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The skeleton ?

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The skeleton ?

Postby Archie » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:34 pm

Where did the props department get the skeleton and the skull that sat on Harolds desk?.
Was it from a medical supplier I wonder apparently most of the skeletons used in medical schools came from India.
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Postby Dirty Old Yank » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:22 pm

Sorry to resurrect this topic, but if I had my choice of Steptoe set souvenirs, it would be one of the skeletons*. It was such a prominent feature it became a character unto itself and even found it's way into the Ajax ads. Researching the subject online is difficult, theres thousands of pages, but here's what I could dig up. Hope I'm not off tack.
It appears multiple skeletons were used, bone structure/remaining teeth changed more than once. And they were almost certainly real. Full sized plastic medical skeletons weren't developed (in the US anyway) until the 1970s and the genuine article was less expensive. Most human skeletons were imported from India for half a century (international treaty?) until they banned the export of human remains in 1985. But, tragically, there continues to be a lucrative black market for skulls/skeletons, grave robbing still appears in Indian newspapers to this day. Folks in the West that donate their bodies to science/transplant are typically dissected and the bones destroyed.
So, short of a statement from BBC or a props manager, we can surmise where the Steptoe skeletons came from. It may have been legal, they might have been on loan from a college...but they didn't come from a hobby shop.
* the tuba or Albert's bagpipes run a close second.
...also sorry for the terrible puns :oops:
Last edited by Dirty Old Yank on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Archie » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:54 pm

Strangely enough I recently read an article about medical skeletons coming from India, when I was a boy they used to be for sale in the 'Exchange & Mart' a weekly advertisement magazine.

I wouldn't fancy having a skeleton or skull in the house....too scared of ghosts :shock:
Eeh I wanna see the Nudes of 1964
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Postby Karl » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:50 pm

What about half a dozen wooden overcoats Archie? :lol: :lol:

seriously, have you ever seen a ghost? i've seen a couple of strange things,i can't explain 'em to this day.
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Postby Archie » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:50 pm

A few years ago I lived in a flat, one afternoon I was in the kitchen turned around and briefly caught sight of an old man with snow white hair wearing a blue jersey and beige trs walking into the bathroom !.
When I looked in the bathroom no one was there, I told the woman who lived upstairs and she said that I had described an old man who had once lived - and died in the flat :shock: my cats often stared at a particular corner in the living room as if they were watching something.

I sometimes visit the local Psychic Church and once got a message from my late uncle. The medium knew that he was a submariner who was killed in a car crash in 1973...there was No Way he could have guessed the details !.
Of course you get fake psychics like 'Madam Fontana' but I am 100% Convinced that there is indeed life after death !.
Eeh I wanna see the Nudes of 1964
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Postby Dirty Old Yank » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:50 pm

Nothing unusual about having a skeleton or skull around, not if it's a Steptoe souvenir. And certainly not if you grow up in a place where horror movie hosts (comedians in horror drag) were on telly every weekend and Halloween is virtually a national holiday. Some folks disapprove and moan about Halloween, but they just don't get it. What could be more innocent than the world's largest fancy dress party where kids get to bring home a sack full of free sweets? Bless lol.
Ouija boards/seances give me the creeps though, wont go near em.
I don't doubt for a moment supernatural/psychic phenomena exists, but when I encounter it I'd prefer it took the form of Madame Fontana. Genuine clairvoyance without a sense of humor would be a pitiable thing.
Last edited by Dirty Old Yank on Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby steve sheffield » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:06 pm

I was once down in the old "fish market" in Sheffield city centre with my mum. I was probably about 10 years old. My mum was queueing behind me when out of a packed crowd I saw a little old woman walking straight towards me and she was staring right at me. She came right up and asked are you " and gave my full name " to which I replied yes. She then just turned around and disappeared back into the crowd.
She said nothing but ask my name. She didn't say I'm a friend of your gran or something relevant to explain who she was. I also didn't recognise her as a friend of the family. She didn't even say "oh, there's your mum in the queue I'll just say hello"

Gives me goosebumps now 30 years later! :shock:
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Postby Karl » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:03 pm

steve sheffield wrote:I was once down in the old "fish market" in Sheffield city centre with my mum. I was probably about 10 years old. My mum was queueing behind me when out of a packed crowd I saw a little old woman walking straight towards me and she was staring right at me. She came right up and asked are you " and gave my full name " to which I replied yes. She then just turned around and disappeared back into the crowd.
She said nothing but ask my name. She didn't say I'm a friend of your gran or something relevant to explain who she was. I also didn't recognise her as a friend of the family. She didn't even say "oh, there's your mum in the queue I'll just say hello"

Gives me goosebumps now 30 years later! :shock:


That is spooky Steve,inexplicable to say the least!! :shock:
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the skeleton ?

Postby harold » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:38 pm

in the desperate hours john spooner asked if it was the lodger
A TOTTER 4 EVER
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Postby steve sheffield » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:22 am

There is also a skeleton in Rising Damp, in Alan and Philips room I think. Could it be the same one?
3 Handkerchiefs and a pair of Y fronts. Enoch's dreaming of a white christmas.
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Postby Karl » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:20 am

steve sheffield wrote:There is also a skeleton in Rising Damp, in Alan and Philips room I think. Could it be the same one?


I'm currently watching all the 'Rising damp' episodes,i'll have a look Steve :lol:
"The only thing worth 'avin is that porcelain group on the mantlepiece behind your elbow......." "'Aint you got any woodbines?.. "
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Postby Dirty Old Yank » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:39 pm

Archie wrote:...when I was a boy they used to be for sale in the 'Exchange & Mart' a weekly advertisement magazine.

Photographer Bernie Mellish says he hung the Exchange & Mart in the loo (Back In Fashion).
We still get similar weekly rubbish in our mailboxes...some shiny, some not.
A few photos of the Rising Damp skeleton(s) appear at Leonard Rossiter's site, a good read:
http://www.leonardrossiter.com/risingdamp/StoryTV.html
Last edited by Dirty Old Yank on Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Archie » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:49 pm

Archie wrote:A few years ago I lived in a flat, one afternoon I was in the kitchen turned around and briefly caught sight of an old man with snow white hair wearing a blue jersey and beige trs walking into the bathroom !.
When I looked in the bathroom no one was there, I told the woman who lived upstairs and she said that I had described an old man who had once lived - and died in the flat :shock: my cats often stared at a particular corner in the living room as if they were watching something.


The haunted flat was just 5 doors away from the shop that sold the recent £161 Million Lotto ticket. I used to buy my tickets in that shop every Wednesday...I won a tenner once. Just my bleeding luck :cry:
Eeh I wanna see the Nudes of 1964
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Postby Dirty Old Yank » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:44 pm

Revenge of the sitcom skeletons!
Image
Last edited by Dirty Old Yank on Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby PhilGlass » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:51 pm

I spotted what looked suspiciously like one of the Steptoe bears (the later one, the huge one) in an episode of Only Fools and Horses called "It's Only Rock and Roll".. it was in Del and Rodney's Garage... I wonder how much Albert sold that to them for!
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