Turning a crisis into a drama : The "Casualty" crew at work in Archer Road Penarth.

Turning a crisis into a drama : The “Casualty” crew at work in Archer Road Penarth.

The long-running BBC medical drama series “Casualty” has been back in Penarth filming on Archer Road and Sully Place – just off the Railway Path.

In this episode  the “casualty” is in a critical condition but has been safely picked-up by the paramedics and is comfortably ensconsced in the rear of the famous Holby City ambulance – a vehicle as familiar to Penarthians as real NHS ambulances.

Archer Road had "Stop/Go" road signs in place during filming

Archer Road had “Stop/Go” road signs in place during filming

Everything is going swimmingly well until the ambulance turns into Archer Road and then suddenly  the trusty vehicle – which has played such a reliable part in the saving scores of fictional lives – splutters to a halt at the kerbside…. and the engine dies.

As the ambulance expires , the patient in the back is also found to be in imminent danger of following suit  – and takes a turn for the worse .

…For the ambulance crew, it’s just the worst possible time to have run out of diesel.

Running for help , the "ambulance driver" slows to make the sharp U turn into Sully Place

Running for help , the “ambulance driver” slows to make the sharp U turn into Sully Place

The driver gets out and sprints down the road and down into Sully Place to get help –  or fuel –  or both . Whether he succeeds or not we won’t know until the completed episode hits the screens in about six months from now.

The Casualty production unit is a well-drilled team which shoots its programmes with considerable efficiency, but even so, it took the crew – with two cameras rolling simultaneously –  some three hours to get this 15-second sequence in the can.

Casualty is a regular – and welcome – visitor to the streets of Penarth . The producers pick the town because of the huge variety of locations it offers in a relatively compact area within easy travelling distance of the programme’s production centre in Cardiff.

[Note to production crew: The nearest available diesel is at Tesco at 99.9p per litre .]

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  1. Philip Rapier says:

    Casualty is a most “unwelcome” visitor to the streets of Penarth. in the opinion of most Wales based persons who depend on the Creative Industries for a living. The only outbreak at Roath Lock worth mentioning is one of a “Parasite” in the form of a BBC Policy known as “Lift and Shift”** which leeches off the Welsh Economy. *** i.e.Lift the the money in Wales and Shift the real benefits to London
    The Welsh Government and Cardiff Council are subsidising Roath Lock and Casualty using your TAXES and LICENSE FEE to the tune of Millions of Pounds. The scam works like this. There are three criteria FOR “Branding” a programme “BBC Wales” but you only have to fulfil one of them.

    Holby City (which conveniently is supposed to be upstairs) is filmed in London It employs at least 25% more Actors. The BBC refuse to audition any Actors for either programme in all the jobs go to non Wales based personnel. (location NOT JOBS is obviosly is the criteria met)

    The next time you see the most unwelcome “Holby City Casualty Ambulance” please spare a thought for the son,daughter, friend or relatives child you are so proud of for having the courage to use their talent in “The Arts”.and go to Stage School.
    The BBC and their overpaid fat cat Executives are deliberately stealing their jobs to save money at Welsh License Payers Expense.
    The truly heartbreaking thing is it can all be so easily put right without any harm to Welsh Language Programming in fact if the “scam” is stopped we would have more money all round for all of us..

    • Penarthal says:

      Licence not license.

    • Charlie Fairhead says:

      Earth calling the planet Rappier?
      What you have just spent so long just writing, is complete and utter rubbish, apart from the spelling/grammar howler, which made a few around here laugh!

      • Philip Rapier says:

        Even Blog Pedantry is more fun than a Casualty script and probably takes longer to write.

        (N.B. there is no Planet R other than in that other Lift and Shift rip off Dr. Who )

        Forsooth I wager “that” not “which” made a few round here laugh too. Just as the BBC feel “that “they have license to take “that which” BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and BBC Midlands Licence Payers’ have involuntarily paid for so that fat cat executives may laugh all the way to the Bank.
        Verily I wager “that” not “which” “complete and utter rubbish” made a few round here laugh too.
        Fortunately both the present Director General of the BBC and the Culture Secretary agree with the Welsh Governments’ complaints about the scandal of “lift and shift” and the gravy train will soon end post Charter renewal.

        Bact to Pedantry is more fun than Casualty! (sub headline no grammatical protocol )
        In this case in fact that is (not which is) not difficult as most things are more fun.Many thanks for the laugh. (idiomatic adjectival phrase please correct grammar for me where it is necessary)

        Allow (not “let”) me to explain.

