The Family Way (1966) Script

Once upon a time, there was a virgin.

She was 20 years old, and, as you might say, a rare bird.

Jenny.

Jenny, love.

Wake up. You can't sleep forever.

-Morning, Dad. -Good morning, love.

There's some tea for you.

Ta, Dad.

Down the brow, across the other side of the town, lived the young man she'd been going steady with for two years.

He was a patient lad, and everybody said they were made for each other.

His name was Arthur. Arthur Fitton.

Morning, Mr Fitton.

-Morning. -No gasworks today then?

It must be a few years since you took a day off.

It'd look bloody funny, wouldn't it, if our Arthur were to wed, and his own father not in church?

Well, you've a lovely day for it.

Aye, so far.

Come on, Arthur. Out with you.

I've got to get this room ready for the bride.

I don't want her seeing it in this state.

-She wouldn't mind, Mum. -Mm, but I would.

Oh, come on. Don't fuss, eh? It's only for one night, you know.

And then-- Look. Look at that.

Golden sun, golden sand, champagne by the bucket.

Mm. Costing you a bonny penny too. Your dad and me made do with Blackpool.

-Times have changed, Mum. -And you'd better too, if you're going downtown to get them tickets.

No, I'm seeing Joe Thompson first. Picking up me wages.

-Here, I thought you wanted a lift. -Yeah, I'm just coming.

Listen, you two. Come back in good time.

We don't want no hold-ups. 2:00 sharp, the vicar said.

-Oh, Mum. -He'll be there. Don't worry, Mum.

Mind how you go on that machine.

-Hello, Arthur. -Morning, Eddie. Morning, Joe.

How do, Arthur? I didn't expect to see you today.

I've come for my wages.

-I'd have kept it for you. -We may need the cash, you know.

Ah. Like that, is it? Okay.

Here you are. One week, less two days.

-Sign there. -Did you find someone?

Yeah, starting Sunday. But I know these relief projectionists.

Your job's open for two weeks, not a minute longer, so be back.

Ta. Well, I'd better get weaving. I've a lot to do.

You have tonight, lad. So don't go getting in a muck sweat, now, or when the time comes, you'll be all worn out, eh?

I'll be there to kiss the bride!

Jenny.

Darling.

Hey. You're jumpy.

Getting nervous?

Don't he daft! I was wondering where you got to.

It was Joe Thompson. He doesn't show till nearly 11 :00. Anyway, I got the money.

-I got mine too. Here it is. -Good.

Come on. We're late.

-Hang on, Geoff. -All right.

-Yes, sir? -We hooked for the Moonlight Special.

-Oh, yes. Mister, uh-- -Fitton.

All right, Mr Phillips, if you'll just get the special gift wallet for Mr and Mrs Fitton-- presentation maps, free-meal vouchers, souvenir labels.

And I shall need your passports and £115.

It's in my maiden name. Does it matter?

Oh.

-We're getting married today. -Oh, good, sir.

Thank you, Mr Phillips. There are your gift wallets.

Now, if you will be here at noon tomorrow, your luxury coach will be waiting to take you south to Gatwick Airport.

And there's nothing else we'll have to pay for?

-Not a thing. -How about the tickets?

You'll get those on board the coach tomorrow.

-And congratulations. -Thanks very much.

Well, we'd better hurry. Thanks.

Thank you, sir.

-How about you then? -I'll jump on a bus.

Okay, Geoff, take her away.

And don't keep me waiting!

Bye!

-Thanks, Geoff. -Ta-ra.

Quick, love, upstairs. Your mother's getting in a proper state.

I'm sorry, Dad. it couldn't be helped. Leslie?

You'll have to go and fetch her. She's got no consideration for anybody.

You can save your breath. She's back.

I'm gonna miss you, Dad!

-Me too, love. -Look, it's not him you're marrying.

And me and Dora's been waiting here the past hour, worrying.

You'd better let the dog out. We can't leave her locked up all day.

I can't do everything.

-Oh, I'm sorry, Dora. -Don't worry, love. Bags of time.

Right. Let's make sure it fits.

I just don't understand why you have to leave everything to the last moment.

I told you, it's the savings. You have to give seven days' notice.

Then you should have made up your mind about the honeymoon earlier.

At any road, asking for trouble.

Bride seeing the groom before the ceremony? It's terrible had luck.

Oh, Mum, that's a load of old codswallop.

-You what? -Nobody believes that stuff nowadays.

Oh, nobody believes anything nowadays. I was hoping I brought you up different.

-Must you keep going on at her? -Nobody's going on at anybody.

-And have you got Dora's bouquet yet? -Yes.

And the sausage rolls-- did you phone the shop?

-Yes. -Well, are the shoes polished?

-No. -Look, I can't do everything.

Come on, love, get in that dress.

Watch them sleeves.

Everything left to the last minute.

Always the same in this house.

Let's have a look at you.

Oh, she looks fab! Honest, Jen, you look fab!


Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony.


First, it was ordained for the procreation of children to be brought up in the fear and the nurture of the Lord and to the praise of his holy name.

Secondly, it was ordained for a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication.


Keep your mind on what you're doing, son.


For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they too shall be one flesh.

This is a great mystery.


-You're squeezing me to death, Mr Fitton. -Aye. Lovely, isn't it?

Ooh! Hey.

What's he doing to you, eh?


He's having a job keeping in time, poor chap.

I thought he gave her a lovely service, didn't you?

-Oh, yes. -Oh, yeah.

You're not done proper if you're not done in church. That's what I say.

I'm surprised, though, he let her have his organ in Lent.

He wouldn't let our Ethel have it, not for love nor money.

"You've got to go without something," he said.

How much does he charge then? I mean, for his organ?

Five guineas all in, I believe.

-Ooh, that's a lot. -He does well.

It's time you went

Right!

-Oh, there's some life in you, Mr Fitton. -I can still lick some of the young 'uns.

I'd stop boasting if I were you and serve some more drinks.

-I'm sure Joe Thompson could do with one. -Ah, I wouldn't say no.

Come on, love. Whew!

Well then, I think it's all gone off very well, Mrs Piper.

Very nice party.

Hey, come on Todd, Walt. There's more to sup.

-Hey, ta. -Hey, you having a pint with me, son?

-No more ale, thanks very much. -No more ale?

My old dad would turn in his grave if he could hear you say that.

-Well, he can't hear me, can he? -You don't take after your dad, Arthur.

Hey, that stuff's for women. You'll get a fat lot of jollification out of that!

-He's right, you know. -Look.

You don't have to be tanked up to enjoy yourself, do you?

I never said you did.

But you might try making a bit of fun for people. They're your guests.

What do ya want me to do, stand on me bloody head?

Huh. Well, hark at him.

Don't heed your dad, Arthur. He's had a drop too much.

-He's all right, really. -Uncle Fred?

-No, I've got one, love. -Will you take these for me, Arthur?

I don't know where folk put it all.

They're hungry.

Hey, and how about another dance?

It's always the same, lad-- weddings and funerals.

The last ones to enjoy 'em are the principals.

Sure.

-You picked a good lass there, you know. -Oh, I know.

Not that she ever learned much about men. At least, not until you came along.

Her mother made sure of that.

Hey, what are you walking about with that thing for?

Our Jenny wanted folk to have a piece to take home.

The way you're taking things on yourself, anybody'd think it were your wedding.

It's me daughter's.

-She's my daughter too. -Just tell me where to put it, will ya?

Oh, don't tempt me. Over here. Over here.

Hey. Steady, Ezra.

Steady, with ale still in the barrel? What's the matter with everyone?

Hey, I'll tell you, time was when my old mate Billy Stringfellow and me would walk into any pub and challenge 'em to a singing match for pints.

What, singin', not fightin'?

Oh, he'd fight if that's what they wanted, or he'd sing.

Best mate a man ever had, was Billy.

Wherever he is, God bless him. Ah, God bless him.

Hey!

-Hey, hey, hey. Watch out! -Sorry, Dad.

What the hell do you think you're doing? Look at the mess you've made!

