Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Happy 2009 - And Welcome To 1984!

1984 always sounds ominous to me - also being the title of George Orwell's famous novel. Did you know that George Orwell took several years to write the book back in the 1940s, and that it was originally to be set in 1980, and then in 1982?

The real 1984 didn't see the arrival of Big Brother - it's more like that today with the various databases (established and planned) and security cameras logging our every move - but it did see the arrival of the Apple Mac - complete with affordable computer mouse. A revolution was beginning...

The UK edition of Trivial Pursuit arrived and we were trivia crazy. Sir Alec Jeffreys accidentally discovered DNA fingerprinting, at the University Of Leicester, England (More here). The miners fought a bitter, losing battle; Frankie Goes To Hollywood shocked the charts; the yuppie era was drawing in; V was on the telly and Do They Know It's Christmas? hit the No 1 spot. Agadoo was another chart favourite. Push pineapple, grind coffee? Hmm...

In the world of fashion, shoulder pads were getting bigger and bigger, people were streaking their hair blonde and using hair gel to very striking (or ugly, depending on your viewpoint) effect and moon boots were a must-have, as were Frankie Say T-shirts.

And so to Beckindale. What was 1984 like in the village? Well, a quick skim through some of the episodes reveals that Al Dixon as Walter (1980-1985) actually got to appear in the show's closing credits on at least one occasion...

Walter himself got a new hat at the village jumble sale, but Amos was not happy. "There's something rotten in the state of Beckindale!" he told Mr Wilks. What was Ernie Shuttleworth up to at the Malt Shovel?

Meanwhile, at Home Farm, Alan Turner was just having a row with Seth Armstrong when a woman appeared, telling him that she was the new "temp" secretary from the agency. Who was she? Can you guess?

One of the NY Estates bulls saw his chance and made a dash for freedom, causing problems for Jack Sugden...

And 1984 ended in tears. The death of actor Toke Townley meant the death of Sam Pearson. Annie, and in fact the whole of Beckindale, not to mention we viewers, mourned his passing in November...

To round things off, Jack began his affair with Karen Moore, which would spill over into 1985.

Our "Twenty Five Years Ago" series highlights 1984 in 2009. We'll also be giving 1981 a thorough looking at (Rubik's Cube, anybody?!) and presenting snippets from other years.

My thanks to Magnus, Will, Cerys, Squirrel K, Bryan, and others, for some very interesting e-mails/comments this year - and To Mrs Violet Howes for her Beckindale poem. Thanks also to Bill Sands for supplying some original YTV publicity stills, and to all those who took part in the competition.

See you in 2009! Or do I mean 1984?!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Amos' English Lesson...

Amos Brearly, seen here with Mr Wilks and Walter in 1983, was a man of words. As Beckindale correspondent of The Hotten Courier, he had to be.

"I'm a weaver of words. Aye, that's the name for it, if I do say so myself, Mr Wilks..."

So what would Amos make of some of our modern day written nonsenses? One of the things that puzzles me is the tendency for people to write that something happened "between" certain years - as in: "the show ran between 1986 and 1988" for a TV programme which began in 1986 and ended in 1988, for example.

But surely, "between" is not the correct word? In our photograph above, Mr Wilks is between Amos and Walter but not part of either. To write that something "ran beween 1986 and 1988" is saying it ran in 1987 and actually had nothing do with 1986 and 1988.

Surely, if something began in a certain year and ended in a certain year, the correct way to indicate it is to say that it "ran from 1986 to 1988" (for example), thus making the quoted years inclusive?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

No Return For The Skilbecks?

Signed YTV publicity picture of Jean Rogers as Dolly in April 1980.

An e-mail this evening expressing disappointment that Dolly and Matt Skilbeck will not be returning to Emmerdale for Jack's funeral.

Chloe writes:

It was lovely to see Frederick Pyne and Jean Rogers with Frazer Hines and Sheila Mercier in the 5000th episode celebration programme. I loved watching them doing the scene from the 80s episode, with Matt, Dolly, Annie and Joe all sat round the farm table!

