All Creatures Great and Small mystery solved by former neighbour of Alf Wright - YP Letters

Dr Philip J. Hobson, Sparken Dale, Worksop.

Patricia Hodge as Mrs Pumphrey in series two of All Creatures Great and Small

I read with interest Phil Penfold’s article (The Yorkshire Post, September 25).

Patricia Hodge was of the opinion that Mrs Pumphrey, one of the characters in All Creatures Great and Small, was the widow of a man in business or trade and not of minor nobility. I can throw some light on this.

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In 1966 I worked as a GP in Thirsk. My wife and I lived at 25 Kirkgate, next door to Alf Wight. On a couple of occasions I made a house call on a charming elderly lady in a nearby village.

She was somewhat eccentric (there was a sheep in the house) and she fitted the character of Mrs Pumphrey exactly. Her name was Mrs Bell.

She was the mother of Major Peter Bell, of Thirsk Hall. The Bells were Lords of the Manor of Thirsk from the 15th century. Thirsk Hall was built about 300 years ago.

Mrs P was certainly from landed gentry and not trade.

From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

The fact the second series of All Creatures Great and Small has attracted actresses of the calibre of Patricia Hodge is Channel 5’s gain and the BBC’s loss.

The BBC must be kicking itself for snubbing the All Creatures remake.