Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 2, Episode 7 - A Bowl in the Hand - full transcript

The station staff are competing in a bowls tournament and Cecil is ready to board the train taking them there when, at the last minute Mr. Orkindale asks him to stay behind and let Jack go, because Jack is the star player. In fact he's not but he buys everybody a round. Cecil hauls May off the train claiming it is Fate that they were meant to be together but she is less sure. Ethel stands in for her on the train serving soup but an angry Jack finishes the match and hurries home to confront Cecil. Fortunately May has an excuse ready, claiming that she thought Jack was staying behind at Hatley, rather than Cecil, which is why she got off the train.

Hurry along, Mr Skinner.
Our special train will be here shortly.

Load those beverages onto the train.

- They're not beverages. It's ale.
- We must have some soft drinks.

This is Hatley Bowls Club, Mr Parkin.
They sup ale. They're bottle jockeys.

You are not here to argue, Mr Skinner.

Then I want you to inspect the tickets
as the passengers arrive.

Shall I shove a brush handle
up me trousers

so I can sweep the floor
when I'm walking about?

That will do, Mr Skinner.

Yes, the floor is filthy.
Give it a good sweep.

- I can't do that. It's Wilfred's job.
- Wilfred is not on duty, Mr Skinner.

You are. Duty. The finest four-letter
word in the English language.

It's not the four-letter word
I were thinking of.

- Oi! Keep your maulers off that ale!
- I'm just looking, that's all.

You'll not catch me
paying British Railways prices.

I brought me own luggage.

When the special gets here, will you
give me a hand to load the beer?

I would do, Jack,
I'd love to, Jack, but I can't, Jack.

If I understand you correctly,
it's "Blow you, Jack."

If I was to lift one of them crates
and do meself a mischief,

I wouldn't be covered,
whereas you being on duty,

if you was to rupture yourself,
you'd be laughing.

Yeah. Yeah, stuck here on me own.

I understand Vera's
minding the refreshment room,

so you'll have company.

It's not right, me not going. I've been
on that bowls team since I came here.

He's took me off the list and put
himself on without a by your leave.

I wonder why you stand for it, Jack.

Well, I promised May this very morning
that I'd try to get on with him.

Otherwise, you know me, Harry,
I'd bray him with a shovel.

You're a bit like me, Jack.
I'm very physical when I'm confronted.

And I'll tell you another thing, Jack.

If I was Parkin,

I wouldn't be looking at May
in the way like what he does.

- So you've noticed?
- You can't miss it.

He looks at her sort of...

Panting, panting, sort of way.

It'll all end in tears, Harry.
His tears.

There's no point doing food.

I know these bowls club outings.
They just wanna drink.

Mr Parkin says if we lay on a meal,
it will set a more civilised tone.

He says it will reduce
the animal behaviour.

He's against animal behaviour,
then, Mr Parkin?

Well, he's like most men.

He's against it if it's
other people doing it.

Are we all ship shape
and Bristol fashion?

As much as nature allows, Mr Parkin.

- Gloria, nip home and change.
- Right, Mum. Come on, Amy.


May, I've longed for this day,

for the chance
for you and I to be together.

Now, Cecil, there won't be any of that.
I shall be slaving over hot dinners.

On the way home, but before that
you and I can be together,

close, away from prying eyes.

- Just a minute.
- Don't spoil it for me, May.

I've had this dream. You and I are
in Paris boarding the Orient Express.

We dress for dinner.
The train thunders through the night.

We dine, we drink champagne
while a swarthy attendant

turns down the covers
in our sleeping compartment.

The train thunders on.
You and I are alone at last, together.

And today it's all coming true.

We're going on the bowls club outing
to Nether Padley.

Yes, but basically
it's just the same thing.

I believe that quite near
the Nether Padley bowling greens

are glorious woodland walks,
secluded clearings.

That's why you've
put Jack on duty, in't it?

