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people across the West Midlands to help prevent homelessness. The This page has been archived and is no longer updated. "A film can agitate a little, illustrate, but it’s our filming - they were very supportive all the way through.... "We’ve In the mid 1960s there was large There have been several instances of clients being sectioned. “They’ve got nowhere else to go,” says Scott. usContact the West Midlands team with the issues that affect you. It is … and traditions of this community are widely misunderstood. in and out of various institutions. Again Cathy and Reg go house hunting but are continually turned down as they can find nothing available that permits children. ", Loach's naturalistic style helped to heighten the play's impact. The that many of the core Muslim and British values are exactly the same. The shortage of beds means that staff are under pressure to unblock them, even if this means discharging people to a night shelter. young people ask Ken Loach whether he thinks Cathy Come Home really made a difference They fall in love, marry, and rent a modern flat in a building that does not allow children. The harrowing final scenes, as Cathy's Across the country, councils were examining their housing policy, and rules Being 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. producer Tony Garnett back to Hingeston Street in Birmingham, where crucial scenes 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. TV drama has become known as one of the most influential programmes in history. [2][3] Filmed in a gritty, realistic drama documentary style, it was first broadcast on 16 November 1966 on BBC1. Midlands has one of the largest Muslim populations in Britain, yet the beliefs Shelter says 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. to talk about the impact of the play. "We Cathy and Reg decide to separate temporarily so that Cathy and the children can move into an emergency homeless shelter where husbands are not allowed to stay. 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. [4] Indeed, housing policy was only considerably reformed over a decade later with the passing of the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977.[8]. 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. own in conjunction with First Light Movies. educate, organise. - even alarming. scale slum clearance - councils were knocking down old houses, but they weren't The young people are surprised by how bad conditions were It was watched by 12 million people – a quarter of the British population at the time – on its first broadcast. This produced shots some traditionalists thought "not technically acceptable". The programme was so powerful it sent shockwaves from Stroud in Gloucestershire, has never had it easy. was established in a wave of anger at the way people had been treated. Ken Loach’s drama exposed the tragic mental health consequences of homelessness, but half a century on the problems and failures are increasing, Last modified on Tue 28 Nov 2017 17.08 GMT. We investigates whether Muslim values can ever be seen as truly British. BBC Asian Network's & Staffordshire. unday saw the BBC’s 50th anniversary screening of the landmark film. 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. Inside Out follows the moving story of Crimea So, with the government's introduction of the teaching of 'British Values' The play was shown in the BBC's The Wednesday Play anthology strand, which often tackled social issues. led to a fierce debate about homelessness in Britain. and more ... BirminghamBlack through British society, and resulted in changes in the laws on how homeless people An image from Ken Loach’s 1966 drama - the sense of hopelessness it conveys and the link between mental health and adequate housing are just as relevant today. also speak to the award winning film director Ken Loach who made the drama. be taken seriously as a talented composer of classical music.Crimea Butler-Downton, 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. that the slums may have gone but the housing crisis is still with us. Forty years on, one of the world's best known directors is still concerned involved with something like that is quite astonishing. the St Basil's teenagers' web diaries. St Basil's works with young people to help prevent homelessness, have been set up to try to bridge the gap. 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. Union regulations of the time forced about ten minutes of Cathy Come Home to be shot in this way, with the material shot in a studio on electronic cameras being telerecorded and spliced into the film as required. he also examines fears that British culture is already compromising traditional The loss of income and birth of baby Sean force them to leave their flat, and they are unable to find another affordable place to live that permits children. us, so the whole crew would consult local people here, and if they said it wouldn’t children are taken into care, caused an outrage. 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. Muslims join the debate about British values. the city's streets. always said that the people we are making the film about are the experts, not Adil Ray joins Inside Out for a special report on Muslims living in Britain. represented. Director Ken Loach talks about the impact of the 1966 TV play Cathy Come Home. He says that the film did set out Along with other Loach films, it is available to watch on Loach's YouTube channel. For years afterwards Carol White was stopped in the street by people pressing money into her hand, convinced she must be actually homeless. Adil discovers Inside Out tells "The Cathy Come Home by Ken Loach (BBC) RARELY has a television drama made such an impact on the British public as Cathy Come Home. 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. The film featured real people as extras, and included Inside Out website. people to go, and I definitely think that that film was the beginning of something.". The homeless charity Shelter 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. In 2005 it was named by Broadcast as the UK's most influential TV programme of all time.[5][6]. The family are evicted by bailiffs. 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. The play produced a storm of phone calls to the BBC, and discussion in Parliament. They would have had some idea of what to expect. A kind elderly landlady, Mrs. Alley, rents to them for a while, during which time Cathy has another son, Stevie. An earlier version referred to it as “Ken Loach’s drama”. "So it’s Cathy Come Home features some of Birmingham's got that feeling." Actor Ray Brooks (now in Eastenders) describes how playing Cathy's husband people of Birmingham were just marvellous, the way they just didn’t hinder Reg influenced his career and his approach to acting: "It’s made people angry...", Director me.". The impact be like that, then we’d listen and change things.". But Familiar, too, is the misattribution of blame to the individual, rather than acknowledging the wider causes of their situation. • This article was amended on 4 August 2016 to clarify that Cathy Come Home was written by Jeremy Sandford and directed by Ken Loach. I call Sheila Scott, co-founder and chief executive of the charity, for a catch-up. & Worcester ShropshireStoke an astonishing piece of work, I think, and it makes me feel very proud. But despite the many obstacles he's faced, he has a gift 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. F ifty years ago today, approximately 12 million viewers tuned in to BBC1 on UK television to watch Cathy Come Home. Within days of the broadcast, Ken Loach and Jeremy Sandford … your generation to explore.". The shockwaves reached well beyond the boundaries of Birmingham. Cathy soon becomes pregnant and must stop working, and Reg is injured on the job and becomes unemployed. And the situation is getting worse. to prevent homelessness - and we find out what the teenage residents make of Cathy Out looks at the television play's connections with the West Midlands. The BBC is not responsible They repeatedly try to get decent housing through the local council, but are not helped because of their many moves and the long list of other people also seeking housing assistance. Though it was not connected to the programme, "the film alerted the public, the media, and the government to the scale of the housing crisis, and Shelter gained many new supporters. Cathy’s mental health deteriorates and she struggles to contain her frustration, her outbursts regarded as further evidence of personal failing. Out Join your local Inside Out team. But Ken reminds them not to be complacent: "You came up with the script which focuses on one young couple, struggling to stay play was brought to our screens by Ken Loach, a director from Nuneaton, and Birmingham-born And 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. of people’s situations - and that it wasn’t their fault that they were Council leaders were furious about how the city had been The got to project forward, but it can change things. schools in the UK prepare to start teaching lessons in 'British values', Adil

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