EastEnders An Oral History 1985-2015

Discussion in 'UK Soaps Forum' started by James from London, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1959 (continued)

    Arthur: My father, you know, he was a great organiser.
    Pauline: Your father couldn't organise his way out of a paper bag.

    Arthur: We never had banks in our family. My dad always thought his savings were safer under the floorboards. My mum used to carry her housekeeping around in her brassiere.
    Willy Roper: Very safe I'm sure, but what about interest?
    Arthur: Yeah, she got a lot of that.

    Arthur: My old mum couldn't tell the difference between a fraction and a decimal, but that didn't stop her bringing up a family.

    Arthur: My mum thought every day was going to be her last. Not just when she was old, but when she was young too. And that's how she thought about us. She thought that every time we went out, we'd get knocked down by a bus. She was scared. She couldn't live in the future. She couldn't plan anything, nothing. And she couldn't live for today either because she was just a bundle of nerves and worries.

    Peggy: My old granny, she came to live with us just before the end of her life. One day she said to me, it wasn't long before she passed away, "Peggy my girl, if I had my time all over again, I'd forget the past, ignore the future and just set my mind on enjoying the here and now. Always remember that. Make sure you enjoy what you've got while you've got it."

    Arthur on his father: When he was drunk, he was a bastard. Do you know, he hit her. My old mum, he hit her. I see this poor old woman with her hands [clenched], frustrated, all her dreams gone. She was beautiful, had beautiful hair and beautiful eyes. She had nothing except an old man that hit her when he was drunk. And she held this up, this statue, a bloody old chalk statue, it wasn't worth a rum, and he broke it. And she said, "You broke it", as if it was something special. And it was to her. And I wondered why, I said, "Why?" and she said, "It's not the statue, it's not the statue," and I didn't understand.

    Arthur: My old mum was up at five every morning, off to the city to clean banks and offices while the rest of us were stirring. Then she did the school dinners and--
    Pauline: And then it killed her, Arthur.

    Grant Mitchell: What's that saying about a bit of hard work never harmed anyone?
    Peggy: Who told you that? It killed your Great Uncle Dave.

    Jim Branning: I've done my fair share of graft in me time.
    Lynne Slater: Last time you broke into a sweat they were still lighting gas lamps.

    Terry Raymond: I had to watch my father take any job he could just to support us. Made me vow never to be hard up again.
    Irene Hills (née Carter): I was the opposite, spoilt rotten. My dad saw to it that I never wanted for anything.
    Terry: Had a bob or two, did he?
    Irene: Not always.

    Irene: I come from a family who do not believe in criminal activities.

    Ali Osman: I was brought up in the restaurant trade. My mum had five kids and she never stopped working, never. She just took us along in a pram, toddling about, and as soon as we was big enough, we all helped. We carried, we cleaned, we did everything. We worked together as a family.

    Ali to his brother Mehmet: All my life, [our father] has put you first. Whatever I did didn't count. The sun always shone out of your ...

    Masood Ahmed: My father — ambitious, charming, full of dreams, a slave to his appetites.
    Jane Beale: Ambition isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
    Masood: It is if you haven’t got what it takes to back it up.

    Masood, making a noise with his lips: Just an old trick my father taught me. It relaxes the facial muscles.

    Inzamam Ahmed, Masood’s brother: I’ve [made fun of Masood] all my life and with good cause.

    Stacey Slater on her mother Jean: She’s been seeing doctors all her life.

    Cora Cross to Jean: From what I’ve heard, you’ve been fighting all your life.

    Peggy: When we were kids, we used to laugh at all the old 78s [records].

    Aunt Sal on Peggy: She was always after my boyfriends.
    Peggy: I wasn't.
    Aunt Sal: She even turned up at the cinema once when I was on a date.

    Pete: It was one of the best films ever made.
    Pauline: Rock Around The Clock? I've never been able to stand that film, ever since you had me slung out the cinema. And why was it always me had to open the fire exit so as you and your mates could bunk in?
    Pete: Because the exit was near the ladies', remember?

    Pauline: Rose Hickey — we used to knock around at school together, and for a while afterwards as well.

    Pauline: There was some Chapmans [the family Rose would eventually marry into] when we was at school — big family, rough lot — up at the other school.
    Phil Mitchell, speaking in 1993: They're a big family, pretty heavy a few years back. One of them was into post offices, bank robberies, that sort of thing.
    Pauline: The Chapmans I remember were just a bunch of tearaways.

    Rose Chapman (née Hickey) to Pete: I remember you and your mates knocking a ball about. I always tried to catch your eye.
    Pete: We was at school together?
    Rose: Yeah.
    Pete: Same class, was it?
    Rose: One form down.
    Pete: So how comes I didn't know you?
    Rose: You were more interested in the other girls.

    Pete on Rose: She had a crush on me.

    Pauline, speaking in 1993: I had a crush on that Philip Hughes, remember him? He was in the Gazette a couple months ago, pinching ladies' underwear off of washing lines.

    Johnny Allen, speaking in 2005: I'll never forget my first crush - Valerie Smith. She was a year below me at school. Every day without fail, she'd get on the bus two stops after me, give a cheeky little smile to me and my mate, Jimmy Kebab. And one day, Jimmy Kebab was off sick and I'm sitting there on my own and then, regular as clockwork, two stops later, on she gets. Only this time, she plonks herself down right next to me. My heart was in my mouth, my palms were all sweaty, I thought, "This is it." I'm just on the point of asking her out when she delivers the fatal blow. She only wanted me to set her up with Jimmy Kebab!
    Ruby, his daughter: And did you?
    Johnny: Well, believe it or not, Ruby, they're still together to this day. Makes you realise how one tiny incident can change the course of your life. If Valerie Smith had fancied me, I might never have met your mum.

    Pauline on Eddie Skinner: He used to carry my books home from school for me.
    Eddie: It was hard work and all.

    Eddie Skinner: Pauline [was] the most gorgeous girl in Walford.

    Joe Macer: I don’t suppose you were a pushover even in those days, were you?
    Pauline: If you had a mother like mine watching through the net curtains, you’d be too scared to do anything.

    Big Mo to Pauline: I bet you’ve always been [reluctant to get involved in a relationship]. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the boy trying to cop a feel off of you in the playground.

    Dot to Pauline: When you was young, you only had to walk down the market - every head would turn.

    Johnny to Peggy: Whenever you walked into a room, heads would turn. I know mine did.

    Nora White to Kirsty Branning: I used to turn a few heads when I was younger. I was like you. I had something about me.

    Cora Cross: I used to be able to walk down the street and stop traffic.

    Pauline: When I was young and I used to walk down the street, there was always blokes on the street corner and they'd always whistle, always.
    Dot: Or they'd shout, "Give us a smile, love!"
    Pauline: Yeah, that's right.
    Dot: Oh, I hated it. I used to think, "Why should I smile at you? I don't know you."
    Pauline: So you didn't smile back at them?
    Dot: No, I did not. I used to put me nose in the air and walk past as if I couldn't see them.
    Pauline: Me too, yeah.

    Kathy: Pete Beale, he was the only bloke I ever fancied, right back from school. He was a couple of years ahead of me. Never been no-one else. It weren't no schoolgirl crush I had on Pete.

    Pete: I was always getting into fights when I was a kid. Most of it was over silly birds.

    Rose: All the girls fancied you.
    Pete: Did they? No one told me.
    Rose: No, you were too busy hanging out with the other boys. You all used to go to that cafe on the high street.
    Pete: That's right. The lessons I skived off so I could have a fag in that place! I didn't even like smoking really.

    Arthur: I used to [smoke], but then we all did in the old days.

    Cora Cross on smoking near a baby: In my day, nobody batted an eyelid.

    Dot: They used to say fags were good for your nerves.

    Rose: You were always getting in trouble, weren't you?
    Pete: Yeah, bit of a tearaway in them days.
    Rose: You wore that leather jacket and your hair was slicked back. We thought you looked like Elvis. Remember that Christmas dance? You got up onstage with that group and started singing 'Love Me Tender'.
     
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1960

    Big Mo on the sixties: I hated that decade, all that love and peace. I could have punched all of them.

    Dot Cotton: Walford in the sixties and seventies, it was rough. It was dirty, rundown.
    Pauline Fowler: It just felt safer then.
    Dot: You had Arthur, you had Pete, you had Kenny. And Lou. They was looking out for you.

    Johnny Allen: Let a lady walk home on her own? My old man would spin in his grave. It's the way I was brought up.

    Cora Cross: There was a time when the East End was full of men like that, proper East End gents like Derek [Branning], men in their prime, men getting involved — principles, loyalty, guidance — like it or lump it. You can call that arrogance if you like, sexist. I call it manners — arm across the road and a nice drop of malt whiskey, just like our dads, protecting his nearest and dearest.

    Pauline: I was a real baby. [Lou] was ever so strict. All them rules, like "Don't come in late".

    Lou to Pauline: You and Pete were home by 8 o'clock or you got a good hiding.

    Pauline: I didn't even have a steady boyfriend. Just used to listen to Radio Luxembourg and dream about Paul Anka. I didn't have anyone that mattered, not until [Arthur] and even he didn't matter at first

    Pete Beale: Do you remember skiffle, the old washboards? I had one of those, Mum's from under the stairs.
    Rose Chapman: Were you gonna be a —
    Pete: Pop star? Well, you know what kids are. I imagined myself driving around in an open top Chevy. Most people have dreams when they're young. First, I wanted to be singer or something in show business. Then I got it into me head I'd run off and be a Redcoat. Silly things, really.

    Pete: I once spent a week at Butlin's, you know, with Billy Fury. Well, I had a drink with him at the bar. Signed [my shirt cuff], as it happens.

    Terry Raymond: I was quite a mover. Twist, Jive — did it all, me. I was runner up at Butlin's when I was only thirteen. Second best though, see. Not good enough. "Nothing to shout about, son. Second best."

    Terry on his father: Just ignored you, let you know that he was not impressed. I kept trying, kept thinking that if I could make him proud then he'd like me. That's stupid. Stupid little kid I was.

    Lou on Pete: He used to be very good [at football]. I remember him in long shorts.

    Colin Russell: Dr Legg used to be a ref, Walford and District League. He used to be nicknamed the Sergeant Major. He sent four players off in a game once.
    Dr Legg: There was never any nonsense when I was about.

    Kenny Beale to Den: Remember that time you broke your arm playing football? Took five of us to hold you down just to get you into casualty.

    Frank Butcher: When I played [football], it was in working men's boots. Probably why I was no good at it.

    Frank: When I was a young man, I was always well turned out.

    Frank: I used to think all my life that I was different, I was a bit special - I was Frank Butcher, no-one quite like me.

    Frank: I'm eighteen years old walking down the high street in my Italian suit - "Have some of that!"

    Patrick Trueman: Yeah man, a whole half hour to shine my shoes and then new socks, new shirt, tie to match, and a suit specially made. And the trousers? Man, the seam - sharp like a knife! And I’m walking on Ladbroke Grove, man, feeling like the King of England. Back then, didn’t have a care on the world.

    Frank: When I was [eighteen], there weren't one single day went by when I didn't find something to be happy about.

    Big Mo: I used to be good at arm wrestling. Remember that time I beat you when we went to Margate?
    Pat: You never.
    Big Mo: August Bank Holiday, 1960.
    Pat: In your dreams.
    Big Mo: I blooming well slaughtered her!

    Pat, looking at a white two piece swimsuit: I used to have a bikini just like that one.
    Shirley Carter: I bet that was a sight.
    Pat: It was very alluring, actually.

    Big Mo on Pat: Used to ponce about in this fake fur coat.
    Pat: It weren’t fake.
    Big Mo: Made her look like a washed up old trollop.
    Pat: I had the looks, the pick of the boys, and what did you have? An old lock up full of knock offs.

    Pat to Big Mo: You've always been jealous of my assets.

    Big Mo to Pat: You were jealous because we were happy and you weren't, because I was a girl from a home where three families shared an outside khazi and then all of a sudden I was doing OK.
    Pat: Yeah, because of Jimmy.
    Big Mo: Yeah, because of Jimmy. That's what you couldn't handle. He married me and you weren't centre stage no more.
    Pat: All right, maybe I was a bit jealous.
    Big Mo: A bit?
    Pat: And maybe I'd had a bellyful of having my nose rubbed in it about how wonderful a life youse two had.

    Barry Evans: Aged eighteen, Peggy met a man who really knocked her for six. It was Eric Mitchell, also known as...
    Peggy: The Bruiser from Bow.
    Barry: A local boxer who could have been a contender, he certainly thought Peggy was a knock out.

    Stacey Slater, looking at an old photograph of Peggy: You were really beautiful.
    Peggy: I had my moments. You remind me of myself when I was your age [eighteen] — cocky, think you know it all. I had spirit.

    Archie Mitchell speaking in 2009: We’ve known each other for forty odd years, Peggy, and we’ve always understood each other.

    Peggy on Archie: He takes my breath away. He always did, even before [Eric]. One look from him and I’d go weak at the knees. I tell you something, if he’d have made his move, [Phil], Grant and Sam, [they]’d never have existed.

    Archie to Peggy: I love you. I always have.

    Peggy on Archie: All he ever did was charm me.
    Ronnie Mitchell, Archie’s daughter: He was probably working on you then, wasn’t he? Getting ready to pounce.

    Peggy on Archie: For all his charm, he was never the most reliable of blokes.

    Archie on himself as a young man: Bit mixed up, full of potential.

    Peggy: Same old Archie, always hoping for the best.

    Peggy to Archie: I can always remember you wheeling and dealing, knowing what to say and when to say it.

    Glenda Mitchell, Archie’s future wife: Peggy Martin — the woman that every man wanted, including Archie, but Eric snapped you up first.

    Johnny Allen to Peggy: You were wasted on Eric Mitchell. How he ever got a woman like you ...

    Archie to Peggy: For a while I tried hating you. I couldn’t forgive you for choosing Eric.

    Peggy on Carnaby Street: I remember when I came down here just before my first date with Eric. I had my eye on this little tiny Mary Quant dress. It was November. It didn’t go past my thigh. I was freezing but I didn’t care. I just wanted to impress him.
    Pat: Well let’s be honest, when we used to dress up in them days it wasn’t so we’d feel good about ourselves, it was so we’d look good for the blokes.

    Peggy to Phil: I remember when I was courting your father. He was all moody the minute I stopped him fiddling with me suspender belt, but it all turned out for the best in the end because that's when he started to take me seriously, and the fact that he learned to respect me was what made me fall in love with him.

    Barry: It was 1960 and London would soon be swinging. Eric proposed. Do you remember exactly where you were when he popped the question?
    Peggy: Oh yeah, on the terraces at Upton Park.
    Harry Slater: 1960? Me and Charlie could have been there then.

    Peggy on a charm bracelet: My Aunt Flo, who I loved very much, gave it to me when I got engaged.

    Peggy: I was not afraid of anything. If I'd have known what was ahead, I'd have thought twice.

    Peggy: If I’d known what my first husband Eric was like, I don’t think I’d have gone through with it. Oh, but then again, I wouldn’t have had my kids, would I?

    Peggy on Eric: I thought I was getting a big noise and all I got was a drunk who beat up his kids.

    Peggy: The only time I’ve ever fainted was when I was pregnant.

    Peggy: I married young. I didn't really have a choice, not with Phil on the way. It's always been having to do things, rather than wanting to do them.

    Peggy: I remember having a right old barney with my Eric the week before we got married. His best man went and got himself barred from the pub where we were having the reception. I told Eric he'd have to get himself a new best man and he said we'd have to find a different boozer.

    Barry on Peggy and Eric: They were married on the third of September, a gloriously hot summer's day.

    Peggy: I remember my wedding day. Piddling down with rain it was. Dad took me in his Mini and Eric came on the back of his mate's motorbike. I hardly recognised him when he got there. He stood there dripping wet, all helpless. It was then I realised what every woman comes to realise sooner or later. You get married hoping the bloke will look after you, but it usually turns out to be the other way around. I think it's God's way of getting you used to having children.

    Peggy on Reverend Stevens of St Cuthbert’s Church: The vicar who married us.

    Peggy to Grant: When I married your dad, I promised it would be for better or worse.

    Barry to Peggy: Your maid of honour on that day [was] your older sister Sal.

    Aunt Sal: I was a looker back then.

    Peggy on Aunt Sal: She looked a fright. She turned up in this terrible white PVC mini-skirt.

    Barry: I understand Eric's best man had to do his speech outside the pub you chose for the reception.
    Peggy: Yeah well, he was barred, you see, so we had to pass his drinks through the window when the landlord wasn't looking.

    Peggy on pregnancy: In my day, you had to grin and bear it. [I blew] up like a barrage balloon.

    Peggy: I never touched a drop [of alcohol] when I was carrying Phil.

    Big Mo: When I was pregnant with my Jean, I used to chuck my guts up most mornings. I don't know where it come from. I felt sick most of the time, I was on the porcelain telephone to God the rest.

    Aunt Sal: In my day, you got a baby, you get on with it and don’t moan. Like it or lump it then.

    Jim Branning: It's ages since I had anything to do with a baby. Didn't have much to do with them then.

    Aunt Sal: In my day, a man wouldn’t be seen dead with a baby.

    Jim: You don't have five kids without getting your hands dirty.

    Derek Branning, Jim’s eldest son: I’m a born communicator, me.

    Pat on Derek: Some men are born rotten. Derek’s one of the worst.

    Derek: My whole life has been one big disappointment.

    Big Mo: Pat Harris, as once was, has walked more streets than PC Plod in her time.

    Pat: Was I wild? I had some times, I can tell you. When I got it into my thick skull I was barking up the wrong tree [with Frank], I did put it about a bit - and why not?

    Big Mo: Pat Harris, as she was then, was a prostitute. She'll deny it now, but she was.
    Charlie Slater: How long are we talking, Mo?
    Big Mo: How long — who knows? There's women like her down Dock Street in their carpet slippers even now.
    Lynne Slater: You're having a laugh, Nan.
    Big Mo: All I'm saying is sex was the only thing that Pat Harris was any good at. She couldn't get enough of it. Once a tart, always a tart.

    Big Mo to Pat: I always thought it would be the clap that would finish you off.

    Lorraine Salter: Big Pat knew what it was like on the streets, horrible punters and that.

    Pat: I've been in the gutter.

    Pat: I was never in the gutter.
    Frank: Do me a favour, darling. You were so far down the road to Purgatory, you nearly grew a pair of horns. I think the polite word is Lady of the Night, old brass, trollop.
    Pat: I never went with any man for money and you know it.
    Frank: Do I?

    Dot: You slept with most of the men round here, whether they was married or not. You took money for it.
    Pat: Whatever I did, I did because I had to.
    Dot: What — being a prostitute?
    Pat: If that's what it took to keep a roof over my head, to keep me from going under, whatever was necessary.
    Dot: There was plenty of other things you could have done. I mean, there's plenty of other women been in the same boat as you. They didn't sell their selves.
    Pat: Nobody was looking out for me. I didn't have much in the way of family or a husband.
    Dot: No, not one of your own, you didn't.
    Pat: Maybe if me and Frank had been able to ... if he hadn't married June. I wonder about that sometimes, how things might have been. But he did, and I wasn't going to sit around and wait, so I did what I had to.

    Pat: I wasn’t on the streets or anything like that. I was just paraded round some club so that one of the punters would take me home. I thought it was glamorous at first, exciting even, and then I caught these women staring at me on the bus on the way home. They knew exactly what I’d been up to.

    Pat: If I could go back, I’d do it all so different. I wouldn’t worry about the silly little things like how I looked or whether I was popular. I wouldn’t have sold myself cheap for a couple of quid to some bloke I didn’t even know.

    Peggy on brothels: At least in the old days they had the decency not to boast about it. Soho, you expected it. You knew where it was and if you were that way inclined that’s where you went, but not on your own doorstep.

    Pat: I stopped selling meself a long time ago.
    Johnny Allen: You were going down that path long before I met you.
    Pat: That's a matter of opinion.

    Big Mo to Pat: [Jimmy] was sick of you long before that Tony Cattani business — drinking, shaming him by turning tricks.

    Stan Porter: Tony had a white Bentley for a while. We used to drive up and down Park Lane just to see the way people looked at us.

    Big Mo on Tony Cattani: The only reason me and Jimmy ever set foot inside that club of his was because of you, Pat. It was you, hanging about that dive of Tony's — that's what set everything off. That's where the misunderstanding arose.
    Pat: Misunderstanding?!

    Pat: You cheated on Jimmy with Tony.
    Big Mo: On my mother's life, nothing happened. Tony was a gent, you know that.
    Pat: Are we talking about the same Tony Cattani here? Oh no, silly me, I forgot — I made it all up, didn't I? Well maybe you can tell me, Mo, why I'd have done a thing like that?
    Big Mo: You were jealous.
    Pat: Maybe I was, but it don't change what I saw.

    Pat: I'm telling you, I saw them [Mo and Tony] with me own eyes.

    Big Mo: It weren't so black and white as that. Tony meant nothing to me. It was just nice to go down [the club] and not be a mum or a housewife for a bit. It wasn't real. My real life was with Jimmy. I just didn't know how to get out of it.
    Pat: Tony would never have [forced] you. He was mad about you. He'd have killed anybody who laid a finger on you. He was just offering you your excuse.

    Pat: Tony wasn't the sort of bloke who would take no for an answer, was he?
    Big Mo: No, he wasn't.

    Big Mo: All I know is that when I got home, I cried me eyes out that night. Jimmy was on nights at Dagenham's so he never knew.
    Pat: You should have told him.
    Big Mo: Told him what? Yeah, I had fancied Tony, like we all did, but you get them feelings, you ignore them and they go away.

    Stan: It was only a little fling. No great harm done. Tony was the real victim, after what [Mo] did to him. He couldn't believe it when she dumped him — which was brave, by the way. He was so happy when he thought she was going to leave Jimmy and be with him.

    Big Mo: I would have said anything to get out of there.

    Big Mo to Pat: All I wanted after that night was to get my life back to normal, but oh no — you had to stick your oar in.

    Pat on Big Mo: She always accused me of causing trouble between her and Jimmy.
    Barry Evans: And did you?
    Pat: Not intentionally, no.

    Big Mo to Pat: You planted [a hatchet] in my back.

    Big Mo on Pat: She told my old man I was having an affair. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Barry: You actually told your brother that his wife was having an affair?
    Pat: All his mates called her Yo-Yo Drawers. He was the only one who didn't know. Somebody had to put him straight.
    Barry: Bet that went down well.
    Pat: No really, no.

    Big Mo: I've said sorry.
    Lynne, her granddaughter: How many times?
    Big Mo: Once. To your granddad.
    Lynne: Why, what had you done?
    Big Mo: Never you mind. Just as well I did though, because you lot would never have known him. He was on his way out the door.

    Pat to Big Mo: Turn[ing] on the waterworks - you always used that one, didn't you?

    Big Mo on Pat: She nearly broke my marriage up.
    Pat: I wish I had.

    Big Mo: I nearly lost the best bloke in the world because of one stupid ...
    Pat: Sister-in-law.

    Pat: You took the best bloke in the world and you just walked all over him.
    Big Mo: You were a tart, a drunk, someone who grassed up on her best friend. I cared about you even when Jimmy didn't. I loved you like a sister, but you had to go steaming in. You didn't have the grace to come and ask me about it first. You really didn't deserve a friend like me.

    Big Mo to Pat: You wanted so much to hurt me, you didn't care how much damage you'd do to Jimmy.

    Pat: Jimmy must have hated me for telling him all them things.

    Pat on Big Mo: She made [Jimmy] choose between her and his family.

    Pat to Big Mo: The one decent relationship I've had in my entire life, with my brother, and you destroyed it.

    Pat on Big Mo: Poor little Jimmy was never one to stand up to that bullying old cow.

    Big Mo: I never made Jimmy choose. He made that decision.
    Pat: Because he believed you and not me.
    Big Mo: I'm not even sure he believed me.

    Big Mo: Jimmy said he believed me, but I could tell it was still nagging at him.

    Jimmy on Pat: She's not perfect, but she's never been a liar.

    Big Mo: If you ask me, that's why he got cancer — because of that doubt eating away at him all those years.

    Pat on Big Mo and Jimmy: They moved down Lewisham way. I never heard from them again.

    Big Mo: I missed you.
    Pat: Missed you and all.

    Pat on Jimmy: The worst pain in my life was when I lost touch with him

    Pauline on Daisy and Cyril: Don't think I've seen them since I was [sixteen].
    Lou: They're still family. They always used to send you a present at Christmas.
    Pauline: Yeah, I remember. They sent me The Water Babies the year I started work and Pete got a teddy bear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1961

    Peggy to her sons, Phil and Grant: I brought you two into this world. Me and worry go back a long way.

    Peggy: Phil, he was a month early. I was just coming out the cinema. What was that film now? Oh yeah - Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Doris Day. Anyway, Eric was over in Bethnal Green having a fight so I had to make me own way to the hospital. Three buses it took and in my state — and that was the days before drugs when it was just a deep breath, a wet flannel and a cup of tea if you were lucky. Seventeen hours I was in labour. Turned out Phil was breech. Eric showed up in the middle of the night at the hospital covered in blood with his ear hanging off.

    Honey Edwards: So it was bad then?
    Peggy: What?
    Honey: Giving birth.
    Peggy: No, no, no. Not at all - just a twinge. Nothing to worry about, darling.

    Ian Beale on Phil: That man was born wound up.

    Peggy: When I first held Phil in my arms, his little eyes gazing up at me, I made a promise to him there and then I’d always be there for him.

    Peggy to Phil: You’re my best boy and you always have been.

    Peggy on Phil: I’ve done a few bad things in my time, but I never thought I gave birth to a coward.

    Phil on his Grandpa Phil: I was named after him.

    Peggy: My Phil, he was so cute as a baby, bless him. He was always grizzling.

    Peggy on the Mitchell christening shawl: It's been in our family for at least three generations, that has.

    Peggy: People used to make christening [gowns] out of their wedding dresses.

    Kevin Wicks: In the sixties, all the cots were painted with lead based paint. We used to lick it and chew it.
    Peggy: Yeah, that’s true.

    Ruby Allen to her father Johnny: When you was younger, I don’t suppose you was exactly a saint.

    Pauline Fowler on Johnny: Didn't have him pegged for a boy scout, not after the stories we used to hear.

    Johnny Allen: Things were really quite different in those days. Times were hard. Look, I’m not saying they were the good old days or anything like that, it’s just that some of us grew up with — well, a different attitude towards the law.

    Pat to Ruby: The world your dad moved in, the world a lot of people moved in back then — the world was changing so fast. Beforehand, you knew your place. You did what your dad did, probably — got a job, worked hard. And then of all a sudden, all those old ways went out the window, and it was people like your dad had to start making new rules.
    Ruby: What rules? He didn’t live by any.
    Pat: Oh yes, he did. More than most, actually. He had rules and in a weird sort of way, you could absolutely rely on him. If Johnny Allen liked you, if
    he trusted you, that was it, he’d stand by you one hundred percent.
    Ruby: Honour among thieves, eh?
    Pat: The sort of people he mixed with, what else could he rely on? He mixed with some very dodgy characters in some very dodgy circles. He had to suss people out quickly. He had to trust his instincts and all. He wasn’t often wrong about people. He couldn’t afford to be.

    Ruby: So you were involved with crime?
    Johnny: Nowadays, some of it wouldn’t even be regarded as crime. I was involved with clubs that sold alcohol after ten thirty — big deal. It’s just the way it was.

    Pat: I’ve seen a whole list of people stand up to Johnny Allen over the years, and every single one of them wished they hadn’t. Well, he didn’t get his reputation helping little old ladies across the road, did he? There’s two sides to Johnny. One minute, he can be the perfect gent. The next ...

    Johnny: I know what my reputation is. I fought hard to get it.
    Ruby: Have you ever had anyone beaten up?
    Johnny: No, I did it myself. When I was about twenty-two, I was working in this club and there was this guy in there and he was getting drunker and drunker and louder and louder and then he started on the girl he was with. And he slapped her really hard across the face so I stepped in and I threw him out. Then he started in on me so I beat him up, but it turned out he was a bit of a face. His brother was one of the biggest villains around at the time so my boss sent me off to Brighton to work, for my own protection. Well, when I came back a few months later, I was a face — “Johnny the Giant Killer.” And when you’re given a reputation like that, you don’t argue, not at twenty-two. You lap it up. But that’s all it was, Ruby — reputation. I might have done a few things in my time that I’m not really proud of, but I’m not a monster.

    Pauline to Dot: I’m old enough to remember what it was like round here when his [Johnny’s] sort were running things, and you certainly are.

    Pat on her sister Joan: I remember seeing her dressed in these silly girlish clothes like she was some big kid even though she was ... I suppose she must have been in her twenties. Hair in bunches, pink velvet ribbons — it was miserable.

    Pat, looking at a photo of Joan: Her twenty-first birthday. She was all togged up with ribbons in her hair and a dress that was two sizes too small. I was
    enjoying everything the sixties had to chuck at me and my big sister was still being dressed like a six year old.

    Johnny Allen: Green, dark emerald green — that's how I remember you. You had that dress.
    Pat: I had a lot of dresses.
    Johnny: I know. I paid for most of them.

    Johnny: I remember a time you'd always be pleased to see me.
    Pat: Only because I wanted you to think that.

    Johnny: My Patricia always did like giving as good as she got.
    Pat: Nobody calls me that.
    Johnny: I always did.
    Pat: You always liked to have things your own way, didn't you?

    Norman Simmonds: The Pat I used to know was never backward in pushing herself forward.

    Ricky Butcher, looking at Big Mo in 2011: About forty, fifty years ago, mini-skirt and a face full of slap, eyelashes, I reckon she’d be all right.
    Michael Moon: No I can’t see it, mate. Some old boots were just young boots once.

    Yolande Trueman: How much was the price of gin back then?
    Big Mo: About four shillings, weren't it?

    Dot: We put a shilling in [the meter]. We never had no TV.

    Pauline: I used to love the pictures when I was young, the love stories. That's what I used to think it was going to be like, like it was in the pictures. I thought I'd grow up, get married, have a nice house, all bright and sunny, lots of children. My husband would be cross at me for spending too much, but not for long. We'd be happy.

    Pauline: I always wanted children.

    Lou to Pauline: I wanted everything for you. Nice house, kids, no need to work.

    Joe Macer: Would you have done anything different, looking back?
    Pauline: Yeah. Probably would have gone to secretarial college, you know — seen a bit more of the world. Then I look around at what the youngsters have to put up with today and I think, “We didn’t have it so bad.”

    Pauline: I wanted to be an air hostess. I could just see myself in one of those smart suits with the little perky hat.

    Pauline: I always wanted to live on a farm. Must have had something to do with listening to The Archers.

    Danny Taurus (aka Danny Travers) to Pauline: You always used to be a dreamer. You were going to go round the world, weren't you? See the Taj Mahal in the moonlight.
    Pauline: Never did though, did I?

    Michelle to Pauline: You'd left school [by the age of fifteen]. You were already working full time.

    Pauline: Even when I was young, it was all work and worry.

    Stan Carter on his grandson Dean: He’s hotheaded, like I was at his age [twenty-seven].

    Stan to Babe Smith: I’ve seen through you since the very first day we met. You’re a selfish, vindictive woman, at your best when manipulating people, especially the members of your own family.

    Babe to her sister Sylvie: I saw [Stan] first. He was mine. He should have been mine, but no — you had to get in there, didn’t you? Fluttering your fake lashes, dropping your drawers.

    Stan on Sylvie: She always did know how to make an entrance.

    Babe: Sylvie was always the popular one.

    Sylvie on Babe: No-one ever loved her.

    Stan on Sylvie and Babe: I chose the swan over the ugly duckling.

    Stan: I made some funny choices when I was younger, [Sylvie] included.

    Stan on Sylvie: Out every weekend, dancing in Soho.
    Cora Cross: I knew plenty of girls like Sylvie. Always thought they were a cut above.
    Stan: I know I couldn’t keep up with her.


    Sylvie on Stan: He was never all that in bed. Climb on top of you stinking of fish. I’ve had loads better.