        In linguistics, syntax (/ˈsɪnˌtæks/- Phonetics) is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, specifically word order. The term syntax is also used to refer to the study of such principles and processes.
        e.g. ( Latin and acceptable idiom)

        “That which” I had recently spent writing extensively therefore would have been better used for grammatical purposes.
        Nor had I “just spent ” anything “long” ” just” or otherwise. I wrote my post at 10.46 to suggest it was just to indicate time some four hours later was to utilise the word out of context. Nor are my assertions “just” in legal terms. They are merely opinion backed up by intimate knowledge of the internal accounting machinations of the British Broadcasting Corporation supplied to me by my non-disclosable sources.
        A Corporation “that” openly steals the livelihood of Wales resident performers and which spends most of our English Language Budget in England on Executive Salary.( A News Reader may be earning up to £250.000 p.a.. according to recent Freedom of Information Requests.)

        Pedantry continued.

        Nevertheless it is a widely accepted ” idiomatic writing technique” in hastily written text for blogging that non- grammatical adjectival phrases may be utilised such as

        “complete and utter rubbish”.

        This is incorrect syntax as in this context both words mean exactly the same thing
        However I must not digress. The purpose of a blog post is to present eviden(s)***ce to the contrary as it is lacking I will draw my own conclusions. ( ***optional (s) inserted to provide humour only)

  2. whatsoccurin says:

    the remarkable thing is that in Casualty an accident occurs, by-standers ring an ambulance and it turns up within a few minutes-no 5 hour waits like that lady who had a fall in Grangetown, no ambulance staff saying that they are marooned outside Holby A and E in a queue-the programme has been a much respected Saturday night fixture for years but it does now seem a little unrealistic and jaded.

    • A local Penarth Resident says:

      You are forgetting that Holby City is run by professionals.
      They have a great local council and health spending is 100%
      What we have in Wales is Labour “miss-management” and no money for anything except party hangers on!

  3. Colin says:

    If shipping increases, we have not much of a dock system left? Studios over at Cardiff, houses and #becauseitseaster at Barry, more houses and 300,000 tonnes of infill at Penarth. What does Holby portray? Define …

  4. Ceri says:

    I’m not sure what to make of Mr Rapier’s outburst. It’s evident there is a political agenda at play but some of his claims are either genuinely misinformed or wilfully misleading. I shall be charitable and assume the former.
    I’d like to offer a different view of what it means for the local creative industry to have Casualty and Doctor Who on our doorstep. This is based on personal experience of the industry, which I’m assuming Mr Rapier is not familiar with.

    First, in response to the claim that ‘Fat Cat executives’ are stealing the jobs of welsh performers… Whilst the actors on Casualty may not all have broad welsh accents (which would be odd as the show is set in a fictional town supposedly in Bristol) there are a great of welsh actors who are employed on the show. It’s correct that casting has its own eccentricities but any decent welsh actor has a London based agent so it’s simply not true that they are somehow not allowed to be cast.
    Second, and the main point I wish to make, is that both shows actually employ a huge number of local creatives who work from the bustling studio in Cardiff Bay. As a Penarth-based welsh family who do indeed “depend on the creative industry for a living” we are very grateful for the presence of these shown in Wales and we personally know lots of others who feel the same way.

    As anyone who’s taken any notice of programme credits will be aware, there are an enormous number of people involved in creating a TV show whose faces do not end up on screen. Casualty and Doctor Who are ‘Made in Wales’ in a very literal sense. It’s thanks to these shows that our household and many others locally are able to put food on the table, pay their Vale of Glamorgan council tax, support local charities, eat and drink in Penarth cafes and restaurants, buy items from local independent traders, and support local events. In addition, these shows, particularly Doctor Who, have contributed to a thriving TV tourism industry which has also created local jobs and boosted the economy. Who hasn’t been at Cardiff Bay watching the excited crowds being lead around filming locations?

    Also these shows are sold all over the world. Apart from the fact that this generates income to support future programming it means that the words ‘BBC WALES’ and ‘filmed on location in Wales’ are beamed into the living rooms of millions upon millions of people worldwide. I for one am very proud of this fact.

    The writing may not be to your taste, Mr Rapier, but suggesting that these particular shows are detrimental to the local creative industry is, frankly, bizarre. The exact opposite is true. I am familiar with the controversy around so-called “lift & shift” practices and also have concerns; however that’s a different argument for a different time. Attacking shows such as Casualty and Doctor Who that genuinely contribute to the welsh economy and creative industry seems perverse. It also feels like a criticism of the many welsh people who work for them and rely on them for their living.

    As far as filming on the streets of Penarth is concerned, I will continue to look forward to seeing the cast and crew working here. It contributes to a lovely sense of civic pride and enthusiasm that Penarth is featured on screen.Someone would have to be a real kill-joy to object to that!

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