in that situation, and that’s why there’s hostels and places for homeless a movement, it’s just a film. During this time Cathy gives birth to her third child, a girl they call Marlene. and as part of their skills training the young people have made a film of their got to project forward, but it can change things. awareness of the problem of homelessness in the UK as it did to revolutionise In 2011 the play was re-released on DVD by 2 Entertain with audio commentary by Loach. Inside Out tells The impact With Cathy Come Home, screened in November 1966, the pair cemented their professional partnership and the working methods that had been so hard won … In addition, SFTS has seen a surge in the number of individuals arriving with more profound mental health needs, people experiencing psychosis, for example, or who are actively suicidal. came up with the script which focuses on one young couple, struggling to stay All of a sudden, with The Wednesday Play and Ken, there was a newness that fitted into the way I was thinking at the time. After the first transmission in 1966, the play was repeated on BBC1 on 11 January 1967, 13 November 1968 and again on BBC2 on 11 August 1976. shouldn't be complacent about thinking that everything's OK now because there's on accommodating families were being rewritten. The play produced a storm of phone calls to the BBC, and discussion in Parliament. By coincidence, another charity for the homeless, Shelter, was launched a few days after the first broadcast. Adil discovers Read Ken Loach talking about Cathy Come Home. Quite apart from the stress and upset this causes for all involved, it is an absurdly inefficient use of resources, but with services in constant crisis mode, a lack of supported accommodation and waiting lists for specialist services stretching to a year or more, they have few options. This produced shots some traditionalists thought "not technically acceptable". It was watched by 12 million people – a quarter of the British population at the time – on its first broadcast. 50 years on, Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home is as powerful as ever This 1966 TV play on a young woman’s descent into homelessness has lost none of its impact. he also examines fears that British culture is already compromising traditional So, with the government's introduction of the teaching of 'British Values' a nerve - Cathy's story created a political storm, British On 31 July 2016 it was repeated on BBC Four as part of a retrospective on 1966 & repeated again on BBC Four on 13 November 2016. News - Brown's speech and Britishness, Raw Across the country, councils were examining their housing policy, and rules In the light of public reaction to the film, and following a publicity campaign led by Willam Shearman and Iain Macleod highlighting the plight of the homeless, the charity Crisis was formed the following year in 1967. And when their mental health deteriorates, as can happen in days, SFTS must try to negotiate with overstretched crisis teams to have them readmitted. At the start of the film, Cathy leaves her parents' overcrowded rural home and hitchhikes to the city, where she finds work and meets Reg, a well-paid lorry driver. says Geoffrey Poole, Professor of Composition. The harrowing final scenes, as Cathy's The family then moves to a caravan parked in a camp where several other families are already living in caravans, but the local residents object to the camp and set it on fire, killing several children. we visit St Basil's, a Birmingham based organisation which works with young people [2][3] Filmed in a gritty, realistic drama documentary style, it was first broadcast on 16 November 1966 on BBC1. The Inside St Basil's works with young people to help prevent homelessness, Cathy's allotted time at the shelter expires while Reg is away, and she and her two remaining children (one having been sent to live with Reg's mother) have nowhere to go. To hold somebody accountable for a situation they have no power to alter, to increase the pressure by means of threats and penalties if they fail to make changes they have no capacity to make, is a reliable means of breaking a person down. about the lack of homes available to people on low incomes. years on, we ask whether anything has really changed for homeless people. Fitzpatrick, Suzanne, and Hal Pawson. Actor Ray Brooks (now in Eastenders) describes how playing Cathy's husband Out took a group of teenagers from St Basil's to meet the director, Ken Loach, More producer, Tony Garnett. In 2003 the play was released on VHS and DVD by the British Film Institute with an audio commentary by Loach, and original production documentation (the BFI has screened the play on numerous occasions, including in a 2011 Ken Loach film festival). But he remains Forty young people ask Ken Loach whether he thinks Cathy Come Home really made a difference of families are in homeless accommodation. exclusive - read the St Basil's teenagers' diaries. made people angry...", Director TV drama has become known as one of the most influential programmes in history. says: "I think the change that came about because of Cathy “They walk the streets,” she tells me. & Worcester ShropshireStoke The harrowing final scenes, as Cathy's children are taken into care, caused an outrage. "It achieved something, in the 1960s. "It was sad, "A film can agitate a little, illustrate, but it’s A 1998 Radio Times readers' poll voted it the "best single television drama" and a 2000 industry poll rated it as the second best British television programme ever made. educate, organise. But despite the many obstacles he's faced, he has a gift Jeremy Sandford, a writer from Herefordshire, Inside Out looks at the television play's connections with the West Midlands. led