Porridge Series 1, Episode 4 (Summary)

A Day OutFletcher (Ronnie Barker) and Godber (Richard Beckinsale) in a scene from Porridge (70s TV Series)

First Aired: 26-09-1974

Written by: Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais


Like the pilot episode, episode 4 of the first series of Porridge differs from most of the other episodes because it is mostly set outside Slade Prison.

Fletcher and Godber are having a day out, but it is not as nice as it may sound because they are members of a work party that will be digging a drainage ditch.

It may be hard work, but Godber is really looking forward to getting out in the fresh air. Fletcher tries to appear less enthusiastic, but he can’t fool his cell mate. Godber knows that Fletch is not as indifferent as he appears; if he was he would never have gone to the trouble of bribing his way onto the work party.

There are four other cons on the party: Ives, Navy Rum, Dylan and Scrounger. Fletch was in Maidstone with Navy Rum and he is also on good terms with Scrounger, but he is a little disappointed to see that Ives and Dylan will be with them for the day.

Fletcher (Ronnie Barker) and a team of Slade Prison inmates digging a ditch in a scene from Porridge season 1, episode 4.“We’ve got a wonderful bunch here, ain’t we, for a working party. A seven stone weakling and the king of the Huddersfield hippies,” Fletch quips.

Two other people will be joining Fletch and the gang: Mr Barrowclough and Mr McKay, who will be leading the work party. As soon as the men are busy digging though, MacKay tells his fellow officer that he has an errand to run and, taking the van with him, leaves Mr Barrowclough in charge.

Needless to say, that was a bad move on his part because once MacKay is out of the way the men down tools and are soon taking an extended lunch break in a nearby church. Fletch even manages to smooth talk £1 out of Mr Barrowclough and then gets his permission to go off on an errand of mercy, to get some ointment for Ives’ bottom, which has been stung by something.

Fletch gets as far as the local pub and pops in for a drink or three instead of buying ointment and when MacKay finally returns he has ring the chief prison officer and admit he has lost his work party.


Norman Stanley Fletcher ~~~ Ronnie Barker
Lennie Godber ~~~ Richard Beckinsale
Mr. Barrowclough ~~~ Brian Wilde
Mr. Mackay ~~~ Fulton Mackay
Ives ~~~ Ken Jones
Navy Rum ~~~ Paul Angelis
Melvin ‘Dylan’ Bottomly ~~~ Philip Jackson
Vicar ~~~ Robert Gilespie
Verger ~~~ John Rutland
Scrounger ~~~ Johnnie Wade
The Chief Prison Officer ~~~ Arnold Peters
Pub Landlord ~~~ Ralph Watson
Nurse ~~~ Peggy Mason

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