by Matthew Lee © 2005


Originally Broadcast: September 1st – November 24th, 1985

Transmission Times: 7:15pm to 8:05pm

Regular Cast

Maurice Colbourne as Tom Howard (Series 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
Jan Harvey as Jan Howard
Tracey Childs as Lynne Howard-Dupont (Series 1, 2 and 6)
Edward Highmore as Leo Howard
Stephen Yardley as Ken Masters
Glyn Owen as Jack Rolfe
Robert Vahey as Bill Sayers
Susan Gilmore as Avril Rolfe
Tony Anholt as Charles Frere
Ivor Danvers as Gerald Urquhart
Willoughby Grey as Sir John Stevens
Cindy Shelley as Abby Urquhart-Hudson
Dulcie Gray as Kate Harvey
Patricia Shakesby as Polly Urquhart (Series 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
Nigel Davenport as Sir Edward Frere (Series 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6)
Ryan Michael as Orrin Hudson (Series 2)
Jeff Harding as Orrin Hudson (Series 3, 4, 5 and 6)
Sarah-Jane Varley as Sarah Foster (Series 2, 3 and 4)
Graham Pountney as Mark Foster (Series 2 and 3)
Francesca Gonshaw as Amanda Parker-Howard (Series 3)
Michael Loney as Mike Hanley (Series 3 and 4)
Sarah Lam as Anne Lee (Series 3)
Michael Denison as Admiral Redfern (Series 3, 4, 5 and 6)
Sian Webber as Emma Neesome (Series 4 and 5)
Kate O’Mara as Laura Wilde (Series 5 and 6)
Lana Morris as Vanessa Andenberg-Rolfe (Series 5 and 6)
Victoria Burgoyne as Vicki Rockwell (Series 5)
Andrew Bicknell as James Brooke (Series 5)
Charmian Gradwell as Jenny Richards (Series 6)
Paul Jerricho as Robert Hastings (Series 6)
John Rhean as Tony Munro (Series 6)

Regular Crew

Signature Tune and Incidental Music for the series were provided by Simon May and Leslie Osborne.


Always There, the signature tune for the closing titles of Series 2, was performed by Marti Webb with lyrics by Don Black.


Series 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 were produced by Gerard Glaister.


Series 6 was produced by Tony Rowe.


Series Producer for Series 6 was Gerard Glaister.


Series 1 was directed by Pennant Roberts (Parts 1, 2, 6, 10 and 11), Sarah Hellings (Parts 3, 4, 7, 12 and 13) and Tristan de Vere Cole (Parts 5, 8 and 9)


Series 2 was directed by Sarah Hellings (Parts 1, 2, 5 and 6), Tristan de Vere Cole (Parts 3, 4, 7 and 8) and Keith Washington (Parts 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13)


Series 3 was directed by Matthew Robinson (Parts 1, 2 and 5), Michael E Briant (Parts 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 and 11) and Frank W Smith (Parts 8, 9, 12 and 13)


Series 4 was directed by Tristan de Vere Cole (Parts 1 and 2), Alister Hallum (Parts 3, 4, 7, 10 and 11), Roger Jenkins (Parts 5, 6 and 8) and Graeme Harper (Parts 9, 12 and 13)


Series 5 was directed by Robert Reed (Parts 1, 2, 5 and 6), Peter Rose (Parts 3, 4, 7 and 8), Jeremy Summers (Parts 9, 12 and 13) and David Penn (Parts 10 and 11)


Series 6 was directed by Jeremy Summers (Parts 1, 2 and 3), Peter Rose (Parts 4, 5 and 6), Marcus DF White (Parts 7, 8 and 9) and Robert Reed (Parts 10, 11, 12 and 13).

Tom and Lynne Howard discuss selling the

Ken Masters agrees to Jan Howard's request.

Ken Masters receives a request from Jan Howard for a meeting.  

Episode 1: 

Written by Jill Hyem

In the south coast locality of Tarrant, the Commodore’s Cup has attracted the attention not only of the assembled sailing enthusiasts but the popular press as well. Amidst fierce competition, aviation designer Tom Howard sails on board the vessel he designed, the Flying Fish, accompanied by his son, Leo, and daughter Lynne. As they frantically make adjustments to rigging and sails as the vessel streaks into the lead, a luxury cruiser follows their every move: on board are his wife, Jan, and her closest companion, Polly Urquhart, both of whom are enjoying champagne as they support the Fish crew in their bid to secure victory.

At local boat-building concern the Mermaid Yard, proprietor Jack Rolfe is engaged in conversation with his daughter, Avril, over the prospects of Tom Howard’s bid to win the Commodore’s Cup.

Having narrowly avoided a collision with their closest rivals, when the Flying Fish is the first across the line (having sustained some minor damage below the water line), a rousing celebration gets underway on board both vessels, and continues at The Jolly Sailor Public House on dry land shortly thereafter.

Whilst the Howards enjoy a proud victory, those in attendance quietly speculate on Tom Howard’s future, as word is spreading that Southern Aviation (the company for which he had devoted twenty-two years of his life) is radically downsizing its Southampton operations.

At the Mermaid Yard, Jack discusses the desperate financial woes facing the business with Avril. After three months in Tarrant, she has assessed the worst of the damage affecting the Yard, and despite Jack’s assurances that a forthcoming German repair contract with extricate them from their plight, Avril remains unconvinced. When Jack suggests they discuss the situation over a drink, she despairs with her father, claiming that it always his solution to problems.

Driving home, the family enjoy singing a wide range of nautically-themed songs ahead of a bountiful lunch over which they joyously recount their memories of the victory. Jack reveals that he is due to have lunch with Laurie Meadows, the Mermaid Yard’s bank manager, the following day, and that he will convince the bank to extend their overdraft. He also discusses Avril’s return to Tarrant, and claims that one day she will have to explain the reasons behind her sudden departure from London and return to the fold. At the end of their lunch, Tom intercedes in the proceedings to reveal that he has been made redundant, surprising his children and shocking Jan even more so. When she presses him for an explanation, he reveals that the situation had been on the cards for a month, and that he kept it a secret from the family as he believed he could find another position before his final days at Southern Aviation. However, this having not eventuated, he must now rely on his redundancy settlement. Jan is angry that Tom did not confide in her earlier, and she storms from the dining room. Tom, realising he has handled the announcement badly, he endeavours to placate her. Jan angrily confronts him, demanding to know why he didn’t speak to her before announcing it to the family. She voices her concern that they once shared their worries, and as the pair exchange apologies, they speculate on their uncertain future. Jan is confident that Tom will find another job easily, but he angrily reveals that after a month-long search, he has been unable to find a new position. He reveals he will be unable to find a new aviation role at his time of life, and that his contacts have “melted away” upon hearing the news. He tells Jan that he considered an offer in Pretoria, and poses the question of leaving Tarrant; Jan expresses her desire to remain in the area, to which Tom counters by revealing he turned the offer down. Jan is upset that he had already made up his mind regarding a future decision without consulting her.

Meanwhile, Leo and Lynne try to come to terms with the news of their father’s redundancy. Tom reveals to his children that the family will be forced to trim their sails somewhat in the future (namely Lynne being forced to find gainful employment, the cancellation of their planned summer holiday in France, and Leo cutting back on expenditure ahead of his first-term attendance at Exeter University).

At The Jolly Sailor, Jack ruminates over his current predicament over a pint, and is joined by site foreman Bill Sayers. They discuss Avril’s bitter temperament of late (Jack believes a man is responsible for her guarded nature), the future prospects of the boatyard and their mutual past together.

With Tom having taken a walk to clear his thoughts, Jan emerges from her isolation and engages in a bitter exchange of words between herself and Lynne, with Leo acting as peacemaker.

On the banks of the River Hamble, Tom encounters Avril, who has also been endeavouring to clear her mind of personal matters. They are reunited after five years, and they discuss her return to Tarrant, the Commodore’s Cup victory and the news of his recent redundancy. At forty-four, Tom has reached a turning point in his life: having devoted so much time to a job in which he was far too comfortable, he now considers working on his own, running his own business. He is adamant he will not re-enter the rat race to be kicked in the teeth again, and his future lies in engaging in work on his own time. When the conversation turns to Avril’s time in London, she becomes evasive and does not want to discuss her recent past. Tom is surprised that he has spent half an hour bearing his soul to a complete stranger.

At the Howards’, Jan apologises for her exchange with her children. Whilst they are all hopeful that Tom will secure a new position, Jan is damned if she will be forced to scrimp and save once again. She speculates on whether or not Ken Masters, a local businessman, can offer her increased hours at Masters Chandlery, and Leo expresses a desire to work rather than go to University himself. She is shocked when he reveals he never wanted to go in the first place.

Later, Jan telephones Ken, whom she interrupts in bed with his girlfriend, Dawn. Breathless and half-naked, he is concerned when she asks to meet him the following morning to discuss “something important”. At the end of their conversation, he expresses his concern that she might hand in her notice, and reveals to Dawn that he would not want to lose her. When Dawn asks what Jan is like, he describes her as an ordinary housewife, and not in her league.

That evening, Jan and Tom discuss the situation as they prepare for bed. Determined to put his redundancy pay-out to good use, Tom is keen to secure a fresh occupation which will put his aeronautical expertise to good use. He expresses to Jan his desire to utilise the money and venture into independent design work, but she voices her concerns over the risks involved. Tom believes that is playing it safe has got him where he is today, perhaps it is time to take a few chances.

