Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 1, Episode 4 - A Moving Story - full transcript

Ethel finally persuades May to admit that she and Cecil dated briefly during the war and relays this back to Jack in garbled form. Everybody pulls together to move Cecil's belongings into the station master's house, after which he buys them a drink and looks forward to their team-work preventing Beeching closing the station. He then has a bath but is interrupted by Ethel and May who bring him hot water and suggest he gets a bigger sponge as he tries to hide his modesty.

(Train whistle)

(Harry) Good morning, Mr Parkin.

I said, good morning, Mr Parkin.

Good morning, Mr Lambert.

Your furniture arrived
at 6:15 this morning, sir,

and I was alert and ready to receive it.

Thank you, Mr Lambert.

I shall be off at two o'clock

and I shall be most happy
to come and move it into the house for you.

Thank you, Mr Lambert.

– We'll all lend a hand, won't we?
– I suppose so.

We'll all lend a hand, Mr Parkin.

That's very kind of you.

And don't forget, a sparkling clean station
and a polite staff with big smiles.

There's nobody on the ruddy thing.

Whatever's come over Harry?

I think he's having a fit.

Watch your brakes.

(Whistle toots)

And don't keep playing with your whistle!
Watch the brakes!

A very bad engine driver.

There's letters for you.

– Wilfred, this is my private office.
– I know.

Well, I might be interviewing
important people privately in here.

If you wish to enter, knock.

I will say, "Come in,"
you will enter quietly,

say what your purpose is and then go.
Is that clear?

I think so. Shall I do it again?

No. Just go.

And smile.


Hatley refreshment room.

– Good morning, May.
– Oh, it's you.

You looked lovely this morning
standing by your gate.

What are talking about?
I was in me curlers.

They caught the sun,
they surrounded you like a halo.

What do you want?

I have to talk to you.
Could you bring me a cup of tea?

All right, Cecil Parkin.
But this is the last time.

– Good morning, Mr Parkin.
– Mrs Plumtree.

I've wet– mopped
your kitchenette linoleum floor

and seeing it's still damp,
you best be cautious

or you'll slide and fall all your length

cos it's like frozen ice.

Thank you, Mrs Plumtree.

I should point out that
this window is for ventilation only.

Should you wish to speak to me,
come and knock on my door.

I'm ever so sorry. Shall I do it again?

No, thank you. Let me know what I owe you.

Oh, you don't have to pay me. Not money.

I do it to oblige.

I have a railway pension.

My late husband was an engine driver.

I'm sorry, Mrs Plumtree. Thank you.

Come in.

No, Wilfred, I say, "Come in".

What your purpose is.


You said I was supposed to say,
"What your purpose is."

No, no, Wilfred. I want you to simply state
why you have entered my office.

There was another letter
snuggling at the bottom of the box.

Thank you.

I need my dinner money, Mum.

I must get your father
to give you an allowance.

Take it out of the petty cash box, love.

Stop robbing the petty cash box
and pull your skirt down.

– Any tea?
– It's fresh. Help yourselves.

Not that we're busy. I've only done
two cheap day returns and a bicycle.

Beeching won't keep us open
if it goes on like this.

Well, it's always quiet this time of year.

Er... where are you off to?

I'm just taking Mr Parkin a cup of tea.

I'm not having my wife wait on him.
Let him get his own.

Don't be silly. Taking him a cup of tea's
not waiting on him hand and foot.

After all, he is the stationmaster.

I was stationmaster for three months
but you never brought me tea.

Or Garibaldi biscuits.

I like Garibaldis.

We used to call them squashed fly biscuits.

Go on, then, do him proud.

Make him some homemade ones
with real squashed flies.

– Jack!
– I'll take the tea, Mum.

Not like that! Pull your skirt down.

When all my friends wear longer skirts,
I'll wear them. Meantime, leave me alone.

She shouldn't talk to her father like that!

Oh, come and drink your tea.

(Knock at door)

That's better, Wilfred. Come in.

Oh! Gloria. I thought you were Wilfred.

– Are you disappointed?
– No, of course not.

Mum asked me to bring you this.
She said she's busy.

– Oh, I see.
– I heard you trying to type.

– You're not much good, are you?
– No, I'm afraid not.

I could type your letters for you.

I'm at secretarial college.
I take shorthand, too.

I'm not much good at
reading it back, though.

Why are you staring at me like that?

It's amazing. You're just like
your mother was at your age.

– How do you know?
– I– I– I don't.

I mean...

you're like your mother would be
if she was your age. I imagine.

Expect I am. You must get her
to show you a photograph.

Yes, I will.

– You're staring at me again.
– Sorry, it's your skirt. It's very short.

You sound just like my father.

(Train whistle)

'Ey up, I can hear t'train coming.

– Jack, do your duty.
– What time's dinner?

One o'clock, same as always.
Shepherd's pie.

– You're not feeding him, I hope.
– Jack!


something's up.

I know it and Jack knows it.

– You're acting all peculiar.
– What do you mean?

There's nothing peculiar
about my shepherd's pie.

It's not that, you're not yourself.

Now, you can tell me, I don't gossip.

For someone who don't gossip,
you talk hell of a lot.

That's not fair!

Have I ever let on to you
about anyone's secrets?

No, but if they had any sense,
they wouldn't tell you their secrets.

– I'm insulted now.
– Don't be like that.

No, I'm insulted.
Get on with your shepherd's pie.

No, I'm sorry, Ethel. Come here.

You're quite right. I mean...
l have had something on my mind.

There you are, then! I knew.

You see... l remembered!

Parkin and I have met before.

I knew it! I've got an instinct for
these things. Women have.

I know, Ethel, I am one.

We met, nothing wrong took place.

At least nothing that
seemed wrong at the time.

– Where did you meet?
– I was a waitress at United Cattle Products.

– United Cattle Products?
– It's the café.

He came in and asked for one of
me reconstituted egg omelettes.

Reconstituted egg omelettes?

Don't keep repeating everything I say.

The war was still on,
we were grateful for anything we could get.

So, we met, we got talking and so on...

– Did you meet again?
– Well, we might have, once or twice.

I expect.

Now, come on, May,
did you go out together?

Yes, a bit.

– Did he kiss you?
– Probably.

I mean, the war was still on.

And you were grateful for
anything you could get.

No, I was not!

I had plenty of men knocking at my door.

Did you, er...?


Did you...?

Ethel! I am not answering
any more of your questions.

We met and that's that.

I see.

Well, you'll have to tell Jack.

I can't! You know how jealous he gets.

You've got to tell him. From what you've
said, he's got nothing to be jealous about.

– Has he?
– Course not.

Mr Parkin just had
a reconstructed egg omelette...


Oh, whatever it was!

He ate it and that was all.

It's not as if anything happened. Did it?

All the same, I can't tell him.

Well, he's not going to leave it alone

and what's more,
the way I see it he's entitled to know.

Well, then you tell him.

I can't! It's none of my business.

It's never stopped you in the past.

That's not fair.
I've told you before, I'm not a gossip.

Well, you can have a good gossip now.
You have my permission.

You'll be doing me a favour.

I'd feel better if things
were out in the open.

I mean, Jack's a good man.

I don't like having secrets from him.

– At least not too many.
– 'Ey up.

Hello, Jack! Mind the counter
and I'll see to your shepherd's.

May, I just...

She keeps avoiding me.
I know you think I'm neurotic but she does.

– She won't look me in the eye.
– Don't worry, there's nothing in it.

Nothing in what? What do you know?

I found out just at the end of the war,
before you met her,

May was working at
the United something or other.

United Artists?


United Dairies?

No, but nearly.
It was something to do with cows.

She was a waitress.

Cows don't have waitresses.

– Was she a milkmaid?
– No, it was a sort of a café!

Oh, what's it matter!

It was just at the end of the war
and lots of people came into the café

and she thinks it's just possible that
one of those lots of people was Parkin.

– I knew it! She's met him before.
– There was nothing in it!

He just came in
for a reinforced egg omelette.

The air raids must have still been on.

Anyway, they didn't meet again.
Well, not much, once or twice,

and they didn't kiss
and that's all there was to it.

Ethel, when you are telling me all this,
you are not looking me in the eye.

I am. I'm looking at that one.

Not all the time.
Why didn't May tell me herself?

That's because of you!
You're so suspicious.

She doesn't want to be
cross– questioned all the time.

– What else?
– There you go again!

There must have been some more.

Nothing, Jack, I promise.

Ooh! There was one other thing.

– Go on.
– She said at that time

they were grateful for
anything they could get.


I think she was talking about omelettes.

– Omelettes?
– But you've got to have a word with her.

Tell her that now I've talked to you,
you understand.

(Sighs) I don't think I can do that, Ethel.

Promise me you'll try.

Yeah, well, all right, I'll try.

Good lad.

Ah, Mrs Plumtree.

This is the kitchen, I take it.

It's a bit antique primitive, I'm afraid.

I've lit a fire under the copper in case
you find it convenient to have a bath.

I expect you need one.

Isn't there a boiler?

