Landmark 1960s TV play about a young couple and their children who are cruelly overtaken by events which lead them into an unrelenting trap of debt, homelessness and poverty.
Browse content similar to Cathy Come Home. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
# Is this the train I'm on?
# Do you know that I am gone?
# You can hear the whistle blow
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# 500 miles
# You can hear the whistle blow
# 500 miles... #
Well, I was a bit fed up, you know?
There didn't seem to be much there for me.
You know how these little towns are - one coffee bar.
It was closed on a Sunday.
Didn't even tell 'em I was going.
I sent 'em a card when I got down there.
That house over there - yeah, that one with the broken steps.
That's where I went for a room,
and the fella kept touching me. Where did I get a room, in the end?
Oh, yeah, down there - Mantua Street, £3 a week.
That's where I got my first job - petrol-pump girl. Mad.
They were going along in hearses to this "unusual supper party",
and the bloke who was going in, the chandelier falls down on him, y'see,
and he gets strangled with all these diamonds.
Then this big woman, who'd grown to about 40ft high...
-That was through the radioactive dust, was it?
She sticks her hand through this window
and she gets hold of this little piece he's been doing it with -
-they've been jitterbugging away...
-It was an old film?
But unbeknownst to this big 40ft girl, y'see,
there's been a bit of swapping around,
and it's not her husband at all any more.
As the bloke's jumping her, his mask slips. It slips right down.
-Who d'you think it was?
-The Duke of Edinburgh(?)
# If the sky that we look upon
# Should tumble and fall
# Or the mountain
# Should crumble to the sea
# I won't cry, I won't cry
# No, I won't shed a tear
# Just as long
# As you stand, stand by me
# And, darling, darling, stand by me
# Oh, stand by me
# Whoa, stand now
# Stand by me... #
We'll have a motor. An E-Type, eh?
-Well, help me down, then!
-How about an E-Type, eh, Cath?
-Reg, they're expensive!
-No, we'll have an E-Type.
I mean, why not, the money I'm earning.
Then what d'you think we'll do? Eh?
I don't know. Shunt it, I suppose.
"Shunt it"? What are you talking about? I'm an A1 driver, I am.
No, we'll take the brakes out.
That's what we'll do. We'll take the brakes out.
Take the brakes out?!
Yeah! This bloke, he was telling me. He's a fitter down at the Lotus.
He says you just don't need brakes.
Drive it on the gears. The gears'll stop you.
Brakes spoil a good drive, don't they? They spoil a good engine.
No brakes, you're not tempted to use 'em.
Well, I feel as if I've got a few drinks inside me.
When you've had two or three drinks, you don't see nobody, you don't...
D'you wanna sit down?
-What, you mean you're a bit drunk?
I just don't notice anybody else when I'm out with you, that's all.
Is that nice?
-How do you feel?
-I'm not telling you.
-Oh, go on, I told you.
-Well, you can tell me!
-I'd feel embarrassed.
There's only me here. And that old fella who's asleep.
That's a horrible thing to say.
-Let's go and have a drink.
-I never knew you swore.
That's not swearing. It just came out, that's all.
Nice boys don't say things like that.
-Well, I was upset.
-Get your hand off me.
I was just upset, that's all.
-I think I'm going home.
-No, don't be silly.
Let's go and have a drink.
I put my best suit on to come out with you tonight.
I'm sorry, I can't help it.
The least you could've done was...
# Do you love me? Do you love me?
# Well, do you love me? Do you love me?
# Yes, do you love me? Do you love me? #
That's the advantage of working for a small firm like this.
They just ain't particular, y'know?
They don't worry about the hours or whether you get your stamps,
flog yourself to death or take it easy. They don't care.
Same about lifts. If you give a bird a lift, they just ain't particular.
-I've ruined my stockings.
-I'll get you a new pair.
Same with birds - just don't care.
-It's not the first time you've given a lift to a bird?
-Don't be silly.
-Reg, whose is this place?
-The firm I work for.
-Is it safe?
-Course it is!
I bet you've brought other birds up here.
Look! You can see a bit already.
You can see half the town from here, nearly.
No, Reg, I don't like it. It's shaky.
-Ah, come on! Get your sea legs.
-No, I'm scared.
-No, I'm not coming.
-Come on, come on!
-Come on. C'mon.
-Come on, up you get.
Careful. Come on.
Trust you to bring me up to a rotten old place like this.
-How are we gonna get down?
Live in the present, eh, Cath?
It IS rotten, innit? This whole place is gonna come down soon.
-I was scared, Reg.
-Now don't be silly.
No, I was, really.
I haven't got much courage.
I reckon it's just us now, innit?
Just us. Just you and me, eh?
I wouldn't mind.
Have some babies, Cath?
I'd like that, Reg.
-Sod to all the rest.
Along comes this sanitary man, what they calls a health doodah, y'see?
You all right, darlin'?
You don't look at all well! Anyway....
He perceives that these beetles are nesting in this clapped-out tree
at the back of May's caff.
So he sprays all this disinfectant into the tree.
Some of it gets into May's dinner and kills two of the customers off.
-Well, someone's got to eat!
-What about Coming To The End Of Love?
How does that one go?
Coming to the end of love...
I wrote that an' all. Never got no credit for that neither.
When you lived in the country, did you like living there?
Ooh, no, it was horrible.
There was nothing there for me.
-Now what's the matter?
I'm one of them little beetles down her back!
..and a slight history of incontinence.
Oh, yes, there's that.
Rambling in his mind at all?
Finding it difficult to remember the odd little thing?
-A little, aren't you, Granddad?
-I don't know. I never been...
No. No, thank you.
And has to be helped with dressing?
Yes, well, I certainly think you've got a case
for having your father taken into care.
What do you feel about it, Granddad?
If you ask me, I'm not in agreement.
Besides, there's the fact we need the space.
There's the two boys, see?
They're coming back out the Army, so we can't keep him.
And the council say it's overcrowding.
Yes. Yes, of course.
And the incontinence is getting pretty bad.
Well, Granddad, you'll be in one of our larger homes.
Rivermead? I expect you've noticed it by the Town Hall.
It's, erm, it's especially suitable for you,
because they have all kinds of facilities on offer
that you mightn't get in a smaller place.
And, as well as that, there's always plenty to do.
You'll find there's plenty to keep the time passing,
what with dances and hobby clubs of various kinds.
And there is help available
for the things that might be getting a little complicated,
like dressing and attention to your feet.
-Cathy... Come on, Cathy!
Now get out of there!
I just wanna talk to you, Cath.
-Hey, Reg, that's good, isn't it? What is it?
-It's double windows.
Keeps all the sounds of the traffic out.
-And it keeps heat in, as well.
-Y'know, I was thinking.
-You know that table we saw in the shop?
-Don't you think it'd look good over there?
I could get one of those rubber plants to put on it.
