21 Up (1977) Movie Script

In 1963 World in Action made a film
about these seven year old children
they talked about their homes, their
schools and what they wanted to be
they were filmed again
when they were fourteen
we've brought them all
together to watch the films
because this year
they are twenty-one
what are they doing now?
How have they changed?
What sort of people are they?
Stop it at once!
Give me a child until he is seven
and I will give you the man
When I leave the
school I'm going to..
Colet Court
and then I will be going to
Rossminster Boarding School
if I pass the exam
and then we think I'm going to
Cambridge and Trinity Hall
before I'm old and that,
enough to get a job
I'll just walk around and
see what I can find
I want to be a jockey
when I grow up yeah
When I leave school
I'm going to The
Dragon School, I might
and after I might go to
Charterhouse Marlborough
What about university Charlie?
I might go to Oxford
What does university mean?
Well I don't think I
need to go to university
'cause I'm not going
to be a teacher
I don't think you have
to go to university
if you want to be an astronaut
When I leave this school
I'm down for Heathfield
and Fairfield Manor
and then maybe I may
want to go to university
but I don't know which one yet
I will buy myself a nice
new made house, you know
One that's all nice and comfy
I'm going to work in Woolworths
Well, going to Africa
and try and teach people
who are not civilised
to be, more or less good
When I grow up I'd like to
find out all about
the moon and all that
It's just that the limitations
of such things as:
What the audience
require and the time
don't allow it to
be a real study
I mean if we accept this
then it...
Okay I think it's probably
good entertainment
I don't think we've
changed that much
I think we talk,
no I don't mean looks
I mean the way we talk I don't
think we've changed that much
Well you never lose an
Eastend accent do you
I tell you what, as it goes
you've definitely changed
- You think so yeah?
- In facial
You haven't changed
a bit have you?
Don't you think so?
I thought I'd got bigger
You might be about
an inch bigger yeah
- An inch?
- I know it's unbelievable
That's something I did notice,
the way our teeth have changed
- Mine were out like that and I had them
shoved back - Well I noticed the ears actually
Have you not noticed that a lot of people...
your ears have been made real fun about them
They've got they're
conclusions settled already
They must
met here today
and we've seen the films
and we feel as if we know
everybody who is in the films now
has broken any class barriers
that could previously existed
and therefore the film itself has
possibly defeated its own object
- They do lead me on a bit don't they
- That's what I mean
and they hype the
program up too much
and make that
you're good and I'm bad
- Or
- Well Vice-versa I think
- No don't be silly
- No I really do, especially the "7" one
People tend to read significance
into it that I don't think exists
One of my friends for instance,
had me pointed out to him as...
being destined to run the farm
and being educationally pretty inept,
this is obvious from the film
At seven Nicholas was at a one room
village school in the Yorkshire Dales
Do you have a girlfriend?
I don't want to answer that
I don't want answer
those kind of questions
I thought that one would
come up because when I was
When I was doing the
other one somebody said
"what do you think about girls?" and I
said "I don't answer questions like that"
is that the reason
you're asking it?
- Yeah
- thought so
The best answer would be
to say that I don't answer
questions like that but I mean..
You know it was what I
said when I was seven
and it's still the most sensible
but I mean, what about them?
Well you seemed at fourteen
very shy of the whole
sexual life, has that changed?
I've tried to make a change yes
a very definite conscious
effort not to be shy
to be more outgoing
and this is actually something I
can put a point to in my own past
and think yes I did make my
mind up here, here and here
that I was going to try and
change this, this and this
"this" being basically
my confidence
and my
my sort of approach to
well this is to
people in general
When I grow up I'd like to
find out all about the
moon and all that
I mean
I'm not
when I said that I was interested in physics and
chemistry well I'm not going to do that here
You might be able to
get... somebody to ex...
will you explain
this to me again
Nicholas is now in his
2nd year at Oxford University
Well I'm trying
to be a physicist
to fill in the detail of
whenever you meet
somebody at university that
the standard question is,
where are you and
what are you doing?
And my answer is I'm at Merton
College and I'm doing Physics
so it doesn't move up and
down and just rotates
- OK
- Then you put it in
We'll give it a whirl
So what career are
you going to pursue?
It depends whether I'll be good
enough to do what I want to really do
I would like if I can
to do research
Are there any disadvantages in
coming from a small place like this
and preparing
yourself for Oxford?
Well it's a rather
different background
to go any where,
Oxford perhaps especially
it is a rather more firm
foundation I would've thought
as to your
character? I don't?
Perhaps character
than being brought
up in the city
It's a fixed reference
point in a sense
that sort of earthy life
and death cycle that you get
living on a farm
so when something dies it rots
and feeds back into the earth
Sometimes it's helpful
in a city where things that some people are
very concerned about seem quite irrelevant
Is there a new strength
of your father as a farmer
that you think he's
trying to teach you
Well you get a certain sort of
calmness in some situations
take things as they come
you become resigned to things
if the dog's chasing animals in the wrong
direction then you just have to put up with it
if it won't do as it's told you
become resigned to these things
I suppose yes that's
one possibility
come on
come on lad
I suppose of all the
seven year olds
the original ones,
you are the big success
I am not inclined to accept that
Why? You wouldn't
agree with that?
Well what have I achieved?
I'm not really prepared to accept that
I've done anything very special yet
I'd like to think that...I mean I'm
hoping that I might do at some stage
but I don't really think I've done anything
that you can call a great success
It would seem really ridiculous to any
of my friends who watch this if I said
"Christ aren't I a great
success, look at me"
Well what? You know,
what success?
I can't think of it
in those terms
I haven't done anything
that can be called success
nothing out of
the ordinary really
Singing Waltzing
Matilda in Latin
at an exclusive pre-preparatory
school in London
and John
I think it's not a bad
idea to pay for schools
because if we didn't
schools would be so
nasty and crowded
Yes, so do I think so
The poor people would come rushing in and
the man in charge of the school would...
Would you think there's any truth
in the ideas behind the program that
certain people have more options
than others and this is undesirable?
It's certainly true that more people know
they have more options or imagine they have
I think in practical terms
the difference in numerical
number of options isn't that great
the fact is that the three of us know that
there's a whole range of things we can do
But the mere knowledge creates an option in
itself, so I think we do have more options
and it is undesirable but it's
very difficult to correct
I don't think it is
undesirable at all
I think what's undesirable is
people who have had options
don't make advantage of them,
take best advantage of them
but I can't see there's
anything wrong
as long as people don't abuse the
opportunities and privileges they've had
If people behave responsibly
I think it's very good
they're the sort of stability
and structure in society
We've been taught to expect more
it's not that because we've
been to private schools
we're not better
qualified necessarily
- No
- Yes I agree with that
It's a matter of expectations
Yes I must say, all this
talk about opportunities
something I did slightly
object to in the program was
we were shown at
the age of seven
outlining the academic career that
most of us did in fact pursue
each sentence ended up
"John is at Westminster"
Andrew is at Charterhouse
and everything
implied that we just sailed through, merely
manifesting an intention at the age of seven
we didn't show the sleepless nights,
the pouring over our books
sort of, you know
all the sweat and toil that
got us through to university
it was presented as if it
was just part of some
indestructible birth right that
we went to all these places
and I thought that was unfair, they didn't show
us having to do beastly jobs in the holidays
y'know, to make
ends meet and things
it didn't give a very
real sort of...impression
The three girls are earning
income wise they're far better off than I
imagine all three of us are, certainly I am
and background wise
in terms of qualifications or the
means of achieving their ends
they probably have just
as many options as we do
how do you think about
coloured people?
Well they're nice, they're
just the same as us really
but, one thing
it's only 'cause their
skin's brown and we're white
sort of pinkish we are
Jackie, Lynn and Susan
they went to primary school
together in the Eastend of London
Lynn chose to go on
to a grammar school
and Jackie and Susan
to a comprehensive
There is a danger that you would
get married at early twenties and
have children quickly and
then be stuck at home
have you any thoughts on that?
