Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Meadows White

An e-mail from Stockholm:

Hello Thanks for a nice informative Blogg :)

Earlier this year i bought the " Emmerdale farm first series dvd" and in at least one episode "Walter" together with another gentleman was sat outside "Frank Blakeys" Smithy And the name in the list was " Meadows White"

Thanks for that. Meadows White is mentioned as a Beckindale Walter in several of the 1980s Walter articles on this blog, but I don't think the character was actually related to the Geoffrey Hooper Woolpack Walter - on-screen circa 1974 to 1980 - or the Al Dixon Woolpack Walter of 1980-1985.

The Meadows White Walter was not silent and, in the episodes I have, he was not in The Woolpack. Also, according to his IMDB profile, Mr White died on 20 November 1973 - several years before Geoffrey Hooper appeared as the first Woolpack Walter.

Many thanks for taking the trouble to write.

Sorry for the lack of blog updates this month - but I'm currently in hospital. Things will hopefully be back to normal in the near future. I'm hoping to be back very soon with an in-depth look at Beckindale in 1981 and 1982.

Read about Al Dixon's 1980s Walter here.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

1981: The Cat And The Hat

Amos and Mr Wilks admire the new hat in 1981. Inset: Auntie Emily Brearly on her first visit to The Woolpack in 1980.

Emily Brearly's first visit to The Woolpack had caused much disruption. She had been horrified to find her nephew, Amos, meddling with the occult - bog-a-boos no less! - and departed in a great flurry - telling Amos that he should have the pub exorcised!

In 1981, Auntie Emily sent Amos a gift - a wonderfully classy hat. Very dressy. Too dressy in fact.

"This is the type of hat as history is made in," said Amos.

Amos' pleasure soon turned to disgust as his friends and neighbours sniggered to themselves whenever he came into view in his natty headgear, and Seth Armstrong serenaded him across Main Street: "Where did you get that hat, where did you get that hat?"

Mr Wilks and Walter were not impressed.

Amos did not want to give into the local philistines - he certainly didn't want to give into Seth Armstrong - and, besides, his feared Auntie Emily had bought him the hat and she would be not happy if she knew he wasn't wearing it.

Finally, he hit on a solution: Mr Wilks had adopted a pregnant cat, due to have her kittens any day. Amos decided that the hat was the perfect home for the new family - and organised things so that it looked like the cat had chosen it herself.

Of course, he couldn't possibly wear it now!

But Mr Wilks secretly guessed what he'd done, and told Amos that he felt dreadful about the loss of the hat (he, after all, had adopted the cat) and that he was going to buy Amos a new one, just the same as the original, from the very same shop.

Amos squirmed, and owned up.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Did The Malt Shovel Ever Appear On-Screen?

1984/1985 - barmaid Doreen (Sandra Gough) catches Mr Wilks' eye. Amos does not approve. He's also not keen on having Ernie Shuttleworth in such close proximity! Photograph courtesy of Bill Sands.

An e-mail from Wendy asks if the interior of The Malt Shovel, the arch rival public house to The Woolpack, ever appeared on-screen?

I have some episodes from 1981, Wendy, in which Seth Armstrong revisits the 'Shovel - his old local (he became a regular at The Woolpack in 1980) - and both interior and exterior are seen. I believe the interior of the pub was also seen in the 1984/1985 storyline involving Mr Wilks and Doreen.