Oh, yeah. Cath, where d'you think we ought to have the telly?
The telly. I don't know, really.
There. I reckon that's a nice little picture, Cath.
Do you think we're overstepping it a bit, taking on this place?
Oh, I dunno. It's a bit late now we've got it, innit?
But there's no point taking on a posh place if we can't afford it.
Well, course we can!
I mean, I'm earning £25 a week, and then there's you.
What is it, £6 a week plus tips?
-That's £34, £35 a week.
-Bloody millionaires, ain't we?
-Are we worth 35 a week?
Funny - a place like that even smells different.
Must be the central heating.
Felt different, too, in your bones.
Oh, what a place!
Parquet flooring, tin openers fixed to the wall, double glazing.
And the neighbours - talk about stylish!
All right, now, we're going to try something
which sounds a little complicated but isn't really.
Now, can you put your arms at the side of you?
Just down by the side of your body. Completely relaxed.
Now, when you contract a leg, your toe turns up,
you make a sort of square, heel...
-It came as quite a surprise when I found out.
-..Let it down.
I was sick all the time, and it never occurred to me why.
So the doctor, he said, "Can it be that you're pregnant?"
And then I realised.
-Now the other leg.
-I got to dreaming then about what it would be like.
Now, this is a diagram to show what's happening
right at the beginning, before labour really starts.
You can see that the baby is surrounded by fluid,
and it's quite intact, hasn't broken it at all.
And this is the neck of the uterus here,
or the cervix, as we call it.
Me and my husband are looking for a house to buy,
I wondered if you could help us.
We have a number of properties in the lower price ranges,
-that's £3,500 to £5,000, if that's what you're interested in...
On which we could probably arrange a 90% mortgage,
other things being equal.
May I ask how big your deposit would be?
I'm off work now, so we haven't got quite so much at the moment,
but I reckon we could manage about £100.
£100 would barely cover the legal costs involved.
You might be lucky and find a new flat with a deposit of only 400,
but you'd be very lucky.
We do have cheaper houses, but they're in such a bad condition
that a building society would normally require you
to spend about £700 on improvements.
They'd withhold a proportion of the loan until the work was complete.
So, you see, really, the cheapest houses are bought by the people
-with the money in hand to improve them.
So, really, it was waste of my time coming here.
I need compensation!
I told you about that camshaft knocking through!
Reg, look, I would compensate you, but I'm skint!
-I ain't had no insurance on me lorry.
-You're making a bomb here!
I don't want any argument about it.
Well, it's not argument - I've had an accident,
I'm injured and I want some compensation.
But it's not up to me.
My lorry's gone. I've got nothing to compensate you with.
How well off do you think we'll be?
Well, it's not so good, Cath. We won't have so much now.
Never mind, though - Reg'll fix it.
Look, Reg, how much will we have?
Well, you're not earning no more and I'm down to sickness benefit.
How much is that? Do you know?
No, but it's not very much.
How much we got on the HP, then?
-Nearly £5 a week.
Well, there's ten on the flat...
-Oh, there's the life insurance, as well.
Still, we got savings, ain't we?
I suppose we'd better find somewhere cheaper to live, then.
I suppose so.
It doesn't matter, anyway.
We'd have had to get out of here - they don't allow children.
-How about sharing? Do you fancy sharing?
-Sharing with who?
-I don't know.
Get some nice young couple to share with us.
-Took me a long time to get used to sharing with you.
There's 200,000 more families in the London area than homes to put them.
And there's 60,000 single persons living without sinks or stoves.
In seven central London boroughs,
at least one in ten of all households is overcrowded,
that is to say, living more than one and a half people per room.
Oh, hello. Is your room still to let?
-No. Is it still in that place?
-Yes, it is.
It'll be a week tomorrow since I told them to take it out, because...
-It'll be a week...
On the Thursday last week, I asked them to take it out,
because I'd got suited.
A few years back, figures released by the LCC
revealed families of certain sizes, at the rate of building in force,
would be 350 years on the housing list
before they were offered a house.
Oh, it's a scourge here.
The present target of 500,000 set by the Government is not high enough.
Even if it is reached,
there's still people living in slums ten years from now.
What's needed is a government that realise this is a crisis
and treats it as such.
We can't stay at Mum's. There's no room!
The council said it was overcrowded.
They needn't find out, need they? Oh, Mum'll fix it, don't worry.
You're gonna have better eyes than your dad, aren't you, eh?
Yeah. He's squinting a bit, though.
-They all squint.
'Funny how a baby makes a place quite different.
'And Reggie said so, too.
'Well, goodbye to freedom.
'I didn't mind, though.'
This is what you call the island of paradise.
The kids here, they've seen rats running around the place
nearly as big as cats.
And any time the children have accidents, nine out of ten times
all the mothers come down to see if they can do anything to help you.
They're so old. They're damned old places.
They're so old. They want pulling down!
Still, we've got plenty of company.
And I think we're reasonable people that we all get on together.
We have our ups and downs. You can fight over the kids.
But, erm, apart from that, we're lucky, I suppose.
Better off than some people.
I don't like one half of the people in it.
And what is more, there's none of 'em neighbourly.
They've always got something to say about you behind your back.
I had a friend live next door to me.
She really would have give £1,000, as she used to say,
to move out of here, but now she's gone -
she's got a brand-new maisonette -
she said she'd like to come back if she could bring her flat back here.
She likes the company, the friends.
Of course, Reggie's Uncle Matt, he was the adventurous type.
He spent a lot of time in India.
He wanted to see foreign parts. He never has.
Then his Uncle Tom, he was in the Merchant Navy.
Uncle Jim - well, he was the ne'er-do-well.
When he got married, I remember Granddad saying,
"Of course, he's a nice fella,
"but he'll never be no good to no woman, not never."
When I first came here, we never had none of this lot.
We never had no children in here.
This was only for a married couple or one on their own. No children.
You had ladies here then.
There was rats under the floorboard, I had the council down
to take the floorboards up and put poison down for the rats.
They said that definitely rats had been there
but they'd probably gone somewhere else, to annoy somebody else.
Reg, we've got a new girl at work.
-You knew her when you went to school.
Christine something or other. Rowbotham or something.
Oh, I know. Er, Jenkins, wasn't it?
That's it. She's on the bra counter.
Well suited, I tell you!
Wasn't it George? You remember George?
What, George that had the accident?
Did he have an accident? What was that?
-Didn't you know? He had his leg off.
-Oh, that's terrible.
-Yeah, wasn't it?
He was very keen on sports, too, I remember.
He was a lovely little runner, really was.
Well, he won't be able to run any more, will he?
Well, I don't think it's funny. Do you?
I think this is the only tenement block in Islington
where you can sit in your toilet with you door open
-and cook breakfast at the same time.
-We've only got one bedroom.
I mean, you've got no married life.
It's sort of...
