Cathy Come Home The Wednesday Play


Cathy Come 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.


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Transcript


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# Is this the train I'm on?

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# Do you know that I am gone?

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# You can hear the whistle blow

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# 500 miles

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# You can hear the whistle blow

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# 500 miles... #

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Well, I was a bit fed up, you know?

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There didn't seem to be much there for me.

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You know how these little towns are - one coffee bar.

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It was closed on a Sunday.

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Didn't even tell 'em I was going.

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I sent 'em a card when I got down there.

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That house over there - yeah, that one with the broken steps.

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That's where I went for a room,

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and the fella kept touching me. Where did I get a room, in the end?

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Oh, yeah, down there - Mantua Street, £3 a week.

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That's where I got my first job - petrol-pump girl. Mad.

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They were going along in hearses to this "unusual supper party",

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and the bloke who was going in, the chandelier falls down on him, y'see,

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and he gets strangled with all these diamonds.

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Then this big woman, who'd grown to about 40ft high...

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-That was through the radioactive dust, was it?

-Oh, yeah.

-Ah.

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She sticks her hand through this window

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and she gets hold of this little piece he's been doing it with -

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-they've been jitterbugging away...

-It was an old film?

-Quite old.

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But unbeknownst to this big 40ft girl, y'see,

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there's been a bit of swapping around,

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and it's not her husband at all any more.

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As the bloke's jumping her, his mask slips. It slips right down.

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-Who d'you think it was?

-The Duke of Edinburgh(?)

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# If the sky that we look upon

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# Should tumble and fall

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# Or the mountain

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# Should crumble to the sea

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# I won't cry, I won't cry

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# No, I won't shed a tear

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# Just as long

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# As you stand, stand by me

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# And, darling, darling, stand by me

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# Oh, stand by me

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# Whoa, stand now

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# Stand by me... #

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We'll have a motor. An E-Type, eh?

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-Well, help me down, then!

-How about an E-Type, eh, Cath?

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-An E-Type?!

-Yeah!

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-Reg, they're expensive!

-No, we'll have an E-Type.

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I mean, why not, the money I'm earning.

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Then what d'you think we'll do? Eh?

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I don't know. Shunt it, I suppose.

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"Shunt it"? What are you talking about? I'm an A1 driver, I am.

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No, we'll take the brakes out.

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That's what we'll do. We'll take the brakes out.

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Take the brakes out?!

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Yeah! This bloke, he was telling me. He's a fitter down at the Lotus.

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He says you just don't need brakes.

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Drive it on the gears. The gears'll stop you.

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Brakes spoil a good drive, don't they? They spoil a good engine.

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No brakes, you're not tempted to use 'em.

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Well, I feel as if I've got a few drinks inside me.

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When you've had two or three drinks, you don't see nobody, you don't...

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D'you wanna sit down?

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-What, you mean you're a bit drunk?

-No!

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I just don't notice anybody else when I'm out with you, that's all.

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Oh.

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Is that nice?

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-Mm.

-How do you feel?

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-I'm not telling you.

-Oh, go on, I told you.

-No!

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-Well, you can tell me!

-I'd feel embarrassed.

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There's only me here. And that old fella who's asleep.

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That's a horrible thing to say.

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-Let's go and have a drink.

-I never knew you swore.

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That's not swearing. It just came out, that's all.

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Nice boys don't say things like that.

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-Well, I was upset.

-Get your hand off me.

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I was just upset, that's all.

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-I think I'm going home.

-No, don't be silly.

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Let's go and have a drink.

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I put my best suit on to come out with you tonight.

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I'm sorry, I can't help it.

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The least you could've done was...

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# Do you love me? Do you love me?

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# Well, do you love me? Do you love me?

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# Yes, do you love me? Do you love me? #

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That's the advantage of working for a small firm like this.

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They just ain't particular, y'know?

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They don't worry about the hours or whether you get your stamps,

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flog yourself to death or take it easy. They don't care.

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Same about lifts. If you give a bird a lift, they just ain't particular.

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-I've ruined my stockings.

-I'll get you a new pair.

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Same with birds - just don't care.

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-It's not the first time you've given a lift to a bird?

-Don't be silly.

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-Reg, whose is this place?

-The firm I work for.

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-Is it safe?

-Course it is!

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I bet you've brought other birds up here.

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Look! You can see a bit already.

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You can see half the town from here, nearly.

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No, Reg, I don't like it. It's shaky.

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-Ah, come on! Get your sea legs.

-No, I'm scared.

-Come on!

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-No, I'm not coming.

-Come on, come on!

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-Oh...

-Come on. C'mon.

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Whoa!

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-Trust you!

-Come on, up you get.

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Careful. Come on.

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There.

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Trust you to bring me up to a rotten old place like this.

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-How are we gonna get down?

-Don't worry.

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Live in the present, eh, Cath?

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It IS rotten, innit? This whole place is gonna come down soon.

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-I was scared, Reg.

-Now don't be silly.

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No, I was, really.

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I haven't got much courage.

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I reckon it's just us now, innit?

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Just us. Just you and me, eh?

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I wouldn't mind.

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Have some babies, Cath?

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I'd like that, Reg.

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-Sod to all the rest.

-Yeah.

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Along comes this sanitary man, what they calls a health doodah, y'see?

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You all right, darlin'?

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You don't look at all well! Anyway....

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She's terrible!

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He perceives that these beetles are nesting in this clapped-out tree

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at the back of May's caff.

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So he sprays all this disinfectant into the tree.

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Some of it gets into May's dinner and kills two of the customers off.

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-Well, someone's got to eat!

-What about Coming To The End Of Love?

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How does that one go?

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Coming to the end of love...

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I wrote that an' all. Never got no credit for that neither.

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When you lived in the country, did you like living there?

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Ooh, no, it was horrible.

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There was nothing there for me.

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-Ahhh!

-Now what's the matter?

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I'm one of them little beetles down her back!

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..and a slight history of incontinence.

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Oh, yes, there's that.

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Rambling in his mind at all?

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Finding it difficult to remember the odd little thing?

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-A little, aren't you, Granddad?

-I don't know. I never been...

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No. No, thank you.

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And has to be helped with dressing?

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Yes, well, I certainly think you've got a case

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for having your father taken into care.

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What do you feel about it, Granddad?

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If you ask me, I'm not in agreement.

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Besides, there's the fact we need the space.

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There's the two boys, see?

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They're coming back out the Army, so we can't keep him.

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And the council say it's overcrowding.

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Yes. Yes, of course.

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And the incontinence is getting pretty bad.

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Well, Granddad, you'll be in one of our larger homes.

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Rivermead? I expect you've noticed it by the Town Hall.

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It's, erm, it's especially suitable for you,

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because they have all kinds of facilities on offer

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that you mightn't get in a smaller place.

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And, as well as that, there's always plenty to do.

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You'll find there's plenty to keep the time passing,

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what with dances and hobby clubs of various kinds.

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And there is help available

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for the things that might be getting a little complicated,

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like dressing and attention to your feet.

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Come 'ere!

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-Cathy... Come on, Cathy!

-NO!

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-Cathy! Cath!

-Please, Reg!

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Now get out of there!

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I just wanna talk to you, Cath.

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-Hey, Reg, that's good, isn't it? What is it?

-It's double windows.

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Keeps all the sounds of the traffic out.

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-And it keeps heat in, as well.

-Oh.

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-Y'know, I was thinking.

-Hm?

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-You know that table we saw in the shop?

-Yeah.

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-Don't you think it'd look good over there?

-Yeah.

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I could get one of those rubber plants to put on it.

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Oh, yeah. Cath, where d'you think we ought to have the telly?

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The telly. I don't know, really.

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There. I reckon that's a nice little picture, Cath.

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Do you think we're overstepping it a bit, taking on this place?

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Oh, I dunno. It's a bit late now we've got it, innit?

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But there's no point taking on a posh place if we can't afford it.

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Well, course we can!

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I mean, I'm earning £25 a week, and then there's you.

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What is it, £6 a week plus tips?

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-Mm.

-That's £34, £35 a week.

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-Bloody millionaires, ain't we?

-Are we worth 35 a week?

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Funny - a place like that even smells different.

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Must be the central heating.

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Felt different, too, in your bones.

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Oh, what a place!

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Parquet flooring, tin openers fixed to the wall, double glazing.

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And the neighbours - talk about stylish!

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All right, now, we're going to try something

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which sounds a little complicated but isn't really.

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Now, can you put your arms at the side of you?

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Just down by the side of your body. Completely relaxed.

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Now, when you contract a leg, your toe turns up,

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you make a sort of square, heel...

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-It came as quite a surprise when I found out.

-..Let it down.

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I was sick all the time, and it never occurred to me why.

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So the doctor, he said, "Can it be that you're pregnant?"

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And then I realised.

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-Now the other leg.

-I got to dreaming then about what it would be like.

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Now, this is a diagram to show what's happening

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right at the beginning, before labour really starts.

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You can see that the baby is surrounded by fluid,

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and it's quite intact, hasn't broken it at all.

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And this is the neck of the uterus here,

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or the cervix, as we call it.

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Me and my husband are looking for a house to buy,

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I wondered if you could help us.

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We have a number of properties in the lower price ranges,

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-that's £3,500 to £5,000, if that's what you're interested in...

-Mm.

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On which we could probably arrange a 90% mortgage,

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other things being equal.

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May I ask how big your deposit would be?

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I'm off work now, so we haven't got quite so much at the moment,

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but I reckon we could manage about £100.

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£100 would barely cover the legal costs involved.

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You might be lucky and find a new flat with a deposit of only 400,

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but you'd be very lucky.

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We do have cheaper houses, but they're in such a bad condition

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that a building society would normally require you

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to spend about £700 on improvements.

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They'd withhold a proportion of the loan until the work was complete.

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So, you see, really, the cheapest houses are bought by the people

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-with the money in hand to improve them.

-Oh.

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So, really, it was waste of my time coming here.

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ENGINE RATTLES

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BRAKING

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I need compensation!

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I told you about that camshaft knocking through!

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Reg, look, I would compensate you, but I'm skint!

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-I ain't had no insurance on me lorry.

-You're making a bomb here!

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I don't want any argument about it.

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Well, it's not argument - I've had an accident,

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I'm injured and I want some compensation.

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But it's not up to me.

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My lorry's gone. I've got nothing to compensate you with.

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How well off do you think we'll be?

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Well, it's not so good, Cath. We won't have so much now.

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Never mind, though - Reg'll fix it.

