June 5, 2009

We begin this story with a liltingly phrased musical clue: dah, da-da-dah, dah-dah, dah-dah-dah, dah-da-da-dah, dah-dah. No? Oh, come on, it’s the Harry Potter theme. Surely that’s obvious!

Goathland (pop. 407) (height above sea level 500ft) (pronounced with no regard to the h) has served as the backdrop to many cinematic oeuvres over the years ‚ and to an even greater number of tourists, bikers and raggedy black-faced big-horned sheep.

Its picturesque station, along the North York Moors Steam Railway line that links Whitby and Pickering, doubles as Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.

The entire village played the part of Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series. But Heartbeat is not a film (arguably it’s not much of a TV series either), so we are concentrating on the Potter angle for the purposes of Monkey Moviestars, Bankstone’s cinematically themed monkeybiking charity fundraisers next month.

Over the weekend of the 11th and 12th July, a convoy of around a dozen monkey bikes will be setting off from the Bankstone offices in Brighouse to visit the locations of 10 well known films around Yorkshire.

There will be six stops on the Saturday including an overnight stop in Whitby and then four more sites on Sunday finishing back in Brighouse.

The sites are:

• The Piece Hall, Halifax‚ Brassed Off
• Cow and Calf Rocks, Ilkley‚ Calendar Girls
• Aysgarth Falls, Aysgarth‚ Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
• The Golden Lion, Northallerton‚ The Way to the Stars
• The World of James Herriot Museum, Thirsk‚ All Creatures Great and Small
• Goathland Station, Goathland‚ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
• Whitby Abbey, Whitby‚ Dracula
• The Coffee Bean Cafè, Scarborough‚ Little Voice
• Castle Howard, Near Norton, York‚ Brideshead Revisited
• Leeds United Stadium, Elland Road, Leeds‚ The Damned United

At each stop, the monkey bikers will be recreating a scene from the film concerned in costume.

If you would like to support this insane quest‚ and why would you not‚ visit www.justgiving.com/monkeymoviestars where you can also see a video of last year’s event and, of course, make a generous donation.

It’s all in support of a great cause. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies solely on the generosity of individuals and sponsors to help save lives across the region. It costs £7,200 a day to keep its two helicopters and highly trained paramedics in the air. Since the service was launched in October 2000 it has flown over 2,200 patients to hospitals across the region and saved many lives.


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