Still Angry After All These Years?


02A Kind Of Loving2004110220060727

Stan Barstow's 1960 classic, set in West Yorkshire, tells the tale of Vic Brown, a bored draughtsman who gets his girlfriend Ingrid pregnant and has to marry her.

Are the post-industrial North and its inhabitants still 'gritty'? We take Stan back to Wakefield and Dewsbury to find out what today's Vic Browns are up to.

Among the people he talks to is the deputy editor of the Dewsbury Reporter - who judged a beauty contest with Stan 40 years ago and who still, like Ingrid, believes in the virtues of home, a clean hearth and whiter-than-white nappies.


The book that made Barry Hines famous (its full title is A Kestrel for a Knave) tells the tale of secondary modern dunce Billy Casper and the kestrel he catches and trains. It's set in a mining village near Barnsley. Now the pits have gone, where do the lads dream of flying to? We take Barry back to Hoyland Common, where he was born and brought up; see the place where Barry's brother found a kestrel - the incident that led to Kes; revisit his old junior school; and talk to boys at Kirk Balk comprehensive school - where Barry once taught PE and English - about their dreams, aspirations and hobbies.

04The Sporting Life2004110420060810

Published in 1957, David Storey's novel focuses on rising rugby league star Arthur Machin and his antics on and off the field. Writer and TV presenter Ian Clayton, standing in for Storey, talks to members of Featherstone Rovers rugby league club about how the game has changed, and how the goalposts have moved for aspiring young sportsmen. Among his interviewees are former international player David Hobbs, and two of the club's latest signings - both French. What would Storey's macho anti-hero, Arthur Machin, have had to say about that?

05 LASTUp The Junction20041105

Published in 1963 when its author, Nell Dunn, was in her mid-twenties, Up the Junction depicts episodes from the lives of three young women who live in Battersea, work at a sweet factory and go out with boys on bikes.

Do today's south London girls still dream mainly of make-up and boyfriends? We talk to a group of them about the book - which was made into both a TV and feature film in the 1960s - and look at the changes that have occurred over the past 40 years to the people and places around Clapham Junction.