Oh, no! None of the railway
accommodations have up– to– date plumbery.

No running hot water?

Oh, no. There's running cold water.

It goes through this hose.

If you wish a bath,
you ladle out the copper when it boils.

If it boils.

Anybody home?

I'm in the bathroom with Mr Parkin.

Eh? That'll be worth a visit, won't it?

I've just been relieved, Mr Parkin,

so we can all come...

We can all come in
and help you move in your furnishings.

Oh, what a lovely room.

– Can I come in, Mr Parkin?
– Yes, come in.

We've all volunteered to help you.

That's very good of you.
I've opened the van.

Ethel and Wilfred have made a start.

We'll move it all up in a thrice.

– Here we are!
– Wilfred's here already.

Well done, Wilfred.

This was near the door.
When I lifted it, it struck 17.

– Will it do here, Mr Parkin?
– Yes, that's fine.

– Carefully. I'll go down to the van.
– Easy does it.

Funny thing to strike 17.
Is it a 24– hour grandfather clock?

Shut up and don't be daft.

Jack, come over here.

What shall I do with this?

I don't know. Ask Parkin.

I don't like to. I don't know him that well.
You ask him.

I'm not asking Parkin what to do with it.
Shove it upstairs under his bed.

– There isn't a bed yet.
– Put it where it would be if there was a bed.

Good idea.

Is it?

I'm hotting up his copper.

I tell you, May, when I told Mr Parkin
about his plumbery arrangements,

he was stunned.

– Was he?
– Oh! Absolutely stunned.

I think he's used to a luxury life.

I shouldn't be surprised
if he has a refrigerator.

I do hope the copper
hots up enough for his liking.

Do you think you could let me have
the containment of your urn?

Oh, course. He's welcome when we're shut.

Arnold, can you give us hand
with Parkin's furniture?

Ralph's there already.

Oh! That Ralph,
he's going to be the death of me.

What's he been up to now?

We were stopped at
Nossington Bassett at lunch time

and I were just two minutes
visiting the gents.

When I got back
he'd got the fire doors open,

he were holding a toasting fork
and cooking two pork sausages.

– Well, didn't you tell him off?
– Oh, aye.

But he said there were nothing in
the rule book about cooking pork sausages.

They can't think of everything, can they?

Oh, come on.

– Has Jack said anything?
– I've not seen him.

– Well, I told him.
– What happened?

– Well, I explained as best I could.
– Did he go off his head?

No. He just looked confused.

With you explaining,
I could have bet money on it.

I was only trying to help, May.

Hello, gorgeous.

Hello, Percy.

How's the most beautiful girl in Hatley?

Oh, give over.

That dance next Saturday,
are you going with anyone?

– Not at the moment.
– Why don't we go together?

Oh, Percy, I'd love to.

But I thought you were going with
that Amy Matlock?

Yeah, I was but she's tied up till 9:30.

I told her she could join us later.

Will you be coming, May?

– I expect so.
– Will you bring Gloria?


Ooh! Should be a great night, then,
shouldn't it, my lovely?

Yeah, great.

Oh, well, I'll push off and help
with the furniture. See you!

(May and Ethel) See you.

Give us a glass of water,
I can feel one of me heads coming on.

Is that you, Harry?

I've brought round one of his chairs.

And here's two more. Where do they go?

Oh, yeah, the gaffing's gone on them two.

Take them up to my box
and I'll see to them later.

Here, why were you huffing at me
and waving your arms about

when I passed you this morning?

Mind your own business.

Harry, I'm getting Mr Parkin's bath ready.
Help me take his top off.

Oh dear!

Can't he undress himself?

The top of his bath, Harry.

Here, that copper'll never boil.

The wind's in the wrong direction.

May's hotting up her urn to top him up.

It's a long way
to stagger round with a boiling urn.

We shall utilise buckets.

Here, that door used to
lead to May's kitchen.

I papered it over after the war.

I expect I could soon undo it again.

Do it in a thrice, could you?

There's no need to take the mickey.

Where shall I put these?

– On your head.
– Don't be like that.

– What shall I do with these?
– Under his bed.

What? Three pos?

Perhaps he's fussy. Maybe he doesn't like
using the same one twice.

Hang on, Arnold, I'll give you a hand.

– Where are you taking those?
– I was gonna put them under your bed.

– But they're not mine.
– They were on the van.

Must have been left from
when it was last used. Put them back.

– Don't you want to keep them?
– What for?

They're useful to put things in.

Such as?

I'll put them back.

– it don't look very comfortable.
– I expect it's all right with a mattress.

It's a bit small for you and me
but I expect we'd manage if we cuddled up.

