Monday, 15 February 2010

1989: Kim Tate Arrives...

Seth Armstrong (Stan Richards) was, of course, always a kindly, helpful soul. On meeting a newcomer to the village on horseback one day in December 1989, he noted the "posh" way she spoke, noted she was a stranger to the area, noted she was seeking directions to Home Farm, and decided to have some fun.

The newcomer on horseback was Mrs Kim Tate (Claire King), wife of the new owner of Home Farm, Frank Tate (Norman Bowler). Mrs Tate had set out from Skipdale on a bet with step-daughter, Zoe (Leah Bracknell). The two would both try and reach their new home at Home Farm on horseback, and who ever won the bet would get a quid.

Seth described a very circuitous route to Home Farm, all up hill and down dale...

He was laughing about his trick to Bill Whiteley (Teddy Turner) later in The Woolpack, reckoning that Mrs Tate would probably be halfway to Harrogate by now, when a voice from just behind him stated firmly: "Oh no I'm not!"

And there was Kim, on her first but certainly not last visit to The Woolpack Inn.

Kim was not amused by Seth's mischief. Her horse was exhausted by its hard ride over the surrounding countryside.

Mine host Amos Brearly (Ronald Magill) had discovered he had bats in the attic in 1980. In 1989, he had bats in the belfry. Who else but '80s Amos could have dreamt up the idea of turning Dracula into a pantomime? And who else could write such dialogue as: "Fee fo fi fum, me thinks I'll drink the blood of an Englishman" for Dracula to say?

Taking a break from his epic work, Amos emerged into the bar to discover Henry Wilks (Arthur Pentelow) and Dolly Skilbeck (Jean Rogers) hard at work, and a strange woman standing on the public side of the bar with Seth and Bill. And not only that but a strange woman who had left a horse on his forecourt. Horses were not allowed on The Woolpack forecourt!

"Mr Wilks - fetch the shovel!" yelped Amos, hurrying outside.

Henry ushered Kim outside, where Amos let her have it - both barrels - she must remove the horse forthwith!

"Horses are not allowed on Woolpack property under any circumstances whatsoever!"

Zoe had caught up with Kim, and the two women rode off together.

Henry then informed Amos that these woman were two members of the new family at Home Farm.

Amos was horrified. He wanted to keep in well with the local "gentry" - and besides that he'd already met Frank Tate and he was financing Dracula!

"Ladies! Ladies!" whined Amos, but it was too late - Kim and Zoe continued on their way.

Kim's next port of call was Emmerdale Farm, where she tethered her horse in the farmyard and knocked at the farmhouse door. Giving barely a few seconds for her knock to be answered, she set off to search for the farm owner.

A moment later, Annie Sugden (Sheila Mercier) emerged and was surprised to find no sign of a visitor, but a horse in the yard...

Kim came across Joe Sugden (Frazer Hines) at work in an outbuilding.

"Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find the owner?"

"Who's asking?"

"Is anybody round here capable of answering a simple question?" Kim was getting annoyed.

"Tell you what, let's start again, eh?" said Joe.

Kim explained to Joe that her horse was exhausted, and that she was trying to get to Home Farm. Had Joe got a horse box?

No, replied Joe, but he could get one.

Thank goodness!" said Kim.

As Joe loaded the horse into the horse box, Annie re-emerged from the farmhouse.

"Were you the person who thumped on my door?"

"I knocked, yes, but there was nobody in," said Kim.

"Well there was actually," Annie was slightly cold. She told Kim that she had been working at the top of the house. "And when I got to the kitchen door, all I could see was a horse. Huh!"

And Annie went indoors again, clearly unimpressed.

This was Emmerdale episode 1411, broadcast on 12 December 1989.

And Kim's introduction to Beckindale.

The 1980s were coming to an end. But before the decade died, newcomers were arriving in Beckindale who would ensure life would never be the same again.

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