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Parsley Sidings was an early 1970s BBC Radio sitcom starring Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender (who were also starring in television’s Dad’s Army at the time), together with Kenneth Connor and Liz Fraser (from the Carry On films).
Created and written by the renowned Jim Eldridge, the show is set in a sleepy out of the way railway station in the Midlands, on the line between Euston and Birmingham.
The main characters are the station master, Horace Hepplewhite (played by Lowe); his son, Bertrand (Lavender); station porter Percy Valentine (Connor); Mr Bradshaw, the signalman (also played by Connor); and station tannoy announcer Gloria Simpkins (Fraser). The guest cast in some episodes included Bill Pertwee (also from Dad’s Army), Pat Coombs (also from the Carry On films), Graham Stark (from the Pink Panther films) and Roger Delgado (The Master in Doctor Who) with the announcer for the programme being Keith Skues. The series was produced by Edward Taylor, and was broadcast on Friday evenings on BBC Radio 2.
Due to the BBC’s practice at the time of wiping tapes after broadcast for re-use, only a minority of the 21 episodes were retained in the BBC archive. A few episodes were recovered between 2001 and 2003 as off-air recordings from members of the public. In 2008, the remaining lost episodes were recovered, including the pilot.
The BBC then set about recreating the entire run of the two series using audio compiled from both its own archive and the private collections, with the intros and outros re-recorded by original on-stage announcer Keith Skues.