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Look, Reg, how much will we have?

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Well, you're not earning no more and I'm down to sickness benefit.

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How much is that? Do you know?

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No, but it's not very much.

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How much we got on the HP, then?

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-Nearly £5 a week.

-Five?

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Well, there's ten on the flat...

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-Nothing else?

-No.

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-Oh, there's the life insurance, as well.

-Oh, yeah.

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Still, we got savings, ain't we?

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Yeah. £30.

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I suppose we'd better find somewhere cheaper to live, then.

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I suppose so.

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It doesn't matter, anyway.

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We'd have had to get out of here - they don't allow children.

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-Westminster.

-How about sharing? Do you fancy sharing?

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-Sharing with who?

-I don't know.

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Get some nice young couple to share with us.

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-Took me a long time to get used to sharing with you.

-Thank you(!)

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There's 200,000 more families in the London area than homes to put them.

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And there's 60,000 single persons living without sinks or stoves.

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In seven central London boroughs,

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at least one in ten of all households is overcrowded,

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that is to say, living more than one and a half people per room.

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Oh, hello. Is your room still to let?

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-No. Is it still in that place?

-Yes, it is.

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It'll be a week tomorrow since I told them to take it out, because...

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-Pardon?

-It'll be a week...

-Really?

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On the Thursday last week, I asked them to take it out,

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because I'd got suited.

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A few years back, figures released by the LCC

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revealed families of certain sizes, at the rate of building in force,

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would be 350 years on the housing list

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before they were offered a house.

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Oh, it's a scourge here.

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The present target of 500,000 set by the Government is not high enough.

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Even if it is reached,

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there's still people living in slums ten years from now.

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What's needed is a government that realise this is a crisis

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and treats it as such.

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We can't stay at Mum's. There's no room!

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The council said it was overcrowded.

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They needn't find out, need they? Oh, Mum'll fix it, don't worry.

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You're gonna have better eyes than your dad, aren't you, eh?

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Yeah. He's squinting a bit, though.

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-They all squint.

-Oh.

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'Funny how a baby makes a place quite different.

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'And Reggie said so, too.

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'Well, goodbye to freedom.

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'I didn't mind, though.'

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SHOUTING

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This is what you call the island of paradise.

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The kids here, they've seen rats running around the place

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nearly as big as cats.

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DOG BARKS

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And any time the children have accidents, nine out of ten times

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all the mothers come down to see if they can do anything to help you.

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They're so old. They're damned old places.

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They're so old. They want pulling down!

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Still, we've got plenty of company.

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And I think we're reasonable people that we all get on together.

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We have our ups and downs. You can fight over the kids.

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But, erm, apart from that, we're lucky, I suppose.

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Better off than some people.

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I don't like one half of the people in it.

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And what is more, there's none of 'em neighbourly.

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They've always got something to say about you behind your back.

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I had a friend live next door to me.

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She really would have give £1,000, as she used to say,

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to move out of here, but now she's gone -

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she's got a brand-new maisonette -

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she said she'd like to come back if she could bring her flat back here.

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She likes the company, the friends.

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Of course, Reggie's Uncle Matt, he was the adventurous type.

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He spent a lot of time in India.

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He wanted to see foreign parts. He never has.

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Then his Uncle Tom, he was in the Merchant Navy.

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Uncle Jim - well, he was the ne'er-do-well.

0:15:520:15:55

When he got married, I remember Granddad saying,

0:15:550:15:58

"Of course, he's a nice fella,

0:15:580:15:59

"but he'll never be no good to no woman, not never."

0:15:590:16:02

CHILDREN SHOUT

0:16:020:16:05

When I first came here, we never had none of this lot.

0:16:120:16:17

We never had no children in here.

0:16:170:16:19

This was only for a married couple or one on their own. No children.

0:16:190:16:26

You had ladies here then.

0:16:260:16:28

There was rats under the floorboard, I had the council down

0:16:280:16:30

to take the floorboards up and put poison down for the rats.

0:16:300:16:33

They said that definitely rats had been there

0:16:330:16:36

but they'd probably gone somewhere else, to annoy somebody else.

0:16:360:16:39

Reg, we've got a new girl at work.

0:16:390:16:41

-You knew her when you went to school.

-Who's that?

0:16:410:16:44

Christine something or other. Rowbotham or something.

0:16:440:16:47

Oh, I know. Er, Jenkins, wasn't it?

0:16:470:16:50

That's it. She's on the bra counter.

0:16:500:16:52

Well suited, I tell you!

0:16:520:16:54

Wasn't it George? You remember George?

0:16:570:17:01

What, George that had the accident?

0:17:010:17:04

Did he have an accident? What was that?

0:17:040:17:06

-Didn't you know? He had his leg off.

-Oh, dear.

0:17:060:17:08

-Oh, that's terrible.

-Yeah, wasn't it?

0:17:080:17:10

He was very keen on sports, too, I remember.

0:17:100:17:13

He was a lovely little runner, really was.

0:17:130:17:16

Well, he won't be able to run any more, will he?

0:17:160:17:19

Well, I don't think it's funny. Do you?

0:17:190:17:21

I think this is the only tenement block in Islington

0:17:210:17:24

where you can sit in your toilet with you door open

0:17:240:17:27

-and cook breakfast at the same time.

-We've only got one bedroom.

0:17:270:17:30

I mean, you've got no married life.

0:17:300:17:32

It's sort of...

0:17:320:17:34

Half your questions and half your rows is over sex,

0:17:340:17:37

because you have to see that they...

0:17:370:17:40

And you're always on nerves with the children.

0:17:400:17:42

I don't think it's fair to a man, or if you're married and that -

0:17:420:17:46

if you have children, you're entitled to another room.

0:17:460:17:48

You can look out your door up the other woman's passage.

0:17:480:17:51

You can't do that in any new flats, can you?

0:17:510:17:53

I gave Reg some of those frozen chips last week.

0:17:530:17:56

He didn't like them very much.

0:17:560:17:58

Frozen chips? Do you know what I think about them things?

0:17:580:18:00

Do you know what Mr Ward used to say? "Most unhealthy."

0:18:000:18:03

We'll go and make one another a cup of tea,

0:18:030:18:05

we sit outside and have a laugh.

0:18:050:18:07

Better to keep yourself to yourself. Then you can't get into no row.

0:18:070:18:11

Cook your dinner now, dear,

0:18:110:18:12

and then I'll cook ours for Eileen and the boys.

0:18:120:18:15

No, I'm gonna put the baby to bed. He's asleep.

0:18:150:18:18

You know it don't work when we all have it together.

0:18:180:18:20

I'll clear up after him this time.

0:18:220:18:24

I do think it's a bit hard the council won't do nothing for you.

0:18:240:18:28

I mean, I've done my bit, I've brought up five children.

0:18:280:18:31

But if we all picked where we live none of us'd live here, would we?

0:18:310:18:34

Stop your fella putting his feet all over the furniture

0:18:340:18:37

and picking up the baby with his filthy hands.

0:18:370:18:40

-He's your son.

-But you've taught him dirty habits.

0:18:400:18:43

"Dirty habits"?!

0:18:430:18:44

You don't wash your hands before you touch the baby or his bottle.

0:18:440:18:48

I was only doing it to help.

0:18:480:18:49

And don't put Daz in his bottle, either.

0:18:490:18:53

-And then there's the toilet.

-What about the sodding toilet?

0:18:530:18:56

You know what I mean about the toilet. It's disgusting.

0:18:560:18:59

Well, of all the things to bring up!

0:18:590:19:02

You got on my boy's nerves with worry so that he ran off the road.

0:19:020:19:05

It's about time you was going.

0:19:050:19:07

All right, we'll go. You can keep your rotten old flat.

0:19:070:19:10

I can't stand it, anyway. It's driving me round the bloody bend.

0:19:100:19:14

I got you a cup of tea!

0:19:210:19:23

Say "See you after dinner".

0:19:320:19:34

You're not going to throw it, are you? Eh?

0:19:340:19:37

We moved right away from the parts we'd been living in,

0:19:370:19:39

and Reg found quite a good job, too, and we soon fitted in.

0:19:390:19:44

Then Stevie came along,

0:19:440:19:46

and we got quite settled, really.

0:19:460:19:48

These streets, they looked rough, and there were rats.

0:19:480:19:52

But life was quite good here.

0:19:520:19:54

Some of the places were boarded up, with the upstairs windows empty.

0:19:540:19:58

Others were crammed full with people and kiddies.

0:19:580:20:01

Once, I heard sounds coming from one of the boarded-up houses.

0:20:010:20:04

It sounded like, well - a baby crying.

0:20:040:20:08

CHILD SHRIEKS

0:20:080:20:09

I went to a house the other week.

0:20:090:20:13

A woman come out. It's not too good, I tell you.

0:20:130:20:16

And she come out in her knickers and bra.

0:20:160:20:19

That's the sort of people I meet.

0:20:190:20:21

The women used to scrub the pavements every morning

0:20:210:20:24

to keep 'em clean.

0:20:240:20:25

Me sister came to see me last week from Yardley,

0:20:260:20:30

and when she seen the street, she says, "My God, Violet,

0:20:300:20:33

"whatever possessed you to live in a street like this?"

0:20:330:20:36

You knew everybody, and everybody was friendly, y'know?

0:20:360:20:38

You don't know anybody now.

0:20:380:20:40

A different class altogether from what they was.

0:20:400:20:43

You'll meet friends in here, and they're very, very nice friends.

0:20:430:20:48

You could have a laugh and a joke.

0:20:480:20:50

I might have me funny ways, but I'm a kind-hearted old bit of sugar.

0:20:500:20:54

I'm harmless. I'm just an old bag, as has got nobody to turn to.

0:20:540:21:00

Whatever happened to Mr Alley?

0:21:000:21:02

Things have gone far enough with these places.

0:21:020:21:05

Too much pressure, too many people.

0:21:050:21:06

The plaster keeps coming off the wall.

0:21:060:21:08

The plaster? I ain't noticed that.

0:21:080:21:09

-I could pull the chain, half the ceiling comes down on you.

-No?!

0:21:090:21:13

It's a bloomin' old system. It wants a new one.

0:21:130:21:15

There's a sizeable queue waiting. one can follow the other.

0:21:150:21:18

I've seen all sorts of changes, from better to worse.

0:21:180:21:23

Everybody had window boxes when I first come up here.

0:21:230:21:26

Now, my dear, once I had a profession.

0:21:280:21:31

Can you guess what it was?

0:21:310:21:33

-Ooh, I don't know.

