BBC Radio 4 countryside magazine programme Down Country visits Thirsk next month for a special edition focusing on one of the town’s most famous former residents.

In an edition titled “Herriot Country”, to be broadcast on 18 July at 3pm, the popular show will feature the life and legacy of James Herriot.

Herriot’s books about life as a country vet sold 60 million copies worldwide. Later many of the stories were made into feature films and a very popular TV series, ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Herriot’s real name was James ‘Alf’ White, and he was known as ‘Alf by local people in Thirsk, where he worked.

On next month’s broadcast, Felicity Evans visits “Herriot Country” to meet Alf Wight’s son, Jim, and talk about his father, the changes there have been in veterinary practice since the 1940s and the legacy ‘James Herriot’ left both the town and the local farming community.

The farming industry has also changed since Alf White’s time and Felicity visits John Bowes and his son Jonathan, one of the few remaining dairy farmers now left in the area who remember Alf White’s visits.

She also meets the town’s mayor, Janet Watson, who talks of the “Herriot effect” on business in the town and visits a local vet, Peter Wright, to hear how the practice has changed from dealing with large farm animals to small animals.

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