Oh, come on. You don't think I did it on purpose, do ya?

Well, you can see where you're going, can't you? You're not drunk.

I'm not.

Arthur, that's no way to speak to your father.

-Ah. Thank you, Mrs Piper. -'Twere only an accident.

That's a son's gratitude these days.

-You bring 'em into the world, and-- -Look.

Do you have to be grateful for being born now?

You might be grateful for a lot of things one day, son.

What things?

Are you picking on our Arthur again?

It's-- It's him picking on me, I--

That's all right. Come on.

Give them to me, love.

Where's Jenny?

Oh, there she is. Jenny.

-Why don't you slip away, the pair of you? -Could we?

How about Dad? He'll have something to say.

Oh, he's always got something to say. You leave him to me.

Go on. Off you go.

Thanks, Mum.

Now then, ladies and gentlemen, time, please.

Come along, now. You've all got homes to go to.

-Lucy. -Come along, now.

What say we finish up party back home?

Well, there's no drink in the house.

-Well, I can soon fix that. -Don't you think they've had enough?

Now, don't go spoiling everything.

Listen, everyone. We're not done yet.

Joe, you can take a few in your car. Fred here can manage the rest, eh?

We're going back home.

My God, he does go on.

You take things too much to heart.

I know. I should've kept my big mouth shut.

I think it's only that he wants you to be more like him.

-Sometimes I wish I were. -I don't.

-Things might've been easier. -Not for me.

You take my dad. He's never read a book in his life.

Sees me with one, he goes round the twist.

-That's because you're different. -No, maybe he's right.

You read about other people's lives, what happens?

-You get to wondering about your own. -That's what I mean.

You got more to you, Arthur. Everybody says so.

Who says so?

I say so.

Well, as long as you say so.

Arthur Fitton! Don't be cheeky!

Why not? We're married, aren't we?

Yes, but... not on the public highway.

All right.

But you wait till I get you home.

You'll have to catch me first then.

Right.

I send thee red, red roses

To tell thee of the morn Ah, flippin' heck. They're back! That's me dad.

Among the roses

Our happy love was born

Our happy love was born

I send thee white, white roses

To tell thee of the night

The night in all its beauty Come on. What are you gonna do, then?

You'll see.

There. Here it is. Look.

The bridal suite, eh? Come on, Eddie, you can take me now.

-Come on, Joe. Let's go down. -Hey, don't be stupid.

Shh. Come on. Down here.

Take hold of that.

There.

Hey, hold on. You can't do that on their wedding night.

What other night would you do it, you mug?

Our young Arthur, he lives in the bloody clouds, doesn't he?

Well, this'll bring him back to earth! Hey! Hey, what are you doing?

This will, the roses say

There is no day without thee

No night when thou art away

No night

When thou art away

No day I do not love thee

No night I do not pray

That God will bless and guard thee

Forever, night and day

That God will bless

And guard thee

Forever, night and day

Forever, night

And day Hooray! Great!

-Hey, you've a fair voice, Ezra. -I had once.

But it weren't a patch on me old pal Billy Stringfellow's.

Do we have to keep bringing up Billy tonight?

Well, why shouldn't we?

Because nobody here knows him and nobody wants to hear about him.

I bloody knew him, didn't I?

So did you.

Cup of tea, anybody?

-Let me make it, Mrs Fitton. -Don't bother, love.

Oh, come on. Let's all help.

Now what have I said?

He sounds like a handy boy, this, uh, Billy.

Decenter lad never wore shoe leather. And strong.

You should've seen him at the elbow game. He were all-time champion.

-Oh? -What game's that, Mr Fitton?

Well, don't you know the elbow game? Hey, Fred.

You've won a few pints in your time. Let's show him, eh?

That's it.

Here, bring the chair over. That's right. Sit down, Fred.

Now, look. Look.

Now you put your left hand behind your back, see? Eh?

And your right elbow's on the table. And you grasp hands, eh?

-You ready, Fred? -Aye.

Steady. Go.

-I'll take 6-to-4 about Mr Fitton. -I'll take that.

Let's see it then. Come on. Eh?

Hark at 'em. Some men never grow up, do they?

What's up with you, Mum?

It's a big moment for a mother, love, a daughter's first night.

I just can't believe she's really married.

I feel there's so much I should've told her.

I'll give you a couple of tips, love.

Never show pleasure. You know what I mean, don't ya?

-Not that there ever is much. -Ah, you're right there.

Never actually refuse though. It makes a man feel small, and they take it out of your housekeeping money.

You talk as if all men are the same, Mrs Thompson.

Do I, love? Well, let's hope they're not, for your sake.

I know one thing: Arthur's one of the lucky ones.

He's got an innocent wife.

Hey. You're not the man you were, Fred.

I never was good enough to beat you, Ezra.

Hey, Geoff, come on. You take your father on.

Not likely. Look at the size of them maulers.

Kept you for many a year, lad. Hey, Joe, how about you?

Ah, I'd have a go, only I sprained my wrist.

-Hey, Mr Piper? -No, you'd be too much for me.

Come on, I'll challenge any one of you. No, not here, Lucy, not here.

-Are you showing oft again? -Hey, Arthur, how about you then?

-Yeah, come on, Arthur. -Not tonight, thanks.

Ah, he's got another challenge coming up tonight, haven't ya, lad?

Oh, let the lad read, can't ya?

On his wedding night? A son of mine reading?

-Perhaps he's reading it up, eh? -Oh, he's left it a bit late, hasn't he?

-All right. I'll take you on. -Don't be silly, the pair of you.

-I thought you'd stop him. -She's not.

Just a minute. I'll take the hat.

No good ever comes of these challenges between father and son.

Never mind about that. Fred, you be referee.

Oh, right.

All right, everybody, cut the cackle.

Look, steady on. You've got my hand gripped tight already.

-Well, grip mine. -How can I? It's buried in your mitt.

-Now, let me get a proper hold. -Now, then. Play fair, big head.

You must excuse my missus. She doesn't know the rules.

-Fair's fair. Let go. -Whose side are you on?

-I'm impartial. -Well, see you stay that way.

Are you both ready?

-Aye. -Steady.

Go!

Push him! Push, Arthur. Push.

That's right. Keep pushing, lad.

Come on, Arthur!

You're gaining on him, Arthur! Push it down, Arthur!

Keep going!

Come on, push it! Come on! Down!

Come on, Arthur. You've got him!

He has hell as like.

That's it. That's it. Come on, Arthur. Push it!

Push it down, Arthur!

Come on! Come on, Arthur!

Come on, Ezra. Get him down there. What's the matter with you?

Come on, Arthur! Come on!

Push it! Push it down, Arthur!

Go on, you've got it. Come on. Press back, now.

Press back. Come on, press back. Come on, Arthur! Come on!

-That's it. Now it's going, now. -That's right. That's right, Arthur.

That's right! That's right! Push it down!

-Come on, Arthur! -You're almost there. Come on! Press it!

-Press! -Come on, Arthur!

You got him, Dad!

That's it.

You're bloody well licked now!

Well, Ezra's the winner.

Look, Arthur...

Arthur, did you hurt your hand?

Well, a good old 'un can still beat a good young 'un. Well done.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Look at your hands. They're twice the size of his.

-Well, I'm twice his age, aren't I? -Well, it was a good contest.

Here, do you know what time it is? It's past 2:00.

Ah, the newlyweds will be wanting to go to bye-byes, eh?

It's a one-track mind you have, Joe Thompson.

Hey, let's have less of that. Put your coats on.

Mrs Fitton, it's been a right good do.

-Well, good night, love. -Good night, Mum.

Seems funny seeing you off, somehow.

Home won't be the same without you, love.

Good night, Dad.

-Bless you. -He never knows when to leave, this man.

Well, don't hang about, you two. Get oft to bed.

I'll see you at the coach in the morning. Good night, love.

Well, come on then.

-Good night, Mum. Good night, Dad. -Good night.

-Good night. I'll be seeing you. -Come on, love.

