Protestant couples from Belfast in Northern Ireland travel south to spend time in the Republic of Ireland and experience life across the border.

The six Unionist couples are: Fred and Molly Otley, Sam and Ann Egerton, Alfie and Elsie Large, Bill and Betty Brown, Alec and Ella Hill and Jim and Anne Smith. 

Will seeing life over the border and meeting the people there change some preconceived ideas?

Twenty-nine year old Fred Otley and his wife Molly live in west Belfast. Fred is a lorry driver with Harland and Wolff.

Before the Troubles ever started I had a good relationship with down south, so much so I went down there as pipe bands, I’m a pipe band man. Now I wouldn’t put my foot in it, normally, only for this programme.

Sam Egerton has lived all his life in east Belfast. His father worked in a shipyard and he has relations are in the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Sam has

Become more hardened towards men of violence on both sides.

His wife Ann does not take much interest in politics and finds she disagrees with her husband on some points but

Otherwise I would just sit and listens and take it all in.

Alfie Large is an Orangeman from Ravenhill Road area of Belfast.

It’s not the south I fear, it’s the people who are wanted up here, that have gone down south and they’re safe down there.

His wife Elsie grew up without any idea of differences between Protestant and Catholics.

The first time I ever learnt the word Fenian was when I started to go with my husband.

Bill Brown was born and raised in the Shankill Road in west Belfast.

I always believed there was always a certain amount of animosity towards the Northern people both Protestant and Catholic, because the Northern Ireland people are different although the Northern Catholic tries the retain the same cultural background as their counterpart in the south.

His wife Betty is a proud Ulster woman who does not think the south has any jurisdiction over her. She is convinced people in the Republic have no freedom.

You haven’t the freedom to think, you’re a puppet on a string, you can't even read a dirty book. I’m not advocating that you do read a dirty book but if I wanted to read one I don’t think anybody should tell me not to. I’m not afraid of republicanism.

Alec Hill is a fitter by trade who takes an interest in his trade union and the Orange Order.

I have been down south not dozens but  hundreds of times prior to all these Troubles.

His wife Ella was raised to respect the Queen

Jim Smith believes the Catholic church 

Exerts far too great an influence, not only over it's only members, but also over other religious groupings who happen to be a minority.

His wife Anne leaves politics to her husband and is looking forward to her first trip down south although

I expect to find an awful lot of poverty but there again as I say I might be wrong.

‘Down There’ was broadcast on 12 July 1973. The reporter is Tom McGurk.