The original Austin car that appeared in the film It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet now has pride of place at the World of James Herriot in Thirsk - after museum staff spotted it for sale in an online auction.
The team at the attraction is delighted after an eventful delivery of the vehicle, using hoists to lift it over the back wall to place it in a new presentation space in the garden.
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It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet (in the United States also known as All Things Bright and Beautiful) is a 1976 sequel to the 1975 film All Creatures Great and Small.
The film, which was a British-American joint venture, was entered into the 10th Moscow International Film Festival and the story continues where All Creatures Great and Small ended, following the lives of James, Helen and Siegfried from 1938 until the outbreak of war.
Ian Ashton, World of James Herriot’s managing director, said: "The car has been something we have wanted to find and when we spotted it on an online auction just had to buy it to accompany the Austin Seven already on display at the centre from the All Creatures Great and Small TV series.”
He added: "It’s great to have the car ‘home’ and visitors will remember its most famous moment on film and TV as ‘the water splash’ scene where James Herriot traversed the Yorkshire Dales and drives through the ford between Arkengarthdale and Low Row in Swaledale.”
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The vehicle was first registered in Eastbourne on March 29 1938 and cost £139. while road tax was £6. Its engine is 900cc and 7.99 bhp, it does 40 miles per gallon with a top speed of 60 mph. and has 70,000-plus miles on the clock.
Centre manager Kate Pawlett said: “We are so glad to have the car home from the great film staring John Alderton, Colin Blakey, Lisa Harrow and Bill Maynard. It arrived in style, if the car could talk it certainly could tell a few stories and, who remembers it getting stuck in the river?"
The World of James Herriot is open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and attracts many coach groups, families and a large following of James Herriot fans.
It is enjoying new attention due to the Channel 5 Yorkshire Vet TV series about the present day version of the very same veterinary practice that James Herriot (Alf Wight OBE) made famous with his books, films and BBC TV series about his life as a country vet.