- I don't really think about it much
- No
I don't think I'd eh...
get married to early
I'd like to have
a full life first and
- I'd like to enjoy myself before I...
- Meet people and...yeah
Before you can commit
yourself to a family
What would you do if you had
lots of money? about two pounds
I would buy myself a nice new
made house you know
one that's all nice and comfy
Jackie was married last year and
now lives on a new estate in Essex
- It's a nice estate
- Yeah - Yeah not bad at all
What are they like the neighbours?
Have you seen a lot of them or what?
Well you know, to say hello
to more than anything, I mean
we borrow things off of her,
which is just as well
- That's what neighbours are for isn't it?
- Yeah right!
Here, It's a similar colour scheme
down here moving up stairs isn't it?
Yeah but this was more by
luck than judgement really
- Was it like this when you came?
- No it was all white
but you can imagine
the state it was in
friends had some paint handy so Dad and Mick
just used the rollers and in a day it was done
two coats, wallop!
That was it
Susan is still single
I work for a travel company
they don't deal with the public, they
deal with groups and company groups
it's sort of incentive, holidays abroad
and conferences, that sort of thing
which I like because
I like foreign places
and I have to do eh...
I do quite a bit of typing
but a lot of my work is
involved in making bookings
and dealing with hotels abroad
I left school and started work...
for an Australian bank
and I'm still there
and I've been there what?
Three and a half years now
I've done various
jobs within the bank
I started off as a
which was very interesting actually, you'd
be surprised the sort of calls you get
Then I went on to work
the NCR machine
which is the actual machine
that processes the accounts
and counter work dealing with
clients money and things like that
I'm going to work in Woolworths
Well I'm a school mobile librarian
and assistant to the young peoples office
Which is where we are now
and I've been here
since August last year
Lynn is now married but still
lives and works in the Eastend
I visit schools with the van
where they've not got position to
get into a local library for class visits
I love working with children
do you remember on the
last one I wanted to teach?
Well I didn't get to that
and seeing how it is
today I'm glad I didn't
the job situation for
all teachers as it is
and I think it takes a lot more
patience than I've actually got
I'm much more at home here
- Have I stamped yours?
- Yes
I've not stamped yours
Sleeping Beauty
I've lost the stamp!
Do you sleep like a beauty?
What do you say?
Thank you
I definitely make a point in
reading all my new books I get in
It's quite funny, I
take loads of books home
and people come and say "who
are these kids books on the table?"
- "They're mine"
- "Oh"
Then they sort of shut up
At the moment a career's probably
about the furthest thing from my mind
and I don't really know what I'm aiming
for except to get the house together
and that can take years, as fast as you replace
one thing something else needs replacing, so...
it could just go on like
that, I don't know
Well admitting that
you're not a career girl
does it mean that you're
therefore looking for a family?
Oh I don't know, I suppose I am
But erm..
Every thing's not
that cut and dried
it's not either
career or family or...
but is what's in the middle, am I
just going to carry on as I am now? for?
And end up ...on the shelf?
Or am I just going to get
married? could be any day, but
I suppose Lynn is a career
girl in a way isn't she?
Yeah she's more wrapped
up in her job than I think we are
and you all three were sat there at seven and
she's gone that way and you've gone this way
is there? can you?
Think of any reasons
why that should be?
I think just basic personality, Lynn's always
been that little bit different from us
She's always been more serious
as far as studies are concerned
I didn't feel like going to a
grammar school, I just er...
you know, comprehensive school
it just seemed more friendly
At that time that is, but
now a little bit different
- Grammar school's fantastic
- If you say so!
When I leave this school
I'm down for Heathfield
and Fairfield Manor
and then maybe I may want to go to
university but I don't know which one yet
This is Susie
the product of a private
education and wealthy parents
What do you think about
making this program?
I just think it's ridiculous, I
don't see any point in doing it
Why not?
What's the point of people going
into peoples lives and saying:
"Why do you like this and why
don't you?" I don't see any point in it
Well I didn't want to
do it when I was fourteen
I know I was very difficult
because I was very anti doing it
because I was pressurised
into doing it by my parents
and I hated it
and I vowed I'd never do it now
but here I am
I'd like to do...
short hand typing
or something like that
I left school when I was
sixteen, went to Paris
went to secretarial
college and got a job
What made you decide to
leave school and go to Paris?
I just wasn't interested in school
and just wanted to get away
and why did you choose Paris?
I don't know, it was
my parents really
Did you sort of feel the
need to get away? and why?
Well I'd lived in
London or Scotland
and I knew people who were going out
to Paris and so I thought I'd go as well
Comparing yourselves to Susie
who stands at the other
end of the social scale
do you think you've had the
same opportunities as her?
I've had the opportunities
in life that I've wanted
I'd say I've had more
opportunities than Susie
I'd say I've had more
opportunities than her
in a different aspect to
what she's had them
But eh, my life, I've been able to
do more or less what I wanted to do
I'm not going to say it on
film, what I feel for her
But I think she's been so conditioned into
what she should do and what she shouldn't do
Yeah but I mean
The whole thing is you're saying
"do we envy anything Susie's had?"
I mean I don't know
I don't know what Susie's had,
what's Susie had that I haven't had?
I mean, until I know that I can't
honestly say whether I envy her
- She's had money and she's travelled
- I've got money!
Maybe not enough but I've got it!
I have been to Honolulu with
my father about two years ago
for a couple of months
which I didn't really enjoy
there's nothing much out there, there's
no meet people my own age out there
and I hated it and I
was glad to come home
apart from that I've
been to France on holidays
I'm going to Australia
in the summer
for about two months
otherwise I don't know where I'm going
to go and I'd like to go and travel more
Well I don't think there's any
point in sitting in your own country
I'd like to see how people live
on the other side of the world
Tell me about the
Australian trip
Well I'm going in July for about
two months with my cousin
her elder sister's
married out there
and we're just going out to...
see what it's like
we're going to not work out there,
we're only going for two months
We just feel if we don't
go now we never will
We've got the opportunity and
the time to go now so we're going
How are you going to pay for it?
Save up and go
Do you get depressed
by money problems?
No, why?
Why should you?
- If you can manage on what you've got
- I refuse to get depressed over money
- It's so easy to but why should you?
- I do, I do
Why worry about it?
When I reach the 18th day of the month
and my mortgage is due on the 20th
and there's nowhere near enough money in
there, I get depressed about it obviously
Suddenly thinking, oh my god what's
going to happen, you know
But it gets there, don't
ask me how but you get it
Do you think you've
settled down to young?
I've married and we do
things together, or...
I go out on my own sometimes
with friends from work
he does the same, what do
you mean by settled down?
If you think that getting married
as far as we're concerned is a case of
going to work, come home, cook tea for hubby,
going to bed, getting up, going to work
you're totally mistaken
Did you meet enough men
before you decided who to marry?
I've been married a year and...
a couple of months
you do think "christ,
what have I done?"
- See I've still got my ideals
- and I'm being honest about it!
And my husband thinks the same, at
times you think "christ, what have I done?"
- But then if...
- But marriage...
Marriage means a
different thing to me
I've still got my ideals about marriage, I
don't know what it's all about, obviously
So I've still got pictures of
- Cosy evenings indoors...yeah
- With roses!
She'd have cosy evenings
indoors with the central heating!
Or lack of it!
- Yeah, I've got a lot to learn
about... getting married
I mean, your parents split up
soon after you were fourteen
What sort of influence,
effect did that have on you?
Well I was the only child going through
their parents splitting up aged 14
at a very vulnerable age
and it does touch you up, but...
You know, you get over it
There was no point in
them staying together for me
if it was worse,
I mean the rows and...
and it's worse
so if two people can't live together
there's no point in making yourself
even for the sake of children
What is your attitude towards
marriage? for yourself?
