Fans flocked from around the globe to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alf Wight, the vet and author known by his pseudonym James Herriot.

World of James Herriot dinner. From left: Carol Drinkwater, Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy and Peter Davison.
From left: Carol Drinkwater, Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy and Peter Davison.
Reporter Holly Kernot with Peter Davison.
Reporter Holly Kernot with Peter Davison.

Mr Wight inspired a generation to enter the veterinary profession through his books recounting his adventures as a country vet in Yorkshire in the 1930s.

Hosted by The World of James Herriot museum, a gala dinner held at Tennant’s Garden Rooms in Leyburn, Yorkshire, celebrated his life.

Guests from around the world

More than 350 people attended, with some guests travelling from Japan and Australia. The event also saw the cast of All Creatures Great And Small reunited for the first time in 26 years.

Based on the books, the popular 1980s television show starred Christopher Timothy in the titular role, Robert Hardy as fellow vet Siegfried Farnon, Peter Davison as his brother Tristan and Carol Drinkwater as James’ wife Helen.

Mr Davison, who attended the event with other series stars, said: “People still ask me to diagnose their cat or dog’s illness. Even after 26 years they still believe I am a real vet, such was the popularity and authenticity of the series.”

Auction raises £3,000

BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration compered the event, while opera singer Lesley Garrett performed.

An auction raised almost £3,000 for the James Herriot Foundation Trust, which provides bursaries to help young people wishing to pursue a career in animal welfare.

In a joint statement, Mr Wight’s son and daughter, Jim Wight and Rosie Page, said: “The event was a lovely opportunity to celebrate our father’s legacy and support the James Herriot Foundation Trust, which our father would have been proud to be associated with.

“We are delighted so many original cast members could attend the dinner and that it was supported by so many friends, fans and colleagues for the tribute to his life and work.”

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