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Open All Hours (1973-85)


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 Reluctant Traveller' originally transmitted on BBC1, 8 March 1981

Granville is cleaning the shop window and writing up special offers when Arkwright comes to inspect and give instructions. Early in the morning, the milk woman arrives to make a delivery. She chats with Granville, revealing that she is divorced, while he laments his problems getting girls alone. She flirts with him, and he drops his milk bottle. She leaves telling Granville to call her. Arkwright comes out to investigate the noise.

Later, Arkwright serves regular customer Mrs Blewitt while Granville boxes her shopping. In the back, Granville washes dishes while Arkwright reads the paper, and Granville hints that Arkwright should take some time off work away from the shop. Granville serves Nurse Gladys, shutting the door conspiratorially before convincing her to take Arkwright away from the shop for the evening.

Upstairs, Arkwright packs a suitcase while Granville deliberates over calling the milk woman. Granville fails to persuade Arkwright to get replace his tattered case to impress Nurse Gladys. To Granville's bewilderment, Arkwright also packs a tin containing his life savings. Later, they search the bedroom for Arkwright's money belt. In the shop, Granville helps indecisive regular customer Mavis to decide on shampoo. Arkwright limps around the shop in his ill-fitting money belt. Nurse Gladys loads her case into the car and sounds the horn for Arkwright, who reluctantly leaves the shop, and they set off.

to Nurse Gladys's annoyance, Arkwright pulls in at a hotel around the corner, but they go inside. At the shop, Granville excitedly prepares for the arrival of the milk woman. At the hotel, Nurse Gladys catches Arkwright spying on the shop with binoculars and storms out. Arkwright limps into the shop and finds Granville with the milk woman.

Embarrassed to face her mother, Nurse Gladys arrives to stay the night with Arkwright and nurse him, but leaves again when she discovers his injuries were caused by the money belt. Having lost the key, Arkwright frees himself from the belt with a hacksaw and shuts up shop.