Half your questions and half your rows is over sex,
because you have to see that they...
And you're always on nerves with the children.
I don't think it's fair to a man, or if you're married and that -
if you have children, you're entitled to another room.
You can look out your door up the other woman's passage.
You can't do that in any new flats, can you?
I gave Reg some of those frozen chips last week.
He didn't like them very much.
Frozen chips? Do you know what I think about them things?
Do you know what Mr Ward used to say? "Most unhealthy."
We'll go and make one another a cup of tea,
we sit outside and have a laugh.
Better to keep yourself to yourself. Then you can't get into no row.
Cook your dinner now, dear,
and then I'll cook ours for Eileen and the boys.
No, I'm gonna put the baby to bed. He's asleep.
You know it don't work when we all have it together.
I'll clear up after him this time.
I do think it's a bit hard the council won't do nothing for you.
I mean, I've done my bit, I've brought up five children.
But if we all picked where we live none of us'd live here, would we?
Stop your fella putting his feet all over the furniture
and picking up the baby with his filthy hands.
-He's your son.
-But you've taught him dirty habits.
You don't wash your hands before you touch the baby or his bottle.
I was only doing it to help.
And don't put Daz in his bottle, either.
-And then there's the toilet.
-What about the sodding toilet?
You know what I mean about the toilet. It's disgusting.
Well, of all the things to bring up!
You got on my boy's nerves with worry so that he ran off the road.
It's about time you was going.
All right, we'll go. You can keep your rotten old flat.
I can't stand it, anyway. It's driving me round the bloody bend.
I got you a cup of tea!
Say "See you after dinner".
You're not going to throw it, are you? Eh?
We moved right away from the parts we'd been living in,
and Reg found quite a good job, too, and we soon fitted in.
Then Stevie came along,
and we got quite settled, really.
These streets, they looked rough, and there were rats.
But life was quite good here.
Some of the places were boarded up, with the upstairs windows empty.
Others were crammed full with people and kiddies.
Once, I heard sounds coming from one of the boarded-up houses.
It sounded like, well - a baby crying.
I went to a house the other week.
A woman come out. It's not too good, I tell you.
And she come out in her knickers and bra.
That's the sort of people I meet.
The women used to scrub the pavements every morning
to keep 'em clean.
Me sister came to see me last week from Yardley,
and when she seen the street, she says, "My God, Violet,
"whatever possessed you to live in a street like this?"
You knew everybody, and everybody was friendly, y'know?
You don't know anybody now.
A different class altogether from what they was.
You'll meet friends in here, and they're very, very nice friends.
You could have a laugh and a joke.
I might have me funny ways, but I'm a kind-hearted old bit of sugar.
I'm harmless. I'm just an old bag, as has got nobody to turn to.
Whatever happened to Mr Alley?
Things have gone far enough with these places.
Too much pressure, too many people.
The plaster keeps coming off the wall.
The plaster? I ain't noticed that.
-I could pull the chain, half the ceiling comes down on you.
It's a bloomin' old system. It wants a new one.
There's a sizeable queue waiting. one can follow the other.
I've seen all sorts of changes, from better to worse.
Everybody had window boxes when I first come up here.
Now, my dear, once I had a profession.
Can you guess what it was?
-Ooh, I don't know.
-I was an 'ore, dear.
Ooh, you weren't, Mrs Alley, I don't believe you.
A long time ago,
but I was lovely then.
-I had the fellas wild for me, I did...
..When I was an 'ore.
Oh, I've got something I want you to do for me.
-Would you read this letter for me, dear?
It's one of me old favourites, and me eyes are not so good these days.
Ooh, Mrs Alley, it's all about sex!
Fancy you getting me to read your sexy letters for you!
Well, there's a caff down the road, and they have a striptease.
Every night there's kids hanging round, waiting to see 'em.
That's putting ideas in the kids' heads, innit?
Stephen, what are you doing?
That's dirt! I told you not to play with the dirt!
Look at your clean jeans. Now put that down. And you, Sean.
Look at you. You're filthy.
Now I was pregnant again.
Some would say it was wrong to have another kiddie
when you're overcrowded as it is, but I don't think so.
I think kiddies are God's gift.
You don't do right to deprive anyone of the chance of life.
Love's what's important in a child's life.
Love is more important to a child than nice surroundings.
I know, cos I lived in what they call a respectable" home,
and I didn't have it.
The attic - we had to sleep in the attic, like. It was quite damp.
We wallpapered it about three weeks before I had the baby,
and the far wall, it's starting to come down already.
-Oh, Mrs Alley, are you all right?
-I fell through the bed!
Oh, thank you, ducks, thank you.
I'm very grateful to you, ducks.
Mrs Alley, I can't pull any harder. I'll hurt the baby!
Aren't I a silly girl?
I wets the bed, see?
I wets the bed, and the springs get rotted.
You may see one of these pigeons flying across,
cos I got one coming from Barcelona, and he's very tired.
There's the pigeon there!
I'll send that cat up after you! Now come in! Come on!
Come on! Come on!
Sean, be quiet.
I felt we were honoured, somehow,
that pigeon coming all the way back to us.
Mrs Alley, can I have a word with you for a minute?
Give me a lift up, dear. Oh, thank you.
-Can you manage?
Mrs Alley, I was wondering if it'd be all right
if we owed the rent for a few weeks.
Only, what with the pigeons, and Reg isn't earning very much now...
-Owe the rent, ducks?
Course you can owe the rent, but I want to be paid.
-We will pay you, course we will.
-I'll have to be paid.
You see, as old as I seem, I don't qualify for a pension.
-I look older than I really am.
The children tries to have a good time
if people mind their own business and let them have it.
One's name was Sean and the other one's was Stephen,
and they lived in a little cottage by the seaside,
-and every day...
It's Mrs Alley! She's dead!
The men from the council came along, took away her odd bits and pieces.
They looked through the letters
for notes of any relatives she might have,
but she hadn't got none.
Only letters from her old clients, that's all.
So there was no-one to pay the death grant to.
I'm representing a nephew of the deceased, Mrs Alley,
what died last week,
and the fact is my client now needs the unpaid rent
for the current week and the back period,
during which he gathers from the rent book you was in arrears.
-In arrears? You sure?
-Well, I didn't know Mrs Alley had any relatives.
-Well, she does.
I'm sorry, but I can't oblige at the moment.
You see, Mrs Alley said we could owe the rent for a few weeks
because my Reg has been ill.
-Now he's better we'll pay you, course we will.
But just give us a few weeks, that's all.
And I'll even go out to work, as well.
What Mrs Alley said and what my client wants are completely different.
So you'd better find some way to pay up. OK?
You couldn't talk to him.
It was like it was hopeless trying to talk to him.
What, three months in arrears? Well, I'll knock his block in!
I mean, who does he think he's talking to?
-How long is it since he's been round here?
-Well, it's four weeks.
