1 9 6 7 (UK)
13 x 25 minute episodes
When their boatyard owner father, Jim is taken ill, ten-year-old Michael (Mike Doherty), his twelve-year-old sister Liz (Elizabeth Doherty) and elder brother Dick (Richard O’Callaghan) decide to deliver a new canal narrowboat – the Flower of Gloster – from their father’s boatyard in North Wales to a buyer on his behalf. Richard’s friend Annette (Annette Robertson) joins them on the trip.
During their 220-mile trip piloting “Glossie” from north-east Wales to the Pool of London at Tower Bridge, they make new friends but also encounter all kinds of danger and difficulties, played out against the changing pattern of the British countryside.
Along the journey, the children stop off to visit many of the West England waterways towns, cities and place of interest such as Woburn Abbey and Stoke Bruene museum.
This was the first Granada Television series to be filmed in colour though – with the ITV colour service still two years away – it was initially transmitted in black and white.
Episodes were semi-improvised, mixing documentary factual features with the plotted storyline, and the lead characters were all essentially playing themselves.
The Flower of Gloster was a real narrowboat – a converted 72′ canal barge by the name of Wanderer.
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