Life in an English village, with all its drama and humour. That is Weavers Green, an exciting twice-weekly series which starts on Thursday. Weavers Green will unfold its own loves, hates, problems, episode by episode. But who are the people who live in Weavers Green? This is their background up to the point where Thursday will take over…
by PETER and BETTY LAMBDA
who wrote the series
It was the hot summer of 1938. A decrepit Austin Seven rattled into Weavers Green and spluttered to a stop outside the Old Forge.
The local veterinary surgeons daughter, Dorothy Latimer, watched the driver, a tall red-haired Australian, climb out. His name was Alan Armstrong, he was a fifth-year veterinary student at Edinburgh University, and he had come to “see practice’” with Dotty’s father.
It is now 1966. Alan Armstrong is still at the Old Forge. He and Dotty are married and have two children. Mick, the daughter, is 22 — a fourth-year veterinary student at Cambridge. Tim is 15 and at boarding school. The older Latimers retired many years ago — and live in Devon.
In between, a great deal has happened. Alan qualified as a veterinary surgeon, then war broke out. Alan decided to become a horse specialist and to go back home to Australia. Instead he married Dot — and joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
In a horseless war, Major Armstrong did a variety of jobs. He looked after army mules in Burma — and ran stock farms in the Middle East. At one point he was reputed to be an authority on camels.
In 1945 he joined his father-in-law’s busy practice in Weavers Green. First as assistant, then as junior partner. In 1952 he bought the old man out.
Alan’s practice and reputation grew, and with it the need for help. After a number of unsuitable candidates, he found an ideal junior partner in Geoffrey Toms.
Geoffrey was bom on a farm in Surrey. He saw the suburbanisation of the countryside and hated it. But he profited by it when his father sold his last acres to a development company. Although it was this that enabled Geoffrey to go to Cambridge, he never lost his deep longing for country life.
In spite of this, he couldn’t resist the offer of a good job in a fashionable veterinary practice in Knightsbridge. Five years later he had his own prosperous business on the border of Belgravia and Chelsea.
Late one night he was called out to attend a sick Siamese cat. He cured the cat and fell in love with the owner. A few months later he and Celia married.
Celia Portland had been the loveliest deb of her season. At 25, long after her publicised elopement with a delinquent playboy which left him in prison and her ward of court, she led the idle and aimless life of so many rich ex-debs who hang about in Chelsea, Tangier and the Costa del Sol. A number of vague entanglements with young men who were obviously after her money left her disillusioned and cynical.
But inside most sophisticated cynics there is a naive and childish romantic waiting to be released by a knight in shining armour.
The earnest young vet who would marry her only on condition that they live and manage on his earnings alone proved to be the man. He insisted that they sell his growing London practice and make their home in Weavers Green, in the depth of the East Anglian countryside. Celia was faced with the task of turning herself into a country vet’s wife. She is still trying.
Life in Weavers Green centres on the two vets.
But the village, like any village, is crammed with characters.
Like Mrs. Vincent, Dotty’s daily, and her cowman husband, Bert; progressive young farmer Jack Royston and old-timer Ernie Arkwright; the retired colonial civil servant Archibald Langley, O.B.E.; Capt. Tony Patterson who trains jumpers — including those of middle-aged playboy Bobby Brent — and worries about his daughter and his overdraft.
Not to mention Daniel Jessop, local handyman and poacher; Sam Money penny the village policeman; the Vincent’s two daughters; Hazel Westcott, who lives in a small cottage with her son, Colin, and labrador dog. Holly; old Mr. Wooley who owns the Post Office Stores; and agricultural machinery salesman Derek Swan who has only recently come back.
You’ll meet them all in Weavers Green. Others too. Join them on Thursday.