What, four weeks? He says here we owe him three months!
I mean, well, who are we supposed to pay this rent to?
He never comes round. How does he expect to collect it?
Have another look at the letter.
Well, it says here he's gonna kick us out.
They can't evict you these days.
I thought they passed a law about it. It's nonsense.
Well, he says here he can.
Look, I've told you once we'll pay you if only you'll give us time.
I know your game.
You wanna get us out so you can charge someone else key money.
My client needs this place for himself and his relatives,
so you'd better get out.
You may have heard eviction isn't legal these days,
but with a relative what wants an 'ouse, you can still be evicted.
-Are you sure about that?
-And we'll get a court order to prove it.
But we're protected tenants!
I've been here every week now for a month. You've had time to pay up.
The defendant not only persistently refused to pay his rent,
but the landlord will be forced to put the premises right
at the cost of some several hundred pounds to himself.
What have you got to say?
Well, I say it's all a pack of lies.
I mean, listen, now, for the first thing,
Mrs Alley said we didn't have to pay any rent cos I wasn't working.
And then this bloke comes round and says he wants the rent.
When I goes round with the rent, he won't accept it.
I'm not satisfied in this case that the defendant is telling the truth.
In addition, he appears to have "mislaid" the rent book
given to him by Mrs Alley.
I take the case as proved.
We'll grant an eviction order dated four weeks from now.
So we tried. We wrote letters, we wrote after places.
Never got no answer.
The next answer we got was "No children."
"No children accepted."
I went to an agent, and he said yes, they'd guarantee to find us a place,
providing we gave them twenty per cent of a year's rent
and ten per cent of fixtures and fittings, which I thought was unjust.
And I wrote letters and the rent was too high.
Oh, there was one place we did go to
and I thought we were gonna have a chance.
They said £6, and the next thing we heard, someone had offered 'em eight,
so that put the cap on that.
Then other letters we got - "£10 a week".
Because Reg couldn't afford it, not on his wages,
it meant that all the week we'd be living on next to nothing.
In Birmingham, there are 39,000 families on the waiting list.
Manchester, nearly 15,000.
It wasn't long before I realised something -
we'd been lucky to get the old place.
There didn't seem to be anything for us any more.
In Liverpool, one household in nine is on the waiting list.
In Manchester, it's one in 14.
In Birmingham, there are 4,000 overcrowded houses,
12 people to a house.
Is that yours?
Well, yes, there's just us and my husband.
Sorry, love, no children accepted.
If I had a couple of elephants, they might have said,
"You can leave 'em outside in the yard."
But children, they'd say, "Sorry, we can't have nothing like that."
It was as if it was a crime to have children.
A million families are without homes of their own.
You may have a teenaged brother and sister
who have to share the same bed,
or maybe a crippled person on the top floor as can never go out.
Perhaps they're sharing with relatives.
Or maybe, like yourselves, they've had an order of eviction.
To house these 8,000 units, we have 500 new dwellings every year.
Now, people's needs are assessed on points. One point for health risk,
one for every year they've lived in the borough,
and one if they haven't got a bath.
And you just haven't got enough points to qualify.
But...in view of the gravity of the situation I will investigate
and see if it isn't possible to jump you up the queue a bit.
-And also, in view of the situation,
I'll try and get you a place on the Smithsonian estate, which is near completion.
We had a little girl next. We called her Marlene.
It was Reg's choice, not mine.
She weighed 8lb5 at birth. Quite a little heavyweight.
One day we had a visit from the man from the council.
-Good morning. I'm from the Public Health department.
I understand that you're living in one room because the room upstairs is too damp for the kiddies to sleep in.
-Is that right?
Well, I'm sorry but I'm afraid we shall have to move you out.
-We're gonna be evicted anyway.
-When's that then?
Well, that saves me a bit of trouble.
In any case, it saves me having to do something
that I don't really believe in.
Good day to you.
Oh, faceless man. Why doesn't he do something about it
instead of doing things he doesn't believe in?
Like a mad house. They pulled the washing down from the line,
the lights pulled out from their sockets, we even had windows taken from their frames.
Someone turned the water off and the electricity wires got pulled out.
There is another side - our side.
I'm speaking, by the way, with authority.
CRASH! ..responsible for the property in question.
I know it's common for the police to be brought in for an eviction.
There's nothing unusual about that. But it does get people's backs up.
It's bad publicity for the company that owns the place,
particularly when it is a reputable body of churchmen who, through the application of good business methods,
have landed themselves in the unfortunate position
of seeming to do an injustice.
-Come on, then.
-That's it then, Cath.
Come on Stephen. Up you come.
That's it. Good lad.
It's all right, it's all right.
All right, Cath?
Hey, mister, could I have a word with you?
-You want me to store your furniture for a pound a week?
Now, move out of the way, will you?
-Leave the kid alone!
-Now, look, I'm only doing my job.
Come on, don't be silly. Come on over here. Calm down.
He only wanted his toys. Not asking TOO much, is it?
It's not too much to expect, surely?
I mean, we still own the property, don't we?
Be careful with that chair!
-How much longer?
Don't worry. It's only about five minutes.
-It's just down there.
-I'm getting tired, Reg.
-We're nearly there.
-Hang on. Do you want to swap over?
Here, have the pram. Stay here, Sean.
I told you not to buy them ice creams. Look at the state they're in.
I know. There you are.
They're gonna get this road done up, they told me.
In a couple of months. It gets very bad in the winter.
It's not very nice, is it, Reg?
-Why are all these cars here?
-It's a sort of dump.
The council are trying to do something about that as well.
I wouldn't go back to a house. I never look at housing adverts now.
I never look in house agents' windows.
We tried councils, we tried welfare.
We even tried to get tied cottages.
And it just fell through.
A caravan was the last resort.
And I hate it.
-Er...up that way.
-Well, which one is it then?
-That one over there. That way.
That one, there. That's it. Well, we're here then.
..Used to go to big fairs and sell horses and buy horses.
That was mostly the live-ins. I'd love to go back on the roads.
If we pull in, side of the road, like we used to years ago,
the police come along, and summons you,
and you go to court and we don't know where to go to.
-Are you gonna live here, mister?
-Mind out, love.
Now put that down, Sean.
Leave it alone.
Well, what do you think of it then, Cath?
-Could be worse.
-Oh, come on love, it's not that bad.
-Is there any light?
I'll show you in a minute.
-Like the wood?
-Yeah, it's a bit dirty.
Sit down there. I'll show you.
That's it. Now, it's quite easy to operate, Cath.
It's not so difficult.
When I'm out of the place you'll be able to do it yourself.
I'll show you how it works.
Now, you need a box of matches.
Now... Stick the match through there.
-It's gone out, Reg.
It wasn't too bad, really.
The wind was getting up outside in the marsh.
It made it feel quite snug inside.
It felt funny to be in a caravan.