Meanwhile, Avril has a disturbed night’s sleep as she recalls her recent past in London.

The following morning, Tom visits the Mermaid Yard, at which the Flying Fish is being hauled into dry-dock for a preliminary assessment prior to repair work being undertaken. Jack assures him that a scratch like the one on Tom’s vessel would not affect the wooden ships that the Yard prides itself on, and the pair discuss the high-quality craftsmanship they predominately deal in.

At Masters Chandlery, Jan arrives for her early-morning meeting with Ken, at which she ventures the possibility of working more hours. Ken is hardly surprised at news of Tom’s redundancy, as he had been made aware of Southern Aviation’s cutbacks, and is more surprised when he learns that Jan was only informed the previous evening. Agreeing to her request, Ken is surprised that she has taken him up on his offer to work longer hours. He reveals he has other plans in mind for her future, which he will discuss with her at a later date.

At the Mermaid Office, Jack and Avril discuss Tom’s paint-job commission on the Flying Fish. When she counsels him to reduce the cost of the commission to something of a gift to Tom, Jack is surprised to learn he has been retrenched from Southern Aviation. He hurries to collect himself ahead of his lunchtime appointment with Laurie Meadows.

At the Howards, Leo and Lynne discuss their futures in light of their father’s redundancy before Tom arrives and invites them out on a picnic. Over lunch at the Yacht Club, Jan complains to Polly regarding Tom’s treatment of herself and the family with regard to keeping his redundancy a secret. She ruminates over the fact that they no longer discuss their problems, and whilst Polly assures her that he has the children’s best interests at heart, she reveals that her husband, Gerald, has hardly noticed that their daughter, Abby, is in Switzerland.

Nearby, Jack and Laurie Meadows enjoy a modest lunch whilst the former highlights the financial viability of the Mermaid Yard. Laurie pressures Jack into revealing the last and most lucrative design commission the Yard has enjoyed, and when he cannot provide examples more recent than two years previously, Laurie insists that unless incoming cashflow improves the loan the Yard has with the bank will be called in. When Jack implies that the German repair contract will bail the Yard out, Laurie highlights the fact that without confirmation in writing, the bank will foreclose the loan. Jack pleads with Laurie to lend a helping hand in his hour of need, but he is found wanting.

Jan reveals to Polly that Tom is tossing around the ludicrous idea of “going it alone”, and Polly assures her that they will need to find him a nice, safe job.

On the banks of the River Hamble, Tom and Lynne enjoy a quiet lunch-time picnic. She is concerned when Tom voices the option that they may have to sell the Flying Fish if their finances become depleted.

At the Mermaid Yard, Bill catches sight of Jack solemnly returning from his meeting with Laurie Meadows. When he approaches him for news of the meeting, Jack reluctantly reveals the bank intends to foreclose on the loan in the immediate future. He later reveals to Avril that they will be issuing an official letter later that day, and that the firm may not even be able to meet the wage bill over the coming months. They speculate over the future of the Yard, and Jack is at a loss to provide a solution.  He lets slip that he even married to secure the Yard, and whilst he believes his daughter was previously unaware of this fact, Avril confirms that she was told that when she was at school. When Bill reveals that the repair work on the Flying Fish is complete, Jack suddenly has the spark of an idea. He tells Avril that Tom Howard might be the solution to their problems, and he hastily telephones the man in question and invites him for a drink at the pub.

Over a game of Scrabble, Tom and Lynne discuss Leo’s meeting at the job centre in pursuit of paid employment. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a delivery driver, who presents Leo with a bouquet of flowers addressed to Jan – from Ken Masters.

Tom clashes with Jan over her desire to work longer hours at Masters Chandlery, and even more so when she expresses the fact that Ken has offered to establish some contacts for him in pursuit of a new position. Their tense exchange of words is interrupted by a telephone call from Polly, who reveals that Gerald has learned of a design position at the Civil Airforce Authority which would be ideal for Tom. When Jan broaches the subject with Tom, he insists that the position is entirely unsuitable, as it would involve increased commuting time and, despite the healthy salary, he is not going to endure another position he hates just to bolster her social status. Tom concludes that “I intend to spend the rest of my working life doing something I want to do”.

At the Mermaid Yard, Avril confronts Jack as to his intentions to soak up Tom’s redundancy money to temporarily bail out the company. She insists on having no part in his plans, as she could not forgive herself if the Yard finishes up bankrupt and Tom is destitute.

At The Jolly Sailor, Jack presents Tom with a proposal: inject his redundancy money into the Mermaid Yard, and come on board as a partner in what he has described as a thriving enterprise which could only benefit from his design acumen. The manner in which Jack frames the proposal is such that Tom may find the offer too difficult to resist: “Here, you could be master of your own little kingdom”.

With Sally Farmiloe (Dawn), Alan Downer (Laurie Meadows), Robert Ashby (Geoff) and Sam Davies (Brian).

NB: This first episode of the series was repeated three days later (on Wednesday evening at 8:00pm), with the subsequent edition broadcast the following Sunday evening.


Episode 2: 

Written by Jill Hyem

 “The biggest high I’ve had in years was designing the Flying Fish”. Jack takes Tom on a tour of the Mermaid Yard having made the partnership offer, and Tom tells him he will mull it over.

Jack then visits Avril at the Thatched Cottage to tell her about his proposition to Tom. She insists that he must come into the Yard with his eyes wide open, and will have to be shown the Yard’s books. Ken Masters meets Bill Sayers at the Jolly Sailor in a bid to learn more about the financial situation at the Yard and the morale of the employees. Hearing that all is not well, he instructs a friend to investigate a possible bid in the event that the Mermaid Yard goes bust, deeming it a useful addition to his marina holdings. Jan and Tom are still at loggerheads over the job she thinks he should take. He is determined to have something to show for his efforts when he turns fifty, and tells her that there is a possibility he may “go it alone”.

Tom, ruminating about Jack’s offer, meets Polly at Tarrant Station. She is traveling to London to collect her daughter Abby from the airport, having returned from a college in Switzerland. She stresses the importance of Tom accepting the job Jan has found for him as it would be a great weight off her mind.

She later has lunch at a fashion show with Abby, who has changed a great deal since she has been away. Avril calculates that the Yard owes the bank one-hundred-and-eighty-seven thousand pounds and is doubtful that Tom accept the offer. He arrives as a damaged boat (with repairs to its hull and keel required) is hauled into dry dock. He asks Jack if he can see the books before making a final decision.

Later, Avril runs through the books with him and he is puzzled as to why she is trying to put him off joining the Yard. Avril brands the Yard a “dead duck”, but Tom believes that dynamic changes could turn around their fortunes. He poses the question that if he did come into the business, where would her loyalties lie. Leo and Lynne discuss the distance between Tom and Jan of late, and decide it is time they both sought out work of their own to ease the financial burden.

Later, when Lynne sees her father leaving the Yard, Tom asks Avril not to speak to his family about his plans.

When Leo takes up a job at the Tarrant Filling Station (owned by Ken Masters), Ken is delighted to inform Jan that he has successfully employed another of the Howard clan. Seizing upon Jan’s appreciation for the flowers, Ken wants to discuss their future together. He proposes a “yachtsman’s supermarket” at Masters Chandlery and he wants Jan to run it. Despite her concerns at not having any experience, Ken says he is confident she has the flair to run it. She asks for time to consider his offer. In advance of Tom’s decision, Jack contacts the bank to advise them of his partnership with the firm, and that they will have their money by the end of the week.

However, it is far from a certainty when Tom visits Lloyds Bank later the same day to discuss investing his fifty-thousand-pound golden handshake and a further fifty-thousand-pound loan into the Yard. He wants an unsecured loan without using the house as collateral. Despite the manager’s misgivings about this arrangement, he secures the loan.

He meets with his accountant to review the Yard’s book and is told there would still be a sixty-thousand-pound shortfall with his hundred-thousand-pound cash injection. Thirty-thousand pounds short, he needs to find the capital soon.

Following an impromptu visit to the Chandlery (at which she met Jan), Dawn is suspicious of Ken’s motives with Jan. Ken insists that she does not visit him at work again (unless invited), otherwise they might have to rethink their “arrangement”.

Tom meets Avril and Jack and tells them that, in theory, he’s interested in the offer, but he can’t raise all the capital. She asks him whether or not he would consider selling The Flying Fish, but he says he’d never find a buyer in time. Avril offers to investigate any potential buyers. While Jack spreads the word that the Yard could be out of the woods, Avril is unable to find a buyer for the Fish. She contacts James Deverill, a friend of hers, and tells him she wants a favour and needs someone she can trust.

Later, she informs Jack that she has found a buyer on the East Coast, and contacts Tom to let him know that the buyer has offered twenty-thousand-pounds for the yacht. He tells Avril he will discuss his plans with Jan and get back to them as soon as possible. Jack is overjoyed, believing that Tom will be a “nine-day-wonder” and won’t interfere with the running of the Yard. Most importantly, he expects Avril’s support.

That evening, Lynne asks Jan what she thinks of Avril. Distracted, Jan counters her question by seeking her daughter’s advice about Ken’s offer.

Leo meets Tom at the Fish and proudly informs him that he’s got a job. Tom responds by hinting that he soon may have one too. He later tells Jan of his intentions, and she is appalled. He expected her support, but she won’t support what she considers an ego trip and a hair-brained scheme. Tom claims that if they can make a go of this venture, they can make a go of their marriage as well. Jan threatens to go her own way as well if he persists with this idea.