So he'll be stuck here and you get me
on me own in the woods.

All right, yes, but is it so wrong, May?

I yearn for when I don't have to
look over my shoulder

in case someone hears me say,
"I want you".

Oops. Beg your pardon.

I want you to make sure
that all the passengers

have a chance of a nourishing meal.

Hello, Mrs Plumtree.

Harry told me to tell you

that the excursion train
shows signs of approaching.

That's what he told me to tell you.

Well, thank you very much, Mrs Plumtree.

Thank you.

- She nearly caught you then.
- That's what I mean, May.

That's why you and I have to get away,
alone, together.

Right, lad, seeing as how
we're approaching Hatley,

you can give an extra whistle
if you feel like it.

What for?

Well, seeing as how
we're a special excursion,

and this a celebratory occasion,

I think a little bit of jollification
is in order.


It's an excursion, Ralph.
It's not a Roman orgy.

We ought to be going the proper way,
by charabanc, like what we always done.

You're the club secretary.
You said it had to be the train.

Well, that was Parkin, wasn't it?
He went bloomin' hysterical. That's why.

"A railwayman's outing?" he said.

"Going by charabanc?" he said.

"Dr Beeching would go mad!" he said.

- He's frightened of Dr Beeching.
- You're frightened of Mr Parkin.

I am not. I came very near to giving him

the flat end of my tongue,
I can tell you.

We all know why you liked going
on Walter Clegg's charabanc, Harry.

It's cos Walter Clegg
used to slip you a backhander.

He never did. Commission, yeah.

Are you gonna do a whip-round
for Arnold and Ralph?

I've never heard of a whip-round
for engine drivers before.

My husband was an engine driver,
you know.

And I think he'd have mentioned it
if they'd had one.

You always do a whip-round
for the chara driver.

Well, it's a thankless task doing a
whip-round, but somebody's gotta do it.

I remember the time Albert Harris
offered to do it instead of you.

You hit him with your cap.

He had no right
to push himself forward like that.

Anyway, he don't wear a cap.

How can you have a whip-round
without a cap?

My mum says the cap you use
has got a secret hole in the lining.

Like I always say, in this life,

it's not just what you put in,

it's also what you take out.

- You look lovely, girls.
- Thanks.

Hey, you can't go to the bowls club
outing dressed like that.

Dad, don't be silly. It's the '60s now.

Yes, anything goes. When I was
in Skegness the other week,

they were telling me
they've got a nudist beach now.

A nudist beach in Skeggy?

Yes, this place where
they all lie about with nothing on.

- Did you see 'em?
- No.

And I must have walked
six or seven miles along that beach.

May I carry those for you, Mrs Skinner?

They're only paper serviettes,
Mr Parkin,

so I won't do meself
any permanent injury.

But if you're offering,
you can bring me the soup containers.

Ooh, Ethel, is that a new dress?

I've had it ages, but I've not worn it
since my Earl was taken from me

at the end of the war.

- Is that what they call empire line?
- Yes.

Mind you, when I wore it last time
we had more of an empire than now.

Well, I'd best show willing
and get on the train.

Well, I won't be there
to keep an eye on you.

You're very precious to me, May.
You're my little blossom.

Thank you, Jack. I'm very touched.

Don't worry, Jack.
I'll see that nobody plucks her petals.


- Hello, George. Neville.
- Morning.

Mr Parkin, I want to make
a compassionate request.

Can my missus stop here? Vera'll do
the buffet car. I know she's willing.

No. Mrs Plumtree is not
officially a British Railways employee.

- Dr Beeching would not approve.
- Stuff Dr Beeching.

- That will do, Mr Skinner.
- Morning, all.

Mr Orkindale, we're all ready to go.

I was just explaining
how we of British Railways

must pull out all the stops under
Dr Beeching's dynamic guidance.

- Very good...
- We must each put duty first

and personal pleasure a long way second.

