Saturday, November 01, 2014

A whole episode of Weavers Green

I am sure every reader will share my excitement at discovering that a whole episode of the 1960s Anglia TV soap opera Weavers Green is available online.

It cannot be embedded, so hurry over to Vimeo to watch it.

An article by Tim Snelson from the University of East Anglia - Normal for Norfolk? Feeling an affinity with a long-lost regional soap - may help you understand what is going on:
The pivotal entry point for national audiences was the character of Celia Toms (Georgia Ward), a well-to-do ‘sixties chick’ who in the first episode moves from Knightsbridge to the titular Norfolk village with her vet husband Geoffrey (Eric Flynn). 
Celia represents the modern liberal ideals, cultural mores, fashion, perhaps even emergent feminism, associated with city life in the mid-1960s and is also the main focus for much of the programmes politics of the private sphere. 
She is at the heart of what Dorothy Hobson refers to as the vital ‘emotional, romantic and sexual angles’ of soaps or ‘the whiff of illicit romance gently wafted into certain scenes’ as the Guardian reviewer suggests in 1966. 
As the TV Times explained: 
She led the aimless life of so many rich ex-debs who hang about in Chelsea, Tangiers and the Costa Del Sol. A number of vague entanglements with young men left her disillusioned […] Celia was faced with the task of turning herself into a country vet’s wife. She is still trying. (2 April 1966) 
Celia’s disruptive influence is the key narrative drive of Weavers Green, but her ongoing difficulty in acclimatising to the slower pace of village life means that even the few urbanites who were able to identify with the super posh Celia’s proto-Made In Chelsea lifestyle, are ultimately sent packing. 
Whilst Geoffrey, who wanted to move back to his home village of Weavers Green, feels that it is ‘up to us to fit in’ with the ideas and traditions of the village – including those on women’s roles – Celia continues to push for ‘educating the backwards farmer’. 
Her proclivity for fashion is also aligned with her sexual desires. As she protests to Geoffrey after he asks her to dress more respectably for church, ‘does the simple life really necessitate such strict self-denial?’

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