THE Market Square in Stow was buzzing with excitement at the weekend as the BBC Top Gear team popped in unexpectedly on a shoot for their popular motoring show.
Jeremy Clarkson, “Hamster” Richard Hammond and “Captain Slow” James May attracted a large crowd of enthusiastic petrol heads as they revved into town in a collection of eye-catching classic cars.
Although show producers are keeping tight-lipped on the nature of their challenge, the trio were spotted trying to cram a coat stand and even a vintage grandfather clock into the back of their sporty vehicles.
They took time out from filming to chat with their fans and sample a few of Stow’s local businesses.
Lucinda Hawkings-Byass, owner of The King’s Arms, in the Market Square, said the trio came in to have a coffee.
“They came in here just to have coffees, they were lovely,” she said. “Jeremy Clarkson was lovely. He sat in here and kept himself to himself.
“They were all just very friendly and jokey. Quite a few people were going out and once they had word of mouth the other pubs and shops come out to have a look.
“Everyone who’s a bit of a petrol head loved it.
“A couple of the chefs came from The Bell and asked for photos. It will be brilliant, I will make sure I remember to watch. It was good.”
Karen Bradshaw, manager of Rohan, said the film crew caused some excitement.
“We’re quite used to celebrities here,” she said. “They are always entertaining. It’s always nice to have people in. It brings people in, they were all standing around watching.
“They were very friendly. Jeremy Clarkson’s stunt driver came in and bought something from us. He found Stow was very cold when the wind blows so he bought a Rohan jacket.”
Simon Clarke, of Christopher Clarke Antiques, who went over to catch a glimpse when he heard they were filming, said: “It was a little bit of a surprise.
“It certainly drew a big crowd. There was a lot of people watching, there could easily have been 100 plus. People seemed to enjoy watching them and how they set it up. It was good fun.”
Tara Davies, Top Gear publicist, confirmed the team were filming for the new series, due to be aired early next year.
But she would not reveal any further details, saying viewers will have to tune in to find out what happened.