THE YOUNG ONES, first televised and broadcast on BBC2 at 9pm on the 9th November 1982. November 2022 sees the 1980’s groundbreaking sitcom turn 40 years old.
Ruddy hell forty years ago, it seems like only yesterday I was sat enthralled on the living room carpet, staring at the little box in the corner of the living room wondering what on earth was going on in that mad crazy world of theirs. This captivating show was a big hit and turning point for me, an explosion of raw anarchy, snot and puerile silly humour that spoke to me in bucket loads, and I absolutely loved it. Having watched it repeatedly throughout my teenage years, dressed as Neil at school and lived in just as much squalor and filth as a student myself. This 40th anniversary year felt like a good moment to go and make a pilgrimage to The House and some of the other outside locations featured in the show.
I had visited the house before in the mid 90’s, but not the other locations – the bank, the launderette, zebra crossing and where on earth was the Kabab and Calculator? The wonderful thing about creating a website like this is connecting with other Rik fans. And one fan who I’ve known since I first started posting my scrapbook pictures on Instagram is Deian – see his story of Following the People’s Poet!
We would often chat and talk about doing a Young Ones locations tour, but life always seemed to get in the way, but this September it finally happened.
But wait, some research and careful planning had to be done first. Brilliant, this meant watching every episode of The Young Ones again! But also carefully looking and taking some stills of the outside scenes.
For those of you who don’t know, the outside filming for The Young Ones was shot in Bristol. Many of the locations are very nearby to each other which makes doing this tour so good. Diean happens to live near Bristol and like me had also visited the House before. So we both had a vague idea of where we were going. I was armed with photo stills from the show and he had google maps at the ready. We met for the very fist time at Bristol Temple Meads station, which of course is a good first location stop.
To the Station
It’s only really the outside of the station that is recognisable today. Most of the station interior has been modernised and remodelled. No photo booth or stall where you can stuff a cheese roll with clingfilm in your mouth. If you’re clever you may be able to work out where Mike stood, looked at his watch and spilt a drink all down himself!
The Fascist Pig Bank
From Temple Meads we walked to the Gloucester Road area.
Gloucester Road is where you will find a number of recognisable locations. It’s a good half hour walk from Temple Meads, but time for us flew by as we chatted and quoted many many lines from the show. The first iconic location you will spot is the Fascist Pig Bank, otherwise known as Bristol North Baths. Plus it also doubles up as the Police Station when Neil joins the force in Cash.
By the way, water pistols were in the back pack, just in case!
Look out for the special branch.
On the other-side of the road opposite the Bristol North Baths, you can see the shot used when Rick pulls up with the double decker bus in Summer Holiday.
We hadn’t chosen a very good day weather wise and heavy showers were forecast for most of it. So we stopped in a cafe opposite the bank when the heavens opened once again.
Now to find the laundrette. This is very nearby on Gloucester Road, although it does all look quite similar and working out which shop front was the laundrette is a little difficult. With help from the still I think we managed to get fairly close. Also along that stretch is the shop used when they try and make Neil join the Army.
The Kabab and Calculator
From Gloucester Road we walked to the Kabab and Calculator pub, in reality it’s called The Westbury Park Tavern and I believe at one time was also called The Cock of the North. Now this should have been a fairly easy walk, along Berkley Road, left at Clare Avenue, then right for Cranbrook Road and Linden Road, but by now we were quoting so much of the show that we got distracted and walked way past it in completely the wrong direction. Eventually we found the iconic round pub, located on Northumbria Drive opposite a Waitrose supermarket. It’s quite unrecognisable today. Now painted black and the door entrances have been altered with a big lattice fence put up around. It was a little strange to see. Look out! Here comes another shower, we were hungry, so this just had to be the best place to stop for lunch.
We were both pleased to see a little acknowledgement to The Young Ones in the form of a photo still from the show hung on the wall.
After our lovely lunch it was time to make our way to The House. We were saving the best till last! On route it’s fairly easy to find the zebra crossing featured in Boring when the gang march to the Kabab and Calculator.
From the pub, walk down Linden Road towards Coldharbour Lane where you will find the zebra crossing.
15 Credibility Street
Now to make our way to the House! So we headed back onto Linden Road and kept walking down the hill to Cranbrook Road, retracing the way we should have gone earlier. Then took left at Clare Avenue and then a right down Berkeley Road as far as Broadway. Here, we turned right and walked to Codrington Road where we found the student house. The house itself is on the corner of Codrington Road and Broadway on the left-hand side.
We spent a good while mooching the area and posing for photos. Opposite the house you can see the property that was used in Flood.
We didn’t find it, but somewhere along Broadway is a lock-up garage which the gang walked past in Cash and the road itself was used in Bambi when Neil runs back to the house to inform the others they were all to appear on University Challenge. As also is the scene in Bomb when Rick struts down the road in his camouflage gear. The wall and pavement have been altered but you can just imagine Rick strutting his stuff.
