Browsing articles from "January, 2014"

Filming starts on BBC 1 NEW police drama for 2014 & we’re in the thick of it!

We are working alongside Sally Wainwright, Sarah Lancashire, Steve Pemberton, Siobhan Finneran, George Costigan and Joe Armstrong in dark new BBC One drama series, Happy Valley

Carol & Bob Bridgestock Look North BBC 1

Happy Valley has begun filming in the Calder Valley area of Yorkshire and will be broadcast on BBC One in 2014. We will be joining the cast on set for filming Tuesday 28th January – can’t wait!

And the media are saying:-

RED Production Company have announced that a wealth of British talent will star in Happy Valley; a shocking and compelling crime thriller from award-winning writer Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey) for BBC One.

Joining Sarah Lancashire (Last Tango in Halifax, The Paradise) will be Steve Pemberton (Whitechapel, Benidorm), Siobhan Finneran (The Syndicate, Downton Abbey), George Costigan (Unforgiven, Calendar Girls), Joe Armstrong (The Village, Robin Hood), James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberley), Adam Long (Spike Island, Waterloo Road), Karl Davies (Emmerdale, Game of Thrones), Ramon Tikaram (Casualty, Eastenders) and Charlie Murphy (Love/Hate, The Village).

Lancashire plays Catherine, a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of dedicated police officers in a rural valley in Yorkshire. When a staged kidnapping quickly spirals out of control and turns into a much more brutal and vicious series of crimes, Catherine finds herself involved in something significantly bigger than her rank, but unknowingly close to home.

Sarah Lancashire said: “Happy Valley is a dark, funny, multi-layered thriller revolving around the personal and professional life of Catherine, a dedicated, experienced, hard-working copper. She is also a bereaved mother who looks after her orphaned grandchild. It’s an emotional, complex, challenging role. I’m terrified, exhausted and freezing cold but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Sally Wainwright, executive producer and writer, said: “I’m pleased that we’re filming Happy Valley right in the heart of Calderdale in West Yorkshire. It’s going to be hard work, but on screen it will look stunning”.

Nicola Shindler, executive producer and founder of RED Production Company, adds: “Sally has done it once again, delivering an expertly crafted and brilliantly written drama series that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats as Catherine and her team attempt to get to the bottom of a truly shocking crime. We’re delighted to have such a strong line-up of talent to bring the original and gripping scripts to life, in what is sure to be a remarkable piece of television.”

Happy Valley is 6×60 minute series made by RED Production Company for BBC One. It is written and executive produced by BAFTA-winning writer Sally Wainwright, produced by Karen Lewis (Last Tango in Halifax, Exile) and directed by Euros Lyn (Broadchurch, Doctor Who). Executive producers are Nicola Shindler and Sally Wainwright for RED Production Company and Matthew Read for BBC.

Watch this space for more…

Carol & Bob xx


Christmas short story winners 2013!

For the last six years we have organised a Christmas writing competition to try to inspire others of all ages to read and write on the Isle of Wight. This year was a huge success. Here are the details and winning stories/poems for you to see.

Well done everyone! 

This was their brief:-



The Wight Fair Writers Circle presents:

A Winter Short Story & Poetry Competition

‘It’s Snow Time!’

 18 Fantastic prizes which include 2 x Adult Bestival Camping Tickets 2014

One winner will be:-

Published in the County Press

All three winners will be published online

& Interviewed on IW Radio!


Under 12s up to 750 words – £2 per entry

Under 18s up to 750 words – £2 per entry

Adults 1,500 – 2,000 words – £4 per entry


All proceeds to Newport Minster


Closing date 18th November 2013

Winners announced 18th December 2013 at a celebratory reception in

Newport Minster! ALL welcome!

Entry forms & rules can be obtained by:-


For further information call

Carol Bridgestock 01983 402393

Or Maggie Jones 01983 840548

Or collect & return to: Waterstones, 118 High Street, Newport



The presentation of ‘It’s Snow Time!’ the 2013 annual Wight Fair Writers Christmas short story/poetry competition which was open to Island residents, with prizes to inspire people to put pen to paper, especially children, took place on 18th December at Newport Minster.

