Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 1, Episode 3 - The Train Now Standing... - full transcript

Cecil continues to pine for May and Jack continues to be suspicious asking Ethel the booking clerk to spy on them so she learns nothing. To streamline the station and impress an efficiency inspector Cecil plans to use the old public address system for announcements and gets Ethel to read them. However she is very nervous and the experiment is not a success.

(Train whistle)

(Tuts) Ethel. Ethel!

– (♪ Loud, tuneless music)
– 'Ello. What's going off?

– It's time we opened the booking office.
– I can't hear you.

– It's time we opened the booking office.
– Wilfred! Wilfred!

Turn that thing down.
I can't hear meself think.

– (Wilfred) You're lucky.
– That's enough of that.

I'm sorry. It's Wilfred. He can't
get his fingers round one of the chords.

I'll put me fingers round his neck
in a minute.

You've got to give him chance to practise.

Not on British Railways' time. Tell him
to clean the brasses at the station.

And we've got to open the booking office.

May went to get the urn going
ten minutes ago.

Shut that row up!
That boy's a blooming hooligan.

He is not a hooligan. He's just young.

It's the same thing.

Hurry up, Harry.
Clumberfield train'll be here soon.

Not till I give the signal, it won't,
and I'm not giving it until he shuts up!

– Well, he's stopped.
– Hurry up, Harry, or Parkin'll have you.

I don't give that for Parkin.

He's got to learn not to poke his nose in.

Good morning, Mr Parkin.

Good morning, Mr Lambert.

I'm just on my way back
to my signal box, sir.

Aren't you a bit late, Mr Lambert?

Not if I run.

Here's your tea cloths, May,
all clean, washed and ironed.

I've left the others in the proper
receptacle place in the kitchenette.

You're a treasure, Vera. Give your bill
to Gloria. She's doing petty cash for us.

I don't think I've quite finished, Mum.
I've got to be at college at 9:30.

Good morning, May...

er, Mrs Skinner.

Gloria, Mrs Plumtree. Didn't expect
to find you all in here so early.

Good morning, Mr Parkin.

I've got the net curtains
for the stationmaster's residence,

clean, washed and ironed.
I'll hang them directly.

Thank you, Mrs Plumtree,
you shouldn't have bothered.

We can't have a person
in your position with naked windows.

Passers– by would be seeing things
what are private, only to your good self.

And that isn't nice...

even for the passers– by.


Well, erm, my furniture arrives tomorrow.

Well, good morning to you all.

What a charming man.

He's what I call one of nature's natural
gentleman's gentlemen.

What a pity he has to do
so much whingeing.

– She's a funny woman.
– She's a good ironer.

She's right, though,
he is very gentlemanly.

– Seems a bit shy.
– Aw. Not when you get to know him...

I expect.

I'll have me cuppa as soon
as I've seen the Clumberfield through.

I'll have it ready for you.

Give us a glass of water, May. I think
I'm going to have one of me heads.

– Shouldn't you be in the booking office?
– I can see through the door

if there's any passengers.
Oh, it's our Wilfred.

He's a nice boy and ever so loving
but he doesn't think.

Mm. I wonder who he gets that from?


Hatley refreshment room.

Oh, hello, Cecil, er, Mr Parkin.

Well, I don't normally...

Well, can't you come in here for it?

Well, I'm sure Mrs Schumann
would bring one for you.

Very well, Mr Parkin.

Was that Mr Parkin?

– it was.
– What's he want?

Well, what do people normally want
from a refreshment room? A cup of tea.

– Why doesn't he come here?
– He wants it in his office.

– I'll take it to him.
– No, he wants me to take it.

Oh, I see.

I'll take him an Eccles cake.
I expect he'd like one.

– Gloria?
– Yes, Mum?

– Mind the counter for a minute, love.
– OK.

She's never done that before.
Why's she doing it for Parkin?

Well, you know Mum.

And she's took him the last Eccles cake.

There's something odd going off.


Ah. Thank you for coming, May.

I hope you're not going to make a habit
of this, Cecil. I've got my work to do.

I had to see you. I couldn't talk
with all those people in the room.

Drink your tea.

