“Ladies, This Is Our Time” The Women Of Great Paxford Pull Together In Home Fires

Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

There is something profoundly moving about watching men go off to war, whether fictional or otherwise it’s a very upsetting experience. That was the situation many of our Great Paxford Ladies this week, as one by one their husbands and loved ones started to volunteer or get called up for duty.

Kate and Nick
Remember last week, when Kate Campbell was swept off her feet by a handsome young airman, Nick? Well during war time things moved at an alarming pace as everyone lived to seize the day. After sleeping together, Kate asks Nick if he loves her. He tells her yes, and then proposes. They marry within a fortnight. Although shocked and saddened at first, Dr and Erica Campbell soon get on board with the idea, deciding life is too short to hold out on love.
Their wedding is quaint and charming and also very poignant when you realise this is probably the last time the village will all be together.

Claire and Spencer
This adorable young couple finally got their first date, and all goes swimmingly. They arrange to meet again, only Spencer stands Claire up. She finds him and asks him to explain, and he says his call-up papers had arrived. He doesn’t think it’s fair to get involved with her when he’s about to go to war, so poor Claire is left heartbroken.

Women at War
Joyce (we all strongly suspect) reports Frances to the War Committee for having wrought iron gates. They promptly remove them to melt down and use the metal for the war effort. Frances then proposes to the food committee that all spare land be used for growing crops for the people of Great Paxford. That includes Joyce’s tennis courts. Joyce then reports the WI for not having a tea and biscuit licence… This could run and run. However, it was rather touching to see them benignly smiling at one another during Kate’s wedding, and sitting together at the reception. An uneasy truce, maybe?

Mrs Scotlock the Bookkeeper
Ouch. Mrs Scotlock agrees, under sufferance, to cook Mr Driscoll’s books. She really has no other choice, and the ten guineas definitely help toward the vets bills for Boris. At Kate’s wedding, she is asked to dance by a handsome stranger, who then tells her he works for a medical supplier and knows Mr Driscoll. Mrs Scotlock is now backed into a corner and has no choice but to take him on as a client as well.

Stan and Steph
Farmer Stan is exempt from call-up duty because his work is already considered imperative to the War efforts. He feels like it’s his duty to fight and can’t get it out of his mind. Steph tells him to go because otherwise he will be no use at home. Heartbreaking stuff from this lovely couple.

Adam and Sarah
The same goes for the vicar and his wife. Adam feels he should be ministering out on the front line, and Sarah wants him to stay home and serve his parish. He heads off on the same bus as Stan, and the village wave them goodbye.

Pat and Bob
Things take a much more violent turn this week and it’s incredibly upsetting to watch. Frances asks Pat to address the Food Committee as she is busy, and after a shaky, nervous start, Pat does brilliantly. She has great ideas, the committee really listen to her and everyone is buzzing… All except for Bob, that is. He was at the meeting to report on it for the local paper and after revealing this to Pat, he tells her she has humiliated him. He delivers an almighty smack that sends her, and the china, tumbling to the floor.

Concerned neighbours Dr and Erica Campbell knock on the door to see if everything is okay, and Bob tells them she took a fall while serving supper. Meanwhile, Pat is left sobbing and broken on the kitchen floor.
A few days later, Frances calls around to thank Pat for her marvellous speech. She barges into the house uninvited, and Bob tells her Pat fell while hanging a picture. Pat emerges with heavy make-up on to disguise the horrific bruise, but Frances can tell all is not well.

Bob bans Pat from going to Kate’s wedding, and during the reception Erica and Frances say they are worried about Pat. They realise the stories Bob told them don’t match but as with most cases of domestic violence in the 1930’s, things are swiftly moved on.

Fingers crossed Pat can seek help soon. Yet another stunning performance from Claire Rushbrook.

 

Becky Fuller

Lover of all things theatrical, literature related, musical and Gleeful. Writer, actress, wife and mother.
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