Central TV series 'Boon' 1989. Looking for location 'Woodcote Park'


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If it's of any use to you there is a Barnby Gate Methodist Church in Newark , I used to go there as a youngster to visit freinds who went to that church

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From Martin Underwood who runs the Boon appreciation website.

You are a star! That is an excellent find! I've compared my screen grabs against the aerial photos on Google Maps and this confirms that the stables and adjacent swimming pool are definitely that same, and the house itself is probably the same - if there was a side or oblique view of the house, that would clinch it.

I'll add that location to the site. Would you like me to credit the find to you?

Martin

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A good response from Martin Underwood.

Barnby Manor is definately 'Woodcote Park'.We were lucky to see the two chaps in the Land Rover who came from the house and to have them confirm it from my photos taken from Boon and also by the fact they were aware that Boon was filmed there.

Like Rog has already posted ,when the leaves have fallen it will be possible to see the house from the edge of the property on the road to Barnby in the Willows.

You can just about glimpse the house from the gates shown in plantfits photo and the distinctive gas lamps are still present.(I didn't like to hang around the gates too long as the gate lodge is occupied).Tree growth around the house and grounds has been considerable in twenty years although some of the large Pine trees in the gardens seem to have gone.

Had a quick look along the A17 towards Beckingham to see if there were any views of the house but it is well hidden behind the trees.

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Come on then Avocet how about one that you know the answer to and one more for us to reserch (That way you will keep us all interested as we try to guess both locations)

Incedentally I saw you mention that Neil Morrisey is filmed leaving Woodcoate on a motorbike, as when I signed him up to the RAC , down the road at Grantham services, he was riding a motorbike at the time. He could have been taking it home for the weekend !!

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I did a little further digging and came up with the following about Barnby Manor.

Barnby Manor has about 1200 acres of park and arable land and at the time that they were shooting Boon the "lord of the manor" was a chap called Arthur Snipe. A man with a remarkable rags to riches story.

Arthur went down the pit as a 14 year old just before the outbreak of WW2. As a Yorkshire collier Arthur was determined to improve his prospects so at the end of his shift underground he attended engineering classes at the local night school.

This brought him to the attention of an engineering company who sent him to university where he followed a three year degree course in just six months in the hope that some of his learning "stuck".

The plan worked because Arthur invented a coal cutting device which he patented. It revolutionised mining methods and made him a multi-millionaire with his company, Mining Supplies of Doncaster, employing 6,500 staff.

Arthur was involved in some controversial industrial relations towards the end of the 1970s and early 1980s his affairs were even debated in Parliament and attracted the attention of campaigning journalist Paul Foot. He retired from business life in the middle 80s and subsequently devoted his life to farming and breeding horses.

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Bamber,

You are definately a mine of information !.It is really interesting to find out so much of the background and history of Barnby Manor,it makes it more than just a grand house hidden in the trees !.

I have just started a new Boon location thread in 80's Nottingham ,this first one should be fairly easy but I have some more elusive ones once I have put the photos through the imaging program to make them suitable to put online.

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It all finished rather tragically in 2001.

A self-made millionaire and adoptive father of two has been found shot dead at his luxury mansion.

The body of Arthur Snipe, was discovered last week by his wife, Patricia, in a greenhouse at Barnby Manor, Barnby-in-the-Willows, in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Snipe, 76, a former miner, who made his fortune after he invented a revolutionary coal-cutting device which was used in mines worldwide, had a single head wound. Police are not looking for anyone else.

Mrs Snipe, was being comforted by friends and relatives, including daughter Adrienne, 52, and adopted son Timothy, 34. They were said to be "deeply upset".

The couple suffered heartache about two years ago when adopted son Andrew, then 31, blew a £200,000 trust fund and stole £30,000 of property from the family to feed a heroin habit. He was jailed for two years at Nottingham Crown Court.

Nottinghamshire coroner Dr Nigel Chapman is due to open an inquest into Mr Snipe's death today.

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More on Arthur's Entebbe style helicopter raid:

For months striking workers held six complex electric motors, worth $3.7 million, inside the sooty brick factory of Laurence Scott & Electromotors in Manchester, England. The machines, including two ordered by the British Admiralty for installation in NATO submarines, were awaiting shipment 28 weeks ago, when the firm's 650 workers began a sit-in after management announced that the entire work force of the ailing firm, which was losing $150,000 a week, was being laid off and the plant shut down. Despite repeated pleas from company officials, strikers refused to surrender the motors. As the weeks dragged on, the protesters exchanged their sit-in for angry picketing outside the plant gate. With negotiations at a stalemate, company officials last week successfully used a unique tactic for solving the labor-management dispute.

