School’s links to Scrooge entice the television cameras

Arthur Smith spent the night in Stoke College's stable block during filming for The One Show. ANL-151012-172129001

Both staff and pupils had a rather different day at school recently when the BBC’s The One Show popped in to hear about its links to one of Charles Dickens most famous characters.

Stoke College, a day and boarding school in Stoke by Clare, played host to the Beeb’s television cameras on Friday, December 4, with presenter Arthur Smith spending the night in rather unusual surroundings.

The show came along to find out more about the school’s link to Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ character Ebenezer Scrooge.

Steeped in rich local history, the school premises stand on the banks of the River Stour in acres of stunning grounds.

The One Show filmed at the school for two days with actor and comedian Arthur Smith, who regularly contributes light-hearted historical pieces to the show where he sleeps over in the former home of a well-known character, staying the night.

In the run up to Christmas The One Show will be looking at the life and home of John Elwes, the inspiration for Dickens’ Scrooge.

Stoke College was previously owned by the Elwes Family. The family bought the site around 1660 and they created the surviving main house and the stables.

The Elwes family did not always keep the buildings in fine style and John Elwes was allegedly so mean that he served as Dickens’ model for Ebenezer Scrooge.

Smith was allowed to eat with pupils and staff, before being forced to spend the night in the stable block - all part of the show.

While at the school Smith interviewed former pupil and local historian Tom McKenny.

The programme is due to be aired on today’s episode which starts at 7pm on BBC1.

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