I know Joe can't return, but I thought it would have been very natural for Matt and Dolly to have been there. I'm really disappointed. Is there any chance that they may still appear?

It doesn't seem likely, Chloe. If I hear anything different, I'll let you know.

The blurb from the 1980 publicity photograph.

Clive Hornby Tribute

Clive Hornby as Jack Sugden, 1980.

February 2009 will see a special Clive Hornby tribute episode of Emmerdale. Mr Hornby debuted in the show on 19 February 1980 as Jack Sugden.

From ITV.com

A special episode, dedicated to the late Emmerdale actor Clive Hornby, will be screened in February 2009, the anniversary of his last appearance in the soap.

The special tribute will mirror the first ever episode of Emmerdale, which featured the funeral of character Jacob Sugden in 1972.

Actress Sheila Mercier will return to Emmerdale as Jack’s mother Annie Sugden and Karl Davies will reprise his much-loved role as Jack’s son Robert Sugden for the episode, in order to bid an emotional farewell.

Karl Davies says “I was lucky enough to work with Clive over a number of years and he was the kindest, funniest man you could've wished to meet. I'm sure the show he loved will pay a fitting tribute to a genuinely wonderful person.

Sheila Mercier says: “It will be a pleasure to return for this special tribute episode to Clive. I’m sure it will be a fitting way to celebrate the life and memory of one of Emmerdale’s dearest characters.”

Series producer Anita Turner says: “It was hugely important to everyone at Emmerdale that we waited until an appropriate time to pay tribute to Clive on-screen.

"We have been in discussion with Clive’s son throughout this process and hope this episode will honour the memories that viewers, friends and colleagues hold of him.”

Clive passed away in July, aged 63.

"Bingle Boy" has written in puzzlement:

I've just read that the Clive Hornby "tribute episode" will "mirror" the first episode of Emmerdale Farm from 1972. But as Clive Hornby wasn't in Emmerdale Farm until 1980, how is that a tribute to him? Surely it's more of a tribute to the ORIGINAL cast and writer? And I'm terribly disappointed that Matt and Dolly won't appear.

The episodes have been written in consultation with Mr Hornby's son, and Karl Davies played his scenes as Robert with Clive Hornby so it will bring back many memories of Clive's later years in the show. It will be nice if the tribute episodes also feature memories of the Clive Hornby version of Jack making his debut and his early years on the show in the 1980s.

It's nice that it will echo Andrew Burt's era in Emmerdale Farm, too. Clive Hornby became Jack from 1980-2008, very much stamping his mark on the character and creating an Emmerdale legend. The programmes will undoubtedly be a fitting tribute to him. But we are also saying farewell to the character of Jack, first played by Andrew Burt, and this is a good, full-circle way of doing that.

I share your disappointment about Matt and Dolly - especially as Jean Rogers made her screen debut just after Clive back in 1980. The characters were very much a part of Clive's early years on the show. I feel that their inclusion alongside Sheila Mercier would have added a great deal to the episodes.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Worst Story Line And Who Are They?

Thanks to Cerys for this e-mail:

I agree that the 1980s were a great time for Emmerdale Farm but every decade contains a few dud moments. I think my worst story line of the '80s was Joe's affair with Karen Moore - a desperate attempt to stir up more trouble between Jack and Joe. What was your worst Farm storyline of the '80s?

I have to say Dolly's affair with Stephen Fuller. Matt and Dolly and their very ordinary marriage were favourite Emmerdale Farm ingredients for me.

I always thought that the Skilbeck scenes, with young Sam often in attendance, seemed very warm, natural and low key, and I hated to see Matt and Dolly's relationship end.

I'll leave you for now with a little mystery: pictured above are members of a Beckindale family in the early 1980s. Who are they? More soon.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Poem: Beckindale In The '80s

Amos Brearly and the newly arrived Walter in 1980.

The Beckindale Bugle is getting verse! Many thanks to Mrs Violet Howes for e-mailing her poetic tribute to Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s! I'll drop you a line to answer the '80s cast queries you raised later today, Mrs H!

