"Last of The Summer Wine" was one of the most successful ever BBC TV productions, enjoyed by people from all around the world who tuned in to escape into the lives of Compo, Clegg, Foggy and Nora Batty too. Their simple lives depicted in Last of the Summer Wine, the humour and humanity of the characters struck a chord with viewers by the millions. The Holme Valley was the backdrop to their adventures and has attracted tourists from around the world who visit to see for themselves 'Last of the Summer Wine' country.
Compo became the name and face of Last of The Summer Wine, which attracted some of Britains most talented actors. Bill Owen the London actor who played Compo, died in 1999. His grave can be found in Upperthong Church graveyard next to the marker for his friend Peter Sallis OBE (Of Wallace and Grommit fame) who played Clegg and who died in 2017.
After the death of Bill Owen in 1999 some £8,000 was collected to create a memorial to Compo. Compo had become 'the face' of the programme that broadcast the beauty of the Holme Valley to the world.
In 2003 a bronze statue of Compo was commissioned for £34,000, however this memorial never materialised. The fund for the memorial didn't achieve that target. Other proposals for a memorial came in the following years, but the realisation of a physical memorial in Holmfirth never came to pass. Eventually decisions were made to produce a memorial in local stone.
Despite the best effort of some in the local community, the people of the Holme Valley and those generous donors who contributed to the fund some 18 years ago, still await Compo's memorial.
The Good News Is...
...Compo's coming home! Currently hidden away from the public with only the company of stone in a local quarry, Compo's memorial will be arriving in the Holme Valley soon!
Details of where Compo's memorial can be viewed will be released to the public during 2021 and the people of the Holme Valley will be able to vote on and decide for themselves where Compo's memorial will take up permanent residence.
Ideas for where Compo's memorial should be permanently positioned would be welcome. If you have a view as to where Compo's memorial would be best placed, please email James with your idea:
Potential locations in the Holme Valley will be considered, but the people of the Holme Valley Parish will make the final decision on the location of Compo's memorial using the Kirklees Direct Democracy voting platform.