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!


  1. Wishing you a Happy New Year - keep up the good work! xx

  2. Anonymous31.12.08

    A happy new year to you too!

    Emmerdale Farm blog has provided me with a lot of information i would never had known otherwise, A huge thank you for that !