Friday, 3 December 2021

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

How are you?  What a chilly week - did you have snow?
No snow as yet here in Kent but certainly nippy.

I mentioned last week that I would be sharing my birthday outing
and this was it.  A 'Call the Midwife' tour.
Apologies if this isn't a show you watch as I am about to bombard
you with pictures that I have taken along with images from the show and info.  

I knew some time ago that they recorded quite a lot of Call the Midwife 
in the Chatham Dockyard (only about 20 minutes away from me)
but I hadn't realised there was an official tour.

The Dockyard is steeped in history and film crews use it regularly,
Les Mis were there a while ago.

What is interesting is that it still a workplace too, a ropery business
operates daily from there. 

A separate tour is available for that along with a submarine tour.

Back to Call the Midwife - it has now aired 10 seasons.
All episodes available on BBC iPlayer.
It could be mistaken for just a show about giving birth and babies but it is a lot more,
a brilliant insight into social history of the 1950s and beyond.

The dockyard has plenty of Georgian and Victorian buildings 
(it is actually a 100 acre site!)
In addition cobbled lanes which gives the feel of old London.

The tour is conducted by a fully uniformed midwife (who although
very knowledgeable confirmed she would not be able to deliver any babies).

Our first stop is this passageway featured in many scenes...


including opening credits with the washing strung between buildings.

Props and more props are needed.  The addition of strategically placed baskets etc
can hide anything that doesn't fit into the time period.

There is a little museum housing original items from the show.

I'm a big fan of the red cardigans - I've struggled to find one that exact red.

My sister and I felt quite old when we saw this toy dog on wheels
as we remember having one as children.

Along with roller skates exactly like these.
Mum was very sensible - she only let us wear one roller skate at a time so 
we didn't fall over!

The iconic bikes - imagine cycling in all weathers, carrying everything 
and then delivering a baby.

Spot the crochet cushion.
I was able to grab a photo of my TV screen showing this decor.
Varying shades of brown and orange were popular back then.


Back outside and these buildings double for scenes as the police station
and maternity hospital.


Nonnatus House isn't in the dockyard. Originally it was a St Joseph's 
Missionary College in Mill Hill, North London until 
it was sold to make swanky new flats.
So now Nonnatus House is actually Manor House, Surrey a house built in 1853.

I'll leave you with one last snippet we learned from the tour.
Christmas episodes are always filmed in the Summer due to the fake snow,
if they were to use it in cold, damp weather it would not look so good.

This means the cast are absolutely sweltering when we think it is freezing.
In this festive episode Sheila Reid (Madge from Benidorm)
was apparently wearing just a swimming costume under her coat!
Between takes she would strip off to cool down
(which apparently is not allowed for continuity but a veteran actress 
can probably get away with it).

And that was my birthday tour of Call the Midwife and loved it.

Other news: oh I am still in such a muddle indoors!
Plasterer and electrician are coming to finish the conservatory next weekend.  
This all should have happened months ago, 
original dates for conservatory was last May!
Once stuff can go back in there I will be rushing to get things moved and finally put
up the Christmas decorations.  
I feel very behind but I'm sure it will all be okay eventually.

I will be catching up with you next week re: crochet, telly as I think
this post may have already taken up a lot of your time.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Take care friends.

6 comments: said...

Morning Christine.
Thank you for the chat, so glad you
had a nice time.
Take care and have fun Kitty.

hazel young said...

Hi Christine, we had a little snow but not enough to settle for long. Love the call the midwife tour and museum, although I will have to admit to only catching a show or two. Good luck with the plasters and electricians hope all goes smoothly. Have a great week stay safe xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your birthday photographs; it looks like you had a fantastic time. It's like reliving my childhood again when I watch this programme, as I'm a child of the 1950's, with the colour schemes, toys etc. We had a reasonable amount of snow which was gone by Tuesday. Try not to stress about the work being done; just concentrate in the background on getting ready for when they've finished so you can decorate for Christmas. WakeyL

Christine said...

Lovely share, thank you so much.

Littlelamb said...

Glad you enjoyed your birthday treat. My Gt Aunt was a midwife and rode a bicycle. She retired in 1956. Hope the finishing of the conservatory goes well.

karenlotty said...

Fantastic tour I love Call The Midwife! I’m looking forward to the Christmas special The toys reminded me of my childhood I have a photo of me pushing around one of those doggies I was never allowed the roller skates. The plots are so good and remember going through a lot of the issues they used When my mum was alive we used to phone each other as soon as the episode had finished and talk about it She was given the thalidomide drug because her morning sickness was so bad but decided not to take it when she was pregnant with my younger sister We’d talk for hours reminiscing
Take care xx

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