Bye, Mrs Fitton.

-Smashing do. Really lovely. -Come on, Jenny.

It's been lovely having you. I'd like a lift, ta very much.

Uncle Fred will give you a lift, won't you, Uncle Fred?

Yes, of course I'll take you.

Not out of my way at all.

Night, Dora, love. Hey, watch him, you know.

Mind how you go. Take care.

Ta-ra, Ezra. Had a grand time.

Well, here we are.

Oh, Arthur.

Roses!

Mmm! They're lovely!

I thought they'd drown the smell of the gasworks.

It's a bit strong at times.

-Just leave 'em on the sink, love. -Okay, Mum.

Did you have to beat the lad like that in front of Jenny and everybody?

-It was only a game. -Would you have liked it if your dad had licked you in front of everybody and on your wedding night?

Stop picking me up, Lucy.

What counts is what a man feels inside.

How do we know what you feel?

I didn't hurt him, did I?

You're always hurting him.

-I'll just put these outside. -What for?

You can't leave flowers in a bedroom at night. They die.

Ah.

Oh. Hello, Mr Fitton.

Did I, uh, disturb you, love?

No, no. I were just putting the flowers outside.

I, uh-- I forgot to say good night.

Oh. Good night.

And, um, God bless.

God bless.

A right good match, son. No ill feeling?

God bless both of you.

Here. Catch.

Night.

What did he say?

I don't think he heard me.

It's funny, but as we were struggling there across the table, Lucy, I looked up at him.

Do you know who he suddenly reminded me of?

He even got the self-same grip.

For a moment, I thought it was him.

It were nice of your dad to call up.

He's all right.

-You all but beat him, you know. -I wouldn't want to, really.

I only hope he doesn't start snoring tonight.

He must sleep with his head against that wall.

Sets the whole room vibrating.


Do you like this?

-Oh, sorry, Jenny. -It's all right.

I just wondered who it was for the moment.

They say music soothes the savage beast.

-"Breast," darling. -What did you say?

I said "breast."

"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks or bend a knotted oak."

Oh. I see.

You know, I sometimes think I understand Beethoven better than my own dad.

You don't have to live with Beethoven, that's why.

Mind you, he looks a right one for the elbow game.

Um, pass me my nightie, would you, Arthur?

Oh. Oh, yes.

Aren't you gonna get undressed?

Oh, aye.


Oh!

Oh, Arthur!

Shut up!

Do you hear? You're as bad as the bloody rest of 'em!

I've had just about as much as I can take for one day!

Hmm.

-Noisy pair. -So long as they're happy.


I'm talking!

What did you say, love?

I said, you might show some consideration.

How about your new sister-in-law, then?

She might be needing some rest this morning, I shouldn't wonder.

Oh, aye. Hey, our Geoff.

Your breakfast's on the table.

-Coming. -Morning, Mrs Fitton.

-Morning. -They'll be shy coming down, I dare say.

Do you know, our Frank could hardly face his dad next morning.

Mm.

Fasten your shirt collar.

Why?

Suppose Jenny comes down.

It's not nice, a young girl seeing the hairs on a man's chest at breakfast.

And why do you always throw the towel on the chair?

If I did everything right, I wouldn't need you, would I?

Well. I'll just take 'em up a cup of tea.

They don't want disturbing.

Oh, let 'em go off on their honeymoon without saying goodbye?

Jenny.

I bring thee red, red roses

Wakey-wakey. Rise and shine.

-Come in. -I can't. Me hands are full.

Oh.

Just coming.

Here you are, then.

Oh. Ta, Dad. Ta very much.

There's four Russians and a monkey walking out there now.

-Walking out where? -Well, where do you think?

Outer space.

-Does she take sugar? -Jenny, sugar?

Please, Mr Fitton.

-Did you sleep all right, love? -Yes, thanks.

Good. I don't suppose that poor bloody monkey's had much.

Yes, well-- Well, I just come up to say goodbye.

-Yes. Goodbye then, Dad. -Mm-hmm.

-Well, have a good time, both of you. -Thanks.

-Ta-ra. -Ta-ra then, Dad.

Ta-ra.

Look, Jenny. I'm sorry.

What for?

Losing my temper.

And, well, I made a right mess of everything else, didn't I?

Oh, that.

That'll come right, I expect.

-That's if you love me. -But you know I do.

Look. This time tomorrow morning, we'll be in Majorca.

It'll be different. You see?

Everybody decent?

Morning, all. Just came to kiss the bride goodbye.

-Goodbye, Geoff. -Goodbye. Have a good time, love.

Hey. That was a daft trick you played last night.

Trick? Me?

With the bed.

I don't get ya. Come again?

Oh, sorry.

Oh, then it must have been Joe Thompson's idea of a giggle.

What are you doing in here? Come on, out you go.

Just going. Send us a postcard, love. Ta-ra.

Ta-ra, Geoff. Ta-ra, Geoff.

Brought you some hot water, love.

Thought you'd like to wash in here instead of the back kitchen.

Oh, thanks, Mrs Fitton.

-All right, love? -Yes, thank you.

Oh, look at those cups he's given you.

British Railways. Men!


-Morning, Ezra. -Morning.

-How do, Ezra? -Morning, Todd.

-'Twere a right good party. -Aye.

We were saying, like as not you'd be oft today.

A few pints never hurt nobody. Oils the works, like.

Well, it won't be long before you're a grandad, Ezra.

Not if the son's half as good as his old man.

Well, they've got a right good day to start the honeymoon.

Aye, I'm not so sure. You know the saying: "Sun before 7:00."

Oh, here you are. You needn't move that luggage.

-What? -There's no coach.

-What? -Why not?

There's no plane neither. You're not going.

-Don't be silly. -What are you talking about?

It's all oft. It's a swindle.

-Where's this chap Hutton live? -I never knew. He never told me.

What's happened? What are the police doing?

Locking the stable door, lad. He's just done a bunk.

-Who? -The boss here. This chap, Hutton.

-Have you had many bookings? -About 60. All these people here.

-Hey, how about our money? -Just a moment, son.

-Did you see him before he left? -Yes.

What's he done with it? Where's he gone to?

Look, if you'll give us a chance, we'll try and find out.

Everybody here's in the same boat, you know.

Now, about what time was that, would you say?

Oh, well, I left here about-- oh, about 7:00.

He said he was going to the bank first thing this morning.

He's gone.

-It's no use waiting. He's taken off. -Where to?

-How do I know? -No surprise to me.

What do we do now, Arthur?

-Sorry, love. We're not going. -Oh, come along, both of you.

It's no use standing around in this rain.

Come on. Think of all that money down the drain. It's disgraceful.

-Don't be long, girls. I want to get away. -Don't worry, Mr Hobson. So do we.

Cheeky. You going dancing tonight, Peggy?

Oh, I expect we'll be going up the club. How about you?

-We'll be along about 3:00. -Where are you oft, Jenny?

Nowhere. Arthur doesn't finish till past 11 :00.

Oh, I'd go mad not going out of a Saturday night.

Oh, it's not too bad.

It's a shame. They can't get out together any night.


-Arthur, love-- -Shh!

Not so loud.

Come back to bed. Please.

It's no use. I can't rest, I tell you.

Shall I go down and make you a cup of tea?

No.

You'll wake everyone.

Arthur, I wish you'd stop worrying.

What man wouldn't worry?

I don't see why you should if I'm not.

Because I'm not being a proper husband, that's why.

But we still love each other, don't we?

It's your dad. He's getting up.

Now where are you off to? Where is it?

Where it always is.

Hush up, can't you? You'll wake our Arthur and Jenny.

It's coming to something when a man can't answer a call of nature in his own bedroom.

Oh, God.

Bloody men. Got manners of pigs.

There.

Thought as much. It's round your side.

I can't stand much more of this.

We've got to get out somehow.


Hello.

What's your name, then?

Next.

Yes, that's right. In triplicate, of course.

One for the ministry, one for the housing committee, and one of course for my files.

Right, thank you.

-Mister and Missus-- -Fitton.