This Codrington Road sign is at the other end to the house. I always thought the phone box the Grannies vandalise was next to the student house but it isn’t, it’s at the opposite end.
Saving the best for last we finally spend a while at the house both our teenage selves longed to live in.
A little video of the day.
In the mid 1990’s I move into a student house. It was a large shared house, with bay windows and a central front door, it had enough bedrooms for six eclectic spotty students. It had a very small communal living area, complete with furniture we had rescued from a tidy bin. There was always dirty cup, plates and cigarette ash scattered all over the room. We had a TV, but like all students, no TV licence! Next to the living area was an adjoining tiny, dirty, squalid and repulsive kitchen, with piles of washing up always in the sink – to be honest I’m not entirely sure what I actually ate or lived on, as there was barely enough room to make yourself a cup of tea! The house had a central staircase with two split level landings – I could just imaging Rick falling down them, landing with a pile of rungs caught between his legs. It was constantly busy, there was always someone coming and going, the doorbell rang at all hours with people visiting or staying over… I was, to my great delight, living just like The Young Ones!
Whilst I was a student I became good friends with a girl from Bristol. One weekend she invited me back to her home city. I knew The Young Ones had been filmed in Bristol and I had managed to find out the name of the road the house was on – pre-internet, it was a case of pausing the right bit on my video tape! (Codrington Road) When I asked her if she knew it, she recognised the road immediately, turned out it was just a few minutes walk from her family home, which was where we would be staying. I remember walking down a road and approaching the house from the back, then turning the corner to see the famous frontage. It struck me how big the actual house is, the bay windows were enormous. I couldn’t leave without a photo, so I made my friend take a picture of me leaning on the wall…
Here is a useful website if you’d like to take a pilgrimage yourself. Plus we also used this link from the BBC:
BBC Bristol The Young Ones walk in Bristol
Have you visited the iconic house used in The Young Ones? Or been on the trail around Bristol to the other locations? Email in your pictures and story of your visit and you could be added to the scrapbook too!
The Young Ones on Blue-ray
Now available to pre-order and released on 28th November 2022.
Do not lean out of the window! Join Vyv, Rick, Neil, and Mike in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the iconic cult sitcom, THE YOUNG ONES. Released on Blu-ray for the very first time – so you can enjoy the squalor as never before. Including 10 new exclusive audio commentaries, featurettes and never-before-seen bonus material. From Scumbag College to the AEC Routemaster, this is the ultimate complete collection of this classic British comedy.
There was Mike, the suave, sensible one; Vyvyan, the psychotic punk-metal mohican; Neil, the lentil loving hippy and Rick, right-on anarchist revolutionary and Cliff Richard fan: four students – desperate for money, excitement, girls or just something to help fill the day – sharing a house. From this simple set up came an amazing speedball of comic caricature, slapstick, infantile humour, animation, musical performances, rants, violence, abuse and surreal jokes – leaving an impression as jaw-dropping as finding one of Vyvyan’s steel-capped boots through our television screens. The Young Ones brought the irreverence, anarchy and energy of the new alternative comedy movement to situation comedy – and it would never be the same again.
Bonus Features – 10 NEW COMMENTARIES FROM CAST AND CREW – NEVER SEEN BEFORE DELETED SCENES – REDISCOVERED RUSHES FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR – EXTENSIVE PHOTO GALLERY FEATURING THE ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE AND UNPUBLISHED IMAGES FROM THE PRODUCTION TEAM – RAW STUDIO FOOTAGE – A WORKPRINT EDIT OF ‘SICK’ – “FUNDAMENTAL FROLICS” FEATURING AN EARLY APPEARANCE FROM RIK – AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, BOTH EPISODES OF ‘BOOM BOOM… OUT GO THE LIGHTS’, INTRODUCED BY THE PRODUCER WHO PUT ALTERNATIVE COMEDY ON THE TELLY – ALSO INCLUDING: ‘ALTERNATIVE REBELLION’, ‘THE MAKING OF THE YOUNG ONES’ AND ‘THE GUEST STARS OF THE YOUNG ONES’ FEATURETTES
STARRING: ADRIAN EDMONDSON, RIK MAYALL, NIGEL PLANER, CHRISTOPHER RYAN AND ALEXEI SAYLE
PRODUCED BY: PAUL JACKSON DIRECTED BY: GEOFF POSNER, PAUL JACKSON
WRITTEN BY: BEN ELTON, RIK MAYALL, LISE MAYER WITH ADDITIONAL MATERIAL BY ALEXEI SAYLE
Disclaimer – These episodes have been restored and remastered using the existing film where available, with any standard definition content upscaled during this process. The special features in this release are a mixture of standard and high definition. Due to the age of the original materials, the technical quality of the extras may vary in places.
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