In 1978 the TV series hit our screens in the UK and was an instant success. The first three series ended and later, in 1988 I think, another four series were made.
Alf Wight, the vet who wrote the original book, became James Herriott; Askrigg in The Yorkshire Dales became the fictional Darrowby and Skeldale House, originally in Thirsk, was re-created in Askrigg.
Askrigg is just down the road from us - maybe five or six miles away. It was certainly put on the map by the series and has been visited by fans from all over the world. Situated in the very heart of Wensleydale it was really an unknown gem before television brought it to our screens. Then the whole of the dale became known as "Herriott country".
What is perhaps less well known is how the series came to be made in the first place.
Some years ago I went to a lecture given by the original producer of the series and he told us this story:-
He had to make a journey from London to Manchester by train. He was running late and as he reached the station he realised that he had forgotten his book for reading on the train, so he dashed to the platform bookshop, grabbed a copy of "All Creatures Great and Small" and caught his train.
By the time that train reached Manchester he had mapped out in his note book a series of programmes, so taken was he with the stories he had read.
I suppose most events hang by so tenuous a thread. What if he had remembered to bring his book - would we never have enjoyed the programmes, would they in fact never have been made?
But then, so many things hang on that same tenuous thread don't they? If I hadn't moved to this area then I wouldn't now be a farmer's wife writing this blog. If you had been called to the phone before you clicked on my link you wouldn't be reading this now. Of such small incidents is life made up!
The photograph, taken last week-end is of the house that was used as Skeldale House in Askrigg.