Inspector Morse Walking Tour
Thankfully we had a break in the rain this week for our fourth client event on Thursday 18th May. 38 people gathered at Martyrs’ Memorial where St Giles’, Magdalen Street and Beaumont Street meet. We split into two groups and set off on our Morse Walking Tours, led by expert guides who know Morse – and Oxford – like the back of their hands.
We walked round the corner onto Broad Street – past the actual site where the martyrs were burned at the stake – to Balliol and Trinity Colleges. Trinity College is one of only a few Colleges which appears in all three TV series: Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. After looking into the Wadham College quadrangle we walked around to the Holywell Music Room, which is said to be the oldest purpose-built music room in Europe and the place where Morse listens to Gwladys Probert, a Welsh soprano, sing Wagner arias in Twilight of the Gods. Gwladys Probert is later shot by a sniper at an Oxford procession outside the Sheldonian Theatre, witnessed by Morse.
After learning about how they filmed various car scenes along Holywell Street (including having Morse’s famous Jaguar on rollers due to it having no engine!) we crossed over from the Music Room and went into the 13th century Turf Tavern. Our guide told us that fans of Morse track all the pubs he had a pint in, but the real aficionados track the pubs where he didn’t finish his pint – one of which was the Turf Tavern! We left from the south exit and came out underneath the iconic Bridge of Sighs before walking to the Sheldonian (the site where Gwladys Probert was shot in the TV epsiode) and then into the Bodleian quadrangle. After walking out and past the impressive Radcliffe Camera, we made our way into the Covered Market, which was the setting for the catching of the killer in the Lewis episode Down Among The Fearful.
Our two groups came together at the end of our tours at the Weston Library for tea and cake where our clients were excitedly talking about the walk and how they are going to go back and re-watch episodes of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour with ‘fresh eyes’ – particularly looking out for Colin Dexter who, we learned, made a cameo appearances in most of the Morse episodes!