Well I don't know, I haven't given it a
lot of thought as I'm very cynical about it
But then you get a certain
amount of faith restored in it
I mean I've got friends and their
parents are happily married
and it does put faith back into you
but me myself I'm very cynical about it
Because I think it kills
whatever love is
it just seems to go wrong
What do you base that on?
Well, people I've seen,
people around me
I mean I've got...not a lot of
my friends are married
a lot of people who are 20,30 all seem to
be getting divorced and can't stay together
and at the moment I just
don't really believe in it
Why do you think people
can't hold marriages together?
I don't know, I
really don't know
I don't sort of sit down and
think "ooh ...analyse marriage"
It's not something I've had to think
about whether I was going to get married
and I've got no desire to at the
moment, I think twenty is far too young
What was the wedding like?
Our wedding?
A laugh!
I wanted, white
wedding, all trimmings
My husband would've been
satisfied with very little
but being as we were
going into it as a full thing
we went into it
I had an all white
wedding, all white
We were both in white and
my bridesmaid was in white
It's a funny day actually
because I suppose I was up somewhere
around the five o'clock mark
and I spent all day preparing
well all morning I should say
and then sitting around
for about three hours
just waiting for something to happen
then when it did happen I don't remember it
It was just complete
confusion really
- It was a nice day though
- Oh yeah
It was funny actually, you can
imagine some of the comments
I was pleased I was there, it
seemed the right place to be
I mean I was glad I was at her
wedding, I've known her a long while
Did anything happen?
Anything funny?
I can't forget the cake
It was horrific really, the cake
what happened to the wedding cake
it was sitting right
in between Mick and myself
suddenly the columns just completely
gave way and it just all fell into one
- It was a nice cake though!
- Yeah it wasn't bad!
I read the Financial Times
I read the Observer and the Times
What do you like about it?
Well I like...
I usually look at the headlines
then read about them
about it
I like my newspaper because
I've got shares in it
- and I know every day what the shares are
- The stuff that misers like you like!
But on Monday's they don't
move up so I don't look at it
That's one of the troubles with this sort of
program, I don't really think that people like us
Unless we're seven and being rather
funny, have very much to say that's...
very interesting,
because I mean...
we don't know very much
Well we didn't know very
much when we were seven
- But we were still quite funny
- We were at least funny!
- Yes! - Yes!
- In ourselves!
I agree with John, all we
can say is what we think
and if that's of interest to
people, good luck to them
Yes and I can't believe it is
More fool them!
When I leave this school
I'm going to College Court
then I would be going to Westminster
Boarding School if I pass the exam
and then we think I'm going to
Cambridge and Trinity Hall
John is in his final year at
Christchurch Oxford, reading Law
I do believe parents have a right to
educate their children as they think fit
I think someone who works on an assembly
line in a car factory, earning a huge wage
could well afford to send their children
to private school if they wanted to
Just because..
Some sort of people perhaps don't
put that as high on their priorities as...
having a smart car or something
I don't think that's any reason
for abolishing public school
I think an awful lot more people
could afford to send their sons to school
You know, to fee paying school
But they don't choose to,
and that's their choice
I'm going to Charterhouse
and after that,
Trinity Hall Cambridge
Andrew is in his last year at Trinity
College Cambridge, reading Law
I think if people earn their money
they should have a right to spend it
an education is very important
and you can never be sure of leaving
your children any worldly goods but
at least you can be sure that once
you've given them a good education
that's something that
no one can take away
What about university Charlie?
I might go to Oxford
You're reading history at Durham
University, you didn't make Oxford
What are your feelings about that?
I don't mind at all
In fact
I'd say I'm pleased I didn't
because it was very much a sort of
sort of set of
Marlborough Prep School
Marlborough, Oxbridge,
conveyor belt
you get shoved out at the end
and you...
when you go to Oxbridge and it's
obviously not true in all cases but
I think for the majority
they mix with the same people
they were at school with
So what attracts you to Oxford?
Well first of all it's such
a beautiful place
there's more to it than just
studying away at one's books
I think it's very difficult
not to get something out of it
there's such a sort of...
atmosphere of culture and...
and timelessness about the place that
I think you do sort of mature an awful lot
So what is Beagling?
Beagling is the
hunting of the hare
with a pack of hounds,
done on foot
I mean a lot of people
seem to imagine
a days hunting with either
fox to hunt or beagles
unadulterated butchery.
I mean this just isn't true, I think
I wish people had a more
realistic idea of what it's about
The hounds are over there I think
I saw them last streaming
along that hedge there
- Frustrating isn't it?
- Yes
I'm reasonably old fashioned about
some things but I mean
I mean people who go on a lot about the
permissive society are missing the point
if they think the only
thing that's wrong is sex
I think you know, decreasing
respect for the family as a unit
increasing dishonesty,
both in business...
there used to be much more much stronger
developed ideas of commercial integrity
than seem to be going around nowadays,
nowadays people seem to be out for themselves
I really do think I suppose there is
an invasion by the American way of life
which I think is a very sad thing
Is that unstoppable?
That trend do you think?
I think it really is
unfortunately, yes
So where does that
leave your values?
Well it leaves them with me
and my future children whom
I shall implicate them in
But do you not find
yourself isolated?
That really doesn't matter
If I believe my
principals are right
and I'm doing the right thing
to bring my children up by them
it won't matter to me whether
I'm living in the middle-ages mentally
I shall do what's right
Well when I was very small my
father always used to go ski-ing
and he took me with him
and we've been ever since really
and how old or young were
you when you started?
Oh about five, on tiny little ski's
it was quite frightening then
what is the appeal of it?
Well the sort of freedom and
going in the snow and the mountains
and the feeling of speed
and getting away
from people if you can
Do you save up to
come ski-ing or...?
I don't but my father does
as he pays for me
Your parents have been
divorced since fourteen
- Since you were fourteen
- That's right, quite recently yes
Tell me about that and
the influence it's had on you
Well not much influence in fact
because it's happened
when I'm quite old
and I'm away from
home a lot anyway
it's very sad of course
but I don't think it has had
a great deal of influence
if it had happened
when I was much younger
it would've had much
more influence
an adverse influence
I would've thought
Did your parents divorce
leave any lasting mark on you?
I don't know, I mean
seen the film at fourteen so
and that's of our closest time,
I would've thought it did but...
don't talk about that anyway so...
I think it's unfair on them
Very few parents I think,
bring up their children...
with the intention of belittling them
or doing as little for them as possible
I think
you have to assume that most
parents do as much as they can
given the circumstances
of the children
and obviously things
could've been far worse
Do you think it's changed your
attitude to marriage? or...
It just means that
because I was faced with that situation I
have an attitude which is a positive attitude
rather than "well everybody else gets
married therefore I shall get married"
My attitude would be that if
one is going to have children
if you want to have children then that's
a very real reason for getting married
but if you get married...
it's an agreement to make the
thing work for eighteen years
or however long it is until
the children have grown up
no there's no point in just
sitting it out for eighteen years
there's nothing worse than that, it would
be better for the parents to get a divorce
I think people
perhaps don't make
as much effort
as they should have, or should
do to make marriages work
it's very easy for me to say so as
I've never been in the position
In what way should
people make more effort?
I think people just take too much
for granted when they get married
or used to, not now perhaps
I mean, I don't know
about you for instance
I know my mother,
she's said that
she's spoilt really
and she never realised how lucky
she'd been until she'd been divorced
Up to about twelve
maybe it's different with
other people, but
I found that you're much
more attached to your parents
once you come to about
thirteen, fourteen
you're not quite so
attached to them
I think the system of
having house captains
is rather good
because when somebody is naughty
the house captain asks him and...
and has a talk to him
once I had a talk to Grevil,
he was in my house
I asked Sir if he could put him out of my
house because he was always getting minuses
What did Sir say?
Sir said that he would...
we would see about it this term
Well I think it's a
very good system
Have you had to speak to anyone?
