Thursday, 16 October 2014

Friday 16 October 1964

The result of the general election has been decided, and Britain now has a Labour government, led by Harold Wilson.  But despite the media portrayal of Wilson's dynamic, modernising crew and the doddering, out of touch Tories it was far from a landslide, Labour scraping in with a majority of just four seats.  And what do you know, the election's even mentioned in tonight's programme.

As so often happens, there's an emergency in Ward 10: Mr Preston (George Cormack) has been admitted with severe abdominal pains.

Meanwhile, young Billy Cartwright's feeling much better, though his tendency to point a toy gun at members of the hospital staff may suggest a new problem in itself.  "Well, Dr Chalmers was right," notes Mr Drummond.  "It's an uncomfortable habit of hers, Sir," Guy Marshall wryly responds.  Drummond's filled with boyish excitement on hearing an acute abdominal case has been admitted as he hasn't seen one in ages, and dashes off to have a look at Mr Preston.

The matter of what's to be done with Barbara Dodge's donation to the hospital continues to rumble on, and now it's Matron and hospital secretary Mr Barrett's turn to row about it.  But before they can even start he offends her with his attempt at an Edinburgh accent and bizarre insistence on referring to her as a suffragette.  And she's shocked by his curious actions with the Sellotape.

It's probably just as well that Dr Chalmers appears before he can do anything much with it.  Having installed herself as interim chair of the medical board, she's determined to sort the matter of the donation out once and for all.  Barrett's clearly terrified at the prospect of being caught between these two determined Scotswomen.

Sister Ransome's startled by an arrival on the men's medical ward.  It's a woman (Joy Stewart) claiming to be Billy Cartwright's mother.  The startling thing about this is that Billy and his father have made out that she's dead.  Mrs Cartwright reveals that she has custody of Billy, who was abducted by her ex-husband while she was out with her new one (of the common-law type): "I hate his guts," she says when asked what their relationship's like - seemingly because he's got no interest in improving his social standing.  It's her intention to take Billy with her.

Charlie Booth tells Les Large that Lena Hyde's been trying to get hold of him on the phone.  And then he reveals that she's at the hospital waiting to see him.

Les quickly smartens himself up in a mirror that's rather oddly hidden beneath a poster of lung cancer death figures.

Lena needs the dressing on her hand changed as she's spilt a bottle of ink over it.  Her employer, Gerald Frobisher, was pipped at the post in his election campaign (I'm betting he's a Tory), and Les commiserates, but they agree not to talk about the car accident that caused them to meet.

Les tries to make a date with Lena, but Frobisher arrives to whisk her off before they can arrange it (he thinks Les is "a  very tiresome young man").  But after Les heads off on his rounds, Lena leaves him a note.

In Matron's office, Barrett's leaving the women to it while he draws a cartoon poking fun at Matron.

Matron wants the money spent on a swimming bath for the nurses, while Barrett thinks it should be used to improve the patient's amenities.  Dr Chalmers is losing patience.

Mr Drummond is having a look at Mr Preston, who, to cut through the impenetrable medical dialogue, has something wrong with his abdomen and needs to have it looked at more closely.

Billy doesn't want to accompany his mum back to Wolverhampton (and who can blame him?).  She thinks Billy's father's turned him against Uncle Joe (her new feller), who's given the boy all the material advantages he could possibly want.  The row disturbs the whole of the men's medical ward.

The debate continues to rage in Matron's office, with she and Barrett now crossing swords over the new nurses' flats, which only have tiny kitchens.  "Two women will share a flat, a job, even a boyfriend," Matron insists.  "But they'll not share a kitchen the size of a cupboard."  For her part, Dr Chalmers is scandalised on learning there's no room for a fridge.  Dramatic stuff.

Against Sister Ransome's strong advice, Mrs Cartwright's determined to remove Billy from the hospital, and won't let anyone stand in her way...

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