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Carrie’s War (BBC-1 1974, Juliet Waley, Avril Elgar)



In Carrie’s War with the Blitz on London in full swing during world war two, Carrie (Juliet Waley), her brother Nick (Andrew Tinney) and a trainload full of other children are being evacuated to the Welsh countryside. They are taken in by the kindly Louisa  (Avril Elgar) and her shopkeeper brother Albert Evans (Aubrey Richards) who is rather stern and strict. Carrie and Nick make friends with fellow evacuee Albert Sandwich (Tim Coward) who has been placed with Louisa’s cousin Dilys Gotobed and her housekeeper Hepzibah Green (Rosalie Crutchley) who lives at the farmhouse Druid’s Bottom.

Mr Evans and the ageing and infirm Mrs Gotobed no longer speak because of an incident in the past but Carrie is keen to see the two re-united.

Carrie’s War is a much loved childrens serial, completely filmed on location in the quiet Welsh mining village of Blaengarw. Although set during world war II it is actually more about the dynamic between the two families and the “war” that Carrie faces in bringing them together. It’s completely charming, beautifully filmed and there is a nice coda where Carrie in the 1970’s takes her own children to visit the village she was evacuated to.

Railway locations by permission of the Severn Valley Railway. The five x25 minute serial, based on the novel by Nina Bawden, was broadcast on BBC One between 28 January and 25 February 1974.

There was a larger budget feature length version of the novel mounted in 2004.

production details
UK / BBC One / 5×25 minute episode / Broadcast 28 January – 25 February 1974

Writer: Marilyn Fox / Novel: Nina Bawden / Executive Producer: Anna Home / Costumes: George Ward / Camera: Eugene Carr / Production Design: David Crozier / Director: Paul Stone

TIM COWARD as Albert
AVRIL ELGAR as Lou Evans

1. EPISODE ONE (Broadcast 28 January 1974)
Carrie and her brother Nick are amongst a number of evacuees sent to Wales to escape the worst ravages of the second world war. Carrie makes friends with a boy called Albert Sandwich, Carrie and Nick are taken in by fussy shopkeeper Albert Evans and his sister Lou. Albert, meanwhile, goes to stay with wealthy but strange elderly Mrs Gotobed who is also a sister of Mr Evans.
With:- VALERIE GEORGESON as Miss Fazackerly / VALMAI JONES as Lady in Hall

2. EPISODE TWO (Broadcast 4 February 1974)
Visiting Albert at Mrs Gotobed’s home called Druid’s Bottom Carrie and Nick meet the backward but kindly Mr Johnny and housekeeper Hepzibah.
With:- PATSY SMART as Mrs Gotobed

3. EPISODE THREE (Broadcast 11 February 1974)
Mr Evans doesn’t like Carrie and Nick spending time at Druid’s Bottom, and he doesn’t like his sister seeing a Yank soldier. Evans cheers up when his son Frederick comes home on leave. Mrs Gotobed dies making arrangements in her will for Mr Johnny and Hepzibah to stay in the house, much to the chagrin of Evans. With:- DAVID CARGILL as Major Harper / SEAN ARNOLD as Frederick / PATSY SMART as Mrs Gotobed

4. EPISODE FOUR (Broadcast 18 February 1974)
Carrie and Albert are convinced that old Evans has taken the will of Mrs Gotobed to get his hands on the house but they can’t prove it. Carrie and Nick’s mother sends a letter to say they will be moving up to Scotland with her (so they can be near their sailor Father).
With:- ELVET DAVID as Minister

5. EPISODE FIVE (Broadcast 25 February 1974)
With Carrie and Nick making preparations to leave Auntie Lou suprises everyone by running off to marry her Yank soldier. On the train home Carrie and Nick see what they think is Druid’s Bottom on fire. 30 years later Carrie returns to Druid’s Bottom with her two children and is amazed to find Hepzibah and Mr Johnny and Hepzibah still living there.
With:- SHIRLEY DIXON as Carrie Senior / CASSIE STONE as Carrie’s Daughter / NICHOLAS SYMONS as Carrie’s Son