1980 was a year of change,
Our Jack returned to a home on the range
He had a new face, Dolly did too,
Whilst from Malt Shovel to Woolpack

Seth Armstrong flew

A busy year for Amos
With new allotment and Courier reports so true
And sitting at the bar was
Walter Mark Two

1981 - Pat was Jack's only one
A love so strong, so pure, and good
Did Pat's kids approve?
If only they would!

1982 - a child was born

Dolly and Matt had good news
As did Pat and Jack -
A wedding day
Free of blues

At Home Farm, Alan Turner arrived
Which worried Seth not
At work he still skived

'83 and Joe was in a trance
In love with Barbara
And then off to France

Archie appeared -
Socialist slob
And redundancies loomed
Was John out of a job?

1984 - Sam Pearson died
How we missed him
I cried and cried.

Jack bedded another
Marriage vows he did flout
But Pat found out
They were reconciled
Have no doubt

At Home Farm,
Mrs Bates was on draught
Sensible woman - she found Alan daft
Whilst he blustered and ranted
She just laughed and laughed

1985 - midway through
And lots and lots of news for you
Seth's donkey ran amok
Whilst Amos kept bees
And Mrs Bates' marriage break-up
Almost brought her to her knees

1986 - terror for Matt
Harry Mowlam murdered
Now WHO did that?

Eric Pollard at the market
And Pat Sugden in horror crash
The year was thunder and lightning
But not over in a flash

1987 - nuclear fears were rife
No Nukes In Beckindale!
A threat to land and life
The cry seemed to be ignored
But won through in the end
A happy ending and a safe future
For many a Beckindale friend

1988 - Kathy and Jackie did marry

Their happiness was untapped
But Dolly was untrue to Matt
And so the Skilbecks' marriage
Began to come unwrapped


At Crossgill disaster came with fire
For Annie Sugden the house
Almost became her funeral pyre

1989 - the decade was on the fizzle
But the affair of Rachel and Pete
Gave its dying months some sizzle


Home Farm was sold
The Tates moved in
Mrs Bates departed
Alan's future looked grim


Goodbye to Matt, the Reverend Hinton too
The 90's would see stories
Which seemed silly and untrue



Saturday, 15 November 2008

Sheila Mercier (Annie Sugden) Set For Brief Return To Emmerdale...

1980s memories - left: Matt Skilbeck (Frederick Pyne), Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) and Dolly Skilbeck (Jean Rogers) discuss farming matters. Right: Annie Sugden (Sheila Mercier) and Dolly Skilbeck take time out for a cuppa. Sheila Mercier and Frederick Pyne had been with Emmerdale Farm since the beginning. Jean Rogers and Clive Hornby debuted as Dolly and Jack in 1980.

A good friend of The Beckindale Bugle has been in touch to tell us that Sheila Mercier, who played matriarch Annie Sugden in the show from 1972-1996, is to return to the series for three episodes. She will be filming just before Christmas and the episodes will be screened around February 2009. This is tremendous news. Will any of our other favourites, like Matt and Dolly Skilbeck, be joining her, we wonder?

November 1989 - filming at Lindley Farm, the real life location for Emmerdale Farm from 1972-1993: in this scene, Annie greets Jack on his return from Italy. Mr Wilks (Arthur Pentelow) looks on. This screen capture is from the final episode of Emmerdale Farm. The next episode saw the show becoming simply Emmerdale.

Friday, 14 November 2008

The Emmerdale Farm Who's Who Of The 1980s - Part 2: Always There - Cast And Characters Who Spanned The Entire Decade...

If you switched on Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s, who would you be assured of seeing throughout the entire decade? First and foremost would have to be Sheila Mercier (Annie Sugden), seeing out a decade of tremendous change in Beckindale. She remained a central character, although her scenes were somewhat reduced after the death of Toke Townley (Sam Pearson) in 1984. Annie was still very much the head of the Sugden family and could always be relied upon to provide support and advice. In 1989, her strength appeared to be crumbling, and she became briefly addicted to tranquillisers. But, Annie being Annie, she was soon back to her old self. And we were very glad.