I'd only been in one once before, and that was on summer holiday.
It was a relief though, really.
I think it was because of the tension we'd been living under
the past few weeks.
And you got the light, you see?
It's very efficient. It does the whole room.
And it's warm as well. Like it?
-Is she going to sleep?
-Yeah, she's tired.
-Have we got some bacon? We better have that before it goes off, and all.
-Come on now.
-Go to sleep now.
Goodnight! ..I don't know how we're going to fit another bed in here, Reg.
Don't worry, I'll show you.
-Oh, I see! That's very clever, isn't it?
-It's all right, it's all right.
It's quite comfy, too.
Are you sure we're safe here, Reg?
I mean, they won't come and get us, will they?
-They won't move us on.
-What, from 'ere? Nah, don't worry about it.
They won't come and look for us here, not amongst all this lot.
We may have dropped a peg, but I think we'll be a lot contenter.
Later the wind got stronger. It began to rock the place around quite a lot.
I like a van. You get all the air round you in a van.
You know I'm 86?
-You're not! You 86?
And I don't think a house'd suit me.
You know, in a house, you can't breathe.
And I like air. I like fresh air.
You know, it makes... It's beautiful, fresh air.
There's no roadway at all. It's just a road of mud
and scrap heaps all the way up the lane, which we get fires every day of the week burning.
The caravans are very close together.
We have to walk a couple of hundred yards to empty a chemical toilet.
In a house, it's all four walls.
And we seemed closed in, like a bird penned up in a cage.
To get the fuel to come down to us, well, it's...
They just won't come.
The state of that road, and the mud, and the bumps and that...
Another thing I can't understand, it's the drivers that stop this.
The drivers won't come down.
And yet, they're the same sort of people as us.
People look at me and say, "Oh, him? He's just a dirty old gypsy."
But we're not dirty, we're clean.
And we keep ourselves clean.
I tell you why. Cos we wash ourselves.
And we don't need any of them flush baths either.
Get a bucket of water, and we wash ourselves down, down to the waist.
Then when that part's done, roll your shirt down, take off your trousers,
and you wash yourself down and up, up and down, up to the bottom.
-What, in the open air?
-Yeah, of course!
I'll tell you something else.
You'll never find no fleas, lice nor louse,
-cos we know how to thwart them. With the Devil's Dung.
-What's that, then?
Well, Devil's Dung, you get that in the chemist.
It does have a bit of a stink, I'll grant you that...
You can always tell a traveller,
by the way he walks and the way he acts.
Same as I can tell a policeman. I could really smell a policeman.
We feel free because we can look at the open fields from our window.
We have our own front door. We don't have people living all on top of us.
And yet we can live in a decent, civilised manner.
Next door, there's a load of rats.
At night you can hear 'em under our caravan - all squeaks, you know?
Makes all funny noises.
I mean, if you end up in a caravan, you've gone as low as you can go.
You can't go no lower than that
unless it's on the street or in the halfway houses.
When Mr Jones came out the Forces, they tried hard to find places.
But the money they got was no good.
As the kids came along, it got worse.
He went down the mines, he went as a driver on the buses,
but each time, the rent asked was far too much.
Too much for his wages.
He tried to get jobs in the Forestry.
But each time we were turned down.
Can't get anything really regular.
He did the Forestry when he was a Prisoner of War.
Reg got a job picking blackcurrants
and when the job with the blackcurrants was over
he got work at the airport on the new runway.
Then picking gooseberries and loganberries.
And the kids like life here, too.
They were for always finding things that fascinated them among the trees.
I got to like it here as well. I don't know why.
I know it was squalid but it was easy-going.
Only sometimes the filth got on my nerves.
I felt as if we'd sunk, somehow, out of the race.
Things didn't seem to matter down here no more.
There was no-one to move us on.
Reg and me reckoned we might stay here for a while.
Well, it was a life. We were happy.
What we are pressing for is the fencing off of the common land
so that the gypsies and layabouts can no longer get on it.
Now, it is the traditional camping place of the gypsies, of course.
No-one is denying that - but these are not real gypsies,
they're just scroungers, layabouts.
These are the words that spring to one's mind
when contemplating these people.
And, of course, with the new housing development,
of which we are all part,
the character of the area must be expected to change.
We can accept no hindrance from those who wilfully try to keep us in the past.
There is no longer room for slums on wheels.
Many of these people are not gypsies.
They are here because they can't find anywhere else to live.
Where would the sympathies of the association lie
in the event of violence?
I'm afraid our sympathies will be very much with ourselves.
The council has wasted enough time on these gypsies.
They give nothing towards the council...
Right mate, I'll get you!
Why should we support them?
Young respectable couples in the borough can't get housing.
Who would we rather have the money?
-That's right. Hops.
-Bert and I helped to make that, didn't we?
D'you want another pint? I'll get it. No, I'll get 'em.
-That's how I met the missus.
I'd been out potato picking and had a few pints.
And I had to go into this ditch - and there she was - the future wife.
-She asleep, was she(?)
-Nah, she'd had a few pints, too.
If you'd got it off someone you know's OK, you can get his name...
Mum! The caravan's burning!
Get back! Get back!
Why were you living there in the first place?
We was evicted from a council house in Stoke.
Where were you on the night of the fire?
We went out to buy some dolls for the kids.
On the way back we stopped for a quick one.
Did you and your wife have to be out together?
Mrs Jones can't drive and I wanted her advice about the dolls.
There are times when a husband and wife have to go out together,
and this was one of them.
And would say, sir, that this was murder.
It's the kids from the new estate. And the adults?
Well, they just seem to encourage them.
You are the health inspector for this region.
And you have made orders for the demolition of houses 1,000 times better than these caravans.
The local authority do have sympathy for these people...
That's my baby in there!
Somebody go and get it out!
Pauline Jones, were you asleep in your caravan on the night of April 25th?
Yes. We was all six in the bed.
I woke up cos the place was full of smoke.
-So I grabbed little Gary in me arms and got out.
And do you remember what happened then?
Well, all the others got burned out.
When they get the ban,
they're tight over the boundary into the next district.
They leave it on the side of the road
and then the police in that district come
and nick you for being on the side of the road!
It's because you can't cause obstructions on a public highway.
Reg was working at the airport.
Some nights when he got back, he couldn't find us.
He'd be worried about us. So he got behind in his working.
We can't go on like this, Cath.
We're going to have to sell the caravan.
I mean, there must be somewhere for us.
Fancy you paying out money before you've even seen the place.
I didn't know. He said we could have the first-floor front.
We used to have people living here but now we can't allow it.
The fact is people tend to deteriorate
when they're living in a boat.
'Ere, we used to have 'em.
But they turned the place into a slum.
If people want to come here with their pleasure boats
and take them out occasionally, it's all right by us.
But living in 'em the whole time, in my opinion, it's not helping anybody. We had to ask them to go.
