 6 August 1982
Back to the Friday night regional TV slot now and this rather nice little series provided a quietly dignified end to Bill Grundy's TV career.
Bill both wrote and presented the six-part series celebrating some of the Lancashire dialect poets of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Five of the episodes concentrated on a named individual, the final one was an anthology of light rhymes from various sources. When Bill wasn't delivering to camera, a montage of vaguely appropriate scenes or illustrations was on screen. It was excellent just before bed viewing . particularly as many of the poems such as "Bonny Brid " and "Come Whoam To Thi Childer An' Me" celebrated simple domestic sentiment.
The subject of the first programme was Rochdale's Edwin Waugh ( see above ) which Bill delivered from the foot of the Blackstone Edge Roman Road just 30 minutes stroll from our house ( and in Littleborough not Rochdale but never mind ). He never moved an inch from the spot in the entire 30 minutes.
The other poets covered were Ammon Wrigley, Samuel Fitton , Samuel Laycock and Ben Brierley.
It was repeated in 1984 and I think that was the last we saw of Grundy. He popped up again as co-host, with Paul Morley, of the G-Mex -The Tenth Event music festival in 1986 , ( not such a bizarre choice when you consider Grundy and Tony Wilson worked together at Granada ) then vanished into obscurity. He died of a heart attack in 1993 aged 69.
At the time the programme was broadcast, there were quite a few local societies dedicated to keeping the memory of these guys alive. I don't know how many there are now but at least the Edwin Waugh Dialect Society still seems to be reasonably active. Long may it continue !