Ronald Magill - the wonderful Amos Brearly of The Woolpack Inn - was another splendid Emmerdale Farm actor who spanned the entire 1980s. This was a tremendous decade for Amos, as Seth Armstrong (Stan Richards) became a regular at The Woolpack in 1980, and the very odd silent Walter (Al Dixon) also joined the regulars that year. Amos chuntered at Walter and was wound up to the hilt by Seth. Amos' 1980s were days of fads, strange relatives, allotment rivalries, strippers, leaking cisterns and general mayhem at The Woolpack. Simply terrific.

Arthur Pentelow - "Mr Wilks" to Amos, "Henry" to others, was the calming voice of reason at The Woolpack and a great friend and business partner to the family up at Emmerdale Farm. He also became a parish councillor during the 1980s. Henry survived all Amos' absurdities, and his daughter Marian's marriage problems, and was the man Tom Merrick advised Jackie to turn to if ever he ran into problems. Henry was never a saint but he was a warm and caring character who hid his warm heart under a gruff exterior. We loved Mr Wilks. We loved Amos. We loved The '80s Woolpack!

Stan Richards - Seth Armstrong - began his career in Emmerdale Farm as a temporary character in 1978, made several appearances afterwards, and became a full-timer in 1980.

In the summer of 1980, Seth switched loyalties from The Malt Shovel to The Woolpack and was soon appearing in the Emmerdale Farm story lines as much as the longer-established characters. Seth's glory days became even more glorious when Alan Turner arrived at Home Farm in 1982.

Almost making it on to this list were Frederick Pyne - Matt Skilbeck - who left the cast in November 1989 (Matt last appeared on-screen in December), Hugh Manning - the Rev Donald Hinton, who left the cast in the summer of 1989 and Clive Hornby (Jack Sugden) - who made his debut in February 1980. Frazer Hines (Joe Sugden) was present at the start and at the end of the 1980s, but took three years out (1983-1986) in-between!


Friday, 7 November 2008

Lindley Farm For Sale...

Here's little old me up at Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s. Excuse the editing. My face is neither rustic nor idyllic. The real life location for Emmerdale Farm, from 1972-1993, was Lindley Farm near Harrogate. Interior scenes were filmed in the studios at Yorkshire Television, but for millions of viewers the exterior of Lindley Farm was Emmerdale.

And now the farmhouse - renamed "Lindley House" is up for sale.

And its interior is very far removed from Emmerdale Farm.

Here's the kitchen - no Annie and no Aga. In reality, the part of the house where Annie's kitchen was supposed to be is now a study!

Lindley Farmhouse was rather larger than Emmerdale Farmhouse was supposed to be. In 1982, the area at the back of the house was explained away as being a barn, which was then converted into a home for Matt and Dolly Skilbeck. See the details for the Lindley House sale here.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Beckindale Beyond The '80s Competition Winner...

Thanks to all those who entered our "Beckindale Beyond The '80s" competition. We had a great time reading all the entries.

The winner is (big fanfare) BERRYMAN! We particularly liked the mix of fun and serious storylining suggestions in this entry. So, Berryman, please send your details to: actual80s@btinternet.com and we'll post off your 1980s pics of Mr Wilks and Amos!

Thanks again to all those that took part!

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Emmerdale Farm Who's Who Of The 1980s - Part 1: Changing Times In Beckindale - Changing Cast And Characters

1980 - Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) - an original character recast




1980
- Dolly Skilbeck (Jean Rogers) - recast





1980 - Seth Armstrong (Stan Richards). Seth first appeared in 1978, but the character did not become a full-time permanent Beckindaler until the summer of 1980.



1980
- Sergeant Ian MacArthur (Martin Dale)




1980 - Pat, Jackie and Sandie Merrick (Helen Weir, Ian Sharrock, Jane Hutcheson) - early characters, recast, and slightly rewritten





1980 - Walter (Al Dixon) - the second Woolpack Walter



Also in 1980... peripheral characters the Longthorn family appeared for the first time. Seth Armstrong became a full-time character - and regular at The Woolpack. By the end of 1980, Seth's appearances were matching those of the long term characters. It was also "hello" to NY Estates workers John Tuplin (Malcolm Raeburn) and Daniel Hawkins (Alan Starkey).


