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Memories from Doris's Grandson

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Doris Hare's Daughter and Grandson remember their HOLIDAY ON THE BUSES

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Freelance photographer James Griffith was just eight years of age when his grandmother was filming the comedy film, Holiday on the Buses, at Pontin’s, in Prestatyn.

But he vividly remembers being taken to visit her on location at the holiday camp and the excitement of appearing in the film as an extra.

Back in 1973 when the film was made, the family, including Doris Hare, had moved to live in the Denbigh area.

James, now 39, recalled that he and his younger sister, Sophie, were taken by their mother on an outing to see their grandmother at work on set.

He said: "I remember coming across the old bridge in Rhuddlan and the police were there along with a motorbike and sidecar."

"We thought there’d been an accident but when we looked closer we realised my grandmother was sat in the sidecar."

"They were actually filming that famous scene where they bump on the bridge and the suitcases fly over the bridge and into the river."

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At a ceremony on Friday October 22 2004 the film will was honoured as part of the North Wales Film and Television Trail which was organised by the Wales Screen Commission.

And a delighted James was among the guests of honour when the plaque was unveiled at Pontin’s by the actor Stephen Lewis who played Blakey in the film and the television series, On the Buses, on which it was based.

Doris Hares Dughter and Granson
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"We then went down into Pontin’s for the day and they were there filming and my sister and I were actually extras."

"We were used in the background for some of the shots. I remember being in the swimming pool when they filmed the scene with Olive where her swimming bottoms come off and being on the open air bus and things."

Another fond memory from the time is a party for the cast at the family home – but it was also quite a bizarre experience.

He said: "I remember a big chauffeur driven white Rolls Royce turning up. They pulled into the middle of the farmyard and the actor Reg Varney was there dressed from head to toe in a pristine white suit and white shoes. It was very strange."

And James’ mother, Sue Griffith, added: "It was a wonderful party. Everybody came over and they were a lively crowd. People had their wives, husbands and partners with them."

She still marvels at how successful On the Buses and the spin-off films were.

She said: It was an immensely popular series. I used to see from the list of where the royalties came from that it was shown all over the world."

"My mother was once on holiday in Yugoslavia and suddenly this woman came rushing up to her. Apparently, it was the number one comedy show there!"

"My mother and Reg got on enormously well. They were great friends and he really liked working with her and she enjoyed doing On the Buses and said it was great fun."

According to Sue,her mother would have been delighted that the film was being commemorated as part of the Film Trail.

She added: "Were my mother still with us she would have been there like a shot – my mother would open or close anything."

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