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Roy and the Danelli Job

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Roy and the Danelli Job(from Television Club)
Roy and the Danelli Job cover 1971.jpg
BBC Schools TV
Company:BBC
First run:
27th April
1971

- 15th June 1971

Repeated until
1974

(4 school years)
[more][less]
Episodes:7 episodes
Duration:20 minutes
Subject:Citizenship: Citizenship
Audience:Age 11-13
Language:In English
Browse programme details
22 images from this programme

Contents

A new venture for Television Club as an entire term is taken up with one serialised and quite grown-up crime story about an innocent young man who is entangled with a series of antiques robberies.

The target age range for the series was slightly raised for this unit, 12-14 year olds up from the usual 11-13, and the main characters were adults who had already left school and begun work. But Roy was generally unsuspecting and innocent, leaving the disciplined world of his ship to seek work and deal with human relationships, just as the viewing children would have to do when they left school.

In creating the character of Roy, the writer and producer took care to avoid the condescension of portraying a non-white character as unbearably virtuous. He is an "innocent abroad" who is caught up very easily and quickly by the criminals, and whose naive behaviour often causes problems, but he also has the steadiness and convictions that his English friends lack. Kenneth Fawdry, then Head of BBC School Television, praised both writer and actor for achieving "quite an effective mix of weaknesses and strengths in this West Indian character," and developing his personality in some depth.[1]

By contrast the English characters have a greater appreciation for the perils facing them in London, but not enough to save themselves from danger, and in particular Harry's hotheaded and dominant personality causes a lot of problems. The teacher's notes pointed out that if he had allowed the police to be called at the end of episode 4, "the major part of the plot would never occur."[2]

The end of the story as filmed must have been especially atmospheric, as the boys first ride their motorbike through the countryside in the middle of the night, and then arrive at the stunning Avebury henge as dawn breaks.

There was no Club element or presenter in these episodes, it was simply a drama serial, but children were still invited to send their work in to the BBC, for which they would continue to be awarded with a Television Club Certificate[3].

The Story

Roy is a young sailor who leaves his ship to seek his fortune in London. He is soon engaged to drive a van delivering antiques to an expensive house. Roy realises that he has been tricked into stealing the antiques, but only after the crooks have already made their escape with the loot.

Roy then teams up with a young antiques salesman named Harry, also suspected of involvement by the police, to clear their names by tracking down the real crooks. But the more they investigate the more evidence builds up against Harry. After a brazen second robbery takes place, Roy stumbles across a link between the crooks and a great friend of Harry's, and a cryptic message sends the boys to the historic stone circles at Avebury in pursuit of the gang.

Episodes

The programmes were first shown in the summer term 1971, on Tuesdays at 2:05pm repeated on Fridays at 10am.

They were shown again in the summer term 1974, on Tuesdays at 2:25pm repeated on Thursdays at 10:25am.

This full description of the plot is based on all the details given in the pupil's pamphlet and the teacher's notes together. I have never seen any of these programmes. If you have, and you can add anything to this page, please do get in touch by email or on the forum. All photographs are from the pupil's pamphlet and were taken by Sidney Davies and Joan Williams.


Num Title Broadcast
1. The streets are paved with gold... 27 Apr 1971
  Roy Speed is second cook on a cargo ship. He is ready to give up the sea and try his luck ashore in London. With no job to go to, no friends and nowhere to sleep, and against the advice of his friend Mr Mullins, the third mate who tells him that London is "a mighty tough city", Roy packs up his bag and his guitar and sets off happily.
Roy and Mr Slattery singing
Roy stops for a cup of tea in a shabby side street cafe called George's Dining Rooms. There is just one other customer, a tough, smartly dressed and smooth talking man, who seems to know the otherwise unfriendly owner Georgie quite well. The man sees Roy's guitar and asks him to sing a song - Roy's song is an autobiographical sea shanty:

In the Autumn of sixty my Dad said to me,
"I've bound you apprentice to sail on the sea.
So pack up your bags, lad, and bind up your gear.
I'll wave you good-bye from the New Brighton Pier."

I'm a sailor, a sailor, who's scared of the sea,
But a sailor, a sailor, I'm forced to be.
A sailor, a sailor, who's sick of the sea,
And I'll never, no never go back to the sea.

He goes on to sing about the places he's visited, including a trip to Leith where "The captain was seasick, the mate was blind drunk, we rammed Beachy Head and the blooming boat sunk!"

The smartly dressed man joins in enthusiastically and tells Roy he's "better than the Beatles!" He slyly checks that Roy has a driving licence and immediately offers him a job, paying fifteen pounds for two hours work. The man introduces himself as Fred Slattery, boss of Slattery's Removals, and the job is to collect some antiques from a shop and deliver them to a big house in Hampstead owner by a Mr Klein. Roy agrees, suspecting nothing.

The foreman and Jim argue in the road
Slattery's van is soon driven up to the cafe by a strange old Welsh man, Mr Slattery's "foreman", who is very agitated and keeps pulling at Slattery's sleeve and calling him Jim. Slattery rubuffs him and the foreman starts taking great pinches of snuff from his snuff box and moaning to himself. Roy climbs into the van and drives off singing another song:

London is a fine town,
A great and gallant city.
All the streets are paved with gold,
And all the girls are pretty.

While the two men argue in the middle of the road about the antiques, Roy is puzzled why the foreman keeps called his friend "Frank" by the name of Jim, but still suspects absolutely nothing.

2. Take your money and go 4 May 1971
 
Loading the van at Mr Danelli's shop
Roy arrives at his destination, Danelli's antique shop, unaware that Slattery and the foreman are now tailing him in their car. Mr Danelli is absorbed in an important telephone call and gets his assistant Harry Wainwright to deal with Roy.

Harry is surprised that Roy doesn't have an intentory list from Slattery's, especially as he thought Mr Klein was away on holiday, but eventually he accepts the card from Slattery that Roy presents and the two of them start loading up the van. The antiques in question are 18th Century sofas and chairs, Harry says they are worth over two thousand pounds. Harry knows a lot about antiques. He admires one of the oldest chairs and shows Roy a working model steam engine from 1901, the two get along well laughing and joking.

Roy signs for the furniture and sets off for Mr Klein's house, still shadowed by Slattery and the old man.

The house seems deserted and nobody answers when Roy rings the doorbell. Slattery and his foreman arrive, they assure Roy that there is somebody in and offer him three five-pound notes. But inside the house the phone begins to ring - it is Harry Wainwright phoning to check with Mr Klein about the arrival of his furniture.

Roy finally realises that something is wrong. "You're pinching this furniture!" he shouts at the men. "There, Jim, I warned you!" the old foreman says to his colleague.

The fake Mr Slattery comes right up to Roy and tells him to take the money and go. Roy refuses the hush money, and the fight begins.

Roy gets the foreman in his ribs and he goes down groaning. Then he gets "Slattery" by the throat and seems to be winning. But the foreman comes back and clocks him over the head with an iron bar - Roy is knocked out. The two crooks change the registration plates on the van and drive off.

When Roy comes round the van is just disappearing from sight. He hears sirens and sees a furious Harry Wainwright and two policemen striding up the drive to arrest him for the theft.

Roy confronts the crooks...
...and is knocked out
3. Find the furniture... 11 May 1971
  Roy spends the rest of the day in the police station getting told off for gullibility and stupidity. Finally he is released, feeling rotten. Harry Wainwright is waiting for him outside. The crooks have got away and Harry thinks both he and Roy are suspects. He persuades Roy that they must find the furniture to prove their innocence.

Roy hops on Harry's motorbike (it is a 350cc 1961 Velocette Viper, apparently) and they set off to Harry's home - a houseboat moored on the Thames at Chelsea. Harry shares the dwelling with an old man called Rollo Perkins who is caretaker for the owner, but Rollo is not in this evening, he has left a note saying "Sorry Harry, called away on bisnis. Wont be back till morning," which Harry thinks is most odd.

The boys decide that their only clue is the cafe where Roy met Jim, perhaps the owner might know something about the crooks. But it is late and they must wait until the next day to investigate.

In the meantime Roy needs somewhere to stay, and Harry takes him by motorbike to his mother's house in the East End. When they arrive Mrs Wainwright is out at bingo but Harry's younger sister Vicky answers the door. She had been busy painting a view of the back garden from her bedroom window and has paint stains all over her dress.

Harry is still in a bad mood because of the robbery and he quarrels with his sister about her lack of ambition to leave home. Vicky answers that she has to stay at home to look after their mum who is a diabetic and struggles to look after herself. Mr Wainwright had deserted the family years ago when Harry was fifteen.