- Just because you are one I suppose?
- No, no I haven't!
- You're not are you?
- But I am!
Straw, Mac and Nessie got
three minuses in a day
If I work in Law I should like
a reasonable amount of success
I shouldn't like to be on the
bread-line which is all to common
I'd like to be a Solicitor
and, also fairly successful
I only know what I
don't want and that's
a nuclear family in a
semi-detached in Brentford
Do you three see yourselves...
staying in England, living in England,
making your careers in England?
Well the trouble is Law
is not really very exportable
From my point of view anyway
I quite like England
'cause I can't say I really approve very
much of the sort people who emigrate
I mean it's too
easy for people who...
this is where I would agree with you
about people who have had opportunities
I do think they've got a corresponding
duty to sort of put back...
you know, people who have had
things going well for them
really ought to stay and help the country
out when things aren't going very well
I don't believe in all
this pulling one's money out
but that's a moral point of view, I do believe
people have the right to live where they like
and also to move
their assets around
but on a moral level I do feel very
strongly that people shouldn't quit
- Is that why you don't want to leave?
- Yes
and also I can't imagine
anywhere so nice as England
Probably stay in England for the reasons that
John put forward, I think one has a moral duty
It sounds terrible
but, you know...if...
It's up to one certainly
to make an attempt
to put something back in to whatever
it is that you're doing in England
Having used the various facilities that
are put out for you by the state
I think the more you've
had out of the country
the more privileges
you're born with
the greater your duty is
We chose two boys from a
children's home in Middlesex
Say you had a wife
say you had to eat
what they cooked you
and say I don't like
vegetables, well I don't
and say she said "you have
to eat what you get"
So I don't like vegetables so say she
gives me vegetables then that's it
Well as far as I know my
mother and father got...
well they separated
originally I think
they eventually got divorced
I went to the boarding school for one
year then we emigrated to Australia
my father got remarried
and how do you get on
with your step-mum?
Pretty well but like I said
before I'm just not close enough
I'm not really close
to my father either
Paul left the children's home
when he was eight
Our other boy stayed
until he was thirteen
Was it difficult moving from the
home back to live with your mother?
- You're still here after, eight years now?
- Yeah yeah
Well I find it's comfortable
See I can get on well with
my mother sometimes
well that's good
because a lot of...
young children can't get on with their parents
at all at this time of the year, their life
but I get on pretty
well with my mum now
we talk very well with each other
but it's..
Sometimes not quite
as mother and son
sort of more like friends
What sort of life does
your mother have?
Well it seems hard, I mean
she's always been...
not all the time, but...
she has periods of depression or deep
depression or whatever you want to call it
that sort of makes me think
"well what happened there?"
What effect has that
had on you do you think?
Well it's made me very sort
of protective towards her
I feel I've got to
help her all the time
They say "Where's your
father then?"
You know when your mums out at
work "Where's your father?"
and I just tell them
I ain't got one
What effect has that had on you?
Well I don't think it's had
any effect on me, 'cause...
what you don't have
you don't miss
Twenty years ago
when I was born
an illegitimate child, you know
that's something that's
only whispered about
people feel strongly
about it in those days
but nowadays it's..
It's not a serious matter
the serious point is whether you
stay with someone or you leave them
We took Paul and Symon round the buildings
which were once the children's home
I remember this path but I've
never walked on it was out of bounds
the only place I saw this was
from out the windows and that
- What was that there?
- That? That was eh...
That was hospital juniors,
that's where we used to be
- Really?
- Yeah
I don't like the big boys
Hitting us and...
and the staff is up
in the washroom
sends the nurse out,
"well there's no talking"
"No I wasn't talking today"
Then Brown sent
me out for nothing
Remember the tiles?
- No not really - Yeah I remember
them when they were cleaner
- I remember the two offices
- Yeah the doctors and the nurses
Some things gone
- The seats
- Yeah the seats
The smell, the smells gone
- Remember Midgely
- Yeah
He was a real bastard
I remember one night,
I forget what I actually did
But he made me clean
all the shoes in the house
there was about fifty pair of shoes
and took about two hours or something
Well I feel like joining in
when there's already a fight
Ah do you remember Froggy Page?
He was the tailor
- I remember him
- Tailor?
Yeah he was here for thirty-seven
years or something
bent over backwards or bent
over forwards or something
- The golf course
- Yeah
Used to think about running away
over that when you'd get scared
That's where the headmaster's son used to shoot
the squirrel's off the trees isn't it - yeah
Do you remember the boy that
in the senior part
where my brother was, he
he was sleeping one time and he
went out the second story window
Oh the sleep walker,
Weaver, Robert Weaver
- We all had to pray for him
- Yeah
- Everybody said he had a steel
plate in his head - Yeah
How have you got on with Symon? after
you haven't seen him for fourteen years
Well I didn't recognise him at all
I think we got along really well, I
don't know what he'd say to that but
I found him very likeable
He's just the sort of person who if I
could I'd like to do something for them
Because I feel I've got, no offence to
him, but I feel I've got more than him
It's just that it
seems to me that
things have fallen
into line now for me
Every thing's started to come
good, I've started to enjoy life
and I've started to think
"well I'm not a no hoper"
Because I think that's what
I've always thought about myself
I know I didn't have
any confidence in myself
despite what I said
when I was fourteen
I've always lacked confidence
I still do to a certain
extent but nothing
nothing like I did say
when I was fourteen
The job I'm in, I
mean, brick laying
I mean I enjoy it,
it interests me
and I'm very content at work
in June last year I was
made a junior partner
though that was
through circumstances
but I look at it this way
I'm not great with my life
but if I wasn't good enough and
my boss didn't think I was good enough
he would've never made
me a junior partner
as for the job
you know, you build a house
then you turn around and look
at it and say "well I did that"
it's better than having
a whole row of figures
it's substance you know,
there's something there
Symon works in the freezer room of a
meat company near his home in Middlesex
My job's running away from me
You do jobs which I suppose
are fairly routine and dull
- Yeah
- What keeps you going during them?
Oh it's definitely
the people there
You work up a kind of team
spirit there, y'know what I mean
You can...
think about all the work
you've got to do in the morning
and you just don't want to go
but once you get there
just sort of generally...
I was going to say messing around
there, I won't say that
the managers might see it
sort of joking about
they make you feel you
want to get the work done
Go out and get some
just ask for them
and we always say
when we come out of the chiller
we don't want to go back in
but when we get
back in we get on with it
So are you a good time keeper?
Ah it depends
Usually I try to get
to work early
but I have periods of
where I just say "sod it"
if I get there I get there
I think the hardest thing
is to get up in the morning
for me it takes a great
deal out of me now
Do you never feel you should
be doing better jobs than these?
Aren't you worth more than this?
No I haven't really
I suppose I just like hard
work, I don't know
But eh...
It's never really
sort of worried me
I suppose it should
but it just hasn't
and how do you see the
future as far as work goes?
Well I know I can't stay at Walls
forever, I mean it's just not me
I couldn't stay there for that
long, my mind would go dead
But eh...
I think if I really wanted to
I could learn a trade, even now
Y'know if I really felt that I ought
to get out and do something different
I could learn a
trade if I wanted to
and what would you like to
be doing say in seven years?
Well I couldn't really say I haven't
thought one year ahead yet
I think I'm still sort
of young in my head
I don't really sort of
take things seriously
All I want out of
life is to be happy
and when I say happy I want
to be happily married as well
because I can't say I
don't want to get married
because I think I do
but I want to be
happily married y'know
therefore I want to
make sure I think
How would you define
happiness? What is it?
Basically to me it's
the will to live
I mean, me I literally
love life, I love people
I mean I think before I didn't
I mean, when I
was fourteen I said
I've forgotten what the
question was but I said
something about I
want to be alone
and when I said that I know
even now I meant that
if someone had dropped
me out in the Sahara Desert
I probably would've been happy
more or less if you get the point
Whereas I'm not like that now,
I'd sooner be around people
I don't like doing
things by myself
and happiness to me is a love
for life and a love for people
I think I admire people
with great determination
y'know like people who just
come up from nothing
they build up their life
from absolutely nothing
I could say Muhammad Ali
because he absolutely
came from nothing
I mean you can't agree with everything
he says but his word goes down now
he's the biggest thing in sport
he's one of the biggest things in life
I mean people like him
What when you look at yourself do you
think your weaknesses and strengths are?
I think my main weakness is
I don't really take a grip of life
I don't really look...
I always look deeply into
it but it just seems to be...
just a sort of hobby with me, I
look at everything and I criticise it
and I work everything out but
after that I just sort of leave it
I find it hard to express
emotion most of the time
although I'm getting
on top of that
more happy now?
Just the simple things to say to Susan,
y'know "I love you" or something like that
I mean I can tell
you about it but
I really haven't been able
to say it freely to Susan
I suppose that's a weakness
Do you have a dream?
A dream? not...
Not so much a dream but I know
if I ever wanted to get on I could do it
I mean I always feel that I've got something
inside me that would make me move
But eh...
I think what it is really is I'm just
waiting for an excuse to use it
Y'know at the moment I feel
ok just getting on with my life
just sort of keeping up
but I know if I really
wanted to I could get on
It'll only take a little
spark with me to do it
Is it important to fight? Yes
Would everybody please sit round
now and get on with their work
I don't want to see
any backs to me
Shouldn't be anybody turning
round, Tony do you hear aswell?
Get on with your work in front
Don't turn round again
I want to be a jockey when I grow up
yeah I want to be a jockey when I grow up
Tony left his Eastend secondary
modern school at fifteen
and became an apprentice at
Tommy Gosling's racing stables in Epsom
This is a photo finish of
when I rode at Newberry
I'm the one with the white cap
I was beaten a length and a half
for third and had a photo finish
so I took it out the box and
kept it as a souvenir
Have you any other pictures
of you as a jockey?
Yeah I've got a lot of them
Show me that one
That one when I was at Windsor
that was my last ride on the old
horse, Sharrod Heath that was
he was a lovely old horse,
I'll never forget him
How many rides did you have?
Only three
Why was that?
Well obviously if I was good
enough I would've had more
that was the first day I ever
put myself in jockey silks
that was my first ride ever
How did it feel like?
It feel like there's no words
that can explain how it felt
that one was when I
was going to the parade ring
They're not very good
my brother, I mean he's not
no good at taking photos
He's no Lord Snowdon
But describe the feeling, go on
Describe, well...I mean I..
Frankie Durr right, he was
told to look after me
so I went in there I said "I
don't know my first ride"
and he said "alright don't worry, your
boss has told me to look after you"
and so
I was changing into my silks
and I felt good y'know, I could
see all the faces that I think
and when I look at the newspaper I
think, Jeff Lewis, Frankie Durr and...
I thought to myself all of a sudden I'm
in the same room getting changed
Then I walked in the parade room
the parade ring and eh...
and all my family's there and
they're all going "Go on Tone!"
and the boss came over and he said
you've got to do this to the horse,
you hold him back, you go half pace
keep your hands down,
keep him in the rails
and I'm going "yeah
yeah" like, nod
and all of a sudden when he
said "Jockeys please mount"
and the bell went "Ding ding"
and my heart just sunk
because I thought to myself
Here I was yesterday
a sort of nobody
and here I am today, I'm king like
I felt king for one day,
well for ten minutes
Do you regret not making it?
Well I would've given my right
arm at the time to become a jockey
But now...
well I wasn't good enough,
it's as easy as that
What will you do if you
don't make it as a jockey?
I don't know
If I knew I couldn't be
one I'd get out of the game
wouldn't bother
and what do you think
you would do then?
Learn taxi's
Taxi driver
I will be a cab driver
right, how can I fail?
I got one brother
taxi driver pulling me
and the other brother pushing
me so I got to make it
I will be a cab driver
and I know I will
and I'm going to prove every person
who thinks I can't be a cab driver wrong
and I'm going to get that
badge and put it right in their face
just to tell them how wrong they
can be and how under estimated I am
Doing the taxi knowledge means Tony
going out on his motorbike every day
and learning the hundreds of
routes round the streets of London
Well I can just get up, go on my
bike, do two runs, come home
call them over then boom, I've done my days
work then I go
out here and earn my money
Hackney Wick it's
my sort of living
I can say until the time
I am a cab driver
But mean my freedom's here and
that is the main thing what I want
Tony spends his spare time at Hackney Wick
Greyhound Stadium placing bets for the punters
Fifty-five to twenty Boris
Five to one Cooladine
Four and a half fifty's,
four and a half fifty's
Poor-Sunshine fourteen to one
Take it, take it!
If your father gambles you always
looked upon how he gambles
I tried my luck and
see what he does
and I took it from there,
it's sort of in you
some people drink and they can't get out of
drinking, some people smoke and can't stop smoking
well I think I'm firmly on
the ground as a gambler
I know you can't win gambling, putting
money on the dogs and horses, I know that
But when you put other
peoples money on you can't lose
What do they call you here?
I reckon a pest, or
something like that
'cause I'm always running and doing
everything that I shouldn't be doing
I thought I was going to get
barred one day 'cause I used to...
Well I don't mean to make
a nuisance of myself
I mean if the other
patrons of the place
they don't want to see a little
boy nipping between their feet
running, putting a
bet on for a person
You understand? they think "cor
what's he doing is he mad?"
I mean I walk up there
I order the teas
There could be eight people
in front of me, I just go...
Can I have a tea please,
tea please, five times
tea please tea please
and they've got to serve me before them
to get rid of me, do you understand?
So that's how you've got to do it
Just keep on and on
and on and they go
"oh driving me mad, here you are,
get rid of him" it's as easy as that
That's the way to get on in
life, just be a noise, annoyed
annoyance all the time to a person and they go
"oh he's driving me mad, get him away from me
and more or less they
give you the first option
sort of find that
You're very short, has
that had much trouble?
Well a bird said
to me the other day
She said "ain't you small"
So I said "but you're ugly
at least I can grow"
What can they say to that? they
can't say nothing can they?
To a thing like that, or...
or example...
She said to me "Ain't you small" so I looked
at her tits and she was only about a thirty
I said "But you're not too big
either so we're both in the same way"
- Have you got a girlfriend?
- No
Would you like to
have a girlfriend?
Do you understand "The Four F's?"
Find the, feed them, forget them
for the other F I'll let you
use your own discrimination
I mean...
this one
I tried to do the three F's
but I couldn't forget her
I'd done the three F's
but I couldn't forget her
It sounds silly but that's
the only way I can put it
Tell me about the family,
are you fairly closely knit?
Well I love them all
There's not one I don't love more than
the other, other than my mum obviously
but your mum is the root of the
tree, you love your mum best
So what do you like about
living in the Eastend?
It's very sort of real,
there's nothing false
only the police!
I'm firmly placed and there's no way I can see
getting out, I wouldn't want to get out really
It's very hard to make it in the Eastend because
the roots are firmly stuck in the ground
and you've got to have a
big hard pull to get them out
So are there many
villains in the Eastend?
There has been in
the time I suppose
the originals were
the Kray twins
We're in Vallance Rd now, as
it goes they used to live here
in a house they used
to call Fort Vallance
'cause it was that hard
to get into I expect
Do you have much
to do with villains?
I can't say I have much to do,
I wouldn't say I'm a villain myself
I don't go thieving and don't do
anybody any harm fighting wise
I'm trying to say that
Wherever you go there's villains and whether
you mix with them or not it's up to you
Does it worry you the possibility
of becoming one of them?
How can I become a villain?
If it's not in there, it's not born
in there you won't become one
Don't you think you're going to
regret not having an education?
Where does that come into it?
It doesn't come into it in my mind?
Education is just a thing to say
"my son is higher than him"
or "my son had a better
background than him"
I mean
I'm as good or even better
than most of them people
especially on this program
I mean
On one of the trailers
you'll think
oh the Eastend boy and he
ain't got a no good education
but all of a sudden the Eastend boy's got a car
and a motorbike and he goes to Spain every year
and whatever
and have I worked for it?
No I'm here putting bets on
and you think "how
does he do it?"
and there's a boy,
who's he? and whatever
he's studying to be a
professor, he's making up things
They're mainly education, there's
no education in this world
Just one big rat
race and you've got to
kill your man next to you
to get in front of him
What do you think about trade
unions and things like that?
I don't under know I don't
I don't know enough to know about
them if you understand me
I mean
I'm not a politician so let them worry
about what's coming for the next day
all I understand is
dogs, prices, girls, knowledge, roads,
streets, squares and mum and dad and love
that's all I understand that's
all I want to understand
Here you are
Come on three chase it
Come on boy
Go on three inside
Come on three???
He's checking everywhere...
Well going to Africa
and try and teach people
who are not civilised
to be more or less good
No I don't want to be a missionary because
I just can't talk about it to people
Y'know, I am interested in it myself
but I wouldn't be very good at it at all
and I wouldn't enjoy it
Why wouldn't you be good at it
Well I'm just not
very good at...
at standing up in front of people and
making a speech or anything like that
I'd like to keep it
private, y'know
Is it possible you might ever
think of going to the church?
It is possible, I've
never said no definitely
But I wouldn't be doing it
after I go to university
I mean it's just possible in
ten years time I suppose
What would draw
you to the church?
I don't know, it wouldn't be dissatisfaction
with whatever I'm doing at the moment
In a way
If whatever I was doing I
was doing very successfully
then that would be a better reason
for going into the church really
or at least if I did go into the church
it would meant I was giving something up
I think the wrong reasons are if you
are dissatisfied with what you're doing
in the general sense
of doing a job badly or
a failure in some sort of way
Bruce is in his final year at University
College Oxford, reading mathematics
and by Eisenstien you can
show that this is irreducible
then you do a transformation
on this???? x = to T+2
which you find is T cubed plus
17 squared plus 14 T plus 7
you observe that
seven which is a prime
divides the co-efficient
of T squared
T and the constant, not T cubed
and seven squared doesn't
divide the constant term
so by Eisenstien
this is irreducible
so therefore two cross, two
by seven is of degree three
and that length
isn't constructable
from the quarry of
our original theorem
so therefore the
septagon's not constructable
Well that's a nice way of doing it,
particularly using Eisenstien down here
his test is very popular, he
was an interesting mathematician
What sort of job are
you going to try for?
Well there was one job, I'd
like to make maps really
and it's nice sort
of outdoor life
you go to...I mean
you travel around
and eh...
but there are very
few jobs like that going
I'm sort of qualified, a general maths
or science degree would do
or geography degree
But eh...
I think I've probably
missed it this time round
and eh...but that's only...
perhaps I won't like making maps,
it's something that I think I would do
Millbrook probably had a
great influence on me in a way
I mean I was absolutely shocked
rigid when I went to my prep school
and found people who
thought of doing things wrong
I never really upset anyone
or questioned authority
or misbehaved in any
of my two later schools
which may seem an ideal thing but it's probably
healthy to question why you have to do certain things
which I never did
Bruce was a border at this pre-preparatory
school from the age of five
Squad left foot in one place
squad breathe in
Well it is mainly this
lack of responsibility
for doing jobs given to me
people will say "why haven't you
done this? Look you've upset us"
I was secretary of bridge society,
chess society, cricket society
Scottish dancing society
and I didn't do anything for any
of them, they were all very angry
and I spent last summer
term in total seclusion
I saw maybe half a
dozen people all term
in my room, darting
across courts
people would say "I saw Balden
today" and they'd say "No? really?"
it was awful really
My hearts desire is to see my
daddy who is six thousand miles away
Y'know I've been getting
on well with my step-father
and I like seeing my
father occasionally
and he does come
over from Rhodesia
What effect has the fact that you've
seen very little of your father had on you?
Nothing really, I only
something I regret that...
I didn't really get to
know him better at all
We've written and we're both very
bad writers, I'm probably worse than him
and eh...
that's something I regret is not
having a just a regular correspondence
because I think he's an
interesting man actually
and eh...
he probably regrets it as well
What do you think about
your own upbringing?
What have been the strongest
influences on that?
Probably to not let
down my mother really
because she's worked awfully
hard to get me through school
I haven't let her down yet
As far as...eh
not having...
my mothers divorce
I don't think that really has the
effect that people imagine it to have
I mean I always have got
on well with my stepfather
and with my half-sister, so in
that sense I've had a family life
I'd help people
if I had a chance
Y'know by say giving a little bit of
money to charity or sponsoring things
or things like that
Well I took nine months off
between school and university
and there I taught at a school and
worked in the Banbury sewage works
two months
What sort of school was it?
Well I never like admitting this
but it was a handicapped school
I mean
it seems to present me as
wanting to do these things
I suppose in a way I do, and
I do get some satisfaction
from doing it, but...
I could so easily have
done something else
it was just almost an accident that
I ended up at the spastic school
and eh...
I'm glad I did it
because I enjoyed it
not for its...
I suppose slightly charitable
nature of the work, but
the people I met, work,
it was quite good
Why are you frightened of
presenting this image of yourself
It's possibly because I
I don't know, I never
want to feel to proud really
I mean it's dangerous for
a start and it's so easy
it doesn't work in a way because I
can try and pretend to be humble
that's being proud in
just the same sort of way
I find it a very difficult
thing to avoid, pride
Tell me, are you interested
in politics at all?
Not as much as I was
I am about the only
socialist in my village
and I go into the pub
and sort of expect to stand up
and defend all socialist policies
sort of, this is
the village socialist
no, village idiot, sorry
you agree with all this immigration
so I stand up and defend it
and it's awfully hard work though
I think I'm going to give that up
So where do you stand
politically now then?
I'm still socialist but not as
energetically as I was I suppose
What do you think about the way
England's being run at the moment?
I'm glad the socialist's
are in power because
This illusive thing called freedom
is sort of rearing its head
and the conservatives
are pushing it forward
and I thought this
argument was smashed
at the early years of this century
but it seems to be coming back
and it really is exceptionally
dangerous because
the more you try
and defend freedom
you allow everybody to do
exactly what they like within limits
then the less you have
I mean there's no
freedom in living in a slum
It's alright you can say the
chap can do whatever he wants
he can get a better job or anything
but that's just not the case
the more you defend freedom
the less you have it
Well my girlfriend is in Africa
and I don't think I'll have
another chance of seeing her again
Have you got any girlfriends?
No, not yet
I'm sure it will come, but not yet
What is your attitude to sex?
Well it's not quite, normal
attitude to anti-sex
I mean I as it were
burnt my fingers a little
I don't feel as though I'm
missing anything now
I don't feel a need for it
and I'm quite happy at not
feeling a need for it really
I mean I do think a lot of people
think too much about it
What happened
when you burnt your fingers?
I'd rather not talk
about it really
well no in fact I don't
really mean that
I don't mean I don't
want to talk about it
it's just I'd need quite a long
time to think about it really
Well in the end I
decided the eh...
the effect, the pleasure, or...
just didn't seem worth it really
didn't seem worth...
See I think there's
two different sorts
there's casual sex then there's
sex in love and marriage
casual seks is not...
I don't think it's quite as
widespread as people believed
if both the people treat it as
casual sex then I think it's alright
if you're sort of looking for
I don't know this may
seem awfully silly but
if you're looking for casual sex
but don't want to treat it as such
then it doesn't seem to be worth
the lies, I don't know the...
the sort of effort
- Is this what happened to you?
