Grange Hill. Series Six – Episode Two

grange hill s06e02

Written by Barry Purchese. Tx 7th January 1983

There’s a disturbing flashback to the saga of Belinda’s missing clarinet with the tale of Fay’s missing hockey stick.  With Belinda now safely back in Canada, a new character, Julie Marchant (Julie York), is introduced in order to provide some discord to the Fay/Annette relationship.

As before, we see that Annette is extremely wary of anybody who attempts to establish a friendship with Fay. To Annette, Fay is her friend and she seems very disinclined to share her.  The reasons for Annette’s insecurities remain undeveloped at present and won’t really be touched upon in any depth until the following year (after it’s revealed that her home life is far from stable).

Several new characters make their debut.  Diane Cooney (Julie-Ann Steel) has severe acne and quickly becomes a figure of ridicule for the two meanest girls in the class, Mandy (Anita Savage) and Sarah (Joanne Bell).

Poor supervision of sports lessons has been a constant at Grange Hill since series one, and it continues here as Miss Saunders (Jennie Stoller) leaves her gym class under the not-very-watchful eye of Mandy and Sarah.  That Miss Saunders would chose those two girls, rather than, say, Fay, is a little hard to swallow – especially since Fay’s all-around sports ability is quite plain (even if it earns resentment, rather than appreciation,  from some of those around her – especially Annette).

Mandy and Sarah deliberately throw Diane off the vaulting horse and proceed to kick her whilst she’s on the floor –  and all the while Miss Saunders is oblivious to what’s going on.  After Fay confronts them in the changing rooms, Annette uses their argument as a cover to hide Fay’s hockey stick.  Since she’s upset about Julie’s friendship with Fay, hiding the hockey stick allows her to discredit Julie and (after she plans to later “miraculously” discover it) she no doubt believes it will strengthen her friendship with Fay. Things don’t quite go to plan though, as Mandy and Sarah discover Annette’s secret and it’s up to Julie to save the day.

This episode is also notable as it features Zammo and Jonah’s first attempt to infiltrate Rodney Bennett.  But Jonah’s plan to spend the afternoon at Rodney Bennett (don’t ask why) runs aground after Mr Baxter spots them.  But the boys are nothing if not persistent, so we’ll return to this storyline at a later date.

One thought on “Grange Hill. Series Six – Episode Two

  1. I guess many school children are curious about what things actually are like at other schools they only hear things about especially when the schools clearly have different reputations. It’s my instinct – admittedly based mainly on a development a couple of years down the line – that Rodney Bennett is an ex grammar school whilst Grange Hill is an ex secondary modern (presumably Brookdale is another) and that it has maintained at least some of the grammar school ethos post the abolition of selection. (Doing German from the first year is one such hint though the background of a particular teacher from RB is a rather bigger one.) As a result it may well have a local reputation that Grange Hill is unfavourably compared to and this is especially acute in an extended family with children at both.

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