In that post (here) I mention that I had turned my attention to David Stuart Davies' Bending the Willow. A perfect companion book to this is The Television Sherlock Holmes by Peter Haining. It makes sense to jump from one to the other. Haining's book focuses, as its cover implies, on the Granada series and contains many interesting tit-bits.
One I came across last night was especially fascinating. Granada naturally had to hire in horses to pull carts, cabs etc in the various episodes. In the book it states that in almost all cases the horse handlers who accompanied the horses to the sets were women. As a result the majority of the cabbies and other cart drivers seen in the series are played by the horse handlers themselves. Many of these women had to endure stick on moustaches in order that they would not be seen as women on screen (no female cabbies back then as far as I know). For close ups male actors were clearly brought in with the handler remaining (presumably) just out of shot for the horse's reassurance.
It's nice to know that an integral part of the production (where would Sherlock Holmes be without horses) was held together by these ladies but it's a shame we don't have their names.
Perhaps we need to scour the credits to bring them out of the shadows?
Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here