Royston Vasey (Where My Mother-In-Law Lives)
Royston Vasey (Where My Mother-In-Law Lives)
My in-laws live in a place called Hadfield, in Glossop, the High Peak, in Derbyshire. For those of you who are interested, I would encourage you visit www.glossop.com. It is a mine of “interesting” information. It is certainly the only place I know that has a development scheme called the “Liveability Pilot”. Pilot? Liveability? They have to pilot living? As opposed to what – Dieability? Some parts of Glossop do still seem to belong to a bygone age. Which is not necessarily a bad thing at all.I also like the Wikipedia entry for Hadfield which stresses that: “The town has a railway station on the electrified line to Manchester…..” How very modern! No steam trains for modern Hadfield! Hadfield is where they filmed the League of Gentlemen. Actually, it would seem, that the League of Gentlemen was based upon Hadfield. Hadfield is Royston Vasey. Royston Vasey is Hadfield. My in-laws live in Royston Vasey.
Royston Vasey, is actually the real name of Roy “Chubby” Brown being the very blue, often offensive comedian who plays the town’s foul-mouthed mayor in the TV programme. Steve Pemberton, one of the writers, claims that Royston Vasey is an amalgam of northern towns in which the writers have had strange experiences.
My in-laws don’t like the League of Gentlemen very much. I am not sure that either of them have ever watched it. Anything not on BBC1, Radio 3, Sky Sports, or Irish, is likely to have passed them by. In any case, they dislike the association with their home. Being from Birmingham myself, this is something that I can associate and empathise with. It is never nice to have your hometown denigrated in such a way. I was so glad when Crossroads finished. Both times.
My mother-in-law expressed her unhappiness about Hadfield’s association with Royston Vasey one Sunday lunch, with C’s three younger sisters in attendance. We were sat around the table, wine in glasses, plates full of roast meat, and Irish tunes gently playing in the background. My mom-in-law is very proud of her Irish heritage. She is second generation off the boat. Her bookcases groan under the weight of Irish literature, and, our earplugs groan under the weight of Irish dirges. Incidentally, it is often said that Glossop people, being sophisticated, tell ‘Irish’ jokes about people from Hadfield. (As Irish people tell jokes about people from Cork. And French people tell jokes about Belgians.) People from Hadfield tell jokes about people from Padfield. People from Padfield don’t tell jokes, they just pick plums.
In any case, “The people in town do not like all this Royston Vasey business!”, declared my mother-in-law. ( I could have added a few “to be sure” and “bejesus” but she doesn’t actually talk that way.) “In fact, last week a bunch of women in the town got so annoyed that they started to throw stones at the film crew!”. So, not like Royston Vasey at all!
Incidentally, the meat we ate that very Sunday was bought from Mettricks’ butcher. H Briss & Sons Butchers in the show. This is the butchers where the “special sausages” are made. Indeed, in real life, the butcher does market a range of “special sausages”, but with alcohol as an ingredient rather than body parts. I am glad to say that Mettricks , at least, is cashing in on its notoriety with an online ordering facility (http://www.mettricksbutchers.co.uk/gentlemen.htm). Other, entrepreneurial “local shops” and businesses are also looking to cash in. The local burger bar is now called “Burger Me”. And, the local pubs are happy to entertain those doing the tourist thing on the back of the show. It seems that not all of the locals dislike the association with the programme quite as much as my mother-in-law.
Indeed, when C and I were looking for venues for our wedding reception, C’s mom took us to a place called Windy Harbour – a B&B with a decent sized breakfast room that was use for events. I’m so glad that we chose Palace Hotel in Buxton instead. Windy Harbour, though a perfectly adequate B&B, is where they filmed the swingers club in the League of Gentlemen – the so-called Windermere Guest House. I am quite glad we chose to go elsewhere. Starting married life in a swingers club recommended to you by your mother-in-law is probably not the best start.
Steve Pemberton, one of the four writers of The League, has admitted that “75 or 80% of the characters do have basis in real people, believe it or not.” So, mom, I was right after all………