When the Boat Comes In Episode Rating Graph
Jan 1976 - Apr 1981
Jan 1976 - Apr 1981
A former Army sergeant returns home to an economically depressed Gallowshields in Tyneside at the end of World War One. But this sergeant always lands on his feet...
The first episode of When the Boat Comes In aired on January 08, 1976.
The last episode of When the Boat Comes In aired on April 21, 1981.
There are 51 episodes of When the Boat Comes In.
There are 4 seasons of When the Boat Comes In.
When the Boat Comes In has ended.
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8th Jan 1976
1919: Jack Ford returns from the Great War to the mining town of Gallowshields, on "leave pending discharge". He has no prospects, but a gift for making himself likable to all levels the highly stratified British classes and an eye for every opportunity--for Jack.
15th Jan 1976
jack continues to work his way into the Seaton family - hard working Bill and his wife Bella, and their adult children Tom, Jessie and Billy. Bill is a miner but wants better for his family. Thanks to his hard work there is money for his daughter to train as a school teacher and son Billy to attend University and become a Doctor. Tom is not academic and so he works in the mines with his father, but he would prefer to work outdoors.
22nd Jan 1976
The miners have been on strike for a month, over a pay claim. Tom, now supporting a wife and son, borrows some money from Jack, who, despite being out of work for two months, doesn't seem to be short of a few bob. Jessie and Jack discuss having a baby, but Jessie says that her entire family is relying on her income. Jack claims that he's got money put by, and is supplementing this with "odd jobs".
29th Jan 1976
With his wife Mary dying of TB, Tom Seaton starts a job as a strikebreaker in the local mine. Jack Ford continues his affair with Dolly Headley whom he visits while she is at work for Sir Horatio Manners, his army captain's father. Discovering that Manners likes swords, Jack goes off and buys a cheap one in order to present it to Manners by way of introduction. Manners sizes him up and offers him a job.
5th Feb 1976
With the strike continuing people are forced to steal coal. When Jack Ford brings some coal round for the Seatons which he has bought off someone, Bill Seaton tells him to take it away as it is the same as paying the mine owners and is helping them instead of the strikers.
12th Feb 1976
After eight weeks, the miners' strike is over, but the pitmen have settled without gaining anything. ("It was either that or starve", admits Bill). Empire Day ("the day that we remember our Empire. The British Empire. The greatest the World has ever seen") is celebrated at Jessie's school: the headmaster, Mr Ashton, leads the children in a spirited, patriotic rendition of Land of Hope and Glory.
19th Feb 1976
Matt and Dolly nervously wait for Jack at the registrar's office. Jack arrives at the last minute, bearing a bouquet. Later Jack tells Matt and Dolly that he was delayed by a broken-down tram, and that had to hitch a ride with a passing rag and bone man. Jack gives Dolly the five pounds - the first five pound note Dolly has seen, telling her it's a wedding present (although he declines to tell her from whom). Matt and "Mr and Mrs Ford" share a bottle of champagne.
26th Feb 1976
Mary has died. Jack is joined at the pub by an old army friend, black and tan soldier Sid Hepburn. Jack is surprised to hear that he's being paid ten bob a day, all found. Tom and Bill arrive, and Jack hears about Mary's death. Bill calls Jack a "fornicating bastard". Jack leaves. Sid is joined by a loutish colleague, Harry Bartram.
3rd Mar 1976
Tom tells his mother that he plans to marry Rosie, and move to Edinburgh for a fresh start. Rosie tells Tom that both their mothers are against the marriage, and that their opinion carries a lot of weight. Rosie tells Tom he must wait for a year: "I'll never forget me pitman". Mick's funeral is well-attended. It is partly funded by the union, who also provide the pallbearers.
11th Mar 1976
Manners visits the recently-married Jack and Dolly. Dolly is heavily pregnant, but Jack looks leaner than Manners remembers. Manners offers Jack whisky and smoked salmon sandwiches, and a job: £20 for a week's work. He wants to buy a house from Lord Calderbeck, and wants Jack to act as a front-man.
18th Mar 1976
Jack and visiting Glaswegian socialist lecturer Sandy Lewis visit The George Hotel bar, where Billy is working. Tom is there. The Seatons are going to Jessies that evening, to celebrate the New Year. Tom lurks at a the Conservative Unionist Women's Association annual shindig, where Richard Harley Evans is guest of honour, celebrating the party's recent election win. Tom sneaks into the cloakroom, stealing items of value. He is interrupted, and narrowly escapes capture, by slipping into Sandy Lewis's lecture.
25th Mar 1976
Jack has arranged a safe route to the docks for Tom. Green and Edgar catch up with Tom, but they have a surprise in store: a "tin panning", which means they're hounded home by the womenfolk, bashing pots and pans. Jack returns home to find Dolly apologetic, and a hearty meal on the table. Lizzie arrives with a letter from Mr Gibson: she's been offered a cleaning job paying a very respectable "fifteen bob a week...half a man's wages".
1st Apr 1976
After serving his sentence, Jack is released from prison. Matt has arranged for a welcoming procession, including a colliary band! Jack is paraded through the streets as a "The People's Friend", hammer in hand. Jessie tells Jack she doesn't entirely approve of his new-found power, or the way he got it, hoping that he won't forget the people he's going to represent. "Don't you worry, bonnie lass, they'll get their share... eventually".