Your hair looks beautiful.

Have you brought me all the way in here
to talk about my hair?

May, every time I see you, I still get
the same feelings I had all that time ago.

You can get those sorts of feelings
out of your head straightaway.

– I'm a married woman.
– That's what's so damnable about it.

I couldn't sleep again last night
through thinking of you and him...

in bed together...

doing things.

Well, you needn't worry about that.

At least, not on a Thursday.

– (Engine chugging)
– (Jack, muffled) ..Hatley, Hatley.

Change here for Buston and Wenstead.

– Boo!
– Ah!

Ralph, oh, you frightened me.

What were you doing? Eavesdropping?

Me? No!

I'm looking at this door.

What for?


Woodworm? Have you found any?

One or two.

– They get everywhere. ls Arnold here?
– Haven't seen him.

We're taking over the 10:07.

That's nice.
I expect you'll be an engine driver soon.

Maybe. I'm not that keen.

Aren't you? I thought all boys
wanted to be engine drivers.

No, I was sort of pushed into it.

My uncle drove the Royal Scot.

So everyone thought
that I'd wanna do the same.

Personally, I'm more of an academic.

Are you?

Yeah, I'm studying right now.

I'm reading all about them ancient Greeks.

Aristotle and Aristophanes.

I got 'em well sussed.
I'm going through them alphabetically.

When I was at school,
I liked hearing about Caesar.

Oh yeah? I haven't got to S yet.


– (Jack) Right away!
– (Train whistle)

(Train chugging)

– Where's May?
– I don't know.

– Gloria said she took tea into Parkin.
– Did she?

– There's tea waiting for you, Jack.
– May?

Er... Ah, Mr Skinner, Mrs Schumann.
I'd like to have a word with all the staff.

– Just before the 11:02 would be best.
– Right. I'll tell 'em all.

Did you know you've got woodworm?

I beg your pardon?

You got woodworm in your door.

– Oh, so I have.
– Mrs Schumann spotted 'em.

How did you manage that, Mrs Schumann?

Well, I... l just have a good look
from time to time.

Well, thank you, that's
very observant of you.

Perhaps you'd check over
the rest of the station woodwork

and let me know if there are more cases.

Oh, I will. They get everywhere, don't they?

Yes. I expect they do.

I'll go and look out for Arnold.


– What's going on?
– Nothing.

Since when have you
started hunting woodworm?

Well, it's just something I do
from time to time.

Sort of a hobby.

There's something going on.
What's May up to?

Can't she take somebody a cup of tea
and an Eccles cake without you going on?

An Eccles cake?
She's gave him an Eccles cake?

– I'm gonna get to the bottom of this.
– Hang on a minute.

Parkin says we've got to lock the cash box
every time we leave.

There you are, Mum, must dash. Bye, Mum.

– Ta– ra.
– Hello, Arnold.

Oh, hello, love.

May, could you put me a spot
of hot water in this, please?

– Come on, give it here.
– Ta.


I thought I'd never get here today.

Well, it's, it's the wife, Jessica, you see.

Now, you wouldn't believe that in 1963,

Brunel cottages have all got...

(Whispers) ..outside toilets.

I beg your pardon?

(Whispers louder) Outside toilets.

Oh! Outside toilets.


You see, she always bolts the door
when she...

when she goes.

Heaven knows who's gonna follow her
down there at four o'clock in the morning.

– I say, May...
– Oh, Jack, hello.

I'm just explaining to May
why I were late, you see.

– He's got outside toilets.
– Shh.

That'd make me early.

You see, in the damp weather,

the bolt gets very rusty,

so Jessica got stuck.

Well, haven't you got any oil?

Oh, no, that was the trouble.

I gave her a bowl of pork dripping
but it didn't seem to work.

Er, and then I handed her a hammer.

There's a little gap
at the top of the door.

Here's your tea.

She tried it with the hammer but she's never
been any good with mechanical things.

Is she still there?

Oh, yes.

Well, I had to leave. I'd be late, you see.

Anyway, I've sent for the plumber

and Mrs Cole next door is sitting with her.

She reading her Oliver Twist.

Oh, she likes a good yarn, does Jessie.