Mrs Wainwright returns home, she fusses over Harry and welcomes Roy to their home, cooking up a big supper. The boys make plans to visit the cafe when Harry knocks off work at 2pm the next day.

Harry Wainwright and his mum
and his sister Vicky
4. Follow him 18 May 1971
 
The boys arrive at Georgie's cafe
Next afternoon Harry and Roy ride to George's Dining Rooms on the motorbike, with Vicky following on her old moped. First they creep up to the cafe windows in case the crooks are in there, but they are not.
"Georgie went mad!"
Next Harry assumes what he thinks is a tough, criminal manner and strides into the cafe. He whispers to Georgie that he wants to get in touch with Jim, "the bloke who was in here yesterday morning." Georgie chases him out. Finally all three rush back in to confront the cafe owner but Georgie becomes really violent, waving his bread knife around and screaming that the police had already been in asking questions. "Get out before I murder you!"

They decide to try tracing the van instead, and from a telephone box start ringing all the van hire firms in the Yellow Pages. After an hour of fruitless calls Harry finally gets the information he was looking for. A van had been hired, to a Harry Wainwright, and delivered to a garage near to the houseboat!

They quickly drive over to the garage and, against the advice of Roy and Vicky, Harry unscrews the padlock and breaks in. The garage is empty, but they do find a strange drawing on a bit of wood - a diagram which Harry says "looks like a bad case of German measles" and a message which they think says "follow st to lump."

The clue: "follow st to lump"?
Harry and Roy give chase
As Harry is locking the garage up again, Roy spots Jim coming out from amongst the houseboats, crossing the road and getting into a large car. Harry and Roy leap onto the motorbike to give chase, but they are stopped twice by traffic lights and lose sight of the car. Harry is more angry than ever, but he had promised to keep Mr Danelli up to date on his progress, and so they meet Vicky and all drive over to Danelli Antiques.
Nothing was stolen
They find the door of the shop unlocked, it had been broken into but nothing is missing, only Mr Danelli's delivery book had been moved and wrongly replaced. Roy and Vicky urge Harry to go to the police but he doesn't dare, as every clue they find leads back to him - not only the van and the garage, but he owned the only set of spare keys to the shop.
5. Quick - to the garage... 25 May 1971
  For the next few days Roy and Harry take turns keeping a fruitless watch on the garage. On the third morning Roy is feeling disspirited, he takes a long time over breakfast, and persuades Vicky to come with him on watch, suggesting she could paint pictures of the river while he uses his camera.

At the antique shop Harry is loading another van with antiques, this time he has made sure the driver really is working for Slattery's Removals. He tells the driver not to make any stops on the way, and the driver tells him to stop worrying so much.

Vicky and Roy slowly make their way to the garage. They stop to buy some film for the camera and argue about the respective merits of painting and photography. Roy sings a calypso song about his camera:

In days long past, when a caveman asked
Someone to paint his features,
The land was filled with pterodactyls
And other gruesome creatures.

The artist then, he had no pen,
He used a twig or an arrow.
If he tried to draw the girl next door
She came out like an arrow!

So, you've got to get a camera, girl!
Twigs and fingernails aren't no use,
You can't make paint with blackberry juice.
You've gotta get a camera, better get a camera, gotta get a camera, girl!

And they move on to arguing about different types of photography. Roy likes "news" photographs of moving thinds and Vicky likes still lifes.

The crooks steal more antiques
Meanwhile a police motorcyclist stops the antique van and gets the driver to have a look at his rear indicator lights. The old foreman comes running out from a doorway, jumps into the driver's seat and absconds with the van. The policeman assures the driver that he will catch the thief and roars off. The van driver suspects nothing, but the policeman was Jim "Slattery".
Roy, Vicky and Harry have a real row
As Vicky and Roy wander very slowly in the direction of the garage, the two crooks arrive. They change the number plates on the van and change the signs from "Slattery Removals" to "W. E. R. Crooks Ltd. Removals." The two lookouts finally arrive as the rebranded van is backing out and driving off, and Roy spots Jim in the driver's seat just too late to stop him. They race to the garage in time to see the old foreman locking up. Roy chases him up some steps to the roof of the garage and down to the houseboats - where he mysteriously disappears.

They return to the empty garage and meet Harry, who had received a phone call from the van driver and worked out what had happened. Harry yells at Roy, "why weren't you here?" and Roy yells back although he knows he has let Harry down. Vicky tries to calm them both but Roy tell her to leave him alone, and both boys storm off in separate directions.

