Last of the Summer Wine (1973–2010)
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Variations on a Theme of the Widow Winstanley 

Feeling too old for a bicycle, Howard purchases a "secret" car. Barry is having a spiritual crisis.


Alan J.W. Bell


Roy Clarke (by)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sallis ... Clegg
Frank Thornton ... Truly
Kathy Staff ... Nora Batty
Keith Clifford ... Billy
Brian Murphy ... Alvin
Norman Wisdom ... Billy Ingleton
Jane Freeman ... Ivy
Burt Kwouk ... Entwistle
Jean Alexander ... Auntie Wainwright
Juliette Kaplan ... Pearl
Robert Fyfe ... Howard
Jean Fergusson ... Marina
Stephen Lewis ... Smiler
Tom Owen ... Tom
Josephine Tewson ... Miss Davenport


Feeling too old for a bicycle, Howard purchases a "secret" car. Barry is having a spiritual crisis.

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Release Date:

19 December 2004 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Performed by Frank Thornton, Keith Clifford, and Brian Murphy
See more »

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User Reviews

Variations on a Theme of the Widow Winstanley
6 March 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Looking at this episode some years after its initial broadcast, it seems rather obvious that the ones made after Compo died deteriorated in quality.

Sadly it is obvious now that some of the cast have got older and look it. Marina is much more frumpier and looks far less glamorous yet still has to doll up like a young lady. The episode does not stand up to much scrutiny coming across like a series of sketches.

This was the 2004 Christmas special, unusually it was filmed in winter as there are remnants of ice and snow about. Our group are walking on the moors and it is clear to see they are freezing.

I know what Peter Sallis is thinking. Why could they not film this in July?

Clegg is reminiscing about a girl from school with blonde pigtails who liked licorice. Ivy and Nora figure that she is now the Widow Winstanley. Truly, Alvin, and Billy Hardcastle set up the widow to come and have tea with Clegg.

When she comes knocking, Clegg rushes off to a poetry recital at the library dressed as Father Christmas where Billy Ingleton gives a little ditty to those present.

Smiler and Tom are victims of Auntie Wainwright's selective hearing. They are off to retrieve a mahogany bedroom set but Entwistle's truck breaks down. Entwistle ropes in Teasdale to help fix the truck on account that getting his mind off golf will improve his game against Barry.

Sad to say the show if off the boil now, this was Norman Wisdom's last appearance as Billy.

After the end of the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, Louis Emerick returns as PC Walsh after 15 years and the death of actor Tony Capstick who had replaced him.

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