-I was an 'ore, dear.

0:21:330:21:36

Ooh, you weren't, Mrs Alley, I don't believe you.

0:21:360:21:39

An 'ore.

0:21:390:21:41

A long time ago,

0:21:410:21:44

but I was lovely then.

0:21:440:21:46

-I had the fellas wild for me, I did...

-Did you?

0:21:460:21:49

..When I was an 'ore.

0:21:490:21:50

Oh, I've got something I want you to do for me.

0:21:500:21:55

-Would you read this letter for me, dear?

-Yeah!

0:21:550:21:57

It's one of me old favourites, and me eyes are not so good these days.

0:21:570:22:02

Ooh, Mrs Alley, it's all about sex!

0:22:070:22:09

Fancy you getting me to read your sexy letters for you!

0:22:090:22:13

Well, there's a caff down the road, and they have a striptease.

0:22:130:22:16

Every night there's kids hanging round, waiting to see 'em.

0:22:160:22:19

That's putting ideas in the kids' heads, innit?

0:22:190:22:22

Stephen, what are you doing?

0:22:220:22:23

That's dirt! I told you not to play with the dirt!

0:22:230:22:26

Look at your clean jeans. Now put that down. And you, Sean.

0:22:260:22:29

Look at you. You're filthy.

0:22:290:22:32

Now I was pregnant again.

0:22:320:22:34

Some would say it was wrong to have another kiddie

0:22:340:22:36

when you're overcrowded as it is, but I don't think so.

0:22:360:22:39

I think kiddies are God's gift.

0:22:390:22:42

You don't do right to deprive anyone of the chance of life.

0:22:420:22:45

Love's what's important in a child's life.

0:22:450:22:47

Love is more important to a child than nice surroundings.

0:22:470:22:51

I know, cos I lived in what they call a respectable" home,

0:22:510:22:54

and I didn't have it.

0:22:540:22:56

The attic - we had to sleep in the attic, like. It was quite damp.

0:22:560:22:59

We wallpapered it about three weeks before I had the baby,

0:22:590:23:03

and the far wall, it's starting to come down already.

0:23:030:23:07

HELP!

0:23:070:23:08

-Oh, Mrs Alley, are you all right?

-I fell through the bed!

0:23:080:23:10

Oh, thank you, ducks, thank you.

0:23:100:23:13

I'm very grateful to you, ducks.

0:23:130:23:15

Mrs Alley, I can't pull any harder. I'll hurt the baby!

0:23:150:23:18

Aren't I a silly girl?

0:23:180:23:21

Pull me.

0:23:210:23:23

I wets the bed, see?

0:23:230:23:26

I wets the bed, and the springs get rotted.

0:23:260:23:29

You may see one of these pigeons flying across,

0:23:290:23:32

cos I got one coming from Barcelona, and he's very tired.

0:23:320:23:35

There's the pigeon there!

0:23:350:23:38

Come on!

0:23:380:23:40

I'll send that cat up after you! Now come in! Come on!

0:23:410:23:45

Come on! Come on!

0:23:460:23:49

-Bang!

-Ssh!

0:23:520:23:54

Sean, be quiet.

0:23:540:23:56

I felt we were honoured, somehow,

0:23:560:23:58

that pigeon coming all the way back to us.

0:23:580:24:00

Mrs Alley, can I have a word with you for a minute?

0:24:000:24:03

Give me a lift up, dear. Oh, thank you.

0:24:040:24:08

-Can you manage?

-Thank you.

0:24:080:24:10

Mrs Alley, I was wondering if it'd be all right

0:24:100:24:12

if we owed the rent for a few weeks.

0:24:120:24:14

Only, what with the pigeons, and Reg isn't earning very much now...

0:24:140:24:18

-Owe the rent, ducks?

-Mm.

0:24:180:24:20

Course you can owe the rent, but I want to be paid.

0:24:200:24:23

-We will pay you, course we will.

-I'll have to be paid.

0:24:230:24:26

You see, as old as I seem, I don't qualify for a pension.

0:24:260:24:31

-Ah!

-I look older than I really am.

0:24:310:24:33

The children tries to have a good time

0:24:330:24:36

if people mind their own business and let them have it.

0:24:360:24:39

One's name was Sean and the other one's was Stephen,

0:24:390:24:43

and they lived in a little cottage by the seaside,

0:24:430:24:47

-and every day...

-Did they?

-Yes!

0:24:470:24:49

Reg! Reg!

0:24:490:24:52

It's Mrs Alley! She's dead!

0:24:520:24:55

The men from the council came along, took away her odd bits and pieces.

0:25:010:25:06

They looked through the letters

0:25:060:25:08

for notes of any relatives she might have,

0:25:080:25:10

but she hadn't got none.

0:25:100:25:12

Only letters from her old clients, that's all.

0:25:120:25:15

So there was no-one to pay the death grant to.

0:25:150:25:18

Oh! Yes?

0:25:260:25:29

I'm representing a nephew of the deceased, Mrs Alley,

0:25:290:25:32

what died last week,

0:25:320:25:33

and the fact is my client now needs the unpaid rent

0:25:330:25:36

for the current week and the back period,

0:25:360:25:38

during which he gathers from the rent book you was in arrears.

0:25:380:25:41

-In arrears? You sure?

-Yeah.

0:25:410:25:43

-Well, I didn't know Mrs Alley had any relatives.

-Well, she does.

0:25:430:25:46

I'm sorry, but I can't oblige at the moment.

0:25:460:25:48

You see, Mrs Alley said we could owe the rent for a few weeks

0:25:480:25:52

because my Reg has been ill.

0:25:520:25:54

-Now he's better we'll pay you, course we will.

-Yes...

0:25:540:25:57

But just give us a few weeks, that's all.

0:25:570:25:59

And I'll even go out to work, as well.

0:25:590:26:02

What Mrs Alley said and what my client wants are completely different.

0:26:020:26:06

So you'd better find some way to pay up. OK?

0:26:060:26:08

You couldn't talk to him.

0:26:080:26:10

It was like it was hopeless trying to talk to him.

0:26:100:26:12

What, three months in arrears? Well, I'll knock his block in!

0:26:120:26:16

I mean, who does he think he's talking to?

0:26:160:26:19

-How long is it since he's been round here?

-Well, it's four weeks.

0:26:190:26:22

What, four weeks? He says here we owe him three months!

0:26:220:26:26

I mean, well, who are we supposed to pay this rent to?

0:26:260:26:28

He never comes round. How does he expect to collect it?

0:26:280:26:31

Have another look at the letter.

0:26:310:26:33

Well, it says here he's gonna kick us out.

0:26:330:26:35

They can't evict you these days.

0:26:350:26:37

I thought they passed a law about it. It's nonsense.

0:26:370:26:40

Well, he says here he can.

0:26:400:26:42

Look, I've told you once we'll pay you if only you'll give us time.

0:26:420:26:47

I know your game.

0:26:470:26:48

You wanna get us out so you can charge someone else key money.

0:26:480:26:51

My client needs this place for himself and his relatives,

0:26:510:26:54

so you'd better get out.

0:26:540:26:56

You may have heard eviction isn't legal these days,

0:26:560:26:58

but with a relative what wants an 'ouse, you can still be evicted.

0:26:580:27:01

-Are you sure about that?

-And we'll get a court order to prove it.

0:27:010:27:05

But we're protected tenants!

0:27:050:27:06

I've been here every week now for a month. You've had time to pay up.

0:27:060:27:10

The defendant not only persistently refused to pay his rent,

0:27:100:27:13

but the landlord will be forced to put the premises right

0:27:130:27:16

at the cost of some several hundred pounds to himself.

0:27:160:27:18

What have you got to say?

0:27:180:27:20

Well, I say it's all a pack of lies.

0:27:200:27:22

I mean, listen, now, for the first thing,

0:27:220:27:24

Mrs Alley said we didn't have to pay any rent cos I wasn't working.

0:27:240:27:28

And then this bloke comes round and says he wants the rent.

0:27:280:27:31

When I goes round with the rent, he won't accept it.

0:27:310:27:33

I'm not satisfied in this case that the defendant is telling the truth.

0:27:330:27:38

In addition, he appears to have "mislaid" the rent book

0:27:380:27:41

given to him by Mrs Alley.

0:27:410:27:44

I take the case as proved.

0:27:440:27:45

We'll grant an eviction order dated four weeks from now.

0:27:450:27:48

So we tried. We wrote letters, we wrote after places.

0:27:480:27:51

Never got no answer.

0:27:510:27:53

The next answer we got was "No children."

0:27:530:27:56

"No children accepted."

0:27:560:27:58

I went to an agent, and he said yes, they'd guarantee to find us a place,

0:27:580:28:02

providing we gave them twenty per cent of a year's rent

0:28:020:28:05

and ten per cent of fixtures and fittings, which I thought was unjust.

0:28:050:28:10

And I wrote letters and the rent was too high.

0:28:100:28:13

Oh, there was one place we did go to

0:28:130:28:14

and I thought we were gonna have a chance.

0:28:140:28:17

They said £6, and the next thing we heard, someone had offered 'em eight,

0:28:170:28:21

so that put the cap on that.

0:28:210:28:23

Then other letters we got - "£10 a week".

0:28:230:28:26

Because Reg couldn't afford it, not on his wages,

0:28:260:28:29

it meant that all the week we'd be living on next to nothing.

0:28:290:28:32

In Birmingham, there are 39,000 families on the waiting list.

0:28:320:28:36

Leeds, 13,500.

0:28:360:28:38

Liverpool, 19,000.

0:28:380:28:40

Manchester, nearly 15,000.

0:28:400:28:42

It wasn't long before I realised something -

0:28:440:28:46

we'd been lucky to get the old place.

0:28:460:28:48

There didn't seem to be anything for us any more.

0:28:480:28:51

In Liverpool, one household in nine is on the waiting list.

0:28:510:28:54

In Manchester, it's one in 14.

0:28:540:28:56

In Birmingham, there are 4,000 overcrowded houses,

0:28:560:29:00

12 people to a house.

0:29:000:29:01

Is that yours?

0:29:010:29:02

Well, yes, there's just us and my husband.

0:29:020:29:04

Sorry, love, no children accepted.

0:29:040:29:06

If I had a couple of elephants, they might have said,

0:29:060:29:09

"You can leave 'em outside in the yard."

0:29:090:29:11

But children, they'd say, "Sorry, we can't have nothing like that."

0:29:110:29:15

It was as if it was a crime to have children.

