4th Feb 1915 · 24th Mar 1915 Podcast Storyline

Factory Matters

146 min Play story

The Marshall family business must switch to munitions production and adapt to wartime pressures.

  1. 4th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Issues at the arms factory

      Geoffrey and Alan discuss pay disputes, losing skilled armaments workers to the army, and the possibility of employing women

    2. What the workers want

      Over a hearty lunch, attended by a journalist, the industrialists discuss their problems and what the working class needs


    3. Changes at the arms factory

      Geoffrey overrides Alan's misgivings and orders him to find women to pack shells in the new, separate sheds

    4. Geoffrey gives Cressida good news

      A fond and joshing scene between husband and wife ends with the suggestion that marital relations are to resume

  2. 5th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Another arrival

      Geoffrey's brother has apparently returned from abroad - but has been arrested, drunk

    2. A reunion in the cells

      Cressida frees her husband's brother from the cells

    3. Johnnie tells his tale

      Like so many others of his generation, Johnnie has lived through experiences that profoundly changed him

  3. 6th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. A cheerful parting

      Robert must be off to discuss the new sheds and building work with Geoffrey, but he misses Joyce when away

    2. A deal is struck

      As the two men finalise their business, news comes in of a drunken factory worker climbing incomplete scaffolding

    3. A drunk on the scaffolding

      The men discuss how to get Danny down, or at least minimise damage if he falls

    4. Talking Danny down

      Inevitably, the drunken Danny suffers a terrible fall from the scaffolding

  4. 9th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Tea for four

      When he learns the Chadwicks are to work at Marshalls, Johnnie says he may look for a factory job himself

  5. 10th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Brothers at odds

      Johnnie represents himself as the champion of the international working class against his brother's capitalist instincts and support for the status quo

  6. 11th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Farewell to Danny

      There is more strife among the Chadwicks over the 'right' way to remember their father

  7. 13th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Johnnie holds forth

      Johnnie admits he co-owns Marshall's, which angers Fraser - but Johnnie offer's to put the Union's position to management

  8. 16th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Business over breakfast

      Geoffrey is concerned about life at the factory - especially now the women are there - while Cressida soldiers ahead with her own plans

    2. Johnnie's future plans

      Johnnie doesn't fancy working in the firm or going to war... so what will he do?

  9. 17th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 8

    1. The brothers talk business

      Initially opposed to the idea that his brother should work in the factory, Geoffrey slowly comes round to the advantages

    2. Johnnie seeks a job

      Lowther - and Geoffrey - are reluctant to have Johnnie on the shop floor, but decide to try the experiment

    3. The problem with Johnnie

      Johnnie believes his charm and fellow-feeling will overcome workers' opposition to his lack of training

    4. Winning Fraser over

      Johnnie persuades union man Fraser to speak to the men on his behalf

    5. The men decide

      The boss's brother tries to engage the men with his rhetoric, and is given a job of sorts

    6. A chat in the yard

      Johnnie discovers that Kenny is courting Edie

    7. An embarrassing move

      Johnnie declines a chauffeur-driven ride home, and declines dinner at home too

    8. Comradely confidences

      Johnnie offers to pass details of any promising radicals in the factory to Zamyatin's supposed revolutionary paymasters in Russia

  10. 18th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Doing a deal

      The differing demands of management, workers and government, and the army swallowing skilled men, leads to problems

    2. More horse trading

      Unused radiators are designated for use in the women's sheds

    3. Davy gets good news

      The promotion of Davy shows the compassionate side of Marshall's management

    4. A promotion for Johnnie

      Johnnie volunteers for the football squad to take the place of a man who has joined up

  11. 20th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. A fight at the factory

      A co-worker tells Edie her brother is in a fight

    2. A spanner in the works

      Johnnie's ineptitude, and his attitude, inflame his fellow workers

    3. A joke on Johnnie

      Johnnie changes into shorts for the football match, unaware the men play in their work clothes

    4. To the football match

      The over-protective Fraser warns his sister against getting too friendly with Davy

    5. Touchline commentary

      There is an undercurrent of threat in the suggestion that the healthy-looking football players should be in the army

  12. 23rd February 1915

    Scene 1 of 8

    1. Alan's home troubles

      Alan is protective - perhaps overprotective - of his sister, for reasons which will become clear

    2. Harsh facts to be faced

      Alan is facing a multitude of problems, with the women and Johnnie distracting the men, lack of labour, and lack of funds

    3. More trouble for Alan

      Quaker workers defect from Marshall's to the merchant shipyard up the road


    4. An angry exchange

      Johnnie virtually admits trying to bring down the system, and suggests women should work on the shop floor