Oh, yes. Uh, sit down.

Your coffee's going cold, Mr Stubbs.

Thank you, Miss Hunt.

That's funny. I don't seem to have your...

I have got their forms, haven't I, Miss Hunt?

Everything's in the file, Mr Stubbs.

-What forms are they? -Well, your H-212 and 3.

Application, questionnaire and references.

-You did fill them in? -No, we didn't.

You didn't?

No. We've never seen them.

But you can't get anywhere without forms.

No one told us.

I shouldn't even be seeing you.

-We waited out there for two hours. -Arthur.

We're very sorry. We didn't know about the forms.

But now we're here, can't you help us get on the list?

Please?

Well, this is most irregular.

-Now, how many children have you? -None.

None? But you need at least four to get on the list.

-Or are there medical reasons? -We've only been married a week.

No, no, no. What I mean is, if there are no children, you must have a doctor's certificate.

-Oh, we could get one. -But you're not ill, are you?

-Oh, no. -But to get a house, you have to be.

I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean.

The recognised disabilities are listed on form H-22.

Weak heart, chronic bronchitis, partial or complete paralysis, and so on.

Then to get a place, you say we've got to have four kids or one foot in the grave.

I am not joking, Mr Fitton, and I haven't got time to waste.

Perhaps you can tell us, then, where people like us are supposed to go.

We've not much money, we're married, we're living with my family, it's overcrowded, and there's no bathroom.

Ah. All living in one room, are you?

No. But for all the difference the walls make, we might just as well be.

I don't think you know when you're well oft, young man.

Lots of folks come in here sleeping six to a room.

And you've got one all to yourselves?

No. I can't even consider you.

You come back in five years' time, when you've got five children, and we'll see what we can do for you.

But even then, I'm not promising anything.

-Thanks. Thanks a lot. -And don't forget: next time--

I know: fill in a form.

-Do you have to wear that cap? -Why? What's wrong with it?

You look like a sparrow under a rain tub.

Still, I suppose if it's comfortable...

-Hello, love. -Oh, hello. You're still here.

-We're waiting for you, love. -Aye.

We thought you might like to come with us.

Oh, ta, but, uh, as a matter of fact, I thought I'd take a bath.

-Oh. -Before Arthur gets back.

Well, if that's what you want, love. Sure you'll be all right on your own?

Yes, of course I will.

There's some, uh, toffees here if you'd like them. Hmm?

-Help yourself. -Ta very much.

And there's plenty of hot water in the copper.

-Thanks. -Oh, and your supper's in the oven, and Arthur's, if we're not back in time.

-Come on, then, if you're coming. -Bye, love.

-Bye, bye. Have a nice time. -Bye, bye.


You don't hear her singing like she used to.

You've noticed that too, have you?

It's no life for a young girl, Lucy.

All alone, night after night.

Well, what can our Arthur do about it?

Well, he could get a proper job with decent hours.

Ready for change-over.

Okay.

Sophie, bloody wait. Right!

Cor! Hot stuff, eh?

By rights you ought not to be watching this, you know.

On your honeymoon as well. Turn you into a raging animal.

It don't take everyone the same way, Joe.

Get oft. You're human, aren't you?

Ooh!

I pity your poor little wife when you get home tonight.

Change.


It's only me.

I never heard you.

You gave me quite a turn.

Sorry.

I wasn't expecting you.

No.

There's some supper in the oven. I'll get it for you.

Uh, I've had some, thanks.

Oh.

Well...

I'd like to get dry, if you don't mind.

Oh. Aye.

-There's nothing I can get for ya? -No, no. I'm finished, thanks.

-I won't be a minute. -Okay.

Give us a shout if you want your back scrubbed.

I'd like the door shut, please, Geoffrey Fitton.

Yeah, ma'am.

Hey, Geoff. You giving me a lift?

Aye, if you shake yourself.

Oh. Hey, for you.

Ta.

"Mr and Mrs Arthur Fitton."

That's our first letter. Who's it from?

"Dear Mr and Mrs Fitton, we take this opportunity of wishing you a happy and prosperous married life."

"To ensure this, we enclose our latest catalogue.

Not all precautions offered to newly married couples are as reliable as they should be, but our own medically approved, laboratory tested..."

Bloody cheek.

What is it?

Who are they?

Ah, some lousy firm trying to peddle stuff for birth control.

They've come to the wrong address this time, haven't they?

Oh, Arthur.

I do wish you'd forget it.

Not that easy, is it?

Then why not talk it over with someone? It might take it off your mind.

Are you mad?

If this got out, I'd never hear the end of it.

Couldn't lift my head again.

-Now, listen, if you ever breathe a word-- -Don't be daft.

Of course I wouldn't.

Come on.

-Good morning, everyone. -Oh, hello, love.

Hello, love.

Morning, son.

-Good morning, Mum. -Morning, love.

Oh, just a cup of tea for me, Mum.

-Sausage and bacon. -No, I'm not hungry, thanks.

When I was newly wed, I'd eat a man off a horse.

You don't do so badly now.

A bit early for that, isn't it?

For what?

-Books. -Why?

You can do yourself a damage, son.

Damage? How?

The head. It gets overheated, see.

I knew a fella once who was always reading.

What happened? His brain seized up.

There's one thing won't happen to you.

Any luck yet, son?

-Luck? -Mm.

You know, about, uh, getting a place of your own.

I'm going after everything that comes up. You know that.

I've tried the lot, from the council to a couple of crummy rooms not fit for a pigsty.

What more can I do?

No, it's, uh-- it's not that, son.

I was just thinking, if you're stuck for a bit of cash, you know, you can always come to me for a shilling or two.

Oh. Sorry.

No, we'll manage, thanks.

-Nothing wrong, is there, love? -Wrong?

Between Jenny and you, I mean.

No. Why? Has she said anything?

No. I just wondered.

Are you ready?

-Aye. -Well, come on.

Bye, Mum.

-Oh! -Hmm. Ta-ra, love.

You know something? You married the wrong brother.

Bye.

Bye, Mum.

Bye, Jenny.

-Bye, Arthur. -Mind how you go, now.

Nothing wrong, is there?

Eh?

Between you and Arthur, I mean.

Why? Has he said anything?

He's not the kind to say anything.

No, I just wondered, that's all.

Can I have the water to wash now, Mrs Fitton?

Course you can, love. You go ahead. You won't be disturbed.

Here's your bacon sandwich.

-They're not happy. -Who's not?

It's all this sitting and reading and thinking. It's not natural.

I wish you'd do a bit of it for a change.

Well, my dad used to say, "If a thing's natural, you'll see animals doing it."

Well, I've yet to see a horse reading.

You might, if you live long enough.

He's got something on his mind, and he won't come out with it.

What do you expect me to do about it?

I'm pulled one way and another between the lot of you.

All the same, I'd like to see that little girl happy for a change.


Geoffrey! Come on, Geoffrey!

Come on!


Well done. Good win.

Hey, you've won! Well done!

You know something? You look smashing tonight.

Must be 'cause I'm enjoying meself.

-Must be the company you keep. -Oh! What conceit, Geoff Fitton.

Hey, Geoff. Lend us your girlfriend for the next one, will you?

Not likely. She's not me girlfriend.

She's only a mascot.

-That's right, isn't it? -What is?

You're only me mascot.

What time is it?

Twenty to 11 :00.

-I ought to be going now. -What? You can't.

No, really. It's Arthur. He'll be wondering.

-No, he won't. -Really, I must. Come on.

Oh, flippin' heck.

Dora, finish this one with Geoff, will you? I better go now.

-Yeah, I'd love to. -Good night, Geoff.

Thanks. It's been lovely.

Good night.


Hello, gorgeous. What a surprise.

Hey, Arthur, it's your Jenny.

What's this, then?

Four weeks married, and you still can't wait for him to come home?

Come to take him off to bye-byes, have you?

-Good night, Joe. -Ah, that's right. Two's company.

-Be seeing ya. -Worse luck.

-What brought you? -I thought we could walk home together.

