Tuesday, 5 February 2008

25 Years Ago - The Way Things Were - Gossip From Beckindale 1983 - Part 3

A cold, sunny morning in early 1983, and Mr Wilks arrived at the Woolpack at the same time as the postman with that day's post. He took it. Amos was busy behind the bar and would read his mail later.

Up at Emmerdale Farm, the postman gave a letter to Sam Pearson...

... who became very excited upon opening it. "Annie! Annie!"

In the farmhouse, Sam showed Annie and Pat the letter, which revealed that he had won a competition organised by Shepherd's Super Seeds - a cruise for two to the Canaries.

"I may not know much, but I know all about flowers! 'Supersede all other seeds,' as soon as Jack said that, I knew it couldn't be beat." He turned to Pat: "So, half of it's yours and half of it's Jack's and you must have a lovely holiday between you!"

But Pat refused. She was worried about Sandie who, having broken the news of her pregnancy, had gone to stay with her father. Pat wanted to remain at home in case she was needed in any way.

"She seems to have taken Sandie's going harder than I thought, Annie," said Sam after Pat had left them.

"Give her time, Dad, it hasn't been easy," said Annie.

As for the cruise, Annie and Sam decided they would go together, if that was all right with the others.

"I've just thought of something - this is going to put a flea in Amos' ear - he went in for the competition too!" laughed Sam.

Annie was delighted to see her father in such good spirits. The news of Sandie's pregnancy had made Sam very unhappy - he was fond of the girl and very concerned for her. Annie was glad that something had put the spring back in his step.

Meanwhile, at the Woolpack, Amos had sat down to read his mail whilst Mr Wilks prepared them something on toast.

Suddenly, Amos became very excited: "I'm a winner, Mr Wilks, a winner!"

It turned out he'd won one of fifty tricycles as a runner-up in the Shepherd's Super Seeds competition. "That'll just suit me, with my balancing!"

Of course, Amos couldn't resist puffing himself up a little: "I just knew that little rhyme of mine would catch their eyes! You thought I couldn't find a rhyme for that, didn't you?"

"A rhyme for what?" asked Mr Wilks.

"Horticulture, Mr Wilks, horticulture - Shepherd's Super Seeds! 'Considering gardening at this juncture, you can't beat Shepherd's Super Seeds for horticulture'! I knew that was a winner as soon as I thought of it!"

Well, it certainly deserves summat," said Mr Wilks. He reminded Amos that he was only a runner-up, an "also ran", but Amos was not to be deterred - a winner was a winner!

Then another thought struck him: "Sam Pearson's going to take this hard - me being a prize winner! Well, he went in for the competition an' all!"

Annie was soon into listing what was "wanted on voyage", although as she said to Pat: "The more I try to shorten this, the longer it seems to get!"

Sam was very excited: "Annie, I've been looking in this book and it says the way to avoid sea sickness is not to keep your eyes fixed on owt - it's written by a globe trotter, a travel book."

"I'd have thought that meant he was a walker!" laughed Pat, who was doing some hand washing at the sink.

"Hmm," Sam decided to ignore that. "And it says you should only drink bottled or boiled water."

" Dad, this was written in 1870!" said Annie.

"That doesn't matter! The desert hasn't changed, has it? I mean, the Sahara's still there?"

"It's the Canaries, Dad, and we're going on a ship - a modern ship."

"Annie, it says a day in Casblanca. Now, that's in Africa, isn't it? And it's near the desert!"

"But they don't live in tents and drink river water, Mr Pearson," Pat laughed.

"I hope not!" said Sam

Meanwhile, Amos was thrilled with his tricycle. It had been expected in some quarters that he might be more than a little jealous of Sam's prize winning success, but not Amos - the tricycle had gripped his imagination, as things tended to do, and he was as pleased as could be.

"You make a fine sight on that!" said the vicar, the Reverend Donald Hinton, meeting Amos in the village one morning.

"Aye, it's the extra wheel, you see - lending not only balance, so you can't fall off it, but making it look right - like it's meant to have a body on it," explained Amos.

"I see," smiled Mr Hinton.

"And it's safe, you feel quite safe with this," Amos continued. "Not vulnerable and you can take a look around at things without wobbling."

"Yes, you did have a wobble on the other, I had noticed." said Mr Hinton.

"Aye, I always did have a wobble. I always used to say, 'Put me on a bike and you have a wobble'. Not with this, on this I never wobble!"

On the cruise departure day at Emmerdale Farm, Annie was serene and ready well in time...

... whilst her father flew around the house, seeking things already packed, and checking and rechecking his suitcase, until Jack loaded it in the car!

But finally the travellers were off, with Jack driving them to the airport.

The intrepid travellers were only away for a few episodes, but life didn't stand still. In their absence, Jack and Jackie became closer and Pat deserted her disliked (and not terribly successful) duties at the Aga to help out on the farm - which rather took Jack aback.

When the travellers returned, they declared that they'd had a lovely time.

And one of the first things Sam did was to pop round to the Woolpack to show Amos his holiday snaps.


  1. Anonymous26.4.08

    In Century 21 they show bloody awful stories about coffins being crushed in bin lorries and the actors boast that a storyline about cot death is more "graphic" than EastEnders was years ago. There's no room for gentle realism now.

  2. Thanks for your comment, but can we stick to Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s, please? Soaps in general are a whole different ball game nowadays.