7th Aug 1914 · 8th Sep 2015 Podcast Storyline

The Wayward Macknades

134 min Play story

Spotlight on the impoverished, hardened Folkestone clan who lose a son

  1. 7th August 1914

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    1. The wayward Macknades

      Ralph offers to talk to Alice Macknade's landlord after her husband drank away the rent money, and to take their son Jimmy on the Sunday School outing

  2. 12th August 1914

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    1. A beating in the street

      Victor and Freddie step in to stop Bill Macknade beating up Ralph in the street

  3. 15th August 1914

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    1. The first troops depart

      The Graham family gather to see Freddie off: Isabel tries to help Ralph ease Florrie's mind, and suggests her mother hires Esme Macknade as a maid

    2. A sister's promise

      Freddie makes Isabel promise not to blame herself for the missing boys, and in return makes his mother hire Esme Macknade

  4. 18th August 1914

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    1. Inspiration strikes Hilary

      Beset by Bill Macknade and Archie's complaints of empty guesthouses, Hilary senses a way of turning bad news to good

  5. 21st August 1914

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    1. Mothers at odds

      Alice Macknade blames Adam for Jimmy's disappearance: Florrie ripostes by blaming Jimmy. They almost come to blows

  6. 4th September 1914

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    1. The dogfight

      Adam is walking a dachshund, a German dog, which is another excuse for the Macknades to attack

    2. No peace for the peacekeepers

      Norman and Monk are called to the harbour on another emergency

  7. 8th September 1914

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    1. The household is rocked

      Grief in all its manifestations: Ralph is practical, Sylvia indomitable, Isabel numb, Esme coarse

    2. Maids compare notes

      Esme vents her class hatred to the more forgiving Kitty: Isabel catches the end of her waspish diatribe

  8. 11th September 1914

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    1. A fight, a flight

      The brawl between Macknade and Stan forces Dieter from his hiding place in a boat

  9. 12th September 1914

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    1. Dentistry the Macknade way

      It is an inauspicious start to Alice Macknade's 36th birthday

    2. Ralph reaches out to Alice

      Alice is cheered by the offer of a marrow: it's something Joe can eat with his rotten teeth

    3. Alice tries to pawn her heirlooms

      Solly tells Alice her carving set is worthless, but offers her half a crown for her birthday

    4. Bill bothers his wife

      Alice shows Bill the worthless carving set but keeps quiet about the half crown, denying him his beer money

    5. Kitty and Alice share a kindness

      Alice shows great sensitivity to Kitty's plight: Kitty comments on Alice's black eye; they cut short their warm chat

    6. Bill spoils the celebration

      Bill destroys the dinner and savagely attacks Alice and Joe: Alice retaliates with the carving knife

    7. Norman encourages Alice to return home

      Alice fears for her safety if she returns to Bill, and insists she should be arrested

    8. Ralph visits the cells

      Having pinned Bill to the table with the knife, Alice asks Ralph to check on the family

    9. Bill at bay

      Still blustering, Bill nurses his wounded hand and pride, and it seems the law is on his side

    10. Just what I always wanted

      It is a measure of Alice's life with Bill that a cup of tea and a jail cell gives her happiness

  10. 15th September 1914

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    1. A memorial service on the Leas

      Gabriel breaks down, Sylvia steps up, and the Wilsons miss Dieter and Sam

    2. More bodies found

      Florrie reprimands Jack for talking to Joe Macknade during the service: but Joe told him two bodies were washed up, both adults, both English - not Sam, Jimmy or Dieter

    3. Confrontation on the pier

      Presented with a white feather, Joe decides to enlist to get away from his family: a reluctant Jack agrees

    4. Signing up for war

      Both lads offer themselves in service to their country, but it becomes clear Joe lacks schooling

    5. In the army now - or not

      While Jack has been accepted by the army, Joe has been turned down because of his bad teeth

  11. 17th September 1914

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    1. Gabriel in bad company

      Isabel tries to extract Gabriel from the pub as he is on the point of pawning his cufflinks

    2. Gabriel gets blotto

      Gabriel finds himself in sympathy with the maudlin Bill and rebuffs Hilary's attempts to help

    3. Esme to the rescue

      Esme's loyalty is to Gabriel now rather than her father: Gabriel realises he is losing his sanity

  12. 30th September 1914

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    1. Changed by prison

      Alice talks wistfully about the sea, about her husband's violence, and about death, much to Maggie's concern

    2. Esme clings to hope

      Alice hopes that her daughter's experience working for the Grahams will give her a better life

    3. Alice seeks absolution

      Ralph's interaction with Alice is motivated partly by sympathy, partly by guilt

    4. Florrie apologises

      Alice invites Florrie to the cinema and we learn Kitty is to be married

    5. Sweeter memories

      Alice remembers a nicer, more romantic Bill, but that he first attacked her a week before they married, when she was already pregnant

    6. An ultimatum

      Alice threatens suicide if Bill doesn't take the pledge and give up drinking; he reveals a slightly softer side

  13. 3rd October 1914

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    1. A clifftop encounter

      Alice reveals her dreams of a happy home, and that she believes Jimmy is dead: Florrie can't stop hoping Sam is alive

  14. 4th December 1914

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    1. Rummaging in the huts

      Mickey Macknade tempts Jessie into naughtiness - smoking, theft - and reveals he uses stolen cigarettes to placate his dad's temper

  15. 5th December 1914

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    1. Bill uses his fists

      We see how Bill Macknade works - needling his family until they lash out and he punishes them all viciously

    2. Ice for injured faces

      Joe decides to try and join up again, desperate to get away from his violent father

    3. An idea for Joe

      Turned down for the army again, Joe thinks he might be able to buy his way in

    4. Pawning the watch

      The Macknade boys take the watch to Solly, who may be suspicious of its provenance

    5. Brothers together

      Joe knows life - and even death - will be different for him than for the better-off, even if he gets into the army

    6. The end of their tether

      The Macknades discuss ways of getting Bill out of the way by fair means or foul - and Mickey reveals more of his sly nature

  16. 17th December 1914

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    1. Rallying the public

      The Germans have shelled British coastal towns: Archie uses this to play on the consciences of the unenlisted - and line his pockets

  17. 19th December 1914

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    1. A bedroom interlude

      A glimpse of what Alice Macknade wakes up to

    2. Turn and turnabout for the Macknades

      Bill has eaten almost all the food in the house; Ivy explains how Joe could join up; Ivor arrives to claim Bill, who joined up the night before, guaranteeing Alice an income

    3. A rude awakening for Bill Macknade

      Bill is drenched awake and shocked to hear what he has done, but the thought of pay - and other perks - change his mind

    4. Parting is sweet

      As soon as Bill goes off to the army, his family start to rejoice and plan what they will buy with his pay

  18. 24th December 1914

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    1. Florrie confides in Joe

      Facing the loss of Kitty as well as Sam, Florrie goes to see Alice: Joe, being polite, is late for his appointment

    2. By the skin of his teeth

      Although his wife disapproves of "charity cases" Dr Loxley agrees to fix Joe's teeth so he can enlist


    3. Extraction time

      Joe has not anticipated the pain and discomfort involved: Loxley introduces him to the idea of oral hygiene


    4. The dental aftermath

      Although in pain, Joe proudly shows off his new lower denture

    5. Joe returns home

      It looks like a happy Christmas at last for the Macknades, until Forrester arrives to arrest Mickey for theft

  19. 29th December 1914

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    1. The aftermath of a storm

      Joe and Forrester's chat represents an unlikely rapprochement between the Macknades and the forces of order

    2. A cricketer recruiting

      All sorts and classes - Joe, Humphrey, Laurie - sign up, gaining the cricketer's autograph in the process

    3. A revelation amid recruitment

      As the men explain the compulsion to join up, Mickey reveals a boy's body has been found in a pit

    4. A child's body found

      Sergeant Harris wants to do things by the book but Alice - and the whole town - want to know if the body is Jimmy's

    5. The family waits

      Alice needs to see the body that might be Jimmy's: Joe thinks it's best she doesn't. Both of them must wait until it is identified

  20. 30th December 1914

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    1. Macknades united

      Esme and Alice must rebuild their relationship after separation, and learn to grieve for Jimmy

    2. A rare moment of tact

      In a rare moment prioritising feeling over decorum, Sylvia conspires to forgive Esme's outburst

    3. Esme's secret anguish

      The ebullient, popular Toby apparently assaulted Esme - although he did not, as Nancy assumes, make her pregnant

  21. 2nd January 1915

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    1. Joe finally joins up

      For their various reasons, Joe, Laurie and Monk all sign up with Ivor - Joe in particular is exuberant as it makes him "feel like a man"

  22. 8th January 1915

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    1. Esme worries Alice

      Alice has a mother's intuition but Esme will not tell her what happened to her

    2. Bill attempts a reconciliation

      The army seems to have been the making of Bill Macknade, but Alice resists him, even in their shared grief for Jimmy

    3. Joe departs for the Army

      A passionate Alice makes Joe promise he won't die in war - a contrast to her feelings about Bill

  23. 10th September 1915

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    1. Frayed International Relations

      Maggie and Roy clash over Roy’s desertion and the danger it is bringing to the Macknade family. Roy, who cannot leave the house, temporarily loses his temper at Maggie’s insistence that he accept the seriousness of the situation, but Maggie remains resolute.

    2. A Sympathetic Sorority

      Jessie attempts to comfort an upset Maggie, who pretends that her despondency has been brought on by memories of her dead brother Jimmy. In an effort to cheer her up, Jessie offers to take Maggie with her to the theatre to see Miss Layton prepare a new act.

    3. Dressing a Deserter

      Maggie, inspired by the process of transforming Dolly via the magic of costumes, suggests the idea of dressing Roy like a woman in order to shield him from prying eyes. She quotes Ivy: ‘People see what they want to see’. Alice dismisses the idea but Roy proves receptive…

  24. 8th September 1915

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    1. The Returning 'Hero'

      Unable to bear leaving Alice, Roy has deserted and returns to his beloved. The two share a passionate reunion.

    2. Dealing with Desertion

      Maggie returns home and the situation is explained to her. She expresses her displeasure at the arrangement, citing Roy’s desertion and Alice’s infidelity. Alice attempts to defuse the situation.

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