Nearest And Dearest. Image shows from L to R: Nellie Pledge (Hylda Baker), Eli Pledge (Jimmy Jewel). Copyright: Granada Television.

Nearest And Dearest

ITV sitcom about misfit siblings. 45 episodes (7 series), 1968 - 1973. Stars Hylda Baker, Jimmy Jewel, Joe Gladwin, Madge Hindle and others.

Series 3, Episode 6 - Two Pennies To Rub Together

The Pledges are going bankrupt and their picklers go to work for another company. Starving, they're forced to sell everything in the house...

Further details

Pledge's Purer Pickles is virtually bankrupt, and Nellie is trying to pay off the huge overdraft by writing a cheque to the bank, whilst Eli is attempting to sell the business to Mr Hardcastle of Hardcastle's Pickles. Soon, things are so bad they are forced to sell the furniture just to pay the wages.

Eventually, all the staff leave Nellie to run the factory on her own. Eli asks if she managed to run the production line solo: "Me beetroots boiled over twice, and I didn't like the look of my chutney".

There's no meat in the house, all they can eat is pickled everything; Eli wants to eat either Nellie or the horse. They've got nothing left to pawn either, unless... well, the attic does hold a lot of family heirlooms... but nothing they want to lose.

Then, of course, Lily and Walter appear on the scene and Walter has some compensation money from the council (but they aren't sharing). Things take a turn for the better when Hardcastle's Pickles is shut down due to a foreign 'clog iron' in the vinegar - the Pledges are back in business!


This series was filmed in colour, but ITV was still only broadcasting in black and white at the time of its first transmission.

Broadcast details

Thursday 13th November 1969
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Hylda Baker Nellie Pledge
Jimmy Jewel Eli Pledge
Joe Gladwin Stan Hardman
Madge Hindle Lily Tattershall
Edward Malin Walter Tattershall
Guest cast
Freddie Rayner Grenville
John Sharp Harry Hardcastle
Peter McKriel (as Peter MacKriel) Bank Clerk
Michael Nightingale Bank Manager
Writing team
Roy Bottomley Writer
Tom Brennand Writer
Production team
Bill Podmore Director
Peter Eckersley Producer
Eric Deakins Production Designer
Derek Hilton Composer