Arnold, Parkin wants a word.

Aye, right. I'll pop in.

You don't have to,
he's got no authority over you.

I know. I know.
But if it makes him happy, I don't mind.

Now then, May,

what's all this about you
taking Parkin a cup of tea?

– What do you mean?
– Well, you never take me a cup of tea.

I don't have to. You're here, aren't you?

Well, you took him an Eccles cake as well.

Well you can have an Eccles cake
if you want one.

Oh, no. Ha.

None left.

You gave Parkin the last Eccles cake?

Jack, I am far too busy to stand here
with you discussing Eccles cakes.

I've got me washing up to do.

– Well, I'll be blessed.
– Jack, come and sit down.

I want to talk to you.

Ethel, she walked away
just as I was trying to talk to her.

She didn't walk away,
she went into the kitchen.

Now, sit down.

She'd no right to give him
the last Eccles cake.

She knows I always have an Eccles cake
with me morning cuppa.

Stop going on about the Eccles cake.

Now, listen, Jack, you know you always
think there's something going off with May

and I say "don't talk rubbish"?

Well, now, I'm agreeing with you.

There is something going off.

You've found something out. You've
got to tell me. You've got to tell me.

I'm going to tell you.

When she took Parkin the cup of tea...

– And the Eccles cake.
– All right, and the Eccles cake.

I got close to the door...

Looking for woodworm?

No, I had me ear to the door.

Can you hear woodworm?

I wasn't looking for woodworm.

I had me ear to the door
to hear what they said.

– What did you hear?
– Well, they were talking

and I heard him say, "May."

And then she said, "Cecil."

– Go on.
– Then the train started to arrive

and you shouted,
"This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.

"Change here for Buston and Wenstead,"

and then Ralph came in and went, "Boo!"

– So what did you hear?
– Nothing.

But they were talking.

There's something going on.

– Morning, Harry.
– Aye.

Parkin wants to see all the station staff
before the 11:02's gone through.

I'll come if it's convenient.

Sorry if I upset you with me guitar
this morning.

Yeah, well you wanna learn to have a bit
more respect for your elders.

When I was your age,
if I wasn't respectful,

my father would take his belt off
and chase me round the house with it.

Why didn't his trousers fall down?

– Get out!
– (Bell dings)

If there wasn't a train coming,
I'd do you a mischief.

The youth today, eh?

Why didn't his trousers come down?

Hatley, Hatley, Hatley!

Change here for Buston and Wenstead!

– Horace? Charlie?
– Aye.

– Hope you've left a fire in.
– Certainly have.

Right away!

– Now, Ralph.
– (Train whistle)

(Steam hisses)

Sorry, Mr Parkin.

– 'Ello, Mum.
– Have you told Harry?

Yeah. He's in one of his moods.

Wilfred, pull your hat down.
You look gormless.

Hello, Ethel. And how's my gorgeous girl?

All the better for seeing you, Percy.

– Right, is everybody here?
– They're all just coming, Mr Parkin.

Oh, er, thank you for coming, Mrs Skinner.

It's quite all right, Mr Parkin. Vera is
looking after the refreshment room for me.

I came as fast as I could, Mr Parkin.
I ran most of the way.

From what I can gather
from Mr Orkindale at district,

no final decision has yet been made
on the closure of this station.

Each line is being assessed

and they will inspect us
and check our efficiency.

– The Wetherton branch is shutting down.
– Yes, yes, I did know that.

Now then, what can we do about it,
we ask ourselves?

You're right, Mr Parkin.
That's what I've been asking myself.

You've hit the nail right on the 'ead.

What can we do about it?

– The answer is absolutely nothing.
– You're wrong, Mr Skinner.

We can be positive and optimistic.
There must be no long faces.

We must smile at the passengers
and be cheerful.

Ethel here's always cheerful,
always smiling, ain't you?

When I see you, Percy.

I smile at every train that passes my box.

Not that anybody ever looks.

We're getting off the point. We must make
this station the best on the line.

Now, I see we have
a public– address system.

That's no good. It's been bust for years.

The string went.

I take it you mean the mains lead.
Yes, Mr Lambert is repairing that for me.

