TWO decades after Harbour Lights first came to our screens, the television programme continues to be one of West Bay's most famous associations. Although only broadcast for two series, the BBC production had a significant impact on the local area. One reader, Esmee Nicholls, has shared some photographs and memories of the period when the programme was filmed. The first episode was aired in 1999.

Esmee is pictured here, with cast members Nick Berry and Tina Hobley. Now best known for her role as Chrissie Williams in Holby City, Tina also starred in Coronation Street and The Bill before assuming the character of WPC Melanie Rush in Harbour Lights. Fellow soapstar Nick Berry, famous for his roles in Eastenders and Heartbeat, starred as the series protagonist Mike Nicholls, harbourmaster and love interest of Melanie.

In the photographs featured, Esmee clutches a tablecloth, which she would routinely ask notable figures to autograph; over the years, she accumulated signatures from a huge variety of individuals, from local star Martin Clunes to none other than Pope John Paul II.

Esmee garnered the signatures of the Harbour Lights' actors when she accidentally walked across a set while filming as underway. The programme was shot in several locations around Bridport and West Bay, which for the series became the fictional Bridehaven. Amongst others, scenes were filmed in the harbour master's office and St John's Church, as well as Bridport's community hospital and police station.

The series was initially welcomed by the area but local attitudes quickly changed with the airing of series two. Storylines were far more hard hitting and violent than series one and caused the community of West Bay to distance themselves from the false impression shown of their town.

With thanks to Esmee for sharing these nostalgic pictures and some recollections from the time.