Tuesday, 16 June 2009

1983: Computers At NY Estates And Seth Armstrong's First Name...

Seth Armstrong "entertains" on the piano at the 1983 Beckindale Christmas Show.

In the summer of 1983, changes were afoot at NY Estates in Beckindale. The company was going computerised and each of its holdings would have a computer installed which would be linked to head office. Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) discovered that his secretary's hours would be cut from full-time to three days a week because of this.

And that wasn't all.

NY were seeking to make redundancies of around 50%, over a period of time.

Barbara Peters (Rosie Kerslake), Alan's secretary, ensured that the workforce, via Seth Armstrong (Stan Richards), got a look at the redundancies list. Alan had already told union rep John Tuplin (Malcolm Raeburn) that he was on the list, but that he needn't be. As union rep, John was in a position to cause major disruption. If he went with the flow and enabled the redundancies to be made without undue hindrance, Alan would ensure that John's name was taken off the list.

John hated what Alan was suggesting, but he had a wife and children to support.

Seth discovered that his name was on the list.

Jackie Merrick (Ian Sharrock) was curious to discover that "Armstrong: A.S." was the name listed.

What did the "A" stand for, he queried?

"It were just a name I were given. All't eldest lads 'ad it. I were never called by it," said Seth.

"Well, what's it for, then?" persisted Jackie.

"Archibald," said Seth.

Jackie was highly amused.

Seth was too devastated at the prospect of losing his job to pay much heed.

The Beckindale shoot had been operating at a loss, and NY wanted to abolish it, but Alan moved to save it, also saving Seth's job as gamekeeper.

Funnily enough, 1983 seemed to be the year of Archibalds in Beckindale - with Seth's secret christian name coming out, and Archie Brooks (Tony Pitts) making his first appearance!

Archie - nice hair, shame about the name...

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