Saturday, 8 March 2008

1986: A Fond Farewell To Walter!

Al Dixon as Walter in one of his last "Emmerdale Farm" appearances in 1985.

Al Dixon became the Woolpack's second Walter in September 1980 - rather quirkier than the first, and also rather more silent! Mr Dixon, from his debut onwards, stood out as a memorable face in The Woolpack crowd.

The second Walter became a much loved feature of the series. Then, in the autumn of 1985, Al Dixon suffered a stroke. It was hoped, initially, that he would recover and be able to return to the Woolpack bar in the near future. In the meantime, advance location filming kept Walter on screen (outside the Woolpack and at the village hall) until Christmas.

A cover story was needed to explain Walter's absence at the Woolpack. In an episode broadcast in January 1986, Harry Mowlam commented: "No Walter today?"
Amos: "Nay, 'e's not 'ere."
Harry: "So I can see."
Amos: "Walter, I regret to say, has gone down South - Worthing. Humph! He'll be there weeks an' all. Oh, I know 'e'll be glad to see 'is sister, but I'm not sure what 'e'll make of all them fancy licenced 'ouses down there - I think yer know what I mean!"
Al Dixon's death in March 1986 put paid to any hopes of a return to Beckindale for Walter.
As far as I know, Walter was not killed off in the show.
So, I'm left to conclude that the Sussex sea air, the Worthing public houses and his sister's cooking were very much to his liking!

1 comment:

  1. Simon, Cornwall9.3.08

    Glad Walter had a happy ending. He was weird (do you know why he never spoke?) but nice.