1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 0 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
This BBC Scotland comedy series became a popular Friday night item with viewers for its simple humour and colourful characters.
Para Handy (Duncan Macrae) was the skipper of a ‘puffer’ – a small cargo boat that operated as a merchantman along the west coast of Scotland – called the Vital Spark.
The half-hour stories followed the slightly-less-than-legitimate adventures of her crew – Macphail (John Grieve), Dougie (Roddy McMillan), and Sunny Jim (Angus Lennie) – as they plied their coasting trade.
The stories, scripted by Duncan Ross, were based on a 1905 Glasgow Evening News series written by Neil Munro under the pen name of ‘Hugh Foulis’.
The BBC revived the series in 1966 as The Vital Spark, with Roddy McMillan now playing Para Handy.
Davie ‘Sunny Jim’ Green
Para Handy: Master Mariner | Para Handy’s Experiment | A Happy New Year | The Prize Canary | Para Handy’s Apprentice | The Marriage Market