Saturday, 26 June 2010

Matt And Dolly And A Shaggy Dog Story - And Changing Times In Beckindale...

Daily Mirror, December 15, 1983.

Ben belonged to the horrifying Harry Mowlam (Godfrey James) and Matt Skilbeck (Frederick Pyne) snatched him after he witnessed Harry kicking him.

Of course, Harry wasn't having this - Ben was his property - and he wanted him back...

And there was trouble.

But Harry didn't succeed in getting Ben back.

The terrified dog proved a handful - and frightened the wits out of Dolly (Jean Rogers) when she took him some food to the outbuilding. The hairy beast cornered her, snarling most alarmingly...

But all turned out well in the end.

Until 1985. When Harry Mowlam turned his sights on Beckindale again.

And he hadn't forgotten the Skilbecks...

Was Emmerdale Farm a seething hotbed of anger and passion in the 1980s?


But it certainly wasn't as safe as it had once been.

Many of the story-lines revolved around Amos and Mr Wilks (Ronald Magill and Arthur Pentelow) - in their absolutely golden era, Mrs Bates and Mr Turner (Diana Davies and Richard Thorp) in the NY office at Home Farm, Seth Armstrong (Stan Richards) on the cadge or the wind-up, domestic affairs with Matt and Dolly, and the romance between Kathy (Malandra Burrows) and Jackie (Ian Sharrock).

But we also had snarling Tom Merrick (Edward Peel), devious Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell), and, in his early days, awful Alan Turner.

Baddies made their mark on Beckindale, and at least one stuck around.

But the anger and passion were always balanced by beautifully mundane and often comic scenes.

When Derek Warner (Dennis Blanche) almost ran Harry Mowlam over in 1985, and then threatened him with a knife, we were treated to hilarious scenes in the same episode with Alan Turner and the Rev Donald Hinton (Hugh Manning) rehearsing for the Christmas play.

When Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) was bedding Karen Moore (Annie Hulley) in a hotel room in 1984, the show kept flipping to scenes of Amos and Mr Wilks confronting each other over the breakfast table, or Matt and Jackie dealing with a ram at Emmerdale Farm who was no longer "up to it" and, as Matt said, "ready for the meat pie factory".

The scenes of mating sheep on the farm, and Jack's apparently high-minded affair with Karen, which was simply amounting to humans mating in an adulturous fling, seemed beautifully thought out.

Well, it certainly made me think!

Stability won the day in the Beckindale of the 1980s.

It was more chit-chat and sheep, comedy and everyday drama than anything else.

However, although Beckindale had never been an entirely safe place before the 1980s, there was a feeling that the big bad late twentieth century was brandishing a fist at the village rather more than in the past.

Clive Hornby And Andrew Burt - Not The Same Jack!

Kelly has written:

I've just read on an Emmerdale thread that viewers thought Andrew Burt and Clive Hornby were the same actor when it came to playing Jack Sugden.

Is that true?

No, Kelly. The arrival of Clive Hornby as Jack Sugden was widely publicised in 1980 and fans were fully aware and interested to see the "new Jack". The physical resemblance to Andrew Burt was absolutely deliberate, but the new Jack spoke differently (more down to earth!) and the character of Jack altered considerably in the early Clive Hornby era.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Esholt - The 1980s Emmerdale Era And 2010

Esholt, AKA Beckindale/Emmerdale, 2010. Looking across the allotments to the back of The Woolpack.

Beckindale Bugle reader Ben is a great fan of Emmerdale past and present, and recently visited Esholt, which was the village's exterior location for many years - including the entire 1980s.

We thought it might be fun to do a "Then And Now" retrospective - Beckindale 1980s meets Esholt 2010...

Here's Ben on the very spot where Amos clocked the "return" of the revised and recast Merrick family in September 1980!

In the modern day Esholt Woolpack, memories of Amos and Mr Wilks still linger. The photograph above adorns one of the walls in the pub and is captioned:

EMMERDALE FARM, SEPTEMBER 1981. Henry Wilks (Arthur Pentelow) and Amos Brearly (Ronald Magill) pictured outside The Woolpack.

1981 is a very special year to this blog - it was the year when a certain Mr Brearly founded The Beckindale Bugle - from which we took our title!

The Woolpack in 2010 and in 1980. Back in the '80s, the pub was called The Commercial Inn and had to be disguised as The Woolpack before each episode was filmed. The Commercial became a real-life Woolpack in the early 1990s.

Esholt Sports And Leisure Club in 2010 - and the Beckindale village show, 1980! The Esholt site saw many scenes of sporting rivalry in Emmerdale Farm - and Seth Armstrong accidentally drenching Alan Turner (who was suffering from Seth-induced food poisoning) with champagne after the 1986 NY Estates Versus Beckindale Cricket Match.

Ben's photograph of the Esholt allotments. In 1980, Amos Brearly acquired an allotment in Beckindale - and the scene was set for a decade of rivalry with Seth Armstrong!

Looking across Main Street, Esholt, from The Woolpack - and, inset, Amos and Mr Wilks at home in Main Street, Beckindale in 1981. Amos has just spotted Walter leaving the village shop, studying a copy of The Beckindale Bugle!

Amos won a tricycle in a competition in 1983 - and was thrilled. He was no fan of two wheelers ("Put me on a bike and you've got a wobble!"). Ben retraced Amos's 1983 ride through Beckindale in modern day Esholt.

To end on - a few Esholt facts:

Esholt was originally known as "Escheholt" - the ash wood

The church - which doubled as St Mary's in the Beckindale saga - was built in 1839.

Esholt Old Hall, next to the church, is thought to date from the medieval period and is closely associated with the Sherburne (or Shireburne) family, an ancient catholic family.

Most of the estate cottages in the village date from the early 19th Century.

Esholt doubled as Beckindale from 1976 to 1998 and is still a popular destination for Emmerdale fans.