0:29:150:29:17

A million families are without homes of their own.

0:29:170:29:19

You may have a teenaged brother and sister

0:29:190:29:22

who have to share the same bed,

0:29:220:29:23

or maybe a crippled person on the top floor as can never go out.

0:29:230:29:26

Perhaps they're sharing with relatives.

0:29:260:29:29

Or maybe, like yourselves, they've had an order of eviction.

0:29:290:29:33

To house these 8,000 units, we have 500 new dwellings every year.

0:29:330:29:38

Now, people's needs are assessed on points. One point for health risk,

0:29:400:29:44

one for every year they've lived in the borough,

0:29:440:29:46

and one if they haven't got a bath.

0:29:460:29:48

And you just haven't got enough points to qualify.

0:29:480:29:51

But...in view of the gravity of the situation I will investigate

0:29:510:29:55

and see if it isn't possible to jump you up the queue a bit.

0:29:550:29:58

-Thank you.

-And also, in view of the situation,

0:29:580:30:01

I'll try and get you a place on the Smithsonian estate, which is near completion.

0:30:010:30:04

We had a little girl next. We called her Marlene.

0:30:040:30:07

It was Reg's choice, not mine.

0:30:070:30:10

She weighed 8lb5 at birth. Quite a little heavyweight.

0:30:100:30:13

One day we had a visit from the man from the council.

0:30:130:30:16

-Mr Ward?

-Yeah.

0:30:160:30:17

-Good morning. I'm from the Public Health department.

-Oh, yeah.

0:30:170:30:21

I understand that you're living in one room because the room upstairs is too damp for the kiddies to sleep in.

0:30:210:30:26

-Is that right?

-Yeah.

0:30:260:30:27

Well, I'm sorry but I'm afraid we shall have to move you out.

0:30:270:30:31

-We're gonna be evicted anyway.

-Are you?

0:30:310:30:33

-When's that then?

-Next Tuesday.

0:30:330:30:35

Well, that saves me a bit of trouble.

0:30:350:30:38

In any case, it saves me having to do something

0:30:380:30:40

that I don't really believe in.

0:30:400:30:42

Good day to you.

0:30:420:30:44

Oh, faceless man. Why doesn't he do something about it

0:30:440:30:46

instead of doing things he doesn't believe in?

0:30:460:30:49

Like a mad house. They pulled the washing down from the line,

0:30:490:30:52

the lights pulled out from their sockets, we even had windows taken from their frames.

0:30:520:30:57

Someone turned the water off and the electricity wires got pulled out.

0:30:570:31:00

There is another side - our side.

0:31:000:31:03

I'm speaking, by the way, with authority.

0:31:030:31:06

CRASH! ..responsible for the property in question.

0:31:060:31:08

I know it's common for the police to be brought in for an eviction.

0:31:080:31:12

There's nothing unusual about that. But it does get people's backs up.

0:31:120:31:16

It's bad publicity for the company that owns the place,

0:31:160:31:19

particularly when it is a reputable body of churchmen who, through the application of good business methods,

0:31:190:31:25

have landed themselves in the unfortunate position

0:31:250:31:28

of seeming to do an injustice.

0:31:280:31:30

-Come on, then.

-That's it then, Cath.

0:31:410:31:44

Come on Stephen. Up you come.

0:31:440:31:47

That's it. Good lad.

0:31:470:31:49

It's all right, it's all right.

0:31:510:31:54

All right, Cath?

0:31:540:31:55

Hey, mister, could I have a word with you?

0:32:090:32:12

-You want me to store your furniture for a pound a week?

-Go away!

0:32:120:32:15

Now, move out of the way, will you?

0:32:290:32:31

-Leave the kid alone!

-Now, look, I'm only doing my job.

0:32:310:32:34

Come on, don't be silly. Come on over here. Calm down.

0:32:340:32:37

He only wanted his toys. Not asking TOO much, is it?

0:32:370:32:42

It's not too much to expect, surely?

0:32:420:32:43

I mean, we still own the property, don't we?

0:32:430:32:46

Be careful with that chair!

0:32:460:32:48

-What?

-How much longer?

0:32:500:32:52

Don't worry. It's only about five minutes.

0:32:520:32:54

-Is it?

-It's just down there.

-I'm getting tired, Reg.

0:32:540:32:57

-We're nearly there.

-My legs.

-Hang on. Do you want to swap over?

-Yeah.

0:32:570:33:01

Here, have the pram. Stay here, Sean.

0:33:010:33:03

I told you not to buy them ice creams. Look at the state they're in.

0:33:030:33:06

I know. There you are.

0:33:060:33:09

They're gonna get this road done up, they told me.

0:33:100:33:13

In a couple of months. It gets very bad in the winter.

0:33:130:33:16

It's not very nice, is it, Reg?

0:33:160:33:18

-Why are all these cars here?

-It's a sort of dump.

0:33:180:33:20

The council are trying to do something about that as well.

0:33:200:33:23

I wouldn't go back to a house. I never look at housing adverts now.

0:33:230:33:27

I never look in house agents' windows.

0:33:270:33:29

We tried councils, we tried welfare.

0:33:290:33:32

We even tried to get tied cottages.

0:33:320:33:36

And it just fell through.

0:33:360:33:39

A caravan was the last resort.

0:33:390:33:41

And I hate it.

0:33:410:33:43

-Er...up that way.

-Well, which one is it then?

0:33:440:33:48

-That one over there. That way.

-Which one?

0:33:480:33:50

That one, there. That's it. Well, we're here then.

0:33:500:33:54

..Used to go to big fairs and sell horses and buy horses.

0:33:540:33:58

That was mostly the live-ins. I'd love to go back on the roads.

0:33:580:34:01

If we pull in, side of the road, like we used to years ago,

0:34:010:34:04

the police come along, and summons you,

0:34:040:34:07

and you go to court and we don't know where to go to.

0:34:070:34:09

-Are you gonna live here, mister?

-Yeah, love.

-Mind out, love.

0:34:090:34:13

Now put that down, Sean.

0:34:180:34:20

Leave it alone.

0:34:200:34:21

Well, what do you think of it then, Cath?

0:34:250:34:29

-Could be worse.

-Oh, come on love, it's not that bad.

0:34:290:34:32

-Is there any light?

-Yeah.

0:34:320:34:35

I'll show you in a minute.

0:34:350:34:37

-Like the wood?

-Yeah, it's a bit dirty.

0:34:370:34:40

Sit down there. I'll show you.

0:34:400:34:42

That's it. Now, it's quite easy to operate, Cath.

0:34:420:34:46

It's not so difficult.

0:34:460:34:47

When I'm out of the place you'll be able to do it yourself.

0:34:470:34:50

I'll show you how it works.

0:34:500:34:52

Now, you need a box of matches.

0:34:520:34:54

Er...

0:34:540:34:55

Now... Stick the match through there.

0:34:550:34:59

And...

0:35:010:35:03

-That's it.

-It's gone out, Reg.

0:35:030:35:06

Oh...

0:35:060:35:07

It wasn't too bad, really.

0:35:070:35:09

The wind was getting up outside in the marsh.

0:35:090:35:12

It made it feel quite snug inside.

0:35:120:35:15

It felt funny to be in a caravan.

0:35:150:35:18

I'd only been in one once before, and that was on summer holiday.

0:35:180:35:22

It was a relief though, really.

0:35:220:35:24

I think it was because of the tension we'd been living under

0:35:240:35:28

the past few weeks.

0:35:280:35:29

And you got the light, you see?

0:35:290:35:31

It's very efficient. It does the whole room.

0:35:310:35:33

And it's warm as well. Like it?

0:35:330:35:37

BABY CRIES

0:35:370:35:39

-Is she going to sleep?

-Yeah, she's tired.

-Night-night!

0:35:390:35:43

-Have we got some bacon? We better have that before it goes off, and all.

-Come on now.

0:35:430:35:48

-Go to sleep now.

-Goodnight!

0:35:480:35:51

Goodnight! ..I don't know how we're going to fit another bed in here, Reg.

0:35:510:35:55

Don't worry, I'll show you.

0:35:550:35:57

-Oh, I see! That's very clever, isn't it?

-It's all right, it's all right.

0:36:000:36:04

It's quite comfy, too.

0:36:040:36:07

Are you sure we're safe here, Reg?

0:36:080:36:10

I mean, they won't come and get us, will they?

0:36:100:36:13

-They won't move us on.

-What, from 'ere? Nah, don't worry about it.

0:36:130:36:16

They won't come and look for us here, not amongst all this lot.

0:36:160:36:20

We may have dropped a peg, but I think we'll be a lot contenter.

0:36:200:36:23

Later the wind got stronger. It began to rock the place around quite a lot.

0:36:230:36:28

I like a van. You get all the air round you in a van.

0:36:300:36:33

You know I'm 86?

0:36:330:36:34

-You're not! You 86?

-86!

0:36:340:36:37

And I don't think a house'd suit me.

0:36:370:36:41

You know, in a house, you can't breathe.

0:36:410:36:43

And I like air. I like fresh air.

0:36:430:36:46

You know, it makes... It's beautiful, fresh air.

0:36:460:36:49

There's no roadway at all. It's just a road of mud

0:36:490:36:53

and scrap heaps all the way up the lane, which we get fires every day of the week burning.

0:36:530:36:59

The caravans are very close together.

0:36:590:37:01

We have to walk a couple of hundred yards to empty a chemical toilet.

0:37:010:37:06

In a house, it's all four walls.

0:37:060:37:09

And we seemed closed in, like a bird penned up in a cage.

0:37:090:37:13

To get the fuel to come down to us, well, it's...

0:37:160:37:19

They just won't come.

0:37:190:37:20

The state of that road, and the mud, and the bumps and that...

0:37:200:37:24

Another thing I can't understand, it's the drivers that stop this.

0:37:240:37:28

The drivers won't come down.

0:37:280:37:29

And yet, they're the same sort of people as us.

0:37:290:37:31

People look at me and say, "Oh, him? He's just a dirty old gypsy."

0:37:310:37:36

But we're not dirty, we're clean.

0:37:360:37:38

And we keep ourselves clean.

0:37:380:37:40

I tell you why. Cos we wash ourselves.

0:37:400:37:44

And we don't need any of them flush baths either.

0:37:440:37:46

Get a bucket of water, and we wash ourselves down, down to the waist.

0:37:460:37:51

Then when that part's done, roll your shirt down, take off your trousers,

0:37:510:37:54

and you wash yourself down and up, up and down, up to the bottom.