But what if they're homeless? Say they've got nowhere else to go?
Even so, it's not helping them.
In my opinion, we had to get rid of 'em.
It's not helping them to help themselves, is it?
You people let yourselves get so run down, no wonder they won't help you.
We get run down because we ain't got no house.
We've got a Welfare State now - you can't come to any real harm.
Are you an inhabitant of this borough? Are you on the housing list?
Whereabouts on the list are you? Surely you must be pretty high?
They say they'll get us a place on the Smithson estate.
Come on, mind the fire. Play with the rope properly.
< I'll tan your arse when I get hold of you!
-Hold on. Is she yours?
-Yes, she is. We're next door.
-D'you live here, too?
-Yes. Next door.
-Next door? How's your place?
-It's leaking everywhere.
-Have you got enough wood?
I'm going to light up a fire and make her something to eat now.
She's starving, I suppose. Hasn't had any food all morning.
There's quite a few, I suppose.
Can't you come round and give me a hand?
All right, love. I've got another one here.
Here you are.
Got it? Nice and tight. I'll put this one in here.
-This is bloody ridiculous.
-You all right?
Sean's not very well either.
I don't know what you think, Reg, but I think we've had it.
I mean, they turned us out the caravan, didn't they?
And they turned us out the derelict house.
They're gonna find us here, I know they will.
I think we'll have to give up soon.
Else they'll take the kiddies away, like that man said.
Don't worry, love, I've got five pound.
Know what you're going to do tomorrow then, Cath?
Pity about that place, that maisonette.
But you know what you're going to do now.
-You have an aunt in Northumberland?
-Yes, I did have.
But you don't know her address?
I haven't seen her since I was seven. She might be dead.
Mrs Ward, have you any friends or other relatives?
Who might help with accommodation?
Look, if I had, I wouldn't be here, would I?
I have to draw your attention to a fact which is not very pleasant.
But in our emergency accommodation, it's not very nice.
Some of the people are a little rough.
Now, are you sure you want to go in?
Look, I don't want to be cheeky,
but we've been waiting here for six hours.
-If I had any choice, do you think I'd have stayed?
-All right. Sit down.
Mr Ward, please.
If you've got a bit of chocolate, keep him quiet, please, Cath.
Mr Ward, I'd just like to check one or two facts.
You and your wife lived at your mother's house
up to what date, exactly?
And what address would that be?
97 Maysoule Buildings, Maysoule Street.
Really? Not Mayberry?
Now, Mr Ward...
Your wife's mother. What is your wife's mother's address?
-Do you have any sisters?
I thought you said, Mr Ward...
There's my teenage sister but she don't count.
-She hasn't a house, she's courting.
-Grandmother or grandfather?
I've got a grandfather, but he's in a home.
Now, Mr Ward, how many rooms does your mother occupy at Maysoule Road?
One bedroom and a living room.
But there's three adults there already.
The accommodation we have available is for wives only.
We can't accommodate husbands.
But why can't you accommodate the husbands, then?
We used to house husbands at one time,
but we had to discontinue it. They used to tear up the sheets.
We've no objection to you seeing your wife
on a weekday evening, provided you're gone by eight.
The front entrance must not be used by you homeless.
There's a good reason for that.
It upsets the old people we accommodate here and, of course,
this accommodation really was meant for them.
No alcohol in the building.
About this we're fairly strict.
Inmates are expected to take a regular bath
and get as much fresh air as possible.
Rent, we charge five shillings a night for each adult
and three bob for a child, payable in advance.
Now, there are other rules
but you'll find it easier to pick them up as you go along.
-Well, I don't think very much of it.
In many places in England, the families are not kept together.
They are broken up as soon as they're homeless
and the children put in care.
If we rehouse homeless families
people would say it was an easy way to jump the queue, wouldn't they?
So we can't do it for obvious reasons.
And it must be strictly understood
that this accommodation is only temporary.
After three months, make no mistake about it - we turn you out.
-So keep searching.
Well, don't eat it then.
I'll eat it. Give it to me.
You will be in Room E72. E72 - don't forget it.
Go on, out!
Well, I'm just taking her up to her room, see?
We've only just come!
I see. You're newcomers, are you?
Well, no men beyond the lodge.
I'm afraid you'll have to get out and say goodbye to your wife now.
-Not you, girl!
-Look, she's just arrived.
-Let me just take her up, please?
-If he could stay I'd be all right.
No, I'm sorry.
I don't make the rules. He'll have to go.
She's got a lot to get through yet.
-Now, listen, lady. Don't be saucy with me...
-Reg, don't. Shut up.
Come on, love.
Many social workers feel that all homeless families are problem families.
They may not be when they arrive in our hostels
but they usually are when they leave.
It was considered that, if a man couldn't provide a home for his wife and children, he wasn't much good.
But that is certainly not true today.
The great majority of the homeless families we deal with
are decent citizens and all they want is a home of their own.
Try to keep the children clean.
Because there is disease here.
Why do they send us here, if there's disease here?
It's in all these places.
We try to keep it down by swabbing them as they come in.
OK, what you have to do, Sean,
is take your panties down.
And then they're going to put something up your bottie.
'Sean always was the worst at taking his pants down.
'He never liked anyone to see him without them.'
There exists in local authorities a kind of punitive attitude
which means that the whole problem of homeless families
is the Cinderella of the Cinderellas.
So I came out of this welfare place and I said goodbye to the missus,
not knowing when I should see her again.
Some men don't seem to bother whether they are living with their wife,
but I have always been...
We have been happy together.
We have been married 18 years.
And when you get like that, it upsets you - breaks your heart.
Bus drivers, lorry drivers, coal men, GPO sorters,
general labourers, scaffolders,
all sorts of groups of workers have become homeless.
-No. Got milk.
Till we either build houses in the areas where there's work, or redistribute
the work to those areas where there are empty houses, we'll get homeless families.
It seems amazing to us in this department
there are tens of thousands of homeless families,
instead of just thousands.
I think you'll be all right in here.
(What are you doing here?)
(I climbed in. I met one of the husbands outside.)
(He showed me a way through the wall.)
(Couldn't leave you alone, Cath.)
(I'm pleased you've come, Reg.)
-(I really am.
(I'm sorry. I am.)
CLAMOUR OF VOICES
We were living in a rented house in Margate that was needed by the works department
for road workers. So we got an eviction order.
They couldn't rehouse us because they wasn't the welfare authority
-and they didn't have any houses.
-Never do that again. Get another cup.
Why? What's the matter with it?
Keep away from the cracked mugs. There's sickness in them.
My first thought is, I feel like a refugee.
I've lived here all me life.
Now I feel I'm like a refugee.
Send us back to where?
To where you're from. But not before you've taken all our houses away.
-You ask the warden, he'll explain.
-You lot, coming here with all your kids...
-I'm not going back!
