1 9 7 6 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
Life in a commune means friendly cooperation. That’s what Len Saxby (Ivor Salter) imagines when he answers an advertisement to join one. He and his three children – Anna (Chris Range), Phil (Ashley Knight) and Mark (Nigel Rhodes) – arrive at the big, old house of Westway in Bristol and find it a forbidding place.
Their welcome is chilly too – especially from the mysterious “sitting tenant”, Miss Marlbury.
The children of the Saxby, Ryder and Harvey families take an active role in the community only to find that when their enthusiasm for the market garden begins to pay off, it leads to adults squabbling over the profits.
The dramas of communal life were complemented by a more traditional plotline, when Mark Saxby discovers from the cantankerous old Miss Marlbury that there is some kind of treasure hidden in the big old house. The lost diary of Marlbury’s ancestor, ‘the Yellow Lord’, has great significance when the future of Westway becomes untenable and a price is offered for the mansion.
Westway featured an excellent cast of young actors, among them the prolific Simon Gipps-Kent (one of the foremost juvenile actors of the 1970s who later died in tragic circumstances at a young age), Sarah Sutton (later of The Moon Stallion) and no less than two Tomorrow People (Dean Lawrence and Nigel Rhodes).
Ann Lynn (who played Jan Ryder) really did live on a commune at the time she filmed this series.
Sylvestra le Touzel
The Saxby Invaders | A Do-It-Yourself School | A Growing Concern | Happy Families | Noughts and Crosses | A Highly Desirable Property | The Tenants Feast