Star of the small screen

Author David Clayton from Brinscall with his book
Author David Clayton from Brinscall with his book

A village is set to become a star of the small screen.

Film crews from the BBC’s Countryfile descended on Brinscall last week to film a piece about the the village’s lost farms.

It comes after historian David Clayton published a book about the many ruins on Brinscall Moors and their history.

The production team braved the elements to film the former headteacher and farmer Stephen Whalley on location as well as relatives of people who had lived and worked on the farms before they were abandoned in the early 20th Century.

David, 75, of Maple Avenue, said: “It came as a bit of shock to be contacted by the BBC about the book. I have been walking on the moors for more than 40 years now and was intrigued by the many ruins.

“The book looks at why hundreds of residents left behind more than 40 farms and was put together using information from people in the village and old photographs.”

The book also features extracts from a journal written by farmer’s wife Elizabeth Jane Dixon, whose family left the moors in 1910.

Her grandson, Harold Gommersal, 83, and his daughter Linda, have kept the diary and went back to the ruins to be interviewed by presenter Jules Hudson.

They also read passages from the old journal.

Mr Clayton added: “It was a cold and wet day, but the team from the BBC were very professional and didn’t seem at all phased. After spending hours on the moors, we went back to The Cricketers pub and were filmed in front of the roaring fire.

“The landlady there had already warned her regulars that the film crew would be there and they all stood and watched.

“It was a good occasion for the whole village.”

Jules quizzed residents Vera Briggs, Barbara Butler and Dorothy Boyle about their memories of life on the moors above the village.

All three helped the historian put together his third book, which was published last year.

Landlady of the School Lane pub, Hilary Hawron said: “I was contacted about using the pub for filming as they wanted somewhere with a roaring fire.

“I think they really welcomed it when they arrived back as they’d spent hours on the moors in the freezing rain.

“It was great for the locals to watch it all, but it was a hard task to ask them to keep quiet while they were filming.”

A date for when the programme will be televised is yet to be announced.