Storming out, Tom meets Avril at the Yard and says he’s made a decision: he tells her to sell the Flying Fish and draw up a partnership agreement.

With Sally Farmiloe (Dawn), Edmund Pegge (Basil), David Rise (Askew), Robert Ashby (Geoff), Octavia Taten (Julia) and John Challis (Morris).



Episode 3: 

Written by Jill Hyem

“I put up with it for his sake. To me, boats were always just a necessary evil. I never thought he’d let them ruin our lives”.

Avril Rolfe leaves the Mermaid Yard office ruminating on Tom Howard sealing the deal. At the Jolly Sailor, Jack Rolfe exchanges anecdotes with some drinking colleagues. His festivities are interrupted by the arrival of Avril, who reveals that he is coming in with the Mermaid Yard and that his solicitor will be in touch. Jack admits that it was lucky that Avril sought an owner for the Flying Fish, to which she awkwardly agrees.

At the Howard family home, Jan, Leo and Lynne reflect on the row between Tom and Jan. Tom returns home and the pair awkwardly make amends with one another. When Jan tries to counsel him to see sense, Tom reveals that he has already committed himself to the venture. As Leo and Lynne prepare to leave for the Konstam’s party, they discover that Tom has invested in the Mermaid Yard, and whilst they initially appear happy for their father, Jan angrily reveals that the Flying Fish, their savings and virtually all their assets have been sunk into the deal. Lynne is distressed as news that Avril Rolfe has secured a buyer for the Flying Fish and storms out, followed shortly thereafter by Tom. Having consoled her daughter, Tom returns to reveal that Leo will be attending the party alone, to which he reveals that he is attending with Polly Urquhart at her mother’s request.

Later that evening, Leo collects Abby and witnesses a tense exchange between Polly and Abby, during which the former suggests that Leo “launch” the latter at the party. However, no more than a mile from the Urquhart’s home, Abby asks to be dropped off as she does not want to attend the party and knows Leo does not want to accompany her. Jack and Avril Rolfe raise a toast to Laurie Meadows, the Mermaid Yard’s bank manager, as they discuss Tom Howard’s investment in the firm. Jack steers the conversation around to the circumstances which saw his daughter return from London to Tarrant, and although he has managed to ascertain that a man was involved, and that he was married, Avril refuses to discuss the situation at greater length. Somewhat awkwardly, Abby and Leo strike up a friendship and decide to take a walk to the Jolly Sailor for a drink. They discuss the fact that they are both outsiders in the affluent world of Tarrant, and Abby discusses her time in Switzerland, an enforced absence put upon her by her mother. She reveals she cannot swim, much to Leo’s surprise as Tarrant is such a water-based place. Their exchange is briefly interrupted when Avril Rolfe meets Leo as she leaves the establishment. Leo and Abby then discuss where their futures lie; the latter reveals she cannot see a future for herself.

That night, Tom and Jan continue to disagree over his choice of career path, with Jan accusing him of lacking any objectivity when it comes to boats. Tom pleads with her to understand his reasoning, but his advances in the bedroom are rejected. Polly Urquhart shamelessly flirts on the telephone with her colleague Geoff as they make plans to share her flat in London, but her conversation is interrupted when Abby returns home. Polly appears surprised that she spent the majority of the evening with Leo, and when she reveals that Abby’s father telephoned to apologise for not being in Tarrant to meet her, Abby ruminates on whether he was ever there for her. Leo returns home and discusses Abby with Lynne, and the pair reflect on the sale of the Flying Fish. The following morning, Tom arrives for his first day of work at the Mermaid Yard and meets Davinder (otherwise known as “Davey”), a first-year apprentice who congratulates Tom on the impressive Flying Fish and expresses a desire to construct such vessels at the Yard instead of just repair jobs. Tom implies that he may very well gets his wish in the future. Intending on meeting Jack Rolfe, Tom encounters Avril, whom he presses for an explanation as to the circumstances surrounding the hasty sale of the Flying Fish, but Avril avoids a direct response. They then plan the day ahead.

At Masters Chandlery, Jan arrives late for work and discusses her “gruelling evening” after Tom’s one-hundred-and-ten-thousand-pound investment in the Mermaid Yard. They discuss the risks associated with such a gamble, but Ken soon turns the conversation to his offer of a joint venture with Jan. She appears hesitant, and Ken presses her for a response. At the Tarrant Filling Station, Kate Harvey is served by Leo and the pair enjoy a reunion. Avril Rolfe assures James, her buyer for the Flying Fish, that his identity will remain a secret if she has anything to do with it. Jack arrives late for work and Avril remonstrates him for making a bad impression on Tom’s first day at the Yard.

Outside the site office, Tom and foreman Bill Sayers inspect one of the vessels under construction, whereupon Bill is forced to reveal that some of the work undertaken by the firm is behind schedule. Jack meets the pair, and when Tom presses him for an explanation arising out of the delays, Jack implies that it doesn’t matter how long the work takes, what is important is the effort which goes into it. At Masters Chandlery, Jan reveals to Ken that she plans to travel to Chichester to discuss the recent developments with Kate Harvey (her mother), and the pair ruminate on how she is determined to avoid the struggle her mother endured to bring her up. They discuss her need for money and his desire to utilise her undoubted talents, and whilst she insists he will want someone to start right away, Ken implies that he might be prepared to wait – for the right person.

At The Jolly Sailor, Tom and Avril discuss his first impressions of the Mermaid Yard over lunch. They also discuss the fact that he does not want Jan working for Ken Masters, and the close ties he enjoys with his family, and the strain upon those ties placed after his decision to join the Mermaid Yard. Avril discusses her past, the fact that her father married her mother to secure the Mermaid Yard, and Jack’s commitment to the construction of boats. Meanwhile, at home, Lynne puts a trophy secured whilst manning the Flying Fish out of sight as she reconciles herself to the fact that the vessel has gone for good. In Chichester, Jan arrives at Kate Harvey’s home to find her mother gardening. She seek’s her mother’s support in the stance she has taken against Tom’s decision (Kate having heard of events transpiring in Tarrant from Leo at the Filling Station), but when they venture on a relaxing walk in Goodwood, she finds that Kate is mutually supportive of her daughter and of Tim’s decision to join the Mermaid Yard.

At the Tarrant marina wharf and jetty, Lynne and Abby cross paths. Their pair discuss her time at finishing school in Switzerland, and when Abby reveals that one girl got herself pregnant after an illicit liaison with a man, Lynne reflects on the “poor cow’s” situation. When Abby asks her opinion on what advice she would give to the girl, Lynne becomes distracted by a male crew preparing a yacht for launch and does not respond. She later arrives at the Tarrant Yacht Club and meets sailing colleague Nick Holford. She discusses crewing on a decent yacht with a view to victory, and when Nick implies she may have to use her feminine wiles to secure a position on the team, Lynne insists her sailing ability should be merit enough. At Goodwood, Jan discussesd Ken Masters’ offer with her mother, who insists that she should take the same risks that Tom has done in order to forge out her own career path. Kate extends an offer to assist with the housework and looking after Leo and Lynne should she wish to accept Ken’s offer.

At the Mermaid Yard, under Avril’s guidance Tom puts pen to paper on the sale papers for the Flying Fish. Avril reveals that the new owner will be overseas for a short time and that he does not mind Tom making use of the vessel in his absence, which pleases him considerably. When Tom spies the label on the envelope to contain the sale paperwork and sees that James Deverill apparently resides in Chichester, he makes a note of the address details for future reference. When Avril reveals that she intends to send the paperwork to a completely different district, Tom is initially confused – but he suspects that Avril may in part be involved in the sale herself. At the Jolly Sailor, Jack and Bill discuss the new partnership deal over a pint, with the latter expressing his reservations that Tom will not be a sleeping partner in the activities of the firm, despite Jack’s assurances.

Following her meeting with her mother, Jan returns to Masters Chandlery and reveals to Ken that she has changed her mind and wants to accept the job. Excited, Ken invites her out to a drink to celebrate the deal and discuss their future endeavours. When Tom returns home, he is surprised to learn not only that Jan is out discussing business with Ken Masters, but Lynne has also put away the silver cup she won on the Flying Fish. Ruminating on the impact of his decision with Leo, their conversation is interrupted when Lynne arrives and reveals she has secured a position working behind the bar at Tarrant Yacht Club. Tom reacts angrily to his daughter’s decision, but Lynne is (albeit tearfully) adamant that she will work there. As Leo drives her by motorcycle to work, Tom receives a telephone call from Polly Urquhart who is trying to locate her daughter Abby. Assuming she may have been with Leo, she is concerned that she has received no word from her. Meanwhile, a tearful and pensive Abby Urquhart takes a walk along the shoreline.

At Tarrant Yacht Club, Leo and Lynne fall out over her material values and his ecological concerns which extend beyond retaining the Flying Fish and where his parents choose to work. As they make amends, Lynne proposes moving out of home, but Leo convinces her that they need to stick together as a family during this difficult time. As she starts work at the Club, Leo intends to take a stroll along the sea. Meanwhile, acting on the address details he secured at the Mermaid Yard, Tom decides to drive to Chichester to investigate the whereabouts of the new owner of the Flying Fish. Arriving at the address on the envelope, he is surprised when Mrs Deverill answers the door and reveals that James, her husband, does not sail and would not have purchased the vessel. In Tarrant, Leo witnesses Abby throwing herself off the wharf and into the sea. As she sinks beneath the surface, he rushes to her aid.

