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Perfick! Darling Buds of May house in Bethersden on the market for £1.35million

Buss Farm - home of the Larkin family in The Darling Buds of May

The Darling Buds of May was set in Buss Farm, Bethersden

by Tricia Jamieson

The farmhouse seen by millions of TV viewers as the home of the Larkin family in The Darling Buds of May is for sale.

Buss Farm, at Bethersden, has been lived in by the Holmes family for 40 years.

Now the Grade II-listed property is on the market for £1.35million.

Roger Holmes, who has lived there first with his parents Raymond and Gladys and on his own since their deaths, said he had many wonderful memories of the hit TV show.

He struck up a friendship with one of the stars, David Jason, as they had a common interest.

"I was restoring a classic car and he was restoring motorbikes," said 59-year-old Mr Holmes.

"The filming went on for three years and each time David came he would see how I was progressing and say I had not done much, or I was getting on well.

"The production crew wanted us to move out while they were filming, but we said no way – we didn't want to miss all the fun."Darling Buds of May

The Darling Buds of May ran on TV for three years

The Darling Buds of May, which also starred Catherine Zeta-Jones and Pam Ferris, was based on the novels by H.E. Bates and was shown from 1990 to 1993.

It detailed the lives and loves of the boisterous Larkin family in the 1950s.

Mr Holmes recalled the film crew from Yorkshire TV coming to see the house.

"My mother was just going out when they turned up and asked if they could take some pictures," he said.

"She said go ahead, then they came back and said they wanted to bring the producer and started talking about locations.

"They talked about coming here for a few weeks and about David Jason, so we got more interested.

"When they began shooting, we thought it was just for a little series. We never dreamt it would be so big.

"There was a lot of disruption for us, with some all night shoots until 5am, but it was a glorious time and very interesting seeing the filming.

"We got to know the cast fairly well. Pam Ferris was lovely to talk to.

Darling Buds of May cast (from left to right) David Jason, Pam Ferris, Philip Franks and Catherine Zeta-Jones"The series really launched Catherine Zeta-Jones' career. I spoke to her a few times but she was always surrounded by men!"

The last filming was in 1992 and the series ended the following year.

Since then, Buss Farm has been a venue for coach parties and hosts the annual Darling Buds of May Classic Car Show.

Mr Holmes, who is selling becasue his brothers and sister want to, admitted leaving would be a wrench.

"Forty years is a long time," he said.

Mr Holmes is a director of a computer programme company based in Maidstone and plans to move nearer there.

His family has an ironmongers shop in Ashford, Holmes Brothers, which is run by one of his brothers.

Buss Farm, which has 20 acres of land, an oast and Tudor barn, is being sold by estate agents Madeleine Rose.

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