9th October 1988

Howards’ Way came to Guernsey

The development of a marina on Guernsey provided a major pilot thread for the fourth series of the BBC’s boat-based soap opera, Howards’ Way. The potential development had been mentioned several times already, but episode six was when it really took centre stage.

In that episode, lead characters Charles Frere and Avril Rolf travelled to the island to inspect the site. The episode was broadcast on 9 October 1988.

Somewhat confusingly, the marina was being developed under the name Langcrest, which was just about close enough to L’Ancresse to sound like it could be a real development on Guernsey.

All sorts of characters were trying to get their hands on the marina – from lovable rogue Ken Masters, to business high-flier Charles Frere. Even Edward, Charles’ estranged father, was trying to snare it.

The producers made the most of their budget, filming several threads in Guernsey. A sub-plot was developing, concerning itself with counterfeit dresses being sold in St Peter Port. These were being passed off as originals designed by Anna Lee for Jan Howard.

Multiple storylines

At the same time, Relton Marine, one of the series’ fictional boat-building companies, won the Guernsey Gold Cup powerboat race. The producers made use of the Guernsey World Powerboat Championships as a stand-in for the Guernsey Gold Cup race, which provided them with their series-finale cliffhanger. Leo Howard, the son of the Howard family, had been taking part in the race. He and Ken Masters collided, and while Leo’s co-pilot was killed, Leo was rushed to hospital unconscious.

According to the BBC, Howards’ Way was responsible for bringing flying boats back to Guernsey’s waters after several years’ absence.

Lead actor Maurice Colborne, who played Tom Howard, had been expected in Guernsey in 1989 to start work on the penultimate series. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. He died of a heart attack a few days before his expected arrival while renovating his French holiday home. He was 49 and had suffered a heart attack.

As a result, the BBC brought the series to a close one year early. It shortened the storyline and filmed sufficient episodes to tie off any loose ends before calling it a day.


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Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st