With Kulvinder Ghir (Davey), Tim Faulkner (Nick Holford), Kathleen Byron (Mrs Deverill) and John Challis (Morris).


Episode 4

Written by Patrick Carroll

“This yard is on it’s last legs and limping!”.


Having witnessed Abby Urquhart plunging into the River Hamble, a frantic Leo Howard rushes into the water after her, and despite her protestations he forcibly drags her ashore. Abby claims she slipped, but Leo is far from convinced with her explanation. Cold and shivering, he abandons his inquisition and offers to take her to his home to dry off.

At The Jolly Sailor, Jack Rolfe reveals to Bill Sayers that he thinks he has made a mistake allowing Tom Howard to enter into partnership with the Mermaid Yard. Bill reveals that Tom is keen to investigate all aspects of the business, much to their mutual frustration.

Returning to the Howard family home, Leo does his best to accommodate Abby in his bed to keep her warm and find some clothing for her.

At the Mermaid Yard, Tom reads through the financial paperwork as he discusses the future of the business with Avril Rolfe. Whilst he is far from encouraged by the reading matter, he is determined to turn its prospects around. Avril reveals that Jack’s pursuit for the perfectly constructed boat is his trade practice, which concerns Tom, as he believes it is the path to commercial suicide. Tom raises the subject of the as yet un-contracted German commission as a source of income, but soon turns the conversation to the new owner of the Flying Fish; Avril is particularly evasive and changes the topic of conversation.

Later that day, Leo returns Abby to the Urquhart family home, and is rewarded with a kiss on the cheek for his troubles. As he rides his motorbike home again, Polly confronts Abby as she tries to quietly slip inside. She accuses Polly of not liking her, let alone loving her, and demands to be left alone. Polly accuses her of behaving like a trollop, and when Abby catches sight of a man’s reflection in the mirror (her mother is clearly entertaining a gentleman visitor), she claims that one in the family is enough before storming upstairs.

Tom arrives early for work the following morning and finds that Jack is nowhere to be seen. Electing to survey the grounds of the Mermaid Yard site, he considers a system for the disposal of the scrap metal which is accumulated around the business. He briefly discusses the venture with shipman Davy as he ruminates on how best to make his mark on the Yard. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Avril, and the pair consider how best to exploit a potential gap in the market in order to ensure the future profitability of the business.

At Masters Chandlery, Ken suggests to Jan that she should investigate the best possible connections to stock the new leisurewear venture he has proposed she manage. He sends her to Southampton to start work on the project, much to Ken’s evident delight. At the Mermaid Yard, Tom continues his pursuit of James Deverill, whom he is keen to discuss the purchase of the Flying Fish with.

Later, Tom receives a visit from Leo, who appears troubled; Tom fails to notice this fact as his attention is firmly focused on the scrap metal plans he has considered for the Yard. Jack and Bill monitor his activities from afar, and the former is troubled by his partner’s presence. Polly visits Jan at Masters Chandlery to discuss the events of the night before, and asks Jan is her son recounted any details of his evening with Abby. Polly confesses she is unable to speak to her daughter, and asks Jan to speak to Leo about her. Their meeting is interrupted by Ken’s arrival in the office, and when she departs the pair discuss her trip to Southampton; Jan plans to visit London as soon as possible to scope out the larger potential market. She returns home later in the day for a family meal to discover that Lynne has already eaten, Tom is in a bad mood and her mother has been forced to prepare the entire meal herself. When he implies that is is nice to know that someone still cares about the home, Jan reacts badly, considering the statement unfair. She broaches the subject of Abby with Leo, who reveals that he rescued her from the water after she apparently slipped. When Jan informs Kate that she intends to visit London the following day to explore stock options, the atmosphere becomes somewhat tense when Tom challenges her as to whether or not this will become the pattern of things to come from hereon in.

At Tarrant Yacht Club, Polly and Lynne discuss Abby’s problems as she indulges in some mid-afternoon binge drinking. As she prepares to leave, Lynne hands her a bag containing Abby’s clothing. When Lynne lets slips the circumstances surrounding Abby’s getting drenched, Polly reads further between the lines than is absolutely necessary.

After lunch, Tom and Jan discuss their different career fortunes, and whilst Tom presses Jan as to Ken Masters’ involvement in her new-found prosperity, Jan counters with gentle enquiries concerning Avril’s background and intentions. Tom finally breaks down and challenges Jan as to what has happened to their relationship, and Jan believes that they have merely naturally drifted apart. She claims that everything fell apart when he decided to go his own way, and amidst their arguing, Leo storms from the house having overhead their exchange.

Leo pays Lynne a visit at the Tarrant Yacht Club, and the pair discuss their parents problems with her friend, Nick. The following morning, Jack and Bill convene a covert to discuss Tom’s activities at the Mermaid Yard: both are displeased with how early he comes in of a morning, claiming that he is monitoring their own work. Bill reveals that Davy has approached him concerning a system for disposing of scrap metal, and when Jack asks what put the idea into his head, Bill reveals that Tom had approached him directly with the plan.

In the Mermaid Yard office, Jack demands that Tom approach either himself or Bill should he require information on the workings on the Yard. Avril aggressively acts as peacemaker, but the exchange ends badly as Jack storms from the office. She implies that Tom should be more mindful of his handling of enquiries around the Yard in future in order to work around her father’s blind spots. Abby pays a visit to Leo at Tarrant Filling Station, much to his surprise. She asks if they can go somewhere to talk. Later that afternoon, Kate witnesses Jan being driven home by Ken Masters, and she is somewhat concerned as to what is happening in her daughter’s life of late. As she prepares dinner for the family, she tentatively broaches the subject with Jan. When Kate reveals that Lynne has been invited to the Norton’s Hog Roast, Tom arrives home and reveals the entire family have been invited to the party, and after the sort of day he has had, he reflects that he could do with a change of scene. Meanwhile, Leo and Abby take a motorcycle ride to the outskirts of Tarrant to discuss her problems.

At the Norton Estate, Phil Norton enjoys playing host to a wide cross section of guests at his party. Jan introduces Kate to Phil Norton, Martin’s son, and the pair compliment him on the success of the party. Kate expresses her desire to talk to her daughter properly, and the two find a quiet spot in which to do so, whilst Lynne enjoys a relaxing time by the pool. Leo quietly allows Abby to do the talking, understanding that she has something she clearly wishes to get off her chest. Gently prompting her, their conversation turns to the problems they are experiencing with their respective families. Abby reflects that she has spent a sum total of seventeen hours with her father over the last two years, and she tearfully ruminates on the fact that neither of her parents really wanted her in the first place. She reveals that she is not even certain if her father is really her biological father. Phil Norton directs his amorous attentions towards Lynne at the party, whilst Tom meets with David Bridger to discuss the national nautical market and whether or not he has been able to identify a gap in the market for a fast-cruising ultra-light displacement vessel. Dave is suitably impressed and believes that the forty-five-foot prototype plans he has presented could be a winner. At the conclusion of his meeting, he encounters Polly, who is bored, restless and borderline drunk: she snaps at Tom about her husband, Gerald, his continued absence and the difficulties she is experiencing with Abby, but Tom is far more preoccupied with locating Jan at the party. Leo and Abby continue their discussion, with the former patiently listening to the latter’s problems. Abby reacts defensively to Leo’s offer of a trip to the Isle of Wight, and when he explains he has no hidden agenda behind the offer, she seems somewhat more relaxed. He asks if she has anything else she wishes to tell him, and her reluctance to speak resurfaces.

At the party, Lynne asks Phil Norton if he requires any further crew for the forthcoming Fast-Net race. Intrigued, Phil invites her for a bout of sailing the following day in order to put her through her paces, however his intentions towards her are naughty rather than nautical. Kate insists to daughter Jan that she has a marriage worth fighting for, but she is far from convinced. When Tom arrives on the scene, she is far from impressed when she learns he has been discussing boats with Dave Bridger, and when he leaves the party early, she hurries after him and offers him a brief kiss – which he fails to reciprocate. Polly implies that it is the act of a woman about to cut loose, and feeling very guilty about it, but Tom ignores her remarks.

The following morning, Phil and Lynne enjoy putting his yacht through its paces as he tests her sailing acumen. He appears impressed with her know-how, and is happy for her to steer the Mickey Mouse further out to sea. At the Mermaid Yard, Jack interrupts a meeting with Avril and Tom to reveal he has paid a visit to Southampton to investigate Tom’s proposed scrap metal salvage suggestion. Tom issues a more important proposal, suggesting that the Yard should build the fast-cruising ultra-lite displacement boat with the Yard taking a royalty on all sales executed from a manufacturing franchise. Jack is not interested in assembly-line vessels, preferring custom-built craft, and when Tom implies he has identified the hole in the market to exploit, Jack angrily rejects building anything like it at the Yard. He insists that the Yard only builds timber boats, and the meeting soon degenerates into an argument over the future survival of the business. When he seeks Avril’s support to veto Tom’s proposals, he is stunned when she sides with Tom. Throwing Tom’s plans across his office, he storms from the meeting insisting he will see the Yard burn in hell before he has anything to do with the construction of such a vessel.

With Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Anthony Head (Phil Norton), Tony Caunter (Dave Bridger), Tim Faulkner (Nick), William Ilkley (Les) and Dean McMillan (Alan).

Episode 5: 

Written by Jill Hyem

Angrily storming from the Mermaid Yard site office, Jack Rolfe bears a face like thunder. Avril hurries after him, pleading with her father to listen to reason and allow her to explain her decision to side with Tom for the profitability of the Yard. She insists that Tom’s priorities are the same as his, and when Jack accuses her of being got at by Tom, she angrily refutes the claim. The debate becomes personal when he claims she failed to show judgement in handling her personal life, and that her professional life is equally a shambles. When Tom tries to discuss the situation with Avril, she ignores him and returns to the office. Meanwhile, Bill Sayers and Davy, having watched the situation play out in the site yard, ruminate on the potential implications. Having visited the competing outlets in the area, Jan crosses paths with Ken and girlfriend Dawn, whom he is taking out to lunch. Dawn wonders why Jan looks at her in a particular light, for which Ken is unable to proffer an opinion. Later that day, he discusses her recce in the south of England, and Jan believes that focusing on the specialist market, as opposed to delivering a supermarket-style of leisurewear, will target the discerning clients rather than the average shopper. Ken asks Jan out to dinner to discuss the situation at greater length, and sugar-coats the deal by offering her a single red rose.

Leaving the Tarrant Filling Station, Leo Howard is almost run off the road by Jack Rolfe, who drunkenly veers across the road in his vehicle en route from one drinking establishment to another.

At the Mermaid Yard, Tom and Avril make their peace between one another and consider the best way forward, preferably in cooperation with Jack. Avril insists that when he casts an eye over the design plans, Tom’s expertise will win him around. Tom offers Avril help to locate Jack, whom she fears has gone on a drunken spree after being ousted from his own boatyard, but Avril declines his assistance. Tom returns home to find Kate preparing dinner, and the pair discuss Jan’s feelings towards his partnership in the boatyard and her own business pursuits. Whilst Kate believes it will offer precisely the challenge she requires, Tom is uncertain, and when she reveals that Jan intends to dine with Ken this evening, he is even more so. Polly challenges Abby to discuss their relationship difficulties, but she fails to strike the right chord when she insists that all she wants is for her daughter to lead a normal life; Abby recounts “Like yours?” and storms from the house.

Tom discusses his problems at the Mermaid Yard and having acquired Avril’s support against Jack with Jan, but the conversation soon turns to her dinner with Ken. Tom implies he does not like medallion men with designs on his wife, but Jan claims she could think precisely the same of Avril Rolfe’s attentions towards her husband.

Dressed in his best tuxedo, Ken Masters prepares for his evening his Jan Howard, a woman of class and standing in the gin and tonic set he intends to exploit. When Dawn presses him as to his intentions towards her, he claims she is becoming a bore and that he is only interested in her for business. When she asks what she will do all evening, Ken suggests that she watches some blue movies he purchased for her. When she suggests that they are not as much fun to watch on one’s own, Ken implies they might get her in the mood for later.

That evening, Abby pays a surprise visit to the Mermaid Yard in search of Leo, but meets Davy, who suggests that she tries his home or the Tarrant Yacht Club. Meanwhile, Leo and Lynne arrive at the Public House with the latter asking Leo not to queer her pitch when it comes to securing a position in Phil Norton’s Fast-Net crew.

Arriving at the Howard household, Abby meets Tom Howard for the first time, and the pair briefly touch upon her recent “accident”. He suggests she pay a visit to the Yacht Club, and then returns to his conversation with Kate Harvey concerning his fortunes at the boat yard. Tom invites her to come and assess the enterprise for himself. Phil Norton turns his charm offensive against Lynne at the Yacht Club, despite Leo and Nick’s reservations. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Avril, whom Leo rushes to meet. She asks him if he has seen her father, and expresses her concerns arising from recent events.

Tom takes Kate on a grand tour of the Mermaid Yard and its associated moorings, and explains in greater detail his design plans for ther future. Avril and Leo discuss the reasons for her return to Tarrant over a drink, and when she intends to leave to locate her father, Leo offers her a lift on his motorbike. When Abby arrives at the Yacht Club, she witnesses Leo leaving with Avril and assumes that the pair are romantically linked. Having visited the Mermaid Yard and Jack’s home, Avril is concerned that she has been unable to locate her father, who is at the time staggering from a nearby Public House towards his car, singing extracts from I Just Called To Say I Love You. He speeds off behind the wheel of his vehicle, driving erratically from the car park.

Over dinner, Jan proposes to Ken that they concentrate specifically on stylish, fashion-conscious clothing as a primarily line. She suggests concentrating on designer clothing for people who spend half their lives in Yacht Clubs, and the other half sitting around wearing luxurious clothing. Ken implies the business could be called Masters Boutique For Mistresses, but Jan waves aside his glib tongue and insists that she knows a great deal about fashion. Ken ridicules her suggestion, claiming that reading a copy of Vogue in the hairdressers hardly makes her an expert, but she insists she has the acumen to make it succeed.

Returning home to Chichester, Kate finds Jack wandering the streets at night after he has run his car off the road into a ditch. Although she is unaware of his identity, she offers him a lift to the nearest telephone box to make a call. He directs a cringe-worthy charm offensive to persuade her to offer him a lift, and although she is far from impressed, she does so.

Returning home, Avril invites a delighted Leo in for a night cap. Jan continues to persuade Ken about the profitability and potential success of her plans, and the conversation turns to her background and the lucrative and influential contacts she could exploit. Ken reveals that if the venture succeeded, she would be on her own running a chain of boutiques, and her determination impresses him. On condition of permitting him the pleasure of the next dance, he reveals he will happily support her. The pair engage in a tango, much to Jan’s amusement.

Over coffee, Avril offers Leo the opportunity to earn some money redecorating her cottage, and when she turns the conversation to his future aspirations, he expresses his desire to pursue a conservationist career, or perhaps a design-based profession like his father. The mention of Tom rouses Avril’s thoughts towards Jack, and she telephones the local hospital. At Kate’s cottage, the woman in question offers Jack the chance to sleep off his drunken bender on her sofa. Kate discusses the recent death of her husband, and Jack reveals that he lost his wife only recently himself. They discuss their daughters, and whilst Jack claims his daughter is two-faced and does not appreciate the help he has offered her over the years, Kate wisely advises that children do not always understand the efforts parents go to on their behalf. Avril recounts to Leo the circumstances of her return to Tarrant, and the breakdown of her recent relationship with a man who returned from an overseas business trip in the company of a wife, and that only Jack could help her pick up the pieces.

Abby disconsolately returns home to find Polly once again waiting to challenge her over her appearance, attitudes and the opinions of the locals. In the middle of a fierce exchange, Polly inadvertently lets slip that the last thing she ever wanted was to be lumbered with her as a daughter. Tearfully, Abby ascends the stairs to her room. Nick escorts Lynne home from the Tarrant Yacht Club, and when he invites her to a discothèque in Southampton, he construes the offer as something more than it is. When he becomes far too amorous on the doorstep to the family home, Lynne rejects his advances and claims not to be interested in him. When he implies that if he had a yacht like Phil Norton she would be interested in him, she is hurt by the claim, and he storms away saying she is more interested in boats than people. Hurrying inside, she seeks comfort in Tom’s arms as she reveals that Nick has given her a bit of hassle. She indicates she can handle what he did, but not what he said, and despite Tom’s consolation, she reveals that she does not believe she could ever love a man as much as she did the Flying Fish. Tom suggests that they undertake a night-time sail, which thoroughly excites her. Revealing the owner has afforded him permission to sail on the vessel, the pair hurriedly set about preparing for the jaunt.

At the Urquharts, Polly endeavours to make her peace with daughter Abby after making such an indiscreet revelation. When Polly implies she has never wanted for anything, Abby insists that she has been left wanting for any comfort or love in her life. Concentrating more on her appearance to outsiders than what really matters to her daughter, Polly leaves their meeting without having resolved their differences. Staring into her vanity mirror, Abby resolves to make a decision which will change all their lives. Jack Rolfe continues to espouse the virtues of having an ungrateful daughter, and his ability to engender sympathy from anyone else for his recent difficulties, and the conversation with Kate soon turns to his problems at the workplace. When Kate sides with him, suggesting that Jack should have his business partner’s guts for garters, he is pleased to have found an ally. She helps him prepare his bedding on the sofa as they continue their discussion. Avril offers Leo a brief kiss on the cheek in gratitude for his having been a good listener, and whilst it was delivered in all innocence, Leo construes a greater meaning to the act.

Tom and Lynne enjoy a moonlight sail on the Flying Fish as Lynne considers when the owner will return to collect the vessel – she hopes he never does. Leo returns home as Ken Masters delivers his mother Jan to the front door, and the pair happily discuss their respective evenings.

Having made up her mind, Abby retrieves a large back-pack from a cupboard and starts packing her belongings.

Ken returns home to find Dawn has been watching the blue movies he purchased for her, having been heavily drinking for the past five hours. She accuses him of having more than a meal with Jan, and when Ken implies that if he wanted to lay Jan Howard, he’d find more than the back of a car to do it in, Dawn snaps that he reserves that purely for her. Ken, bored of her company and keen on pursuing Jan, ends their relationship and insists that she leave his flat or their financial arrangement will come to an abrupt end.