6. Are you Mr Perkins? 8 Jun 1971
 
Roy sets about the boys at the phone box
Roy spends the afternoon feeling miserable about how he treated Harry and Vicky, and wondering how the foreman managed to escape. At six o'clock he sets off back towards the house, buying fish and chips and a bottle of cider for Vicky. Vicky has also bought fish and chips as a peace offering to Roy.

At the corner of the Wainwrights' street Roy comes across three boys crowded around one of the telephone boxes, vandalising them and jeering at someone inside. Roy spots that it is Vicky inside the phone box, and quickly scuffles with the boys and drives them off. Vicky had arrived home to find her mother in a diabetic coma and is trying to raise the alarm. They dial 999 but Vicky becomes hysterical trying to answer the operator's questions. Roy takes over and calmly gives the details needed for an ambulance to be dispatched. Vicky accompanies her mother to hospital, and Roy sets off on the moped to tell Harry what has happened.

Roy looks over the boat
When Roy arrives at the houseboat he spots an old man sitting out on deck, Harry's great friend and companion Rollo Perkins. Roy calls "Hello, are you Mr Perkins?" and the man suddenly stands up and, keeping his back to Roy, rushes below and locks himself in the cabin. In a muffled voice he calls out the Harry is still at the shop. Close to the chest where the man had been sitting Roy discovers a snuff box - exactly the same kind of snuff box that he had seen the old foreman using.

Suddenly Roy can piece a lot of things together. Rollo Perkins and Jim's foreman are the same man, he had hidden so easily the day before by entering his own houseboat, and that is why Jim was visiting the houseboats three days earlier (in episode 4). Roy rushes for the moped to tell Harry.

After visiting Mrs Wainwright the boys argue about Roy's news, Harry would not believe that his friend Rollo would let him down. The only way to settle it would be to confront the old man, and all three set off on motorbike and moped back to the houseboat.

The boat is empty as Rollo has fled. They search his room and Roy finds a half-burnt old envelope with an Avebury postmark. Harry says that Avebury is a village with a prehistoric stone circle. Vicky recalls the strange clue they found earlier in the garage (in episode 4), which resembles the layout of stones at Avebury. "Follow stones to lump, don't you see?" The boys rush to the garage to copy down the original clue.

The boys lost in the countryside at night
They are still not sure what "lump" means - Harry suggests "a big stone that looks like a sugar lump" - but decide they will find out when they get there. It is late at night and darkness is falling, but Harry thinks they can make it by midnight. Harry tells Vicky to go home and checks his AA map book. The boys set off for Avebury.

Rollo Perkins is also making for Avebury by train. He reaches Marlborough and telephones Jim to warn him that the boys are on to them. Meanwhile Roy and Harry are racing down country lanes. They find a signpost that points them to Andover is Hampshire, but nowhere near Avebury. They take track that ends in a field and realise they are lost in the countryside.

7. The proof we need... 15 Jun 1971
 
The house by the clump of trees
Harry and Roy plod on, up and down country tracks and hills. Roy trips over the bike while crossing a stream and gets soaked. Eventually they abandon the bike in the woods and finally reach Avebury at dawn.

Meanwhile Jim and Georgie have collected Rollo and gone to a big house in Avebury where they are joined by three other men.

The boys cannot find a stone shaped like a sugar lump, but Roy realises that the word may actually have been clump, as in clump of trees. Just behind a large clump of trees they find a large house. They creep around and spot two strange men, obviously other crooks, and they realise they will be outnumbered. Roy wants to go the local police, but Harry insists they have to make sure the furniture is inside the house first - that's the proof they need.

They find an open door that leads down to the cellars and creep inside. The cellars are empty so they go on, up the stairs to the ground floor of the house. At the end of a corridor they spot a tough-looking man guarding a door, and think they have found the furniture at last.

They burst in
Harry kicks the door of a nearby bathroom, the burly man comes to investigate and the jump on him, push hime into the bathroom and lock the door. The boys rush down the corridor and burst into the room where they confront, not any furniture or antiques, but all three crooks Jim, Georgie and Rollo.

Jim and Georgie attack the boys, and the three strange men burst through the doors and join in, kicking and punching. Everybody is fighting everybody.