0:37:540:37:58

-What, in the open air?

-Yeah, of course!

0:37:580:38:00

I'll tell you something else.

0:38:000:38:02

You'll never find no fleas, lice nor louse,

0:38:020:38:04

-cos we know how to thwart them. With the Devil's Dung.

-What's that, then?

0:38:040:38:08

Well, Devil's Dung, you get that in the chemist.

0:38:080:38:11

It does have a bit of a stink, I'll grant you that...

0:38:110:38:14

You can always tell a traveller,

0:38:140:38:16

by the way he walks and the way he acts.

0:38:160:38:18

Same as I can tell a policeman. I could really smell a policeman.

0:38:180:38:23

We feel free because we can look at the open fields from our window.

0:38:230:38:28

We have our own front door. We don't have people living all on top of us.

0:38:280:38:31

And yet we can live in a decent, civilised manner.

0:38:310:38:34

Next door, there's a load of rats.

0:38:340:38:36

At night you can hear 'em under our caravan - all squeaks, you know?

0:38:360:38:40

Makes all funny noises.

0:38:400:38:41

I mean, if you end up in a caravan, you've gone as low as you can go.

0:38:430:38:46

You can't go no lower than that

0:38:460:38:48

unless it's on the street or in the halfway houses.

0:38:480:38:51

When Mr Jones came out the Forces, they tried hard to find places.

0:38:510:38:56

But the money they got was no good.

0:38:560:38:58

As the kids came along, it got worse.

0:38:580:39:01

He went down the mines, he went as a driver on the buses,

0:39:010:39:05

but each time, the rent asked was far too much.

0:39:050:39:08

Too much for his wages.

0:39:080:39:09

He tried to get jobs in the Forestry.

0:39:090:39:12

But each time we were turned down.

0:39:120:39:14

Can't get anything really regular.

0:39:140:39:16

He did the Forestry when he was a Prisoner of War.

0:39:160:39:19

Reg got a job picking blackcurrants

0:39:190:39:21

and when the job with the blackcurrants was over

0:39:210:39:23

he got work at the airport on the new runway.

0:39:230:39:26

Then picking gooseberries and loganberries.

0:39:260:39:28

And the kids like life here, too.

0:39:280:39:30

They were for always finding things that fascinated them among the trees.

0:39:300:39:34

I got to like it here as well. I don't know why.

0:39:340:39:37

I know it was squalid but it was easy-going.

0:39:370:39:41

Only sometimes the filth got on my nerves.

0:39:410:39:43

I felt as if we'd sunk, somehow, out of the race.

0:39:430:39:46

Things didn't seem to matter down here no more.

0:39:460:39:49

There was no-one to move us on.

0:39:490:39:51

Reg and me reckoned we might stay here for a while.

0:39:510:39:55

Well, it was a life. We were happy.

0:39:550:39:57

What we are pressing for is the fencing off of the common land

0:39:570:40:00

so that the gypsies and layabouts can no longer get on it.

0:40:000:40:04

Now, it is the traditional camping place of the gypsies, of course.

0:40:040:40:08

No-one is denying that - but these are not real gypsies,

0:40:080:40:11

they're just scroungers, layabouts.

0:40:110:40:13

Bloody vagabonds!

0:40:130:40:15

These are the words that spring to one's mind

0:40:150:40:17

when contemplating these people.

0:40:170:40:19

And, of course, with the new housing development,

0:40:190:40:22

of which we are all part,

0:40:220:40:24

the character of the area must be expected to change.

0:40:240:40:28

We can accept no hindrance from those who wilfully try to keep us in the past.

0:40:280:40:34

There is no longer room for slums on wheels.

0:40:340:40:37

Many of these people are not gypsies.

0:40:370:40:38

They are here because they can't find anywhere else to live.

0:40:380:40:41

Where would the sympathies of the association lie

0:40:410:40:44

in the event of violence?

0:40:440:40:46

I'm afraid our sympathies will be very much with ourselves.

0:40:460:40:50

The council has wasted enough time on these gypsies.

0:40:500:40:54

They give nothing towards the council...

0:40:550:40:58

Right mate, I'll get you!

0:40:580:40:59

Why should we support them?

0:40:590:41:01

Young respectable couples in the borough can't get housing.

0:41:010:41:04

Who would we rather have the money?

0:41:040:41:07

-Cherries, apples...

-Fruit picking.

-That's right. Hops.

0:41:070:41:10

-Bert and I helped to make that, didn't we?

-Yeah.

0:41:100:41:13

D'you want another pint? I'll get it. No, I'll get 'em.

0:41:130:41:16

Potato picking.

0:41:200:41:21

-That's how I met the missus.

-No!

0:41:210:41:24

I'd been out potato picking and had a few pints.

0:41:240:41:26

And I had to go into this ditch - and there she was - the future wife.

0:41:260:41:30

-She asleep, was she(?)

-Nah, she'd had a few pints, too.

0:41:300:41:32

If you'd got it off someone you know's OK, you can get his name...

0:41:350:41:39

Mum! The caravan's burning!

0:41:390:41:42

Get back! Get back!

0:41:440:41:46

Why were you living there in the first place?

0:41:480:41:52

We was evicted from a council house in Stoke.

0:41:520:41:54

Where were you on the night of the fire?

0:41:540:41:56

We went out to buy some dolls for the kids.

0:41:560:41:58

On the way back we stopped for a quick one.

0:41:580:42:00

Did you and your wife have to be out together?

0:42:000:42:03

Mrs Jones can't drive and I wanted her advice about the dolls.

0:42:030:42:07

There are times when a husband and wife have to go out together,

0:42:070:42:10

and this was one of them.

0:42:100:42:11

And would say, sir, that this was murder.

0:42:110:42:14

It's the kids from the new estate. And the adults?

0:42:140:42:17

Well, they just seem to encourage them.

0:42:170:42:19

You are the health inspector for this region.

0:42:190:42:21

And you have made orders for the demolition of houses 1,000 times better than these caravans.

0:42:210:42:26

The local authority do have sympathy for these people...

0:42:260:42:30

That's my baby in there!

0:42:300:42:32

Somebody go and get it out!

0:42:320:42:34

Pauline Jones, were you asleep in your caravan on the night of April 25th?

0:42:340:42:39

Yes. We was all six in the bed.

0:42:390:42:43

I woke up cos the place was full of smoke.

0:42:430:42:47

-So I grabbed little Gary in me arms and got out.

-I see.

0:42:470:42:51

And do you remember what happened then?

0:42:510:42:55

Well, all the others got burned out.

0:42:550:42:57

When they get the ban,

0:43:020:43:03

they're tight over the boundary into the next district.

0:43:030:43:07

They leave it on the side of the road

0:43:070:43:08

and then the police in that district come

0:43:080:43:10

and nick you for being on the side of the road!

0:43:100:43:13

It's because you can't cause obstructions on a public highway.

0:43:130:43:16

Reg was working at the airport.

0:43:160:43:18

Some nights when he got back, he couldn't find us.

0:43:180:43:21

He'd be worried about us. So he got behind in his working.

0:43:210:43:25

We can't go on like this, Cath.

0:43:250:43:27

We're going to have to sell the caravan.

0:43:270:43:29

I mean, there must be somewhere for us.

0:43:290:43:31

Fancy you paying out money before you've even seen the place.

0:43:310:43:36

I didn't know. He said we could have the first-floor front.

0:43:360:43:39

We used to have people living here but now we can't allow it.

0:43:390:43:42

The fact is people tend to deteriorate

0:43:420:43:44

when they're living in a boat.

0:43:440:43:46

'Ere, we used to have 'em.

0:43:460:43:48

But they turned the place into a slum.

0:43:480:43:50

If people want to come here with their pleasure boats

0:43:500:43:53

and take them out occasionally, it's all right by us.

0:43:530:43:56

But living in 'em the whole time, in my opinion, it's not helping anybody. We had to ask them to go.

0:43:560:44:00

But what if they're homeless? Say they've got nowhere else to go?

0:44:000:44:04

Even so, it's not helping them.

0:44:040:44:06

In my opinion, we had to get rid of 'em.

0:44:060:44:08

It's not helping them to help themselves, is it?

0:44:080:44:10

You people let yourselves get so run down, no wonder they won't help you.

0:44:100:44:14

We get run down because we ain't got no house.

0:44:140:44:17

We've got a Welfare State now - you can't come to any real harm.

0:44:170:44:20

Are you an inhabitant of this borough? Are you on the housing list?

0:44:200:44:23

Yeah.

0:44:230:44:25

Whereabouts on the list are you? Surely you must be pretty high?

0:44:250:44:28

They say they'll get us a place on the Smithson estate.

0:44:280:44:31

Come on, mind the fire. Play with the rope properly.

0:44:310:44:34

< I'll tan your arse when I get hold of you!

0:44:410:44:44

CHILD GRIZZLES

0:44:440:44:45

-Hold on. Is she yours?

-Yes, she is. We're next door.

0:44:450:44:50

-D'you live here, too?

-Yes. Next door.

-Next door? How's your place?

0:44:500:44:54

-It's leaking everywhere.

-Have you got enough wood?

0:44:540:44:59

I'm going to light up a fire and make her something to eat now.

0:44:590:45:03

She's starving, I suppose. Hasn't had any food all morning.

0:45:030:45:06

There's quite a few, I suppose.

0:45:090:45:11

Can't you come round and give me a hand?

0:45:210:45:23

All right, love. I've got another one here.

0:45:230:45:25

Here you are.

0:45:250:45:27

Got it? Nice and tight. I'll put this one in here.

0:45:280:45:31

-This is bloody ridiculous.

-You all right?

0:45:310:45:34

Sean's not very well either.

0:45:340:45:37

I don't know what you think, Reg, but I think we've had it.

0:45:370:45:40

I mean, they turned us out the caravan, didn't they?

0:45:400:45:44

And they turned us out the derelict house.

0:45:440:45:46

They're gonna find us here, I know they will.

0:45:460:45:49

I think we'll have to give up soon.

0:45:520:45:54

Else they'll take the kiddies away, like that man said.

0:45:540:45:57

Don't worry, love, I've got five pound.

0:45:570:45:59

Know what you're going to do tomorrow then, Cath?

0:46:040:46:08

Pity about that place, that maisonette.

0:46:080:46:10

But you know what you're going to do now.

0:46:100:46:13

-You have an aunt in Northumberland?

-Yes, I did have.

0:46:130:46:16

But you don't know her address?

0:46:160:46:17

I haven't seen her since I was seven. She might be dead.

