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!


1 comment:

  1. Yes, Seth wasn't on a permanent contract in the beginning. He was great in the 80's. I think working at NY Estates with Alan Turner (82-88) was his best ever era.

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