- I suppose in a way yes
Have you been in love?
No, no
and eh...
I think I'll probably have
to wait for that really
Play international wrestling
Yeah that's only at
summertime though
Yeah summer we can
go on the grass
Neil went to a comprehensive
school in Liverpool
got four A-levels then walked out
of Aberdeen university after one term
and is now doing
casual labour in London
I came to London I think because
I wanted to start a new life really
I'd left the university
in Aberdeen
in the end of nineteen
and I became conscious of the
fact that I was drifting around
which I suppose I'm still doing here but at
least I took the decision to move myself
and I think possibly there's more challenge in
London than there ever could be in Aberdeen
Peter, Neil's school
friend from Liverpool
is now in his last year at
London university, reading history
It was obviously a big step
it was exciting more than anything,
I mean that sounds corny but it was
Do you remember the
day you left Liverpool?
Yeah very well
It was pouring down with
rain, I remember that
just had the traditional send of from the
train station, my mum and dad were there
a couple of mates turned up at the
last minute, from the school to see me
- Catch a girl and kiss a girl
- Yeah
and what happens then?
- Well the girls are all screaming
- Yeah
and then we catch
them we kiss them
We're interested in
contrast with you and Neil
were you aware of differences
in home background at the time?
Oh sure yeah, I mean both Neil's
parents are teachers as you know
that's got to be a hell of
a difference for a start
I mean, I'm not knocking them
for a minute, they're very nice people
but eh...
there's obviously going to be some sort
of academic type atmosphere in the house
which I did notice
one or two times
but I think Neil
whether by design or just
by the situation he was in
was obviously going to
be under more pressure
I came to London and I
contacted an agency for squatters
and they were able to give
me the address of somebody
who was able to help people who were looking
for accommodation in the London area
and by a process of
chasing people around
I eventually managed to
find this place here
I wouldn't squat in a place which
I knew to be owned by somebody else
I wouldn't, certainly because
I knew if I had a place of my own
and found somebody
squatting in it I'd be disgusted
But this place was empty
and I was simply offered a place to
live here and was very grateful for it
and I think in
questions of squatting
a bit of humanity is more important that
vain rules about who can live where
In contrast, Peter lives
in a flat in North London
sharing with three
other students
there have been three
guys living here originally
and one of them left
to get engaged,
virtually married
and the flat was meant
for four in the first place
so Dave and Trev asked Ian
and I if we'd like to move in
because we did 'cause we'd been
searching for a flat for some months
so we jumped at the
opportunity really
I've got my own room, I
can cook whenever I like
I haven't got a landlady to
tell me what time to come in
I've got my own front door key
and to tell the truth it's a lot better
than a lot of the accommodation I've had
over the last eighteen
months or so
it could be a bit warmer,
it's a bit chilly
but eh...
it's perfectly satisfactory
for the time being
These are obvious
restrictions, y'know
not able to cook for yourself
you've got to think
for yourself a lot more
but it's eh...
certainly not as exhausting or
wearing as I thought it would be
I mean, y'know...
coming up myself is a
challenge of some sort
we're going to have to split
two sausages into three now
Well once Caroline Tetford
said she loved me
and I'm going to marry
her when I grow up
I hate her, she's always getting
bad tempered and cross with me
- Does she?
- Yeah
She says "Neil Hughes, move
your desk forward"
and when I put it back she says
"Neil Hughes put your chair forward"
and she just gets into a
girly mood with me like that
Tell me about the period in your life when
you went to university and what happened
It was a very short period
I was only at university...
well I was only taking university seriously
for a matter of two or three months
maybe I went to the wrong university
or maybe university life didn't suit me
either way
I felt a very great need
to get out of the system
Well this is my final year so
I'm not in college that much
I don't have to be
so what I'm expected
to do is to be...
laying out revision
timetables at home and..
Working like a slave
which I'm not at the
moment, but I will be soon
I did make an
application to Oxford
but I didn't get in
and eh
well I think that's in the
past now and that's...
I don't know whether I would've
been any happier at Oxford
it always had been a
dream to get into Oxford
I think being as people
had encouraged me
because I knew famous
people having been to Oxford
I'd read memoirs written
by famous people
things such as Brideshead's Revisited
which was a great favourite
but these I suppose are
well they were dreams which
I had while I was at school and
I have to just get over the
fact that I didn't get into Oxford
probably because I didn't
approach the thing in the right way
Are you bitter about it?
I was very bitter at the time
maybe I still am but
I try to get over it
I think once I can get myself
going I can work solid, yeah
but it's the motive
which is very hard to acquire when
you're in the flat most of the time
it's hard to sort of look ahead to
next June and think of those exams
but I dare say I'll do it, get the
average type degree and...
I'm not worried
Is it a problem to you
motivating yourself generally?
Yeah it can be
I can look back on the day
and think "how I wasted that"
although I must've
enjoyed it at the time
What sort of influence did
your parents have on you?
Well they made me believe
in god from the start
which I certainly wouldn't
or I don't know even now
whether I believe in god or not
I've thought an awful
lot about it actually and
I still don't know
but still this was the
absolutely certain one
if one was to survive in the
world one had to believe in god
this was something
which was taught to me
always think of other
people first before yourself
to a ridiculous neurotic degree
which I think affected me
What do you mean by that?
Well this I suppose
is basic christianity
it's sort of...
if somebody slaps you on one cheek
let them do it on the other
almost literally taken
which gave me a few shocks
when I tried to put it into practise
- In what way?
- I don't think to be honest
to go back to that
question I don't think
I was really taught any sort of
policy of living at all by my parents
this was probably
their biggest mistake
that I was just left
to fend for myself
in a world which they seemed
completely oblivious of
and I found even when I tried to discuss
problems which were facing me in school
my parents didn't seem to be
aware of the nature of the problem
Were they ambitious for you?
Yeah but along set lines
which they had planned
I think they have often
said to me that they
they had seen me even from when I was
very young in a certain type of career
and possibly they'd never even thought
that anything else was vaguely possible
they probably imagined I would be
maybe a university lecturer or
a bank manager or
something like this
some kind of indoor work
which involved writing and
reading and this sort of thing
because they didn't take account
of the other side of my personality
I wonder how many parents really think of
their children as individual human beings
What are your feelings about
them now? Your parents
I'm glad they're there because
if I ever become homeless again
I will be able to go
back and live with them
they wouldn't object to this
I'm capable of getting on with
my parents perfectly well
If they are willing to let me live
as another adult in their house
and appreciate that I'm
living my own way of life
and that I am living there because I can't
think of anything else to do with myself
What do they think of
what you're doing now?
They accept it, I think now they
do accept that I'm the person I am
they see this as simply my attempting
to add more experience to my life
which satisfies me
Are they worried about you?
Probably yes
but no more worried now than they
were when I first left for university
that was probably the time at
which they were most worried
and we have in fact managed to
discuss a lot of personal things
which I felt at one time I'd
never be able to discuss
and therefore, as I say
it is possible for me to live for a
few weeks even a month or so at home
without there being
to much friction
So are you under
pressure to get a job
to think of what you're going
to do when you leave in June
Yeah I suspect I am from my
parents, they keep dropping hints
which is only fair I can
understand their feelings
obviously I've got to get a job
I don't want to laze around on
the dole for months and months
you'd go mad
I just can't see what I'll be
doing in nine, ten months time though
Does that depress you
or does that excite you?
No it certainly
doesn't depress me
perhaps it does excite
me in a way yes
something will turn up, something
of that nature y'know
but obviously you've got to think
realistically about doing something
I mean I might be living in
cloud cuckoo land y'know
my mum and dad
might say "no son"
"you don't get a job you like"
I'd like to think I could
Well, we pretend we've got swords
we make the noises of
the swords fighting
and when somebody stabs
us we go "Arrrrrgghhh!"
What goes through your mind
when you saw those two films
when you were at
seven, bright and perky?