    Stan to Sylvie: We had some good times, happy times, remember?

    Sylvie: Stan, you always made me laugh.

    Dean Wicks to Stan and Sylvie: Did you ever have a song, the two of you? [‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole]

    Babe to Sylvie: It’s not your song, it’s mine. It was always my song. You stole it, like you steal everything.

    Sylvie to Babe: You’ve always been jealous.

    Stan to Babe: You’ve always been a selfish cow.

    Stan to Babe: You just do whatever’s right for you. You always have.

    Babe: I know we’ve had our disagreements over the years.
    Stan: To put it mildly.

    Sylvie on her necklace: It’s always been my favourite. Stan gave it to me when we were courting. It used to belong to Diana Dors. Stan cycled all the way from Billingsgate to St James’s, marched into the sales room still reeking of fish guts.
    Babe: Rubbish. Feel the weight — tin on glass.
    Sylvie: That’s not true. Tell her, Stan.
    Stan: Your sister’s right. Picked it up in Rathbone Market. Cost me a light.

    Cora on Sylvie: Did you love her?
    Stan: What sort of a question’s that?

    Pauline: Life's just like a blank page when you're
    sixteen, isn't it?

    Arthur: I was still wearing my cousin's cast offs when I was eighteen.
    Pauline: Yeah. Cousin Sheila.

    Peggy, speaking to Charlie Slater in 2008: Does Nathan Detroit know you’ve got his suit on?
    Charlie: Nice bit of schmutter, this. Used to be me old man’s.

    Mo Butcher on Frank: I caught him going round one of them strip shows one night and I gave him a right hiding.
    Frank Butcher: I was nineteen years old at the time.

    Pat: [I had sex in a] Zephyr.
    Pauline: That's a car!
    Pat: Nothing to be ashamed of. We was in love, or at least we thought we were. I reckon I was on the rebound from Frank.
    Pauline: What happened to the bloke then?
    Pat: He ran off a couple of weeks later with somebody else. Judith Cronin, her name was. Her dad run the local boozer.

    Pat: Do you know how many piers I’ve jumped off in me life? And it always hurts. It’s always broken some part of me, but I don’t regret one single solitary time.

    Jane Beale: Pat certainly got around.
    Ian Beale: You could say that

    Pat: There was a group of us round here. Well, me and a group of eligible bachelors - more like randy so and so's - well, me and this group, we all used to go round together. There was Pete, me, Kenny, Den.

    Den Watts on Pat: Good looking lady, really fanciable. We knocked around together.

    Pat: I used to think you were the bee's knees, you know.
    Den: Just shows what good taste you had in those days then.
    Pat: Shows what a jerk I was.

    Den to Pat: What I liked you about you, you never pretended. You always liked a good time.

    Big Mo to Pat: You weren't frightened of what anybody thought.

    Norman Simmonds: Pat Harris would do anything for a laugh.

    Johnny on Pat: She always was a little cow.

    Pat to Den: I was never a slag. For all you lot may have talked about me in the gents, I only came across for special blokes. Men have always liked my company.

    Jimmy, Frank's pal: Pat's always been a handful. Time was, blokes would be queuing up to have a go.

    Angie Watts on Pat: She used to be so pretty. Den used to fancy her rotten. I envied her.

    Pat to Den: Remember the old times, Denny? Me and Pete, you and Ange — you and me on the odd occasion.

    Angie: When me and Pat and Kath were kids, we all went out with each other's fellas. It was like "pass the parcel".

    Kathy: When I met Pete, all I knew was that I wanted to have his child. Even when he married Pat, I knew I'd get him in the end. I just knew it, don't ask me how. It was all I wanted then.

    Pat on herself and Den: We got it together once and it was lousy. We were kids, you know — "You show me yours, I'll show you mine." We were out from behind that bike shed like bats out of Hell.

    Den on sleeping with Pat: [It was a] long time ago, before the creation of Man. Dead before it started.

    Pete on fighting over Pat: You [Den] punched me in the gut and I kneed you.

    Pete: I got into enough trouble [as a teenager]. I got picked up for DDA once. It was only a joyride, but Mum thought I was turning into a right little Al
    Capone. Boy, did she give me a belting. She was right though. I could have gone either way.

    Lou: Them cousins of mine in Stepney, they was just the same. At a certain point, they could have gone one way or the other, straight or crooked.

    Pete: Me dad, he warned me about Pat all along. Did I hate him for it.

    Pauline: [Pete and Albert] fell out over Pat.

    Pete on Albert: He was a nice old man, didn't do me any harm, but I don't think he was the pillar of virtue that Mum makes him out to be. I used to think, "How can someone so old be so stupid?"

    Pat: When I got engaged to Pete Beale, there wasn't money for a ring.

    Pete: I wanted to be a Redcoat - Tommy Steele. Got married instead.

    Pat to Pete: You were flattered the sexiest girl in the street wanted to marry you.

    Den to Pat: Pete always said he had his work cut out with you.

    Pat to Pete: If you'd have used your loaf, you'd have never got tangled with me. You was a nice bloke. I made mincemeat out of you.

    Pete: I think I only married her because Pop died. Keep the family going.

    Pat: Pete wanted a wife so he could get away from that mother of his. She's the one that's behind all of this.

    Pat to Lou: Nothing was good enough for your precious family. You never wanted me. I wasn't good enough for your precious boy. You made it impossible from the start. I'll never forget the way you interfered in my life.

    Pat: For years, I thought Lou Beale hated me — what I was, what I'd done. A cheat, a brass.

    Pat to Lou: You never liked me and the feeling was mutual.

    Lou to Pat: You weren't the right type for [Pete]. You weren't right for each other. You had too much life in you. You got bored easy. Oh, you did. You were always looking for excitement round the corner. You wasn't a homemaker, which is what my Pete needed. I mean, that's what he got from his mum. We'd do everything for them, we spoil them and then we send them out helpless into the world, hoping they'll find a substitute mum. I don't think you ever come under that heading. Maybe you was being personal, Pat, but I wasn't. I was just fighting for my home.

    Arthur Fowler to Pat: We went to the pictures - you, me and Pete, but Pete didn't show up. It must have been the [only] time we were alone together. We were teenagers. I thought you were very nice, sexy and very nice. Sitting there in the dark together, I can remember your scent.
    Pat: Amazing how quickly sexy turns to slag.
    Arthur: You were very attractive. What was it called, that film? I know it was funny because you were laughing, but then you always did.
    Pat: What?
    Arthur: Laugh. You were noted for it. You were laughing so much, the couple in the front complained even though it was a comedy. He was an older fella, posh overcoat. She was a young woman and we thought she was ...
    Pat: His secretary. Red lining in the coat.
    Arthur: Oh, I don't remember that.
    Pat: I do, because he draped it over the seat next to me. And they complained about us so much, I stuffed my ice cream in his pocket, and it melted.
    Arthur: You didn't, did you?! Now you see, that's what I liked about you, you were always joking. He got what he deserved anyway.

    Pat on Arthur: He was the only one who didn't give me a hard time when I married Pete. He always took people at face value.

    Pat to Pauline: Lou could be evil. Always managed to make me feel like something the cat brought in. Me and Pete never stood a chance with her looming in the background. You could be just as bad.

    Pat on getting married: I was pretty wobbly my first time.

    Lou to Pat: When you married my Pete, at the reception, Pete made a speech thanking me and your mum for getting the food all ready and laying the
    tables out all nice. Then I got a big bunch of flowers and you gave me this brooch. I never wore it. It was too flashy for me. I suppose it reminded me of
    you.
    Pat: I got [it] in the Markhouse Road. It was a toss-up between this and a ruby one. This one was cheaper.

    Pat on marrying Pete: It was the worst thing I ever did.

    Kenny Beale to Pete: It was no love match of the century, you and [Pat]. She was after a husband. You were the first mug to fall for it. She was a devious, cunning bitch. She couldn't give a sod about you, couldn't give a sod about anybody. You got sold a dud there. She was never worth crossing the street for.

    Pat: I married Peter Beale because the only man I ever really loved left me high and dry. I took him because he was the best of a bad bunch.
    Kenny: Who was the other man?
    Pat: It certainly wasn't you. You had no more to offer than him. There were others, each one as lousy as the last - little boys trying to be big men.

    Pat to Frank: Why do you think I married Pete? I wasn't in love with him. It was you I was mad about. I did it to spite you. You wouldn't give your wife the elbow. I wanted to get back at you and the only way I knew was to get a band of gold the same as you. And because of that, I went and got myself hitched to a bloke I couldn't give a toss about. And that's when it all started to go wrong.

    Pat on Frank: When I lost him, I thought "who cares?" Over the years, I found I did — more than I realised.

    Lou to Pat: I think I know why you were like you were. You found the perfect man for you right at the beginning, didn't you? Being the sort of person you are, you fell for him hook line and sinker. Well you've never done things by halves, have you? And he let you down badly. You've been taking your revenge ever since. On all men.

    Frank: I always thought, the same as June, that you needed to [get married]. Did you?
    Pat: He was premature.

    Pete to Pat: You tricked me into marrying you.

    Lou to Pat: You lied when you married my son. You used the oldest and foulest trick in the book. You said you was pregnant. You don't have to be a
    mathematician to work out that lie.

    Pat on a china cat: Pete got me this on our honeymoon. I always hated the way it stares at you. I don't know why I kept it really.
    Billy Mitchell: Because it reminds you of him.
    Pat: Yeah.

    Richard Bird: 1961, Hackney Empire, Cliff Richard the top of the bill.
    Peggy: I went to that show. I was sixteen at the time. I saved up for four months to get a ticket.

    Dot: I always used to have my Nick in bed by seven at [the age of two].

    Dot to Nick: I always made sure you wore your jacket no matter what. Remember what I used to tell you? "If it keeps the cold out, it'll keep the heat in."

    Dot: I used to sit here [the garden in Albert Square] with my Nick when he was little. This place was a lot different then. And babies, they were perambulated up and down the pavements in a gleaming pram with great big wheels.

    Dot: Charlie and me used to try a jigsaw once in a while. Somehow, we never managed to finish.

    Dot: I remember when me and my Charlie had to move from our first place. We used Nick's pram and Shanks's pony. Took us the best part of a week. It's a nightmare, moving.

    Mo Butcher: When I think of the removals I've done in my time - on a handcart in the middle of the night sometimes.

    Heather Trott, speaking about Dot on October 11th 2011: She’s been working at the launderette fifty years. Today must be the anniversary.
    Fatboy: I didn’t even know they had washing machines back then.

    Dot on the launderette: Fifty odd years I’ve worked here and not once have I asked for a penny before me wages was due.

    Dot: I’ve worked all my life and I’ve paid my taxes and I ain’t never been a nuisance.

    Dot: We [women] all worked, but we didn’t call it being a domestic goddess, we called it putting food on the table.

    Dot: Nigger brown — I knit my Charlie a lovely pullover in that shade one Christmas.

    Dot on Christmas: We had the lot here in Walford, you know - Jews, Chinkies, Eyeties - all joining in the season of good tidings, compliments of the season and that. It didn't seem to bother people in them days. And generous - it was half a crown for your dustman. Even the postman got a drink in them days.
    Pat: Yeah, I remember that — post on Christmas morning, glass of sweet sherry and a kiss under the mistletoe for the postman.
    Dot: I didn't go that far.

    Pat: Remember our first Christmas together, Pete, as husband and wife? We wanted to be on our own, didn't we? Course, we didn't get up till midday. Must have been all that boozing the night before. I didn't get the turkey in the oven till gone three. Well, we were a bit delayed, weren't we? Must have been all that sexy underwear you got me. And a visit to the boozer. Lunch was a disaster. I was blind drunk. We didn't need food in them days, did we? Living on love, weren't we?

    Kathy to Pat: You loved [Pete].
    Pat: Yeah, I did. Maybe.

    Pete on Pat: She was a lot warmer in them days, a lot calmer, a lot softer. She wasn't such a lump then. Life hadn't passed her by. People hadn't got at her.
     
  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1962

    Cora Cross, speaking in 2014: I still ain’t recovered from the last time I tried the lotus position.
    Pam Coker: When was that?
    Cora: 1962.

    Pat: Tried yoga once. Could hardly walk for a week.

    Stan Carter, speaking to Sylvie on January 21st, 2015: Do you know what it’ll be a month from now? Our wedding anniversary. Fifty-three years. We had our honeymoon in Bournemouth. We went down on my Lambretta — you shouting and yelling in my ear the whole time to slow down, me in my leather jacket. We danced at the Pavilion. [Sings:] “Unforgettable …”
    Sylvie, joining in: “… that’s what you are …”
    Stan: We drank stout.
    Sylvie: And we ate chips on the beach.
    Stan: We talked about all the things we were going to do, all the places we were going to see. I wish I’d been a better husband.
    Sylvie: So do I.

    Pauline Fowler on spring cleaning: Kathy [Pete’s second wife] used to help Mum. Pat never did. She wasn't keen. Mum reckoned that's why they never got on really.

    Pat to Pauline: Your mum used to make a really fluffy sponge.

    Pat on Pete: He [was] always such a fastidious man. I had trouble keeping up with his shirts, seven a week at least. Polished shoes, never a hair out of place.

    Pauline: When we went out, we dressed up to the nines. We went out to be seen.

    Dot: I was brought up to take a pride in me appearance, to make the best of the raw materials that the good Lord give me.

    Pauline: It’s not as if we didn’t make the best of ourselves in our day, is it?
    Dot: I never went out without me rouge.
    Pauline: No, and I was a dab hand with the eyebrow pencil. I used to wear a beauty spot just about there [points to her left cheek]. Thought I was gorgeous.

    Pat to Den: Do you remember that terrible fancy dress party we had up at the club? We all had to come as stars. You were Elvis. You got him to a tee. You had more hair then, but the same sulky, mean look and the slinkiest hips.

    Den Watts: It took a lot of practice to win first prize and then what happens? The old man beats hell out of me for nicking all his hair oil.
    Pat: I come as Marilyn. Now there was a star. Not like those girls that came after, Twiggy and Marianne Faithfull. More like stick insects. I think that's where it started to go wrong.

    Garry Hobbs, speaking to Minty in 2005: There was a time, years ago, when our dads, when they was our age, if you were a bloke, all you had to do was be a bloke. I reckon I would have liked it back then. Me and you would have been more than adequate back then. And it was easier for the birds and all. Pot bellies, big bazookas - none of your surgically-sucking-out years ago. And of course, the tragedy is, that was what we was all aiming for, weren't it, eh? All the big lovely wobbly bits - that was your Marilyn Monroe all over, that was. Say what you like, but everyone knew where they was. The bloke went to work and the bird stayed at home. Might not have been equal, but if you don't expect too much, no-one gets disappointed.

    Den: I don't know how you poured yourself into that dress [you wore to the fancy dress party]. We used to have bets in the gents, see how long it was before you burst out of it. You was a big girl even then.
    Pat: I don't remember many complaints. You boys may have had some bets about me, but us girls had some about you.
    Den: About what?
    Pat: If you don't know now, I ain't going to tell you. We weren't that much different from girls nowadays. Just pretended to be more innocent, that's all.
    Den: Innocent, you? Don't make me laugh.
    Pat: I had my share of partners that night. Pete was sulking because we had a stupid row in that taxi. He stopped it and walked off into the night. He was always doing things like that. I think he saw too many films. That's when I realised I should never have married him. He was a kid. Lou never let them grow up, not the boys anyway. Pauline had no choice. She come as Kathy Kirby. Typical. Old fashioned, even then.
    Den: She gave you a run for your money.
    Pat: That's not how I remember it. Angie had come as one of those dark haired women, I can't remember who. They shouldn't have let her in. She was too young. Running around after you even then, she was.

    Pat to Pauline: I could see it in your eyes all time — "Poor Pete, married to that bit of rough. Poor Pete, having to put up with her tongue. Poor Pete,
    making a fool of himself with a woman not good enough to lick his boots." Well let me tell you, poor Pete was boring, selfish and terrible in bed.

    Pat to Pete: I might just as well have been in bed with a eunuch for all the excitement you gave me.

    Barry Evans: You had kids. Weren't you scared?
    Pat: Yeah, I suppose I was.
    Barry: But it didn't stop you, did it?
    Pat: No, I wanted them.

    Pat: You want to try giving birth with Lou Beale standing at the end of your bed.

    Honey Edwards on giving birth: Pat said it was like going to the toilet and pushing out a melon.

    Pat: David had an enormous head.

    David Wicks (formerly Beale) on his parents: Do you know how long they stayed together after I was born? Three years. Three years, and most of that time she was on her back in other blokes' beds.

    David: I was surprised you took the time out to go to hospital and have me. Don't they deliver babies in the pub? I was only born five minutes and you were whoring round the town.
    Pat: Where'd you hear all this?
    David: I read the toilet walls, Mum. You were a legend on toilet walls, do you know that?

    Pat: People used to [call me] a right little scrubber.

    Pat: I wasn't the most wonderful mother in the world.
    David: You weren't a mother at all.

    Pat: Do you know why I was such a bad mother to you?
    David: You were born that way.
    Pat: Because I should have married Frank. Then everything would have been all right. I shouldn't have married Pete. I should never have had you. You've been a curse on my life since the day you was born.

    Sylvie Carter to her daughter Shirley: I should have had you aborted.

    Mick Carter to Stan and Sylvie: Neither of you should have ever had kids.

    Shirley Carter: I never had a chance.

    Alfie Moon: You're related to Sharon Stone, am I right?
    Shirley Carter: That's right. Me and Shaz, we were separated at birth.

    Pat: I can remember my David's [christening]. It was a smashing do. Of course, his godparents stumped up for it because me and Pete were starting out. Couldn't have afforded it otherwise.

    Pat on teething: My David was a right misery for weeks with his.

    Pat: I didn't get a full night's sleep the first year with my David. I was that tired I didn't even know who I was anymore.
    Natalie Evans (née Price): Were you breastfeeding, Pat?
    Pat: No, love, not me. My babies were on the bottle from the day they were born. Mind you, probably explains how they turned out!

    Janine Butcher to David: You weren’t born a bad person. Nobody is. You just had it tough as a kid like I did.

    David on Pat: I just brought her misery her whole life.

    Pat: If I could go back, I’d do it all so different. I would have been kinder. I’d have made the most of those moments, having a baby, having a child. I’d
    have been there for my boys in the right way. A little baby in your arms, looking up at you. They were the best years of my life and I didn’t even know it.

    Dot: I don't know where it all went wrong. I mean, I always tried to do the best for us.

    Dot: Nick's dad only stayed because I made him. I was always having little fits and turns, wasn't I, so he wouldn't go.

    Dot: When my Nick was little, my Charlie, he came home flush one day, which was a rare occurrence I can assure you, and he told me that he'd had a win on the dogs, but I'd overheard him talking to some friend of his about a job they was going to be doing.
    Heather Trott: What sort of job - criminal?
    Dot: And he give me a hundred pounds. Now that was a small fortune in them days and he said, "Go on, girl. Go and treat yourself." Well, I looked at the money in me hand and I looked at me Nick in the pram and I thought, "Them three wise monkeys could be right after all — see no evil, hear no evil." So I took my Nick down to the shops and I kitted him out in all new clobber and with the rest of the money I opened a post office savings account for when he was older. Nothing on God's earth would have made me take that money for meself, but when there's a little one to think of ...

    Stan Carter: Things weren’t always bad, you know. Used to take you down the park in your pram. You’d be sat up, taking everything in.
    Shirley: Looking for an escape route, more like.


    Dot, looking through a family photo album: We were happy sometimes, you know, Ethel - Charlie and me. Oh look, there's one of the three of us at the church picnic.
    Ethel Skinner: I expect that's the time he got off with Rose.

    Dot to Charlie: [My sister Rose] made a dead set at you. She was always the same. Anything I got, she wanted.

    Rose on Dot: Never could stand to see me happy.

    Dot: You stole my Charlie.
    Rose: He couldn’t get away fast enough.
    Dot: Take, take, take — that’s all you’ve ever done.

    Dot to Rose: It was you that left me, taking my Charlie with you.

    Dot: Me and my Charlie, we never argued, but he had other women. He used to come back, steal me money, take me odd bits of jewellery and off he’d go and then finally, he went and lived with my half-sister Rose.

    Andrew Cotton, Charlie’s son: My dad treated you like a doormat.
    Dot: What do you know about it?
    Andrew: I know that he left you for your sister. Shows you how much he thought of you.


    Pauline: One day, Charlie Cotton packed his bags and left. Dot stopped holding the [three] hankies [she always had with her]. She was really upset, ever so upset. I couldn't understand why because he was such a bad lot, he really was, and she was better off without him, even if you do believe in the sanctity of marriage and you've got a baby. Anyway, that night I heard her and Mum talking. Well, Mum was doing most of the talking. Dot was just crying. But she'd punched him. She'd punched Charlie hard in the face with her hankie hand.

    Dot on Charlie: Went off with me sister, didn't he? Ruined our marriage, devastated our son and left me with a hole in the heart.

    Dot: You ruined my life.
    Rose: And he [Charlie] ruined mine.


    Dot, speaking in 2013: I fell out with my half-sister Rose over forty years ago. All the years we wasted, all that time we’ll never get back.

    Rose on herself and Dot: Charlie Cotton split us up.

    Dot on Rose: I never thought I’d see her again.

    Dot to Rose: You left my Nick without a father. It’s your fault he turned out how he did. It’s disgraceful, taking away a little boy’s father.

    Dot: There is nothing worse than having a husband who ain't there for you. I should know.

    Nick to Charlie: You done a runner the moment I was born.

    Dot on Charlie: He left because of Nick.

    Dot to Charlie: I prayed you'd come back to me for years and years.

    Dot on Rose: The way she treated me, cohabiting with my Charlie.

    Pauline: Once Charlie had left, Dot started answering the door again. She cancelled all the credit, even the milkman. She stopped crying. She bought herself a nice pair of slacks, had her hair done different. Very smart, she was — well, for Walford. And she started reading books. Yeah, for months you wouldn't see Dot for a book, a cloud of cigarette smoke and a long word. And she had this tea caddy in her kitchen with all her savings in, and a list of teachers' training colleges she got from the library.
    Sonia Jackson: She didn't go, did she?
    Pauline: No, but she got a place — oh yeah, at a woman's college in Essex. That was her dream, but nobody would give her any lodgings. See, nobody wanted a girl from the East End with a baby and no husband, even if she did look like Audrey Hepburn.

    Dawn Miller to Dot: I bet you looked just like Audrey Hepburn when you were young.

    Masood Ahmed looking at a picture of his mother: Straight off the boat, 1962.
    Shabnam, Masood’s daughter: She looks so happy.
    Masood: Yes, she was. It was the first time she’d seen your daada in six years. Imagine that. Just got married and he left her to travel halfway across the world to drive a bus.
    Shabnam: It’s hard to believe.
    Masood: She wanted a better life for them, for me, for you.

    Tanya Branning (née Cross), looking her mother Cora’s old photographs: Oh, look at this swimming costume!
    Poppy Meadows: Oh Cora, you look gorgeous! Look at the little cossie!

    Aunt Sal: Now the summer of ’62, Mum insisted on a family trip to Leigh on Sea. It was a nightmare. We never stopped bickering.

    Aunt Sal: I didn’t take those [marriage] vows lightly.
    Ronnie Mitchell: It’s a shame the same can’t be said for Uncle Harold.

    Peggy on Eric: The first two years of our marriage, any time he was somewhere I couldn't keep tabs on him, I'd be in a right old state. And he'd say this and say that, and I wouldn't believe him, and then it would end up with the dinner service all over the kitchen floor. Then one day, I saw that the only person who was hurting was me. So that night when he comes back, I'm not waiting with the frying pan. Instead, I've got a little bit of perfume on and I'm looking nice. You know what I mean. I know it sounds old fashioned, but believe me it works.

    Jim Branning: Women like a bit of the other just the same as a bloke does. I mean, me and my Reenie, we were very happy in that department.

    Jim: My Reenie was a quick-cuddle-with-the-lights-out sort of woman.

    Peggy on marriage: Our generation used to work through their problems, not give up at the first hurdle.

    Peggy on being pregnant: [It's] easier the second time. You can relax and enjoy it. I know I did with [Grant].

    Peggy: In my day, you never had scans or nothing. You just had to wait and see. I was very pleased with my little boys.

    Peggy: I should have listened to my dear old mum. She said, "Never have boys. They grow up, leave home and never phone their mothers."

    Sean Slater: Oh give it a rest, Peggy. You had your kids three hundred years ago. Times have moved on.

    Grant Anthony Mitchell: Date of birth 8/7/62

    Dean Wicks to Grant: Is it true you were the first Mitchell born without a tail?

    Peggy to Grant: I should have turned you in [to the police] the day you were born.

    Peggy on Grant: I ain't done nothing but love that boy since the day he was born.

    Phil: Mum said [Dad] wanted you to be a girl. You were in pink cardigans for the first six months.
    Grant: She never told me that.
    Phil: Probably didn't want you to think you weren't wanted.

    Peggy: Grant looked like Winston Churchill.

    Peggy to Grant: I can't remember, but I'm sure I must have dropped you on your head when you was a baby.

    Peggy to Grant: After I had you, I [was] like a bear with a sore paw.

    Peggy on Phil and Grant: I've always been there for them. I always put them first. Well, that's what mothers are for, aren't they?

    Peggy: My kids are the only things that have ever mattered to me. I couldn't get enough of my boys.

    Phil: I've been messing it up since the day I could walk.

    Pat: I look back on me twenty-first sometimes — me at the start of the day, wondering what the rest of it was going to bring — and then you came knocking at me door, asking for help.
    Johnny Allen: If it's any consolation, I didn't actually know it was your birthday. Not at first, anyway.
    Pat: Would it have made any difference if you had? Let's face it - you had a problem. It wasn't exactly the sort of problem that would have kept, was it?
    Johnny: No.
    Pat: Poor cow was in a right state.
    Johnny: Yeah. These days, it's all so different, isn't it? A quick trip to a nice clean clinic.
    Pat: In them days, a backstreet butcher. And afterwards, hoping that somebody was around to help you out if it all went wrong.
    Johnny: And there was — just not quite the night you had in mind for your celebration.

    Pat: You [made] a big song and dance about my twenty-first birthday.
    Pauline: Pete and I went to an awful lot of trouble to organise that party.
    Pat: And I told you at the time, something important came up.
    Pauline: Oh, it was always something important with you. How could you expect us to believe you?
    Pat: It was none of your business. I told you it was important. That's all that matters.
    Pauline: Yeah well, poor Pete, he deserved better than that.
    Pat: Yeah, so you said at the time and every day for about a month after. It was a friend. They got themselves into a spot of trouble and they needed my help.

    Pat: It was a grim old night — we nearly lost her at one point — [but] I remember it for what happened afterwards — you showing your gratitude by offering me that job. I mean, there was me, a normal sort of kid with a normal sort of job, a waitress in a club, and the next minute I've got a new job and a new life, running Johnny Allen's girls.
    Johnny: You were never going to stay a common or garden waitress forever. There was always more to you than that.
    Pat: I used to see the blokes coming into the club — businessmen, property tycoons, even the odd high court judge, if I remember right.
    Johnny: Very useful people to know sometimes, Pat.
    Pat: And I'd think to meself, "I could end up with any one of them, doing anything, going anywhere."
    Johnny: You did a good enough job for me.
    Pat: Johnny, it's not how I did it, it's what I was doing.
    Johnny: You were helping me out.
    Pat: No, I was your madam. I was helping you pimp a small army of girls.
    Johnny: It wasn't exactly the white slave trade though, was it?
    Pat: No, they were willing enough.

    Pat to Johnny: Keeping your girls happy - that’s what you used to pay me for.

    Johnny: We didn't exactly press gang the punters into it either.
    Pat: Most of the time I enjoyed it. I actually felt like I was helping the girls, making sure they weren't getting into any sort of trouble.
    Johnny: But?
    Pat: It set me off. Everything I did, everything I became started that day.
    Johnny: Believe it or not, I almost took that job offer back.
    Pat: Second thoughts?
    Johnny: Different thoughts.
    Pat: Oh, I get it. You reckoned you promoted me above me station, eh? That I should have worked me way through the ranks?
    Johnny: I wasn't sure that I wanted to be your boss, that's what I'm trying to say. I was beginning to wonder if there could have been a different sort of relationship we could have had.

    Big Mo to Pat: The amount of money you earned off his [Johnny’s] back over the years.

    Pat: Johnny never could prioritise his private life.

    Pat: Johnny always had a problem sharing his feelings.
    Tina Stewart: You and Johnny ...?
    Pat: Oh no, darling! Not even when I was twenty-one. Johnny always set his sights too high for me. We just knew each other, that's all.

    Johnny: You had men crawling all over you in those days. Why should I be any different?
    Pat: But you were so reserved, so held back then.
    Johnny: Do you blame me? I saw what happened to most of the men that got close to you — looked like they'd been through a mincer. Thought you might have eaten me alive. The thought of that kept me warm on many a cold night, I tell you.

    Peggy on Johnny: He always was a sucker for blondes.

    Pat on Johnny: There was this time he went out with a really posh blonde.

    Pat: Do you remember this one — tall, white lippy, always used to have nice earrings?
    Johnny: Gill.
    Pat and Johnny in unison: "With a G!"

    Pat on Johnny: He had his heart broken once or twice.

     
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,896
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    1963

    Will Passmore, manager of the Springville Residential Home: Joan [Harris, Pat’s sister] and Michael got together in 1963. There was a big furore about it at the time and apparently your mother was very
    embarrassed.
    Pat Evans: That was the year Mum told me Joan had died.
    Len Harker on Joan: How old was she?
    Pat: Twenty-two. My mum got this letter. I wanted to go to the funeral, but she said it was all arranged and done.

    Pat’s mother’s address: Mrs Harris
    105b Kallow Road
    North Walford
    London
    E21

    Pat: Why did Mum lie to me? Why did she say she [Joan] was dead?
    Len: Only your mum can tell you why she told you that.

    Pat on her mother: She told everyone [Joan] was dead because she didn’t want them to know she was becoming a woman. She was that ashamed of her?
    Will Passmore: Parents didn’t get the support in the sixties that couples get nowadays.
    Pat: That don’t mean she had to deny everything about her own daughter.

    Norman Simmonds to Pat: Remember Frank’s twenty- first? You in your fancy dress gear? Oh, his eyes just lit up. We all had such a good time that night.

    Frank Butcher: I remember my coming of age as if it was yesterday. I remember seeing double for a week after that.

    Pete: I remember my eighteenth birthday. What a riot. I ended up stark naked in a holly bush with the mother of all hangovers.
    Frank: Not to mention he ruined a great career as a choirboy!

    Aunt Sal: ’63, that was a good year. Peggy was coming up to twenty-one and I know you wouldn’t think it, at least in Peggy’s case, but we were lookers back then. The fellas in that club we went into, they certainly had the charm. The things they asked us to do would have made your hair stand on end.

    Archie Mitchell to Peggy: I can still see you [at twenty-one], hair piled up high, skirt so tight it made me eyes water.

    Peggy: I often thought of a career on the stage, but I never had the guts.

    Jane Beale: It turns out Peggy was a go-go dancer in a previous life.

    The Walford Gazette on Peggy: “She was once a go-go dancer at the Shangri La Club, a notorious sixties club for gangsters and hard men.”

    Peggy on a photo of herself as a go-go dancer: 1963 this was taken.
    Christian Clarke: You looked beautiful.

    Tanya Branning: Peggy was a bit of a stunner in her day.

    Peggy: I've always traded on me looks, I suppose. Enjoyed having a figure men liked looking at.

    Peggy on a necklace: Eric gave it to me on our third wedding anniversary. He put it in a pie. He wanted to surprise me. He did and all - I broke a tooth.

    Archie: I used to envy Eric, the way you ran around and kept those boys in order.
    Peggy: Yeah well, the harder I worked, the easier it looked.
    Archie: You still managed to look like a million dollars.
    Peggy: Nothing came easy in those days. It was all sweat and tears.
    Archie: Even then I knew it was you I should have married, but family came first.

