When The Boat Comes In
When The Boat Comes In
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 2 comments



Another one from the Seattle back-catalogue, showing a ferry shot in the evening dusk from Pike Place Market as it heads out across Puget Sound towards Bainbridge Island  – and the apt title of When The Boat Comes In, comes from the BBC classic drama with the same title that this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. 


When The Boat Comes In was British TV at its very, very best – they don’t make shows like this one anymore.  So memorable and in so many ways. When it started in early January 1976, I was an innocent 14-year-old (well, 14 anyway!) and becoming more and more politically aware – and this cult drama from the BBC (and only the BBC then could have made this) showed the struggles of the working class between two World Wars, a General Strike and the Great Depression. 


I knew back then that this drama was well-done – it’s only after rediscovering the joys of it again on YouTube, have I realised just HOW well done this had been. And aye my bonny lads and lassies, all in its full-on Geordie accent and lingo.  The great James Bolam heads the cast alongside a host of North East actors, and almost all of the filming done on location in the South Shields region.


It was a time of economic depression and also charted the growth of union power and with it the rise of the Labour Party, as the Liberal Party of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill began to implode.  Its nothing short of a wonderful social drama, and you can watch all four seasons (13 episodes each of 50min!) uninterrupted on YouTube by clicking here.


But be warned though that it is very addictive, and you’ll be prone to lengthy sessions of binge viewing following  the exploits of Jack Ford and the Seaton family – including schoolteacher Jessie, played by Susan Jameson, Bolam’s real-life wife – in the (fictional) poverty-stricken town of Gallowshield in the North East of the 1920s. Also be warned that, like me, you’ll soon be humming the memorably distinctive signature tune ‘Dance Ti Thy Daddy’, which is very, very catchy and will quickly grow on you…


Come here, maw little Jacky

Now aw’ve smoked me baccy

Let’s hev a bit o’cracky

Till the boat comes in…


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  • Hold of a word like ironic? LOL @10:37 1st episode.

    • Aye, my bonnie lassie - and as perhaps Humphrey Bogart might say, from such ironic conversations could lead to the start of a beautiful friendship.