That's why we have to come to places like this...
I'm not going back.
-Too many of you now.
-It doesn't matter.
-I was in a council house.
My husband buggered off and they've a scheme - if you're an abandoned woman, they turn you out.
And then I came here.
They say it's to stop men leaving their wives.
But it didn't work in my case.
It's nonsense to say that coloured people are responsible for our housing crisis.
The Holland report showed that if immigrants didn't come, either their
places would be taken from migrants from other parts of the country,
or a large number of jobs would remain unfilled.
My second point is more people leave Britain each year than come into it. So there you are.
Go and hurry back to Mummy.
There's a good boy. Quick!
Scrubbing, scrubbing, that's all. It is all day here.
We have to scrub the place twice a day. We'll see.
The children's the ones that feels it most.
They miss their toys, the little things they have had since they were tiny kiddies.
It's too far to take them back to their old school,
even if we could afford the fares.
I mean, what are we expected to do?
Put them in a new classroom without any preparations?
How did you get that in here?
-There's ways when you've been in here long enough.
-Give us your cup.
-Want a little drop?
-Steady on. I don't want to get drunk.
They come in at night to see that your husband has gone.
And they come at one or two in the morning.
There's no place for family life.
That is why they have quarrels.
The women, they get so frustrated.
We used to have money once, didn't we? And I had a good job.
And well, I don't know, I had an accident, and lost the job but...
We had that house.
And then, of course, we got evicted.
But there was a caravan. And when we got, I got £10 for that.
And I gave it to that bloke in the pub for that number 13, that house.
Every time, we just seemed to sort of lose on the deal.
I just don't seem to understand it.
And here we are - we are right at the bottom.
I just don't understand.
And as time goes on, we just seemed to sort of get lower, don't we?
-We're down now but we will be up again, Reg.
-Yeah, we'll get up again.
There's no question about that. No.
But now I'm on my own, I just don't seem to tick over.
I got married, and my wife, and I had the children.
I got to sort of need you and the kids.
And we just seemed to be OK, we would tick over and everything would be fine.
But it's very funny, but...
now I'm on my own again -
it's all gone wrong.
Mrs Ward, I've come to ask you a favour. Oh yeah?
Well, it's about Sean.
I've come to a decision.
I've decided I can't bear to see him in that place any more.
He's pining. I can see it.
So, what I was wondering, if it's all right with you,
I'd like to leave him for a few days?
Leave him with me? What do you mean?
You can't walk out on your children just like that.
Leave Sean with me? You must be out of your bleeding mind!
You don't understand.
I don't want to leave him.
I mean, it really gets me.
I can't stand to see him taking it so badly.
I can't stand it!
Bye bye, darling. Be a good boy.
I've told you before about using my bloody basin, haven't I?
Oh, will you shut up about it?
My kids have got to wash in there.
Your bleedin' kid's always got her behind hanging out.
Sit down, Reg. You look uneasy.
Sit down then!
All right, I'm sorry. I am uneasy, that's all.
What about me? I have to live in this place.
Reg, I don't like to ask you this...
But Stevie needs some new shoes.
Look, Cath, I'm only getting £11 a week and I give you six of it.
And I mean there's 15 bob for National Insurance.
And there's £1 a week for that furniture we got in store.
But that leaves you £3.05.
It's £2.10 for my lodgings, isn't it?
Go play with the kids, go on.
It's £2.10 for my lodgings.
I got 10 bob a week on travelling, leaving me five bob a week for clothes and food.
How am I going to clothe myself on five bob a week?
What meals do you get at your lodgings?
-I only get my breakfast.
-How do you manage then?
I don't. I was going to ask you if you couldn't do on a bit less.
-Reg, that's not possible.
-How much rent are you paying here then?
Well, it's five bob a day for a grown up, three bob a day for a child.
-That's £3 a week.
-What are you doing with the rest of it then?
Reg, don't be like that.
We have to get out of this place. We spend it on food.
You get meals here, don't you?
Yes. But there's disease here.
I can't let them eat here. Once was enough.
-You're gonna have to.
Well, they're going to starve otherwise.
I bumped into this fellow
who said he knew a bloke who could help us.
So I went down to see this bloke.
And he was filling in all these forms and things.
And he says to me, "Where are you living?"
So I told him the address of this new lodgings I've moved to.
He said, "Well, I'm very sorry,
"but I'm afraid I can only help people
"that are resident in this borough."
-I've failed you, Cathy.
-You've been here three months.
This is the maximum period we allow homeless families
to remain in our temporary accommodation.
-I understand all that.
-This is only temporary, you know.
We do, in fact, have the power to evict you.
We can quite easily say, "That's enough of that, so much for her."
As they still do in many towns in Britain.
-We could take your children into care and turn you out, just like that.
-Please don't do that.
But we're not going to. We're going to give you one more chance.
But I must emphasise, this is your last chance.
You must make your own arrangements.
Now we've arranged for you to go to what we call our part three accommodation.
Now this, like the place here, is one of our accommodations where husbands are not admitted.
But you're not going to like it.
The amenities are nothing like as good in this place, but there you are, it's the best we can do.
But don't you think the thing is...
Couldn't you find me a place where I could be with my husband?
Some families here have really been trying to get back on their feet.
Well, who are they? And how? I've not met any.
I mean, it's not possible.
They can smell you from this place. They can smell you a mile off.
Don't talk like that, Mrs Ward.
But something's happening to me.
I don't know how to explain it.
But all this is having a bad influence on my family life.
Somebody told me that you've got these places you call halfway house.
And I thought if I could get into one of these places,
Reg might come back to me.
You see, he's drifting away from me.
And the children, they need him.
And the other thing is that in a month's time
we've got a place to go to.
You've got a place in a month's time?
Yes, on the new Smithson estate. They're giving us a new flat there.
We're told that you lost your place on the list long ago owing to moving.
500 families have moved in already.
But we was meant to be one of those families.
Runts! I saw you laughing.
Wipe that smile off your face!
Haven't you got a room in one of your houses?
Haven't you got flats that are empty half the night?
You don't care.
You only pretend to care.
I didn't mean to say that.
All right, Mrs Ward.
That will be all.
what's your opinion, Gordon?
Well, of course she's not an easy person by a long chalk.
She keeps the children tidy but, as you can see, she's not cooperative.
But, in my opinion, the trouble rests with the other half.
But don't you think we could fit her in somewhere she could be with her husband?
No, there's nowhere at all. We're full up as it is.
We've reached a state that if we had two other families come in tonight,
we'd have to evict to make room for them.
Stephen and Marlene live here.
Six years I've put up with this sort of thing. Six years I've been here.
When I come here, they said, "Who told you to come here?"
I said, "No-one told me, did they?
"I grew up here."
My old man was in the army for six years.
He was a regular. Well, that don't seem to count.
Don't cry, love. What's the matter?
