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Harry Oakes

Harry Oakes as Dan Archer
 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Bunwell and the Archers Connection

    
 
 The Potteries-born actor Harry Oakes was the first of four actors who played the popular character of Dan Archer in the long-running radio serial 'The Archers' from 1950. He was apparently the highest paid actor when the serial started, earning the grand sum of £12 per week


   

 On 11th June 1953 Harry Oakes opened the Bunwell Village Fete, which in those days was held in the meadow behind Villa Farm off the Turnpike Road.  A souvenir of this event is the signed photograph 'Harry Oakes/Dan Archer' - though the signature has faded over the years.
  Bunwell Village Fete was always a popular village attraction, hosted at The Villa by Frank Easton and his wife. 

 

There were swinging boats, an ice cream tent, the refreshment marquee and Peter Easton's airgun rifle range.   The bingo prizes included cigarettes that were given without question to any child that won, as I can confirm.  They were subsequently handed over to my father.  Father, the late Percy Day, was in charge of the dartboard where the highest scoring lady or gentleman received a prize at the end of the day.  On the lawns of the house 'Bowling for the Pig' was a must for the men of the village.

 

Some three years later, on 14th July 1956, Bunwell Village Fete was again opened by an Archer; this time it was Harry's stage daughter Christine, played by Lesley Saweard, 

 

 

Peter Day