Ornshaw (Jack Wild) is a jaunty, scruffy and curiously lonely drummer in the South London Boys’ Brigade, with nothing and no one to call his own except for an aged and decrepit grandfathers who needs considerable looking after. Ornshaw has no parents and at school nobody knows nor even cares what his first name is.
In a “nice” home nearby live the Latimers – Daniel, 11 (Mark Lester), his mother (Sheila Steafel) and his father (Keith Barron). Mother is all-patronising and gushing in her reference to her “Danny darling”; and father is the kind of man whose weekly dose of culture is the Sunday colour supplements!
Melody Perkins (Tracy Hyde) is pretty, gentle and a very imaginative 11 year-old only child. Her mother (Kate Williams) is pregnant, and her father spends most of his time in the local pub when he is “out on bail”.
The three children are all pupils at a South London comprehensive school. Friendship and love relationship start striking up between each other.
Melody is a pitched battle with anarchy and confusion reigning with the defiant youngsters triumphantly defeating their elders – and betters!