Percy! I don't like that sort of talk.

Come on, Ethel, it's only in fun.

I know.

– Well done.
– Thank you, Mr Parkin.

Hey... Ethel, do you fancy him?

Percy, I've told you before! Now, stop it.

But since you ask... no.

There you are, you can bring the hot water
straight from the urn.

I'll tell May we've opened up
a new accessibility.

What in the world's going off?

This is to give you free accessibility
to Mr Parkin's bathroom.

I opened it up so
you could bring the hot water.

You better close it again!
Jack'll have a fit.

– I'll do it in a thrice.
– After we've filled the bath.

Shut it up quick before he comes.

I'll take those, Mr Parkin,
I can put them on top.

Thanks very much, Ralph.

Another few loads
then we'll have cleared the lot.

It's very good of you both.

If you all gather in the refreshment room
in 20 minutes, I'll buy you all a beer.

– (Both) Thank you, Mr Parkin.
– Tell the others.

As soon as this is over,
you've got to talk to May.

– Must I?
– Yes, you must.

You can't mope around
like a bear with a sore whatsit.

– Right?
– Right.

Thanks for the drink, Mr Parkin.
I must be getting back.

Don't go yet, I want to say a few words.

Quiet everyone,
Mr Parkin wants to say a few words.

(Piercing whistle)

– Mum!
– Oh, what's the matter?

Don't whistle, you embarrass me.
Me face goes red.

Thank you, I won't keep you. I just wanted
to get us all together over a pint.

Half a pint.

I, er, wanted to thank you
for all the help you've given me today.

Any time, Mr Parkin. Any time.

– You've all made me very welcome.
– I haven't.

Shut up.

We have the makings of a fine team here.

We don't know if Beeching
plans to close us down

so all we can do is run a tight ship,
or rather a tight station.

– Not on half a pint.
– Jack!

Anyway, thank you all.

– Can you get the last bit out of the bottom?
– Of course.

My lumber regions are playing up
in the most chronic fashions.

– Well, that's just about the lot.
– Good.

Now, tell Mr Parkin his bath's ready.


I will obtain for him a towel.

Well, thank you, Mr Parkin,
but I must be getting back to the wife.

– Yes, I suppose she'll have a meal ready.
– No, not Jessica.

We eat late because
she'll not light the oven till I get home.

– Watching the housekeeping is she?
– No.

You see, last February,
she turned the gas on

then went to the back door
to pay the coal man...

so when put a match to it,
she blew her eyebrows off.


Come on.

Vera says your bath's ready.

Oh. Thank you.

She's getting you a towel.

I think she'll scrub your back for you
if you give her a bit of encouragement.

Behave yourself.

Well, I'll be off, then. Thank you, May.

Excuse me. I'll be off now,
my gorgeous girl. Don't forget that dance.

– I won't!
– Wear that red dress.

– Everyone'll think I'm taking a film star.
– Give over!

– Are you coming, Percy?
– I'll be right with you.

She's teaching me to roller– skate.

I keep falling over.

I need a lot of support.

You're wasting your time with him.
He'll let you down.

I know he will.

Still, he's here now, isn't he?

Wilfred, here.

May, love.

– Yes, Jack?
– Er...

Ethel's been talking to me –
after she'd talked to you.

I'm sorry if I've been carrying on a bit
odd but you know what I'm like.

That's all right, Jack.

It's just that...

I love you a lot...

a great big lot,

and the thought of losing you...

well, drives me a bit barmy.

Aw, Jack, you won't lose me.

– Ever?
– Ever.


I promise.

Well, that's all right, then.

I'll give it you in writing if you like.

Oh, don't go on.

Let's go home.

You go home.
I've just got to clear up here first.

Hello, Jack! Everything all right?

As if you didn't know.

Thanks, love.

– Everything all right?
– Fingers crossed.

You feel much better
when you tell the truth, don't you?

Oh, much better.

Right, come and help me
empty the urn into these buckets.

There's no need to pay any mind to me.
My husband was an engine driver.

Here's your towel.
It's not very big, I'm afraid.

But I expect you'll manage.

One way or the other.

I'll leave you alone, then.

(Faltering) Thank you, Mrs Plumtree.

I think we know each other well enough now
for you to call me Vera.

Er... yes.

Thank you... Vera.

My pleasure... Cecil.

Right, that's just about got the lot.

These buckets are heavy
to carry round to his house.

We don't to carry them round.

Come through here.

Harry's opened up the old door.
He'll paper it up again tomorrow.

That's handy.

You need to get a bigger sponge.

Not much bigger, though!

♪ 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)