    Peggy to Phil and Grant: Families always come first. You were taught that before you could walk.
    Phil: You taught us a lot of things, Mum.
    Peggy: Yeah, and number one was "You look after your own".

    Babe Smith: Family comes first, always has.

    Peggy on Grant: He was walking by ten months, you know. Grant was ever so advanced for his age.

    Peggy: I used to bath my babies in the kitchen sink. Grant loved it. The way he howled when I used to take him out!

    Peggy: I used to hang that [a mobile with monkeys’ faces on it] over Phil and Grant’s cot.
    Billy Mitchell: I would have thought they’d be more baseball bats and boxing gloves.

    Phil to Grant: You used to like "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig" when you was a kid.

    Peggy on Grant's teddy bear: [He was called] Gris, [as in] grisly. Grant never went anywhere without him when he was a toddler.

    Grant: Grant and Gris were a double act.

    Lofty Holloway: Basil was the name of my teddy when I was a kid.

    Danny Taurus on his band: Danny Taurus and The Zodiac — the East End's answer to The Beatles.
    Pete: That bunch of scallywags! I must have roadied for you every gig you did around here. Nearly ruined me for life it did, lifting all that equipment about. Mind you, the birds were all right.

    Pauline Fowler on Danny: He was never that good — not in the singing line anyway, but at least he used to look like something.

    Pete: I can still remember those birds hammering on your dressing room door.
    Danny: That's what happens when you're a dead ringer for Elvis.

    Pete: My old man used to say, "When it comes to women, always remember the three Fs - find them, feed them and forget them."

    Stan Carter: I’ve always been a fan of the female form. 1960s, that was the time. All them birds in their mini-skirts. Felt like we’d never seen legs before. Happy days.

    Pauline: The swinging sixties, it was all mini-skirts and Beatles and everything was free and easy — and nice girls definitely didn't. And then hey presto, in a few years, nice girls definitely did.
    Michelle Fowler: Did you?
    Pauline: Not when I was your age [fifteen], no, but later on.
    Michelle: With Dad.
    Pauline: No, before Dad. I was just finding out what things were like, experimenting.

    Danny on Pauline: She was a right little raver.

    Pete: You never told me you fancied Pauline.
    Danny: There's a few things I never told you about me and Pauline.

    Pauline on her and Danny: My mother would have killed me if she'd have known.

    Danny: Pauline, when I was a cub and you were a kitten, you could walk into a room and light up the party, like the Blackpool Illuminations.
    Pauline: You always were a charmer.

    Danny to Pauline: You used to always be singing. I couldn't get you to shut up.

    Danny: You were always the girl for me, Pauline.
    Pauline: Every girl was always the girl for you once.
    Danny: You always were very sweet.
    Pauline: Was I?
    Danny: Oh yeah, the sweetest.
    Pauline: You were never keen on me back then.
    Danny: I was!
    Pauline: You certainly hid it well then.

    Danny to Pauline: If I remember rightly, you usually got what you wanted.

    Pauline: The trouble was, all the boys I ever met, I compared to Dad - my dad. I thought he was the most fantastic man who ever lived.

    Ethel Skinner: Do you remember Den's dad, Dennis? He was a hard man, wasn't he?
    Dot Cotton: He gave Den a few thick ears.
    Ethel: I always thought old Dennis was very handsome.

    Den Watts, speaking to his daughter Vicki in 2003: What's with the clothes? My old dad had a string vest like that.

    Den: The barneys I used to have with my old man when I was a kid over the most stupid things you wouldn't
    believe. I had a quiff once.
    Michelle: You weren't a teddy boy, were you?
    Den: Yeah, I was. My old man thought a quiff was an affront to the British Empire. We nearly came to blows over it. Anyway, it was resolved somehow. Oh yeah, he got some barber in Stanton Hill to chop it off. And that was that, the war was over. Well, one of the battles anyway.

    Kathy Beale to Ted: Remember the way Dad used to go on at you? "I am not having those winkle pickers in this house!"

    Derek Harkinson: I can remember some truly awful rows when I was growing up, like when I refused to have my hair cut. I wanted to be a Rolling Stone. My mother was determined I was going to keep my short back and sides. She threatened me with a frying pan.
    Pauline: I remember something like that when I got my first pair of stilettos.
    Derek: Of course it wasn't about hair at all, not really. It was about power. Teenagers have this need to assert themselves, to be able to say, "I'm different."
    Pauline: So what happened with your hair then?
    Derek: Oh, it sort of grew into a war, we fought for six months, and then she gave up.
    Pauline: So you won then?
    Derek: Not really, no. As soon as I'd grown it, I realised it wasn't me at all. Then I got my first job with the insurance company and I had it all cut off.
    Pauline: So she won?
    Derek: No. It wasn't about winning. It was about growing up - or rather, being allowed to grow up.

    Pauline on Den: Him and Pete, they were a right pair of wide boys, weren't they?

    Lou Beale: Den always sailed pretty close to the wind, but he had a habit of always coming smelling of roses.

    Pat: Angie always did like roses.

    Johnny Allen: I did have an aunt called Angie.

    Reverend Duncan on Den: He was brought up with the faculties to survive in a hard community. And he used these faculties.

    Den: I've always broken the law. I mean, not conspicuously. I just bent it a little bit, you know, just like me dad. I thought I was different. Fat chance.

    Den: When I was [young], my dad took me to one side and said, "You best watch yourself. You're far too cocky for your own good. You think there's nobody in this world but yourself." And do you know something? He was absolutely right.

    Chalky Whiting to Den: You always were Jack the Lad - but Jack the Lad in Walford don't amount to much.

    Pat on Den: He was a bit of a Jack the Lad when he was younger, but I don't remember any pregnancies.

    Den: I've had to dodge a few irate fathers in my time.

    Den on his mother: Older generation, facts of life, always embarrassed.

    Kenny Beale: Remember Chrissie Stevens? Bit older than us. Worked at Woolies. Well built girl, dead pale face and that amazing red hair. We were all after her.
    Den: Yeah. Wasn't a real redhead.
    Kenny: You never!
    Den: I most certainly did.
    Kenny: You always were advanced for your age.
    Den: And you were always young for yours.
    Kenny: That's true enough.

    Pat to Den: You were streets ahead, even when you were younger. Classy dresser, good dancer. Not like Pete. He had two left feet. You could charm the birds out of the trees.

    Pauline: Do you honestly think I can remember all the girls that Dennis Watts knocked about with? He was always sniffing round some tart or other.

    Pauline on Den: He was always looking for a bit of stray. It was like a religion with him. I hated it.
    Michelle: He never even looked at you, did he, Mum?
    Pauline: No he didn't, and if he had ...

    Patrick Trueman: When I think of some of the decisions I made as a young man ... Still, the women and them, I’ve got no regrets there.

    Patrick: I've had quite a few, you know — Emma, Agnes, Rita, Cheryl, Audrey.

    Audrey Trueman, Patrick’s future wife: When I first came to England, I took any job I could.

    Terry Raymond: I left school at fifteen without an O Level to my name.

    Eddie Moon: School never did me much good.

    Terry: I was out working when I was fifteen.

    Pat to Tom Clements: I remember your sister from the old days. We used to work in a factory together. Shoulder-pads.

    Pat on Big Mo: She never could take her drink.

    Big Mo to Pat: Never could hold your drink, could you?

    Jim Branning: I always used to make me own beer, lager.

    Ethel on the Queen Vic landlord: Remember the chap before [Den]? I remember his anniversary. He had a barrel of beer on the counter all day. The whole street was legless.
    Lou: You included.
    Ethel: Your old man used to lie on the floor with his mouth over the spout.

    Johnny on the Queen Vic: I always liked this boozer. I was virtually brought up there.

    Dot: I’ve been coming in here [the Vic] more years than I can count.

    Dot to Mick Carter: I’ve been coming in here [the Vic] since before you was born

    Pauline on the Queen Vic: I've been coming through these doors more years than I care to remember, even when I was a youngster.

    Dot: My Charlie said something to me once. He said the best pint he ever had was the one he wasn't supposed to be drinking, the one he had with one eye on the door expecting me to walk through any minute.

    Ethel: My old man liked a drop of the Vera Lynn.

    Ethel: I remember my William getting so sociable he couldn't walk up the stairs.

    Ethel on her fur stole: My William bought it for me. He had a very good winner on the dogs.

    Ethel: I got a lovely new winter coat from [the co-op] when my William died.

    Ethel on William: [Fifty-three] when he died. You cope.

    Pauline: Was there ever anyone else serious?
    Ethel: William's were very big shoes to fill. A man in a million [is] very hard to replace.
    Pauline: And I thought you were the local floozy, Ethel Skinner.
    Ethel: Just a lot of talk — mostly. But I had a lot of fun on the way.

    Dot on the Dalston Classic cinema: I went there once or twice with Ethel, my friend. She was rather keen on one of the ushers.

    Dot to Ethel: Do you remember telling me about that time you went to a dance and you met them Americans what said they was cornet players in Count Basie's band and you went back with them to the hotel in their van? I bet you didn't need no encouragement.
    Ethel: They weren't cornet players.
    Dot: No, and they weren't even Americans. They was pig farmers from Essex. Still, you had a lovely time and you had a comical story to tell. I'd have just gone home.

    Dot to Ethel: You had quite a life, didn't you? Always jumping in off the deep end. Used to envy you that.

    Dot to Ethel: You always got away with everything and I never did.

    Dot, speaking shortly before Ethel's death in 2000: You're still the same silly Ethel what danced the night away and come home with all them ridiculous stories.

    Dot: I loved Ethel. Mind you, I didn’t approve of her morals.

    Big Mo on Ethel: Had the filthiest sense of humour in any woman I met — men too, for that matter.

    Dot: I used to chaperone Ethel sometimes when she was after a new man. You’d have thought it would have been the other way round, seeing that she was so much older than me. Poor Ethel, she used to accuse me of spying on her.

    Dot on Ethel: She was in [the Vic] one night with a man I didn’t like the look of. He was unsavoury, none too clean. Anyway, they had one drink and then he scarpered. Then Ethel, she went off to the lav. I thought the poor thing had gone off to have a cry, but she’d been gone so long that in the end, I went in to check up on her. And do you know what? That artful little cow, she’d only climbed out the window and gone off with him. She was out all night.

    Pat: I’ve done some walkabouts in my time that would make your hair curl.

    Pat: I was in Southend.
    Geoff Barnes: The day Kennedy was shot?
    Pat: Yeah. It was wet and windy and they were playing Tommy Steele on the radio. At least, I think it was Tommy Steele.
    Geoff: With or without his Cavemen?
    Pat: Oh, definitely with.
    Geoff: So what were you doing in Southend then?
    Pat: That would be telling, wouldn't it? Actually, I was with a bloke. I was - well, let's just say me husband didn't know about it. There was nothing to
    it. I was in love with somebody else, but he wasn't in love with me. Not then anyway. Still, it was the swinging sixties. Sometimes I think I kickstarted the permissive society all by meself.
    Geoff: It's the war that did it, you know. Turned everything upside down. Kids brought up on bomb sites. Some without fathers, some without homes. Is it any wonder we rebelled?

    Joe Macer: Space travel, rock and roll - it was our era. We invented the teenager.

    Pauline: Do you know, I remember the first pair of jeans I ever had. Sat in the bath for hours trying to shrink them to size.

    Pauline to her son Martin: I bought this [black and white dress] in Carnaby Street, long before I married your dad. I felt I could conquer the world when I wore this frock.

    Pat: I used to get me thigh-high boots in there [39 Carnaby Street]. Pete couldn’t get enough of them.

    Peggy: The sixties, they were exciting, glamorous, innocent times and full of hope.

    Pat: The sixties — that’s when Walford really was somewhere.

    Peggy on the swinging sixties: I was too busy getting black eyes and having babies to get involved in all that.

    Derek: The swinging sixties, the era of personal freedom. Well it may have happened in Carnaby Street, but it never got round to the suburbs.

    Derek: I grew up in a warm loving home with two parents who taught me that life was all about getting a job, getting married and settling down. Back then, being gay wasn't an option.

    Nigel Bates: The best Christmas I ever had was in —
    Debbie Bates: 1963. New policeman's outfit, red pedal car and Aunty Hilda dancing on the coffee table.

    Nigel on how Santa enters houses that don't have chimneys: You turn yourself into fairy dust and come through the letterbox. That's what my mum used to tell me when I was little.

    Lofty: I got a pair of slippers at Christmas and a tangerine. My dad used to buy me cars sometimes. Auntie Irene bought me games and colouring books and that. My mum never had time for toys. Said the place looked untidy. I mean, if I ever left any of my things lying around, she'd just chuck them in the bin. So I never used to play with them much really.

    Lou to Pete: Boxing Day was always open house when your dad was alive.

    Lou: Albert used to do his magic tricks. The Disappearing Spoon, that was favourite.

    Pete on Albert: He used to like Alan Breeze.
     
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1964

    Alfie Moon: I was born impressive, weren't I?

    Alfie: Born with a spanner in me hand, weren't I? Obviously me mum found it a little bit painful.

    Jean Slater: Alfie was born to be a father.

    Kat Moon (née Slater) on Alfie: Legend has it [he] was born in the back of a hackney where the fare was topping twenty guineas.

    Michael Moon to Alfie, his cousin: Your nan used to keep you in the sink. I still remember that picture of you, fingers stuck up the tap.

    Cora Cross to her daughter Ava: Your dad meant a lot to me. It wasn’t just one night. He gave me [a silver bracelet]. I’ve always kept it close.

    Tanya Branning on Cora’s boyfriend: What was he like?
    Cora Cross: He had charm coming out of every pore. He had the gift of the gab, that one. He was very special to me.
    Tanya: So you were going steady?
    Cora: We saw each other a bit, best part of a year. He was a sailor. Moved around. Girl in every port. He broke my heart.
    Tanya: And you were carrying his baby.
    Cora: He never even knew I was pregnant. He cleared off before I had a chance to tell him.

    Cora to Ava: He knew nothing about you.

    Charlie Cotton: We went to your Irene's wedding.
    Dot: Don't remind me. When you sang that filthy song, I was so ashamed. I wished the ground would open and swallow me - and then when you fell off the table and tipped the punch bowl into Mrs Collins' lap!
    Charlie: That was your Fred. He kicked the chair.

    Charlie, on the last time he and Dot were intimate: When was it, 1964?

    Minty Peterson: 1964, the year West Ham first won the cup.

    Jim Branning on 1964: It's the first year we won the FA Cup, that is.
    Charlie Slater: Johnny Byrne - what a player.
    Alfie: Happy days, eh?
    Charlie: Not much! And Sissons, great player he was as well.

    Billy Mitchell: When I was a kid, I wanted to live in a castle. I was about five, I was little. And I don't mean a block of flats either - I mean like a proper castle with a drawbridge and a moat. And I wanted to be a knight in shining armour or a handsome prince — or both. I used to spend hours drawing dragons, working out all me armour, making castles out of playing cards. Then me old man would roll in drunk, knock the whole lot over, start laying into my mum. And I used to think to meself, "You don't know what's coming to you. Because she is my mum and I don't care what you think, she's mine. And one day, I'm going to have my castle and a horse and a sword and a shield and I'm going to cut your stinking, rotten, stinking head off."

    Pauline Fowler: In my day, if there was someone you liked, you just met up and, well, it was that simple.

    Pauline: I remember my Arthur when we started courting, just twenty-one he was. There was nothing of him. He was like a young Frank Sinatra, jet black hair and a smile that would make you go all goose-pimply.

    Arthur Fowler: I was thinner then, and good looking, even though I say it myself.

    Pauline: I’ve always paid half, even when I went out with Arthur.

    Pauline: Arthur and I couldn't afford to go out much. We used to go for long walks by the canal.

    Arthur: You used to like going the pictures, didn't you?
    Pauline: Oh, I did. Romantic idiot, me. We used to sit in the back row, remember? You used to put your arm around me.

    Pauline on Arthur: When I first met him, he was the most terrible kisser. I had to show him how to do it properly. He was all slobbery.
    Arthur: It's all lies. She's thinking of her and Bunny Mason.

    Pauline on Arthur: He was a clumsy devil, always tripping or falling over something and everything. Used to get all embarrassed. Just made me love him more.

    Arthur: We used to have a little bike, you know. A little Beezer 2-stroke, me and [Pauline], when we were courting. We used to go everywhere on that bike, you know — Southend, Kew Gardens, Runnymede. A bottle of beer, some fruit from her dad's stall, we were as happy as sand boys. I loved that old bike — a sense of freedom, the open road. Economical, too.

    Pauline: Arthur used to have a scooter, one of those ones that's trendy now. One day, we went off to Bournemouth. Might as well have been Acapulco we were that excited.

    Pauline, looking at old photographs: This place me and Arthur used to go when we were courting. It's lovely. I mean look at us, happy as Larry.

    Pauline: You used to have your hair all slicked back with white gloop. Looked as though it had been painted on with varnish.
    Arthur: So? That was the style then.

    Michelle Fowler on Arthur: He was a greaser.
    Ethel Skinner: That's why your gran disapproved. He had a quiff.

    Arthur: I remember meeting Lou for the first time. It was like Daniel going into the lion's den.
    Pauline: He was so nervous, his teacup was rattling on the saucer.
    Pat: Yeah well, Lou had that effect on most people. Pete used to say that she could put a fire out with that look of hers.

    Dot to Pauline: [Lou] didn't reckon much to Arthur, did she? Not at first. I remember her telling you loud and clear. She thought Arthur wasn’t good enough for you same as she thought Kathy wasn’t good enough for Pete.

    Pauline on Lou: She could be a suspicious old boot. I remember when Arthur and I were courting, he bought these new shoes and she wouldn't let him in the house with them.
    Lisa Fowler (née Shaw): Why not?
    Pauline: Well, because she thought they looked like spiv shoes. She used to call out, "Arthur, if you got them shoes on, you're not coming in this house."
    Lisa: And what did he do?
    Pauline: He took his shoes off at the front door and walked about in his socks. She didn't want him to see that she was laughing, but I know deep down inside she was smiling.

    Pauline, quoting her father: "I'm not having you going out with [Arthur]. No future, no prospects. And anyway, you're too young."

    Arthur to Michelle: [Pauline] was the apple of [Albert's] eye. I was never good enough for your mum. No, I was dirt under her feet.

    Arthur: You [Beales] have always looked down your nose at me, always.

    Pauline to Arthur: You've always resented my family.

    Pauline: 1964, we got engaged. I remember [Arthur's] proposal. It was my sister that was getting married and I was ill. Jealous, I think.

    Pauline to Arthur: I was supposed to be bridesmaid, wasn’t I? But I woke up that morning with a temperature of a hundred and two. I had the flu. “You’re not going anywhere,” Mum said. I screamed and shouted, but her word was law, wasn’t it? So off they all went and left me lying in bed, looking at my lovely bridesmaid’s dress hanging off the picture rail. It was a beautiful blue satin. Such a shame to waste that dress. I thought, “I’ll just get up and try it on,” but I felt so dizzy, I thought I was going to faint so back to bed I went.

    Pauline: Arthur came to see how I was. Mum give him a bag of fruit from the stall to bring up to me.

    Pauline to Arthur: I must have fallen asleep because when I opened my eyes, you were sitting there by the bed. I thought you were an apparition. “Get out,” I says. “No, Pauline. I’m not going anywhere until you’ll say you’ll marry me.” Not the most romantic proposal, was it? But it was good enough for me.

    Pauline: I was sitting up in bed. I don't know how he managed to propose. He was sitting there stuttering and stammering, and I was sneezing away, and he asked me to marry him. Didn't even know him very well at the time.
    Michelle: Then why did you?
    Pauline: It was his collar. It was sticking out of his lapel, you know, out of his jacket. And I looked at him and I thought, "You need someone to keep your collars in order, me lad." And after I thought that, I said yes.
    Michelle: So you just felt sorry for him?
    Pauline: No. There was more to it than that.

    Michelle: Dad, how did you feel when you proposed to Mum?
    Arthur: She was in bed with a runny nose at the time. I popped upstairs to visit her. She'd missed her sister's wedding. I only went round there to cheer her up. She was all tucked up, feeling very sorry for herself, and before I knew what I was saying, I asked her to marry me.
    Michelle: So you just felt sorry for her?
    Arthur: No, there was more it than that.

    Mark Fowler on Arthur's proposal: Great romantic moment of the 20th Century?
    Arthur: Yeah, it was to us. I don't know who was the more surprised. She had a fit of the giggles, looked at my worried face, stopped, blew her nose and then said, "Of course I will, Arthur." She didn't have to think about it. When you love someone, you don't. You just know.

    Arthur to Pauline: I remember how nervous I was when I asked your old dad [for your hand in marriage].

    Pauline: You didn't have two ha'pennies to rub together, did you, Arthur?

    Pauline to Arthur: I didn't know too much about you [before] that weekend we spent in Southend. I knew a lot more about you when we came back, though!
    Arthur: What a weekend that was, eh? Happy days, Pauline, happy days!

    Ian Beale on Pauline: I remember her telling me she went there [Southend] years ago with Arthur and they stayed at this hotel on the seafront, just the two of them, and he made a real big fuss of her. Treated her like royalty.
    Dot: She’d have liked that.

    Pauline: I always thought sex was overrated.

    Pauline: Me and my Arthur, we was chaste till our wedding day.

    Pauline, looking at a photograph of Arthur: This was taken Whit Monday at Margate Beach '64. Got invaded by mods and rockers.

    Derek Harkinson on his best friend Brian: I haven't seen him since 1964, Catterick Camp.

    Brian on himself and Derek: We were in the army together.

    Derek on Brian: We used to call him Squeaky. We had such a good time back then. Everything was straightforward.

    Frank Butcher: I did me national service. I suffered.

    Frank: When I was in the army, I met a geezer just like Grant Mitchell. I give him a dig right on the end of the nose - wallop! He didn't mess around with me.

    Patrick Trueman: Merchant Navy, me.

    Patrick: Man, he was my best buddy, you know - Dickie Dawkins. Yeah man, it was me persuaded him to join the navy, you know. Told him we'd see the world and we did — the Far East, South America, Australia, Japan, Madagascar. Had a few adventures along the way — you know, a woman in every port. I was always careful though, not like some of me shipmates and them. I mean, they'd come back from shore leave, big grin on their faces, and you knew they'd been off into the backstreet with some woman of ill repute, as they say.
    Jim: I catch your drift.
    Patrick: It was more than a drift they caught! Man, they'd be lying in their bunks wriggling like eels. In Madagascar, where we found the cure for our shipmates' distressing condition, an old man came up to us and told us about a powerful medicine that healed people when the world was young.
    Jim: What, before the NHS?
    Patrick: He was talking about the power of Mother Nature.

    An extract from a letter written by Patrick in September 1964: "My darling Audrey, I've a few days leave and I'm enjoying my stay here in Singapore. Good bars, fine beer, but that doesn't stop me missing you, my precious."

    Patrick: When I wrote this letter, I was burning up with malaria. Couldn't leave the ship so I didn't setn foot in the blasted place [Singapore]. I just lay down there in my bunk, pouring sweat and dreaming strange dreams about giant lizards and women with brass chests.
    Anthony Trueman, Patrick’s son: There's no mention of you being ill [in the letter].
    Patrick: I couldn't worry a woman like Audrey.

    Nobby Stuart: I was in the Merchant Navy for thirty years and I have loved women all over the world — every colour, every nationality you can think of — but they all had two things in common. Every one of them was a walking calendar — they've got photographic memories for everything you ever did, everything you ever said.
    Alfie Moon: So what's the other thing then?
    Nobby: They all made me very happy — some for half an hour, some for a week, some for a month, one for twenty-six years.
    Alfie: Was that your wife then?
    Nobby: My Mary, yeah. The sweetest creature that ever walked God's earth.
    Alfie: So what's the difference then, between twenty-six years or half an hour?
    Nobby: I think I realised the difference the first time she fell asleep in my arms. I realised then there was nowhere else I wanted to be but there.

    Patrick: Yeah man, Dickie and me, we saw some wonderful places in we time, you know — until late one night, man I was so drunk, I fell overboard. Dickie, he dived in to save me, but the sea was so rough he got swept out and ... they never found his body. After Dickie died, I just fell apart. I never mentioned the Navy. I just couldn't bear to. I lost my best buddy and it was all my fault.

    Dot: Poorly — that's what they said about my mother just before she died.

    Dot on Charlie: I found him stealing from me and cheating on me with other women. He’d got another little family up on Liverpool. He had two attempts at bigamy. The last one was me half-sister Rose.

    Dot: I knew my half-sister as Rose Elizabeth Taylor and then she erroneously became Rose Cotton, having bigamously married my husband, Charlie Cotton, while I was still his wife.

    Rose Cotton: That wasn’t my fault. It was Charlie.
    Dot: Yes, but that was only because you were such a flibbertigibbet. I mean, you only had to ask me if I was alive.

    Rose on Charlie: He told me you divorced him.
    Dot: I never divorced him. He was a bigamist.

    Rose: When I was young, the one thing we didn’t want second hand was a wedding dress.
    Dot: Unlike a husband.

    Rose: I never got to wear white.

    Dot on Rose: Married in cerise, according to all accounts. Well, what can you expect from a scarlet woman?

    Cora Cross: The sixties, we always used to help each other out with the wedding dresses. I remember one — mint green chiffon, short, fake emeralds encrusted on the bodice. We listened to a lot of rock and roll back then.

    Pauline: We've had some smashing weddings in the past, guests chipping in towards the drinks, and I can't remember one where the booze actually ran out.

    Tom Clements: The number of women that have tried to get me up that aisle, but I've fought them tooth and nail, fought them to the bitter end.

    Jim on making a best man's speech: I've done it before, you know - a couple of blue jokes, nothing racist.

    Terry Raymond to Janine Butcher in 2000: When I was your age [sixteen], I was training to be an estate agent. And I was very good as it happens.

    Kathy Beale: When I was fourteen, I was in the school choir. Not for very long though and I'll tell you why. Remember they had that carol service at the Town Hall for all the local schools? Well, it's there that I met Timothy Wimple. He was a very respectable boy, respectable mummy and daddy, smart house, went to the grammar school. Very keen on folk music, you know what I mean? Short back and sides, neat parting - this was around the time of the Rolling Stones.

    Pat: Never saw the attraction of the Rolling Stones. Always looked like they needed a good wash.

    Kathy on Timothy Wimple: Anyway, he asked me out and I'm so shocked I end up saying yeah. He took me to a folk club somewhere near Islington. He was such a nice bloke though. Very polite, very considerate. Always wanted to talk about me and I how I was feeling. Very respectful. All the things you dream of in a man. And do you know what?
    Pat: He bored you rigid.
    Kathy: I chucked him after a fortnight. I've often wondered over the years what would have happened if I'd stuck it out with Timothy Wimple. He wanted to be a pharmacist and I remember thinking, "What?" That was before Marcus Duffy got his hands on me.
    Pat: He's the boy that raped you, isn't he?
    Kathy: Donna's dad. No more school choir for me.

    Kathy: When I was fourteen, on me way home from school, I was raped. I don't mean interfered with, or saying no when they thought I meant yes, or any of the other things that happen to young girls. There wasn't nothing I could have done about it. He was in this car and he asked me if I know where Morley Street was. And I swear I never thought twice because he looked so ordinary. And he asked me to show him in the A To Z and I got in the car and we was looking it up and the next thing I knew, I was coming to on the back seat and we was miles from anywhere. I didn't do any of the things you think you'd do. I didn't scream, didn't cry. Something just took over and I went dead, like I did when my dad used to hit me mum. I thought that way, he wouldn't kill me. After, he said he was sorry, but he couldn't help himself, and that if I never told no one, he'd take me back to where he picked me up. And that's what happened. So you see, in a way, it's my fault because I let him. They never caught him or anything.
    Pete Beale: Did you go to the police?
    Kathy: How could I? I didn't fight back. They wouldn't have believed me. I never told no one till it was too late. You know what me dad was like, let alone me brothers. I couldn't even tell me mum. She'd have only got another hiding for not bringing me up right or something. I felt so dirty, like somehow it had to be my fault. Four months later, I realised I was pregnant. I went to Dr Legg and he got it all out of me. Didn't tell my mum and dad, I wouldn't let him. What good would that have been? He knew what they were like, all right. They wouldn't have believed it either. He did say something [to my dad] though. I never knew what. Must have scared the hell out of him though, because right through the rest of it, he never laid a finger on me again. He called me a slut and all of that, but he never hit me. I often wondered what it was he said.

    Kathy to Pat: When the school found out I was pregnant, I was called to the headmaster's study. You remember him, old Ackroyd. He had that glass eye so you could never be quite sure if he was looking at you or not. Anyway, he's quivering with rage because I've let the school down — no one's talking about rape then, you understand — and he turned round and said to me, "Katherine Hills, there are nice girls and there are not nice girls, and you are not nice."
    Pat: Well, whoever wanted to be a nice girl?
    Kathy: Not me.
    Pat: Nor me.

    Irene Hills: I remember when I was [sixteen], I was more interested in boys than books.

    Nana Moon on her grandson Alfie: I changed his nappies.

    David Wicks on Pat: She was never around when I was a kid.

    Pat: I made a few mistakes.
    David: No, you never made mistakes. You can only make mistakes when you're trying to do something. You never tried. You never gave a toss.

    David on Pete: He was a decent enough bloke, wasn't he?
    Pat: I suppose.
    David: Then how come you was such a bitch to him?
    Pat: I was young and stupid. Pete was a nice enough man, but I wanted more.
    David: What about me?
    Pat: You were just a kid. I didn't think.

    Pete on himself and Pat: We wanted different things from life.

    Pat to Pete: You were going to buy me a car, weren't you, Pete? We get married, then he'd buy me a house, a car, holidays abroad, fancy clothes. What did I end up with? Two boys to bring up and not a penny to me name.

    Kathy to Pete: I thought you was living with her [Pat] when she fell for Simon.
    Pete: She walked out, about the time.

    Lou Beale to Pete: You had a row, remember? You hit her.

    Pete on Pat: She was begging for it, asking for it. I'd come home from a hard day's collar and she'd be there with her glad rags on. I'd say to her, "Hello Pat, where you off to?" "Oh, I'm just round me friend's." And where'd she go? Straight up the Light Ale shop with the flavour of the month on her arm, laughing at me all the way. So I gave her what she wanted.

    Lou to Pete: She walked out. You come to me. You thought she was having an affair. I found out where she was. Well, I had more contacts than you.

    Pete: Mum went and found her, fetched her back.

    Pauline to Pat: You hardly ever were the faithful wife, were you? It was never a secret.

    Lou to Pat: You've been with half the men for miles around here.

    Pete to Pat: What about that redheaded Irishman, or Terry, the one who worked on the buses? Half my mates?

    Pat: I've always played around. It started with Frank, Pete, Kenny ...
    Simon, Pat's son: Dennis Watts.
    Pat: Brian Wicks. I was seeing everyone then. I was going through men like water. You see, I was let down badly. I was hurt, bitter. I wanted to get my revenge. Once you start, you can't stop. I didn't go the whole hog with all of them. Of course, they said I did - a dirty laugh down the boozer, good for their reputations. Reputations are different for men, aren't they?

    Pete on Pat: Pat always liked having something on you. That's why she slept around. She thought she could control you. She thought if she got someone in a corner, she could persuade them to like her.

    Lou to Pat: You have been the thorn in the side of my flesh for years. You've torn my family apart. You deprived me of my son. I'm talking about Kenny, Pete's brother.

    Pete to Kathy: You were only a kid when [Kenny] was about.

    Ethel: Kenny Beale? I liked him.

    Angie Watts on Kenny: He was a nice looking fella. Mind you, bit thick. Runs in the family, don't it? No, I'm joking. He was a nice fella.

    Dot: Kenny was charm itself.

    Den Watts on Kenny: He was a spotty nobody.

    Lou to Kenny: Slippery little wotsit, you was. You weren't the sort of bloke to face up to your responsibilities.

    Angie to Pat: [Kenny] always fancied you.

    Pat: Kenny? He wanted what his brother had got. Just like when they were kids.

    Lou to Simon: [Kenny] made a big mistake. He should never have gotten mixed up with your mum. Not onlyfor his sake - for Pete's sake and for hers.

