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Trinity Tales (1975)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'The Joiner's Tale, originally transmitted BBC2 12 December 1975

While the travellers recover from a night on the beer, Eric the Prologue attempts to tell a story. It's a Raymond Chandler pastiche which the others shout down. They choose Dave the Joiner to tell the next tale - 'a true story about the workers and the bosses'.

Charlie Wheeler is a self-made man, married to his erstwhile secretary and living with her and their grown-up daughter in a grand modern house. Despite their wealth, they are bored to sobs with each other. One day, Mrs Wheeler remarks that the doctor's wife has had a cocktail bar installed in the living room and that she would like one too. Mr Wheeler employs Dave, a joiner, and his mate Hughie, to build it. They can only work at weekends, as both have other jobs elsewhere.

Upon arrival at the house Hughie, who is very left-wing, negotiates the terms of their employment and the price. Wheeler is angry but submits to a written agreement and to the job taking two weekends. Meanwhile, wife and daughter take an interest in proceedings.

When the second weekend arrives, the job is incomplete. Dave and Hughie negotiate another weekend's work, claiming they have been distracted by Mrs and Miss Wheeler sunbathing on the patio. By the third weekend, they still need to 'paint, polish and perfect' the bar. Through gritted teeth, Wheeler agrees to a fourth weekend. But even at that stage it lacks a final coat of paint, so Wheeler, almost apoplectic, agrees to a fifth weekend. The weekend arrives, and Mrs and Miss Wheeler actually make the men a cup of tea. A little party ensues, and Dave and Hughie break into song.

By the sixth weekend, the bar is finished - but it lacks glassware, equipment and liquor of any kind. Wheeler has to agree to a seventh weekend so that the men can install this. Of course, the equipment has to be tested. Everyone becomes very drunk and Wheeler crawls off to bed. Dave and Hughie are too drunk to drive home, so they stay the night. And both sleep with Mrs and Miss Wheeler.