Winter Short Story Writing Competition – December 2013

Apart from the Wight Fair Writers Circle members, as usual I must thank many local people who made this event possible (see below). Their generosity was shown on the back of the handouts at the church on the evening.

Supporters 2013

Isle of Wight County Press

Andie Penn – All Round Entertainer  – 01983 400930

Isle of Wight Computer Geek –

P J Pool Services Limited – 01983  721246

Isle of Wight Steam Railway –

Wightlink –

Planet Ice –

Superbowl –

Isle of Wight Pearl –

Saints Foundation –

Seaview Wildlife Encounter –

Dinosaur Isle –

Brading Roman Villa –

This year’s competition is in aid of Newport Minster Renewal funds and we raised £550.00.

Even thought the weather was very wet and blustery the winner’s certificates and prizes were announced and given out in front of an audience of over 100 people by our High Sheriff Mary Case.

The winning adult story by Michael Pope won the much coverted prize of two camping Bestival tickets for 2014.

Well done everyone! Here’s to next year!



  1. It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble – Michael Pope – View Story
  2. It’s Snow Time – Susan Irons
  3. A Polywosit Xmas – Eve Jackson

Runners Up!

A Christmas Gift from Mary – John Smart

Hanging on to a Half Full Glass – Anna Hardy

Ronad the Defeated – Roger Scott

2001 a Space Odyssey ‘It’s Snow Time’ – Andrew Hough

Cold Calling – Neal Warren

Under 18’s

  1. Snow Symphony – Hannah Ward – Glenton – View Story
  2. That One Present – Naomi Baker
  3. WW2 Christmas Story – Abbie Smith

Runners Up!

It’s Snow Time – Trinity Merryweather

Frozen Time – Eloise Preston

Winter Sunset – Hannah Ward-Glenton

Twisted – Rachael Phillips

Under 12’s

  1. 1.       It’s Snow Time – Leah Chandler – View Story
  2. 2.       It’s Snow Time – Cerys Brammall
  3. 3.       The Wonderful Scene – Charlotte King

Runners Up!

Experience the Lifetime In The Snow – Noah Patey

It’s Snow Time – Crystal Price

It’s Snow Time – Sophie Jones

Home – Jacob – Patey

The Marvel of Christmas – Hallam Saunders

It’s Snow Time – Shannon Burton

It’s Snow Time – Elizabeth Betts

Notes for editors:

For further information, pictures please contact Carol Bridgestock 01983 402393 or 07884553698

Winter Short Story Writing Competition – December 2013

Carol announcing the winners!

Winter Short Story Writing Competition – December 2013

The Under 18′s winner Hannah Glenton and her winning poem…

Snow Symphony

The cloud puffed out like a conductor’s chest

His chunky white tendrils forming a baton

And one, two, three- the flurry began


All at once the flecks beat out their rhythms

Some short sharp staccato, others lengthy legato-

The notes pelted my window in taps,

A crescendo of snow to the waves of his hands

THUD THUD THUD concluded the forte

as it crept back down to its original piano


I awoke the next day, my symphony slid down the glass

It had trickled and wiggled down to the ground-

It dripped, plopped, then made no further sound


Hannah Glenton

Winter Short Story Writing Competition – December 2013

Leah Chandler, the under 12′s winner and her mum choosing her prize! And her winning poem…

Icicles and snow are freezing up the land coating it in a white blanket.

Time for all the videos to break free of their cases and amuse us all.

Snow time is great…roasting sweet chestnuts by the fire and making snow angels on the ground! I can’t wait!


Scarves at the ready…time to go snow boarding down the tallest hills.

No school for a day, what will I do?

Over the hills and valleys we walked, white, white, white, is all I see, I’m so happy!

Wind storms are coming, what should I do? The snow is curving and twirling around, run inside it’s your only chance.


Teas and coffees are being served, only to the adults how absurd!

Ice is melting quick and fast, it’s nearly over, back to school!

Mice are coming back, out and about, Spring is nearly here! Does it have to end?

