Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in 2005.
Sir Derek Jacobi reads James Hilton’s 1934 classic novel “Goodbye, Mr Chips”, in this abridged five part version. Over the five instalments we follow Mr Chips’ life as he remembers it in flashback from the comfort and serenity of retirement at Mrs. Whitlow’s cottage. A moving and emotional story, spanning a lifetime and filled with many colourful and recognisable characters. This abridged version, by renowned abridger Neville Teller, keeps true to the original work, rather than the famous 1939 MGM movie. Evocative and touching, “Goodbye, Mr Chips” is a timeless story that will bring a tear to everyone’s eye.
In the first episode of “Goodbye, Mr Chips” we meet Brookfield institution Mr Chipping as he reflects on his long years as a teacher and the many boys he has taught. He takes us back to his very first days as a young school-master struggling with his new students and his unexpected marriage to Katherine.
In the second instalment of “Goodbye, Mr Chips”, Mr Chipping’s recollections show how Katherine was an immediate success at Brookfield, and under her benign influence Chips himself blossomed. Then, a brief few years into their blissfully happy marriage, Kathie – together with their baby – dies in childbirth!
In the third instalment of “Goodbye, Mr Chips”, we hear how Chips became a Brookfield institution – more of an essential part of the school than he dreamed. When the brash new headmaster, Ralston, decided that the time had come for Chips to retire, not only the boys but the staff and the Governors rallied behind him.
In the fourth instalment of “Goodbye, Mr Chips”, Chipping remembers the events of the Great War, when he was recalled to run the school for the duration, although he declined the ultimate honour of being appointed full-time Headmaster. On the night of the Armistice he submits his resignation, and retires for the second and last time.
In the final instalment of “Goodbye, Mr Chips”, Chipping is fully retired but still resides near Brookfield, so he can “keep an eye” on things. He is visited by young Linford and reminded of all the boys he has taught, generations on generations of them. Finally, after many memories, for Chips the Brookfield bells ring no more.