After 37 years and nearly 9000 episodes the iconic Australian soap ‘Neighbours‘ came off air this week ending on a real high as some legendary characters reappeared for a final farewell to a show that many people have great affection for. However, pure nostalgia doesn’t mean too much when far fewer people are tuning in every day in the present.
Many of us get annoyed when TV shows that meant a lot in our youth get axed but that is sadly just the way of life, and for this particular one we did actually get to see it bid farewell in a lovely and celebratory manner without the Ramsay Street being blown up or whatever. Maybe that’s better than it just fizzling away without too many even noticing! I’m sure the cast and crew who are now out of work would disagree though!
Back in 2012 I was in Australia and went to watch ‘Neighbours‘ on Channel Ten but couldn’t find it in its usual place and timeslot. I was later surprised to discover it had been pushed on to Ten’s digital channel the year before. The change of channel in the UK from BBC1 to Channel 5 in 2008 didn’t really help either. Such schedule changes don’t always lead to the whole audience migrating to the new home.
When Channel 5 in the UK effectvely pulled the plug on the show earlier this year it was really sad to hear, and for the last couple of months I have been on a journey of nostalgia watching all kinds of videos relating to it such as old clips, interviews with production and cast members as well as some of the good and bad musical efforts from former stars. That all culminated in the final week and a half of episodes leading up to the big finale.
Research tells me that it was episode 180 when I saw ‘Neighbours‘ for the first time as my mum and sisters were watching it. I actually thought it was a much earlier episode than that. That must’ve been in the summer holidays as I remember we recorded it for a while each day before it got a repeat slot in the early evenings. The rest is history!
The finale was inevitably on Ramsay Street which is a place I hold dear to my heart, and indeed (as the title says!) I have visited it five times…in 5 different years. Here is a brief backstory and photo collage from each occasion.
#1. 16th March 2001
My Ramsay Street virginity was lost within a couple of days of arriving in Melbourne for the first time. My friends Chris and Dave were just as keen to visit the street which we did via train and bus. We didn’t realise until arriving that it was actually called Pin Oak Court and was just changed for filming which was a bit of a disappointment. We later discovered that filming only took place on Tuesdays and Thursdays (depending on the script) so we missed out.
#2. 16th January 2002
My friend Richard Richard was unable to get on the tour bus so instead offered to pay for my train ticket to Glen Waverley which was followed by a bus to Nunawading. Little did I realise that he just bought me a childrens ticket!! I was basically there just to his photos but I couldn’t resist getting a few of my own!
#3. 10th August 2007
I really wasn’t expecting to visit the street on this trip but my sister took us there by car as we were nearby one day. By this time there was a security guard there to prevent tourists doing things like I had done on my previous visit! My nephew was only about ten days old but wasn’t so enthralled and slept his way throughout the experience!
#4. 18th March 2012
I must’ve felt I needed to update myself with how the street in this suburban area of Vermont South was looking now. I seem to remember walking for about an hour to get there on this particular visit.
#5. 25th March 2019
This visit was purely a habitual one. I think I even had to get up very early to take a bus there from my sisters place on a detour route into the city to meet a friend and do some other stuff. The most noticable change was the gate on one of the houses.
There are only six houses in the street even though in the show the house numbers were known as 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32. These are real houses and people do live there and have to put up with people like me taking pictures and hanging around. It was no surprise really that the final heartwarming scenes were shot on the street as the show came to a sad but gloriously celebratory end. If I do visit the street again it’ll be rather strange to think that it is no longer used for filming but it will always be the home of ‘Neighbours‘.
Click here to read ‘Australia 2019 Pt III: The Church Where Scott & Charlene Got Married In Neighbours!’
Click here to read ‘TF Flashback – Meet The Neighbours Night (2002)’
Click here to read ‘Australia 2012 Pt VI: Neighbours Filming Locations’
Click here to read ‘Everybody Needs Good Neighbours’