Heart of the Country – Toby Horwood

Heart of the Country TH











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This is on the set of Heart of the Country with Susan Penhaligan (who you can see on set). To be honest I can’t remember that much about the plot, other than it centred on the big carnival floats that were built for a festival in Somerset – hence the big gorilla. Barry Chatfield was lighting it (he’s stood on the right in the foreground). I was given the rare honour (for one so junior on the crew) of operating the camera on the Wilmac crane. I was swung high above the floor of Studio A. As long as you didn’t look down you were ok.  

Toby Horwood

(Heart of the Country was a four part adaptation of Fay Weldon’s novel, set in Somerset. It was transmitted 25/2/1987-18/3/1987. Brian Farnham was the director and Roger Gregory the producer.)

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

Lesley Weaver: ‘I was the Make Up designer.. Filming around Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury in August 1986 lovely places …but it rained almost every day. Then back again around November in even more rain to do the tremendous fun Shepton Mallet Carnival scenes and then sitting freezing up on Glastonbury Tor during a night shoot. Don’t think I’ve ever been so cold. But it did have the gorgeous Christian Bale in! However he was much much younger! Kathy Ayehurst was the Costume Designer, we did have a laugh coming up with the costumes for the Stepford Wives Scenes …. Oh happy days where did they go? …’

The Heart of the Country 1987

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Willoughby Gullachsen and others, no reproduction without permission.

The ‘Heart of the Country’ was a four part series by Fay Weldon set in Somerset which was broadcast in spring 1987.  It was produced at Pebble Mill by Roger Gregory and directed by Brian Farnham and starred Jacqueline Tong as Sonia, a mother struggling on her own with two young children.  The cast also included Christian Bale.  The climax of the series comes at the Glastonbury Carnival (shown in the last photo), with a fire and the death of one of the characters. Bob Jacobs was 1st A.D., Dave Doogood was the DOP, with Dave Evans assisting (shown in the photo with the paddling pool) and Chris Reynolds did special effects.Save

Heart of the Country – Bob Jacobs

In this video 1st A.D. Bob Jacobs talks about working on the 1987 four part drama – ‘Heart of the Country’, produced at Pebble Mill.  Written by Fay Weldon and directed by Brian Farnham, the series follows the social decline of a single mother and her children.   The climax of the action takes place in Glastonbury, during the carnival.  The series was produced by Roger Gregory and starred Jacqueline Tong as Sonia, as well as Christian Bale, Rosalind Bennett and Susan Penhaligon.

Filming at the Glastonbury Carnival