Save Noddy! The Donkeys of Skegness Fall on Hard Times

Strike fans on Twitter have a vicarious front-row seat to the TV filming of Troubled Blood in Skegness, thanks to @CormStrikeFan, who has followed the cast and crew to the coast and is reporting on what he can see of the filming. Check out the Twitter link above to see some amazing pictures, including the actor cast as Steve Douthwaite, the inn cast as the Allerdice, and the car cast as the Ellacott Family Land Rover. To me, the most intriguing bit is that the hotel was decked out with Christmas swag, suggesting a major change in the timeline of the novel. This is in accordance with what happened in both the Career of Evil and Lethal White adaptations.

Skegness is near the top of the list of Strike sites I would most like to visit, ranking right up there with Masham, St. Mawes and the White Horse of Uffington. I was curious about the donkeys Robin remembered from her childhood, and, searching the web, I learned that the century-old tradition was almost a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, then nearly forced out of business by a robbery. Happily, supporters have pitched in to help the business, and a hand-reared foal has become somewhat of a celebrity, and a symbol of the business’s struggle to survive.

I think Robin would be pleased. By my calculations, little Annabel should be about 8 1/2 this summer; prime donkey-riding age. Hopefully, the beasties will make it through the lean winter season and Auntie Robin will get to take her on a weekend outing once warmer weather arrives. And, just maybe there’s an Uncle Cormoran traveling companion by now. In the meantime, they are still taking donations.

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