Appleyards, The

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 7 (UK)appleyards
160 x 20 minute episodes

BBC television’s first foray into soap opera was actually children’s programme The Appleyards, which went out once every two weeks from 1952 to 1957.

Its tales of serial ordinariness made it the junior version of the BBC’s own The Grove Family, which ran for the same period.

It featured Mum, Dad and their children, living somewhere in the Home Counties, and initially was broadcast live.

Unlike later soaps, which continue in real time, as the younger Appleyard child actors grew, they were replaced, so in this little corner of suburban England time appeared to stand still.

The title was not to the liking of the BBC Controller of Programmes, Cecil McGivern, who famously suggested that it sounded like ‘suet pudding with a mixture of cement’.

A reunion special – Christmas With The Appleyards – was screened in 1960.


Mr. Appleyard
Frederick Piper (1)
Douglas Muir (2)
Mrs Appleyard

Constance Fraser
Janet Appleyard

Maureen Davis (1)
Tessa Clarke (2)
John Appleyard

David Edwards
Margaret Appleyard

Patricia Wilson (1)
Carole Olver (2)
Pat Fryer (3)
Tommy Appleyard

Derek Rowe
Barbara Brown
Erica Houen