to a fierce debate about homelessness in Britain. Director Ken Loach talks about the impact of the 1966 TV play Cathy Come Home. Cathy soon becomes pregnant and must stop working, and Reg is injured on the job and becomes unemployed. Fifty years after Cathy Come Home, it’s high time we invested in providing some. play was brought to our screens by Ken Loach, a director from Nuneaton, and Birmingham-born The play was written by Jeremy Sandford, produced by Tony Garnett and directed by Ken Loach, who went on to become a major figure in British film. Muslims join the debate about British values. According to the 2014 health audit, conducted by the charity Homeless Link, 45% of homeless people have been diagnosed with a mental health problem, a figure that is roughly double the national average. Cathy Come Home made its impact 40 years ago so how He says that the film did set out CountryCoventry & WarwickshireGloucestershireHereford as he finally hears his music played by a professional string quartet. of people’s situations - and that it wasn’t their fault that they were BBC Asian Network's ", Loach's naturalistic style helped to heighten the play's impact. In the light of public reaction to the film, and following a publicity campaign led by Willam Shearman and Iain Macleod highlighting the plight of the homeless, the charity Crisis was formed the following year in 1967. As it happens, it is also five years since I wrote about Shelter from the Storm (SFTS), a London night shelter where I used to volunteer. Cathy’s mental health deteriorates and she struggles to contain her frustration, her outbursts regarded as further evidence of personal failing. Rent rises coupled with job insecurity, zero-hours contracts and benefit sanctions have led to a massive increase in homelessness and in the mental health problems this often leads to. Find local news, entertainment, debate In the mid 1960s there was large were filmed. BBC Four also aired this drama on 5 and 11 June 2003 (shown as part of Time Shift). The play broached issues that were not then widely discussed in the popular media, such as homelessness, unemployment and the rights of mothers to keep their own children. that the slums may have gone but the housing crisis is still with us. usContact the West Midlands team with the issues that affect you. "We in that there was a change in the law that fathers wouldn’t be refused accommodation BBC They move in with Reg's mother, until tensions develop between her and Cathy in the crowded flat. Cathy Come Home is a 1966 BBC television play by Jeremy Sandford, produced by Tony Garnett and directed by Ken Loach, about homelessness. Ken Loach and Jeremy Sandford had been summoned to a meeting of Birmingham Council's be like that, then we’d listen and change things.". Reg influenced his career and his approach to acting: "It’s It was also screened by Channel 4 on 31 March 1993 as part of a season of programmes on homelessness, and by BBC Four in a season on the same subject in 2006. Unscrupulous landlords, family breakdown, a negligent employer, and, above all, a dearth of affordable housing are the true cause of Cathy’s predicament and yet she is told again and again to “sort herself out”, as though all that is lacking is an adequate exertion of will. own in conjunction with First Light Movies. The play was shown in the BBC's The Wednesday Play anthology strand, which often tackled social issues. “They’ve got nowhere else to go,” says Scott. The cinematographer was Tony Imi. to prevent homelessness - and we find out what the teenage residents make of Cathy However, she dies suddenly and an agent of her nephew and heir appears at the door demanding all the back rent, which they are unable to pay. Many scenes were improvised, and some include unknowing members of the public, such as the final scene in which Cathy's children are taken from her at a railway station (none of the passers-by intervened).[4]. I wasn’t born when the film was first shown, yet the sense of hopelessness it conveys, the spectre of the individual smashed repeatedly against the rocks of a rigid, impersonal system is shockingly familiar. The shortage of beds means that staff are under pressure to unblock them, even if this means discharging people to a night shelter. Research this year for the charity St Mungo’s found that in London the number of people sleeping rough with an “identified mental health support need” has more than tripled over the past five years. Familiar, too, is the misattribution of blame to the individual, rather than acknowledging the wider causes of their situation. and cities there's still a lack of affordable housing, so places like St Basil's It is … together after a series of misfortunes. always said that the people we are making the film about are the experts, not The Reg leaves the area to seek employment. BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites. people across the West Midlands to help prevent homelessness. And the situation is getting worse. Midlands has one of the largest Muslim populations in Britain, yet the beliefs One commentator called it "an ice-pick in the brain of all who saw it". me.". the voices of people telling their own stories. The impact of Cathy Come Home was immediate. investigates whether Muslim values can ever be seen as truly British. broadcast on 16th November 1966, 12 million people watched its transmission which There have been several instances of clients being sectioned. Legacy of Cathy Come Home should fuel fury over homelessness. with their families, but that was quite a small victory.". We It is well established that homelessness has a negative impact on mental wellbeing, and people with mental health problems are also more likely to become homeless in the first place.