-Is that why you're all dressed up, then? -I went to the club dance.

-Geoff took me. -Oh?

You don't mind, do you?

Mind? Why should I?

No, of course I don't mind.

Hey, look. Let's not go home yet.

All right. Oh, your supper's waiting.

Ah, let it wait. Come on.

Oh, it's disgusting.

-Well, you should report it. -Oh, I will, I will.

He wants reporting, carrying on like that.

-He's got three now, you know. -Hello, Arthur.

Hello, love.

You go ahead, love. We're waiting for plaice on the bone.

Oh, ta. Two fish and chips, please.

-Two for Mr Fitton. -Enjoy your honeymoon, Arthur?

He never had one. Did ya, Arthur? Oh, it's a shame.

Honeymoons can be very overrated.

Eh, I don't know.

Me nephew Jackie, he said, he never knew, he said, he could have so much fun without laughing.

Oh! That's men for you, Mrs Fitton. They only think of one thing.

You'll find it's the only hold a woman has over a man.

That's right. Remember Mrs Evans, the one that lived up Canal?

-She used to charge her husband. -Ew. I think that's disgusting.

Oh, I don't know. She used to put the money in a kitty towards the holidays.

First year, they went to Spain.

Any road, this year they're back at Blackpool.

Oh!

Look, don't bother. We won't wait, thanks.

Come on, Jenny.

What's up with him, then?

Don't they ever talk about anything else?


-Where are we going? -I'd like a bit of fresh air.


I'm glad we came.

Quiet, isn't it?

Mm. Almost like being in the country.


Your mum and dad will be listening for us to come in.

Sometimes I get the feeling the whole bloody street's listening.

And watching.

-Arthur. -Hmm?

I don't care if it never happens.

Oh, don't be daft. It's got to happen.

I'd sooner be married to you, like we are, than somebody else, it happening every night.

It's going on all this time. That's what I can't understand.

I don't care, I tell you.

Don't you?

Well, what you never had, you never miss.

But it isn't normal. There's something wrong.

There wasn't before.

Remember Dora's 21st? I had a job holding you back.

Well, I wish now you hadn't.

You know, it might have broken the ice, like.

Might've done a lot more.

Then we couldn't have had a white wedding.

The way things are going, we'll be able to have another in a year's time.

Arthur, I still wish you'd talk to someone.

Oh, look, Jenny, we've been over all that.

No, no, I don't mean with someone who knows you.

I was thinking, how about those marriage-guidance people?

-What, talk to strangers? -Well, lots do.

-About a thing like this? -What if they can help?

I wouldn't be seen dead anywhere near the place.


-Hey, Glad. -What's up?

Did you see who that was, went in there?

-No. Who? -Young Arthur Fitton.

Gerroff.

Now, I wonder what his trouble is.

Mr Fitton, will you go in?

Thanks.

Come and sit down, Mr Fitton.

Oh, good morning.

Make yourself comfortable.

Are you the, uh--

The counsellor? Yes.

If you'll give me your first name.

Ar-- Arthur.

Address?

24 Gladstone Terrace.

And you've been married how long?

Nearly six weeks.

Like a cigarette?

Oh, thanks.

Now, how can we help?

I don't know as how you can.

Sorry. Match.

Oh, ta.

Of course, I don't know what your particular problem is, Mr Fitton, but most people when they first come here do find it difficult to tell us about it.

What I'm trying to say is, we don't shock easily.

We never judge. We're only here to help.

So?

Well, -it's to do with me and my wife. -Mm-hmm.

Oh, hello, Mrs Lee.

Eee, I'm late this morning, love. I had to take me dad to hospital.

Oh, well, hold the fort, will you, love? I'll be back in a minute.

-Anyone inside? -Just gone in. She'll be at it for hours.

Oh, don't worry, love. I won't disturb 'em.

That's right.

Well, we love each other for sure. It's just that...

Well, you'll be surprised, Mr Fitton.

Lots of couples love each other without knowing how to make love.

They have to learn.

And it mightn't be your fault. It could be something else.

That's why I'd like to have a chat with your wife.

All right. When?

Next week, if possible.

And after that, we might have a talk with a doctor.

Number three.

Right, thanks.

Jenny, here's your mum.

Hello, Mrs Piper.

-Hello, love. I'm a few minutes early. -We're just closing. How's Dad?

Same as usual. I've got some lovely Iamb's fry for our dinner.

-Oh, good. I'm starving. -Oh? That's a change.

Hey, did you buy that dress at Honeywell's?

-Aye. -It looks smashing.

They're letting it out for me.

She's like me, Mrs Piper-- putting on weight.

Oh?

Hey. You haven't started something, have you?

-Not already. -Started what?

There's only one thing a woman starts: a baby.

Oh. No. You needn't worry.

Well, I do worry.

You don't want to get caught now, not without a place of your own.

Well, there's no chance of that.

That's what Florrie Anderson said. She landed herself with twins.

It's a funny thing, nature. It always finds a way.

That's what it's there for.

Well, it'll have a job with us.

Excuse me. Have you got "Stop Crying, I'm Trying to Love You"?

-Ron Juan and the Creepers? -Aye, that's it.

Dora, "Stop Crying"-- will you take it for me?

-Thank you. -Yeah, sure.

-Why would it have a job with you? -Oh, skip it, Mum.

I'm not going to. What makes you so different?

Good morning, Mrs Piper. Can I have your tally, Jenny?

-Here you are, Mr Hobson. -Thank you.

-Can I have yours, please, Dora? -Yeah. Here we are.

I'll just get me things, Mum.

-You'd better tell me, Jenny. -There's nothing to tell.

Well, surely you can tell your own mother.

I can't.

But you must. I'll be worried sick, else.

Look, I won't say anything to anybody, if that's what you're afraid of.

-Do you promise, Mum? -Yes, of course I promise.

Well, come on, love. Out with it.

Well...

Well it's just that... that nothing's happened yet.

Nothing's happened?

Not properly.

You mean, Arthur hasn't...

I don't think so.

-You don't think so? -Shh! Not so loud.

Well, either he has or he hasn't.

I've told you, haven't I? I'm not going into details.

Well.

So you haven't brought it off.

There'll be a right scandal if this gets out.

-Why? -Folks'll be wondering what lay behind it.

But it's only sex.

But till that happens, you're a wife in name only.

Oh, stop it, Mum. Please.

Let's go home. Dad'll be waiting.

He can't help you this time.

When are they bringing our telly back?

-Eh? -Television.

I don't care if they never bring it back.

That thing were killing the art of conversation.

I see what you mean.

Where's young Jenny tonight?

Oh, Geoff's taking her bowling again.

And I'm not sure it's a good thing.

Ah, you're only young once.

Aye, but that age, a girl doesn't know her own mind.

Well? Are you coming or aren't you?

-I don't see what they can do. -They've got to be told, haven't they?

And just like all doting fathers, you wouldn't give a tinkers cuss if your daughter remained a virgin till she was 90.

-That's a fine thing to say, isn't it? -Well, it's the truth.

She's a grown woman, and you still treat her like a schoolgirl.

And whose fault's that?

I know why you're going on so about it. You feel guilty.

Guilty? Me?

Yes. it was you that kept her tied to your apron strings.

It was you that wouldn't let her mix with lads, like other girls.

And when you couldn't hold her any longer, you egged her into an early marriage.

I just wanted to see the girl happy.

You wanted to get her away from home.

You'd best not say anything you'll be sorry for.

And I know why. it was the same reason as that time you got her hair cut off.

It was drawing away all her strength. The school doctor said so.

That wasn't it. It was because folk used to turn in the street, and I'd hear them say how lovely it was.

You did it to spite me.

Well, I haven't bothered you much since, have I?

Well, it's not healthy for a girl to get too drawn to her father.

Aye, love's under suspicion these days, isn't it?

It's a funny world where a father can't love his own daughter.

Love?

You talk about love? If you really loved her, you'd... you'd come with me now and try to help save her marriage.

Who can that be?

