Jim Eldridge

Parsley Sidings was a BBC Radio sitcom created by Jim Eldridge. It starred Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender (who were also starring in the television wartime sitcom Dad’s Army at that time), together with Kenneth Connor from the Carry On films.

The scripts are by Jim Eldridge (who would later go on to write for many more series, the most successful being the BBC’s King Street Junior). The show is set in a sleepy out of the way railway station on the main line between London and Birmingham, in the Midlands.

The main characters are the station master, Mr Horace Hepplewhite (played by Arthur Lowe); his son, Bertrand (Ian Lavender); station porter Percy Valentine (Kenneth Connor); Mr Bradshaw, the signalman (also played by Kenneth Connor); and station tannoy announcer Gloria Simpkins (Liz Fraser, who was also in the Carry On films, and appeared in the Dad’s Army feature film). The guest cast in some episodes included Bill Pertwee (also from Dad’s army, appearing in episode 11) and Roger Delgado. The announcer for the programme was Keith Skues.

Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender

The series was produced by Edward Taylor, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 2. Due to the BBC’s former practice of wiping tapes after the broadcast of a show, only a minority of the 21 episodes produced are still in their archives  – Goodbye, Parsley Sidings and The Entente Cordialare aired on BBC 7 occasionally and have always been in the BBC archives, while A Night OutA Bird in the Hand and The Secret Agent were recovered between 2001 and 2003 as off-air recordings from members of the public. These episodes too have been aired, in early 2007, on BBC 7. All the other episodes are known to exist in private hands.

Many of the voices were acted by Kenneth Connor

In 2008, more episodes were ‘discovered’, including the pilot and “The New Level Crossing”. It is not yet known whether these other episodes will be repeated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episodes Guide

Series 1
TitleRecordedFirst broadcast
PilotUnknown1971-02-28
The Market SpecialUnknown1971-12-05
The Postal ExpressUnknown1971-12-12
The Beauty Queen ContestUnknown1971-12-19
The Inspector CallsUnknown1971-12-31
The 1890 RocketUnknown1972-01-02
The ExcursionUnknown1972-01-09
Cricket, Lovely CricketUnknown1972-01-16
Who’ll Be Mother?Unknown1972-01-23
The ConcertUnknown1972-01-30
Goodbye, Parsley SidingsUnknown1972-02-06
Series 2
TitleRecordedFirst broadcast
Pass The ParcelUnknown1973-09-29
The Flower ShowUnknown1973-10-06
The Entente CordialUnknown1973-10-13
A Night OutUnknown1973-10-20
The Goods TrainUnknown1973-10-27
A Bird In The HandUnknown1973-11-03
The Purity LeagueUnknown1973-11-10
The New Level CrossingUnknown1973-11-17
The Film MakersUnknown1973-11-24
The Secret AgentUnknown1973-12-01
Parsley Sidings
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