Yes, it'll be ready in a thrice, sir.

Well, say by about four o'clock.

Mr Skinner, Mrs Schumann, I'd like to go
over the announcements we'll be making.

That'll be all for the rest of you.
Thank you for coming, Mrs Skinner.

It's a pleasure, Mr Parkin.
Thank you for inviting me.

– Right, this is where we switched it on.
– (Clicks)

This knob's for the volume,
that altered the tone

and this used to make it crackle,
so we didn't touch it.

And these are the announcements
for the different trains.

I see. As soon as we have the mains lead,
we can try it out.

In the meantime,
let's check the announcements.

– How do you mean?
– I suggest that we pretend

that the machine is switched on
and make the announcement.

'Atley, 'Atley, 'Atley! Change here for...

Just, just a moment, Mr Skinner.

The station is spelt H... A– T– I– E– Y.

You want me to spell it?

No. Pronounce it.

This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.


This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.


Carry on.

Change here for Buston and Wenstead!

The name of the station is Buston.


That's right.

You might call it Bastin

but people who live there
want to go to Buston.

I see.

At Shenfield, we had a female
doing the station announcements.

The passengers seemed to prefer it.

– You try, Mrs Schumann.
– Who, me?

Yes, Mrs Schumann, you.

Oh, well. (Clears throat)

(Posh) This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.

(Sing– song) Change here
for Buston and Wenstead.

Excellent, Mrs Schumann.
Now try the next one.


(Posh) The train approaching platform two

is the stopping train to Swinthorpe,

calling at Nossington Bassett, Coldhorton,

Bigglesby and Austen In The Wold.

Excellent, Mrs Schumann. I think it would be
best if you did the station announcements.

If you don't mind, Mr Skinner?

Oh, I don't mind. I don't mind a bit.

There's just one thing, though.

That train's not stopped at Bigglesby
for t'last three year.

Are they still at it?
Cor, he doesn't half go on, don't he?

You can't blame him.
It's his first post as stationmaster.

He wants everything to be just so.

If you ask me, I reckon he's one of those
fussy old finicky types – always nit– picking.

Well, I don't think he's like that at all.

That Parkin. Of all the fussy old finicky,
nit– picking people I've ever met.

Here's your tea. Put your own milk in.

Fetch it over here, Ethel.

Thank you.

You haven't been waving to me lately.
Don't you love me any more?

It's him. He watches everything we do.

You don't wanna take any notice of him.

'Ere, there's a smashing film on
at the Regal. Summer Holiday.

All these young people,
they go off on holiday in an old bus.

There's that Cliff Richard, Una Stubbs.
Ooh, I fancy her.

– Lots of singing and dancing.
– Hey, it sounds lovely.

I'm not doing anything on Saturday.
Shall we go?

Oh, I've seen it.

Oh. Erm, did you go on your own?

No. I went with young Amy.
Amy Matlock, Gloria's friend.

I just didn't want you to miss it, that's all.

I'll try not to.

I just happened to be passing, sir.
I done your lead.

Would you bring it round to the booking
office? This window is for ventilation only.

Very nice it is too, sir.
I'll be round in a thrice.

Mr Lambert has repaired the lead.
We can try the system.

There's a train due. You can go on the air.

The passengers might even applaud.
It'll be just like a concert.

Shut up, Jack. You're making me nervous.
Couldn't Jack do the first one?

Nonsense. You'll do it very well,
Mrs Schumann.

– Thanks, Mr Parkin.
– (Harry) Here it is.

– Give it to Parkin. The fussy old finicky...
– Thank you, Harry.

– That was Harry.
– Good. Plug it in, please.

Give her a hand, Mr Skinner.

– Give us the other end, Ethel.
– 'Scuse me, Mr Skinner, that plug...

Shut up. There you go, Ethel.

Is it on?

(Posh) The train approaching platform two
is the stopping train to Swinthorpe,

calling at Nossington Bassett, Coldhorton,

Cogglethorpe and Austen In The Wold.

– Very good.
– it didn't work.

– Excuse me, Mr Skinner.
– Shut up.

Testing, testing, testing.

