Malcolm's (Badger's) Visit – April 2009
Hi everyone. Well we made it there, but it took over two hours plus another twenty minutes to get my bearings as to the public footpaths. We parked in a layby on the A659 about a mile from Harewood village, opposite the public foot path to New Laithe Farm
We walked down the track/ bridleway to new laithe farm which would be just great to film a new series of Follyfoot with its old stables and farmhouse. Lots of horses there too. Anyway, on through the New Laithe stable yard gate we went and across the valley we could see Hollin Hall and the old barns awaiting us, a great view. Took a photo, the dogs come off the lead and down the hill they went, like bats from hell towards the little stream. I looked to my left, and in this field are six large dead lightning trees lying on the ground. Now we know where the series tree came from. Across the bridge and the dogs go back on the lead as I hear a gamekeeper shooting pigeons in the distance. A nice dry track takes us across the the lush green field that brings us up the hill to the wall of the Follyfoot stableyard.
The lake is just behind me as I take lots of pics of the barns and stables seen in the series. My wife Victoria says it does not look much like Follyfoot, but it does to me when you look much closer. A few yards down the hill and the dogs are swiming in folly lake to cool down. We walked up to the fishing platforms at the top of the lake and take more pics of the lake with old stables - barns in the background.
Time to take the view and have a coffee. After a while we make our way back up to the wall by the stables. More pics of all the out buildings and in the yard itself. I then walk to the large new electric front gates and the new wall which takes me all the way around the house to the back of the barns. More pics taken. No one about till the gamekeeper drives past and disappears across the field down the hill. Pity, I was going to go in the barn, the large door was wide open at the back. The entrance track from the hall gates carries on down too the A61 near Lofthouse grange. I have taken it all in, like a drug, now I need a pint and a pub lunch . Wife and her mother need the loo so we left for home, but stopped to look round at Otley market, what a nice little town.
Now to ID the stable yard. When you see my pics, have a look at the back of the DVD cover of series one - the top right picture of Dora in the stable yard. Now look at the two buildings behind Dora's head, and the large Blue round top barn door seen behind the horses. Now you can see the real Follyfoot in my pictures. A new wall has been built across the stable yard, where the horses are stood, cutting off most of the old buildings used in the series – thank god - from the new hall . Hope all this makes sense. The Follyfoot white, old wood entrance gate and lightning tree must have been somewhere in the centre, of what is now the front private garden. Part of the old low wall is still to be seen. I will try to put the puzzle all together when I watch the series in a few weeks, with the help of my photos.
Looking at Follyfoot from New Laithe farm.
A first sideways view of the old stables. The lake is just to my left.
The top end of the stable yard with the blue round top barn door in the far left corner.
The main large barn with the two lower windows used as doorways in the series.
Note the small stable attached to the large barn. They built another small stable to its right "to fill the gap" shown in this pic. the other stable used in the series is on the other side of the wall on the right which now cuts the old stable yard in half. The lightning tree would have been to the right-hand corner on the other side of the wall, as would the donkey shed and a little further on the white entrance gate.
Malcolm ie Badger and Jet the cocker spaniel.
The front garden and the new house.
The follyfoot "then and now" pic of the farm in 1970 shows the original entrance to the yard and the old house. Almost all the series stable buildings are still standing in April 2009.
Original 1970's images for comparison.
Nothing much has changed with this view since they filmed the series almost 40 years ago. How time does fly.
A rear view of the largest barn. One of the barns in the series was used as a dining area to feed the cast and all the film crew.