1982 - Alan Turner (Richard Thorp)





1983 - Archie Brooks (Tony Pitts)






1984 - Mrs Bates (Diana Davies)








1985 - Kathy and Nick Bates (Malandra Burrows and Cy Chadwick)




1986 - Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell)




Also in 1986, Phil Pearce (Peter Alexander) - who left his wife for Sandie Merrick - first appeared.

1988 - Sarah Connolly (Madeleine Howard)






1988 - Kate Hughes, with children Rachel and Mark (Sally Knyvette, Glenda McKay, Craig McKay)

1989 - Frank, Kim, Chris and Zoe Tate (Norman Bowler, Claire King, Peter Amory, Leah Bracknell)

Also in 1989: the Whiteley family, Pete (Jim Millea), his grandfather Bill (Teddy Turner) and wife Lynn (Fionnuala Ellwood) were first seen on-screen.

This is a work in progress - and will build into a complete 1980s "Who's Who Of Beckindale". If you want to know who arrived, who left, who died and who lived in Beckindale throughout the 1980s, keep checking the "1980s Beckindale Who's Who" label below!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sam Pearson And Alan Turner

Kazia asks:

The character of Sam Pearson died in November 1984, and Alan Turner arrived in March 1982. So the two overlapped. How did they get on?

It's interesting you should ask that, Kazia, as I've just started studying episodes from 1982. Alan has arrived, and Sam is saying very firmly to his detractors that Mr T is a gentleman.

I'll write more when I've viewed more.

Teddy Turner As Bill Whiteley

An enquiry about Bill Whiteley, played by actor Teddy Turner:

I liked watching Teddy Turner on TV. Whether he was playing Chalkie Whiteley in Coronation Street, Banks in Never The Twain or Bill Whiteley in Emmerdale Farm he always seemed a really down-to-earth character. Do you have any pics of him?

Cerys

Yes we do - here's Bill Whiteley with Kathy Merrick (Malandra Burrows) and Bill Middleton (Johnny Caesar) lining up for another fun storyline. The copy of this original Yorkshire TV publicity photograph was supplied by Bill Sands - many thanks, Bill!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

1981: The Beckindale Bugle

"But I've got my finger on't pulse, Mr Tyler..."

When Amos Brearly answered the phone at The Woolpack one morning in late May 1981, he never had any inkling of what was about to happen. He was a blithe, free spirit (well, as much as a Brearly could be) when he lifted the receiver. He was an absolute wreck when he hung up, blood pounding in his ears, despondency fighting intense anger, his life in absolute tatters.

And the first thing he did was to charge through to the back room and tear up the latest edition of The Hotten Courier - under the startled gaze of Mr Wilks: "Bear witness, Mr Wilks, to my severing - finally and forever - any connection I may have had with this worthless and dishonourable newspaper!"

As it was well known in Beckindale that Amos considered The Courier, particularly his contributions, as being just one step down from The Times, this statement came as something of a shock.

Amos, quivering and quaking (what would folk think?!) told Mr Wilks his sorry tale: Mr Tyler, the editor of The Hotten Courier, had decided to make staff cutbacks. And he had decided that Frank Hencoller could easily cover the "Beckindale angle". Amos described Mr Hencoller as a "drunken layabout" with as much journalistic ability as "a goose quill - still stuck in't backside o't goose, an' all!"

Once word got out, Amos would be a laughing stock. He decided to tweak the truth - he would tell people he had resigned - tendered his resignation due to pressure of work.

Still in a turmoil, Amos sought refuge on his allotment where Seth Armstrong, having heard the news of Amos' resignation from The Courier on his morning visit to The Woolpack, came to haunt him.

"If you've owt to get on with, get on with it - I'm in no mood for idle chatter!" said Amos.

But that didn't stop Seth - who was there to have a little dig around in Amos' brain pan and discover the truth behind his "resignation". Never a good liar, Amos spouted something about a "conflict of personality" at the paper. Seth leapt on that. But Mr Wilks had said Amos had resigned through lack of time.

"Aye, that an' all," muttered Amos, pretending to be concentrating on his allotment.

Seth buzzed around like an irritating gnat: "Not quite up to scratch, weren't we?"