Quite right. Buck up, Jack.
It's time you was changed and ready.

Mr Parkin's put me on duty,
Mr Orkindale. I can't go.

Can't go? Come off it.

He's one of our star players is Jack.
The team relies on him.

You'll have to take over Jack's duties.

Me? But I've... I've made arrangements.

Well, unmake 'em, then.
As you so rightly said, Mr Parkin,

duty first, pleasure a long way second.

Get your uniform on.

Thanks, but I'm not that good a bowler.

I know all about that, but, unlike
old Parkin, at least you buy your round.

- Now nip up and get changed quick.
- Great.

Now, then, soup to start,
then pie and peas.

Soup? People don't like soup
in the summer.

They like it when they've got no choice.

And Mr Parkin says it's appropriate,
you see,

because they serve it in bowls,
and it's a bowls club outing.

Must be tricky
serving it when the train's moving.

Well, it's a sort of knack.

I was taught it by this steward.
He was a very keen ballroom dancer.

Was that the man who used to call
at the house when Dad was on nights?

Pay attention. He used to say,
"So your soup won't loop the loop,

you must swing and sway
down the permanent way."

He was a poet
as well as a ballroom dancer.

I'll knock your heads together.

The point is,
you've got to be light on your feet

and go with the motion
like you were dancing.

- Like the locomotion?
- I'll show you tonight.

Hello, everybody.
I'm dead excited about this trip.

- Yes, Ethel, some of us are working.
- Yes, I know you are.

But Mr Parkin says
that when we get to Nether Padley,

even those who are working have to get
away for a break in the countryside.

I bet he does. Drat.
He hasn't packed me soup ladle.

I expect it's still in the kitchen.
I'll just go and get it.

I'm hoping Percy
might want to get away with me.

I don't know why you fancy Percy.

Hello, hello, hello. Did I hear
somebody say they fancy Percy?

I don't blame you, Gloria.
I'm yours for the asking.

Drop dead.

- Hello, Percy.
- Hello, Ethel.

- Do you think we'll have a good time?
- Definitely.

They say there's lots of pretty girls
in Nether Padley.

- Do they?
- Not that I'm interested in them.

I've got you.


It's sweet of you to say so.

I think.

Your mother would not like you
drinking this early in the day.

- I shall have to charge you extra.
- Blimey, Harry.

Where'd you get your ale from, Wilfred?
The bar's not open yet.

My bar is open, Mr Orkindale, sir.
Or it will be in a thrice.

Good lad.

We're both happy men. I like going
on outings, you're keen on duty.

Worked out nicely, hasn't it?

In here, Mr Skinner!

Give us a bottle of beer, Harry,
and one for Mr Parkin.

No, you can't, can you?
With you being on duty.

I'm off duty meself, Mr Parkin.

- So I perceive.
- Send us off, Mr Parkin.

Vera, have you seen my soup ladle?
I had it yesterday.

You'll find it with the washing-up.

It'll have got yesterday's
dinner soup clinging to it.

Well, I'll wash it up on the train.

Now, you shouldn't be very busy,
Vera, not on a Sunday.

San fairy Ann if I am, May.

When you get back, you'll find
I've kept everything ship shape

and hunky-doody-dandle.

Now, you get off now
and I wish you good ladling.

Is that a train I'm hearing?

- May!
- Cecil!

The train! It's gone without me.

- It's a miracle.
- Miracle?

I should be on it running the buffet.

You should be on it
running the excursion.

Don't you see, May? This is destiny.

Fate has decreed that
we should spend this day together.

May. Deep down, secretly,
in your heart of hearts,

aren't you overjoyed?

Is that a yes or a no?

Blimey. Well,
she's definitely not up the front end.

She's not down the back end, neither.

She got off to get a ladle,
and the next minute the train was off.

- Parkin sent us away.
- Do you think he did it on purpose?

Seized his chance
to keep her at Hatley with him?