Sexily clad in new lingerie, Jan entices Tom into bed as the pair reunite after their frosty relations of late.

As Jack struggles to make his sofa bed, Kate discusses her relationship with her late husband and the importance of family. When he reveals that he married his wife for entirely the wrong reasons, Kate ruminates on her time with Alec as being a rewarding one. She also reveals she holds great store in her son-in-law’s views, and Jack reveals that it is precisely what he needs – a reliable son-in-law to come into his business.

Having made love, Jan senses that Tom believes that Ken was responsible for turning her on, not him, despite her claims that it was her sense of achievement and not the company of the swarthy businessman.

Kate insists that Jack telephone his daughter to reveal where he is this evening, and when he refuses she demands to know the telephone number. Jack reveals he does not know the number, but that she lives in Tarrant. When she presses him as to his identity, she is surprise to learn he is Jack Rolfe, proprietor of the Mermaid Yard for over thirty-five years. She suddenly realises that her advice could be counter-productive for Tom Howard’s future.

Meanwhile, a troubled and tearful Abby leaves home in the middle of the night.

With Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Sally Farmiloe (Dawn), Anthony Head (Phil Norton) and Tim Faulkner (Nick).

Episode 6

Written by Michael Robson

Abby hitches a lift from a lorry driver heading for Southampton.

Kate locks horns with Jack Rolfe. Ken breaks up with his girlfriend, Dawn, admitting that he now wishes to pursue a relationship with Jan.

Lynne goes out on the Mickey Mouse for a day’s sailing with Phil Norton, during which he makes an unwanted advance towards her. When she rebuffs his amorous attentions, he turns particularly nasty, branding her a “professional virgin”.

Abby visits Social Services in Southampton, seeking their assistance in finding her accommodation and paid employment.

When Tom provides an estimate (in Jack’s absence) for repairs to be undertaken on a boat at the Mermaid Yard which falls three-hundred pounds short of the required fee, Jack hits the roof. As the repairs are to be executed on a rare vessel, the proposed fee will result in the Yard having to bear the shortfall.

Gerald meets with Ken to further discuss the plans for the marina. Frere wants to purchase Ken’s property holdings outright, but the latter is far from dissuaded to retain his stake in the development.

Later, in a bid to bolster his relationship with Jan, he investigates the identity of the buyer of the Flying Fish, through which he discovers that Avril Rolfe made the purchase through an intermediary. Having learnt of these facts, he cannot resist muddying the waters between Tom and Jan by updating the latter.

Tom, preoccupied with finalising the designs for the new boat, is distracted when he receives a note with the cryptic message “Did you know your wife is sleeping with Ken Masters?”, arousing suspicions concerning his wife’s fidelity.

Gerald suggests to Polly that she should find some paid employment in order to stave off boredom. Leo plans a trip to Southampton to fetch paint samples for the redecoration work he has agreed to undertake at Avril’s thatched cottage.

Later that evening, Jan challenges Tom about Avril’s purchasing of the Flying Fish, and demands to know why he didn’t tell the family of her plans. Tom is lost for words.

With Sally Farmiloe (Dawn), Anthony Head (Phil Norton), Vincent Brimble (Police Constable Exton), Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Ann Queensberry (Miss Havelock), John Henry Hughes (The Lorry Driver) and Charles Hunter (Charlie Summerbell).

Episode 7

Written by Jill Hyem

Tom asks Avril for a moment of uninterrupted time with her. They make arrangements for a dinner. Avril later admits to ownership of the Flying Fish, and Tom reacts badly. Avril reveals she wanted it kept secret from Jack, as she wanted Tom to invest in the Mermaid Yard and help her father. Reluctantly, she is later forced to admit to her father that she made secret arrangements to bail Tom out of his financial quandary prior to becoming a partner in the Yard.

Polly and Jan attend the opening of a local art gallery at which they meet Charles Frere, the former of which shares a past with him. Polly suggests Jan should ask for a share in the boutique. She later reveals that Abby is not Gerald’s daughter, and that they got married for convenience: she wanted a husband, and he needed a wife to disguise his sexual persuasion.

Tom tests the drag rate on the new keel he has designed.

Leo discovers that Abby is now living in Southampton, and is determined to find her as soon as possible.

Dawn contacts Jan, irate and telling her that Ken wants a relationship with her – at their expense of their own.

Later, when she confronts Ken, he plants the seed in her mind about Tom’s possible infidelity.

The lucrative German re-fit contract upon which Jack Rolfe had based his hopes for the Mermaid Yard’s future is snapped up by Charles Frere at the last minute. His presence in Tarrant has unsettled Avril, with whom he was in a relationship which broke down when he left for New York without a work to her and returned to the United Kingdom with a wife in tow.

Jan has found a location for the Periplus Marine Boutique and she busily prepares for the opening of her first store.

Lynne joins an all-woman team in preparation for the forthcoming Fastnet race.

Charles pays a visit to Avril, and in an attempt to mend fences he offers her a job to secure the marina contract. When she refuses, he leaves – but not before offering her his contact number in case she changes her mind.

When Tom arrives later in the day, he comforts a tearful Avril (distressed at meeting up with the man who broke her heart a year earlier), and they exchange a kiss.

With Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Anthony Head (Phil Norton), Ruth Gower (Lydia), Philip Gilbert (Derek Fielding), John Lester (The Art Dealer), William Ilkley (Les), Sarah Nash (The Landlady) and Xenia Rowe (The Girl).

Episode 8

Written by Raymond Thompson

“I’m telling you, Jan, if there was ever a time in my life when I needed your support – it’s now. I don’t think I could ever forgive you if you let me down”.

Ken Masters meets with Charles Frere to discuss his interest in the former’s property holdings. It is agreed that Charles would operate the proposed marina, whilst Ken would be responsible for its construction on his land.

Jack telephones the Yard and claims to be sick, but in actuality he plans to visit the bank manager to seek further financial assistance now that the company has lost the German re-fit contract to Frere Holdings. The Yard’s outstanding loan needs to be repaid, and he is running out of time. The bank manager threatens to foreclose on the balance unless a solution can be found in the near future.

Avril tells Tom she wants to keep their relationship on as “strictly business” basis.

Charles pays another visit to Avril, revealing he knows that Jack has approached the First National Bank for finance. He is keen to purchase the Mermaid Yard to further his proposed marina development.

Jack seeks solace from Kate after Avril has once again sided with Tom over his plans for the Yard.

Jan visits Rosen’s Fashions at Oxford House to increase the Periplus range of stock. She is keen to procure up-market and exclusive garments, despite the relative expense. She purchases four dresses after exhibiting her business acumen in negotiating terms for an exclusive contract. Buoyed by her success, she plans to investigate further contracts at fashion houses in London.

Charles and Gerald discuss the marina development: if Ken Masters will not cooperate, they have a second, more underhand method in mind.

When the bank forecloses on the loan, Tom, Avril and Jack and forced to rethink their approach. Tom and Jack pay another visit to the bank manager; Tom reveals the new boat design is yet to be tank-tested, but they are ready to start construction on the prototype. With the bank’s assistance, such a venture is a guaranteed source of capital. The bank wants the Mermaid Yard to provide twenty-percent of the collateral for the project if their association is to continue.

Tom asks Jan to sign over the house as security for the venture, but she refuses.

Lynnette crews on the Icebreaker, despite the fact that she has clashed with her mother with regard to her participation in the Fastnet race.

Ken offers to provide Jan with financial assistance, with which she can buy out Tom’s half of the house and thereby finance his plans for the Mermaid Yard.

Leo tracks down Abby working at a school in Southampton. Despite his excitement at having located her, Abby is far from pleased to see him. She later reveals that she left home because she is pregnant, but plans to have an abortion.

Avril, with thirty-five-percent of a stake in the Mermaid Yard, and Tom, with a further twenty-five-percent, out-vote Jack in motions carried in favour of proceeding with construction work on the prototype.

With Alan Downer (Laurie Meadows), Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Wanda Moore (Jo Penhaligon) and Harry Landis (Bernie Rosen).

Episode 9

Written by Raymond Thompson

Charles Frere returns from Geneva to inspect a property he wishes to purchase – an expansive mansion and sweeping gardens.

Later, he discusses a planned cocktail party with Gerald, at which he intends to wine, dine and cultivate prospective “targets” for the proposed marina development.

Lynne sets off for the Isle of Wight in preparation for the Fastnet race, and upon arrival she is met with further taunts from Phil Norton.

While Tom approaches Jan again in a bid to raise more money, Gerald contacts Ken Masters to invite him to the cocktail party at Charles’ express wishes.

Tom and Jan agree on a financial arrangement which will suit both parties, but in so doing they appreciate that they are slowly going their separate ways.

Leo tries to dissuade Abby from arranging for an abortion.

Richard Shellet arrives in Tarrant and, having taken a room at a local hotel, he later witnesses Jack Rolfe being refused a drink at The Jolly Sailor.

When Kate pays him a visit at his home a few hours later, she finds him in an unconscious drunken stupor. She gains him admission to a rehabilitation clinic, at which he is diagnosed with acute alcohol poisoning.

Meanwhile, the Mermaid Yard successfully secure the loan.

In his hotel room, Shellet burns a photograph of the Yard.

Later, he pats a furtive visit to the Yard as he inspects the business which could soon be his.