    Pat: I cared for Frank and he cared for me, and what do I go and do? I marry Pete who turns out to be a useless lover, a lousy husband and a cop out as a father. And to make matters worse, I had a sordid affair with his brother.

    Pat to Lou: I can't pretend I didn't like the idea they were both your sons.

    Kenny on sleeping with Pat: Pete shouldn't have let me. He should have seen to it she didn't want to stray. That's what any man should do for his wife.

    Kenny to Pete: I wasn't the only one messing around with your missus. They were all at it. They were like flies round a jam pot. She loved it, loved all the attention.

    Pat: I used to rebound a lot in them days.
    Kenny: Sounds busy.
    Pat: It was, it was. I can't hardly believe them days. Passion. God, the passion. Almost choking, couldn't hardly talk.
    Kenny: You weren't the only one who, you know, fell in love.
    Pat: Who else?
    Kenny: Me.
    Pat: Who with?
    Kenny: You. Hook, line and sinker.
    Pat: I thought you was larking about!

    Pat to Pete: Do you know the most thrilling thing about that affair [with Kenny]? Standing on a chair to kiss him. Vertigo was a good deal more exciting than anything else that was on offer. One minute I'd be with him, half an hour later I'd be in bed with you. Do you know what, Pete? One day, Kenny and I made love when you were asleep upstairs. In a way, I wanted you to come and find us, but you didn't.

    Pat: I was with Kenny, me brother-in-law, and me husband Pete turned up with me mother-in-law, Lou Beale.
    Kim Fox: Were you starkers?
    Pat: Except for a pair of pink furry ears. Well, bunny girls were all the rage then. Anyway, Kenny bundled me into the wardrobe. I was in there for nearly four hours. I have never had cramp like that.

    Pat to Kenny: You were no better than [Pete]. Wham bam, thank-you ma'am - not one thought about me, not one box of chocolates, bunch of flowers, a meal out. Just a quick "How d'you do? Let's do it."
    Kenny: I swear it wasn't like that, Pat.

    Lou: You'd have carried carrying on [with Pat] if I hadn't caught the pair of you upstairs red handed. Disgusting. And under me own roof and all.
    Kenny: Thought you were on the stall.
    Lou: That's where you should have been, not up there with her. Lucky for you it was me that caught you, not Pete.
    Kenny: Why do you think we were here [in the house] and not there [on the stall]? It was learning about life. Not the best way, maybe.
    Lou: Albert despaired of you. He knew.

    Cora Cross: It would have been a crowbar across the shins for both of them [a couple caught cheating] in my day.
    Dot: Well, they wouldn’t have been that in my day, but then I suppose that’s because I went to church. As my vicar used to say, “To forgive is to live.”

    Pat: Just as well Lou got wind of us, otherwise you'd nhave gone on using me until you'd had enough.
    Kenny: Not true.

    Lou to Pat: I'm a woman. I know man's weakness. I know what it's like when they find a Jezebel come among them like you. I had to listen to my own son, who couldn't bear to face his own brother.

    Pat to Simon: I got pregnant with you. That gave me some power. Eventually, I could play one off against the other. "Who's Simon's dad?" That put a stop to the dirty laughs at the boozer, I can tell you.
    Simon: Why?
    Pat: Suited my purpose. It kept them all guessing, under the cosh.

    Lou to Pat: We both know who fathered Simon — Kenny.

    Kenny to Lou: That Pat, she's shrewd. She never denied [that Kenny was the father] and you know why? She saw you setting a trap for yourself and she let you fall into it. She let you stew in your own poison.
     
  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Cora: At first I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant. I kept it hidden for nearly four months. I was convinced [the baby’s father would] come back to me, whisk me off to the Caribbean.

    Cora: I can still remember my father’s face when I told him. He never looked at me the same again. I was shipped off to a mother and baby home in Faversham. They waited till it was dark before they took me to the station. Couldn’t risk offending the neighbours. Turns out they’d sorted everything — poor childless couple, bit of money tucked away.

    Cora: I had Ava when I was eighteen.

    Cora to Ava: I’m just the woman who gave birth to you. Quite frankly, that’s a compromising position I could have done without.

    Cora: Ava, my firstborn, the baby that never was.

    Cora: You were born at 3.26 in the afternoon, five pounds four ounces. Bit underweight but nothing to worry about. Sandie Shaw was number one, ‘Always Something There to Remind Me’. They played it on the wireless all the time.
    Ava: How long did you stay with me?
    Cora: An hour, maybe.

    Cora: You remember what they’re like in those first few moments? Beautiful and perfect, spanking brand new.

    Cora: Ava was mine for a second. I loved her and I gave her away.

    Cora on Ava: One minute she was there, just lying there in my arms. She was so tiny. I don’t think I’d ever hardly held a baby before. You didn’t then — pass them around like you do now. And then I was in the hospital — nurses running around doing their job, other mums, little ones crying. I was holding her in my arms, my beautiful little baby girl.
    Tanya: Wasn’t anyone with you?
    Cora: Weren’t allowed visitors.
    Tanya: Not even Nan?
    Cora: The sister on the ward was very strict. And then they came and took her. They put her in a little cot to sleep. She opened her eyes — not to look at me — I mean, they can’t at that age. You think they can, but they can’t. You feel like they can. Big brown eyes, she had, and little tiny fingers. I just lay there looking at them, these tiny, tiny fingers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so tiny in my life. I just lay there, looking at her. I drifted off, looking at her. I only woke up when they came to take her. They wouldn’t even let me say goodbye. They didn’t, in those days. They said it would be too upsetting. Then she was gone. My little baby girl, all alone in that big cold hospital. I never even got to leave the hospital with her, never even took her home.

    Name of mother on Ava’s birth certificate: Cora Anderton of St James Street Wanstead.

    Cora: Ava Hartman. The nurse told me her new name. She wasn’t supposed to.

    Cora: I remember the midwife who delivered Ava — so many questions and none of them worth asking.

    Cora: My Ava was so healthy, full of life, but I had to give her away. That’s how it was. I can still hear her cry.

    Ava Hartman: Why’d you do it? Why’d you give me up?
    Cora: Because I wanted to give you the best life I could.

    Ava on Cora: This is the woman who dumped her baby on social services over the colour of her skin.

    Patrick Trueman: You weren’t here in the fifties, the sixties. I was. Cora was. You’ll never understand [the racial prejudice].
    Tanya: You mean because Ava’s dad was ...
    Patrick: Black, or dark, or coloured?
    Tanya: You’re saying my mum didn’t want Ava because of the colour of her skin?
    Patrick: Your mother was no more than a kid herself. Maybe she didn’t have a choice.

    Cora on Ava: I gave her away because I had to. It was the right thing to do.

    Cora: After fourteen hours, I was back in my room packing to go home again.
    Patrick: Did you ever see her again?
    Cora: There was no need. She wasn’t my problem anymore.
    Patrick: But you must have kept a photo or something to remember her by?
    Cora: Just a silly string of beads.

    Ava: And then you just walked away. And then what?
    Cora: And then I got on with my life. What else could I do?

    Ava: Did you ever want me?
    Cora: It was different back then.
    Ava: Did you think about me?
    Cora: Of course I did.
    Ava: Then why didn’t you fight for me?
    Cora: I didn’t have any fight left in me, darling.

    Cora: Things happen in life. You don’t choose them. They just happen. You accept them and you move on because that’s what you’ve got to do.

    Tanya, speaking in 2012: My mother has been lying about my sister, hiding her away from everyone, for forty-eight years.

    Patrick to Tanya: What do you think she went through, giving that baby up? You think it didn’t bother her, that she didn’t think about her every single day? She had to deal with that on her own.

    Cora to Tanya: You want to know why I am the way I am? You want to know why I’m not like other mothers, why I’m not like other people, why I can’t love like other people? I was barely eighteen when I had her. It broke my heart and I’ve never loved anyone properly since. You make one mistake and it just follows you. All the years of trying to forget, trying to put it behind me. I let them take her out of my arms.

    Cora on Ava: When I gave her up, I gave up any expectations I might have had as well.

    Tanya: You could have told me. You wouldn’t have had to carry this on your own.
    Cora: We’re women, Tanya. That’s what we do. You pick yourself up and get on with it.

    Cora: No one ever knew. It was my secret. I never forgot her. I never ever stopped thinking of her.
     
  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1965

    Lou Beale on her husband Albert's aversion to Winston Churchill: He'd come in, see Churchill [on television] and just tip the table up with our
    dinners on it, just like that.

    Lou on Albert falling out with his best mate: They went out for a drink at one o'clock and come back at two, your dad with a black eye and his mate with a missing tooth. "What was all that about?" I says. "Never mind," he says. They never spoke to each other for a whole year and all I could get out of him was "Churchill."

    Nana Moon on Winston Churchill: It was such a cold day when he died — and at his funeral. A bitter cold it was, cruel cold. They took him down the river on a special boat. The whole of London just stopped, watching Mr Churchill go by. You must remember.
    Alfie Moon: No, because I was just a baby.
    Nana: Oh, of course you was. It was me and your dad that went. You stayed at home with your mum where it was warm. It was me and Alfred.

    Kenny Beale on Angie: She was just a kid when I left, all legs and too much make up, tagging round after us so she could get close to [Den].

    Lou: It's [1965] since I've seen my Kenny. That's because of you.
    Pat Wicks: Because of you. Who packed him off the minute they heard he'd got me in the club, eh?
    Lou: Yeah, it was I who told him to go. I sent him away.

    Kenny to Lou: You thought you were really clever sending me away.

    Lou: I was at me wit's end. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want my sons killing each other. Kenny was the first to go. It seemed the right thing to do at the time, but maybe that's what started all the break up.

    Kenny: You acted like judge, jury and executioner. You put a split between my brother and me.
    Lou: You done wrong and you had to pay for it.
    Kenny: And for that, you wiped out our future together? Because Dad didn't understand me and you took his side? That was too hard, Mum, too hard.
    Lou: Family came first. And anyway, you got too big for the Square. You was wild.

    Lou on Kenny: I never told him [about Simon]. I don't think [Pat] did neither, but you never know with Pat.

    Kenny to Simon: If they'd told me about you, things would have been different. I'd never have left a kid.

    Kenny to Pat: If I'd known, I'd have said, "Come on, love, let's do the off to the Antipodes together."

    Lou to Kenny: If we told you she was up the spout, you'd have been off like greased lightning.

    Kenny to Lou: I never even argued with you when you told me to leave.

    Pat: You scuttled off to New Zealand as soon as your mother opened her mouth.
    Kenny: In them days, you did what your mother told you.
    Pat: Only if it suited. Why didn't you come clean instead of sneaking off to New Zealand?
    Kenny: He was my brother. I thought it was the best thing for everyone. I thought it was best for you if I did what my mum said and ducked Down Under.

    Kenny to Lou: It was my way out. You handed me the opportunity and I took it. It was what I wanted. The truth is, I don't know if I'd have had the guts to just up and go myself.

    Kenny: I went, meek as a lamb. Twenty-four going on twenty-five, and my mother has me off on a convict ship to the colonies. It's a wonder Dad didn't throw in a box of oranges in case I got scurvy.
    Lou: You was better off out of it.
    Kenny: Didn't feel lucky then. As a matter of fact, it didn't feel lucky for a long time.

    Pete Beale to Kenny: I was actually really upset when you went away, the big brother leaving home. I was heartbroken. I mean, heartbroken.

    Lou to Kenny: You must have known it took our every last penny to take you to New Zealand.

    Pat: You didn't care what I was going through. I just wasn't good enough for [Kenny].
    Lou: You had my Pete.
    Pat on Pete: Slobbering and drooling over me, he was. And me with another kid on the way. What else could I do, eh? Not two ha'pennies to rub together.

    Pete: Once me elder brother gave up the stall, I took it over. Family business, solid. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed it out there. Free and easy, cash in hand, and twenty quid was a lot of money then. Those were the days.

    Arthur Fowler to Kenny: You left us to cope. At twenty-five, you couldn't stand up to your responsibilities. At twenty-five, I was a married man.

    Kenny to Lou: Arthur Fowler - don't you think Pauline could have done better than him? Well, of course she could, but maybe someone else would have wanted her to go and live in their house, take her away. You couldn't have that, could you? You need people to domineer, Mum.

    Pete to Kenny: Just after you left, Pat gave birth to what I thought was our second son.

    Kathy Beale: Why did you assume he was yours in the first place?
    Pete: I don't know. I just assumed. It could have been.

    Pat: How could I be sure? It might have been Pete's. It might have been Kenny's. I just didn't know. You do the best for the sake of the baby. When Pete wanted to make another go of it, I went along with that. What else could I do?

    Simon Wicks: You used both of them.
    Pat: Oh no, they used me.

    Pat to Simon: I just used you. You were like a helpless little pawn in a grown ups' game. You weren't important, I was. You see, I've known all
    along who your father was. There was only one man in Walford then. Brian Wicks.

    Pat: You make your bed, you lie in it. I learnt that at an early age. But in the end, whatever happens, it's just you and that little mite. You got to do right by it, the best way you can.
    Cindy Beale (née Williams): Is that what you did?
    Pat: Yeah, I think I took the best deal. Who knows? But what I did know is that Pete would take care of the kids until they could take care of themselves. They're like that, the Beales.

    Pete to Pat: You was my wife and I loved you.

    Kathy: Hey presto, I had a baby. It was adopted. It was the best way. I knew even then I would have made her suffer for it somehow. I didn't want to look at her.

    Kathy to Donna, her daughter: I did what I thought was best all round. It wasn't an easy decision. You were my baby. I let you go, but I didn't forget you.

    Kathy: At first, it was a big upset obviously, but later on I think it made me tougher, funnily enough. I had to get meself over it and I was determined it wasn't going to ruin me life. I sort of made meself put it right out me mind, but it was still there, niggling away in the background. I suppose it taught me to bottle things up and all.

    Kathy: I don't think I ever allowed myself to get into what I really felt. I dealt with it too easy. I never grieved for her properly. It was a horrible part of my life. When it happened, I felt like I just wanted to die.

    Kathy: I used to have nightmares about it for years, right up until I met Pete and we got married.

    Peggy Mitchell: You know Grant? He didn’t speak till he was nearly three years old.

    Tina Stewart: I was born somewhere like this [Albert Square], you know — Devon’s Road, Bow.
    Pat: Roman Road Market.
    Tina: Just takes one of two smells to take me right back there, pie and liquor or jerk chicken.

    Arthur: Pauline, you remember Bertie, don't you? Bertie Botham? We went to the funfair with him — with him and his wife, Janet.
    Pauline: Skinny fella.
    Arthur: Good footballer. Do you remember when we were engaged and I went to Clacton with Bertie? It was summer of '65, in July. We went to Clacton on Bertie's Panther. Oh that was a lovely day. It really was a great day — roaring along the front there. We were kings, like we didn't have a care in the world. We were about to get married and that day in Clacton seemed like the last day we were going to be kids.

    Pauline: Didn't you want to buy a bike, just after we were married?
    Arthur: Yeah. We talked about it, but we were broke, weren't we? Bertie [Botham] had to sell his for a double bed.
    Pauline: What happened to Bertie?
    Arthur: He died, Pauline. It was just after our second wedding anniversary. He fell off the scaffolding while painting the brewery. Lovely footballer.

    Arthur: I didn't get drunk on my stag night.
    Mark: Yes you did. Mum said you were paralytic.
    Arthur: No I wasn't. I was just tired. I'd been at work all day and when I collapsed, people assumed that I was drunk, but I wasn't.
    Mark: Mum says you were singing under her window.
    Arthur: All right, all right, I may have had one or two.

    Pauline: I remember the night before I got married, I was so keyed up, Mum had to make me a hot toddy to get me off to sleep.
    Dot Cotton: Nervous, was you?
    Pauline: Yeah, but only about silly things like tripping up going down the aisle. Not nervous about marrying Arthur. When I think how young I was and how little I knew about life, that's one thing - I wasn't worried about the man I was going to share the rest of my life with.

    Pauline: I knew my wedding dress was the right one the moment I saw it.

    Pauline: Mum gave me this [garter] when I got married to Arthur — you know, for good luck, something blue. You should have seen Arthur's face!

    Pauline: I was spot on time for my wedding, not a second too early or a second too late. Made a point of it.
    Ian Beale: Why was that - worried Uncle Arthur would do a runner?
    Pauline: It's common courtesy, isn't it?

    Pauline: When I made my vows, I meant every word of them.

    Pauline on her wedding ring: I’ve never ever taken it off, not once since the day he slipped it on my finger.

    Pauline: I did all the clearing up on my wedding day. Mum was in a right state. I was too busy to feel anything, I think.
    Arthur: That was a great day. I'll never forget it.

    Pauline: All right, it wasn't the most lavish or stylish of weddings, but it was lovely. It really was a special day. Everyone was there, and it warmed my heart to think that people cared so much to give us that good a send off.

    Arthur on Pauline: She always says I married her because I felt sorry for her, but she never did know what she was talking about. I married her because I fancied her.

    Pauline on Arthur: When we got married, I knew he'd need propping up. I knew I was stronger than him, but I didn't mind.
    Kathy: Is that why you married him?
    Pauline: Yeah. I thought, "I've got the brains, he's got the brawn!"

    Michelle Fowler: Did you love Dad when you married him?
    Pauline: Well yes, in time. Mind you, I was a bit struck on Stewart Granger, but he didn't propose to me. I used to write him [Stewart Granger] love letters. I never posted them. I used to hide them under me mattress. Then one day, Pete found them. Him and [Den] made my life a misery after that.
    Michelle: So you ended up with Arthur?
    Pauline: I ended up with a man who was good and kind.

    Big Mo on Omar Sharif: I used to love him in that Dr Zhivago. Wrap me up in furs, Omar, and carry me away on your big train.

    Pat: I met Cary Grant once.
    Kim Fox: The judge on Fame Academy?
    Pat: No — film star.

    Arthur to Pauline: When I first met you, you were full of life. You didn't have a bad word to say about anything or anyone. And that's what I married.

    Pauline on 'Needles And Pins' by the Searchers: We used to dance to it all the time, do you remember?
    Arthur: Yeah, in Eastbourne, in that dance hall down at the front. The Something Palace, wasn't it? Yeah, we went there for our holiday.
    Pauline: Honeymoon.
    Arthur: I tell you what, we cut a fine figure on that dance floor.
    Pauline: Yeah, you and your two left feet.
    Arthur: I was all right.
    Pauline: I've still got the bruises.

    Pauline on Arthur: He couldn't even do [the Twist] properly. Used to tread all over you. Mum always said he had two left feet.

    Pauline: Do you remember that picnic we had on our honeymoon on the pier?
    Arthur: We sat in one of those shelters, didn't we? Freezing to death.
    Pauline: That was when we went to the dance hall. I remember going in the ladies'. My nose was all red.
    Arthur: Ah, you looked smashing.
    Pauline: Didn't look so bad yourself. Still trod all over my feet though.
    Arthur: Not surprised. I couldn't feel them.
    Pauline: Do you remember that caff we used to go to?
    Arthur: Yeah, we had fish and chips and we'd talk till all hours.
    Pauline: Well, till half past ten at least. Everything closed at half past ten in those days.

    Pauline: You know, when we were [in Eastbourne] — before the children, before everything, really — I remember thinking, "I've never been so happy in my whole life."
    Arthur: No, nor me.
    Pauline: We did say we'd go back.

    Sylvie Carter to Stan: You’re always saying you’re going to take me [back to Bournemouth], always waiting on some horse to come in.

    Pauline: Arthur, do you remember those little "I love you" notes you used to leave for me all over the house? Mum found one in the laundry basket. She thought we'd gone potty!

    Pauline on being a wife: When you first get married, you think that you can do it better than anyone ever before. Soon wears off though. First time they come home moaning and groaning and telling you they're too tired to do a bit of washing up.

    Stan Carter on Sylvie: That woman is a vindictive cow, always was. Should never have had anything to do with her.

    Patrick Truman: I took Judy Jericho to the Kitchener Calypso Show at the Palace in 1965. Boy, that was a date and a half!
    Charlie Slater: Was it good?
    Patrick: Yeah, man. Back then your boy could move, you know!

    Patrick: Two-Eyes Cafe, 1965. Let’s just say that I had more than a frothy cup of coffee that night!

    Patrick on a ska LP, Legends of Blue Beat: I had a copy of this back in 1965. The thing got so scratched up I had to throw it away.

    Pauline: I was just twenty when my dad died. It was the year I married Arthur. I remember we were standing outside the church and he squeezed my hand. He said, "Remember, Pauline. I'll always be here for you." That was in the September. By the Christmas,
    we'd buried him.
    Ian: Pneumonia, wasn't it?
    Pauline: He'd never been really strong, you know. Not since the war.

    Lou: Father, mother and four sisters I've buried. And Albert, God rest his soul. When my Albert was took, it was as though everything stopped. I couldn't cry. I didn't cry till the funeral. There was a lump in my throat and I couldn't let it go.

    Pauline on Lou: She had the vultures descend on her when Dad died.
    Mo Butcher: It happened to my mother. A chap came round and said he was from the gas board, but he wasn't. He did her meter, nicked ten bob.

    Pauline on Albert: When he died, I thought my whole world would fall apart. It did for a while, but then it got better because I imagined he was in that special place that Mum's always talking about. And as long as I could imagine he was somewhere, well, it was all right. He wasn't gone forever.

    Pauline: My dad never met any of my children.
    Ian: Or me.
    Pauline: No, he didn't meet you.

    Lou on Albert: We had forty-two years of loving and loyal marriage. He was a marvellous man. He knew I never made idle threats. I always meant exactly what I said. And in my opinion, no relationship can exist without a kind of rule.

    Lou on Albert: He believed in making the best of your mistakes.

    Jim Branning: When my dad died, the night before the funeral, my aunty, she went in the front room, took off his good suit and put this old jumper on him he used to wear, put his shirt and tie back on him so no-one could see, and I said to her, "Here, Aunty," I said, "what did you do that for?" She said, "I can't bear the idea of him being cold."

    Stan Carter on his watch: It belonged to my grandfather, Reginald William Carter. Gave it me on his deathbed.

    Pauline on decorating the living room: Dad used to paper over the old stuff.
    Arthur: You don't have to tell me. The first time I stripped that lot off, we added six inches to the room.

    Dot, singing: “Angels up above you, smiling at my darling from the sky ...”
    Abi Branning, Dot’s step-granddaughter: Grandma Dot, did you sing that to your son?
    Dot: Yes, yes I did.

    Dot: Used to sing [‘Mockingbird’] to my Nick. Of course, it never done the trick with him.

    Dot on Nick: I only used to sing him lullabies. Mind you, there was one song he liked, ’Sleepy Joe’ [by Herman’s Hermits]. He used to make me sing it to him over and over again. It’s funny, isn’t it? Those moments, they’re so precious, but you don’t realise it till it’s gone.

    Dot on Nick: When he was a little boy, he used to say that I was his best friend and I used to say that he was mine.

    Dot on Nick: [He was a] little angel. He loved his mummy. He'd cry if I went out the room.

    Dot to Nick: You hated school. Tears all the way. I can still see your poor little face. When we got to the gates, you wouldn't let go. How you clung on to my hand, like your little life depended on it. I always had to be there waiting when you come out. Charlie would be furious when we got back — well, when he was there, that was — because his dinner wasn't ready.

    Dot, showing Nick a home made Christmas card: You was only six. It was the Christmas when Charlie nicked all your pocket money and you couldn't buy me a proper one. "Happy Christmas Mum. Love Nick." Happy spelt with one p. Charlie was supposed to be helping you with your spelling.
    Nick: I made this?
    Dot: Special, for me. There's the Angel of Goodness, see? Flying over the house, our house. "Driving away all the Devil's badness," you said, "making us all good." You was ever so good at drawing. That was the first drawing you'd done with a packet of crayons what I'd bought you. You sat at the kitchen table when I was making the puddings and you were shielding your drawing with your little hand so I wouldn't see what you was doing. It was a secret, you said. Such a fierce little grip on the crayons. They kept snapping.
    Nick: I remember the smell of them crayons.

    Dot: You should have seen my Nick at Christmas, he used to get ever so excited.

    Pauline: I can remember Christmases in the past with all of us, with Mum and Dad, Kenny and Ronnie and — all right, when Dad died, things changed and then Kenny and Ronnie went — but we all still carried on the tradition, didn't we? Michelle and Mark and Ian.

    Pauline: I can remember a time when you needed to hire Earl's Court for our family Christmas dinner.

    Arthur on carving the turkey: That's my job. Has been ever since Albert died.

    Sylvie Carter: Used to say that Stan could carve a cotton thread.

    Dot: I used to do a full Christmas dinner, all the trimmings, for me and my Nick — and Charlie sometimes, when he were around.

    Dot: My Nick told me [a joke] when he were little. "What does a chiropodist eat for his breakfast? Weetabix."
    Frank Butcher: I think you'll find that was cornflakes, Dot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1966

    Pat, speaking in 2006: Twenty [cigarettes] a day for forty years.

    Pete Beale on the Clarks: The maddest family in Walford.

    Barry Clark: [I was born] at my aunty's. Me mum was staying there. I was premature. Telly was on, kids having tea. Suddenly, Mum rolls round clutching her sides and out pops me, just in time for the Six O’Clock News.

    Barry: My lot would have had me out working as soon as I could walk if they thought they'd get away with it.

    Barry: My dad had an ulcer. Popped.

    Patrick Trueman: Back in '66, Little Sixteen [a racehorse] put more money in my pocket than you could ever imagine, you know.
    Anthony Trueman: Weren't you at sea then?
    Patrick: Yeah, but I had to come home from time to time. Paul wouldn't have been here otherwise.

    Milton Hibbert: We had our dance floor days, eh?
    Patrick: Yes, you and me propping up the Rancho Bar together.
    Milton: Good times, man.
    Patrick: Maybe. If only I'd spent more time with Audrey instead of gallivanting all over the place with you. You know that woman used to have convulsions every time you and me went out together?

    Paul Trueman, Audrey's son: Milton grew up with our mother.

    Patrick, demonstrating a dance to 'Rudy Got Soul' by Desmond Dekker: Whine and grine, that's what we used to call it, you know. That was the password. Claudia Seagrove and me, man we used to win prizes for we dancing, you know. Claudia, what a woman - and fit, you know?

    Patrick on himself and Milton: We used to meet up every night. Milton used to play the big shot with his gangster friends. You know, I never know a man live so well by just selling peanut fudge.
    Paul: A player, huh?

    Patrick: Your mother [Audrey] fell pregnant with you before we got married.
    Paul: I was a mistake?
    Patrick: Let's just say that you were a night of drunken passion. Well, a moment.

    Milton Hibbert on his affair with Audrey: It was just the once.
    Patrick: It was all a bit of a game, wasn't it — how many pretty girls you could get on your score card, how many fellas you could cheat on the sly? And Audrey, nice little girl from Sunday school, always neat as a new pin.

    Milton: It was the Easter social at St Bartholomew's, 1966. We had a picnic on the beach, Westcliff-on-Sea. Bracing, I think they call it.
    Patrick: You was never a God fearing man. How come you happened to be there?
    Milton: My Aunty Winnie made all the sandwiches. I helped her with the fruit punch, liven it up a bit. All those stern old men in their Sunday best and their prim missus in their clean white ...
    Patrick: She was my wife, you know.
    Milton: She was single then.
    Patrick: We was walking out together.
    Milton: It wasn't serious.
    Patrick: Says who?
    Milton: Gloria Vernon. And that Claudia Seagrass who you took dancing that very day. That is why Audrey was at the picnic by she self. Asked if I knew where you were. I never told she, of course.

    Paul: You were such a saint, weren't you? What about all your other women, eh? All your drinking and boozing for weeks on end?
    Patrick: Man, that was all the time I spent at sea. It wasn't so easy to settle down again, you know.

    Patrick: Audrey was a church going woman. She wouldn't. I mean, she was me woman a good two years before she even let me ...
    Milton: Well she had to make it look like yours.
    Patrick to Paul: [Audrey] had me hooked, those big brown eyes full of tears. She was a softer woman then, your mother. The next Sunday, there I was all done up in my best outside that church.

    Patrick: The morning before I married [Paul's] mother, I couldn't stop [vomiting]. I didn't realise a man's stomach could hold that much. Man, it was a long time before I could eat jerk chicken without thinking about me wedding day.

    Patrick: I've had a lot of woman and ting, but I've only ever loved once. And to think back then it wasn't even what I thought.

    Patrick: There was a lot about that wedding that wasn't quite what I thought it was.
    Milton: She didn't want to lie to you, man. Neither did I.
    Patrick: But you did.

    Patrick on Milton: That man stood right beside me at the altar holding the rings.
    Jim Branning: And you didn't know? Patrick: Not a clue.

    Patrick on Audrey: And I had to put a ring on she finger.
    Milton: There was nothing I could do. I was already spoken for.
    Patrick: But you was my best man! How you could do that to another man?
    Milton: You didn't have to take it, man. You could have done the sums.
    Patrick: I trusted. I trusted that woman and you ruined it for me.
    Milton: It was all my fault.

    Patrick: You know, I would have married that woman anyway - but once me hand was forced, all the magic just disappeared.
    Patrick to Paul: Your mother and me were married at St Paul's.
    Paul: What, you were married at St Paul's Cathedral, were you?!
    Patrick: St Paul's, Peckham.
    Paul: Mum told me it was St Edmund's.

    Zoe Slater, looking at Audrey and Patrick's wedding photo: Your mum looks beautiful.
    Anthony Trueman: Yeah, she does.

    Patrick on Audrey: Her and mine was a shotgun wedding, all smiles and contempt.

    Paul on Audrey: She never wanted me.
    Patrick: It's me she never wanted. She never would have married me if it hadn't been for you, but you know what your mother was like. Her beliefs were strong and they came first.

    Patrick on Audrey: There's nothing she did that I ain't guilty of. I wasn't a easy man.

    Pat on Patrick: [He was a] right Casanova, according to Audrey.

    Patrick, looking at an old photograph of himself: You see how handsome your father was, even in them days? I was a handsome looking fella, wasn't I?

    Laurie Bates: I eloped with Sandra when I was sixteen. Sixteen, would you believe? I thought it would last forever — only forever only lasted six
    months.

    Harry Slater to his niece Kat: Poplar Civic Theatre, that's where we [he and Charlie] met your mum. Kathleen "Kat" Slater, speaking in 2001: Turned it into flats now.

    Charlie Slater on himself and Viv Harris: [We] used to hang about together as kids.

    Charlie: By the time Viv was [going to school], I was working.
    Harry: Cradle snatcher!

    Gary Bolton on Viv: I liked her.
    Big Mo, Viv's mother: I know you did. You liked anyone in a skirt.
    Gary: Yeah, but Viv was a bit special.
    Big Mo: No one was safe with you around.
    Gary: Oh come on, I wasn't that bad.
    Big Mo: Yes you were. You were a right charmer. They were falling over themselves.
    Gary: Misspent youth, eh?
    Big Mo: To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have said no meself. You wonder why I kept Viv away from you? She must have been the only one you missed.
    Gary: Pauline Beale wouldn't have anything to do with me.
    Big Mo: Iron Knickers? I'm not surprised.

    Harry on Viv: She was a wonderful woman. What a gob on her when she went off on one. She always gave back as good as she got.
    Charlie: When we were first courting, she reckoned you provoked her on purpose.
    Harry: Well I mean, a woman like that, get her all hot and bothered — capable of anything, ain't they?
    Charlie: Everything I've had, you've always tried to get it off me.
    Harry: Well it didn't do no harm, did it?
    Charlie: She was my wife and you tried ...
    Harry: She wasn't your wife, not in the early days. As soon as I knew you two were together, I put her out of my mind. What did you think you were — the only bloke who liked her, fancied her?
    Charlie: I loved Viv.
    Harry: Yeah, that's why she never looked at me.
    Charlie: And you never told her?
    Harry: No. I was just a provoking brother, wasn't I?
    Charlie: So for all those years, you kept it a secret?
    Harry: No no, not a secret. I couldn't say anything, could I? I couldn't give her what she wanted even if she had ... She wanted to settle down, have kids. I wasn't you, Charlie. I couldn't compete.