- He wouldn't dare.
- What do we do about the catering?

Blow that. What do we do about your dad?

- He'll go potty.
- You know how jealous he is of Parkin.

And if May is back there with him,
on a Sunday,

when the station's
all quiet and deserted...

- He'll go mad when we tell him.
- Well, don't tell him, then.

- Ethel, you keep your mouth shut.
- You know what I'm like, Percy.

All of a sudden, it just pops out.

But if you stay close to me,
to keep reminding me,

I should be all right.

OK, then.

I think it's going to be a good outing.
What a shame your mum's missing it.

That's fine, Mrs Plumtree.
I need trouble you no further.

It's no trouble, Mr Parkin.

A man in your position
needs an articulate uniform.

I must have dirtied it
carrying the soup tureen.

Really? Well, on close consideration
of the shape of the stain,

it does suggest that you were struck
a blow with a blunt instrument

about 18 inches long, bulbous at the end
and with a metal handle.

Good heavens! You can deduce all that
simply by examining the stain?

Yes. Well, not just that.

I chanced to be looking
out of the buffet-room window

when May sloshed you
with the soup ladle.

So, anyway, Percy,
with you staying close to me

to make sure
I don't let anything pop out...

- Shh!
- Hey, I'll tell you what,

you haven't been bothered by all them
pretty girls in Nether Padley.

No, I haven't.

Though they say you can travel
round the world looking for happiness

and then find that all the time
it's been there in your own back yard.

- I haven't got a back yard.
- I have.

Hurry up, Mr Skinner. You're on next.

Right. Where's May?
Has anybody seen her?

- She'll be about somewhere.
- I expect she's busy cooking.

She ought to have time to enjoy herself.

- Well, maybe she is enjoying herself.
- Ethel.

It's probably all quite innocent.

- What is?
- Ethel.

I'm sure he's doing nothing he shouldn't
while we're all here.

- Who?
- Ethel!

- Mr Parkin.
- Parkin's miles away back in Hatley.

- So's May. She got off the train.
- You said you weren't gonna tell him.

Well, he wormed it out of me.


You know you've bent my ladle?

I bent it? Really, May!
You struck me with it.

Well, I was upset,
the train going off without me.

You're wonderful when you're roused.
So passionate, so elemental.

- Anyway, I'm sorry I hit you.
- Look, May, we have to talk.

We have to do more than that.

We have to work out what to say to Jack
when he gets back.

Not only that. Vera knows.
She saw the incident.

- My God.
- Exactly.

It's clearly a serious offence, striking
a station master with a soup ladle.

On a Sunday too. If I lay a complaint,
awkward questions will be asked.

But if I don't, what will Vera think?

She'll think... hanky-panky.

It's hanky-panky, Percy,
that's what it is.

Jack! I think they want you
to throw your bowl.

What am I gonna do, Percy?

If it was me, I'd aim wide
and bring your wood in round the back.

No. About May.
She's in Hatley with Parkin.

Jack, get hold of yourself.

Look, the game's riding on this wood.
Muck this up, we're out the tournament.

- Are we?
- Might as well pack up and go home.

Bang it through, Jack,
and put 'em all in the ditch.

Right, we might as well go home.

- What happened?
- I think you've been bowled over!

Vera, I'm sorry I left you on your own
for so long, only I was upset.

Why was that, May?

Well, I sloshed Mr Parkin in the stomach
with me soup ladle and it upset me.

I happened to observe that, May.

I think it upset Mr Parkin as well.

Yes, well, I've apologised to Mr Parkin,

and he's agreed to say no more about it.

So I'd be grateful
if you kept this to yourself, Vera.

I wouldn't like Jack to hear about it.
You know what he's like.

I know.
It would never do to have him think

you was both on stomach-sloshing terms.

Especially with a soup ladle.

Vera, do I detect you taking the mickey?

Don't give it
another consideration, May.