Eventually it all disappears and the fun with it. It goes.


By Leah Chandler 

And last but not least Micheal Pope’s winning story that won him the most coveted prize of 2 x Camping Bestival Tickets to the Isle of Wight Bestival 2014.

‘It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble’


Whilst it has to be admitted that the ‘Little Dribble Players’ presented no serious threat to the ‘Royal Shakespeare Company’, the amateur dramatic society brought a great deal of pleasure and amusement to the good folk of Little Dribble … much of the amusement quite unintended.

‘The Players’ put on three productions each year. In Spring the audience would be treated to a comedy and in Autumn to a ‘whodunit’. (Which turned out to be the funniest often being a matter of luck). Christmas was, of course, the time for the pantomime. Comedy … ‘whodunit’ … pantomime. The pattern never varied. Until this year. Little Dribble couldn’t believe the news. There was to be no pantomime. Speculation as to reason for this extraordinary turn of events was rife. Could it be because of the slight ‘mishaps’ that had occurred in recent years?

Three years’ ago the village was treated to Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack, alias Minnie Monks from the village shop, (considered rather too old for the part by many), was only halfway up the beanstalk when it collapsed under her not inconsiderable weight. Fortunately, apart from a nasty bruise on her bottom, Minnie suffered no serious injury and, true trouper that she was, carried on as though nothing had happened. True, Jack having never reached the giant’s castle in the sky did rather play havoc with the plot but this was a situation not unfamiliar to the ‘Little Dribble Players’ or to its audience.

The following year it was Cinderella. Lucy Shaw was playing the part of Prince Charming. She knew, of course, that the glass slipper belonged to Cinderella and should never had said with such enthusiasm, “It fits! It fits!”, whilst trying it on the foot of one of the Ugly Sisters. Afterwards she could only put it down to a moment’s aberration, possibly caused by the child in the front row informing his mum in a very loud voice that he was going to be sick.

Last year Aladdin took the stage. Percy Small, the ‘props’ man and general factotum, assured them that the artificial smoke that would envelop the genie when he made his entrance would be no problem. (Percy had many excellent qualities, one of which was his optimism!) Rehearsals went without a hitch but, on reflection, Percy had to admit that it was probably a mistake to make the artificial smoke appear more real for the actual performances. It just hadn’t occurred to him that more real smoke would set off the fire alarms. But no real harm was done. The fire brigade was very understanding and it was simply a misfortune that it was pouring with rain when the audience had to be evacuated from the village hall.

In fact, it had been Marcus Goodfellow, ‘The Players’ rather flamboyant producer, who’d proposed at their Annual General Meeting that the long established tradition of a Christmas pantomime should be dropped. His proposal was greeted with gasps of disbelief … some gasps being little short of horror. Indeed, Annie Long, reaching for her smelling salts, insisted that Christmas without a pantomime in Little Dribble would be on a par with Christmas without roast turkey, Christmas pudding or the Queen’s speech.

“But, my dears,” Marcus continued when the hubbub had died down, “no pantomime doesn’t mean no performance.” He waited patiently for someone to ask him what he meant. The ‘someone’ in question was Percy Small. “What I mean, dear boy, is that ‘The Players’ will put on the most spectacular variety show the village has ever seen. Two glorious hours of non-stop song, dance and comedic sketches, all appropriate to the Season of Goodwill.”

Such was Marcus’s enthusiasm, it was soon agreed by all that a variety show was just what Little Dribble needed to make its Christmas complete. Even Annie Long began to warm to the idea and, before long, had convinced herself that she had been the one to think of it.

“What are we going to call it?” Minnie Monks asked. “The variety show, I mean.”

“Can’t we just call it a variety show?” Annie Long asked. “Everyone will know what that means.”

“No, it needs a catchy title,” Bob Walker, who invariably played the villain in the Autumn ‘whodunit’, joined in the conversation. “Something that will make people sit up and take notice. How about, ‘It’s Show Time in Little Dribble’?”