– Mary had a little lamb...
– His fleece was white as snow.

(Jack and Parkin) Shut up!

That plug won't work. It's bust.

I blew it out with me amplifier.

How dare you employ British Railways
electricity for an improper purpose?

The poor lad's got to practise somewhere.

Not on my plug.

That one under there works.

– But we'll need a longer lead.
– No, we won't, Mr Skinner.

– Bring the apparatus across here.
– Here, Wilfred. Plug it in.

There's a train due.
Shall I go outside and announce it?

No, Mr Skinner,
I am determined to succeed.

If at first you don't succeed,
try, try again.

Absolutely, Mrs Schumann.

You can call me Ethel.

Not yet a while, Mrs Schumann.

– There's a train due in a minute.
– Switch it on. Go ahead, Mrs Schumann.

The train approaching... Hang on a minute.

(Quietly) The train approaching platform
two is the stopping train to Swinthorpe,

calling at Nossington Bassett, Coldhorton,
Cogglethorpe and Austen In The Wold.

– I'll go outside and listen.
– (Train whistle)

– Let us pray.
– Shut up, Jack!

I hear it coming. Go ahead.

(Sighs, clears throat)

– This is a Hatley station announcement.
– (Echoes)

The train approaching platform two

is the stopping train to Swinthorpe,

calling at Nossington Bassett, Coldhorton,


Hang on a minute.


– Get on with it, Ethel!
– I am getting on with it.

– Please hurry, Mrs Schumann.
– I'm going as fast as I can.

Aah! Me knee!

I'm sorry about that. (Panting)

The train approaching platform one...

– Two.
– (Gasping) Sorry... two...

is the stopping train to Swinthorpe,

calling at Nossington Cogglethorpe,

Nossington Bassett and Coldhorton.

...Nossington Bassett and Coldhorton.
Where next?

– Coggleton and Austen In The Wold.
– Austen In The Wold and Cogglethorpe.

– The other way round!
– The other way round!

I'd better do all that again
or you'll get confused.

Thank you, Mrs Schumann. I think we'll wait
for Mr Lambert to repair the correct socket.

I'm ever so sorry.

What did the passengers say?

There weren't any.

Harry, I've been waiting here for ages.

I'm in urgent need of a pound
of ripe tomatoes.

Well, you're gonna have to wait.

I've been mending perishing Parkin's
perishing lead

for his perishing announcements.

Well, there's no need to swear
in front of a lady.

Oh, I'm sorry, Vera.

But people don't appreciate
the fine limits that I have to work to.

With tomatoes?

No, with the signals.

Be careful, Mr Skinner.

– Careful!
– There you are, Mr Parkin.

Now plug it in. Now remain perfectly calm,
Mrs Schumann.

Mr Orkindale from district will be on the train
but it's a simple announcement.

– Yes, Mr Parkin.
– You can read it, there'll be no mistakes.

– Yes, Mr Parkin.
– You'd better have one more practice.

– Now?
– Yes.

(Posh) This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley,
change here for Buston and Wenstead.


Mr Skinner, come on to the platform
and we'll greet Mr Orkindale.

– Are you sure I shouldn't stay with Ethel?
– Quite sure.

Good luck.

We could do with
a little more volume this time.

– Pardon?
– Make it louder.

Shall I shout?

No, just turn up the volume.

(Quietly) This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.
Change here for Buston and Wenstead.

(Quickly) This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.
Change here for Buston and Wenstead.

– This is Hat...
– Mum, it's coming!

– Get off!
– (Chugging)


(High– pitched voice, indistinct)

(High– pitched) ..Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.
Change here for Buston and Wenstead.

Hello, Mr Parkin. Got the Munchkins
doing your announcements, have you?

I think I liked it better
when you did it, Jack.

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching, what have you done?

♪ There once were lots of trains to catch
but soon there will be none

♪ I'll have to buy a bike
cos I can't afford a car

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching,
what a naughty man you are

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching, what have you done?

♪ There once were lots of trains to catch
but soon there will be none

♪ I'll have to buy a bike
cos I can't afford a car

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching,
what a naughty man you are ♪

(Train whistle)