Why so few car owners?

Onslow

Member
Hello all,

I've enjoyed the show on and off (on PBS in the states) so my familiarity is with the last five seasons or so (though they used to show a lot of mid-series Compo-era episodes too).

I've wondered about many story elements but one I thought I would ask about here is why so few characters seem to own their own transportation? I think I count Barry, Entwistle, and whatever Glenda's parents had or were working on.

I saw for a time Smiler had an Oldsmobile. BTW making a senior citizen push a heavy handcart up hill seemed very odd too. : )

Thought I'd ask - nice that this forum is available. Greatly appreciated!
 

Pearl

Super Moderator
Staff member
It seems to amaze Americans that not very one owns a car over here, we don't all need one, we walk a lot, use public transport. Its not necessarily a necessity here for a lot of people don't drive, I have 3 kids only one drives. I think because we quiet a densely populated country we can get to where we need to go easily.
 

Pearl

Super Moderator
Staff member
I hand cart thing isn't a British querk it's more of an Aunty Wainwright money saver. Welcome to the forum by the way if you have any questions we're very happy to answer.
 

maltrab

Administrator
Staff member
Plus we cannot afford the Gas, at prices a gallon about 3 times more than it is in the USA, at the moment we are enjoying a drop in our gas prices, so currently only about $7.50 a gallon, most of it being tax, we love taxing things here in the UK,we even have tax on top of tax
 

Sarkus

Dedicated Member
While car ownership in the US exploded after WW2, it took much longer for the UK economy to recover to the point where the cars were being built and people could afford them. The generation that LOTSW is mostly about were young people after WW2 so they got used to not having a car and presumably viewed them as luxuries.

That said, you missed that a few characters were shown or talked about having cars. Clegg apparently owned one with his wife before she died. Howard is shown on at least three occasions with a vehicle, though in the latter two episodes they were obviously short-term situations since Pearl didn't know. Marina even had a car in one episode.

On top of that, car ownership in the later series was pretty common. Almost all the later "new" characters owned cars: Billy Hardcastle (in his first appearance), Entwistle, Hobbo, Milburn/Crusher, Billy Ingleton, Tom, Ros, Morton/Herman, Miss Davenport, Nelly, and so on.
 

captain clutterbuck

LOTSW Fanatic
Welcome to the Forum Onslow great to have you on board look forward to you posting threads an commenting on others . From personal experience cars in the hands of more mature people, which a number of the cast could be classed as , are a risky business , it certainly was for my Mum who drove into her 80s . I will spare everyone the tales of woe but suffice to say as a member of the AA they were willing to not only lose her as a customer but were happy to pay for her yearly membership of their biggest rival the RAC. :)
 

wstol

Dedicated Member
The programme needed lots of people to NOT have cars to provide the comedy and the plots.

If everyone had a car, there would be no strolls round the countryside and town.

No funny old relic cars to buy for £15.

No cramming a sports car with women, being driven by a lunatic.

Last of the Summer Wine NEEDS people without their own car.
 

Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
I also think the fact that most characters didn't get cars was down to production costs, as you would have to hire a car for the duration of filming or buy cars as it wouldn't be consistent using different cars in each episode. Summer Wine was on immensely tight budgets towards the end due to the BBC's penny pinching.
 

captain clutterbuck

LOTSW Fanatic
So true I wonder how much they paid Charlie Caroli to borrow the car the "old uns" had on the Farm in an Apple a Day plus how did they manage to stop the seats going up in the air , the exhaust belching flames , the car exploding and the doors coming off .

car.jpg
 

Adanor

Dedicated Member
Hello all,

I've enjoyed the show on and off (on PBS in the states) so my familiarity is with the last five seasons or so (though they used to show a lot of mid-series Compo-era episodes too).

I've wondered about many story elements but one I thought I would ask about here is why so few characters seem to own their own transportation? I think I count Barry, Entwistle, and whatever Glenda's parents had or were working on.

I saw for a time Smiler had an Oldsmobile. BTW making a senior citizen push a heavy handcart up hill seemed very odd too. : )

Thought I'd ask - nice that this forum is available. Greatly appreciated!
I'm not sure if Smiler had an Olds ( I could have missed that) but he did have a Caddy that Tom always drove. And of course, Edie had that red convertible. It was so ironic that in real life Thora Hird didn't drive, but ended up spending a lot of time "behind the wheel" in her role as Edie.
 

Moonraker

Active Member
I also think the fact that most characters didn't get cars was down to production costs, as you would have to hire a car for the duration of filming or buy cars as it wouldn't be consistent using different cars in each episode. Summer Wine was on immensely tight budgets towards the end due to the BBC's penny pinching.
Barry always appeared to have different car. I'm not saying any more Than that!
 

Moonraker

Active Member
Considering how much time the main characters spent in the pub, it's just as well that they didn't have their own cars.
I always wondered, if the final scene was in a pub, would the actors be drinking genuine beer? or do the rules apply; no alcoholic drinks permitted during shooting (bar Charles Hawtrey.)
 
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