Amos rose up before him: "That's nowt to do wi' it. There's problems on newspapers as don't occur to those as isn't un-initiated."

Unitiated? Well, that's what he said!

Amos told Seth that without a skilled local correspondent, The Courier would soon notice the difference.

"'appen!" said Seth, still gleefully stirring the pot. "But 'appen gap'll be filled - think on that, Amos!" and Seth set off on his bike, happy at the successful completion of yet another Brearly wind up.

But Amos was smiling. Happen the gap for a skilled local correspondent would be filled - and who better to fill it than himself? After all, The Courier didn't have a copyright on the local news...

"Why worry about editors and suchlike when you can be your own?"

The next morning, Mr Wilks found Amos up and about early, rummaging around for his trusty old camera, claiming not to have slept a wink the night before. He was clearly excited about something, and was soon sharing his news with Mr Wilks:

"I'm going to produce my own Beckindale local newsheet!"

Mr Wilks asked how he intended to get it printed? Amos had a small, second-hand photocopier in mind - going for the knock-down price of £20 in Hotten. The rest was easy:

"I'll write out all me own copy, type it out, and then get photos of items and events of interest, I'll sell it over't counter - could attract trade an' all!"

"If you felt like making any contribution, I might give you a byline to yourself, a photograph of yourself alongside. How about that, eh?" chortled Amos.

"I don't know if I could stand the honour, Amos!" said Mr Wilks.

Amos does his David Bailey act.

Amos went to Hotten to buy the small, "knock down price", second hand photocopier. I must say, it shows how determined he was: I've never known anybody to have a photocopier at home! "It could be best investment as I ever made!" said Amos to a slightly doubting Mr Wilks.

Amos told Mr Wilks he wouldn't demean himself by carrying advertisements in The Bugle. "No newspaper makes a profit these days - it's a public service!"

"Are you sure gratifying a personal whim doesn't come into it?" queried Mr Wilks.

"I don't know what you're on about!" cried Amos, The Virtuous.

Had Amos any idea of a name for his new venture? asked Mr Wilks. Amos had.

"How do you fancy ring of Beckindale Bugle?!" Amos smiled. And he donned his eyeshade to add an authentic touch to the proceedings.

Amos was soon running amok with his camera: he caused the vicar to upset a pile of books and papers when he got him to pose with a cricket bat at the Vicarage, and got on NY Estates' manager Richard Anstey's nerves by leaving the lens cap on the camera, thus having to re-take the picture of Mr A.

Jack Sugden was startled as Amos photographed him with some of the cows up at Emmerdale, and John Tuplin was bemused when Amos photographed him with some of NY's cattle. Amos tended to rush at each of his victims, sorry, I mean "subjects", jabbering away ten to the dozen, click the shutter, and be off, never taking more than one shot to ensure any quality control.

At The Woolpack, Amos announced to Seth that he was preparing a "photographic portfolio of local worthies" for The Bugle - and Seth just might be in the first edition - although he wasn't promising owt...

The Beckindale Bugle was put together by the original cut and paste method. Letraset lettering was bought for headings, and each article was then typed up in neat columns, cut out, and pasted on to a blank sheet of paper - together with the various headings. Amos planned to add the photographs when they had been processed.

He told Mr Wilks that he planned to run off "a couple of hundred" copies to start with. Publication day would be the same day as The Hotten Courier. The price of a Bugle would be three pence more than a Courier - 15p.

Mr Wilks is fed up with looking after a busy pub on his own and insists that Amos comes through to the bar to help. Amos decides he must burn some midnight oil after closing time...

Although Amos insisted that his publication would be a quality item, it makes me smile to remember just what poor quality photocopied photographs were. The process used by Amos was the one used by me and my classmates on my school's quarterly magazine back in the early 1980s. Nowadays things are totally different - and it all seems positively prehistoric!

Pasting up is coming on a treat - what a great front page...

Mr Wilks leaves Amos at his photocopier, to burn the midnight oil...

... the night ticks on into the wee small hours...