I find it hard to believe that I was ever
like that but there's the evidence
I wonder why I was like that
I wonder what it was inside
me that made me like that
and I can see even at fourteen and
I was beginning to get more subdued
and I was putting a lot more
thought into what I was saying
too a ridiculous degree
and probably when I was
seven I just... I don't know
I lived in a wonderful world where
everything was sensation dumb
I could be happy like this I could
be miserable the next minute
and I didn't have
to plan for the future
I didn't have to worry about
having friends and all this money
because everything was
so mapped out for me
I don't know what sort of stumbling
blocks should be put in a child's way
to get him used to living
in the outside world
because I think maybe this is something
that was wrong in my upbringing
I didn't have enough obstacles to
get over, to toughen myself up against
I was unprepared for
things as they were
but looking back now I couldn't
think of what might have been done
and I certainly wouldn't start
writing educational theory about this
because I know how
personal a thing it is
and it probably wouldn't
work in anybody else's case
Would you like to
be seven again?
No because I'd know that I
had to be twenty-one again
I moved up to a
comprehensive school
I found it much bigger of course
I found it hard to
settle into at first
but now I've been here a few
years I know my way around
I think it's a very good
idea to have competition
otherwise you might start
to relax and not try hard enough
Yes at that age I was very
conscious of having to struggle
because I suppose of what
parents and teachers were saying
they were saying
they said "you've got a brain you
must put all your effort into school work"
well what else could
they have said?
I would've probably been
just as angry, looking back
if they'd never encouraged
my intellectual efforts at all
When I get married I don't
want to have any children
they are always
doing naughty things
and making the
whole house untidy
Do you have any
great ambition, any dream?
I suppose I...
yes well...
I would like to be someone in a position
of importance and I've always thought this
but I don't think I'm the right sort of person
to carry the responsibility for whatever it is
I've always thought
well I'd love to be
possibly even love
to be in politics
Something like this
but eh...
I suppose that I'd probably find just as
tedious as all the other jobs I've done so...
What do you want out of life?
The satisfaction of knowing
that I've left some sort of imprint
rather than just
lived out my life
I don't know...
it's going to sound like an epitaph
I've left in memory of some people y'know
not that this guy worked, made a fair
bit of money, good house, died
I'd like to have done
something but...
then again it must be a
drop in the ocean I suppose
I mean who is going to remember
me in a hundred years time?
So is it that important,
how you live out your life?
But I would like to think
I'm going to do something with it
something positive
Do you and Peter have
the same values?
I think we both value
happiness and stability
I think most people do
But you've kicked against
the stability that's..
I don't think I ever had any
stability, to be quite honest
I can't think of any time
in my life when I ever did
I don't think I've been
kicking against anything
I think I've been kicking in
mid-air the whole of my life
It's only one more
What do they think
about each other?
And how would they act together?
To find out we invited them
all to one big party and joined in
If I say that I love you
And you know it's true
If you said that you'd leave me
What would I do?
I'll let you back if you let me
I'll change your mind...
Yes but they were a bit
too tough for my liking
so they hit me right in the back
and I've still got a pain there
The posh ones,
"Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!"
they're nuts
you just have to touch them
Well some of them
were rather dirty
- What do you think about them?
- I played with them quite naturally
I think they were
rather nice really
What do you think
about rich people?
Well... not much
Tell me about them
Well they think they can do
everything without you doing it as well
and they think just because they're rich they
have to have people to do all their work
What would you do if you had
lots of money, about two pounds?
Me? I would help the poor
What for?
The poor, if you don't help
them they die soon wouldn't they
and every time we have a harvest
festival we send food to them
and once these two...no
Susan and Janet Simpson went
round giving it out with Mr Floyd
- I don't think much of the accents
- Neither do I
Neither do I
it won't prevent me liking them
Don't you ever
think to yourself -
Jump out of that suit,
come to the Eastend
throw the books in the corner
and do what you have to do
- I'd certainly throw the books in the corner
- Do you understand what I'm trying to say?
- What are you going to do in life?
- I've really no idea
The idea of just living somewhere and working
for a living is just horrifying really
I mean, being a
student is very easy
I just postponed the decision
by going to university
I wouldn't say being a student's
easy, that's why I left school
- It was too hard
- Really
Who is to say what a
seven year old child is?
I don't think there's anyway you can do it so a
seven year old child could seem to be one thing
and you could always argue that the end
product was produced by what he actually was
rather than what he seemed to be
- you'd normally use the total...
- Not a bookmaker but a...
- I'm always frightened they'd clear off
- What?
I'm always frightened they'd clear
off if they had a bad afternoon
No they're not like that,
they can always get hold of money
What fears do you
have for the future?
Well certainly the idea of,
as I was saying before
getting into a job and simply
getting stuck in it and that's it
without knowing
why you're doing it
but I would think now that this is the time
where I would think about something like that
and make sure it doesn't happen
I really don't see how
one's life can be a failure
in that...
if I became a journalist
and got sacked at thirty
probably because I had grown out of it or I
had changed so I was no longer suitable
therefore I'd find something
else which I enjoyed
and which my talents
were suited to
No I have never suffered at all
never been driven to
despair or tears or...
I don't know, have
any of the others?
My strength is being
able to keep going really
and my weakness is not being able
to take any positive course of action
I suppose I tend to behave in the
fashion of the people that I'm with
in some circumstances I think that
can be quite a weakness sometimes
sometimes wish I didn't
occasionally look at myself and think "christ
you're a bloody fool, what are you doing now?"
and that sometimes disturbs me
We had a teacher at school
that his favourite ploy was...
"All you girls want to do is walk
out, get married, have babies
and push a pram down the road with a cigarette
hanging out the side of your mouth"
god if there was ever a sentence
I'd resent it would be that one - yeah
There's only one ambition
really I want a baby son
if I see my baby son that'll
be my ambition fulfilled
no one knows that, only you now!
Well to me it is a dream
to be totally happy
I mean, I don't think
you can expect that but...
What happens if you don't make that? If you
don't ever find it? How will you cope?
I don't know, it
would be hard to say
the human minds very strong
and it can be very weak
and so you could crack up
from it and you could just
live your life out from day to day
and you could get over it I think
well not get over it but you'd
sort of cope with it I think
but what I'd do
I just don't know
I mean I want to be happy and
my dreams are all for happiness
but basically that's what
I want out of life
I always leave something inside
me, I always leave a bit behind
I always hold back a
bit with everything I do
just to sort of...something
to fall back on
I've always got something else to look
on if anything goes wrong anywhere
What is that something
you hold back?
I think it's a part of my heart
What do you want
most out of life?
To be happy and get on with life
you don't want to just sit
back and let it always pass
you could be run over
by a bus tomorrow
so you've got to make the
most of it while you've got it
Simply to be able to wake
up in the morning and feel that
this day was going
to be worthwhile
which is what I don't
feel at the moment
At the end of their very
special day in London
after their trip to
the zoo and the party
we took our children to
an adventure playground
where they could do
just what they liked
those from a children's home
set about building a house
The houses in Australia, the average
sort of living there will do me fine
I mean it's terrific
I often say I'm saving to
settle down with Yvonne
and then I think to myself "nah
I might buy a car instead"
There's Nicholas
You have to run fast
to stay where you are
to go forward you have to run very
fast indeed, or whatever the quote is
so I'll probably feel I'm
actually achieving nothing
and Tony
I don't want to change
because if I change
it proves the other Tony
Walker was all fake
After I've qualified as a
Solicitor I'll have to rethink
I don't know at all what
will happen after that
and Bruce
It all springs from...
loving god and christ I suppose
you try and do that as best as possible
and that leads your actions in life
I'd quite like to go into politics but
that's easier said than done
When you're a child you always think
how nice it would be to be grown up
and independent and things
but there are times when
I wish I was three again
Jackie and her friends
give me a child
until he is seven
and I will give you the man
this has been a glimpse
of Britain's future