A piece of television history is set to go under the hammer next month when memorabilia from one of Britain’s best loved shows goes up for auction.
Seen in scores of episodes of Last of the Summer Wine, Marina’s trusty blue bike from the gentle BBC sitcom is up for grabs – and wheeler dealing telly fans are expected to saddle up for a piece of the action.
Jean Fergusson, the actress who played the blousy peroxide blonde seductress for more than twenty-five years has “very reluctantly” decided to part company with the vintage push bike, which has been decorated with dozens of autographs of all the leading players in the show.
The vintage Phoenix bike, which is thought to date from the early fifties, is expected to reach at least £800 when it, and a collection of photographs of Jean in the saddle and with members of the cast, is offered by Golding Young and Mawer in Lincoln on September 4.
“It has the potential to sell for much more”, says auctioneer John Leatt. “Summer Wine was internationally popular, seen in dozens of countries, so we are expecting bids from Australia, Canada, all over the world.”
The bike features signatures from the likes of Dame Thora Hird, Peter Sallis, Bill Owen, Brian Wilde, Frank Thornton and Kathy Staff.
“It is a part of television history,” he added.
Jean, now 69, and formerly of Tickhill, explained: “I used to live in quite a large barn conversion just outside Doncaster and I always maintained a small flat in London, but I decided to sell up in Yorkshire and to keep my base down south. The house was simply too big for me, after the death of my husband. So it means parting with a lot of bits and pieces, because there simply isn’t the space for everything I’ve collected.
“One of the things I must part with, with great sadness, is Marina’s bike. I really don’t want to, it has so much sentiment attached to it, but on the other hand I don’t to be pushing past it in the hallway for the rest of my days.
“I want some wonderful fan to enjoy it now, it really is a collector’s item. The bike has so many memories for me and the delightful people I was privileged to work with.”
Last Of The Summer Wine, penned by Doncaster’s very own Roy Clarke, who also wrote the much-loved Open All Hours, ran for an incredible 31 series from 1973 right up to 2010.
Filmed in and around the West Yorkshire town of Holmfirth, the show delivered tales from a collection of colourful characters, with various trios of actors playing the three main central characters of elderly men who got up to a series of daft scrapes.
Perhaps the best known and loved character was scruffy, bobble-hat wearing Compo, played by Bill Owen, who would lust after Nora Batty (actress Kathy Staff) whose wrinkled stockings became as famous and well known as the show itself.