0:46:170:46:20

Mrs Ward, have you any friends or other relatives?

0:46:200:46:24

Who might help with accommodation?

0:46:240:46:26

Look, if I had, I wouldn't be here, would I?

0:46:260:46:28

I have to draw your attention to a fact which is not very pleasant.

0:46:280:46:32

But in our emergency accommodation, it's not very nice.

0:46:320:46:36

Some of the people are a little rough.

0:46:360:46:38

Now, are you sure you want to go in?

0:46:380:46:41

Look, I don't want to be cheeky,

0:46:410:46:42

but we've been waiting here for six hours.

0:46:420:46:45

-If I had any choice, do you think I'd have stayed?

-All right. Sit down.

0:46:450:46:48

Mr Ward, please.

0:46:480:46:50

If you've got a bit of chocolate, keep him quiet, please, Cath.

0:46:540:46:57

Mr Ward, I'd just like to check one or two facts.

0:47:000:47:03

You and your wife lived at your mother's house

0:47:030:47:06

up to what date, exactly?

0:47:060:47:08

January '62.

0:47:080:47:10

And what address would that be?

0:47:100:47:11

97 Maysoule Buildings, Maysoule Street.

0:47:110:47:14

Really? Not Mayberry?

0:47:140:47:16

No, Maysoule.

0:47:160:47:18

Now, Mr Ward...

0:47:200:47:22

Your wife's mother. What is your wife's mother's address?

0:47:220:47:25

-Do you have any sisters?

-No.

0:47:270:47:30

I thought you said, Mr Ward...

0:47:300:47:31

There's my teenage sister but she don't count.

0:47:310:47:34

-She hasn't a house, she's courting.

-Grandmother or grandfather?

0:47:340:47:37

I've got a grandfather, but he's in a home.

0:47:370:47:39

Now, Mr Ward, how many rooms does your mother occupy at Maysoule Road?

0:47:390:47:45

One bedroom and a living room.

0:47:450:47:47

But there's three adults there already.

0:47:470:47:49

The accommodation we have available is for wives only.

0:47:490:47:52

We can't accommodate husbands.

0:47:520:47:54

But why can't you accommodate the husbands, then?

0:47:540:47:57

We used to house husbands at one time,

0:47:570:47:59

but we had to discontinue it. They used to tear up the sheets.

0:47:590:48:02

We've no objection to you seeing your wife

0:48:070:48:09

on a weekday evening, provided you're gone by eight.

0:48:090:48:12

The front entrance must not be used by you homeless.

0:48:120:48:16

There's a good reason for that.

0:48:160:48:18

It upsets the old people we accommodate here and, of course,

0:48:180:48:21

this accommodation really was meant for them.

0:48:210:48:25

No alcohol in the building.

0:48:250:48:26

About this we're fairly strict.

0:48:260:48:29

Inmates are expected to take a regular bath

0:48:290:48:32

and get as much fresh air as possible.

0:48:320:48:34

Rent, we charge five shillings a night for each adult

0:48:340:48:38

and three bob for a child, payable in advance.

0:48:380:48:41

Now, there are other rules

0:48:410:48:43

but you'll find it easier to pick them up as you go along.

0:48:430:48:46

-Any questions?

-Well, I don't think very much of it.

0:48:460:48:49

In many places in England, the families are not kept together.

0:48:490:48:52

They are broken up as soon as they're homeless

0:48:520:48:55

and the children put in care.

0:48:550:48:56

If we rehouse homeless families

0:48:560:48:58

people would say it was an easy way to jump the queue, wouldn't they?

0:48:580:49:02

So we can't do it for obvious reasons.

0:49:020:49:04

And it must be strictly understood

0:49:040:49:06

that this accommodation is only temporary.

0:49:060:49:08

After three months, make no mistake about it - we turn you out.

0:49:080:49:12

-So keep searching.

-CHILD CRIES

0:49:120:49:15

Sit down.

0:49:150:49:16

CHILD CRIES

0:49:180:49:21

Well, don't eat it then.

0:49:210:49:22

I'll eat it. Give it to me.

0:49:220:49:24

Mrs Ward?

0:49:320:49:34

You will be in Room E72. E72 - don't forget it.

0:49:360:49:41

Go on, out!

0:49:450:49:47

Well, I'm just taking her up to her room, see?

0:49:470:49:50

We've only just come!

0:49:500:49:51

I see. You're newcomers, are you?

0:49:510:49:54

Well, no men beyond the lodge.

0:49:540:49:56

I'm afraid you'll have to get out and say goodbye to your wife now.

0:49:560:49:59

-Not you, girl!

-Look, she's just arrived.

0:50:020:50:06

-Let me just take her up, please?

-If he could stay I'd be all right.

0:50:060:50:10

No, I'm sorry.

0:50:100:50:11

I don't make the rules. He'll have to go.

0:50:110:50:15

She's got a lot to get through yet.

0:50:150:50:17

-Now, listen, lady. Don't be saucy with me...

-Reg, don't. Shut up.

0:50:170:50:20

Come on, love.

0:50:250:50:27

Many social workers feel that all homeless families are problem families.

0:50:290:50:35

They may not be when they arrive in our hostels

0:50:350:50:39

but they usually are when they leave.

0:50:390:50:42

It was considered that, if a man couldn't provide a home for his wife and children, he wasn't much good.

0:50:420:50:47

But that is certainly not true today.

0:50:470:50:50

The great majority of the homeless families we deal with

0:50:500:50:53

are decent citizens and all they want is a home of their own.

0:50:530:50:57

Try to keep the children clean.

0:50:570:50:59

Because there is disease here.

0:50:590:51:01

Why do they send us here, if there's disease here?

0:51:010:51:04

It's in all these places.

0:51:040:51:05

We try to keep it down by swabbing them as they come in.

0:51:050:51:08

OK, what you have to do, Sean,

0:51:080:51:10

is take your panties down.

0:51:100:51:12

And then they're going to put something up your bottie.

0:51:120:51:16

'Sean always was the worst at taking his pants down.

0:51:160:51:18

'He never liked anyone to see him without them.'

0:51:180:51:21

There exists in local authorities a kind of punitive attitude

0:51:210:51:27

which means that the whole problem of homeless families

0:51:270:51:31

is the Cinderella of the Cinderellas.

0:51:310:51:34

So I came out of this welfare place and I said goodbye to the missus,

0:51:340:51:38

not knowing when I should see her again.

0:51:380:51:40

Some men don't seem to bother whether they are living with their wife,

0:51:400:51:44

but I have always been...

0:51:440:51:46

We have been happy together.

0:51:460:51:47

We have been married 18 years.

0:51:470:51:49

And when you get like that, it upsets you - breaks your heart.

0:51:490:51:54

Bus drivers, lorry drivers, coal men, GPO sorters,

0:51:540:51:58

general labourers, scaffolders,

0:51:580:52:02

all sorts of groups of workers have become homeless.

0:52:020:52:06

CHATTERING

0:52:060:52:08

Don? Donnie?

0:52:140:52:16

-Any sugar?

-No. Got milk.

0:52:160:52:21

Till we either build houses in the areas where there's work, or redistribute

0:52:270:52:31

the work to those areas where there are empty houses, we'll get homeless families.

0:52:310:52:36

It seems amazing to us in this department

0:52:360:52:38

there are tens of thousands of homeless families,

0:52:380:52:41

instead of just thousands.

0:52:410:52:42

VOICES ECHO

0:52:440:52:47

I think you'll be all right in here.

0:52:530:52:55

(Cathy?)

0:53:210:53:23

(Cathy!)

0:53:230:53:25

(Reg?)

0:53:250:53:26

(What are you doing here?)

0:53:260:53:28

(I climbed in. I met one of the husbands outside.)

0:53:280:53:31

(He showed me a way through the wall.)

0:53:310:53:33

(Couldn't leave you alone, Cath.)

0:53:370:53:40

(I'm pleased you've come, Reg.)

0:53:410:53:43

-(I really am.

-Come on.)

0:53:430:53:46

SHE SOBS

0:54:020:54:05

(I'm sorry. I am.)

0:54:280:54:30

CLAMOUR OF VOICES

0:54:350:54:37

We were living in a rented house in Margate that was needed by the works department

0:54:500:54:54

for road workers. So we got an eviction order.

0:54:540:54:57

They couldn't rehouse us because they wasn't the welfare authority

0:54:570:55:01

-and they didn't have any houses.

-Never do that again. Get another cup.

0:55:010:55:05

Why? What's the matter with it?

0:55:050:55:07

Keep away from the cracked mugs. There's sickness in them.

0:55:070:55:10

My first thought is, I feel like a refugee.

0:55:100:55:13

I've lived here all me life.

0:55:130:55:15

Now I feel I'm like a refugee.

0:55:150:55:17

Send us back to where?

0:55:170:55:18

To where you're from. But not before you've taken all our houses away.

0:55:180:55:22

-You ask the warden, he'll explain.

-Go on.

0:55:220:55:24

-You lot, coming here with all your kids...

-I'm not going back!

0:55:240:55:27

That's why we have to come to places like this...

0:55:270:55:30

I'm not going back.

0:55:300:55:33

-Too many of you now.

-It doesn't matter.

0:55:330:55:35

-IRISH ACCENT:

-I was in a council house.

0:55:350:55:37

My husband buggered off and they've a scheme - if you're an abandoned woman, they turn you out.

0:55:370:55:42

And then I came here.

0:55:420:55:44

They say it's to stop men leaving their wives.

0:55:440:55:46

But it didn't work in my case.

0:55:460:55:48

It's nonsense to say that coloured people are responsible for our housing crisis.

0:55:480:55:53

The Holland report showed that if immigrants didn't come, either their

0:55:530:55:57

places would be taken from migrants from other parts of the country,

0:55:570:56:00

or a large number of jobs would remain unfilled.

0:56:000:56:03

My second point is more people leave Britain each year than come into it. So there you are.

0:56:030:56:08

Go and hurry back to Mummy.

0:56:080:56:10

There's a good boy. Quick!

0:56:100:56:12

Scrubbing, scrubbing, that's all. It is all day here.

0:56:120:56:18

We have to scrub the place twice a day. We'll see.

0:56:180:56:22

The children's the ones that feels it most.

0:56:240:56:27

They miss their toys, the little things they have had since they were tiny kiddies.

0:56:270:56:33

It's too far to take them back to their old school,

0:56:330:56:36

even if we could afford the fares.

0:56:360:56:38

I mean, what are we expected to do?