Jan visits Sonia Fielding, a design colleague in London, where she sees an impressive collection assembled by fashion photographer Claude Dupont. She arranges a meeting with him at the end of the fashion show at which they are being displayed. Over dinner, she expresses her desire to use him to further her cause at Periplus.

Abby is informed that she must speak to a social worker before her request for an abortion will be granted.

During the Fastnet race, Lynne becomes the heroine of the hour when she takes the helm after a crewman falls overboard. As they head for Plymouth, victory is within their grasp.

While Tom takes Avril out to dinner (albeit on the Flying Fish), Ken Masters meets Sir John Stevens at Charles Frere’s party, and he is particularly keen to cultivate their relationship.

During the evening, Polly expresses her desire to undertake paid employment.

Meanwhile, Charles instructs Gerald to ensure that Sir John and Ken keep their distance as much as possible.

With Anthony Head (Phil Norton), Oscar Quitak (Richard Shellet), Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Caroline Hayman (Sonia Fielding), Renu Setna (Doctor Malik), Patrick Carter (Arthur Blackmore), Wanda Moore (Jo Penhaligon), Denise Ryan (Denise), Shelley Pielou (Sally), Tricia Ronane (The Model) and Lee Ann Harbar (The Girl In The Playground).

Episode 10

Written by Raymond Thompson

“We were all happy until he bought into that yard! Now he’s ruined it and I’ll never forgive him. I only hope he gets hurt someday the same way he’s hurt me …”.

Avril and Tom have spent the night together, but their happiness is suddenly shattered when a nearby boat belonging to the Hendersons explodes north of Tarrant, and Tom rushes to help the skipper who was trapped on board when it was engulfed in flames.

The destruction of the boat, which had recently been serviced by the Mermaid Yard, eventually leads to charges of criminal negligence being levelled against the firm.

Overjoyed at having won the Fastnet race, Lynne telephones home to share the news. Speaking to Leo, the pair are surprised to find that Tom didn’t come home the previous evening.

Later, when Leo pays a visit to Avril’s cottage (to start the redecoration he agreed to undertake on her behalf), he discovers that she too has been out all evening.

Shellet meets with Forsythe, a solicitor who will assist him in his claim of ownership against the Mermaid Yard.

Michael Anderson, a journalist, starts to investigate the story of Tom rescuing Mr Henderson from his burning boat, and later he lets slip to Ken Masters that the boat-builder was seen in the company of Avril Rolfe.

Jan and Polly meet in London.

When Anderson arrives at Avril’s home to interview her, he reveals to Leo that his father spent the night with her rather than his wife.

Later, when Ken collects Jan from Tarrant Station, he cannot resist filling her in on the local gossip. She cannot believe she has been deceived.

Later, when she returns home, she challenges Tom with the facts, and he confesses his infidelity to her. Jan angrily reacts that “Our marriage isn’t off-course, it’s bloody well over!”

Leo, having completed the redecoration, confronts Avril about her involvement with his father.

Tom later pays a visit and the pair ruminate over the impact of their relationship on their loved ones.

Distressed, Jan reveals to Ken (who has returned in buoyant mood from his meeting with Charles Frere to discuss the marina development) that she has now separated from Tom.

Claude Dupont later invites her to Cannes to cultivate some useful design and export contacts.

Jack receives a letter from Forsythe and Foster, Shellet’s legal representatives, revealing that he is contesting ownership of the Mermaid Yard. Jack is shocked, as he had believed Shellet to be dead for some twenty-five years.

Lynne receives flowers from Frere, who invites her to dinner.

Later, Shellet pays a visit to Frere on his yacht to discuss his impending court case. The businessman is manipulating him in a bold strike against the one challenge to his marina development.

With Oscar Quitak (Richard Shellet), Christine Kavanagh (Louise Silverton), James Richardson (Michael Anderson), David Adams (David Forsythe), Vincent Brimble (Police Constable Exton), Maria Eldridge (Samantha) and Lee Ann Harbar (Tina).

Episode 11

Written by Arthur Schmidt

Jack has sought legal counsel over Shellet’s challenge against the Mermaid Yard.

Shellet visits Gerald, having been sent to him by Charles Frere to obtain “expenses” money, amounting to five-thousand pounds, as an advance on the promised two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand pounds if Frere’s case is successful in a court of law. He shares tea with Gerald and Polly, though time spent in his company is clearly uncomfortable for the pair.

Avril learns that Tom is building a wooden frame boat to appease Jack in the process of building the prototype.

Gerald meets with Ken Masters to discuss the final details of their negotiations. Ken reveals he has taken out a lease on a new boatyard further along from the proposed marina development, much to Gerald’s concern.

Charles and Lynne enjoy a dinner on his yacht, and during the dinner he learns that Tom and Avril are involved. They spend the night together.

Jack telephones all the local hotels in a fruitless search for Shellet.

Abby slips home with Leo under the cover of darkness to fetch the remainder of her belongings. In so doing, she reveals she has decided to keep the baby.

Jan sets off for Cannes, and is later surprised when Claude Dupont offers to enter into a partnership with her.

Leo hands in his notice to Ken, who then travels to Cannes to surprise Jan. Rather than allowing her to concentrate on her work, he views the trip as a chance to further their relationship. After dinner and champagne, he makes a bid to seduce her, and they spend the night together.

Meanwhile, Kate and Lynne discuss the latest developments in the Howard household whilst Tom and Avril enjoy a meal together.

Claude meets Ken and Jan the following morning, and outlines her extensive meeting schedule whilst in France. Ken leaves the future direction of their relationship in Jan’s hands, though her business commitments somewhat overshadow their budding union.

Tom meets with Lynne to discuss the separation.

Charles meets Viscount Lord Cunningham to discuss the marina development.

Kate has heavily invested in the fortunes of a racehorse, Aztec Boy, which may prove to be her undoing unless it produces profitable returns.

Polly intercepts a letter from Orrin Ubank Hudson to Abby, the contents of which reveal that his family is extremely wealthy. She is determined to reunite her daughter with Orrin if it will further her advancement to ever-higher social circles.

Kate learns from Jack’s legal representative that Shellet has hired to best QC in the business – confirming the fact that he expects to win the forthcoming court case. Jack’s counsel also reveals that, should Shellet win the case, he is capable to obtaining Jack’s house, the Mermaid Yard, Tom Howard’s money and all design plans and commercial revenue arising from the prototype yacht.

With Oscar Quitak (Richard Shellet), Roy Herrick (Peter Weller), Hubert Rees (Stephen Bittens), Sam Davies (Brian), Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Ruth Gower (Lydia) and Maria Eldridge (Samantha).

Episode 12

Written by Raymond Thompson

Charles Frere takes an early-morning jog around the shoreline of Tarrant following his night with Lynne Howard, who awakes on board his luxury cruiser to breakfast being served by the on-board staff. At the Mermaid Yard, Bill Sayers expresses his concerns at staffing levels in the absence of Tom Howard and Avril Rolfe, but Jack Rolfe is more preoccupied with the paperwork arising from Richard Shellet’s legal challenge against the firm. When Bill leaves the site office, Jack telephones an old colleague to arrange an urgent meeting to discuss the situation. Completing his early-morning exercise, Frere returns to his cruiser and breakfast with Lynne, who reveals she has agreed to assist her mother with the opening of the Periplus boutique.

At Periplus, Jan Howard and Ken Masters toast their new business venture with a glass of champagne as they prepare to open for business. At the hotel, Richard Shellet wiles away the time reading the newspaper but is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Gerald Urquhart. He issues Shellet with expenses ahead of the court case, and Shellet enquires as to Frere’s intentions for the Mermaid Yard should the deal go through successfully; Gerald is reluctant to impart such information at this stage. Shellet implies he intends using the money on escorts, and Gerald warns him to be cautious until the trial takes place. Tom and Avril arrive at Napier Maritime PLC (otherwise known as Relton Marine) as they cultivate manufacturing support for the prototype design which Tom has perfected. Davey pays a visit to Leo Howard in Southampton, and over coffee Leo reveals he is due to attend an interview in Cowes in a bid to secure gainful employment so as to support Abby Urquhart, who is also residing there.

Polly Urquhart pays Jan a visit at the new Periplus boutique, and whilst the former admires a great number of the dresses on display, she mildly offends the latter by suggesting that both she and Ken Masters are in a relationship together, and that Tom Howard is now a thing of the past. She presses Jan for details about her trip to the South of France, but Jan is adamant that she will not discuss the matter. Frere and Ken Masters meet at the development site of the marina project the former has proposed in Tarrant, and the latter implies that only a twenty percent stake in the venture, with an option for a further fifteen percent, will successfully secure his land for inclusion in the development. When Frere raises the issue of whether or not Ken can cultivate the necessary financial support to buy into the development, Ken assures him there will be no problems whatsoever, and the pair seal the deal with a gentleman’s agreement. At the Mermaid Yard, Jack discusses the Shellet legal challenge with his retired police colleague. He asks for the man’s help in securing evidence against Shellet ahead of any court proceedings, and he manages to persuade him to do his best.