Whoever it is, don't ask 'em in, Lucy.

-Good evening, Mrs Fitton. -Well. It's Mr and Mrs Piper.

Come in, will ya? Thank you.

How do, Mr Fitton?

Ah, what a pleasant surprise.

I hope we're not disturbing you.

What's seldom's wonderful. Sit down, will you?

-Thank you. You are alone? -Yes.

Good. We were banking on that.

Oh? Put the kettle on, Lucy.

-Not for us, thanks. -Are you sure?

-Positive. -It's no trouble.

Put it on, Lucy. It's manners to refuse, isn't it?

-We've had our tea, thank you. -Thanks all the same.

Well, aren't you going to sit down, then?

-Yes. Come along, Mr Piper. Come on. -Right, thanks.

Sit right down here.

Thanks.

I expect you're wondering what brought us round.

-Shall I go on, Leslie, or will you? -You. You've got it all oft.

Well, it's about your Arthur and our Jenny.

Did you know?

-Know what? -I told you they couldn't have known.

What is it?

It's about their marriage.

-Will you take over from there, Leslie? -No. Same as I say, you've got it all oft.

What about their marriage?

It hasn't... taken on yet.

-You don't mean-- -She does, Mrs Fitton.

Well, well.

Hasn't taken on.

Oh, that explains a lot.

Poor kids.

Taken on? Taken on what?

They haven't taken the plunge yet.

-What plunge? -There's only one, as far as I know.

Just look at him.

He wants to know everything and still knows nothing.

-It hasn't gelled. -Gelled?

He's still not with it.

Our Jenny's as if she were a single girl.

She's still... intact.

Intact.

A virgin. Now do you understand?

Thank you, Mrs Fitton. I was hoping to avoid that word.

-You mean-- -Oh, I think the penny's dropped.

-But you mean our Arthur hasn't-- -No, he hasn't, Mr Fitton.

It's not possible.

You don't want a doctor's certificate, do you?

Well, I don't know what to say.

In that case, I should keep your mouth shut.

How did you learn?

Our Jenny. We had a heart-to-heart.

She didn't give you any details, did she?

There wouldn't be any, would there?

I knew there was something, but I just couldn't put my finger on it.

-What a disgrace. -What's a disgrace?

Well, just suppose it leaked out at the gasworks.

I knew the flamin' gasworks would have to come into it.

But I've worked there 23 years. I want to go on working there.

I mean, if a thing like this got out, I'd never live it down.

I couldn't face me mates of a morning.

To think a son of mine can't prove his manhood.

Oh, that's how they prove it, is it?

We were thinking, Mr Fitton, if you took Arthur to one side, you might find out what's causing the obstruction.

What? Me?

I've never had a proper talk to him in all me life.

That's a fine thing for a father to admit.

Well, anyway, what would I tell him?

There's only one thing: He'll have to go blind at it like everyone else.

Our Arthur never goes blind at anything.

-You could talk to him. -It's not a mother's job.

-Ah, he's always been a mother's boy. -That he hasn't.

If a lad can't love his own mother, he can't love anybody, 'cause that's where love starts: at the breast.

Lucy, I wish you wouldn't use words like that in mixed company.

Just listen to him.

Bottle-fed. His mother told me the milk had run out when he arrived.

It's that chamber music.

That's what's behind all this. I can feel it in me bones.

Well, it's not the end of the world. Lots of marriages take time to get going.

I know that from experience.

You what?

I said, I know that from experience.

Well, I may be no Romeo, but there's nothing odd or queer about me.

What did you say?

That bloody son of yours has shamed me.

All his fancy reading, fancy music and fancy bloody talk.

And now when it comes to it, he can't carry out his marriage duties.

If you ask me, there's something very odd and very queer about that lot.

What have you got behind your mind?

Would you say there was anything odd or queer about a fella that went on his honeymoon and took his pal with him?

-Another man? -On his honeymoon?

-You referring to me? -You're the only I know that's done it.

-Do you mean Billy? -Who else?

I never took him on our honeymoon, Lucy.

All right. You didn't take him, but we all three travelled in the same train to Blackpool, didn't we?

But I'd never taken a holiday without him.

That was the lad I was born next to.

Did-- Did you expect me to leave him alone during holiday week just because I got wed to you?

Oh, it didn't matter what I wanted.

There we were, all three of us in the same boarding house.

All three of us sitting at the same table.

The honeymoon table in the window, if you please.

Oh, you should've seen the folks staring.

-I didn't know how to face 'em. -I don't wonder.

But you didn't expect Billy to go and sit all by himself, did you?

Then off we all went to the Tower, dancing.

I had one dance with my husband and another with his pal.

Well, share and share alike. Why not?

-The next one they'd have together. -Eh?

Leaning against the bar, drinking.

Well, what's wrong with that?

It was our wedding night, that's all.

And that's how it was all through the honeymoon.

Always the three of us.

But Billy had his own bedroom.

I mean, brick walls between us. What more did you want?

-Aren't we getting oft the-- -Leslie.

But did you have to take him on your honeymoon, Mr Fitton?

Why not?

I was raised with him, wasn't I? I used to play in the gutter with him making mud pies before we was even britched.

We were scrubbed off together in the same washtub in his mam's backyard.

Went to school together, worked together.

Takes a lifetime for a man to make a proper friend.

What was I to do? Desert him?

Just because of a few words spoken over me at an altar?

"A few words."

Well, and a hymn.

-Anyway, that's when I most needed him. -But you had your wife.

Her?

All she did was to keep squeezing my mitt and looking moon-faced at me.

I began to think I'd married a woman with a slate short.

Mm. Happen you had.

I suppose that's why you went off every morning at 7:00, the pair of you.

-Went off? -At 7:00?

Every blessed morning, off they'd go, happy as sandboys, without as much as a goodbye kiss.

Ah, I was never one to take liberties.

But she was your wife, Mr Fitton.

I know. But you can still show respect, can't you?

I mean, kissing a 19-year-old girl while she's still asleep?

But you slept beside her all night.

I slept beside me brother Tom for years, but I never bloody kissed him.

Look, aren't we getting off the subject?

Shut up.

No girl's going to like being left alone on her honeymoon, Mr Fitton.

But it was only for an hour or so, while me and Billy went for a walk along the sands.

I've never enjoyed anything in me whole life like them walks.

I don't care what you say. Whichever way you look at it, a honeymoon for three, it must have looked damned odd.

Well, not to Billy and me, it didn't.

It's you that's making it sound odd.

Anyway, I can't think why you have to bring all this up tonight.

I'm just showing you that things are not always what they look.

Just because our Arthur's marriage hasn't gone right yet, you've no call to talk about him being queer.

The lad's no more odd and queer than you and Billy were.

And goodness knows what that must've looked like.

Don't get upset, Mrs Fitton. There's no worry with Arthur on that score.

Suppose there was. Is that something to get at a lad for?

Well, it's not normal, is it?

Nature would have done it.

And a father should help and protect a lad like that, not turn on him like the mob would when it sees somebody different.

You know in your heart, Lucy, I'd never turn on him.

Not if I felt he needed me.

I know that, love.

I sometimes wonder if he does.

Yes. Well...

I've, uh, come over very dry all of a sudden.

What do you say to a drop of something, Mr Piper?

-I wouldn't say no. -No, neither would I.

Yes.

Well, uh, I'll just pop round to the oft-licence.

-I'll come with you if you like. -Good, yeah. Get a jug and me coat.

Leslie.

Don't be long. Our Jenny mustn't find us here.

-Strike! Whoo-hoo! -Well, that's it.

-Great. -Hey.

What say we go up the mall for a coffee and a hot dog at the cafe?

-Yeah, let's. -Okay by me.

-Oh, I mustn't be late. -Oh, come on. He won't eat ya.

There they are, the two of 'em.

Oh. So that's Billy, is it?

There must've been times when you could hardly stand the sight of him.

Oh, no. He was a quiet, gentle lad.

You know how it is with someone who's shy.

You suddenly find you understand each other.