I'll be like that funny poster
they had during the war.

"Be like Dad, keep mum."

I remember that funny poster.
Did anybody laugh at it?

No, I don't think so.

All aboard! Let's be having you!

Can't go before time, Jack.
They've not sent us off yet.

Right away!


- Right, what do you want?
- What's for starters, Wilfred?

Let's see.

Brown winds or soup.

I don't like anything brown,
especially if it's got wind in it.

Four soups, then.

I'll tell you something funny
about soup.

Before I had my band,
Harry Lambert and the Rhythm Rascals,

I used to do a comic patter act.

You, Harry? Comic?

The bit that went the best of all
was this funny patter about soup.

- Would you like to hear it?
- I don't think so, Harry.

Thanks for helping us, Ethel.
We'd be stuck without you.

- That's OK. What kind of soup is it?
- I think Mum said it was soupe du jour.

Good. I like that soupe du jour.
It's a nice flavour.

You all right, Ethel?

Train's going a bit fast, in't it?

Mum says you've got to
go with the motion.

- I did.
- Like you were dancing.

I'm not dancing, not on me own.
I do enough of that at proper dances.

"I say, waiter,
there's a fly in my soup."

And the waiter said, "Never fear.
There's a spider in your bread."

Here you are. Four soups.

This soup's very clear, Ethel. I can see
the bottom of the bowl through mine.

- Where's me soup, Mum?
- Well, it was there when I set off.

I'll go and get you a second helping.

Sorry, Harry.


Come on, Arnold. You'll have it dark.

- We're going as fast as we can, Jack.
- Don't give me that.

I can't shovel any faster
than I am doing, Jack.

Then stand back
and let them as can shovel shovel.

- Did she say which dance it was?
- No, I don't think she did.

Mum! I'm starving!

I tell you what, Gloria,
I shall waltz it.

One, two, three. One, two...

No, no, no, I'm wrong.

One, two, three...

One, two, three. One, two, three.

One, two, three.

One two, three.

One, two, three.

Well, it's kinder drownin' 'em
than swattin' 'em.

- Good?
- Give it a rest, Harry. Here's Ethel.

One, two, three...


I bet you're ready for that.


I shouldn't have chasséd.
That's where I went wrong.

What it is, you see,
normally I dance backwards.

Jack! Jack! We're going too fast!

I've gotta get back, Arnold.
Parkin's there with May.

I can appreciate your feelings.
All the same...

- Ralph, the brake!
- No!

- Yes!
- No!


I could have had a job in a carpet shop,
but would I listen?

It feels as if the train's
slowing down. No, it's speeding up.

- No, no, it's slowing down.
- That's it.

- What?
- Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow.

Ethel! Are we getting any soup or what?

It's coming now.

- How does it go, Gloria?
- What?

That tune. You know, Victor Silvester.

- We never listen to him.
- I think he's lovely.

Ever so posh, but still nice with it.
I know, I know. I know.

He said, "Waiter,
what is this fly doing in my soup?"

And the waiter said,
"Looks to me like the backstroke."

The backstroke!

There you are, look. Look at that.

And I didn't spill a drop.


There's soup on your fly!

Hatley! Hatley! Hatley!

Oi! I want a word with you, Mr Parkin.

I've got a bone to pick with you!

Come here!

Mr Parkin, where's my wife?

Don't do anything that you would regret,
or anything that I would regret.

- Jack.
- What's going on?

Why did you get off the train?
Was it to be with him?

No, Jack. It was to be with you.

That's right. It was to be with you.

- I was on the train.
- I didn't know that. Nobody told me.

I thought you were here. As you were so
sweet when I was getting on the train,

I couldn't bear to spend
the rest of the day without you.

A lot of things have happened
that were unfortunate and irregular,

but after due consideration,

I have decided
that there will be no further action.

That's what you think.

We're going home. There'll be
some action when we get there.

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

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