“What an excellent suggestion, dear boy … absolutely first class!” Marcus said, approvingly. “But, bearing in mind we’re putting on a Christmas variety show, do you think we could make a slight change to your suggestion and perhaps call it, “It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble’? Do you think that might be even more appropriate?”

Everyone did, so ‘It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble’ it became. The very title Marcus had entered into his diary weeks ago!


Following the pattern long-established with the pantomime, the first performance was to be on Christmas Eve, the next on Boxing Day and the third the day after. At the beginning of December, posters appeared in the village shop and other strategic places throughout the village proclaiming:


The Little Dribble Players present

‘It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble’

A Grand Variety show for the Festive Season

Bring your family and bring your friends


And so, throughout December, ‘The Players’ met three times a week in the village hall for rehearsals, Marcus directing proceedings with his usual aplomb:

“No, no, my dears! More oomph! More oomph! You need more oomph!”

“Very nice, Minnie, but not quite so loud, my love … not quite so loud. A tad more pianissimo next time, perhaps?”

“Higher! Higher! Get those legs up higher! It’s meant to be a cancan, not a can’t can’t!”

And so on.


Before they knew it, Christmas Eve was here. It had been a stroke of genius on Marcus’s part to invite children from the village school to audition for parts in the show. Not only were their renditions of ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus’ a delightful way to begin the show, but the mums and dads who came to see their children perform ensured a full house.

After the children had done their part, ‘The Players’ took to the stage and, for once, everything went swimmingly. The dancing, the singing, the sketches … all with a Christmas theme … being greeted with warm applause from the audience. ‘Oomph’ was there in abundance; Minnie remembered her pianissimo; and, in the cancan, legs reached the required height … well, more or less. What was more, none of the disasters of recent pantomimes occurred. In short, ‘It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble’ was proving to be everything that Marcus Goodfellow had predicted it would be.

But, in true show business tradition, Marcus had decided before rehearsals began to save the best till last with the entire ensemble on stage for the grand finale. A great deal of preparation would be needed to achieve what he had in mind but it would be worth it. This would be something Little Dribble would never forget.

Under Marcus’s direction, Betty Brown, their pianist, had somehow managed to put music to the line, ‘It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble and’ … then a dramatic pause and straight into ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’. Percy Small was then called upon to make a sledge for Father Christmas, complete with four small wheels.

And then the piè ce de ré sistance! The audience wouldn’t believe it. It would bring the house down. Bessie Green had been only too pleased to lend her pony ‘Christabel’ for the three performances and it was apparent to all that the good-natured creature was chuffed to bits to be transformed into a reindeer. Complete with a brown coat, a magnificent set of antlers made by Percy and, last but not least, an enormous red nose, Christabel became Rudolph. A sledge pulled by a reindeer! Undoubtedly the most ambitious project ‘The Players’ had ever undertaken.

And so the moment for the Grand Finale arrived. Giving it all they’d got, the entire cast launched into song. ‘It’s Snow Time in Little Dribble and’ … dramatic pause … ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’. The audience gasped with wonder and disbelief then broke into spontaneous applause as, in his sledge, Father Christmas, (a role Marcus had reserved for himself), was pulled onto the stage by a real reindeer.

Hearing such enthusiastic applause, beneath his bushy white beard, Marcus positively glowed with pride. He knew that he’d achieved nothing less than a triumph. A triumph that would be remembered in Little Dribble for years to come.

And then it happened!

Whether it was a case of first-night nerves or sheer misfortune is a matter for speculation but, right in the centre of the stage, nature got the better of Christabel. Marcus never suffered from first-night nerves so it must have been sheer misfortune that, when alighting from the sledge, he stepped right into what Christabel had deposited. With a certain grace, he went sliding across the stage, his beard going in one direction, his sack of toys in another and half of the front row of the chorus ending up on their posteriors as he careered into them.

Not only did the pony’s misdemeanour bring Father Christmas down with a bump it also brought the house down with uncontrollable and uproarious laughter, shouts of ‘encore’ resounding around the hall. This was, indeed, an evening that would be remembered in Little Dribble for years to come.

Outside the village hall the first flakes of snow began to fall.