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The Hardacres and the Fairchilds are two families who live in the same mill town in the north of England. They have little else in common.

Bradley Hardacre (Timothy West) has 'loads of brass' (money). He owns the coal mine, the cotton mill and most of the properties in town. He's married to the snooty Lady Patience (Caroline Blakiston). There's not much love involved in their relationship, largely because he only married her to get his hands on her money.

The Hardacres have two sons and two daughters. Austin (Robert Reynolds) is ambitious. Morris (James Saxon) is a homosexual student at Oxford University. Charlotte (Emily Morgan) is an idealistic 'do gooder'. Isobel (Gail Harrison) is a fun-loving and very promiscuous girl who eventually marries an elderly nobleman.

Agnes Fairchild (Barbara Ewing) is very much the head of her household. She's a strong, dominant woman, while her husband George (Geoffrey Hinsliff) is a dithery, ineffectual, weak man. They have two sons: Jack (Shaun Scott) and Matthew (Gary Cady).

The series was 'revived' in 1990, The main cast was mostly unchanged, though Geoffrey Hutchings took over the role of George Fairchild, while Patrick Pearson took over as Austin Hardacre.

Series: 3
Episodes: 32
Transmitted: 1983-1990
Channel: ITV

Granada Television
Channel 4