Over the years I have found myself becoming attuned to spotting a WVS/WRVS uniform, poster, or object in pictures or on the TV; even the briefest of glimpses sparks instant recognition.
I had one such moment on Wednesday night last week while swapping channels, with the briefest glimpse of Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton (Penelope Keith) at the end of an episode of To the Manor Born wearing the spinach and beet uniform of a member of the WRVS.
The episode in question was the third episode from the third series entitled Horses vs Cars which aired in November 1981. Audrey is in trouble as her Rolls Royce has broken down (she can’t afford to fix it) and she can’t deliver her Meals on Wheels or take the old people on their summer outing.
Sadly I could find no mention of the BBC writing to us to help them with this episode in the archive, and rather intriguingly, no mention of the WRVS is made throughout the whole episode (I have now watched it, purely in the vein of research, on YouTube). Also (I know this is rather geeky, but it’s my job) the uniform Audrey is wearing is 20 years out of date by 1981, with the wrong badges too, and she is wearing black shoes! Shame on her, they should be brown! This would all tend to suggest that they didn’t ask for our help.
Anyway, I think it is a testament to the WRVS that they managed to get used in what at the time was one of the most watched programmes on British television.
If you want to see Audrey in her WRVS uniform yourself you can watch it by following these links to the YouTube videos.
See Audrey in her WRVS uniform in the first 3mins 48 seconds of this clip.
See Audrey in her WRVS uniform from 8:48 to the end in this clip.
Posted by Matthew McMurray at 09:00
Monday, 03 November 2014.
To the Manor Born