The real Flora
Flora Thompson (nee Timms) based the character of Laura Timmins in part on herself. She was born in 1876 and grew up in Juniper Hill, near Brackley. She left school at 14 and travelled to nearby Fringford to work in the post office – just like Laura. Flora later married and moved to Bournemouth and then Devon. She died aged 70.
The Two Emmas
Laura’s mother was in part based on Flora’s own mother, Emma. Both Emma’s couldn’t understand why their daughter didn’t care for children and were obsessed with books. Emma Timms also expected her daughter to become a nursemaid, as that was one of the few jobs available to young women, at the time.
Flora and fauna
Flora’s youngest brother Edwin was the inspiration for Laura’s brother Edmund. He too was thought an odd child and was obsessed with nature. Fearing he would be bullied, Flora would walk him to school. He later became a farm labourer and then a soldier. He was killed at the Somme in 1916.
From Wiltshire to Gloucestershire
The series was a massive undertaking for the BBC, with the villages of both Lark Rise and Candleford created specifically for the programme on farmland in near Corsham in Wiltshire. The Interior scenes were shot in a warehouse on an industrial estate, in Yate, South Gloucestershire. Chavenage House in Gloucestershire doubled as the manor house.
Rise and fall
Lark Rise to Candleford ran for four series, airing on BBC One from 2008. Despite impressive ratings and praise from the critics, the series was shelved in 2011.