I dare say, but with you newly wed and him hanging around all the time?

Oh, he made himself useful, putting up shelves and painting and that.

I can remember the last time he was here like it was yesterday.

It was one of those hot early summer evenings, and Ezra was working late.

We were doing out the back bedroom.

Billy was holding the steps for me.

I must've had a devil in me or something.

I kept splashing him with whitewash.

It was running all down his neck.

I was only 19 at the time, and you know how girls act at that age.

And when I got home, Lucy said he'd gone.

Do you know we've never set eyes on him from that day to this?

I couldn't fathom it.

Next thing I heard, he'd left town.

He was working in one of them car factories down south.

-Mm. You didn't go after him? -Well, Lucy wouldn't let me.

You know what women are. They don't understand these things.

Anyway, our Arthur got started about that time, so, well, I had to stay.

Oh, thanks, love.

See you up there then.

Aye, we'll see you.

Hey!

Clot.

No. No, let me.

You'd look smashing, even in a gas mask.

It's not much good if you haven't got any sex appeal.

You? You fishing?

No, Geoff. I'm serious.

Tell me, don't I put you off?

Oft?

You put me on, girl.

Now, act your age. I'm a married woman, remember?

You'd better keep reminding me.

Draught beer.

You can't beat it.

That bottle stuff fills me with wind.

It doesn't matter about us having the wind then?

Well, ladies can handle it better.

Come on, Leslie. We must be going. Now, that's all settled.

I'll send her round to have a talk with her Uncle Fred.

I still don't see what he can do.

-He's a physiotherapist. -Is he?

Well, perhaps he might make up a bottle of herbal mixture for our Arthur.

-That might get things moving. -He's not a qualified man.

-He's an SPN. -A what?

State registered nurse. That's all that is.

I meant like the MD. Proper medical qualifications, like.

Have you done?

Right, she can go round next early closing.

Oh, and you won't let on we've told you?

-She did promise. -Not a word.

-Good night, Mrs Fitton. -Ta-ta, Mrs Fitton.

Good night, Mrs Piper. Good night, Mr Piper.

Well, they say that to understand the children, you have to know the parents.

-Aye. -Young Arthur, he stands out in that family like a sore thumb.

What's on your mind now?

That story about Billy. Well, what did you think?

Are you staying out there all night?

I was just thinking.

Them new brown boots me and Billy bought for our honeymoon-- do you remember?

Aye. I remember.

That first morning, standing at the edge of the sea.

I remember a little, uh, frothy ripple of tide rolling right over our new brown leather, then... then off again like water oft a duck's back.

Then the sun came out, and our boots were covered with little drops of water, all-- all glistening away.

Do you know what Billy said?

"You can't beat nature for beauty, Ezra," he said.

I've never forgot it.

That were the big moment of my honeymoon.

You'll catch cold standing there.

Bye.

-Hello, Len. -Hello, love.

You and Geoff coming on the scramble?

No. Can't, worse luck. Well, I'll see you later. Ta-ra.

-Ta-ra. -Ta-ra.

Is it true, this story that's going round about her and Arthur?

What's that?

-Hello, love. -Hello.

See that girl that just got in?

Yes.

She's just got married, and her husband can't do anything.

No.


Now, then. And how does that feel?

-That's a lot easier. -Good.

You were all knotted.

Well, you must have un-knotted me.

Now, who's that?

It's Liz Piper's girl, Jenny.

Why, hello, love. Hello, Uncle Fred.

I'm not disturbing you, am I?

No. Come on in. I'll tell you what.

You go through to the garden and feed the rabbits for me.

-I shan't be long. -All right.

You'll find some dock leaves on the table, love.

My young niece.

-She's such a nice little girl. -She always has been.

I do feel sorry for her, the way things have turned out.

And Arthur Fitton's such a well-set-up young chap.

You'd never believe it.

They do say two eggs and a glass of port will do the trick.

Of course, you'd know, Mr Stansfield, being medical.

Joe Thompson was saying celery's best.

Mind you, I always say, if a young couple hits it off proper, they can keep going on cold tea.

What are you two ladies talking about?

Well, don't say you didn't know.

Oh, we have let the cat out of the bag.

Now, then, love. And what brings you here?

Oh, I just came to see you.

Oh, fair enough. You'll be able to cook something up for me.

Yes, course I will.

Uh, as a matter of fact, I came to ask you something.

You did?

Well, ask away, then.

I'm not sure how to start.

Well, the best place is the beginning, love.

You needn't worry.

Whatever it is, I'm on your side. You know that.

Oh. Uncle Fred!

Oh, now, now, now. Come on. Come on, come on.

What's the matter?

I'm still a virgin, Uncle Fred.

Well, don't cry, love.

There's many a woman who would give a fortune to be able to say that.

Not if she's been ten weeks married, she wouldn't.

No, perhaps not.

But what could the reason be?

Well, it could be a dozen things. What do you think it is?

I don't know.

Perhaps it's me. Perhaps it's Arthur.

I mean, there are men, aren't there, who get-- who get put off by women?

Oh, I doubt if Arthur's one of them. Whoever gave you that idea?

You get lots of ideas lying awake at night.

It could be worry. Have you thought of that?

-Worry? -Aye. About his job, about you, about getting a house.

Now, you take Flossie here.

Now, then, when she was first ready, a lad from up the street brought a fine, big buck called Tom.

As soon as it set its nose inside the cage, Flossie here set about him.

You talk about fur flying.

-Perhaps she didn't fancy him. -No, hold on a minute.

We kept putting him in and taking him out.

Even Tom was getting the wind up.

And then one day, Grandma next door, she saw us.

"That'll never work," she says. "You have to take the doe to the buck.

To his home, aye, or there'll be nothing doing."

-Did you? -Aye, we did.

-What happened? -Well, Flossie here's had four litters.

The lad has made a fortune.

But I'm in Arthur's home already.

Nay. You're in his dad's home. That's not the same thing.

Arthur can't walk about with his braces dangling, can he?

-You're late. -No, I'm not, Mr Thompson.

Don't argue with me, son. If I say you're late, you're late.

No, he's not. Leave him alone.

-Get back in the kennel, you. -You take your hands oft him.

Oh! It's like that, is it? We mustn't touch him.

Let me go, Mr Thompson.

All right, go on.

-You bastard. -You what?

You're getting a bit big for your boots, aren't you, Fitton?

-You've no right to do that. -Right?

You're a fine one to talk about rights, aren't you?

You wanna worry about that wife of yours. What about her rights, then, eh?

If you love me, say

-Here's one I fancy. -You reckon it, do you?

So do I. Portsview.

If you love me Here. How about Beauchamp?

Say And that one there.

What did you mean by that?

Oh.

Oh, well, uh, by all accounts, she isn't too happy, is she?

I tell you what.

If you don't feel up to it, you leave it to me, I'll do it for you.

All right?

What's come over you?

You dirty swine.

All right.

Come on, then.

Come on.

If you want it, I'll give it to ya.

Stop it! Stop it, the pair of you!

Eddie! Don't just stand there. Get someone!

Come on, Arthur, belt him.

Arthur, for God's sake, what's got into you?

That thing there... said he'd do a job for me... with my wife.

He said what?

You're finished, Fitton.

Go on. Get your cards.

Stick 'em.

You said what?

How could you?

You'd do a job for him? You?

You couldn't do a job for our cat!

Why, the milkman's been doing your bloody job for years!

Get!


Look as if you were mixing concrete.

Do you mind minding your own business?

Mm. I thought you'd put too much on.

There's not enough.

Hello. Here's Arthur. He's home early.

Hey, Arthur.

I've one here for you.

Hello, love.

What are you doing home? Anything wrong?

It's all right, Mum.

Now what's up?


What's he doing upstairs?

How do I know?

Didn't he say what brought him home?

You were here.

Well, I won't have him walking through this house like it were a public convenience.

Don't be so vulgar.

Something's upset him.

-Hello, love. -Hello.

Hey, love.

Arthur's home.

Arthur? Why?

-What's happened? -He didn't say.