... and Mr Wilks discovers Amos slumped over his typewriter, dead to the world! Never mind. By the morning Amos had run off all the Bugle pages that did not feature photographs.

What seemed an insurmountable setback lay just ahead: "Wilson's want five days to develop that film, say there's nowhere round 'ere can do it quicker!" Amos mournfully told Mr Wilks after an early morning telephone call to the shop.

Mr Wilks had the solution: "Run off an addendum saying that the photographs referred to will be on display in The Woolpack during normal licencing hours sometime next week. Could be good for trade!"

Amos had to admit (although only to himself) that Mr Wilks could be a good and useful friend. At times.

And he'd learn by his mistake - for issue two of The Bugle, he'd have the photographs ready well in time, he decided.

Afternoon trade was brisk that day, and Amos had just given his proof copy of The Beckindale Bugle to the Rev Hinton, who was in the bar, to look at and make comments on "points of style", when Frank Hencoller came rolling in.

"You've got a rival now - that'll keep you on your toes!" Seth told him, as Mr H became aware of the vicar's reading matter.

"Not my fault, I only do what Editor asks me to," said Mr Hencoller, who was more than slightly squiffy.

His attempts to make peace with Amos were unsuccessful: "No 'ard feelings!"

"There may be no 'ard feelings on your part, I'll keep my feelings to meself!" Amos huffed.

Time flew by and the deadline loomed... Amos collated and stapled all his pages, and The Bugle hit the streets...

The photographs were processed and went on display at The Woolpack, as promised.

A selection of Amos' "Bugle" photographs...

"Why does everybody in your photographs look so surprised?" asked Mr Wilks. "I mean, even the cows look a bit startled."

"Well, folk are not accustomed to 'avin' Press on their doorstep," sniffed Amos.

Despite the advent of The Bugle, Mr Wilks did not intend to desert The Courier...

... but then that newspaper, via Frank Hencoller, committed a most ghastly act! Amos came charging out of The Woolpack, clutching The Courier as Mr Wilks closed the trap doors to the cellar.

"I let Vicar 'ave a look at my proof copy, remember? It must've got left on't bar and Hencoller must've walked off with it! He's used my match story, my show story, my vegetable story, in some cases word for word!"

Amos was beside himself and made to tear the copy of The Courier he held to shreds, but Mr Wilks wrenched it from him.

"That's censorship, Amos! What if I want to have a read of it still?"

" Then I hope you'll do me't kindness of readin' it elsewhere than in my presence!" cried Amos.

Was there anything that could be done about Hencollar's plaigiarism, asked Mr Wilks?

"Nowt!" said Amos.

As Mr Wilks sought to uncrumple The Courier, Amos' attention was caught by a figure across the street. "There's Walter. Eh up, he's bought a copy o't Bugle from't shop!

"Your first sale, Amos - let's hope you keep it up!" smiled Mr Wilks.

It was small consolation. But definitely some compensation.

Sales were going quite well and then Mr Tyler, editor of The Courier, phoned The Woolpack the day after publication...

Amos listened to what Mr T had to say: the gist of it was that Frank Hencoller had fallen down on the job quite literally - he'd collasped in The Black Bull in Hotten the night before and hadn't turned in for work that morning. Mr Tyler wanted Amos to cover the Beckindale Versus NY Estates Cricket Match. Amos agreed. On the condition that he was reinstated as local correspondent for Beckindale on the Courier staff.

Amos' demand was readily met, and Mr Tyler promised to put it in writing straight away.

It really was a famous victory.

"And where does that leave The Bugle?" asked Mr Wilks.

"Just as a threat, Mr Wilks," said Amos. "I reckon Courier were worried about competition. I knew they would be when they got to hear."

Amos revealed that he knew that Mr Tyler couldn't do without him: "A good newspaper needs folk with their finger on't pulse!"

But it was the end for The Beckindale Bugle.

"Mind, Bugle served a good purpose though," said Amos. "Perhaps I might not've got my job back if it wasn't for all the work I put in on't Bugle." And he sailed, gloriously victorious, into the living quarters.

"And if it hadn't been for Frank Hencoller being indisposed in't Black Bull!" said Mr Wilks. But not too loudly.