    Charlie: One thing the women in my life have appreciated — the truth. Take Viv.

    Charlie: Viv and me, we used to hold hands all the time when we were courting.
    Big Mo to Charlie: I can remember when Vivienne first brought you over. I said, “He’s more of a porker than the last one!" but then some women like a bit of meat.

    Big Mo on herself and Charlie: We've always been great friends, right from the off. He ain't ever been nasty, not even when I was arrested for biting that copper.

    Big Mo to Charlie: I remember when you was courting Viv, she'd come up and say to me, "I don't know what I'm doing wrong, Mum. I've been out with him a dozen times and he hasn't even kissed me yet." In the end, I said to her, "Go on, girl, you go for it. If he won't kiss you, you kiss him." Remember?
    Charlie: Yeah I remember.
    Big Mo: And you was engaged a fortnight later, wasn't you?

    Charlie on himself and Viv: We were married nigh on thirty years, going out for a couple more before that.

    Angie Watts: When I was [sixteen], I didn't know what sexual desire was, much less have a thought in me head for it. I was top of the class at maths.

    Jean Slater: I was a times table champion at school.

    Angie: I once used to be a model.

    Angie to Den: When I first set eyes on you, I thought you was the sexiest thing on two legs.

    Angie on herself and Den: We've been together since we was kids.

    Den on Angie: She was fun at the start.

    Den on Angie: If I'm honest, she was a bit like me mum.

    Den to Angie: Do you remember my old dad? He reckoned we deserved each other.

    Lou Beale on Den and Angie: They're a funny couple. I've always said so.

    Angie on spring cleaning: Do you remember the old days? I can see my mum, turban and overalls, everyone hanging out their carpets and maxis the same week and beating the hell out of them.
    Lou: In those days, they did things properly. They ran the house properly, regular as clockwork. Monday washing and ironing, Tuesday cleaning -
    Arthur Fowler: And so on and so on and so on.

    Angie to Den: I remember my old mum, Sunday afternoons after tea. She used to pick the cloth up by four corners, take it into the yard and give it a good old shake. Do you remember the first time you were invited?
    Den: Yeah. I was dreading it.
    Angie: Well, I'd never have known. You looked very cocky to me.
    Den: Salmon sandwiches and tongue sandwiches, and I hated them.
    Angie: But you ate them.
    Den: I was sick later.
    Angie: And you took her flowers and twenty fags. You could always get round her with twenty fags. My dad never liked you. He warned me about you.
    Den: I didn't go a bundle on him either.

    Angie: Southend, Kursal. Plate of cockles and a rosses. And you were sick again [on the big dipper].
    Den: So were you.

    Angie on Den: Rock and roll, that was our era. He used to swing me over his shoulder. They all used to stand around in a circle and watch. We was dead good, we was.

    Angie on Den: I used to think, "Got him — I got the best looking fella round here!" I was so proud of him. He was always so smart. Clean shoes, pressed trousers, fresh shirt. He was always a dodgy customer. So shifty he could hardly look at you out of his ear holes.

    Angie on Den: He put his fist through a window once.

    Angie: I got followed home by a bloke once when I was first going out with Den. Nothing happened because a copper come along and chased him off, but it didn't half shake me up. I told Den about it, thinking he'd be all sympathetic, and did I get a shock! He gave me a hard time, didn't he? What was I doing out that late? Why didn't I get a taxi? What did I expect, walking around dressed up like that? I got so upset, I threw a cup of coffee over him.

    Angie: I'm a creature of impulse, me. That's what my old mum used to say. "Impulsive you are, girl. Gonna get you into trouble one of these days."

    Den: That old red Morris Minor. We had some times in that old banger, didn't we?
    Angie: We must have been contortionists.

    Pat: I was never much cop at the waltz, specially when I'd had a skinful.
    Angie: You had a soft spot for the Palais though, didn't you? The mirrorball. Making sure you had a bloke to see you home. Save the last dance for me, eh?

    Pat on a green frock: That used to be my lucky dress and believe me, I got lucky. Ilford Palais on a Saturday night.

    Pat: Saturday night down the Domino for a dance, skirts up to there, tops down to there. You should have seen us.
    Harvey Freeman: I did. I was the bloke in the corner in the dodgy winkle-pickers, too shy to talk to anyone.

    Stan Carter: I used to love dancing. Very nimble on my feet I was.

    Tina Carter to Stan: Didn’t you used to take Mum out dancing?
    Shirley Carter: I remember sitting on their bed watching her paste her face on.

    Stan: I used to get me suit out of the pawnshop.
    Tina: You’d pawn your suit?
    Stan: Yes, that’s what we did in them days. You put it in pawn on the Monday, get some money to pay the rent, and Friday, payday, get it out again, go dancing.

    Stan on dancing with Sylvie: Only time of the week we weren’t throwing things at each other.

    Cora Cross: A quick pitstop for a Babycham then dancing the night away at the Royal.
    Rose Cotton: That’s the old place in Tottenham, isn’t it?
    Cora: I’ve broken many a heart on the dance floor, I can tell you.

    Derek Branning to Cora: I bet when you were young, you used to go out all night, come home in the morning, not a hair out of place.

    Kim Fox to Cora: You’ve been round the houses a few times.

    Cora: I don’t suppose my mother would have been too happy with the boys I hung around with.

    Rose: My trouble was I was too much like our mother. Men just took one look at me and let’s face it, they knew exactly what they were getting. I will never feel like a lady and I never have done.

    Pat: We was miserable most of the time.
    Angie: No we weren't. We used to have a laugh. Do you remember all those parties we used to go to? We was a couple of dirty little cows.
    Pat: Snuggled up with some fella, yeah. A fella who hadn't begun to thump you yet. That's what Iremember, Ange. It's the beginnings, bits and pieces that went nowhere. Sad.
    Angie: We was robbed, we was.

    Pat: I didn't know what I was up to half the time.

    Les Coker, undertaker, on Pat: Patricia and I go back [to] when I was still apprenticed to me own father. Not in a professional capacity, we knew each other socially, you might say. Always had a touch of class about her, Patricia. One of the great ladies of the East End. Privileged to have known her.

    Pat: I had a beautiful radiogram back in the sixties. Oh, what a lovely piece of furniture that was. It was walnut. Lovely sheen on it, yeah.

    Pauline on ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ by Dusty Springfield: I used to play this over and over again up in my room, sound turned up full blast. My mum hated it. She used to come stomping up the stairs and bang on the door. “Turn that down!” “All right, Mum,” I’d say and then as soon as she gone back downstairs, I’d turn it back up again. Weren’t very nice, was it?
    Joe Macer: Well, you were young.
    Pauline: No. She was my mother. I should have shown her more respect.

    Pauline: In my day, it was twenty-one you got the key of the door. Well of course, I was already married by then, but Mum and Dad got me me little gold signet ring and in the evening, I went out with me girlfriends. We went to see Frank Ifield up at the Empire. He was the top of all the charts in them days. ‘The Wayward Winds’, that was it.
    Tiffany Raymond: Oh yeah, one of Peggy's old favourites.

    Peggy: I kept every one of my landmark birthday cards. Used to be twenty-one in those days, not eighteen.

    Pauline: Margate, we had a week there. [Arthur] saved up and never told me.

    Minty Peterson: My dad used to take us down to Margate every year. Used to stay in a caravan. And then he used to get me up in the morning and then take me for a dip just before breakfast.

    Pat: Remember going to Margate? We spent three weeks in a caravan there.
    David Wicks: I don't know who you went to Margate with, Mum, but it certainly weren't with me.

    Pat to Pete: Think I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you — pig thick and vain, all mouth? You promised me a good life and what did I get? Two rooms, two kids and one wet weekend in Weymouth. That was our marriage. I used to ask myself, “How could that lump of lard make himself believe I love him”?

    Pete: I remember Mum [calling a family conference] for Pat and me that time. Gave us a right grilling.

    Arthur: Mum tried to stop Pete and Pat from splitting up.

    Lou to Pat: I never wanted you and Pete divorced, no. I didn't believe in divorce. I hoped and prayed that you'd work things out, that you'd change your ways.

    Lou to Pete: I was determined to keep your marriage together. I finally failed.

    Pete on Pat: She used me and I had to get rid of her.

    Pat to Pete: You took the best years of my life and then you dropped me.

    Pete: If I hadn't walked out, Pat, I'd have topped you or topped myself.

    Lou to Pat: When you divorced my Pete, I was glad. Oh I know I kicked up a fuss, saying I didn't believe in divorce — well I don't — but I was glad.

    Pete to Simon: We used to go fishing when you was little. Used to go down on the old canal.

    Pete on Simon: There was this one time we went fishing — he only nearly got a bite! Nearly pulled him in, didn't it? Mind you, he was only so high, wasn't he? Anyway, he tried to land it. It was like having a fight with a tiger, with his tail. Anyway, so old Dad here has to wind it in for him. Anyway, we get the fish and when we take it off the hook, guess what? It was so small, you could put it in the palm of your hand.

    Pete: When Simon was [young], he was always playing tricks. Pat used to be there, hollering and screaming. Then she used to run off to the kitchen and beat eggs, keep herself calm.

    Pat to Simon: [Pete] remembers about as much of you as a kid as Tom Thumb. He was never there.

    Kenny Beale to Pete: You didn't bring [Simon] up. A couple of pairs of booties and she pissed off with old Wicks.

    David Wicks on Pete: I can't say I remember the bloke much anyway. I mean, how could I? He had it away from me, Mum and Si pretty sharpish, didn't he?

    Pat: Pete wasn't much of a father, at least to my two.

    Pete to Simon: I wasn't any sort of father to you. I had no time for you when you was a baby. When it was obvious the way it was going between your mother and me, I just switched off. And that included you.

    Simon: It's not your fault.
    Pete: I'm to blame too. I ought to have seen it was you that was going to get caught up in the crossfire, never knowing from one day to the next who you were supposed to be calling Dad. I didn't do anything, did I? I just walked away and left you to it.

    David on himself and Simon: We hardly had what you'd call a close relationship with a loving dad, did we? Me own dad and I never even knew him.
    Pauline: Pat could be difficult in those days.
    David: Yeah maybe, but we weren't. He made [no] effort to keep in touch with us. It meant I missed out.

    Pat’s address: 21a Arkwright Close, Walford East, London E20

    Pat on raising her children alone: I know what it's like to be stuck in a flat with a bawling kid. It can drive you mad. Hardest work in the world. Once they start crawling, then walking, there ain't a minute in the day you can call your own. Turn your back for a minute, they've got their fingers in light sockets. Then they're trying to jump out of windows. Toddlers, they're always making you anxious.

    Pat: In my day, we used to use gripe water [to relieve babies' wind].

    Pat: I remember when my two were babies.
    Little Mo Mitchell: Did your husband help out much?
    Pat: It was different in them days. Your other half didn't get interested till the young 'un started to kick a ball.

    Frank Butcher on Simon: I seem to remember seeing him a couple of times when he was a nipper and thinking what a good looking boy he was.

    Frank to Terry Long, car auctioneer: I've been doing business with you, me old son, since you first started. We built our businesses up together.

    Frank on car auctions: Every time I went there, my old mates used to say, "Over there, that's Butcher having a butchers”.

    Frank on selling cars: It's been me life, the ducking and diving, the bobbing and weaving, the one step ahead of the punter. Out in all weathers, the laughs, the jokes, looking after traders.

    Vince Watson on Frank: This used to be one of the toughest negotiators in the business. He would argue over every penny.

    Frank on Vince Watson: Many years ago, he conned me.

    Terry Raymond: I was in the removal business at one time.

    Minty Peterson: When I was little, really little, I run after [an ambulance]. Went up to the driver and said, "Can I have a 99?" Wasn't until they started loading the crash victim in the back that I realised. My old man took me straight down the opticians.

    Carol Jackson (née Branning), Jim's daughter, on getting married: It was always my dream, when I was knee-high and bridesmaid at my aunt's wedding.

    Sonia Jackson, Carol's daughter: What was Mum like when she was younger?
    April, Carol's sister: She was always getting into terrible trouble, making her sisters' lives a misery!

    Derek Branning, Carol's elder brother: You've been a worry to Mum and Dad ever since I can remember.

    Carol: I just did what I wanted to do.

    Jim to Carol: You always were the selfish one, weren't you? Spoiling it for everyone else.

    Carol: My mum and dad, they never really cared. Well, they never cared enough. I don't ever remember them telling me that they loved me. They just weren't interested.

    David Wicks: It’s like me mum always said, “Anyone cares about you, David, they must be a mug. If they really knew you, they wouldn’t.”

    Carol to David: [Jim] was a bit of a rogue, especially when he was younger. He was never there for me, not really, like Pat was never there for you.

    Suzy Branning, Carol’s younger sister: I came from a bit of a mob for a family. I never had too much [attention from Jim].

    Carol on Jim: When I was a little girl, he was a sweet dad. He used to dote on us girls when he wasn’t down the pub, always tickling us.

    Suzy on Jim: He used to make a right old fuss over me. I was always the centre of attention till [younger brothers Max] and Jack came along.

    Suzy to Jim: You made this [doll’s house] for me when I was a little girl before the boys came along, before Max and Jack. You used to play with me all the time when I was a little girl. You used to call me your little treasure. You used to hide a little coin in there. I used to spend hours looking for it and then you’d nip off down the boozer when I was still looking for it and when you came home, it had been behind your ear the whole time, hadn’t it?

    Carol on Derek: Poor little kid — clean shirt, shiny shoes. “Don’t get caught eating the jam out of the jar because Mum’ll blame Dad and Dad’ll make you neck the lot in one go.”
    Jack Branning: Different time back then, weren’t it? Just different ways.
    Carol: Not everybody fought like a cat and dog though, Jack. He was just a little kid caught in the middle, always coming up to scratch. You know that Dad knocked Derek about, don’t you?
    Jack: Yeah, he told me.

    Jim: I wasn't much of a father. I wasn’t often there and when I was, I was so unhappy, took it out on the kids. Reenie was half-cut most of the time. She could have done anything to those kids, I didn’t care. I just didn’t want to be there. I was bitter, mean. I was a drunk. I ain’t proud what I put them kids through, but that’s what life was like then.

    Stan Carter: I know I messed up. I was a drunk, Shirl. That’s what I was. It don’t excuse it. Despite all that’s happened, I never stopped loving you.

    Suzy Branning: I’ve been out of my depth my whole life.

    Ava Hartman: I’ve just spent my whole life sitting around waiting for people to turn up.
     
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Peggy Mitchell: I've always been honest with you, Grant, both of you, ever since you were kids.

    Peggy to Phil: When you was a kid, you could always come to me if there was something bothering you. You could talk to me then.

    Peggy to Phil and Grant: I brought you up to look out for each other.

    Phil Mitchell: I had to share a room with Grant.

    Grant Mitchell, looking around their childhood bedroom: Your bed was there.
    Phil: No, it was there. It was next to the door.

    Phil: I used to [wet the bed] when I was a kid.

    Phil on Grant: We've done everything together for as long as I can remember.

    Grant to Phil: All my life, you told me there's nothing so bad that you can't tell your brother about.

    Peggy on Phil: He was a nosy little boy.

    Peggy to Phil: When you were kids, you'd always cover up for him [Grant].

    Peggy: I brought up Grant and Phil — I can tell a pork pie from five hundred paces with me eyes shut.

    Peggy: I raised you, Phil. I've seen you lie through your teeth about stealing sweets when you've had chocolate all over your face.

    Phil on his favourite toffees: Mum used to say they’d pull me fillings out. She was nearly right as well.

    Shirley Carter on Bay & Brown candies: My mum used to buy them.

    Grant on himself and Phil: Ever since I can remember, people have been wanting us to come a cropper. They hated what we were. But we always had each other.

    Phil on himself and Grant: Most people expected us to both end up in the nick.

    Phil: People thinking the worst of you — I’ve had it all my life. Mind you, in my case, they’re probably right.

    Phil: My family, I don't know — not much on trusting people. Even as kids we were taught to watch our backs, keep our eyes peeled. Mum taught us that and it just sort of stuck.

    Phil: Mum used to give us a clout when we got covered in mud.

    Grant: You used to give me slaps.
    Peggy: That's because I'm your mother.

    Peggy: Things were different in those days. We hit our kids. It wasn’t that big a deal. I’m not saying it was right. I’m just saying that’s how it was. We didn’t know any different

    Peggy on Grant: He's stubborn, just like his father — and his father before that, no doubt.

    Peggy on Grant: Never could admit when he was in the wrong. Do you know, I never remember him ever saying he was sorry, not all the time he was growing up. Phil would sometimes, but never Grant.

    Peggy on Phil: Even as a kid, he never spoke to me [disrespectfully].

    Peggy: I've spent my whole life supporting this family, especially you, Grant.

    Phil to Peggy: When I was little, you used to thump any kids that gave me and Grant a hard time.

    Peggy on Phil and Grant: If you think those boys are tough, where do you think they got it from? Not Eric.

    Peggy to Phil and Grant: You both got a taste for slapping people around. You got it from your father.

    Jimmie Broome, lawyer, on Phil: Mr Mitchell has been brought up in the school of hard knocks.

    Alfie Phillips, boxing manager, to Phil and Grant: I liked your dad. It wasn't his fault he was brought up in a hard school. Let's just say, he was a man of the world.

    Johnny Allen to Phil and Grant: Your old man [was] a joke, pathetic.

    Peggy on Eric: My old man was a boxer, fists like sides of beef.

    Phil: Flash Eric, they called him. He had a good right hook on him.

    Grant to Jackie Stone, market trader and ex-boxer: You slaughtered our old man in the fourth round.
    Phil: Thomas of Beckett, Old Kent Road, 196[6]. Jackie Stone: Good bloke, your old man. Footwork, that was Mitch's strong point. Lovely feet.

    Johnny to Phil: Your old man’s footwork — plodding.

    Phil: I reckon you must have been the last to take a fight off of him.
    Jackie: I don't know about that.

    Pauline to nephew Ian: You think you invented hard work? Well let me tell you, that Jackie Stone was out grafting night and day long before you was even born.

    Jake Moon: Johnny [Allen] was a boxer once.

    Peggy: “Johnny Allen, the up and coming young boxer.”
    Johnny: Happy days.

    Johnny: The Mitchell boys — we met once.
    Phil: Yeah.
    Johnny: You were kids then.

    Johnny on Eric Mitchell: He was a loser.
    Peggy: At least he didn’t take money for it. If you could go back to that fight, would you still take that dive — now you know how it ended your boxing career?
    Johnny: It launched Eric’s, didn’t it?

    Johnny to Phil: I’ve done your family enough favours over the years.

    Grant: Our old man used to box with Johnny. Johnny was round our house all the time when we were kids. Presents at Christmas, all sorts.
    Phil: We even used to call him Uncle Johnny.

    Phil: Dad always said that Johnny fancied himself as a businessman.

    Peggy: [Eric] came to you when he was desperate.
    Johnny: And I took him in.
    Peggy: Yeah, and turned him into one of your lackeys.
    Johnny: Came home bleating to the wife, did he?
    Peggy: Who do you think he took it out on then? Did you have any idea what life was like for me?
    Johnny: It was none of my business.
    Peggy: You bullied Eric and he bullied us.
    Johnny: I was toughening him up.
    Peggy: Is that how you justify it to yourself — taking away a man’s pride, his dignity?
    Johnny: He didn’t have any.
    Peggy: No, not by the time you finished with him. You broke him in two and left me and my children to live with the pieces.

    Phil on his father: He was a right hard nut, you know. Every Friday night he'd be down the pub and on the way home, a bag of chips and a scrap. "A man's man," that's what Mum called him, which meant he was nice to his mates and horrible to her. Still smell him, Brylcreem and Old Spice.

    Peggy on family keepsakes she carried in her purse: Me old mum's St Christopher and a tiny little black and white [photo] of Grant and Phil when they were kids, taken on Southend Pier.

    Peggy looking an old photograph: Here's Phil pushing Grant on the swings. He did a somersault. Had to have five stitches.

    Peggy to Phil: You and Grant [were always at each other’s throats]. Too close in age. Aunt Sal said it would always cause problems.

    Phil: When we was kids, if ever I nicked one of your toys, you used to sit in the corner sulking, building pyramids out of them little plastic bricks we had.
    Grant: The ones with letters on? We used to make rude words with them, leave them on the doorstep when Nan came round.

    Phil on Grant: He's just being his usual stroppy self when he doesn't get his own way. He's been like it since he was a baby.

    Peggy: Phil and Grant were always a handful, right from when they were toddlers. I never knew half of what they got up to. Never did and never will, I suppose.

    Peggy to Phil: All you and Grant have ever done is hurt me.

    Phil to Grant: Do you remember when she [Peggy] used to tell us them stories about growing up in the East End? That was when it was the real East End, of course. Used to go on for hours, she did, even after we'd fallen asleep.

    Peggy on her sherry trifle: Remember, Phil? It was always your favourite when you were little. I used to cover it with chocolate sprinkles.

    Peggy: Baked riced pudding. It was always [Phil's] favourite. It always did the trick when he was little.

    Dot Cotton on Nick: He always loved angel cake when he was a little boy.

    Nana Moon to her grandson Alfie: You used to love spam fritters when you was little.

    Alfie Moon: When I was a kid, I was really into salad cream sarnies and me nan's been making them for me ever since, bless her.

    Peggy: The number of meals I cooked for you over the years.
    Phil: Yeah, out of a packet.

    Peggy to Grant: "Come on, put your feet on mine and I'll show you how to dance." That's what I used to do when you were little.

    Nick Cotton on ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’ by Fats Domino: You and me used to dance round the room to this when I got back from school.
    Dot: So we did.

    Peggy on ‘My Way’: My husband liked that song.

    Frank Butcher: My old dad used to say, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings."

    Grant: My old man used to have a motto — "Price is the test of quality."

    Minty Peterson: My mum always told me to keep it light.

    Derek Branning: My Great Aunt Vi, she used to say to me, “Derek, it’s going to be a good day today. I can feel it in me waters.”

    Phil: Our old man had an allotment. Spent hours up there, he did.

    Billy Mitchell: I grew up with Phil and Grant.

    Ronnie Mitchell: They always said where Phil and Grant were, Billy was never far behind.

    Billy: Phil's dad Eric was [my father]'s cousin.

    Billy: [Phil] was a mate of [my brother Charlie].

    Phil on Charlie Mitchell: I knew him well.

    Peggy on Billy: [He's] Grant's cousin — I don't know, a third cousin or something on the Mitchell side. Not my favourite branch of the family.

    Alfie Moon: Eddie’s granddad is my granddad’s brother.
    Big Mo: So what does that make you two?
    Alfie: Second cousins once removed, twice removed, is it?
    Eddie Moon: Confused, that’s what it makes us.

    Ian Beale: How many times did [Phil] give you a clout when you were growing up?
    Billy: That’s different.

    Billy to Phil: I spent all my life trying to be like you, think like you.

    Billy: I followed you all my life, Phil, and I ain’t never asked for anything. I’ve gone everywhere you’ve gone. And I ain’t ever asked any questions, not once, just always done what you wanted me to do.

    Peggy on Billy: He always was a cowardly little runt. He's weak and useless, always has been.

    Billy: I knew Peggy when she was married to Eric. Wasn't quite so high and mighty then, I can tell you.

    Peggy on Engelbert Humperdinck: I once went on one of those girls’ nights out to the London Palladium to see him. What he did with his hips! We all took our knickers and chucked them at the stage!

    Peggy to Phil: Scott Walker, he was gorgeous. The only time I was ever unfaithful to your father was with Scott Walker — in me mind. You needed a bit of imagination because your father certainly didn't have any.

    Billy on Peggy: She had at least one affair that I knew of, with this cabby. He used to come round when Eric was training down the gym.

    Johnny Allen: That night that Eric was working up in Liverpool, flashing your suspenders and showing off your cleavage — don’t tell me you weren’t up for it.
    Peggy: The very idea that I’d have gone to bed with you!

    Archie Mitchell, speaking in 2009: Midnight, candle light, scotch — takes me back to Queenie’s.
    Peggy: Last I heard it was a knocking shop.
    Archie: Always was if we’re honest.
    Peggy: Why did you and Eric like it so much? It was a horrible, seedy dive.
    Archie: Don’t tell me you never had a good night there. I mean I know for sure you had one. Remember that?
    Peggy: There were lots of nights.
    Archie: Only one, as far as I’m concerned. Where was Eric?
    Peggy: A stag.
    Archie: Yeah? Yeah, Bobby Gee’s stag, Hastings. Bobby Gee - I wonder whatever happened to him?
    Peggy: Kidney cancer, that’s what happened to him. You missed his stag, his wedding, his funeral. Why do you think that was?
    Archie: I don’t know.
    Peggy: Bobby didn’t like you. But then, most of Eric’s friends didn’t like you, did they?
    Archie: Yeah, me trying to be one of the boys, eh?
    Peggy: Fellas like men they can trust. So they sussed you out right away. I remember Eric saying to me one night that he wished you could get blind drunk, show him you were human, show him you could lose control. But you never did, did you?
    Archie: It’s my character. Never wanted to leave meself open.

    Glenda Mitchell, Archie’s wife, to their daughter Roxy: Your dad always had a knack of making enemies.

    Archie: Does the name Maureen Loftus mean anything to you?
    Phil: Vaguely, yeah.
    Archie: Maureen was the wife of Dougie Loftus. He was a small time boxing promoter. That’s how your dad first met her. Maureen was — how can I put it? — a very attractive lady and your old man — well, you know, I don’t have to spell it out. This wasn’t your usual "wham bam thank-you, ma’am”. This was the real thing. Like a lovesick puppy he was.
    Phil: How long did this go on for then?
    Archie: A couple of years.
    Phil: So was this like a full blown love affair?
    Archie: That’s certainly how your old man saw it.

    Peggy: Affairs happen. Me and [Eric were] able to work it out. Details don't matter. What matters is we fought to stay together. [Having children] makes a difference.

    Peggy, speaking to Billy in 2005: I used to know a bloke like you once, back in the old days — Dougie Collins. He was a baker. He looked up to Johnny Allen, until he put him in hospital.
    Billy: What for?
    Peggy: He spelt a name wrong on a birthday cake.
    Pat: I’ve heard the story, Peggy. There’s more to it than that.
    Peggy: He put something on a cake that Johnny objected to. So Johnny goes round, takes the letters off the shop front and lays into him with the letter T. [Billy laughs] Oh, you think a shattered pelvis and a detached retina’s funny, do you?

    Johnny Allen: That’s only half the story.
    Dougie Collins: You stamped on my face, Johnny. You left me for dead.
    Johnny: You were being disrespectful.
    Dougie: I made a mistake on a cake and you half kill me?
    Johnny: You were trying to undermine me, making moves you shouldn’t have been making.
    Dougie: You saw to it that I didn’t have any moves left at the end of it. I couldn’t work, I lost all my money.
    Peggy: And it wasn’t just a one off. This man [Johnny] was a thief, an extorter and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a murderer.

    Ruby Allen: Were you a gangster?
    Johnny: Yes.
    Ruby: Have you ever used a gun on anyone?
    Johnny: Yes.

    Johnny, speaking in 2006 about the first murder he committed: I’ll be going back forty years.

    Saeed Jeffery: Mother told me something when I was young. She was lame, my mother. Very sensitive about it. Stayed indoors a lot. Just sat there, staring into space, thinking. What she told me was, "It's hard for a man respect another man's good fortune without begrudging it."

    Minty: My mum always used to draw the curtains, you know, if there was anything to worry about. It was like a permanent state of mourning round our house.

    Minty: My mother, a right tartar.

    Lofty Holloway: I used to hate my mum. She was always going on at me about something or other. I was only really happy when I went away, you know, like to scout camp and that. We used to have a right laugh then. You're a part of something, you know, not like when you're back home — you're just a nuisance getting in the way. That's what I really hate about my mum, she made me feel like that. I think really my Auntie Irene was more important than my mum was.

    Auntie Irene on Lofty: His mother, my dear sister, she could never work out whether he was thick as two planks or too good to be true. "God knows what's to become of him," she used to say.

    Lofty on his mother: It really used to hurt me the way she'd look at me. I'd see other kids, the way their mum looked at them and think, "What's wrong with me? Why does she hate me?" She did. She never said it, but she did. She wouldn't even buy me one of them — I wanted one of them Easter eggs, you know — the little ones in the little china egg cups so you can keep the cup after you've eaten the chocolate. I used to go down the shop and look at them in the window. If she come down and caught me, she'd just drag me away.

    Lofty: Me dad was a complete doormat. Me mum used to care more about her net curtains and brass ornaments. She was what they call an obsessional housewife. She used to follow me and Dad around with a duster. Poor old Dad. He was useless. For all he was an army man, he could never stand up to her.
     
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
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    1967

    Grant Mitchell: My old man was a bit of face in the fight game.

    Newspaper articles about Eric Mitchell: [
    I]“Flash Eric’s A Knockout”, “Flash Eric and Pretty Boy Graham”[/I]

    Phil Mitchell, speaking to his son about a boxing trophy Eric won in 1967: Your granddad won this going up against Pretty Boy Graham, Walford East Divisional Championship. Champion of the whole of the East End he was. Graham weren’t so pretty after doing six rounds with Flash Eric.
    Ben Mitchell: Did Granddad win any more trophies?
    Phil: No, that was the only one. Took pride of place on the mantlepiece in the living room, that did. Used to polish it every Sunday after lunch. I suppose he could have been big, he was certainly handy enough with his fists, but he didn’t have much discipline. But I remember every now and again, when he had money riding on a fight, he’d go down to the gym. I remember me and Grant, we’d be sitting there watching him sparring with the other boxers. Quiet as mice, we’d be. That’s how we learned. Best memories I had of my dad, down that gym, just the Mitchell boys together.

    Patrick Trueman: In my day, the men and them never went to the hospital [when a woman was giving birth]. No man, they’d get out a bottle of rum, they’d listen to calypso, ‘The Mighty Sparrow’, for hours on end.

    Patrick on Paul's birthdate: The twentieth of the first, 1967.

    Patrick to Paul: Your mother resented you from the day you were born because it meant she was stuck with me. Lord, she hated herself for it. I mean, no wonder she couldn't love me, she was all eaten up with guilt.

    Paul Trueman: Bit of a martyr, wasn't she, our mother? Except she lied to me all my life.

    Charlie Slater: Believe it or not, we used to do a lot of this [talking instead of watching television] in the sixties.
    Kat Slater: No wonder everyone was on drugs.

    Irene Hills: I had [a floral-patterned plastic dress] once, with matching headband and knee-high white plastic boots.
    Troy Harvey: Wow.
    Irene: It was a bit.

    Glenda Mitchell: I remember my mum bought me the most hideous dress when I was a teenager. Mustard colour it was, green swirls. I had to throw Vimto down the front of the dress. Swore blind it was an accident, of course.

    Pauline, showing Martin a photograph of herself in her black and white dress from Carnaby Street: I remember the day [it was taken]. Dr Legg had had the test results back and sent for me and your dad to go see him in the surgery. Told me that I was expecting. It would be Mark.

    Joe Macer, looking at the photograph: You look so happy.
    Pauline: Yeah well, I didn’t know what life had instore for me then, did I?

    Pauline on Lou: I remember when I was pregnant with Mark. I was still ever so young and I was terrified about what she was going to say, but she just sat there and listened, and then she put her hand in her bag and took out a fiver — it was worth a lot in them days — said it was for the baby. The whole of my pregnancy, she was just so kind.

    Pauline: It’s funny — after Mark was born, I never wore that [black and white] frock again.

    Derek Harkinson, looking at an old photograph: There's me in flares and a flowery shirt.
    Pauline: Always the king of style.
    Derek: You can't blame me for wearing loons. Everybody did it!

    Johnny Allen: It was the late sixties and we were all big Who fans. Me and my mates used to follow them all over London.

    Patrick: I saw Arthur Conley on the 1967 Stax tour. Duetted with the Big O.
    Roxy Mitchell: Otis Redding? You’re joking!
    Patrick: He was only twenty-six when he died, you know. I tell you, those guys stomped and sweated with a whole heap of energy and emotion. Man, they tore up that stage.