At the Relton Marine board meeting, Tom Howard and Avril Rolfe meet David Lloyd, Colin Linsdale and other Relton notaries ahead of Tom formally launches his Barracuda proposal to the assembled board-members (in both conceptual and design details). Abby and Leo take a trip on the Isle of Wight ferry as they discuss where their futures lie. They also consider what they will do after the baby is born, and whilst Abby ventures the opinion that Leo could take over her job at social services, Leo is far from impressed. Eventually the subject turns around to their developing relationship, and whether or not Leo will become the father figure to the unborn child. At Periplus, the opening has been a modest success. Whilst Ken is pleased with the takings, Jan is somewhat more preoccupied with Lynne’s prolonged absence. Ken reveals he has crossed paths with Polly Urquhart earlier in the day, and was pressed for an explanation of their time in Cannes together, and Jan confronts him as to whether or not he furnished her with any details. When he assures her Polly is none the wiser, he makes an affectionate move towards her and Jan insists that she needs time apart from Ken whilst she considers her next move.

Initially, it appears as though Tom Howard’s presentation has impressed the Relton Marine board, but David Lloyd expresses serious concerns about some of the finer detail in the Mermaid Yard’s proposal. Avril highlights the export potential for the Barracuda, and when the Chairman of the Board reveals how impressed he is with the presentation and prospectus, he asks Avril who produced the report, and she happily admits that it was entirely her own work. Whilst the majority of the board members appear satisfied with the proposal, David Lloyd continues to query the figures (particularly the cost to revenue return) but Avril remains unswayed. She has all the right facts and figures at her fingertips, and her own business acumen proves most enlightening, particularly for the Chairman.

Charles takes Lynne on a tour of the new home he has purchased on the outskirts of Tarrant as the pair’s relationship flourishes. They later discuss his past and his relationship with his father, Sir Edward, whilst they enjoy a horse ride in the countryside. After the Relton board meeting, Tom congratulates Avril on an impressive display for the board members. Returning to the site office, her buoyant mood is soon dampened when she finds her father Jack crouched in his office tearing through boxes of paperwork in search of documentation. Articles of incorporation and the draft minutes catch his eye, and whilst this appears to confuse Avril, Jack is concerned that they are highly significant with regard to Shellet’s challenge against the Mermaid Yard. In Southampton, Leo returns Abby to her flat before setting off for his interview in Cowes. As he speeds away on his motorbike, Abby unlocks the door to her flat, unaware that she is being watched by a private detective hired by her mother Polly.

In Tarrant, Polly receives a telephone call from the detective and she eagerly writes down the address details upon receiving word from him. At the Howard family home, Jan cross examines Lynne as she prepares for another dinner engagement with Charles Frere. Jan insists that he is not the right man for her, and that he only cares for himself, but Lynne remains unswayed. She is clearly smitten with the businessman, but Jan believes she is being naïve. At the Jolly Sailor, Tom and Leo discuss recent events over a pint; Tom’s offer of financial and emotional support does nothing other than rub his son up the wrong way, and when he tries to broach the subject of his separation from Jan, Leo does not want to listen to his point of view. At the Mermaid Yard, Avril is shocked and angered by news that Richard Shellet could take the Yard from Jack under the provisions of her grandfather’s Last Will and Testament. Jack confirms that Tom’s shares in the Yard would be declared invalid if the legal challenge is successful, and ruminates on his late wife Eileen’s vow that he would ultimately pay the price for marrying her to seize control of the firm.

Feeling sorry for himself, Jack pours out his memories of his wife’s final days. Lynne is unimpressed when Frere stands her up on their dinner engagement, and Jan insists that she needs to take a reality check before their relationship moves too far forward. She implies that her daughter is vulnerable, despite her protestations, to being hurt by Frere, and she claims that he doesn’t strike her as a man seeking a relationship – just a decoration on his arm; Lynne implies that if that is true, he is just like Ken Masters. Tom and Leo discuss the fact that Jan has been seeing more of Ken Masters of late, and the latter asks whether or not there is the remotest chance of a reconciliation between the pair. At the Howard family home, Ken Masters launches his seductive charms against Jan with dimmed lighting, soulful music and Cognac. When he presses his luck, Jan reveals that Lynne has been stood up and she would rather comfort her daughter than enjoy the comforts of Ken Masters.

Secreted in his hotel, Shellet enjoys the company of an escort but elects to drink himself silly as opposed to sleeping with her. He is bitter about being kept a prisoner in his room so as not to be seen, and he continues to drink heavily. When the escort finds a photograph of his late sister Eileen, he angrily snatches it from her and ruminates over the fact that they were once close, and then she died. He reveals his past professional and personal life in New Guinea and Sydney, Australia, and the fact that his life has gone from one bad turn to another since he left Tarrant to avoid the unnatural passion he had for his sister. He angrily snarls at the escort and insists that he has paid for her services until 10:00pm, but when he breaks down and cries whilst clutching the photograph of his late sister she makes a discrete exit. The following morning, Polly Urquhart intercepts a letter to Abby from Orrin Hudson which she greedily devours whilst bidding Gerald farewell on his way to work. Gerald insists that she should not read the letter, and when he leaves Polly considers forwarding the letter on to her daughter – personally.

When Lynne challenges Frere about his having stood her up the previous evening, Charles exudes all the charm at his command to convince her that pressing business affairs put paid to their engagement. Smitten, she instantly forgives his behaviour and Charles suggests that he intends to take her somewhere very special to make up for it. He informs her that he will contact her that evening to make arrangements for their date, and leaves ahead of another business meeting. At the Mermaid Yard, Avril, Jack and Tom discuss the repercussions of the Shellet challenge; Tom suddenly appreciates the gravity of the situation.

Polly Urquhart arrives in Southampton, and she cannot reconcile herself to the fact that her daughter chooses to live in such relative squalor. As she mounts the stairs towards Abby’s flat, Leo and Abby are making their way down them as they discuss her pregnancy. They are shocked when they meet Polly on the landing, but no more so than Polly when she catches sight of her daughter’s side profile and discovers that Abby is heavily pregnant. When Abby tries to slip past her mother and avoid the confrontation, she engages in a struggle at the top of the stairs when Polly insists that she answer her questions. In the ensuing exchange, Abby loses her footing and tumbles down the stairs. As Polly stands rigid at the top of the stairs in a state of shock, Leo arrives at her side and the pair look down upon the crumpled, unconscious form of Abby Urquhart …

With Oscar Quitak (Richard Shellet), Bruce Bould (David Lloyd), John Rolfe (James Sinclair), Kulvinder Ghir (Davey), Peter Penry-Jones (Colin Linsdale) and Andrew Hilton (Henderson).

Episode 13

Written by Raymond Thompson

Abby has gone into premature labour at her Southampton flat.

Relton Marine are expressing interest in the prototype yacht, and Tom, Jack and Avril later meet with them to discuss its commercial potential. After an uncertain start, Jack manages to win over the representatives. However, when the express their concern over the Yard’s impending legal case (which could potentially dispute the ownership of the prototype), they are concerned over the entire franchise.

Tom plans to meet Jan to discuss the separation, following the successful opening of the Periplus boutique. They also discuss the Lynne situation; she does not go to work regularly anymore, and her enthusiasm for sailing has waned. She is worried about her, and believes that Charles Frere could be the source of the problem. She asks Tom to speak to her.

Having purchased his home in Tarrant at long last, Charles awaits the imminent arrival of Ms Gardiner – his American wife. Lynne learns that Polly and Charles had “quite a thing” in their time at university.

Ken reacts badly when he learns that Jan and Tom have had lunch together, but is pleased when he learns she has asked him for a divorce.

The contracts for the marina and leisure centre development have been prepared, but Frere wants them withheld from Ken for a few days. He also cancels yet another date with Lynne as he prepares to entertain his wife.

Abby gives birth to a boy, William, but she is kept under observation following her fall. At her bedside, Polly pleads for her daughter to return home, but Abby says she never wants to see her again.

Jack indicates he can have the prototype ready for the mould in six weeks.

Tom reveals to Avril that Jan has asked for a divorce, and there is no longer an impediment standing in the way of their future together.

Ken meets with Sir John Stevens to discuss his attempts to raise capital for investment in the proposed marina development. Stevens provisionally approves Ken’s proposal.

Visiting Abby in hospital, Leo passes on a letter from Orrin which he found at her flat, the contents of which reveal he has been trying (in vain) to contact her for some time. She realises that her mother has intervened in the proceedings and kept from her the fact that he has been writing to her.

Charles learns of Ken’s proposal and his quest for three-hundred-thousand pounds. He asks Sir John Stevens to delay a decision of the proposal for a few days as he may not require Masters’ investment.

Tom meets Lynne to discuss her infatuation with Frere. During their discussion, he learns that Jan has been staying with Ken.

Avril is approached with an attractive proposition from Relton Marine to join the company.

Claude Dupont has a proposition for Jan: he has found vacant premises at which she can design and manufacture clothing to sell at Periplus. Ken agrees, after reservations, to inspect the new location with Jan.

The court case between Shellet and the Mermaid Yard begins.

Lynne, determined to see Charles and discover why he has been avoiding her, heads for the marina. She finds Charles in bed with his wife and, distressed, she rushes from his yacht in the middle of a rain storm. She slips from the jetty and tumbles into the water, having knocked herself unconscious when she connected with its side.

With Oscar Quitak (Richard Shellet), Kulvinder Ghir (Davy), Bruce Bould (David Lloyd), John Rolfe (James Sinclair), Iain Rattray (The First Engineer), Timothy Morand (The Barrister), Sarah James (The Doctor), Maria Eldridge (Samantha), Dione Inman (Vanessa) and Vikki Richards (Honey).












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