0:56:380:56:40

Put them in a new classroom without any preparations?

0:56:400:56:43

How did you get that in here?

0:56:430:56:45

-There's ways when you've been in here long enough.

-Give us your cup.

0:56:450:56:49

-Want a little drop?

-Steady on. I don't want to get drunk.

0:56:490:56:53

They come in at night to see that your husband has gone.

0:56:530:56:56

And they come at one or two in the morning.

0:56:560:56:57

There's no place for family life.

0:56:570:56:59

That is why they have quarrels.

0:56:590:57:02

The women, they get so frustrated.

0:57:020:57:04

We used to have money once, didn't we? And I had a good job.

0:57:040:57:08

And well, I don't know, I had an accident, and lost the job but...

0:57:080:57:13

We had that house.

0:57:130:57:15

And then, of course, we got evicted.

0:57:160:57:19

But there was a caravan. And when we got, I got £10 for that.

0:57:190:57:25

And I gave it to that bloke in the pub for that number 13, that house.

0:57:250:57:29

Every time, we just seemed to sort of lose on the deal.

0:57:300:57:34

I just don't seem to understand it.

0:57:340:57:37

And here we are - we are right at the bottom.

0:57:370:57:40

I just don't understand.

0:57:400:57:42

And as time goes on, we just seemed to sort of get lower, don't we?

0:57:420:57:45

-We're down now but we will be up again, Reg.

-Yeah, we'll get up again.

0:57:450:57:49

There's no question about that. No.

0:57:490:57:51

That's funny...

0:57:530:57:55

But now I'm on my own, I just don't seem to tick over.

0:57:550:57:59

I got married, and my wife, and I had the children.

0:57:590:58:04

I got to sort of need you and the kids.

0:58:040:58:08

And we just seemed to be OK, we would tick over and everything would be fine.

0:58:080:58:12

But it's very funny, but...

0:58:120:58:14

now I'm on my own again -

0:58:140:58:16

it's all gone wrong.

0:58:160:58:18

Mrs Ward, I've come to ask you a favour. Oh yeah?

0:58:180:58:21

Well, it's about Sean.

0:58:210:58:24

I've come to a decision.

0:58:240:58:26

I've decided I can't bear to see him in that place any more.

0:58:260:58:30

He's pining. I can see it.

0:58:300:58:33

So, what I was wondering, if it's all right with you,

0:58:330:58:36

I'd like to leave him for a few days?

0:58:360:58:38

Leave him with me? What do you mean?

0:58:380:58:40

You can't walk out on your children just like that.

0:58:400:58:43

Leave Sean with me? You must be out of your bleeding mind!

0:58:430:58:46

You don't understand.

0:58:490:58:51

I don't want to leave him.

0:58:510:58:54

I mean, it really gets me.

0:58:540:58:55

I can't stand to see him taking it so badly.

0:58:590:59:04

I can't stand it!

0:59:040:59:06

Bye bye, darling. Be a good boy.

0:59:090:59:12

Bye.

0:59:140:59:16

I've told you before about using my bloody basin, haven't I?

0:59:310:59:35

Oh, will you shut up about it?

0:59:350:59:37

My kids have got to wash in there.

0:59:370:59:39

Your bleedin' kid's always got her behind hanging out.

0:59:390:59:42

Sit down, Reg. You look uneasy.

0:59:420:59:45

Sit down then!

0:59:450:59:47

All right, I'm sorry. I am uneasy, that's all.

0:59:470:59:50

What about me? I have to live in this place.

0:59:500:59:52

Reg, I don't like to ask you this...

0:59:560:59:59

But Stevie needs some new shoes.

1:00:011:00:03

Look, Cath, I'm only getting £11 a week and I give you six of it.

1:00:031:00:08

And I mean there's 15 bob for National Insurance.

1:00:081:00:11

And there's £1 a week for that furniture we got in store.

1:00:111:00:14

But that leaves you £3.05.

1:00:141:00:15

It's £2.10 for my lodgings, isn't it?

1:00:151:00:18

Go play with the kids, go on.

1:00:181:00:20

It's £2.10 for my lodgings.

1:00:201:00:22

I got 10 bob a week on travelling, leaving me five bob a week for clothes and food.

1:00:221:00:25

How am I going to clothe myself on five bob a week?

1:00:251:00:28

What meals do you get at your lodgings?

1:00:281:00:30

-I only get my breakfast.

-How do you manage then?

1:00:301:00:32

I don't. I was going to ask you if you couldn't do on a bit less.

1:00:321:00:36

-Reg, that's not possible.

-How much rent are you paying here then?

1:00:361:00:40

Well, it's five bob a day for a grown up, three bob a day for a child.

1:00:401:00:44

-That's £3 a week.

-What are you doing with the rest of it then?

1:00:441:00:47

Reg, don't be like that.

1:00:471:00:48

We have to get out of this place. We spend it on food.

1:00:481:00:51

You get meals here, don't you?

1:00:511:00:52

Yes. But there's disease here.

1:00:521:00:55

I can't let them eat here. Once was enough.

1:00:551:00:57

-You're gonna have to.

-Why?

1:00:571:00:59

Well, they're going to starve otherwise.

1:00:591:01:01

I bumped into this fellow

1:01:041:01:05

who said he knew a bloke who could help us.

1:01:051:01:07

So I went down to see this bloke.

1:01:071:01:09

And he was filling in all these forms and things.

1:01:091:01:11

And he says to me, "Where are you living?"

1:01:111:01:14

So I told him the address of this new lodgings I've moved to.

1:01:141:01:18

He said, "Well, I'm very sorry,

1:01:181:01:20

"but I'm afraid I can only help people

1:01:201:01:22

"that are resident in this borough."

1:01:221:01:24

-I've failed you, Cathy.

-You've been here three months.

1:01:341:01:37

This is the maximum period we allow homeless families

1:01:371:01:40

to remain in our temporary accommodation.

1:01:401:01:42

-I understand all that.

-This is only temporary, you know.

1:01:421:01:45

We do, in fact, have the power to evict you.

1:01:451:01:48

We can quite easily say, "That's enough of that, so much for her."

1:01:481:01:52

As they still do in many towns in Britain.

1:01:521:01:54

-We could take your children into care and turn you out, just like that.

-Please don't do that.

1:01:541:01:59

But we're not going to. We're going to give you one more chance.

1:01:591:02:02

But I must emphasise, this is your last chance.

1:02:021:02:06

You must make your own arrangements.

1:02:061:02:09

Now we've arranged for you to go to what we call our part three accommodation.

1:02:091:02:14

Now this, like the place here, is one of our accommodations where husbands are not admitted.

1:02:141:02:20

But you're not going to like it.

1:02:201:02:21

The amenities are nothing like as good in this place, but there you are, it's the best we can do.

1:02:211:02:27

But don't you think the thing is...

1:02:271:02:28

Couldn't you find me a place where I could be with my husband?

1:02:281:02:32

Some families here have really been trying to get back on their feet.

1:02:321:02:36

Well, who are they? And how? I've not met any.

1:02:361:02:39

I mean, it's not possible.

1:02:391:02:40

They can smell you from this place. They can smell you a mile off.

1:02:401:02:44

Don't talk like that, Mrs Ward.

1:02:441:02:46

I'm sorry.

1:02:461:02:47

But something's happening to me.

1:02:471:02:50

I don't know how to explain it.

1:02:501:02:52

But all this is having a bad influence on my family life.

1:02:521:02:56

Somebody told me that you've got these places you call halfway house.

1:02:561:03:01

And I thought if I could get into one of these places,

1:03:011:03:04

Reg might come back to me.

1:03:041:03:06

You see, he's drifting away from me.

1:03:061:03:10

And the children, they need him.

1:03:101:03:12

And the other thing is that in a month's time

1:03:121:03:15

we've got a place to go to.

1:03:151:03:17

You've got a place in a month's time?

1:03:171:03:19

Yes, on the new Smithson estate. They're giving us a new flat there.

1:03:191:03:24

We're told that you lost your place on the list long ago owing to moving.

1:03:241:03:27

500 families have moved in already.

1:03:271:03:29

But we was meant to be one of those families.

1:03:291:03:32

Runts! I saw you laughing.

1:03:351:03:39

Wipe that smile off your face!

1:03:391:03:42

Haven't you got a room in one of your houses?

1:03:421:03:45

Haven't you got flats that are empty half the night?

1:03:451:03:49

You don't care.

1:03:491:03:51

You only pretend to care.

1:03:511:03:53

I'm sorry.

1:03:551:03:57

I didn't mean to say that.

1:03:571:03:59

All right, Mrs Ward.

1:03:591:04:01

That will be all.

1:04:021:04:04

Well...

1:04:171:04:19

what's your opinion, Gordon?

1:04:191:04:21

Well, of course she's not an easy person by a long chalk.

1:04:211:04:24

She keeps the children tidy but, as you can see, she's not cooperative.

1:04:241:04:29

But, in my opinion, the trouble rests with the other half.

1:04:291:04:32

But don't you think we could fit her in somewhere she could be with her husband?

1:04:321:04:36

No, there's nowhere at all. We're full up as it is.

1:04:361:04:39

We've reached a state that if we had two other families come in tonight,

1:04:391:04:43

we'd have to evict to make room for them.

1:04:431:04:45

Stephen and Marlene live here.

1:05:131:05:16

Six years I've put up with this sort of thing. Six years I've been here.

1:05:161:05:21

When I come here, they said, "Who told you to come here?"

1:05:211:05:23

I said, "No-one told me, did they?

1:05:231:05:26

"I grew up here."

1:05:261:05:27

My old man was in the army for six years.

1:05:271:05:30

He was a regular. Well, that don't seem to count.

1:05:301:05:33

Don't cry, love. What's the matter?

1:05:331:05:36

You should leave her alone.

1:05:361:05:37

But why is she crying?

1:05:371:05:39

-She got the letter.

-What letter?

-The letter that evicts you.

1:05:391:05:43

They come and took her kids away now.

1:05:431:05:44

I went in front of the committee and they said, "Why not

1:05:441:05:47

"put your two eldest in institutions,

1:05:471:05:49

then we can re-house you?"

1:05:491:05:51

Do you mind if I give you a tip, dear?

1:05:511:05:53

Don't go taking a bath cos tramps get in it.

1:05:531:05:56

And the toilets get blocked.

1:05:561:05:57

There are cockroaches behind the plumbing.

1:05:571:06:00

They come out at night and are about an inch long.