    Liz Turner: [
    I]To Sir with Love[/I] - I saw that five times. Sidney Poitier, he was really something - handsome, solid.

    Liz: Mini-skirts, flower power - that was me. Beatles, Stones, Elvis.

    Cindy Beale on [
    I]Sgt Pepper[/I] by the Beatles: Came out the year before I was born, this.
    Simon Wicks: Your mum and dad, they weren't hippies, were they? You were probably a love child.

    Pete Beale: The last I heard of you, you was touring Holland or somewhere.
    Danny Taurus: It was Finland.
    Pete: Finland? I wouldn't have thought they were into all that flower power out there.
    Danny: They weren't. Me and the band lost a fortune. Never really recovered from it.

    Charlie Slater: When I was on the lorries, I spent half my life kipping [in the van].

    Nigel Bates: My dad used to get a shave in a [gentlemen's barbershop]. That was in the late sixties. It was old fashioned even then. I used to think, "One day, I'll have a shave like that," you know, with hot towels and things. Never did though.

    Nigel on teabags: My old mum used to swear by them. You put them on your eyes in the morning. Works wonders.

    Minty Peterson: They weren’t nothing special, my mum and dad, but they were good together. My dad always took her a cup of tea in the morning and my mum always laughed at his jokes.

    Nigel on himself and Grant: We've known each other all our lives.

    Nigel on Peggy: I used to be [frightened of her] when I was a kid.

    Peggy Mitchell to Nigel: You always were a stupid boy.

    Nigel: All I ever wanted was to be part of a happy family.

    Peggy on Nigel: I don't think that boy's mother ever saw him for breakfast. Always round our place, wasn't he?
    Grant Mitchell: Filling his face with toast and jam. I always made him pay, one way or another.

    Grant: You're my best friend. You always have been. You're the only bloke I've ever known that I could trust.
    Nigel: It's never felt like that. I've just been there for you to laugh at, Grant, right from that first day at school. You've been making sarky little comments since I were six year old. Fat, stupid and a failure, that's how you made me feel.

    Phil on Nigel: He's been getting himself into trouble ever since we were kids.

    Grant on Nigel: I always used to look out for him, stop the other kids picking on him. You know why? Because I didn't like to see him getting hurt.

    Nigel: When we were kids, me and Grant [were] virtually telepathic.

    Phil on Nigel: The only reason [the school bullies] used to hit him was because he always had money.
    Nigel: My granddad used to have a shop then.
    Phil: Yeah, he used to come to school, flashing all the dough round that he nicked from the till. So they just used to relieve him of it, that's all.
    Nigel: The big one, Colin, used to beat me up once a week, regular as clockwork.
    Kathy: Why didn't you and Grant protect him?
    Phil: Because we wanted to hit him as much as they did. In fact, the only reason we didn't hit him is because they got to him first!
    Nigel: You never told me that.
    Phil: You never asked. Anyway, then you latched onto Grant and nobody hit on you anymore, did they?
    Nigel: Yeah well, I'm not stupid, am I? I knew if I was a mate of the Mitchell brothers, no one would dare touch me.
    Kathy: So you protected him then?
    Phil: Grant did. I didn't. I still wanted to hit him. He shouldn't have flashed all his dough round, should he? Banker Bates, they used to call him.
    Nigel: Banker Bates? Oh, I must have misheard you.

    Carol Jackson on her cousin Gordon: He used to look after me when we was kids. I remember getting picked on at school, first day as well. Some little cow in the dinner queue nicked my gym kit. She only did it the once.

    Peter Sullivan to Derek Branning: You used to go to my school. You used to be a bit of a bully.

    Pat on Derek: He went round terrorising anybody he could find.

    Derek Branning: My dad, he used to tell me, “Never say you’re sorry, son. Keep your head up. Never look back.”

    Kevin Wicks: I remember being picked on at school because me jumper had shrunk and you could see me belly.

    Darren Roberts: When I was a kid at school, I had a mate in the big boys' class and he taught me the only thing I ever learnt at school — to be sure of hitting the target, shoot first. And whatever you hit, call that the target.

    Nick Cotton to his father Charlie: You know what I remember about my daddy? Kids at school having a go because you were on your toes as soon as I was born. That's how I learnt to fight, the only way to shut them up.

    David Wicks: Five years old I was, five years old, walking home from school on my own.
    Pat: How many years do I have to spend saying sorry for that?
    David: What, for leaving us night after night while you were out?
    Pat: I was going through a difficult time. I was so young.

    David: One of my earliest memories of my mum. I was about five or six. She was tucking me up in bed one night which is something that didn’t happen very often and I wanted a story. I always wanted a story, but she never knew any because she was always in a hurry to go downstairs and get out, but this particular day, she’d taken me brother and I to the funfair and we’d been on the ferris wheel. Finsbury Park, I think it was — a day out, you know. Anyway, she sat on the bed and she told me about this time when she was on holiday in Clacton at Butlin’s and she met a boy called Frank and she fell in love with him. They had a little kiss under the stars. you know. Anyway, he had a girlfriend. She said on the way home, she sat on the sand and it was all dark, pitch black, and in the distance, she could see these lights, these twinkling lights, and she said whenever she saw these lights, it made her feel trembly and excited, just the memory, just the memory of looking out to sea, you know — the lights and her whole life ahead of her. That was me mum. She was a romantic. She had so many dreams and they were all just within her grasp and then drifted away. But she never gave up, she never gave up, not on anything, not even on me.

    Bianca, David’s daughter: Nana Pat never won a tenner in her life.

    Dot on her friend, Margot Baker: Her son Douglas and my Nick, they used to play together when we come down here [Kent]. That is until Nick went and put a frog down his trousers and then we never got invited again.

    Douglas Baker on Nick: He was such character. That time he put that frog down me trousers, I thought I was going to die of fright! I was such a wimp back in those days, no wonder I got on his nerves, eh?

    Dot: I ain’t seen Douglas since he was about eleven.

    Nick on Spurs: I've supported them man and boy.

    Arthur Fowler: 1967, Cup quarter finals. Walford Town lost. Great game, though.

    Arthur: Charlie Strong played wing half for Walford in the sixties. Great player, a right little terrier.

    Phil to Charlie Mitchell’s son Jamie: Your granddad and your dad used to take us to the match every Saturday. Charlie was only a couple of years older than me, but it makes all the difference when you're a kid, doesn't it? Charlie was up there with George Best and Dan Dare for me.

    Phil: I remember coming home after the game one Saturday, I was only about seven, and I told me mum about this new trick that Charlie had taught me. He taught me how to wee in the coat pocket of the bloke in front. Mum hit the roof. You couldn't even mention Charlie's name after that.

    Billy Mitchell: Used to hear [football rattles] all the time when my cousins used to take me to Upton Park.

    Phil remembering good times with his father: The things Dad did with us like taking us to the football, pies with no meat in them, hot sweet tea.
    Grant: Yeah, there's some things you can only do with your dad, aren't there? Like rolling about and fighting on the kitchen floor, him teaching you how to fish, kicking a ball about.
    Phil: He weren't drinking then, not when we were little. He was still boxing.

    Charlie Cotton: I did have a little boy once. He had chubby little legs and got the giggles every time he kicked a football. And I'd take him to watch the Hammers and he'd sit up on me shoulders so you'd get a glimpse of Geoff Hurst.
    Nick: What you talking about? You never laid eyes on me till I was in my twenties.
    Charlie: I ain't saying it happened. I'm saying it's what I remember.

    Rose Cotton on life with Charlie: Every two years, moving on, never stopping anywhere long enough to put down a carpet. Never belonging. Never really making friends.

    Dot on Rose: You got bored with everyone.

    Dot to Rose: Your Andrew is a child born out of bigamy.

    Rose on her son Andrew: I gave birth to that boy. No one understands him better than me.

    Rose on Charlie: He left me with nothing.

    Dot on Charlie: Did he know [he was Andrew’s father]?
    Rose: Of course he did.

    Andrew Cotton on his father: Didn’t really see him much.

    Nick: When I was growing up, I hardly ever saw my dad.

    Charlie to Nick: I had me troubles. I know I wasn't around when you were a kid, but that doesn't mean I didn't think about you. I got you a present. As soon as I had money in me pocket, it was the first thing I thought of.
    Nick: One present in me whole bleeding childhood. You come round trying to be flash because you'd done some deal or other. You bought Ma a coat and me this stupid train set.
    Charlie: It was a great little train set.
    Nick: Then you went over the Vic and got plastered and when you staggered back in, you trod on it. You broke it.
    Charlie: It was an accident.

    Grant: I was out in the street, playing with this Airfix plane. Phil wanted something, wanted me to play with him so he started chucking stones at me, just little ones to get me to stop — only one of them hit my plane so I picked up a stone and threw it back, only I threw my stone better than he threw his. He cut his head open. He started bawling. Mum come running out. The way she looked at me, I can see her now.

    Phil, looking at an old catapult: That used to be Grant’s when we were kids. Got me into a lot of trouble, that did.

    Phil: When I was a kid, I caught Grant playing with my toy cars. I locked him in a cupboard under the stairs. I locked him in the cupboard all day in the dark. My mum to this day still don’t know it was me that did it.

    Eddie Moon to Carol: Sibling rivalry, eh? Bet you were the same with your brothers and sisters.

    Phil: I used to hate Grant sometimes.

    Phil: Epping Forest, I used to go there as a kid. Me and Grant, we used to play Cowboys and Indians. We used to shoot each other, play dead and then get up and do it all over again.

    Billy: I used to have a little cowboy suit when I was a kid - a proper Stetson, little handkerchief round me neck, plastic spurs. I was always trying to ride the next door neighbours' dog. Give it the old "High Ho, Silver" bit, yeah.

    Grant to Phil: Ever since we were kids, we shared everything. I've never had anything I wouldn't give you.

    Carol: I was brought up to believe that if you can't afford something, you do without it until you can afford it.

    Grant on his first bicycle: Second-hand off the market after I'd saved up all year.

    Kevin Wicks on being a child in the 1960s: We drank water out of hosepipes, didn’t wear helmets to ride our bikes, no childproof lids on medicine bottles and we all used to walk home on our own from school in the dark.

    Jim Branning: I used to [leave his small children unattended outside a shop] and no harm came to them, more’s the pity.

    Grant on the Docklands: I remember coming down here with the old man.
    Phil: Yeah, so do I.
    Grant: Used to sit here for hours, looking at the boats. Always seemed to have a fag hanging out the side of his mouth. Didn't seem to affect him [boxing] though.

    Phil: My dad, he was always the centre of everything, you know? When we were all sat at the dinner table, he'd be telling us about his day and I remember sitting there thinking that he was the most important man in the whole world.

    Phil: I suppose that's when I was really happy, you know — on a Saturday afternoon. Me mum would be in the kitchen cooking and me old man, he'd be sitting in his armchair going through the paper checking his pools. Other kids, they wanted to be astronauts and racing drivers. Me, you know what I wanted to be? Me dad.

    Alfie Moon: When I was a kid, I always used to dream about climbing mountains or being a footballer or an
    astronaut.

    Phil: When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut.

    Grant: I have wanted play for Chelsea since I was a kid.

    Grant: I wanted to be a fireman.

    Ted Hills to Kathy: In the old days, you were the life and soul of the party.

    Pauline: Pete was a bit wild.
    Kathy: And good looking.

    Angie Watts to Kathy: When we was kids, I always thought you took the blokes seriously. You didn't flirt. You never really mucked about. I always wondered if you were a little bit frightened of them, you know, after all the business.

    Kathy: I was frigid till I met Pete.

    Pauline to Kathy: I remember Pete saying he was your first real fella. That impressed him that, you saving yourself.

    Pete Beale: Why didn't you tell me [about the rape]?
    Kathy: Because I'd shut it out, like it had happened to someone else. But it was there on my medical records.

    Kathy on Pete: He must have sent me more flowers than any other man when we were dating.

    Kathy: I bet you called me a few names when I got together with Pete.
    Pat: You were welcome to him, Kath.

    Pete to Kathy: Do you remember that time when Mum caught us in the living room?

    Lou: I didn't go with Kath at first. Never been a divorce in our family till she come along.

    Kathy: Although Pat wasn't around, Pete was still married when we started going together and Ted wasn't too happy about it. But I convinced him to try to get to know Pete, you know, give him a chance, and so he did. They went out for the odd drink and then Ted offered to help Pete out on his stall. It was great for a while, then Ted asked him to look after some stuff in the lock up overnight, said he had to deliver it somewhere first thing in the morning.
    Phil: What sort of stuff?
    Kathy: I'll give you three guesses. Ted was no angel, believe me. Anyway, the next thing Pete knew, the police were kicking his door in. They said they'd had a tip off. Anonymous, they said. And whoever it was said that the lock up was being used for stolen goods. Well, Pete couldn't say where the stuff come from because Ted was my brother. So he was arrested and charged. And then, because Pete wouldn't say anything, he got done for it. He got a suspended
    sentence and he nearly lost his stall. Pete's best friend at the time was Den.

    Arthur Fowler: Den found out that [Ted] had been bragging to his mates about how he'd stuffed Pete Beale. Pete told me. He didn't tell Kathy.

    Kathy: Den accused Ted of setting Pete up, saying that it was him who phoned the police.

    Arthur on Ted: It was him, all right. He had it in for Pete from the start.

    Ted: It had nothing at all to do with me. I wouldn't do a thing like that.

    Kathy on Ted: He wouldn't do that. He told [Pete] he didn't.
    Phil: But if he had done, would you have forgiven him?
    Kathy: I'm not sure. Brother or not, I loved Pete. No-one had the right to interfere. Anyway, poor old Ted got the blame for it. Everyone believed Den. Pauline went wild, saying that he [Ted] had nearly ruined the Beale family business.

    Pauline on Ted: Peter nearly went to prison because of him. This family went through hell because of him.

    Ted to Michelle: Your mum and me never quite hit it off.

    Pauline to Ted: You nearly destroyed this family.

    Michelle Fowler: Did you ever actually ask Ted [if he called the police]?
    Pauline: Pete told me all I needed to know.

    Kathy: Den said he was going to go looking for Ted, saying he was going to kill him, and knowing Den, he probably would have done. So Ted got packed off and I had to choose between my family and the Beales.

    Phil: Ted did a runner.
    Arthur: Yeah. Good job for him he did and all. Ted Hills, nasty piece of work he always was. Him and Kathy, chalk and cheese.

    Irene Hills, Ted's girlfriend: He always was a grease ball. He used to drop me off his motorbike round the corner, I'd change into me sensible gear and then I'd hide me crash helmet in the back garden.

    Kathy on her relationship with Irene: There's never been any love lost.

    Irene on young love: You're supposed to be obsessed with him. There should not be one waking moment when he does not crowd in upon your every thought, the heart skipping a beat at the mere mention if his name. I was once like that with [Ted].

    Irene to her and Ted's daughter Sarah: The day I got engaged to your father, the first thing I did was hand in me notice — a furniture wholesalers in East Ham. A blessed relief — the one good thing to be said about marrying your dad (and you darling kids of course, that goes without saying). Things were different then. Husbands were supposed to look after their wives.

    Ted to Kathy: You know what I was like when I left Walford. I was wild.

    Irene: Ted never could face up to his responsibilities.

    Irene: [Ted] wasn't much in [the brains] department. Come to think of it, he wasn't much in the other department.

    Terry Raymond on men's underpants: In my day, a man liked to keep something in reserve, a bit of mystery so to speak.
    Jim Branning: Keep them guessing, like.

    Irene: In our day, we were supposed to save ourselves for our wedding night — not that anyone did, of course, but we had to pretend, didn't we?

    Irene remembering her wedding day: Me mother going into one of her sulks because I wouldn't wear any rouge. "We're spending all this money on you," she said, "and you won't do this one little thing for me." She didn't talk to me for the rest of the day. Me dad trying to keep well out of it as usual. Then me mascara running because I'd started to cry. "Don't you dare cry," she said. "This is the happiest day of your life." Even then I knew it was a mistake.

    Irene on herself and Ted: We nearly ruined our lives getting married so young.

    Irene: I'd always imagined being married would be different somehow, you know, the Cinderella thing — meet someone, fall in love, stay that way, happy ever after.

    Irene on her relationship with Ted: I look back and I think why? There certainly wasn't any physical attraction. He had a face like a squashed gerbil and he never dipped below a 42 inch gut.

    Charlie Slater: Your mum and me split up once, you know — the year before we got wed.
    Kat: Why?
    Charlie: S-E-X. I wanted us to save ourselves. I'd been out with other girls — well, one or two — but I always knew Viv was special, see. Right from the off, I knew she was the one, but she didn't always see it that way. It was the sixties and London was swinging all round us, but she got the wrong end of the stick. She got it in her head that I thought she was ugly.
    Kat: But Mum was beautiful.
    Charlie: The most beautiful girl in the world. Anyway, she went off on one and I didn't see her for a week. I went round there, but she kept shutting the door in me face. And your nan give me a right mouthful.
    Kat: So how did you get back together?
    Charlie: I ambushed her on her way home from work one afternoon. I followed her onto the bus, trapped her in the window seat. I'll never forget it — I kissed her on the Number 73!
    Kat: And then what happened?
    Charlie: Well, we got back together again.
    Kat: And Lynne was born how many months after the wedding?
    Charlie: Your mum could be very persuasive.

    Zainab Masood: I was born with a pair of kid gloves.

    Arthur: I never did go for breakfast in bed. Crumbs in your pyjamas and egg over the newspaper.
    Pauline: I was expecting Mark and Mum was staying over at Pete's.
    Arthur: Yeah, spilt tea all over the bed. Took a week for the mattress to dry out.

    Pauline on Mark: When I was carrying him, I was eating for three!

    Pauline: Do you remember when I was expecting Mark and we went for that picnic up on the heath?
    Arthur: Oh yeah, all those wasps!
    Pauline: We had to finish our cheese and pickle sandwiches going home on the bus. Some picnic that was.
    Arthur: It was a laugh though, wasn't it?
    Pauline: Yeah.

    Alfie: When I used to go on a picnic with me nan, all she used to bring was a hanky. Do you remember when nans used to spit on the hanky and wipe the back of your neck? I was scarred for life.

    Pauline on being pregnant: I remember once Mark woke Arthur up. He kicked him in the back when we was in bed.

    Arthur on Mark: He had a kick like a mule, didn't he?
     
  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,896
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    1968

    Pauline Fowler: Just before Mark was born, we didn't have two halfpennies to rub together. The biggest row we've ever had — should we ask the old bag for a loan or not?
    Arthur Fowler: The Dinkys job saved the day.
    Pauline: Yeah, just in time.

    Arthur: I was a tough sort of bloke in me younger days, a union man. I lived, breathed and ate the principles of the union. I was protected. We were united and unbeatable. Everyone was me brother. We were angry, and in our arrogance, we held the whip hand. We, the workers, were the backbone of the country. We were indispensable.

    Pauline: We never knew what was going to happen next, did we? But we managed all right.
    Arthur: You think you know it all at that age, don't you?

    Arthur: When we were young, we didn't give a damn about anything, did we?

    Gary Bolton: When you're young, you don't look to the future. You just want to have fun.

    Arthur: Do you remember when we were first married and there was just the two of us?
    Pauline: Oh yeah. Seemed no time at all till Mark came along.
    Arthur: Then we were dreaming about having the place to ourselves.

    Pauline: Never all was a bed of roses.
    Arthur: No, but we got through.

    Arthur: I hate waiting about in hospitals. Remember when you had the kids? That was terrible.
    Pauline: I wasn't having such a brilliant time meself.

    Pauline to Mark: You were overdue, you know.

    Dr Legg on Mark: I remember delivering him.

    Arthur to Pauline: I watched you bring him [Mark] into the world.

    Pauline on Walford General: I had my firstborn here, right here in this hospital.

    Mark Albert Fowler. Date and place of birth: 2nd February 1968, Walford.

    Pauline on Mark: When he was born, it was just him and me.

    Arthur on Mark: Ever since he could open his mouth, he only had to ask for something and it was there.

    Ethel Skinner on Mark: I remember the day he was born. We was in the Vic and Arthur came in, all excited. "It's a boy!" he said. Oh he was so proud, bless him.

    Dot on Mark: It was Lou's first grandchild by her daughter. Pleased as punch, she was. Stood a round at the Vic. Unheard of, that was.
    Jim Branning: I bet you girls wet the baby's head, didn't you?
    Dot: Oh, Lou, Ethel and me — yeah. Well, Lou and Ethel did. I suppose I sipped me sherry, sat in a corner, watched it all pass by, worried what people might think of me, that I might make a fool of meself. I wish I'd stood on a table, got drunk as a lord, sung a song and danced and not give a fig what people thought. I wish I'd raised the roof because life is a blessing and every little tiny moment is precious and shouldn't be wasted.

    Pauline: When I had Mark, I was up and about in no time.

    Den Watts on Pauline: I remember the day she brought Mark home from the hospital, smiling all over her face, and Angie said she would have thought she's the first woman ever to have given birth.

    Blossom Jackson on her grandson: You should have seen Alan [as a toddler]. A little beauty he was.

    Thomas Banks: Date of birth 05 Feb 1968

    Pauline: I remember when I had Mark, I used to bring him to bed with us and I'd wake up every two minutes just to make sure he's still breathing. You don't know what to do for the best, do you?

    Pauline to Mark: I remember standing [at the bottom of the stairs] when you were three weeks old. I was crying my eyes out. I'd gone to check on you and I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't hear you breathing. I was so frightened, I couldn't touch you. I was just crying. You were my firstborn. It was all so new to me. Then Arthur picked you up and you started crying. And then I realised how much my life had changed, that I would rather die than lose one of my children.

    Pauline: When Mark was nine weeks old, he managed to roll off the bed.

    Natalie Price: How old were you when you got married?
    Kathy Beale: Old enough to know better.

    Kathy on herself and Pete: When we got married, I was so happy I thought I was going to burst.

    Kathy on her and Pete's wedding presents: I got a dinner service, a set of knives and forks, three toasters.

    Kathy on a necklace: Lou gave it to me when I married Pete. Something old. She got it from her grandma when she got married.

    Pauline to Kathy: Lou always said that about you — "Keep your eyes on that one. She'll have the coat off your back as soon as look at you."

    Pete Beale: Do you remember our wedding day, Kath? You was twenty minutes late. I thought you wasn't coming.
    Kathy: And you had a button missing from your suit jacket. All that going on, all those people, and all I could think about was, you had a button missing. Silly, really.
    Pete: You looked beautiful that day, you really did.
    Kathy: You looked pretty smart yourself.
    Pete: Except for the button?
    Kathy: Except for the button.

    Irene Hills, looking at Kathy and Pete's wedding photograph: Is that really me? Look at my kimono! Ted really hated that. Said I showed him up. Little did he know that was the whole idea. Poor old Pete — I quite liked him. You [Kathy] were too good for him, but then we women usually are.

    Sharon Mitchell: What did you do [to celebrate]?
    Kathy: What, when I married Pete? Nothing. Just nipped off to the registry office, didn't we?
    Sharon: What, no party or nothing?
    Kathy: What, with Lou Beale and the rest of them, all steam coming out of their ears because I was marrying their blue eyed boy? Lou thought Pete was marrying beneath him.
    Grant Mitchell: And this was after he'd been married to Pat?
    Kathy: Yeah, I was a bit offended at the time meself.

    Pauline: Lou always said Pete was lowering himself the day he married you.
    Kathy: The Beales weren't exactly royalty, you know.

    Pauline to Michelle: You know where Kath came from. She got out of all that when she married Pete.

    Angie Watts to Kathy: You stood up to old Ma Beale when you and Pete got married.

    Lou Beale to Kathy: When you married Pete, I hated you, hated you for taking him away from Pat and the kids. Skinny little thing, you was. Needed him. Right little hanger on, I thought. But I was wrong.

    Pauline on Pete: After all he'd been through with Pat, I was just pleased to see him happy again.

    Pete: [I'm] not very good with words, I suppose.
    Kathy: I knew that when I married you.

    Kathy: For the first sixteen, seventeen years of me life, I didn't have any say over what I did — me mum and dad decided everything for me — and then when I married Pete, nothing changed.

    Kathy: I hate when a bloke's with his mates and he tries to make out you're his property or something. Reminds me of me mother. She'd sit down, me dad would fetch her over a gin and orange, and he'd go and leave her sitting there and join his mates. My old man used to drink heavy. Got paranoid in the end. You know, obsessive. The drink does that.

    Angie: There was one old boy when I first started [working in a pub], used to go on and on in gory and lurid detail about ... [whispers the rest].

    Angie: I often wonder, if I had have been sober, would I have married Dennis? Only joking. I never used to drink back then.
    Michelle Fowler: Did you have a hen party?
    Kathy: Course she did. And whatever she says now, she was out of her box.
    Angie: I wasn't used to it. And I still say somebody spiked my drink.
    Kathy: We ended up in this pub down by the docks, didn't we? We nearly got picked up by a crowd of sailors.
    Angie: They were Polish, weren't they? Couldn't understand a bleeding word they were saying! Do you reckon they were asking the way to Walford Town Hall or what?!
    Kathy: Yeah well, judging by their hand signals, it didn't look like street directions to me!
    Angie: Never mind. We was good little girls, weren't we? We went straight home.
    Kathy: Well, we might have stopped in one or two pubs on the way. Oh, but she was all right because I was looking after her.
    Angie: I was looking after you!
    Kathy: We were looking after each other.

    Kathy: Me and Angie got up to a few things that might be best forgotten.

    Cora Cross: I had an alarming experience with absinthe back in the sixties. Two French sailors on leave. Never again.

    Cora: I always was a sucker for a man in a hat.

    Angie to Den: Why I married you, I'll never know.
    Den: Because I was tall, dark and handsome.
    Angie: Handsome? I've seen better looking ferrets.

    Pete to Sharon: When [Den] married your mum, she knew what she was letting herself in for.

    Sharon on Den's signet ring: Mum gave it to him when they were married.

    Angie: I can't think why my mum cried so much at the church.

    Pam Coker: We had [‘At Last’ by Etta James] for the first dance at our wedding. A beautiful room — Les filled it with flowers.
    Cora: Spelling your names out?

    Den: I remember the honeymoon better. We stayed in that hotel in Perry Bay.
    Angie: God, it was awful - great long corridors, two flights to the loo. Somebody said Captain Scott stayed there on the way to the Antarctic! It was a laugh, though.
    Den: Freezing cold room, Angie eating chicken sandwiches, me lying on the bed thinking, "Crikey, what a place to die."

    Angie to Den: You were a tasty geezer on our honeymoon.

    Pam: Les and I were on our honeymoon in Hastings. It was the Palace or the Queen’s [Hotel].

    Angie: We were happy when we first got married.

    Den: In the beginning, it was good.

    Den: I was Jack the Lad.

    Angie: We had lots of plans. I can remember walking down the high street, me and him, talking about all the things we were going to do.

    Den: We both wanted the same things and we both worked damn hard to get them.

    Angie: We used to sit in bed for hours on end talking, making plans. He used to say how he'd look after me and I believed him. Mind you, I knew there was other women — I wasn't stupid — but they never really mattered. He was just proving a point, proving he could still pull the birds.

    Angie: The first time it happened [was] with that bloody female accountant in the first pub we had. [Den] kept talking about her all the time, how brilliantly she did the books. Then all of a sudden, he stopped talking. That's when I knew.

    Archie Mitchell, speaking about his feelings for Peggy in 2008: Something I’ve regretted not saying for the past forty years.

    Charlie Slater: The Thomas Crown Affair used to be one of Viv's favourites.
    Big Mo: Yeah. She always loved Steve McQueen. I reckon that's why she picked you out!
    Charlie: I remember the first time we saw it down at the Roxy.

    Charlie to his daughter Lynne: Your mum [had] an attack of the jitters the day before we got married.

    Charlie: The night before I married my Viv, my old man took me to one side and he did this for me. [Scribbles something on a beermat]. That's a button. "Now if you press that, [the bride-to-be] will disappear. She won't be hurt, she won't think badly of you, but she just won't be there anymore. The question is, would you press that or not? If you would, then marrying her is the biggest mistake you'll ever make."

    Charlie: Me and Viv didn't have to pay a penny [for the wedding], did we?

    Big Mo, looking at Charlie and Viv's wedding photo: Don't Viv look lovely? Best day of her life she reckoned.

    Dot, looking at Charlie and Viv's wedding photo: Don't she look beautiful? You know what that is, and you don't see it often these days, that's true love.

    Charlie on Viv on their wedding day: She was beautiful. I remember thinking on the day, "I'm the luckiest man in the world." I even said as much to me old man and do you know what he said? "You deserve her, son." I'm not sure I did, but it was nice of him to say that, weren't it?

    Charlie: There’s only ever been one woman in my life. I made vows. I promised her for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.
    Big Mo: Till death do you part.

    Big Mo to Charlie: You had your honeymoon in Southend.

    Charlie on a tea kettle: It was a wedding present to me and [Viv]. We used it for years.

    Harry Slater on Charlie: Completely devoted to his wife when she was alive.

    Charlie on Harry: He's never stuck at a relationship. Wouldn't know how.

    Pauline: Why did you get married?
    Derek Harkinson: Because people make mistakes.
    Pauline: Did you love her?
    Derek: Not in the right way, no. I tried to make it work.

    Mark Reynolds [Zsa Zsa Carter’s father] born 24.3.1968

    Minty Peterson: Lena Marple — you never forget your first love, do you?

    Sam Mitchell: Who was the last special woman in your life?
    Minty: Catherine. She was great. We used to hang out all the time together. She lived in this great big house. It was like a castle. It had turrets and everything. I used to think she was my princess and one day I'd save her — you know, we'd get married and we'd live happily ever after.
    Sam: What happened to Catherine?
    Minty: Well, she went to a different secondary school and I never saw her again. I was ten.
    Sam: The love of your life, aged ten?!
    Minty: Things can be pretty intense at that age, you know. It all went downhill after Catherine.

    Masood Ahmed: I remember my first crush. I was about ten or eleven. I was in the playground and my friend comes over to me and he says, “Meera loves you.” My heart started to beat faster, I started to sweat and I looked over and there she was just staring right back at me, this beautiful thing just staring.
    Ayesha Rana: What did you do?
    Masood: I ran away.

    Masood: I was never very good at school.

    Heather on Minty: When he was ten, he had two pet mice called Skit and Hide. He thought they were both boys till he came home one day and found twenty mice crawling in his bedroom.

    Jean Slater: I lost a tortoise when I was little.

    Minty: When I was a kid, my dad used to take me out to Epping Forest and we used to walk for miles until we got completely lost, and then we used to have to navigate our way out.
    Garry Hobbs: You told me your dad was a telephone engineer for the GPO, not a flaming Comanche Indian.
    Minty: Yeah, he was, but he loved the great outdoors. He wanted to be a ranger.
    Garry: What — like the Lone Ranger?
    Minty: No, you muppet, a park ranger, like, you know, National Trust sort of thing.

    Patrick on himself and Cedric Lucas: We used to sing in this group back in Trinidad, the Five Hectors.

    Patrick: Cedric, that man used to drink [Blue Devil rum] by the gallon. He was always good at making things complicated. Never known such a live wire. Always had a sense of humour.

    Patrick: We were playing this little gig. A dive of a place, man — the Monday Night Club. Four people in the audience, four, and one of them was a dog! Man, that was the quickest set we ever played.

    Joy Lucas, Cedric’s widow: The group was very successful in their day. Doo-wop, mainly.

    Patrick: We all sung harmonies.

    Yolande: Aubrey [Valentine] used to be in the group with Patrick.

    Chelsea Fox, looking at a photograph of the Five Hectors: You [Aubrey] were quite a looker.

    Yolande Trueman: When did you go touring exactly?
    Patrick, speaking in 2006: That was nearly forty years ago.