At 9:15 one morning, 100 policemen surrounded the factory, which sits amid the Victorian terrace houses of Manchester's Openshaw district. Officers calmly asked the workers to move away from the factory gates and the 15-ft. wall surrounding the compound. Slowly the picketers obeyed, glaring at police during a tense half-hour.

Suddenly, two chartered helicopters flew down from out of the blue to land behind the factory walls. Out of the choppers came a team of hired commandos in blue uniforms and white gloves, their heads covered by black balaclava helmets. "It was like a scene from a Hollywood jailbreak movie," recalled flabbergasted Union Convener Dennis Barry. As picketers climbed garbage cans to peer over the wall in amazement, the commandos dashed inside the factory, carried the six motors outside on pushcarts and flew off with them in the blue-and-white Bell Jet-Ranger III helicopters.

Predictably, the strikers were outraged, calling the raid "an Entebbe-style operation with eight helmeted and masked scabs aboard." In a postraid broadside, the shop stewards' committee warned that other companies might employ similar commando raids against their workers. Said the stewards: "The lesson is that no matter how successful your picket, this method will be used to break strikes, break unions and send us all back to the 1930s."

In the House of Commons, Charles Morris, Openshaw's Labor M.P., blasted the raid, which was conducted with the cooperation of local police and air-traffic controllers, as too hazardous for the local citizenry. Said he: "I am most concerned about an operation which could have endangered lives. The use of helicopters in an industrial dispute is unprecedented."

After the raid, the British government claimed that it was clean. Said a spokesman for the naval yard that had ordered the machinery: "We were certainly not involved in this James Bond escapade. The motors were overdue, but we were not pressing the firm for delivery. We have no idea who did it." A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense added, "We didn't know anything like this was planned."

Millionaire Arthur Snipe, chairman of Scott's parent company, Mining Supplies of Doncaster, was more informative. He admitted that he had chartered the helicopters and ordered the raid. Said he: "We tried every peaceable means, but some of these picketers did everything they could to stop us. They are not strikers from the factory; they are flying pickets, anarchists drafted in from outside the area. We have to show these bullies and anarchists that our group of companies is determined to survive." Meanwhile, Snipe is not telling where the motors are now stashed.

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A tragic end for an interesting personality,even if a lot of people may disagree with his actions over the years.I wonder if this suicide was a reason that some people who actually knew that Barnby Manor was Woodcote Park were reticent to let on,perhaps thinking that we had darker motives for knowing it's location ?.

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The Evening Post's TV correspondent of the time, John Bolt, interviewed Arthur when the cameras came to Barnby Manor. Some of his comments were eerily perspicacious:

[Q] "The house thrives on people," he says "It can get a very lonely place." And that is probably one of the reasons why he has virtually allowed his entire estate to be taken over by Central TV ... for the new series of Boon.

A shy man - he declines to be photographed and only seems really at ease talking about the mining industry or his horses - he knows his success is viewed in some quarters with either suspicion or envy. And that's why he describes Barnby Manor, for all its benefits and luxuries, as a lonely place.

"This house can accomodate a lot of people." (he says]) For the moment, it's doing precisely that. But before long another series will be in the can and Mr Snipe can busy himself once again with his horses.[/Q]]

One word word comes to mind: Rosebud.

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More fantastic info Bamber.It's amazing how my simple quest for the location of Woodcote is opening out into such an interesting story.Mr Snipe was a obviously very lonely and must have enjoyed the people and the activity during the filming of Boon only to return to his loneliness again afterwards.Being suspicious of people's attitudes towards him he must have felt Barnby Manor was a good place to be because of it's seclusion,despite being perhaps only 200 yds from the A17 and a couple of miles away from Newark it could be a hundred miles away from the nearest civilisation.The Manor seems to have an air of sadness about it to me now.

I wonder if the Manor is even occupied at the moment ? and if it is still in the ownership of the Snipe family ?.

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Cracking bit of info there Bamber, I don't think the local post mistress can add to that but I will keep my ears open just in case there's a bit of juicy gossip

Rog

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Yes plantfit,any local gossip would be very interesting !.The locals usually have a lot to say about the 'lord of the manor'.I have recently heard some quite shocking tales about a certain member of the House of Lords who resides just six miles from where I live.

I tried to obtain the title deeds to Barnby Manor from the LR but was unable to,I think it is because I am using Firefox

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ayup Avocet,

Just drove past Barnby Manor hoping to get a picture for you, still a lot of leaves on the trees so a bit difficult at the moment, the only place you can see the manor from is the left side of the gate house on the lane and that is a good view, It would look a bit suspicious if I stopped my truck on the grass verge there but less so on my bike so as soon as weather permits I will be back for your picture

Rog

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