The Rag Trade (1961–1963)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 42 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Add a Plot

0Check in




3   2   1  
1963   1962   1961  
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

On the Buses (1969–1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jack-the-lad bus driver and conductor Stan and Jack enjoy the female employees more than their work and Inspector Blake is relentless in his attempts to make their lives a misery.

Stars: Anna Karen, Bob Grant, Stephen Lewis
Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The trials and tribulations of the staff at Hatley railway station, who are all wondering if Dr Beeching will close them down.

Stars: Paul Shane, Su Pollard, Jeffrey Holland
Bless This House (1971–1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bless This House centres on life in Birch Avenue, Putney, where travelling stationery salesman Sid Abbott (Sidney James) and his wife Jean (Diana Coupland) live with their teenagers: Mike (... See full summary »

Stars: Sidney James, Diana Coupland, Sally Geeson
Love Thy Neighbour (1972–1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A white, working-class, socialist has his world turned upside down when a black, educated, Tory moves in next door.

Stars: Jack Smethurst, Rudolph Walker, Nina Baden-Semper
Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

Stars: Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton
Citizen Smith (1977–1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Wolfie Smith is an unemployed dreamer from Tooting London, a self proclaimed Urban Guerilla who aspires to be like his hero Che Guevara. Leading a small group called the Tooting Popular ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Lindsay, Mike Grady, Hilda Braid
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Classic comedy following the misadventures of two Wheeler Dealer brothers Del Boy and Rodney Trotter who scrape their living by selling dodgy goods believing that next year they will be millionaires.

Stars: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Roger Lloyd Pack
Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.

Stars: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs
The Rag Trade (1977–1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Stars: Miriam Karlin, Christopher Beeny, Diane Langton
The Cheaters (1960–1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Cases of an Insurance Claims Investigator.

Stars: John Ireland, Robert Ayres, Ann Hanslip


Series cast summary:
Reg Varney ...
 Reg Turner (29 episodes, 1961-1963)
Peter Jones ...
 Harold Fenner (23 episodes, 1961-1963)
Miriam Karlin ...
 Paddy (23 episodes, 1961-1963)
Esma Cannon ...
 Lily (21 episodes, 1961-1962)
 Carole Taylor / ... (21 episodes, 1961-1962)
 Shirley (19 episodes, 1962-1963)
 Gloria (16 episodes, 1961-1963)


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

6 October 1961 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(36 episodes)
See  »

Did You Know?


A West End stage version of the series opened in December 1962. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

''Everybody out!''
21 July 2015 | by (Wallyford, East Lothian, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney's 'The Rag Trade' broke new ground when it first appeared in the '60's in that it was the first sitcom to be made up of an almost entirely female cast. It focused on the lives of a group of working class women who worked for a clothing factory named Fenner Fashions, run by the permanently harassed Harold Fenner. Like Wolfe and Chesney's later 'On The Buses', 'The Rag Trade' was 'the workers against the bosses'. Trade unions came in for a battering too. Basically, it was 'I'm All Right, Jack' with women.

Fenner's staff include dippy Carole Taylor ( Sheila Hancock ), nervous Lily 'Little Lil' Swan ( Esma Cannon ) and militant shop steward Paddy Fleming ( the late Miriam Karlin ) who uses any excuse possible to blow her whistle and screech ''Everybody out!'' to bring the staff out on strike. Reg Varney played Fenner's foreman Reg Turner who tried his best to keep the girls under control but instead found himself under their spell each and every time.

Various women came and went over the course of the show's run, among them were Barbara Windsor, Toni Palmer, Wanda Ventham, Ann Beach and Gwendolyn Watts. Irene Handl later appeared as Reg's mum who ended up working as Fenner's bookkeeper.

Three series were made in total, after which the BBC decided to close the door on Fenner's Fashions. Groundbreaking and well performed though it was, sadly 'The Rag Trade' does not stand up so well when viewed these days, with strikes and trade unions now no longer prevalent in sitcoms. The show was later revived in the late '70's, this time shown by LWT, with only Peter Jones and Miriam Karlin returning from the original series but it was unsuccessful and after two series was axed. Looked at now, 'The Rag Trade' can be viewed as an interesting insight into what clothing workshops used to be like.

The existing episodes from the first two series have been released on DVD but sadly the third series is missing from the BBC archives. Not a classic, but amusing enough.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Rag Trade on DVD nbs-2
Discuss The Rag Trade (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: