The ‘television experiment’ village an hour’s drive from Manchester

Sleepy, small and surprising are the words you would use to describe Waddington.

Just over an hour’s drive from Manchester city centre, the Lancashire settlement is certainly modest in size: just 1,000 people call it home. This is also what leads to his quiet nature.

But what is surprising about Waddington is what happened here just over 30 years ago, reports Lancs Live. A mysterious sign inside a wooden frame attached to a lamppost reads: “Waddington, The Television Village, 1990”. It tells the touching story of the fame of this small village in Ribble Valley.

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Waddington took part in a ‘television experiment’ which saw the production of the now defunct Granada TV, and carried out the one-hour broadcast each evening, direct from the studio in the village hall.

The goal was to create “hyper-local” programs, with local presenters anchored in the shows, with guest appearances from residents including the vicar, a Saturday morning children’s segment, and music from lounge singers from hairdressing. This was before the multi-channel format we have today, and was the first chance for residents to experience it and as a result Waddington Village TV was a huge success.

Waddington is clearly still proud of its time in the spotlight and it’s not the only time this village, which occupies the enviable position of straddling both the Ribble Valley and Forest of Bowland (AONB), two very prized by Lancashire dwell.

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