    Patrick to Aubrey: Why you don’t tell them about the time we were trying out that new dance routine on stage? You see, Aubrey, he wasn’t much of a mover so he fell right off the stage! Spent the rest of the tour on crutches after spraining he ankle!
    Aubrey Valentine: I remember my ankle was so swollen I could hardly walk, but it was my pride that suffered the most. Still — got me a few dates with the nurse that looked me over. Beautiful girl. You know what they say, every cloud.

    Aubrey, mid-anecdote: It was just supposed to be a little fancy footwork, you know, but with a drink inside him [Patrick], it got a little more fancy — like a sausage popping out its skin!

    Pat to Patrick: We were just hearing about the night that you showed more than your musical credentials!
    Patrick: I’m not sure I remember that.

    Denise Fox: I never met my dad, but he was in a group in the sixties.
    Yolande: What kind of music did they sing?
    Denise: Rhythm and blues, I think. The group was called the Five Hectors.

    Denise on the Five Hectors: Did they tour a lot?
    Joy: Yeah, all over the Caribbean.
    Denise: I don’t suppose they ever went to Montserrat?
    Joy: Yes. Cedric said they played the dance halls in Cork Hill and Salem.

    Kevin Wicks: Did your mum ever give you an idea which one [of the Five Hectors] might be [your father]?
    Denise: All she says is, one of them had a lovely smile.

    Denise to Patrick and Aubrey: It could be any one of the five of you.

    Patrick: Cedric, he has his fair share of the ladies, and as for Aubrey, he was just plain greedy.
    Yolande: And you?
    Patrick: It was the other fellas and them who fooled around with the girls and them, not me.
    Yolande: Of course, of course. You always said your prayers and got to bed with a good book!

    Patrick on Joy: Used to accuse me of leading her old man astray.

    Yolande on Patrick and Cedric: They were smooth operators then.

    Aubrey: Remember what we used to say, Patrick — “Be there or be square.” “Live and let live” — that was our motto. Give and take. Share and share alike.

    Patrick on Aubrey: Always one for shirking his responsibilities.

    Patrick: That Aubrey always took great delight in stealing girls away from me.

    Aubrey on Patrick: Man’s a fool, always has been. That’s why it was always so easy to take his women.

    Phil Mitchell: I got older — you know, six or seven — I started going out to play. I was no different to any other kid in our street — a bit of a tearaway, knocking on doors, running away, scrapping, the usual stuff, you know. Dad decided I was turning bad, needed a bit of discipline. It's like he needed to prove that he could control his own kids, you know? Make him more of a man. I mean, I was his first son, it's like he used me to show he was master in his own
    house.
    Sharon: He hit you?
    Phil: It weren't the beatings that hurt, it was just — after a while, that was all there was. If he'd have just come up to me room when he thought I was asleep, you know, and stroked me head or pulled the covers up over me — anything, just so as I knew that he loved me — I'd have forgotten everything.
    Sharon: But you never did.
    Phil: No.
    Sharon: Maybe he didn't know how to. Some blokes are like that.
    Phil: Yeah, maybe.
    Sharon: What about Peggy while this was going on?
    Phil: She did what she could, you know. It was a different world then.

    Billy Mitchell: It was me ninth birthday. Me old man, he was sober for a change so he took me to the fair. I really wanted this goldfish, but he couldn't win one, you know, so he just bought one off the bloke, and then he bought me a tank, coral and plants in it and everything. He was like a little kid himself setting it all up. Course it didn't last. Next day he was up to his old tricks again. You know, on the sauce.
    Kat Slater: Well at least you still had your goldfish, eh?
    Billy: He flushed it down the bog. It was like the good side of him was just too weak, you know? The thing is, I knew that it was in there somewhere.
    Kat: You keep hoping it'll come back out.
    Billy: That's why I kept hold of me bit of coral, I suppose. Soppy.

    Billy: My old man, he didn’t want to know. Stuff like that stays with you forever.

    Billy: When I was a kid, I could see other people fitting in, but me ...

    Billy: I had pleurisy when I was a kid.

    Billy: You used to live on Ifield Road?
    Gina: Till I was about eight. Mum used to work in a little sweet shop — Nell.
    Billy: I remember her, eyes like the north. You couldn't steal any milk bottles when it was her shift.

    Billy, speaking in 2011: Me and Phil, we used to play in the fields where they’re building [the Olympic] stadium. I say fields — we used to break into the factories that they’re pulling down to build it.

    Peggy: Grant once had his heart set on joining the circus. He was about six at the time. When his dad said he couldn't, he sulked for weeks afterwards.

    Bev Williams to daughter Gina: You were murder, trying to get you off to sleep. Cindy was the opposite, good as gold.

    Heather Trott born July 4th 1968

    Heather Trott: Mum reckons I was born under an unlucky star.

    Norman Simmonds: Lady Luck was never a pal of mine. “Accident waiting to happen,” me mother used to say.

    Norman: Would you be surprised to know that I’ve been married five times? Widowed twice and divorced three times, all before the first anniversary. If that’s not bad luck I don’t know what is.

    Stan Carter: I’ve drunk and smoked enough for two lifetimes, had more than my share of beautiful women. I’ve been a lucky old git.

    Heather: I’ve been put on this earth to make everyone else feel better about themselves.

    Shirley Carter on Heather: She was put on this earth to suffer.

    Dot on Heather: She struggled all her life.

    Queenie Trott, Heather’s mother: She’s a drag on me. Always has been. Biggest regret of my life, having her.

    Charlie Slater: I’ve lived in a house full of women all me life.

    Charlie: I wouldn’t let my Viv out the house after eight months [of pregnancy].

    Kat: Was you scared, Dad, when Mum gave birth to Lynne?
    Charlie: Terrified.
    Kat: So what did you do?
    Charlie: I did what all expectant fathers did. I went home, switched the telly on and watched Doctor Finlay’s Casebook.

    Big Mo: I helped my Viv deliver Lynne on the changing room floor of the Clacton Lido.

    Big Mo to Lynne and her sister Kat: From the minute you was born, I've been looking after you lot. I've been risking my neck, keeping my eyes open, and down that nick.

    Big Mo to her granddaughters: I've only ever tried to keep you all safe.

    Pauline to Mark: When you were teething, you cried for a month.

    Patrick: When Sir Gary Sobers hit that 6 six [August 31st 1968], me eyes just swell up. I didn't try to hide it, I just let the tears and them flow. I even hug up a fellow who was standing up next to me.
    Jim: That's true emotion, that is. I bet you didn't even know the geezer, did you?
    Patrick: Never met him before in me life.

    Peggy on Phil: He doesn't like surprises, never has, even as a kid. I used to have to tell him what his birthday presents were in advance.

    Peggy on Phil and Grant: When they were kids, it didn't matter where Dad and me hid the Christmas presents, it was like some inbuilt radar. They always honed in on them.

    Phil on Christmas: I’d be up all night, too excited to sleep.
    Ben Mitchell: What was your favourite present?
    Phil: That’s easy — boxing gloves. Still smell the leather.

    Phil: I remember getting [an Action Man doll] one Christmas. Clint, his name was.
    Grant: Yeah, I remember Clint.
    Phil: Yeah, I bet you do. You nicked him off me.
    Grant: No I didn't.
    Phil: Yeah, you did. Then you chucked up all over his combat gear.
    Grant: Yeah well, you could hardly blame me. I got given some poxy teddy bear, didn't I? Mum gave me a right ear-bashing over that.
    Phil: Never missed a trick, did she?

    Nick Cotton, looking at an old photograph: That was the year you bought me an Action Man, do you remember?
    Dot: No, it weren’t me, it was Ethel. I didn’t approve of violent games.

    Billy: I haven't played with toy soldiers for years. Used to get them free in packets of cereal.

    David Wicks to his grandson Liam: Your nanny Pat, she always used to put too much sugar on [my cereal] when I was a kid. I used to love it.

    Pauline on a bracelet: It belonged to my mum. She got it from her mum.

    Peggy on a locket and chain: This was my mother’s, the only thing of value she had. Her mum gave it to her.

    Stan Carter, speaking in 2014: Still using that [trifle] bowl, are you?
    Babe Smith: It was me mother’s.

    Masood Ahmed: This is the copy of the Koran my father gave to me and his father gave to him.

    Zainab Masood on a bracelet: My mother gave it to me.

    Zainab: Coconut oil. My mum used it on all of us [as a hair treatment] in Pakistan.

    Zainab: Me, a simple girl from Pakistan.

    Yusef Kahn: The good old days back home before life became complicated.

    Zainab: You buy something and you keep the boxes. My mother does that. My grandmother did it.

    Syed Masood to Zainab: I know you had a sheltered upbringing, Mum.

    Syed on Zainab: She’s been under pressure all her life.

    Phil on playing Tinker, Tailor at Christmas: I used to go nuts if I didn’t get Rich Man, didn’t I?
     
  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1969

    Derek Branning: Last letter I wrote was in 1969. “Dear Aunt Bess, thanks for the socks, Derek.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
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    1969

    Derek Branning: Last letter I wrote was in 1969. “Dear Aunt Bess, thanks for the socks, Derek.”

    Denise Celeste Fox: I’m just a few months older [than you].
    Max Branning: 1969 — a vintage year.

    Denise’s birth certificate: Born twenty-first of January 1969. Father, unknown. Mother, Ada Fox.

    Ian Beale: You’re originally from Guyana, aren’t you?
    Denise: No.

    Denise: The gods up there, they’ve been peeing on my parade since Day One.

    Heather Trott: Mummy left me outside the co-op once. She’d taken me in the pram to do a spot of shopping. It wasn’t till she got home that she realised she’d left me.
    Denise: Did she go back?
    Heather: Not until after [
    I]Doctor Who[/I]. And do you know what the worst thing is? Someone had only gone and nicked the wheels off the pram.

    Kathy Beale on being pregnant: Pete thought it was going to be a girl. He did that test, you know — the weight on a bit of string and you hold it over your lump and if it goes anti-clockwise, it's going to be a boy. Or is it the other way round?
    Dot: I did that with my Nick. It went up and down in a straight line.

    Dot Cotton on Nick: Never did know how to show his feelings. Took after his father.

    Nick: If I am a psychopath, you have to wonder where I got it from.
    Dot: Well you didn’t get it from me. It must have been your father.

    Dot on Nick: He always loved growing things when he was a kid.

    Dot on Nick: He always hated the water.

    Dot to Nick: You was ever so skinny when you was a little boy. You had arms like pipe cleaners.
    Nick Cotton: Wiry, not skinny.
    Dot: Oh yeah, you were sturdy. I'll grant you that. Mind you, who always had to take the tops off the pickle jars?

    Dot: I used to keep [syrup] tins in my useful box. My Nick used to use them as telephones — you know, two cans, string between.

    Dot on the fish and chip shop on Turpin Road: I used to send Nick in when he was a little boy. Oh, they did a lovely rock salmon.

    Dot: Charlie may not have been much of a father, but you had it made up to you. You never wanted for anything, did you?
    Nick: The things I wanted, you never had to give. Some of them you never even heard of. You should have had a pet [instead] — a little dog like Ethel, a little doggy of your own.

    Dot: People round here, a lot of them, they've known you since you was a little boy.
    Nick: They hated me.

    Dot on Nick: He was a little rascal, but boys are, aren't they? And then it went from being a little rascal to naughtier things, and because I loved him
    so much, I made excuses for him. Lou told me, she said, "You're making yourself a cross to bear. Thrash him." How could I thrash him? I believed in "spare the rod and spoil the child." Even Ethel saw what was happening before me.

    Ethel to Dot: You spoilt that boy of yours.

    Dot: I learned long ago the mistake, turning a blind eye.
    Sonia Jackson: You mean Nick?
    Dot: Yes, I do.

    Ava Hartman: There was a phrase doing the rounds when
    I was growing up — “short sharp shock.”

    Douglas Baker, sarcastically: It’s not Dot’s fault that Nick turned out to be a spoilt, overindulged little brat. It’s the Devil’s fault.

    Dot: I weren’t a good mother to my Nick. It’s all my fault. I spoilt him.

    Dot on Nick: It must have been me. Otherwise why did he get into all of that trouble all of his life?

    Nick to Dot: You never believed in me — not when I was a kid, not when I was at school, for as long as I can remember.

    Dot to Douglas Baker: I used to visit your mother [in Kent] when you was a little boy.

    Douglas: I remember — Aunty Dot. You were a great churchgoer, weren’t you?
    Dot: You were such a lovely little boy.

    Douglas to Dot: You say I was a lovely happy little child. No, I wasn’t. I was unhappy, I was miserable and I was oppressed and mostly, that was down to my mother and her straitjacket, godforsaken religion.

    Dot to Nick: I used to read to you [from the Bible] at night when you was little.

    Nick to Dot: I never listened to [your] Heaven and Hell rubbish when I was a kid.

    Dot: I sometimes think the more you try to guide someone, the more wicked they turn out.

    Dot: I’ve always believed, just because a person does wicked things, it don’t necessarily make them wicked.

    Dot to Nick’s son Charlie Jr: Your father didn’t believe in nothing. That’s why he led the life he did.

    Dot to Nick: Do you remember that children’s service at the church? I made your costume for you. It was Harvest Festival and you went as a carrot. And Ethel, she come with us and she smuggled Willie in in her shopping bag and he kept growling at that bird on that there woman’s hat and I was cross with you because you was giggling and I told you off. I wish I’d laughed. I mean, you can laugh in church. You never went to Sunday school again. I should have done more.

    Nick on Dot: You think she’s all sweetness and light, do you? Butter wouldn’t melt? I’ve seen some things. So’s my old man.

    Nick: "I want you to reflect on your sins," my sainted ma used to say. She used to lock me in the under-stair cupboard till I learned my lesson.

    Nick: What did I ever have as a kid? Just a load of rules.
    Dot: No, but a mother has to teach a child.
    Nick: I didn’t want no teacher. I wanted a mother.

    Dot to Nick: I weren’t a good mother. I saw what you were growing into and I shut me eyes to it. I kept thinking that you’d change, but deep down I knew it was all my fault. It was me what created a monster.

    Nick: My ma was God's personal representative for Walford East. I only had to nick a biscuit and I was going to burn in Hell.
    Mark Fowler: I didn't think Anglicans believed in Hell.
    Nick: If Ma thought she could hit me with something, she'd believe in anything.

    Dot: I never was a tolerant person. I can remember nights standing there, clutching onto the sink, asking Jesus to give me strength — Charlie just done a bunk just when the rent man was due, Nick grizzling, pushing his food round and round his plate till I could have throttled him. Well I mean, there was people starving. Three hours I made him sit there once. Lamb stew - I made him eat every mouthful, all cold, fatty. Taking the sins of the father out, you see.

    Jean Slater: Mum used to make us eat brains when we were little, like soup. Can’t buy them now, of course, because of mad cow disease. I refused once, to eat the brains. She wasn’t having any of it. Said they were nutritious. Forced me to eat every drop. When I swallowed the last mouthful I threw the whole lot up over her favourite table cloth. I didn’t mean to. She didn’t ask me to eat them again though, did she?

    Peggy: You know Eric, he had an appetite on him. He could eat anything. Do you know what he used to do? Get me to make him brains on toast.
    Phil: Anyone’s we knew?

    Dot: There are twelve [teaspoons] in an apostle set — and Jesus, of course, but my Nick dropped Him down the drain when he was little to prove He couldn’t walk on water.

    Dot: Here are eleven apostle spoons. There should be twelve, but my Nick dropped one down the drain when
    he was little.

    Dot on her tea set: That’s Royal Albert. It was left to me by my Aunty Gwen.

    Dot: Mrs Lowe used to live at the bottom of George Street. You smashed her window once when you was playing football.
    Nick: Yeah, I couldn’t sit down for a week.

    Dot: Look at my Nick, I saw him go from smashing windows to being in prison.

    Pete Beale: Bruiser — that's what me and Kathy called [Ian] before he was born.

    Pete to Ian: Before you was born, your mum was even washing down the paintwork. There was no stopping her. And before she went into — you know, before it started — she insisted on hanging out the washing before she went to hospital. I was the nervous wreck.

    Kathy on childbirth: In my day, you just did what you were told. You went into hospital, out they came and you didn't give it much thought. I was nearly nineteen.

    Alfie Moon on Ian: Born in the outside toilet of Number 45.
    Ian: Walford General.

    Ian Beale: Date of Birth 01.03.69

    DCI Jill Marsden on Ian: The man was born squirming.

    Phil Mitchell: Ian, you were born a weasel.

    Ian: My middle name’s Buffet.
    Sadie Young: Cruel mother.

    Dot on Ian: I remember Kath and Pete bringing him home from the hospital when he was a little baby.

    Ian on Dot: That woman has been part of my life since I was born.

    Kathy: When Ian was newborn, what I remember most is this urge, it was really strong, just to protect him. It was more important than anything in the world. He was such a lovely baby. We were so proud. He had a mass of curly hair, looked a bit like Shirley Temple. He had a right little pair of lungs on him. He never slept through the night.

    Kathy: Even Pete changed nappies the first week.

    Arthur Fowler to Ian: I can remember you keeping Kathy awake till you were four months old.

    Pete to Ian: Me and your mum worked hours on that stall to give you a start in life.

    Pauline: Ethel used to push Ian around in his pram.

    Pat: Ian was acting shifty in his pram.

    Dot on Ian: Bright little thing he was, into everything.

    Jim Branning on his son Max: He was born bad, he was.

    Derek Branning on Max: I was there when Max was born.

    Tanya Branning to Max: You should have been sterilised at birth.

    Derek on Max: When he first come along, I was about nine. I remember the day that my mother first introduced me to him like it was yesterday. From that moment on, I loved him.

    Jim to Max’s son Bradley: Your dad was a right little shrimp. You could hold him in the palm of your hands.

    Dot: Lou, Ethel and me used to go to the Roxy [Bingo Hall] of a Friday night. The women of Walford packed it out.

    Billy Mitchell on his mother: Came home from school one day and she'd run off. She'd had a win on the bingo the night before and just packed up her stuff and left us.

    Phil to Billy: You know, when we was kids I used to actually feel sorry for you, what with your mum running away and all that stuff, but let's face it, mate, one look at you, she couldn't wait to pack her bags, could she, eh?

    Billy to Phil: You don’t know what it’s like growing up without a mum, do you? Peggy, she was always there for you, weren’t she? Fighting your corner. I know it wasn’t a perfect childhood, but at least you grew up knowing that she loved you. You never had to question it so you don’t know what it’s like to question it every minute of every day. It eats away at you, Phil.

    Billy on his mother: I don't know why she left us. I mean, she couldn't have hated me and me brother. It was me old man who she hated.

    Billy: I never seen my old man. He was always at work or down the dogs or in the boozer. I used to end up walking the streets starving. That's when social services stepped in. I got picked up and slung in a children’s home.

    Aunt Sal on Billy: [Peggy’s] ex-husband's idiot cousin once removed who everyone loved so much he grew up in an orphanage.

    Billy on Ernie Johnson: I used to know him when I was a kid. He was a carer in a children's home that I was in.

    Ernie Johnson on Billy's mother: None of this would have happened if it weren't for her and your old man.
    Billy: No, it weren't her fault. It's kids — you know, drag you down.

    Billy: The second day I was in the home was me tenth birthday. Some present, eh? Ernie was in charge there.

    Billy on the care home: You hope if you can keep your head down, don't catch anyone's eye, don't get on anyone's nerves, keep quiet, that they'll leave you alone. You just want to be left on your own till you can go home again.

    Billy: I am talking about my lovely childhood. I'm talking about Graham Ash, Danny Bilson, Len Collis with the dodgy eye. I'm talking about PE in the
    freezing rain. I'm talking lights out at eight and no whispering. I am talking about lamb stew you could grout the walls with. I'm talking about little kids, little boys, on their own with no one. I am talking about my lovely care home. I am talking about Hope Manor.

    Ernie on the boys at Hope Manor: You were all little perishers in your own way, weren't you?

    Archie Mitchell: I don’t suppose you remember much about our dad, do you — Grandpa Phil, the one you was named after?
    Phil: My dad used to tell us stories about him, what he got up to in the war and that.

    Phil on his grandfather: He was a bit of a character. Must have died when I was about eight or nine or something.
    Ronnie Mitchell: I never knew him.

    Archie on his father: He died. Heart attack. June the fourteenth 1969. Good day, great day. “Good riddance to bad rubbish” - the very words your [Phil’s] dad said to me at his funeral.

    Archie to Phil: [Eric] came that close to running away from you and your mum. They [Eric and Maureen Loftus] were going to move to Portugal together.

    Phil: Maureen Loftus, didn’t she came round to our house once?

    Archie: The thing was, last minute, just as they’re about to fly off to Portugal, tickets booked and everything, Eric gets cold feet. “Can’t do this to Peggy and the boys.” And he was crying as he said it to me.
    Phil: Dad — crying?
    Archie: Yeah. He stayed because of you. And I don’t think your mother realises to this day the sacrifice he made for her. Maureen was the love of his life and when he lost her, it drove him nuts. 1969, that’s when the drinking started to get out of hand.

    Phil to Grant: You think we was happier because Dad stuck around? Dad got trapped, he got angry and he took it out on us.

    Peggy on Archie: He was so kind to me. When all that stuff was going on with Eric, he’s the only one I could turn to.

    Archie: Eric was in love with [Maureen], just like I was in love with you. Come on, Peggy, I know I didn’t say anything at the time, but don’t pretend you didn’t know or that you didn’t feel the same way. I still remember the night after the Bobby McGuinn fight and so do you. If you’d have just said the word ...
    Peggy: I couldn’t do it to the boys.
    Archie: That’s exactly what Eric said.

    Phil, looking at an old photograph: That’s her, isn’t it, Maureen Loftus?
    Archie: Good God, that was taken the night of the Bobby McGuinn fight.
    Phil: Who’s Bobby McGuinn?
    Archie: He was just another never-wasser. That’s Dougie, your mum, dad, me and Glenda.
    Phil: Who are the others at the back?
    Archie: Friends of mine. I forget their names now. Look at them smiles, eh? You ever seen anything so phoney? Pretending for the camera. She [Maureen] was a beauty though, was she not?

    Peggy to Glenda, Archie’s future wife: You’re a phoney and you always have been.

    Aunt Sal: You never were much of a liar, were you, Glenda?

    Peggy on Glenda: Born actress, she was.

    Glenda to Peggy: You were always the one [Archie] loved, but Eric snapped you up first and a few years later, along came the consolation prize.

    Glenda Mitchell: I've spent my entire life struggling with self-esteem issues.

    Peggy to Ronnie, Glenda and Archie’s daughter: I never did like your mum.

    Peggy: You was only interested in Archie because of the size of his wallet.
    Glenda: I gave Archie the best years of my youth.

    Phil: You’re the one who cocked it up.
    Peggy: I wish I could have done things differently then.

    Archie: For a while I tried hating you. I couldn’t forgive you for choosing Eric, for sticking by him even when he ... you know.
    Peggy: Was knocking me about?
    Archie: Yeah, even then. I mean, you came to me for help but you didn’t really see me. It didn’t last. I couldn’t hate you for long, but I knew I had to make a life away from you. I never thought I’d ever get the chance to be with you.

    Patrick Trueman: The West Indies [cricket team] came over here in 1969 and I had a net with them. Bowled a few overs to Clive [Lloyd]. The man damn near took me head off. Hit me back down the ground over and over again — dampadampadampadam! Long memory, that boy!

    Billy: When I was ten years old, when I was in the kids home, they let us stay up one night to watch the moon landing. I remember sitting there thinking, “When I grow up I’m going to be a astronaut. I’m going to be like Dan Dare and go to Mars, fight the Mekons and stuff.”

    Pauline: I had to do The Twist to shift Michelle [i.e., induce labour]. It was Mum's idea.

    Lou Beale to Michelle: You was born here in this house [45 Albert Square].

    Arthur Fowler: I was at the hospital the day Chelle was born. The nurse gave me this funny little bundle and said, "Congratulations, Mr Fowler. you've got a daughter."
    Pauline: You were as chuffed as ninepence.

    Pauline to Mark: When you and Chelle came along, I just carried on doing what I'd always done [propping up Arthur]. I think I was quite good at it.

    Pauline: After Mark and Michelle was born, we thought we wouldn't be having any more.

    Pauline: Mark slept all the way through his [christening] and Michelle screamed her head off all the way through hers.

    Pauline: The family christening shawl, no child in this family was ever christened without it.

    Pauline: When my Michelle was a baby, she was so clinging I could never put her down.

    Pauline: Michelle, I could never get her to go to sleep [as a baby]. When we did manage to get her to go down, we just had to creep about because the
    slightest thing would wake her.
    Sue Miller: A delicate child?
    Pauline: Tough as old boots.

    Pauline: I loved it when my kids were babies.

    Pauline: When I couldn't have them things that I'd dreamt about, I used to dream about [Mark and Michelle] having them.

    Pauline: My mother brought me up to believe that the mother should be strong - make a strong family, a normal family.

    Pauline: I didn't want to be independent from my mum. All I wanted was her help, and she wanted to give it to me.

    Arthur to Pauline: You used to say it was Lou that held you back. There she was, living with us and there was nothing we could do about it. "If it wasn't for Lou," you used to say, "we could go anywhere, do anything. Instead, we ended up in Walford.”

    Mark Fowler: You must have had your hands full when we were little, even though it was just two [of us].
    Pauline: Well at times it felt like [there was] fourteen [of] you.

    Pauline: I didn't work [when] my Mark and Michelle [were babies].

    Pauline: I’ve had a job all my life, being a wife and mother, feeding and clothing you lot.

    Pauline on her children: I palmed them off onto Mum, uncles and aunts. Never had the time [to spend with them]. Always had to work.

    Pauline: My Mark and Chelle used to go and stay with an aunt of mine. They always put on weight, maybe because I wasn't feeding them enough.

    Derek Harkinson: How long has your mum worked [at the launderette on Bridge Street]?
    Mark: As long as I can remember.

    Jean Slater: “Got to keep your whites right.” That’s what my mum used to say.

    Gina Williams: Cindy and I used to stay with an aunt in Leighton.

    Sharon Watts: I've been on my own all my life, from the day I was born.

    Sharon: I was born in Southend.

    Carol Hanley (née Stretton), Sharon's biological mother: Things were different when she was born. You didn't have "single parent families", not then. You had "unmarried mothers" and "illegitimate babies", brass rings off the market with the stone turned into your palm so they'd call you Mrs at the clinic. You weren't allowed to get over it.

    Sharon on her biological father: What was his name?
    Carol: Gavin. When you were born, I never even saw you, Sharon. I knew you were going. I knew I wasn't going to keep you. So I kept my eyes closed. I didn't see you. I just pretended you weren't even there.

    Carol on Sharon: When I gave her up, I said, "Tell me if anything happens to her," because if anything happened, I'd have wanted to know. If anything had happened to the people that took her, I would have ... but they said I couldn't.

    Pauline: I used to think if anything terrible happened to me, one of my mates would bring my children in, take them in and bring them up as their own.

    Pauline on Michelle: I sat up all night with her when she had that bad whooping cough. Didn't think her little body was going to stand it.
    Arthur: Well it did, and in the week, she was as right as rain.

    Pauline on children’s medicine: My old mum used to say, "Always read the label before you open the bottle, read it again when you've measured out the dose, and a third and last time before you give it to them - and that way you can't go wrong."

    Charlie Slater to Lynne: You were about one or two, I suppose, when we moved to Brannigan Court - brand new flats. For some people, it was the first time they'd had an indoor toilet. Look at it now - just another sink estate, but back then we thought we'd all died and gone to Heaven. People were having parties all the time, I kid you not. And it was at one of these parties that we met Bunny Lakin for the first time - a character, larger than life and twice as handsome. Very funny guy, I liked him a lot, but then so did your mother. I never knew what happened exactly, I never asked any questions, but she changed. I couldn't quite put me finger on it, but I knew. I was doing the Knowledge at the time so I was out all hours - time to think, imagine.
    Lynne: How long did it go on for?
    Charlie: I don't know, about six months. Then suddenly, Bunny Lakin went. No explanation, no nothing. And your mother, well she was - well I wouldn't use this word at the time, but I can say it now - she was brokenhearted. But I didn't do nothing, I didn't say nothing, I just carried on as before and bit by bit, she came round. We never mentioned Bunny Lakin again until a couple of days before she died.

    Patrick Trueman: I had this beautiful girl once, sweet Marie.
    Paul Trueman: Is this after you married our mother?
    Patrick: Things were a bit lukewarm in the conjugal relations department so I started giving this little cutie the wink. What I didn't know is that she was already engaged to another fella. I mean, it wouldn't have mattered because all I want to do was to keep me little woman on she toes, but her fiancee didn't see it like that so one day he come up to me with a knife and me man rip open me guts before I could get a word out. I end up in hospital for a fortnight, you know. Mind you, he get two years so it's me who come out on top.
    Paul: Cobblers. Tall tales.
    Patrick: You want proof? I'm going to show you proof. [Shows a six inch scar on his stomach]
    Paul: And how old were you when you had that done?
    Patrick: I don't know - twenty-three, twenty-four. It worked. Me little woman was all over me after that, you know.

    Angel Hudson: Bit of a lad, were you?
    Patrick: Yeah, man!

    Patrick: Nothing wrong with running away, you know. You know how many bedroom windows I climbed out of?
    Charlie: I’d get stuck.

    Tony Carpenter: I was quite a handsome man in my day. I could have had my pick. It was a bit of a struggle fighting them off, but I managed to live with it.

    Angie Watts: How soon did you meet Hannah after you and your first wife split up?
    Tony: About a month. My feelings for Hannah were very genuine.

    Tony to Hannah: I remember the first time I saw you at that boring town hall reception your old man was giving. I only went for the free booze and there you were in that grey dress, the coolest little uptight madam you ever saw, but I knew then.

    Hannah Carpenter, Tony's wife: Someone once said to me, it was one of my aunties actually, Tony was my bit of rough. I was most indignant at the time. "He may be a rebel," I said, "but he's not rough."

    Tony to Hannah: I remember when we used to raid the fridge, ravenous, in the middle of the night.

    Hannah to Tony: I've still got that brooch you made me.

    Ian Beale: What was so good about being young?
    Minty Peterson: The whole future spread out in front of you.

    Dot to Minty: Don't tell me you didn't get into mischief when you was small, hanging about with them Mitchell boys.

    Minty: I could make water bombs.
    Alfie Moon: Flower bombs and stink bombs!

    Minty on his favourite age: Eleven. Went to bed before me twelfth birthday - I was a boy, I knew exactly what was expected of me. I woke up the next
    morning - I was too long for me bed, I had little tufts of hair growing out of everywhere and I was like a big geezer. Shocking, it was.

    Alfie: When I was five, I wanted to be a bin man.
    Billy: Yeah well, it's a good job.

    Billy on life at Hope Manor: Had a jamboree bag once. You got a bit of liquorice, a sticker and a flying saucer with sherbet in. I got it with the money me old man sent me for Christmas. But there was a dorm check so I hid it under me bed in a shoe box. Safe there, no worries. But I had some sherbet round the corner of me mouth, didn't I? Sherbet from the flying saucer. Dead giveaway.
    Ernie Hudson: Was this after lights out? I bet you got a ticking off!
    Billy: I had to stand in the garden in the frost in me underpants till me legs was cold and raw. Hurt more, that's why, when you took the belt to me.
    Ernie: Billy, that wasn't me.
    Billy: Then there was the time me and Danny, we'd messed about with the heating, just for a laugh, and you taped one of my hands to the radiator for three minutes. You had a referee's watch and you timed it. Three minutes, that's a long time.
    Ernie: No. Billy ...
    Billy: I was a little boy. I had skinny little arms and legs and a little hand with numbers written on it for me maths and you held my hand to that radiator and it was so hot, it made the ink run.

    Ernie: I know some of the carers had a reputation. I know some of them were a bit hard, but we weren't all like that.

    Billy on an old wireless radio: Made one of these once when I was a kid. It was a crystal set. Present from me Aunty Peggy, as it goes. I used to work on it at night in me bed, under the covers.
    Ernie: Why under the covers?
    Billy: Because I didn't want anyone to get hold of it, did I? They'd have smashed it up just to see the look on my face.

