1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 1 (UK)
100 x 25 minute episodes
Two large Victorian houses converted into eight flats at 42 Popes Avenue were the setting for “a slice of life without the sugar” in this daytime soap opera set in the fictional small Yorkshire seaside town of Castle Haven.
Teacher Phil Mercer (Jack Carr) and his wife Jo (Sally James) were newlyweds and very hard up. They had a baby on the way and Phil made no secret of the fact that they had to count the coppers. There wasn’t much left for luxuries on a salary of around £800 a year.
The Thorns were old-age pensioners who lived in flat #1 and had an obsessive grievance with the council who had compulsorily purchased and demolished their house to make room for a road that wasn’t built. Arthur Thorn (Bert Palmer) was a retired haulage contractor who spent much of his time in bed and kept his kind-hearted wife Meg (Natalie Kent) running around.
Ivor (Colin Rix) and Alice (Ann King) Davies had marital problems, largely because Alice tried to keep up with the Joneses with only Ivor’s permanent nightshift wages to pay for it all.
Other residents included the Meeks, Tom (George Waring) and Sarah (Gretchen Franklin) who lived in the basement flat and were caretakers to the building, and the feckless and ever-quarrelling Everitts – Harry (Roy Barraclough) and Lorna (Kathy Staff) – and their daughter Sylvia.
Czech waiter (and former doctor) Josip Pospichal (Ernst Walder) lived in the top flat. Attractive midwife Fiona Morris (Sidonie Bond) lived in a ground floor flat.
Mr Edward Pack (Ray Gatenby) was the agent for the house and recipient of complaints, abuse and threats. He was good at giving nothing away.
The local watering hole for the inhabitants of the flats was a pub just down the road called the Gate Hangs Well, presided over by the demanding and sharp-tongued widow Delilah Hildrupp (Jill Summers) and her sister-in-law Betsy (Ann Way).
The twice-weekly soap from Yorkshire Television debuted on Monday 31 March 1969 but only lasted two years, and all the recordings have since been erased.