Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Seth annoys Amos at the 1983 Beckindale Christmas show.

Best wishes for a very happy Christmas from The Bugle.

And, as s always, thanks to all readers for calling in!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Timewarp To 1983: Clive Hornby's Music Choice - Courtesy of Carl Gresham!

Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) reflects on life at Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s.

I've just been transported back to 1983 to spend some time with the late, much-loved Emmerdale Farm/Emmerdale actor Clive Hornby. Clive played the legendary Jack Sugden, making his debut on 19 February 1980, and was in the show until shortly before his death in 2008.

During that time, the show was transformed, rocketing out of the (by comparison) sleepy 1980s and into the 1990s and early 21st Century, keeping pace with the other English soaps via a thoroughly modern flavour, geared to the evolving tastes of soap fans across the country.

Through all the drama and comedy, there was Clive Hornby as Jack Sugden, providing a lovely thread of continuity back to the old days - as Elizabeth Estensen said in tribute to the character "Always the farmer".

It was an idea of Carl Gresham AKA "The Gresh", a DJ on Pennine Radio in 1983, to make use of his contacts with the stars of Emmerdale Farm and invite six of them into the studio over a period of about two months - to each present an hour of their favourite music. The Gresh put on his producer's hat for the shows, it being his plan not to interview the stars but simply to let them talk, choose their favourite tunes, and then play the music. Judging by the Clive Hornby hour I have just listened to, it made for marvellous radio.

But it's a long way back to 1983, times and technology have changed dramatically, and The Gresh, faced with the old Ampex ten inch tapes he had kept of the shows (he's a self confessed hoarder!) faced some discouragement from those that thought the tapes would be useless now - they would have degenerated, gone "crumply".

The Gresh persevered, and passed the tapes to his archive producer, Dave Perrett, and, after much work, the interviews were transferred to CD and sound as though they were recorded yesterday!

The Clive Hornby show was originally broadcast on Thursday, 10th November, 1983.

It's a lovely listen, an unexpectedly unearthed piece of Emmerdale history - and makes a tremendous tribute to Clive - who tells us a bit about his youth in the 1960s, the decade from which most of his favourite records originate. There's also a chance to hear the Dennisons - the pop group which featured Clive as drummer - and Clive also relates the story of how he became one of the first people ever to hear a certain classic 1960s hit, comes up with a song which captures the complexities of being seventeen years old, and slips in a request for another Emmerdale Farm cast member.

Throughout the hour, Clive comes across as being a thoroughly down to earth and likeable man who would have made a great companion for an evening's chat in the Woolpack Inn, Beckindale - or anywhere else.

If you'd like to hear Clive's musical choice, the show is available on a CD, available from:

PO Box 3. Bradford. West
Yorkshire. BD1 4QN

The cost is £5.00 - including postage - and we think it's an absolute bargain. Please make cheques payable to Carl Gresham. We don't usually go in for advertising or selling things at the Bugle, but this CD is, in our opinion, absolutely priceless!

Clive (far left) with his fellow cast members - the folks at Emmerdale Farm - summer 1984.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

1985: The Harvest, The Robbery, The Marriage Break-Up, The Royal Connection...

Harry Mowlam established an alibi at The Woolpack in 1985.

Here's some highlights from four 1985 episodes - comedy, sadness, high drama, farming, mundane moments...

On hearing that Henry, Prince of Wales, visited Beckindale in 1420, and that his servants stayed at a local coaching inn, Amos becomes convinced that the inn was the Woolpack: "You can see him now, can't yer? The Prince of Wales on his armour plated steed, outside these premises, calling to his merry men: 'We few! We happy band of brothers! We'll stop here. I know the premier licensed house in't district when I see it!' Oh, it fills you with pride, don't it, Mr Wilks?"

Whilst Amos drives everybody mad with that little scenario, Jack, Matt and Jackie are in a race against time to get the harvest in at Emmerdale Farm as the weather forecast says rain. It had been Jack's idea to get the harvest in late, and he works through the night, with Jackie Merrick and Matt Skilbeck working shifts alongside him.

Things are going well, when, the next day, Matt and Jack discover that Harry Mowlam has blocked their right of way up to the top twenty acres with stone from a wall he is repairing. Harry refuses to shift the stone - walling is skilled work, the repairs could take two weeks, he says, gloatingly. Jack gives him three hours to shift the stone, or he'll contact the law.

Jack is furious and wants to phone his solicitor as soon as he returns to the farm house. Annie tells him, "No", and is convinced that Jack has contributed to the bad feeling with Harry. Sadly, she doesn't know Harry! She tells Jack to get some sleep and check out the situation in a couple of hours - Harry may have moved the stones by then.

When Jack comes yawning downstairs later, a storm breaks and the rain pours down. Jack is beside himself with fury and stands in the rain shouting: "Damn you, Mowlam, DAMN YOU!!"

Next day, Emmerdale Farm LTD counts the cost of the lost harvest - six thousand pounds. Annie disagrees with Jack that the whole incident was Harry's fault, and points out that it was him that insisted on a late harvest.

Harry Mowlam visits the Woolpack with Derek Warner, a villainous ex-associate of Tom Merrick, and another man - a stranger to the district. The three men arouse Amos's suspicions, and he says he'd love to know what they are talking about! When Matt and Jack come in, a row erupts over the blocked right of way.