You should leave her alone.
But why is she crying?
-She got the letter.
-The letter that evicts you.
They come and took her kids away now.
I went in front of the committee and they said, "Why not
"put your two eldest in institutions,
then we can re-house you?"
Do you mind if I give you a tip, dear?
Don't go taking a bath cos tramps get in it.
And the toilets get blocked.
There are cockroaches behind the plumbing.
They come out at night and are about an inch long.
This little girl and little boy,
they had a lovely garden as well in their house by the seaside.
I was bombed out in Plymouth.
Then it was two years in a mental home.
I'm not to blame for that, am I?
Somehow I didn't feel I could do that.
I couldn't say goodbye to the kiddies.
It's not... You know, you find you can't carry on without them.
Last June, it was, I lost him.
A disease, it was.
He was only ten weeks old, poor little soul.
They say, go out and get looking for houses.
But we know it's nonsense going out looking for houses.
They call us the Cubies because we live in cubicles.
Everybody round here thinks we're either unmarried mothers
or girls from borstal doing corrective training.
But that's not so.
My children were ill and my husband hadn't seen them.
So I asked if he could come up and see them.
They said no.
So he tried to force his way in.
They soon called the police and shut him out.
And the police laughed at him.
Even if we found houses, there'd be other people here because there's not enough houses.
It's silly when a girl gets married thinking a bloke's going to stay faithful.
But I'm better off with Len,
being married to him than being without him.
If you love a person, why leave him?
Do you know we have to be back home by eight and you have to be in bed by ten?
He's got a fancy girl now. You see, men don't have it like women.
He's got his freedom, ain't he?
-What do you do all day then, Cath?
-What do you think I do?
Nothing to do.
Just sit about all day.
I feel like running away.
What about the kids then?
They're restless. They've had so many changes
they don't know what's going to happen next.
It's not good.
If you go out at night, you've got to be back by nine o'clock.
How are you getting on with the food?
The kids woke me up last night.
They were crying, they were hungry.
I wish you could come more often, Reg.
I can't afford to, Cathy.
You know, I really long for the nights here sometimes.
-Yeah, I bet you do.
-But not like we used to.
Reg? Till all this happened, it was a happy marriage, wasn't it?
If it weren't for the kids, we wouldn't be here.
I'm glad we had them. You can't wish the kids away.
Oh, no. But I don't know,
I wish we could start all over again.
-I'd choose the same.
-Oh, I'd choose you, Reg.
But now, I don't know,
I just feel I want to look away.
I'm practising very hard. And with a little bit of recognition,
I shall be all right in some money, I hope.
I know me age is against me, but I'm hoping to win.
-Give us a song then, come on.
It went through my mind to chuck the whole thing up.
Turn my back on the kids and go off.
You see, I felt I'd failed them.
Well, I knew they weren't fit to be in a place like that.
I thought about how I used to be before we were married.
Without anyone depending on me.
And I had boyfriends, money in my pockets. And some good times.
Look, why don't you go, Reg?
I mean, you need a job, love.
I've heard there's jobs up in Liverpool too.
And then when you've got a job, you can find a place.
-That's what I thought, Cath.
-They say it's easier up there.
I'm bound to be able to get a place up there, ain't I?
And then when the Smithson estate's finished,
-we'll have no more worries then.
If I can't fix up a place,
I should be back by the time the other place is finished.
'It was all so... sort of strange really.
'Cos kids do seem...
'Well, they do seem to sort of need their dad.
'They like to look forward to being with their dad as well as their mum.
'To have a bit of a laugh with him.'
That baby was in tiptop medical condition.
Yeah, if it was in tiptop medical condition, how come it's dead now?
-You tell me.
-The mother mustn't have looked after it properly.
She's a marvellous mother. Don't you bleedin' say that about her!
I'm only stating the truth.
The way some of you women keep your children...
What do you mean? How much chance have we got in this dump?
Just a minute, just a minute - what about hygiene? What about bathing?
Eh? How often do you change your baby's nappy? You tell me.
-She changes it three times a day.
-Three times a day?
-You cow! Get out!
-You bloody come here, my dear!
-You don't care!
-Look at you...
-You'll be very sorry about this, my dear.
-We're bloody clean, we are. We're clean, aren't we?
-We keep our kids clean.
You don't know what the meaning...
Look at this.
Nice carrying on. Look, nice carrying on, making the babies cry.
You're a cow. You're a cow, you are.
She couldn't care about us, could she?
Look at this bloody dump we're in.
Yes, it's a dump...
-It's all your fault.
Yes, it's your bloody fault.
You were the one that brought it back, wasn't she?
Where's my cap? Where's my cap?
I don't know where your silly old cap is. Go on, get out.
-Go on, get out.
-I shall be reporting you...
You do that! You do it! Bugger off.
I wonder who said this?
You see, it's about this place.
I wonder who told those lies.
It wasn't me.
Listen, young lady, I'm not as stupid as I may look.
It was a blonde who talked to the reporter.
-A blonde like you.
-Well, I don't know who it was.
There have been other reports about you too.
About Mrs Selby?
I was just telling her about the poor little baby that died, that's all.
Mrs Ward, I see here that your husband hasn't been paying the fees.
Paying the fees?
-Of course he is.
-We'd know if he was or wasn't.
Didn't he tell you he hasn't been paying?
I haven't seen him. He's been away on business.
You haven't seen him?
Not for a while.
What is going on here? Are you married or aren't you?
Oh, shut up, you! Shut up!
"It must be clearly understood that the temporary accommodation will no longer be available after that date."
What does it mean?
-I shouldn't worry about it.
-It doesn't mean what it says, maybe.
These people are casualties of the Welfare State,
perhaps the worst casualties of all.
They're pushed around like so much human litter and nobody will help them.
Originally homelessness was regarded as a passing post-war phase.
But the problem now appears to be with us for the foreseeable future.
Oh, excuse me, I called about a room.
-How many of you?
-Well, there's just me and the two kiddies.
Sorry, I don't take children.
Don't be a fathead when your time comes.
Let us take them away without making any fuss, huh?
What right have you got to take my kids from me?
Well, you can't find a place for them, can you?
Now, look, you've had your chance.
We're not interested in you now.
It's the kids we're worried about. We can't have them sleeping out.
From the time they leave here,
they'll be in need of care and protection.
Come on, Stevie, help Mummy pack.
They're too heavy.
That's a good boy.
You're coming out with me in a minute.
We had a bite to eat from the cafeteria.
Of course, the kiddies didn't know what was going to happen.
But I knew they'd catch up with us, wherever we tried to bed down for the night.
You're not having my kids! You're not having 'em!
Give me my kids!
# I'm a fiver
# Caught miles away
# From a home. #
Landmark 1960s TV play about a young couple and their children who are cruelly overtaken by events which lead them into an unrelenting trap of debt, homelessness and poverty.