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Man Without a Wife

The story of a lone parent with five children

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A short excerpt from the Schools TV programme called 'Happy Families'. This particular unfinished piece is about a man whose wife left him to bring up six boys on his own and the difficulties he experienced. It provides interesting insights into being a single parent to a large family and features footage of a housing estate and local shops from the 1970s.

Questions & Activities


  • What happened to this man's family?
  • Would siblings normally be separated?
  • How would you describe the relationship this man has with his children?
  • How would you describe the social circumstances of this family?


Discuss what parents need to provide for their children? What are the issues facing lone parents? What kind of support net do we rely on in our own lives, and what would happen if that was not there?

Write a diary about this story from the perspective going into the character of one of the children, or the father writing a letter to the authorities asking for support.

Find out about attitudes to lone parents in the 1970s and compare this with today.

Updated August 2020

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-407-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T2073
Date 1970
Genre Documentary, Tv Doc
School Subject Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, English
Subject Matter Social Education
Who Scottish Television (Production company)
Where Glasgow
Event Home life
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 2:06
Film Length 02:06