When the Boat Comes In (1976): S02E01 – Ask for Twopence, Take a Pence


When the Boat Comes In is a British television period drama produced by the BBC between 1976 and 1981.

Set in Gallowshields on Tyneside between the two World Wars, this story follows the life of ex-sergeant Jack Ford and the Seaton family as they deal with the aftermath of the Great War, the Great 1920s Depression and trade union activists.


Jack is now the district secretary of the fitters union, and he appoints Matt as his deputy. Les Mallow still wants Jack’s job and reveals that his predecessor had agreed to ask for a two-pence an hour pay increase. Jack discovers that the plan was to settle for a penny. Mallow says that Jack must deliver this to keep his job beyond the probationary period. Jack persuades Sir Horatio Manners, now chairman of the large Lewis Bishop shipyard, to concede the extra penny to keep him rather than Mallow as union secretary. But Jack is now in Manners’ debt.

When the Boat Comes In Series

You can find a full index and overview of When the Boat Comes In here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 29 October 1976.
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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