Saturday, 7 March 2009

1981: Mr Wilks - The Red Indian!

Dolly Skilbeck took her role as head of the Beckindale playgroup very seriously, and had no hesitation in going to Henry Wilks, who had become parish councillor for Beckindale in 1981, when it seemed maintenance was needed at the village hall, where the playgroup was held.

The rent the playgroup paid, which hadn't been raised in years, was increased slightly and some of the major work was carried out. But Dolly still wasn't happy. When a little girl scraped her knee slightly on a nail sticking up out of the floor, Dolly determined to get Henry on-side. The general opinion in Beckindale was that the village was not getting a fair deal out of the rates - in comparison to larger places like Hotten.

Dolly invited Henry to spend some time at the playgroup. At first he was sceptical: children did scrape their knees, and the hall looked fine to him. He spent several hours at the playgroup, getting involved in face painting and reading stories to the children. By the end of it, he was so taken with the playgroup and the children that, although he still didn't see why Dolly was so up in arms, he vowed his support to her.

Dolly was very pleased with herself for seeing the issue through, and even more so when money was provided to carry out the repairs.

Mr Wilks left the playgroup in a great hurry on the day of his visit, realising that he would be late back at The Woolpack, and not wanting to incur the wrath of Amos.

But laughter not frowns greeted his arrival at the pub: he's forgotten to remove his face paint and head dress!

Arthur Pentelow at the Corner Shop, Esholt, in the 1980s. Always a tempering influence on Amos (particularly necessary during Amos' manic-to-the-max '80s era), Mr Wilks was one of Beckindale's best-loved villagers, and a huge favourite with viewers of Emmerdale Farm.

1 comment:

  1. Joanna T13.3.09

    I remember Dolly running the playgroup. She went to work there after her miscarriage in 1980.