    5. Yet more trouble

      Alan gets a telegram for Kenny, sent on by a weeping Mrs Stokoe, Kenny's mother


    6. Passing on bad news

      Kenny's soldier brother has been killed, and he cannot bear to face his mother's grief

    7. A modest proposal

      The day has cast Alan into a black mood

    8. Alan returns home

      We learn that Alan's sister Gladys had a drink problem, which is why he makes Beth keep her at home

  13. 25th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Kitty at the factory

      Johnnie shows Kitty off to Fraser and the men as if to prove he has friends - indeed, relatives - from the working class

    2. An awkward meeting

      Johnnie's attempts to engineer a friendship between the women is a disaster

    3. Geoffrey makes a speech

      Geoffrey uses the football team's victory as a tool to encourage workers to "pull together" with management

    4. Johnnie and Edie reconvene

      Edie is quite understandably suspicious of Johnnie's motives, but he protests he is only searching for "comrades"

  14. 26th February 1915

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. A delegation to Alan

      The men tell Fraser they plan to complain to Alan about Duncan's temperance proselytising

    2. A heated discussion

      Alan agrees to have a word with Duncan about his activities

    3. Comparing notes

      Fraser and Kenny discuss Duncan but also grief, and Fraser's mysterious past dismissal from the shipyard

    4. A victory for Duncan

      Duncan has persuaded Alan to sign the pledge of temperance

    5. Another walk home

      There is a hint, in his friendly overtures to Davy, that Fraser left the shipyard due to a 'misunderstood' friendship

  15. 2nd March 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. The Grahams settle in

      Geoffrey explains how good the war has been for all the businessmen along the Tyne, even the pacifist Quakers

  16. 3rd March 1915

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Fraser takes the blame

      Davy is late for work and Fraser takes the blame, while Kenny gets angrier and angrier

    2. Kenny lashes out

      The fight topples both Fraser and Kenny into the river

    3. Fraser on the carpet

      Alan makes a plea for greater understanding in the rough world of war

    4. Davy repays a favour

      Fraser mistakes Davy's attentions and attempts to embrace him

  17. 9th March 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. The day of the shoot

      Robert Lyle has been called in to repair a building at Collingwood damaged by a fallen tree, but he is somewhat busy

    2. On the shoot

      The business owners discuss the lack of men, investment and interest on the home front

    3. A picnic

      Cressida bets an industrialist that women will be doing men's work by the war's end

  18. 13th March 1915

    Scene 1 of 6

    1. The workers are angry

      The factory workers rib Davy as Fraser's "favourite" and protest that others get higher wages while their landlords profiteer

    2. Tensions increase

      Fraser almost attacks Kenny and to smooth things over - and quell speculation - suggests they all go to the Ballarat and have some girls

    3. A night out at the Ballarat

      Fraser and Kenny pressure Davy into going with a prostitute

    4. An awkward transaction

      A prostitute divines that Davy is a virgin - and the Ballarat is raided by police

    5. Down at the police station

      Davy is not only locked up but realises the prostitute he was with is a man

    6. Surprise after surprise

      Male prostitute Paul/Pauline has realised that Davy is actually a woman - a widow called Marion, she explains

  19. 16th March 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Politics over lunch

      Geoffrey and Cressida oppose Peter's ideas, but he finds an ally in Kitty

  20. 18th March 1915

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. Kitchener intercedes

      Workers and managers both have problems, in the shape of the government and the interfering Kitchener

    2. Davy's secret revealed

      Davy is taunted and then assaulted and revealed to be a woman

    3. Alan surprises Geoffrey

      Learning that Marion, posing as Davy, has worked as well as a man, Geoffrey keeps her on, but on a woman's half wage

    4. "Davy" explains

      Fraser tries to pretend he always knew 'summat was up' while Davy/Marion resents doing the same job for a woman's half wage

    5. Alan lays down the law

      Alan tells Johnnie to stop using the workplace to battle against Geoffrey, or he will be fired

  21. 20th March 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Marion's new situation

      The working men and women accept Marion easily, but there is tension between Kenny and Edie over Johnnie

    2. A bite of cherry tart

      Johnnie's bid to get Edie alone is thwarted: a ship has run aground and the beach is full of people collecting oranges

    3. Oranges on the waves

      When Marion criticises Johnnie, Edie sticks up for him - and expresses her romantic interest in him

  22. 24th March 1915

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. A fracas on the factory floor

      Kenny and Johnnie fight over Edie and Johnnie is fired: Kenny has signed up for the army and asked Edie to be his sweetheart

    2. A new idea for Johnnie

      Geoffrey warns Johnnie about his ability to antagonise people - he might end up shot with one of the bullets Marshalls is now to make

Back to [title]