He walked through here like it were a public convenience.

Don't say things like that at the tea table.

Uncle Fred said to give you these.

Oh, they're lovely.

Aye, it's many a day since any man's sent me flowers.

-Take this cup of tea up to him, love. -Yeah.

-And see what's up with him. -All right.

Funny, his coming back so early.

I feel right sorry for that lad.

I've brought you some tea.

Arthur, what's the matter?

Arthur, I'm speaking to you.

I heard you.

Then why don't you answer?

I've nothing to say.

But what are you doing?

-Packing. -What for?

-I'm getting out. -Why?

I'm leaving you.

Leaving? But what have I done?

You've opened your big mouth once too often.

-Arthur! -I asked you not to tell anyone.

-I begged you. -But I haven't.

-Liar! -Only my mother.

Only? Her?

I never meant to, Arthur. It just slipped out.

What'd she say?

Is that why you went to see your Uncle Fred today?

-Talk me over with the family quack? Eh? -It was me mother. She--

I'll bet it was.

Look.

Look, I'm nobody and nothing, but at least I've always been able to hold my head up in this neighbourhood.

Then I get married, and what happens?

All right, maybe I have made a mess of it.

But for my own wife to go around discussing our private life with everybody.

-You've made me a bloody laughingstock! -But, Arthur, I haven't!

Then how the hell can Joe Thompson tell me he'll do a job for me with my wife?

-One I can't manage myself, eh? -You're wrong, Arthur! I never!

God, I only hope you told him it was you who put me oft.

Yes. Yes, from the very first night it was you.

-Laughing like you did. -I never told him anything!

You bloody little liar.

Why, you bitch.

-It's warming up a bit. -It's a terrible thing, a frustrated man.


-It's gone very quiet in there. -Shh.

Did you hear a bang, Lucy?

I heard nothing.

Oh, that's funny.

I could've sworn I heard a bang.

It says here if the Chinese go on increasing, there'll not be enough food left to go round.

Well, someone ought to tell them Chinese to stop it.

Why don't you? They might take notice.

Hey, look at that. Plaster.

I told you I heard a bang.

I wonder what's keeping our Arthur and our Jenny upstairs?

You worry about the Chinese. You'll have enough to be going on with.

I hope he's not choked her.

Don't be daft.

Hello, ladies. What's this, then? Shop meeting?

Don't you be so cheeky, Geoffrey Fitton.

Yeah.

-Hello, love. -Sorry I'm late, Mum.

Your tea's in the oven. You sit down, love.

Ta. How go, Dad?

Hello, Geoff.

-Is Jenny back yet? -She's upstairs.

Oh, good.

-And where are you off? -Upstairs to see Jenny.

You sit down. Go on.

-She doesn't want to be disturbed. -I won't disturb her.

-I've got some news for her. -She's with her husband.

Arthur? What's he doing home?

Minding his own business.

He walked through here like it were a public convenience.

If you say that again, I won't be responsible.

Well, there's no other way of putting it.

-He looked neither left nor right. -I've warned ya.

Why so touchy, Mum?

'Cause when I was a girl, I walked into a men's place by mistake.

What a sight.

Two lines of men, all wearing raincoats, with their stooped backs and their bloomin' heads sunk forward as though they expected to be shot in the back at any moment.

If ever I have a nightmare, you can bet your life that comes into it.

Ta, Mum.

Hey, Dad, has our Arthur got the sack or something?

I don't know what he's got, but he can't walk through here like it was a pub--

Can't open me bloody mouth these days.

Suppose I just let them know I'm here.

-They don't want to know. -How do you know they don't?

I've got a feeling.

Besides, what's this news that's so important?

-There's a house going. -Where?

-Up Bill Hill, near the reservoir. -How did you hear?

Ernie Blake, down the garage. It's his place. He's emigrating.

-I doubt it'd suit His Lordship. -That's just it.

He was up there once. He liked it.

What do you think, Dad?

They're stone, them cottages. They'd cost a pound or two.

Only 200 down, that's all.

Well, you know our Arthur. He won't go into debt.

Well, then, you'll have to persuade him, won't ya?

Me?

It's not likely he'll take notice of me.

They'll have to be quick and make up their minds.

-I'll call 'em down, then. -Stay where you are.

Doesn't have to be that quick.

I still say someone should do something. He may have done her a mischief.

Not that lad. He wouldn't hurt a fly.

Still, it's strange it's gone so quiet.

You mark my words. Something's happened.

What did I tell ya? That's "Funeral March" he's playing.

Gerroff. That's old Churchill's tune.

You know, during the war. The "Victory March."

Course it is.

There's that chamber music again.

What's wrong with it?

Sounds good to me.


"Federation of British Travel Agents"?

Hmm?

Hey.

Jenny.

-Look at this. -What is it?

Look!

Arthur!

Ah!

Look at that. There's nothing wrong with those two.

Not unless you're bad-minded.

-Like some I know. -I should say.

I thought you two were never coming down.

-Well, here we are. -What's the suitcases for?

We're going on our honeymoon.

You what?

The 7:40. We got our money back.

From the travel agents. Isn't it wonderful?

Oh, I'm so glad.

-Has Joe Thompson let you off, then? -Well, he didn't have to.

-I've finished with him and his job. -He had it coming.

Where are you both off?

-Blackpool, Mum. -Just the two of you?

I hope so, Mr Fitton.

Well, I'll be blowed.

-But they can't. What about the cottage? -What cottage?

Ernie Blake's. He's selling.

Not the one we saw up by the reservoir?

-Ah. -Oh, Arthur!

Now, don't go putting things off.

Honeymoons don't stand putting oft too often.

If you want the cottage, you leave it to your dad.

He'll see what can be done.

How much does he want for it? Only 200 down. It's a snip.

But I haven't got that kind of money, Geoff.

Go and ask your dad. Go on.

No. Go on. He'll help you.

What do you think, Dad?

Eh?

You talking to me, lad?

About this cottage. I was wondering, do you think we ought to?

I mean, what's-- what's your advice?

My advice?

Well, uh--

Well, that depends.

-Are-- Are you sure you want it? -I am, Mr Fitton.

Well, there's only one answer. Buy the bloody house.

-But if we haven't got the money? -Money?

Well, don't let money stand in your way, love.

You leave that side of it to me, son. I've got a pound or two.

-But I couldn't come on you for all that. -Why not?

You're my son, aren't you?

Well, it's a damn--

It's a damn poor father wouldn't... help his own lad out.

Thanks, Dad.

Oh, Dad!

Oh, thanks, Dad.

Well come along, then.

You can't hang about if you're gonna catch that train.

Geoff, pop over to Mr Hall and ask him to bring his car round.

No, no, there's no need. We can take a bus.

You're not starting your honeymoon from here in a bus. Go on, Geoff.

And you better take a snack with you. There'll be no meals till you get there.

Arthur.

Are you carrying?

-Eh? -Mm, loaded?

Once that cheque's cashed, I shall be.

Here.

Come on. Take it.

Always have money in thy pocket. It's the only way.

Ta, Dad. I'll see you right.

And never go short. Must have anything.

God bless.

-7:40, did you say? -That's right.

-Well, you haven't much time, then. -Goodbye, Dad.

Take care of him, love.

Don't worry. I will. Bye.

You'll have to explain to Mum and Dad for me.

Oh, don't you worry about that, love. I'll do that, all right.

I've got 'em.


All right.

Don't forget: Come back brown.

Hey. Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

-Just enjoy yourselves. -Bye.

-Ta-ra. -Ta-ra.

-Ta-ra. -Ta-ra.

-Ta-ra. -Have a good time.

-Bye. -Ta-ra.

Goodbye.

Would you believe it? No job, no home.

He goes oft as if he's just won the pools.

They've gone away happy. That's the main thing.

Thanks to your dad.

You know who he put me in mind of, Lucy... the way he walked out of that door?

It could've been him.

Mum.

What is it, Dad?

It's life, lad.

It might make you laugh, at your age...

but one day, it'll make you bloody cry.