When Harry returns to his two friends at the table, Derek advises firmly that Harry should play the good neighbour. After all, they don't want the law on the scene. Harry agrees and tells Jack he'll clear the stone right away - and he'll have no further trouble. Jack comments bitterly: "It's too late now, anyway!" But Harry bustles off. He later tells Amos that God punished Jack for taking risks with late harvesting by sending the rain.

Annie exchanges sharp words with Jack, convinced that he's being unfair to Harry Mowlam. She says that perhaps Harry moved the stones because he'd decided it was better to try and get along with people. She says she's lived at the farm for forty years and seen worse neighbours than Harry. She talks of the days when she was a girl and neighbours were good to each other. The Sugdens had not always been good neighbours, particularly in Jacob's time. But there wasn't all this talk of bringing in the law and the farmers' union. Most neighbours tried to help each other. Clifford Longthorn's father often took care of the Sugdens' stock when Jacob was drinking.

Annie is pleased to receive a letter from Joe in France and is replying when Jack enters the kitchen to make his peace over their difference of opinion. She confesses that she's ageing - it takes her longer to do things these days - and that she can't understand why the family has so many disagreements. Jack says it was always so. Annie agrees: "Maybe it's me that's changed!" But she bangs her fist on the table, and states firmly that she will not be ignored! Jack hugs her, tells her that would be impossible, makes them a pot of tea and reads Joe's letter.

Sandie Merrick leaves Emmerdale Farm for work that morning and goes across the fields to catch the bus from the Connelton Road. Derek Warner and two associates are laying in wait there, to rob the security van bringing the wages for the NY Estates men to Home Farm.

At The Woolpack, Walter and Harry Mowlam are waiting outside when the pub opens. Harry seems in a very mellow mood, and tells Amos he has plenty of time to wait when the barrel needs changing before he can have a pint. Harry is setting up an alibi - Amos, Henry and Walter will become witnesses to his position when the raid takes place on the security van. He later goes to the table outside so that locals passing can see him there, quietly drinking his pint. He becomes even more noticeable when he harasses the vicar about his sermon last Sunday.

On the Connelton Road, Warner and associates, in stocking masks, ambush the van and threaten the drivers with gelignite unless they open the doors. The drivers do so and are quickly tethered. Horrified Sandie witnesses the scene from a field nearby, and is seen by Derek Warner, hurrying away.

Warner and co rob the van and then make off: "Sweet as a nut!" says Warner.

One of the security guards also witnessed Sandie hurrying away and tells Sergeant McArthur. McArthur is concerned and hopes he can find the person before the robbers do.

From the Hotten Courier, 1985.

Alan Turner is concerned that he is unable to pay the men at NY. He gives Seth a cheque, and Seth is horrified, always having dealt in cash. Henry comes to his rescue by cashing it.

Amos blames Seth when the Beckindale Horticultural Society hits financial difficulties and decides there will be no 1985 show. Seth decides to set up "The Seth Armstrong Horticultural Show" and get the vicar, Donald Hinton, to judge it. He tells Amos it's "five quid" to enter - but advises him not to bother - "you won't win owt!"

Amos decides to set up "The Amos Brearly Horticultural Show" on the same day as Seth's show, and get the vicar to judge that, too. Bitter rivalry erupts between the two old enemies.

Seth Armstrong is annoyed when Amos goes into competition with him, Mr Wilks is bothered by Amos's obsession with a possible link between The Woopack and royalty, Walter sees all, hears all, says nowt.

Mrs Bates tells Alan Turner that her marriage is over. Malcolm is seeing another woman. He has told her that he always thought that their marriage was a sham, and was only staying until the children grew up. "He won't leave me, so I'm leaving him!"

Mrs Bates admits that her marriage was not perfect, but she is stunned by recent developments. She's taking her teenage children to stay with her sister in Richmond.

Alan tells Terence that he is worried about Mrs Bates - "She's a good sort" - and he likes his staff to feel that they can take their problems to him. Terence advises Alan to allocate Mrs Bates an NY Estates cottage. Alan agrees it is a good idea. Terence cynically comments that women of Mrs Bates's age are usually grateful.

Alan tells her Mrs Bates that NY Estates has a slightly run-down cottage in Main Street, Beckindale, where she could live. He would charge her a cheap rent of £30 or so a month. Mrs Bates is pleased.

Pregnant Dolly Skilbeck is suffering from morning sickness. When Mrs Bulstrode tells the vicar that Nellie Ratcliffe's flowers always get a better position in churtch than hers, and refuses to lead the Sunday school any more, Donald asks Dolly to help out for a few weeks. Dolly happily agrees, but Matt is concerned that she's overdoing things. Dolly tells him it's only an hour a week for about four weeks, and her friend Liz McDonald is going to help her.

Meanwhile, Jackie Merrick meets his Indian girlfriend Sita's father. Dr Sharma is not impressed with Jackie and tells Sita that Jackie is: "An English boy without great prospects and little education." He refuses to meet Jackie's family. Sita is upset, but her father tells her to think about the situation. Sita replies: "I HAVE thought about it!"

Jackie and Sita discover opposition to their wedding plans.

When Sandie gets home, she finds Jack tinkering with a farm vehicle in the yard. "Eventful day?" he asks her. She replies that it was all right, and makes her way towards the farmhouse, looking terrified...