Friday, 11 September 2009

In Praise Of Henry Wilks (Arthur Pentelow)

Arthur Pentelow as Henry Wilks - enduring some nonsense from Amos Brearly (Ronald Magill) in 1984 and having fun at the Beckindale playgroup in 1981.

William writes to tell me that Mr Wilks is getting a poor deal here...

He was my favourite character - the ideal Dad or Grandad. I think you should feature him more.

So do I, William. I thought the world of that character!

Here's a little tribute...

Henry was kind hearted but straight talking, and utterly reliable as a friend.

Of course, he is best remembered for his partnership with Amos Brearly (Ronald Magill) - long suffering Henry was the voice of sanity, and Amos - increasingly... er... idiosyncratic! But Henry was very shrewd. He saw through Amos' daft fads and moods to the man of kindness and integrity that lurked within.

He and Amos were the best of best friends.

They both enjoyed a pipe - and the characters were even declared "Joint Pipe Smokers Of The Year" in 1986.

But Henry's life wasn't totally centred around Amos and The Woolpack - far from it. He was on the board at Emmerdale Farm Ltd, and, from 1981 onwards, was also a parish councillor.

He enjoyed walking, and studying the local flora and fauna.

Henry was the man Tom Merrick (Edward Peel) recommended troubled young Jackie (Ian Sharrock) should turn to if ever he needed help or advice.

Idealistic, eco-friendly Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) had difficulties with Henry's business side - and we must never forget that Henry was a successful businessman before he retired to Beckindale. This provided another fascinating element to the character. The Henry we knew so well was kind and caring, but he'd once moved in very different circles. In 1986 he was canny indeed whilst buying some land for Emmerdale, and in 1989, he told unscrupulous (and, in fact, downright villainous) businessman Denis Rigg (Richard Franklin) that he knew his type.

Henry had once swum in a much more competitive and shark-infested pond than Beckindale!

At the centre of it all was his partnership at The Woolpack with Amos, but who could forget his feelings for Annie Sugden (Sheila Mercier) and his brief romance with Doreen (Sandra Gough) from The Malt Shovel?

Henry was also a family man, and his concern for his daughter, Marian (Debbie Blythe), added yet another facet to the character.

I recall (and re-watch) with delight the Mr Wilks and Amos story-lines.

But there was much more to Henry's role in the show than just living with and trying to speak sense to Amos.

Henry was a very active pillar of the Beckindale community.

And a much-loved Emmerdale Farm character in his own right.

No comments:

Post a Comment