1:06:001:06:02

This little girl and little boy,

1:06:021:06:04

they had a lovely garden as well in their house by the seaside.

1:06:041:06:10

I was bombed out in Plymouth.

1:06:101:06:12

Then it was two years in a mental home.

1:06:121:06:15

I'm not to blame for that, am I?

1:06:151:06:16

Somehow I didn't feel I could do that.

1:06:161:06:19

I couldn't say goodbye to the kiddies.

1:06:191:06:21

It's not... You know, you find you can't carry on without them.

1:06:211:06:25

Last June, it was, I lost him.

1:06:251:06:28

A disease, it was.

1:06:281:06:30

He was only ten weeks old, poor little soul.

1:06:301:06:33

They say, go out and get looking for houses.

1:06:331:06:36

But we know it's nonsense going out looking for houses.

1:06:361:06:39

They call us the Cubies because we live in cubicles.

1:06:391:06:42

Everybody round here thinks we're either unmarried mothers

1:06:421:06:45

or girls from borstal doing corrective training.

1:06:451:06:47

But that's not so.

1:06:471:06:49

My children were ill and my husband hadn't seen them.

1:06:491:06:52

So I asked if he could come up and see them.

1:06:521:06:55

They said no.

1:06:551:06:57

So he tried to force his way in.

1:06:571:06:59

They soon called the police and shut him out.

1:06:591:07:02

And the police laughed at him.

1:07:021:07:03

Even if we found houses, there'd be other people here because there's not enough houses.

1:07:031:07:08

It's silly when a girl gets married thinking a bloke's going to stay faithful.

1:07:081:07:12

But I'm better off with Len,

1:07:121:07:13

being married to him than being without him.

1:07:131:07:16

If you love a person, why leave him?

1:07:161:07:18

Do you know we have to be back home by eight and you have to be in bed by ten?

1:07:181:07:22

He's got a fancy girl now. You see, men don't have it like women.

1:07:221:07:27

He's got his freedom, ain't he?

1:07:271:07:30

-What do you do all day then, Cath?

-What do you think I do?

1:07:321:07:35

Nothing to do.

1:07:351:07:37

Just sit about all day.

1:07:371:07:40

I feel like running away.

1:07:401:07:41

What about the kids then?

1:07:441:07:46

They're restless. They've had so many changes

1:07:481:07:50

they don't know what's going to happen next.

1:07:501:07:53

It's not good.

1:07:531:07:55

If you go out at night, you've got to be back by nine o'clock.

1:07:551:07:58

How are you getting on with the food?

1:08:021:08:03

Just potatoes.

1:08:031:08:05

Yeah.

1:08:051:08:08

The kids woke me up last night.

1:08:081:08:11

They were crying, they were hungry.

1:08:111:08:14

I wish you could come more often, Reg.

1:08:141:08:17

I can't afford to, Cathy.

1:08:171:08:19

You know, I really long for the nights here sometimes.

1:08:201:08:23

-Yeah, I bet you do.

-But not like we used to.

1:08:231:08:27

Reg? Till all this happened, it was a happy marriage, wasn't it?

1:08:271:08:31

Oh, yeah.

1:08:311:08:33

If it weren't for the kids, we wouldn't be here.

1:08:331:08:35

I'm glad we had them. You can't wish the kids away.

1:08:351:08:38

Oh, no. But I don't know,

1:08:381:08:41

I wish we could start all over again.

1:08:411:08:43

-I'd choose the same.

-Oh, I'd choose you, Reg.

1:08:431:08:47

But now, I don't know,

1:08:471:08:49

I just feel I want to look away.

1:08:491:08:52

I'm practising very hard. And with a little bit of recognition,

1:08:521:08:56

I shall be all right in some money, I hope.

1:08:561:08:59

I know me age is against me, but I'm hoping to win.

1:08:591:09:03

-Give us a song then, come on.

-All right.

1:09:041:09:07

It went through my mind to chuck the whole thing up.

1:09:101:09:13

Turn my back on the kids and go off.

1:09:131:09:15

You see, I felt I'd failed them.

1:09:151:09:18

Well, I knew they weren't fit to be in a place like that.

1:09:181:09:21

I thought about how I used to be before we were married.

1:09:211:09:25

Without anyone depending on me.

1:09:251:09:27

And I had boyfriends, money in my pockets. And some good times.

1:09:271:09:32

Look, why don't you go, Reg?

1:09:321:09:34

I mean, you need a job, love.

1:09:341:09:36

I've heard there's jobs up in Liverpool too.

1:09:361:09:39

And then when you've got a job, you can find a place.

1:09:391:09:41

-That's what I thought, Cath.

-They say it's easier up there.

1:09:411:09:45

I'm bound to be able to get a place up there, ain't I?

1:09:451:09:47

Yeah.

1:09:471:09:49

And then when the Smithson estate's finished,

1:09:491:09:52

-we'll have no more worries then.

-Yeah.

1:09:521:09:55

If I can't fix up a place,

1:09:551:09:56

I should be back by the time the other place is finished.

1:09:561:09:59

'It was all so... sort of strange really.

1:09:591:10:02

'Cos kids do seem...

1:10:021:10:04

'Well, they do seem to sort of need their dad.

1:10:041:10:07

'They like to look forward to being with their dad as well as their mum.

1:10:071:10:12

'To have a bit of a laugh with him.'

1:10:121:10:13

That baby was in tiptop medical condition.

1:10:131:10:16

Yeah, if it was in tiptop medical condition, how come it's dead now?

1:10:161:10:20

-You tell me.

-The mother mustn't have looked after it properly.

1:10:201:10:24

She's a marvellous mother. Don't you bleedin' say that about her!

1:10:241:10:27

I'm only stating the truth.

1:10:271:10:29

The way some of you women keep your children...

1:10:291:10:32

What do you mean? How much chance have we got in this dump?

1:10:321:10:36

Just a minute, just a minute - what about hygiene? What about bathing?

1:10:361:10:39

Eh? How often do you change your baby's nappy? You tell me.

1:10:391:10:42

-She changes it three times a day.

-Three times a day?

-You cow! Get out!

1:10:421:10:46

-You bloody come here, my dear!

-You don't care!

1:10:461:10:50

-Look at you...

-Come here.

1:10:501:10:52

-Accusing us...

-You'll be very sorry about this, my dear.

1:10:521:10:55

-We're bloody clean, we are. We're clean, aren't we?

-Yes!

1:10:551:10:58

-We keep our kids clean.

-Clean?

1:10:581:11:00

You don't know what the meaning...

1:11:001:11:02

Look at this.

1:11:021:11:04

Nice carrying on. Look, nice carrying on, making the babies cry.

1:11:041:11:08

You're a cow. You're a cow, you are.

1:11:081:11:11

She couldn't care about us, could she?

1:11:111:11:14

Look at this bloody dump we're in.

1:11:141:11:16

Yes, it's a dump...

1:11:161:11:19

-It's all your fault.

-MY fault?!

1:11:191:11:20

Yes, it's your bloody fault.

1:11:201:11:22

You were the one that brought it back, wasn't she?

1:11:221:11:25

Where's my cap? Where's my cap?

1:11:251:11:27

I don't know where your silly old cap is. Go on, get out.

1:11:271:11:30

-Go on, get out.

-I shall be reporting you...

1:11:301:11:32

You do that! You do it! Bugger off.

1:11:321:11:35

I wonder who said this?

1:11:351:11:37

You see, it's about this place.

1:11:371:11:39

I wonder who told those lies.

1:11:391:11:42

It wasn't me.

1:11:421:11:43

Listen, young lady, I'm not as stupid as I may look.

1:11:431:11:46

It was a blonde who talked to the reporter.

1:11:461:11:48

-A blonde like you.

-Well, I don't know who it was.

1:11:481:11:52

There have been other reports about you too.

1:11:521:11:54

About Mrs Selby?

1:11:561:11:57

I was just telling her about the poor little baby that died, that's all.

1:11:571:12:01

Mrs Ward, I see here that your husband hasn't been paying the fees.

1:12:041:12:09

Paying the fees?

1:12:091:12:11

-Of course he is.

-We'd know if he was or wasn't.

1:12:111:12:15

Didn't he tell you he hasn't been paying?

1:12:151:12:17

I haven't seen him. He's been away on business.

1:12:181:12:21

You haven't seen him?

1:12:211:12:23

Not for a while.

1:12:231:12:25

What is going on here? Are you married or aren't you?

1:12:251:12:28

Oh, shut up, you! Shut up!

1:12:281:12:30

"It must be clearly understood that the temporary accommodation will no longer be available after that date."

1:12:421:12:49

What does it mean?

1:12:491:12:51

-I shouldn't worry about it.

-It doesn't mean what it says, maybe.

1:12:511:12:54

These people are casualties of the Welfare State,

1:12:541:12:57

perhaps the worst casualties of all.

1:12:571:12:59

They're pushed around like so much human litter and nobody will help them.

1:12:591:13:03

Originally homelessness was regarded as a passing post-war phase.

1:13:031:13:07

But the problem now appears to be with us for the foreseeable future.

1:13:071:13:12

Oh, excuse me, I called about a room.

1:13:131:13:16

-How many of you?

-Well, there's just me and the two kiddies.

1:13:161:13:19

Sorry, I don't take children.

1:13:191:13:21

Don't be a fathead when your time comes.

1:13:211:13:25

Let us take them away without making any fuss, huh?

1:13:251:13:29

What right have you got to take my kids from me?

1:13:291:13:32

Well, you can't find a place for them, can you?

1:13:321:13:34

Now, look, you've had your chance.

1:13:341:13:37

We're not interested in you now.

1:13:371:13:39

It's the kids we're worried about. We can't have them sleeping out.

1:13:391:13:42

From the time they leave here,

1:13:421:13:44

they'll be in need of care and protection.

1:13:441:13:46

Come on, Stevie, help Mummy pack.

1:13:461:13:48

They're too heavy.

1:13:501:13:52

That's a good boy.

1:13:531:13:55

You're coming out with me in a minute.

1:13:581:14:00

We had a bite to eat from the cafeteria.

1:14:231:14:25

Of course, the kiddies didn't know what was going to happen.

1:14:251:14:29

But I knew they'd catch up with us, wherever we tried to bed down for the night.

1:14:291:14:33

You're not having my kids! You're not having 'em!

1:14:401:14:44

Give me my kids!

1:14:501:14:53

# I'm a fiver

1:16:481:16:52

# Caught miles away

1:16:521:16:56

# From a home. #

1:16:561:17:01

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.


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