REENIE COLCLOUGH, aged 45, ( Jaqueline Redgewell )
Nee Irene Cartlidge. Gave up a nursing career to have her three children but then forced to return to her first job, as a shift worker in a potbank, to try and make ends meet. Tired of that industry’s low pay and poor working conditions, she has resumed her vocation and is now a doctor’s receptionist. A firm believer in the ‘Protestant work ethic’, she acts as a peacemaker and strives for household harmony.
RAYMOND COLCLOUGH, aged 46, ( Ray Scott-Johnson )
An electrician at a local pit – Trentfields Colliery – Ray has recently been promoted to the position of shift chargehand. Practical, plain-speaking and energetic, he’s a very capable man and proud of it. A keen cricketer and player for Porthill XI, his life is turned upside down by the mining accident in Episode One. The physical and emotional effects of his injuries only become apparent in the weeks to come.
WENDY COLCLOUGH, aged 24 ( Sherry Ormerod )
A young woman full of pep, zest and bounce who’s just as bluntly spoken as her father. Sexy – though sometimes coarse – she has far more difficulty holding down jobs than men and is well deserving of her nickname ‘Yo-yo Knickers’ . As she’s fond of telling her brother Mark, who’s coming of age : “I was eighteen 500 fellas ago. ”
CHERYL COLCLOUGH, aged 23 ( Kerry Wilson )
The only offspring with a partner, Cheryl lives nearby with Neville Binns on the run-down Lowmoor council estate. She is three months pregnant with her second child when the serial begins. While Cheryl is a heavy smoker and dependent on Valium, her partner ( they’re not married ) uses soft drugs ( cannabis ) around the home. Despite being constantly tranquillised, Cheryl has a sharp tongue and dishes out some hurtful comments.
MARK COLCLOUGH, aged 18 ( Darren Scott )
The only son, Mark is quiet, confident and sensitive – altogether more cultured than the rest of his family. He doesn’t feel he’s well-suited to his job as a garage mechanic even though his bosses rate him highly and he’s recently been promoted. He’s thinking of moving away from home into his own place, but more than anything else, he’s somewhat unsure of his sexuality.
CONNIE CARTLIDGE, aged 72 ( Veda Warwick )
Reenie’s mother is an ebullient, strong-willed character who says what she thinks and always means what she says. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly and is always preoccupied with other people’s business. ( The surgery where she works as a cleaner is one of her prime sources of gossip. ) She seems to have a real love-hate relationship with her son-in-law, however it’s quite obvious to most people that she thinks the world of Ray.