The crooks are arrested and the police inspector tells his story

A voice says "what on earth do you two think you're up to?" and the boys see the police inspector and Vicky at the door.

After the boys set off the night before Vicky had gone straight to the police and told them the whole story. They had all come straight down to Avebury in police cars and arrested the crooks, then waited for the boys to arrive to make identifications. Harry and Roy had been creeping around the house past plain clothes police officers, they had found the crooks already under arrest and nearly given them a chance to escape. The police had recovered the furniture and found copies of pages from Danelli's delivery book, explaining how they knew to hijack the second vanload of antiques.

Later on back in London, Harry is packing up to leave the houseboat. He still cannot believe Rollo's betrayal and attempts to frame him, they had known each other for a long time and Rollo was Harry's hero. He has decided to return home and help look after his mum, and started redecorating the shabby old house for when Mrs Wainwright comes out of hospital. Roy has given Vicky his camera as a gift and she has started using it. Roy says that he "wouldn't be surprised if she didn't finish up as a slap bang high-class West End photographer."

Vicky, Harry and Roy sing their song
Roy is on the lookout for another job, and even considering a return to sea. He and the Wainwrights sing a final song together:

It's over, it's all over, that's our lot!
It's over, it's all over, no more plot!
We've caught the crooks and cleared our name.
We'd love to do it all again.
But it's over it's all over, that's our lot!
It's over, it's all over,
It's over, it's all over,
It's over, it's all over, we're through!

I haven't made my fortune, sure, but I've made some friends - that's worth much more!


Credits

Most cast credits were published in the Radio Times for the first broadcast. I have guessed the characters played by Powell Jones and John Caesar based on characters who had speaking roles in the episodes for which they were credited.

Starring

Kenneth Gardnier as Roy Speed
Stephen Bradley as Harry Wainwright
Pamela Moiseiwitsch as Vicky Wainwright
Hilary Mason as Mrs Wainwright
Michael Forrest as Jim "Slattery"
Talfryn Thomas as Jim's foreman / Rollo Perkins
Godfrey Jones as Mr Mullins
Leonard Kingston as Georgie
Barrie Fletcher as Chief Inspector
Powell Jones as Mr Danelli
John Caesar as van driver

Script by Leonard Kingston
Produced by Andrée Molyneux

In The Archive

All seven episodes of this story are listed in the free online version of the BBC Programme Catalogue - indicating that all episodes exist complete in the BBC archives.

This is unprecedented for Television Club as normally only a few example episodes of each unit have been kept by the BBC.

A Sequel?

I think that Roy from Roy and the Danelli Job is the same character as Roy from the Look and Read story Len and the River Mob.

Len and the River Mob was created three years earlier, by the same producer and the same writer, and was aimed at children about 3 years younger than Television Club's audience.

Take a look at these other similarities between the two and see if you agree.


Len and the River Mob Roy and the Danelli Job
  • Written by Leonard Kingston (from a story by Roy Brown)
  • Written by Leonard Kingston
  • Produced by Andrée Molyneux
  • Produced by Andrée Molyneux
  • With Kenneth Gardnier as Roy
  • Starring Kenneth Gardnier as Roy Speed
  • Roy is a sailor from the West Indies
  • Roy is a sailor from the West Indies
  • Roy's ship berths at the London docks
  • Roy's ship berths at the London docks
  • Roy is seen flinging water over the side of his cargo ship, so he could be a cook
  • Roy is "second cook on a cargo ship" per the teacher's notes
  • Roy loves to sing and play his guitar
  • Roy loves to sing and play his guitar
Roy singing to Len and Pat
Roy singing to "Mr Slattery"


Sources & References

  • BBC (1971) Television Club Notes for the Teacher, Summer 1971. ISBN 0 563 10074 5
  • Fawdry, Kenneth (1974) Everything But Alf Garnett: A Personal View of BBC School Broadcasting, London: BBC. ISBN 0 563 12763 5 pp.148-9
  • Kingston, Leonard (1971) Roy and the Danelli Job, London: BBC. ISBN 0 563 10073 7
  • Radio Times programme listings, 1971 and 1974
  1. Information about creating the character and Kenneth Fawdry quote from Fawdry (1974) pp.148-149.
  2. Reference to Harry's hotheaded personality and quote about "the major part of the plot would never occur" from BBC (1971) p.1.
  3. Invitations for children to submit work and offer of Television Club certificates in BBC (1971) p.2