    Billy: I was in care. I know what it’s like to feel unloved, unwanted, completely on your own. It’s horrible. You ain’t got nothing. Nothing’s your own,
    nothing.

    Peggy: Your dad, he bought you [a racing car set] one Christmas, do you remember? You must have been ten, eleven.
    Phil: I was eight.

    Phil: I seen it on the telly and I nagged me mum for months about it.

    Peggy to Phil: You pestered me for weeks. I kept nudging your dad and all he’d say was, “Oh, it’s too much,” and I was so worried you’d be disappointed.

    Phil on Peggy: About a week before Christmas, I asked her if I was getting it or not. She said, "Wait and see," and she winked at me so I knew that I was. Christmas Eve, I couldn’t sleep, I was so excited. About four o'clock in the morning, I decided to go down and look at me presents. I went downstairs, but I couldn't see anything. I didn't want to turn the light on so I lit this candle and there it was, this racing track all laid out on the floor, flickering in the candle light. I knew Mum hadn't done it. Me dad had done it. He'd done all that for me. I was so happy. I don't think I'd ever been that happy in my life. I went back to bed, but I just couldn't sleep. I was so excited. Anyway, we weren't allowed downstairs until Dad got up so I heard him in the bathroom and Mum saying, "Come on, hurry up," and Dad going down and I knew that soon I'd get the call, you know, to go down, but well, the call never came. Dad came in the room, he grabbed me by the hair, he dragged me downstairs. There was wax all over the track. He smashed it all up and chucked it in the bin. Then he took his belt off. My little legs, they were shaking so much I thought they were going to give way. Mum was sobbing, but he said I needed to be taught a lesson. So he grabbed my head and he pushed it down on the draining board. I remember I could smell the bleach. Mum was screaming and begging him to stop. I turned my little head and I looked at her. I said, "Please, Mummy." I think he must have seen me lip trembling as I choked back the tears because he screamed at me the way he always screamed. "Be a man!" And then it started, me whimpering and him screaming, "Be a man! BE A MAN!" Mum eventually got him off me and I spent the rest of Christmas Day in me room. I was eight years old. I was going to run away that night. I even wrote a note. I never did. I think I was more scared what he would have done if he'd have caught me than if I'd have stayed. I think I wrote that just to get it out of me system.
    Sharon: You kept it?
    Phil: Yeah, I had it in me room. I think part of me wanted them to find it, you know, so they knew how I felt, but they never did. Found it years later. We were moving house. Kept it ever since.

    Patrick: I remember my Paul, man. When he couldn’t sleep, Audrey used to put him to bed with a candle. He loved it — the flickering light, the smell. It worked a treat.
     
  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1970

    Pat Evans, speaking to Big Mo in 2000: You didn't have any friends [in Walford] thirty years ago.

    Alfie Moon to Kat: When God was handing out brains, you were standing at the back of the queue asking for a spray tan.

    Arthur “Fatboy” Chubb: You must have been born with a beer pump in your hand.
    Kat Moon (née Slater): Do I take that as a compliment?

    Charlie Slater to his daughter Kat: I've loved you since the first day you were born.

    Charlie to Kat: I’ve always loved you very much — a difficult, highly strung, beautiful pain in the neck.

    Heather Trott: I’ve got this sort of memory. It’s not like pictures but more like colours and the smell of roses and being lifted up high, and Mummy shouting, “Don’t drop the baby! He’s going to drop the stinking baby!” Big hands and big arms and them roses — it was like flying through perfume. And me dad in me ear, he was going, “Don’t be scared, I ain’t going to drop you. I’m your dad.”

    Paul Trueman: Years I spent saying I was sorry - Mum in that armchair and me sitting on the sofa, right in the corner of the sofa, back at the old house. Before I even started school, I can remember Mum in that armchair, me sitting there, shouting it - "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" - because I didn't know what else I could say, but she wouldn't crack. She just wouldn't. "So am I," she'd say. "So am I."

    Patrick Trueman: My Audrey was unshakeable [in her religious beliefs].
    Jim Branning: But you've got two kids.
    Patrick: Secret's in the wrist action.

    Jean Slater: I used to be really, really good at the egg and spoon race. I mean, most people think the
    trick is in choosing the right egg, but it’s not. It’s about having a firm wrist.

    Jean: I was never any good at sport at school. They used to make me do extra needlework instead. Then they discovered I couldn’t sew either so in the end they just let me sit with the coats.

    Patrick on women drivers: I'm going to tell you when it all went wrong for us [men] - that Australian lass, what was her name now? Greer Garson, the feminist. I mean, we didn't have all this trouble before she came on the scene. We were literally in the driving seat.

    Patrick: I was a terrible father. I made a whole heap of mistakes.

    Paul to his younger brother Anthony: You were really cute as a baby.

    Patrick: Anthony, he was a last ditch attempt to save the marriage. It didn't work though. She poured all the love she had into him.

    Paul to Audrey: You've been controlling [Anthony's] every move since the day he was born.

    Patrick Trueman on a home-made baby’s mobile: It belonged to Anthony. His mother kept it for him in case he had children.

    William Edward Skinner Died 22.4.70

    Heather on George Michael: You know how he started his love of music? He was given a radio when he was seven for his birthday. And he had violin lessons when he was a kid.
    Shirley Carter: Didn’t we all?
    Heather: His mum and dad, they used to have this old record player that he used to use. He had two Supremes records and a Tom Jones.
    Shirley: Well, that’s not unusual.

    Minty Peterson: Manda [Best] had piano lessons when she was little.

    Keith Miller: Brazil, 1970 - the best team ever.

    Garry Hobbs: I was conceived during the World Cup.

    Pauline Fowler: You used to run the local [football] league, didn't you?
    Derek Harkinson: In my better days. I had something of a reputation. Rather a stickler for the rules, I'm afraid.

    Billy Mitchell on football: I used to play a bit at school. I had a scout come to see me once, trials and everything.

    Ernie Johnson: You were a nippy little winger on the pitch.
    Billy: Yeah, I was fast.
    Ernie: What year were you actually playing?
    Billy: '70.

    Billy looking at an old photograph of his care home football team: That's me, look.
    Ernie: Yeah. You ain't smiling.
    Billy: No, I'm not smiling.

    Billy: You shouted at me at three in the morning, called me a girl and a mummy's boy just because I had to go off for a wee during the match.
    Ernie: It wasn't me who did these things to you. It wasn't me, Billy. Once or twice I may have shouted ...
    Billy: You're a liar. I remember you holding me down.
    Ernie: No. You remember me holding you, that's all. Remember? And I just held you, as if you were me own son.
    Billy: You held me?
    Ernie: You was upset. You wanted your mum. You kept calling for her. And I just held you till you fell asleep.
    Billy: Yeah, I remember that.
    Ernie: You were homesick. I felt sorry for you, your mum leaving you like that.

    Ernie: I worked very hard at Hope Manor. Some of you kids were pretty tough, you know, giving us lip. Not you, Billy. You were a very good boy.
    Billy: I tried hard enough to be.

    Billy: My radio, my crystal set, I got it working. Everyone was outside, but I was on me own. It was a Saturday and I got the football scores, and that's
    when you found me. I should have been training outside with the others, but I was listening to the football results and you flew at me. You pulled your belt off and you went at it. You didn't spare the old rod that day, did you? You used the buckle end.
    Ernie: We were training for a cup match. I needed you on the pitch.
    Billy: You went for it, didn't you, eh? But you left my radio on and while you was beating me, I could suddenly realise why. You wanted to hear the scores. You was knocking the hell out of an eleven year old boy and listening to the football results while you did it.
    Ernie: It was only that one time.
    Billy: That night, I couldn't sleep because of the pain and even you felt bad because when you came to see me, you held me when I cried and you said, "Don't worry, Billy, it's be all right, it'll be OK. It'll go away by the morning." And guess what, Ernie? It didn't go away. Ever.
    Ernie: I didn't use the buckle.
    Billy: Well, what did this then? [Lifts up his shirt to reveal a scar on his lower back.]

    Billy: How I felt - it ain't just about the pain, it's about the shame.

    Ernie to Billy: What you lot never understood was that we were getting you prepared for the real world. Not some soppy fairy land, but the real world of hard knocks where Mummy and Daddy aren't always there to kiss it better. But did we ever get a letter or a phone call of thanks? No, of course we didn't because it's all "me, me, me", isn't it?

    Billy: Ernie used to knock me about a bit. I got off light.

    Billy on Ernie: In me head, I always imagined him to be like massive.

    Phil: You ever been in juvenile nick? You got any idea what it’s like? I had a couple of mates back in the seventies who went to approved school and they couldn’t hack it. They were tough kids.

    Phil to Peggy: You never stuck up for me, did you? Where were you? I was eight, nine. [You were] sat in front room with the telly turned up loud while [Eric] took a set of jump leads to my backside, my back and my legs. Good programme was it, Mum, eh?
    Peggy: I don’t even know what you’re talking about.
    Phil: No, of course you don’t because you blocked it out just like you always did. I was nine years old, Mum, and crying me eyes out, but what did I get? “If you don’t stop crying, you’ll get some more.” So I got some more, didn’t I, eh? And if weren’t for Grant slinging things at him, he’d probably still be at it now. The next day, I’m all the colours of the rainbow, but she [Peggy] don’t even want to look at me.

    Peggy: We all cover things up. I should know. I did it enough times with Eric when he was kicking Phil about, turning your back on things you don’t want to see.

    Archie Mitchell to Phil: My dad, your dad, you - it’s just a relay race, handing down the misery and it goes on and on. I’m not saying those jump leads
    didn’t hurt, Phil, but there’s a reason for everything.

    Peggy: It wasn’t my fault. What was I supposed to do? What Phil’s never understood is that if I interfered or tried to stop it, it would only make things worse. Phil blames me and that’s what I’ve had to live with. I know deep down I should have left him, but how? Eric had his hands on the pursestrings and where was I going to go? There were no women’s refuge in those days.

    Phil: A funny thing happened to me, it must have been around the same time. It was at the school assembly and this bloke from the NSPCC’s come to give us a talk and he’s going, “What you have to realise is that there’s children out there, they’re not as lucky as you are. They don’t come from nice homes and their mum and dads, they do cruel things to them." And I’m sitting there and I’ve got bruises all across the back of me legs, all across me shoulders. Anyway, when he’s finished his bit, they give us these collection boxes, blue things in the shape of an egg.
    Archie: Do you get a badge?
    Phil: Yeah. You collect a pound, you get one blue bird. You collect two pounds, you get two blue birds. Anyway, I really wanted one of these badges so I took the collection box home. I stuck it on the kitchen side. I opened it up at the end of the first term and there’s three and a tanner in pennies. So no badge for me. So you know what I did? The school swot, he’s a kid called Robert McClenon, and he’s got a badge with three blue birds on it so I go up to him after school and I say, “Give us your badge or I’ll do you.” Anyway, he wouldn’t give me his badge so I did him, nicked his badge. A couple of weeks later, I lost the badge and I bought ten Number 6 with three and a tanner and I smoked them one after another and felt sick as a dog.

    Cora Cross, speaking on September 5th 2011: Today is the anniversary of the day I met my husband William, forty-one years to the day. I was running for the bus. He was a bus conductor and he grabbed me and pulled me up.

    Cora: Only one man ever meant toffee to me.

    David Wicks to Pat: Have you any idea what it was like being your son?

    Pat: I was a rotten mother. I never really put my boys first.

    Pat: When Simon and David were kids, they had a horrible room. Brown walls, disgusting lampshade. I couldn't be bothered.

    Pat: My lot lived in hand-me-downs. Saved me a fortune.

    David: My childhood memories — your knickers on the stair carpet and you at it with some salesman with the bedroom door open. That’s item one in a long long list.

    David to Pat: I remember one night, I was, I don't know, seven or eight, and I'd had this terrible nightmare and I woke up and I was frightened. I was shaking. So I thought I'd go into your room, get into bed with you, even though I knew you didn't like it. I gets up, I goes to your room and as I open the door to your bedroom, do you know what I saw? I saw you having it off with this bloke. I knew him, I knew the guy. I recognised him from down the market. Blimey, he could only have been out of school a couple of years. Do you know what he did when he saw me looking at the two of you? He winked. He bloody winked. That was the worst moment of my life. And I bet you don't even remember his name.

    Simon: My mum used to say that every lad should learn the ropes from an older woman. I think that's because she wanted to be the teacher.

    Pat: Who got up in the middle of the night when you were sick, eh?
    Simon: The one time I got out of bed because I was sick, I come down, you was on the settee with one of my uncles.

    David: I never had a father, just a succession of uncles who liked it best if I kept out of their way. I had a crap childhood.

    Simon on Pat: Up until she got her hooks into [Brian Wicks], I had so many uncles I couldn't keep track of them. Some of them were all right. There was one of them, Uncle Charlie, he used to play football with me in the street on a Sunday morning. He lasted about six months. I'd just get to know them and they'd be off.

    Pat: I had a lot of problems when you were kids, things you knew nothing about.
    David: All right, but did you have to take it out on me and Simon? Did you? I remember it so well. You'd come rolling home in a drunken rage and belt the living daylights out of us. Do you remember doing that? For nothing, just because we were making a bit of noise or something. And then the next day, it would be as if nothing had happened. You never, never once, said sorry. You never gave a toss.

    Pat to David: Ever since you were a little boy, you’d make a mess and you’d jump on your bike and you’d run away, disappear over the horizon and start again.

    Dot: I remember David Wicks when he was little. He was always riding for a fall. Too full of himself. Still, having Pat as a mother didn't help. I mean, how could it?

    Dot on Pat: I never had you down as a good mother.

    Pat: In them days, I was so careless with people. David never stood a chance.

    Pat: I couldn't stand you and your brother clinging.
    Simon: I remember. We stopped pretty soon, didn't we?
    Pat: That's not to say I didn't love you or look after you properly because I did.

    Pat: All I ever wanted was a bloke who'd see me right and be a good dad to me kids — a good man, someone to look after me.

    David: If I had a pound for every bloke my mum said she loved, I'd be in Rio.

    David to Pat: Seen it all before, haven't I? You breaking your heart over some stupid bloke who's been messing about with your feelings.

    Pat: I was so down once, I felt like advertising. You get a few nutters, but some of the replies are quite genuine.

    Pat: I had a bloke once, said he was popping round the shop for some fags. Never saw him again.

    Pat: I nearly got married on a beach once — Margate.

    Simon on Brian Wicks: He was the one that didn't get away, wasn't he? He was a bastard.

    Pat on Brian: He was good for a cuddle. In them days, I needed lots of cuddles. He was the real thing for a time. That's why I married him.

    Pat on Brian: Thinking back, I was a bit hasty though. What a con merchant.

    Pat: Brian Wicks fobbed me off with [an engagement ring] that belonged to his mum.

    Pat on getting married: I was pretty wobbly my first time. And the second.

    Pat: I can't say either of my honeymoons were a great success.

    Pat: [My] second [marriage] was a non-starter.

    Pat: I was married to a man I didn’t love and it weren’t much fun.

    Pat: Brian’s mum didn’t talk to me for the first six months we was married.

    Pat on Brian: He looked flash in a suit and he had nice hands, strong.
    Simon: Oh yeah. I know all about his strong hands, don't I?
    Pat: You and your brother were a handful. You needed a man about the house.

    Simon: There was a time I was a right little toe-rag.

    Pat to Brian: You always were a conniving rat.

    Brian Wicks: A wage packet at the end of the week, that's all I was to you.
    Pat: You never did a day's work in your life. The only cash that come in that crummy council flat was what I earned. One thing you did give me was your fist.

    Simon to Pat: I know what you got [from Brian] when he was home — a right-hander six nights a week.

    Brian to Pat: I never meant to hurt you. It was me I was getting at really. I'd let you down, I'd let Simon and David down.

    Nana Moon on her nephew Maxwell: Pumpkin, that's what I used to call him when he was little.

    Maxwell Moon, looking at old photographs: Hastings, 1970. Our first holiday. You remember that really hot day? Here look — there's me, look.
    Alfie, Maxwell's second cousin: How come you're wearing a balaclava?
    Maxwell: I was in disguise, weren't I? You told me that I needed a passport to cross the river. I spent the whole holiday thinking I was an illegal immigrant. Here look, there's me nan burying me in the sand.

    Louise Raymond (née Simmons): Butlin's Holiday Camp, Pwhelli, 1970. I was eleven years old and there was a dancing competition - The Hitchhiker. I was up against all these thirteen and fourteen year olds and I beat the lot.

    Pauline on Eddie Skinner: I haven't seen him since I was twenty-five years old.

    Pauline: I wish I was twenty-five again. I was happy then.

    Kenny Beale: I didn't really grow up till I went overseas. [New Zealand] was a bit like landing on the moon. I did a few things I shouldn't have.

    Lou Beale to Kenny: It took you five years to let us know what you were doing.

    Kenny: Best day's work you ever did [sending me away]. Wouldn't have sold many swimming pools in this dump [Walford].
    Lou: Pauline said that's what you were doing.
    Kenny: Couldn't you have put pen to paper just once and written to me instead of getting Pauline to answer all the letters?
    Lou: What did I care what you were selling? Didn't see none of the profits, did I? Didn't help your own mother out. Dad gone, me running the stall, then Pete. You knew how things were. You couldn't so much as send me a cardigan for Christmas.

    Billy: I had a bear when I was [eleven].
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1971

    Mark Fowler: Gareth Pelé Hobbs. Pelé?
    Garry Hobbs: Yeah. I was conceived during the World Cup.

    Lynne Slater to Garry: You were born an old geezer.

    Garry: I'm not a Slater. I don't come from that sort of a family. It was just me and me mum. It's what they call a broken home. Her and me dad, well, they rushed into things and I suppose they paid the price.

    Hazel Hobbs to her son Garry: You’ve always been such a special boy.

    Hazel to Garry: From the minute I give birth, I fell so in love with you I thought my heart would burst. I didn’t even notice the stitches — and there were a lot of stitches. I didn’t even care that I was a fallen woman with a bus ticket to nowhere and you were in a second hand Moses basket. I stood on them steps outside the Home for Unmarried Mothers and I swore, and I don’t mean cussing, “As God is my witness, they are not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this.” And I did. And I vowed that my little mate would want for nothing in the whole wide world — the only vow I’ve ever been able to bring myself to make. And I couldn’t even stick to it, could I?

    Chelsea Fox to Liz Turner: You must be so proud, bringing that thing [her son Owen] into the world. I mean, what do you do to screw him up so bad? Did you love him too much or too little?

    Trina Johnson born 1971

    Cindy Beale: First thing I ever remember was sitting in church. When I was a little girl, I used to think I was really special because I was a Catholic. That's what they teach you, you know — that you're lucky. My family have always been Catholics, on me mum's side, me dad's side. That's our tradition, right back. Proper Catholics, I mean — Confession on Friday, Mass on Sunday - right up until I left school.

    Bev Williams on Cindy's father: Tom was [a Catholic], not me.

    Yolande Trueman to Paul Trueman: Audrey raised you and Anthony as Catholics.

    Paul on Audrey: That old witch shoving her "You're an evil dirty little sinner" stuff down [my] throat from when I was a kid.

    Cindy: Some of the things they use to drill into me really stuck, like The Ten Commandments.

    Denise Fox on 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot': My granny used to sing this one, this very song. She was a Christian, Granny. At least she used to call herself one but I think she was mainly just into the music and stuff.
    Lucas Johnson: Which means she wasn’t any kind of Christian at all.
    Denise: Hang on, you never even knew her. The woman worked so hard to feed and clothe my mother. She wouldn’t do any harm to anyone. She was more of a Christian than you will ever be because she was kind, and everything that Jesus ever said comes down to that, "Be kind". She was.

    Kathy Beale: [None] of our family's been religious.

    Heather: I’ve never been one for church.

    Carol Jackson: I never believed in God.

    Carol: My God’s got in for me. Always has done.

    Ian Beale: Have you ever been to the Tower of London?
    Carol: Once, when I was at school.

    Dot Cotton: All the places I took you.
    Nick Cotton: Big Ben.
    Dot: The Tower of London.

    Carol: I was always running away as a kid.

    Grant Mitchell: How many times did I run off when I was a kid? Dozens. And I was always back by teatime.
    Phil Mitchell: Yeah, only because I dragged you home, didn’t I?

    Phil: Me and Grant, we ran away once. Got as far as the bus station, felt hungry and turned back. Crept in through the back door. Thought we was going to get a right hiding, but no one had even realised that we’d gone.

    Peggy Mitchell: I've never forgotten the time you and Phil went missing in Debenhams. Worst half hour of my life. I remember I took you both to the cafe afterwards and bought you ice creams.
    Grant: And you know what Phil said? "We should do this more often."

    Nigel Bates: I had me tonsils out when I was nine. In those days, they stuck you in the same ward as the grown ups and they were really strict about visiting — an hour in the afternoon and an hour in the evening.
    Clare Tyler: Did it hurt?
    Nigel: Hurt? Oh yeah. All that ice cream I had to eat, it was really tough.

    Heather: I never had many ice creams as a kid. Mummy always said that when the ice cream van chimed, it meant that the man had ran out of cornets and he had to go home.

    Nigel Bates: The first time me mum took me to a Joe Lyons, I felt so grown up - until I poured sugar all over me egg and chips. I thought, "This is a big salt cellar." It was a long time before I got taken out again.

    Nigel: You ever skimmed a sixer? When we was kids, I could make a stone bounce six times across the canal.

    Nigel: Never liked school much. They used to flush all the first years' heads down the toilet in those days.
    Sonia Jackson: That explains the hairstyle.

    Nigel: I was in a school play once. They had me wearing tights.

    Debbie Bates: When you were at school and all the other lads were playing football, when they were picking sides, were you always the last to get
    picked?
    Nigel: No, I was not. There was this kid called Ian Huckleston. He used to cry if anyone tackled him.
    Debbie: Right, so they picked you and then they picked him. I'm right, aren't I?

    Minty Peterson: [I was] always the last to be picked. They used to say I was too lardy, which is really unfair, you know, because my mum said I was just right, I was just big-boned. It never used to stop them from putting me in goal. I think the idea was to stick you somewhere where you could do the least harm. I just remember standing there for what seemed like hours, freezing me ... being really cold and bored.
    Ben Mitchell: Waiting for something to happen.
    Minty: Yeah. And praying it wouldn’t.

    Nigel on Grant: If we didn't let him be captain, he used to take the ball home with him.

    Nigel: I remember one game, quarter final of the school's cup, we're down to ten men because Grant got sent off. Two nil down, fifteen minutes to go — [Stan] Destry scores a hat trick.

    Grant to Phil: It ain't been easy for me being the younger brother. Anything I did, you'd already done — I played football, you had a shelf full of medals. I got a girlfriend, you already had three.

    Phil: When I was [ten], we used to play football against the wall of this Polish bakers in Whitechapel. Anyway, one day, the baker accuses me of breaking a window. Storms round to see Dad at the boxing club, produces my ball and demands that Dad pay for the damaged window. The only thing was, I’d lent my ball to one of me mates.
    Ben: What happened?
    Phil: Well, Dad gave me a hiding for lying. Then he made me pay for the window out of me pocket money.

    Steve Owen: Fair old right hook you've got there.
    Phil: I learned that one in the boy scouts.

    Peggy to Phil’s son, Ben: When your dad was your age [ten], he was mad for anything to do with motors.

    Peggy, watching Ben helping Phil fix a car: Reminds me of you [Phil] when you were that age [ten]. Your dad used to ruin my best towels. I’d find them covered in engine oil.

    Peggy: When Phil and Grant were [ten years old], they could take on anyone, pretty much.

    Billy Mitchell: Your old man didn't waste any time getting you and Grant into the ring, did he?
    Phil: No.

    Local newspaper article about Phil and Grant: [
    I]“Following In Father’s Footsteps”[/I]

    Local newspaper article: [
    I]"Brothers In Arms! Retired local boxing hero, Eric Mitchell, believes he's found two champs of the future right here in the borough. He's pinning hopes on these two youngsters bringing back medals from the Olympic Games in 1980. Who are they? Why, his own two sons, Philip and Grant."[/I]

    Phil on the article: He [Eric] set the whole thing up. He phoned his mate on the paper, got a photographer down.
    Kathy: Why?
    Phil: So he could show off to his mates.

    Jay Brown, looking at the [
    I]“Following In Father’s Footsteps”[/I] newspaper cutting: Don’t look so bad in this photo, your dad.
    Phil: Well he’s posing for the camera, ain’t he?
    Jay: He looks proud of you.
    Phil: It weren’t about us, it was about him.
    Jay: Bet he was [proud].
    Phil: I was there. You weren’t. Trust me.
    Jay: Well he was probably was proud of you, he just couldn’t bring himself to say, maybe.
    Phil: Maybe.
    Jay: Shame he didn’t though, because you might have done a bit better if he had.

    Eddie Moon: I used to do a bit of boxing way back when.

    Eddie to his son Michael: You’ve seen the photos of me in the ring.

    Carol Jackson, looking at a photo of Eddie at the height of his boxing career: You were a looker once!

    Eddie: You always remember the glory days. Everyone round our way knew my name.

    Phil on Eric: All this "local boxing hero" business was a load of rubbish.
    Kathy: I thought he was in with the chance of the title once, wasn't he?
    Phil: Yeah he was, and he had an eliminator and the winner was going to go on to fight Terry Downs. Well, we never heard the end of the story so he must have lost, otherwise we would never have heard the end of it. He had a good right hand on him though.
    Kathy: Did you see him fight then?
    Phil: No, I'm talking from personal experience. You can ask Grant, ask Mum. They'll tell you. Or rather they won't. Cos you don't slag off the family, no matter what he might have done.

    Phil: My dad, he used to hit my mum, and when I was ten years old, I decided to stand up to him and I told him to leave her alone, never touch her again. I thought she’d be pleased. She weren’t. She was angry. She told me never to talk to him like that again and she watched as he smacked me about as a punishment. I was only trying to protect her.

    Peggy to Phil: [Thinking] never was your strongest point.

    Phil: I was never, never ever good enough for you.
    Peggy: That’s not true.

    Peggy: Phil, he was always the quiet, sensitive one.

    Peggy to Phil: I can remember you and Grant when you were kids playing on your bikes. You was ten and he was eight and even then he was the one who was going for the jumps, going downhill with his eyes shut.

    Phil to Peggy: You was always the one telling us to put a bit of brass on, weren't you? "Look 'em in the eye and then spit in it," that's what you used to say.

    Phil: There's no room for weakness in the Mitchell house, is there? We soon had that knocked out of us.

    Peggy: Your father was a good man.
    Phil: Mum, he was a bully. He'd whack us as soon as look at us.
    Peggy: He wanted you to be strong like he was, face up to your responsibilities.
    Phil: Oh that's a heck of a responsibility, isn't it? Beating your kids up. It's no wonder we turned out like we did.

    Peggy: The Mitchell men have always loved their meat.

    Peggy to Phil: If you or Grant had gone vegetarian on me, I think I’d have been dishing out slaps round the earholes, not beans on toast.

    Charlie Slater to his great-niece Stacey: You’re not old enough to remember the Galloping Gourmet, are you?

    Pauline Fowler to Peggy: You drove your husband to drink.

    Peggy on Eric: You made him the man he was.
    Johnny Allen: No. You did.
    Peggy: I stood by him. I protected him.
    Johnny: You covered for him. Whatever went on behind closed doors, you chose to hide it and give the world that great big smile of yours.
    Peggy: I had children. I had to.
    Johnny: You could have got away.
    Peggy: What, and leave them without a father?
    Johnny: He was a rotten father.

    Phil: If you'd have asked anyone about my dad, Eric Mitchell, they would have told you that he was a family man, that he was proud of his sons, protective of his daughter and good to his missus. Things ain't always what they seem.

    Phil on Eric: He was no saint.

    Pauline to Peggy: You had a villain for a husband.

    Johnny: You’re just like your old man, no manners.
    Phil: Yeah well, finishing schools were fully booked.

    Peggy: I brought my boys up the old fashioned way, to have respect for family and marriage, and to expect the same in return.

    Audrey Trueman: I did everything a mother possibly can to bring up her sons to be decent human beings.

    Paul Trueman: I was brung up polite.

    Anthony Trueman to his mother Audrey: Ever since I was a tiny little boy, I've done exactly what you wanted.

    Grant to Peggy: I've spent my whole life trying to do things that you want. You've always been the same, never satisfied, always demanding. Me and Phil have turned ourselves inside out trying to please you.

    Phil to Peggy: Ever since we were young, you made it a competition between me and Grant.

    Grant to Peggy: When we were kids, you played us off against each other, let us fight over you to see who loved you the most. You loved every minute of it. Is it any wonder we turned out the way we did with a mother like you?

    Peggy to Phil: All those days with your dad, I couldn’t have got through them if it wasn’t for you. You was always my rock. Not Grant, you.

    Phil on what he used to think when he was ten: “My dad scares me.”

    Phil: When I was kid, people used to say to my old lady, "He's just like his dad, isn't he?" They didn't know how right they were.

    Peggy to Phil: I always used to think it was Grant who was more like your father. You're just better at hiding it.

    Peggy to Phil: You were always like your dad, a fighter.

    Eddie Moon, speaking about his son Tyler’s violent temper in 2011: That was me when I was his age [twenty-three]. I [was] so full of anger. I used to
    feel pent up, trapped, not knowing which way to turn, always one foot out the door. Took a lot of work to change.

    Eddie on his wife Maggie: She was beautiful and funny and wild. We were like a lethal cocktail, a hurricane meeting a tornado.

    Archie Mitchell to Phil: Any business he got involved with, your dad always had a queue of fellas ready to pitch in. He knew how to keep his men happy.

    Phil: He was a regular Robin Hood, my old man, wasn’t he?
    Peggy: Yeah well, we never went short.

    Archie on Eric: I got home one night, he’d brought Glenda round a bucket full of tripe. She didn’t have the heart to tell him she couldn’t stand it.

    Phil on Eric: You don't say this in my family, but the truth is he was a failure.

    Tiffany Raymond: My dad, he was always a drinker.
    Phil: So was mine.

    Geoff Morton: I [drank a yard of ale on my stag night] when I married Kate's mum.

    Lofty Holloway on his father: He always set me a good example really. Never smoked, never drank. Well, a glass of Green Goddess every Christmas. Never went with women - other than me mum, of course.

    Jimmie Broome, lawyer: How would you characterise your relationship with your father, Mr. Mitchell?
    Phil: Not good. He was violent, alcoholic. It wasn’t a happy household.

    Phil on his father: If we gave him a bit of lip, he'd start punching.
    Jamie Mitchell: So why did you put up with it?
    Phil: Why wouldn't I? I thought that what happened in our house happened in everyone else's too.

    Peggy on Eric: I remember one night when he got lost on his way home. Second night on, he still wasn’t back. I take Phil and Grant out with me, looking for him. I make a little adventure of it — pack sarnies, a bottle of ginger beer. It was Phil in the end who found him, kipping in a skip. Jumping up and down, he was — “Mum, Mum, he’s in here!” — like he’d found buried treasure.
    Billy: I remember Grant telling me about that. I was well jealous. Must have been hard.
    Peggy: Not as hard as some of the nights when he did come home. You probably remember that and all. He used to tell Phil, “Son, it’s just the drink
    talking.” They say it’s like an illness and it is. A cancer - it gets into the family and it ruins everything around it.

    Peggy, speaking to Phil in 2007: Do you really want Ben to go through what you did — hiding under the covers when he hears you falling in the door, waking up to see you lying there covered in blood or worse?
    Phil: I’m all right, I’m telling you.
    Peggy: That’s just what your father used to say, only he wasn’t. You knew it, I knew it, we all knew it. Except him. He was never going to be the father you could be proud of, Phil, not with a glass in his hand.

    Nick Cotton: Back in the old days, putting a bottle of whisky away was called "being a man”.

    Grant to Phil: Dad used to give us back handers if we did things wrong. It never did us any harm, did it?

    Billy: You forgave your old man for laying into you.
    Grant: He may have cuffed me once or twice when I misbehaved, that's all.
    Billy: You got a short memory. I see him getting free with his belt.
    Grant: I think you're the one with the memory problem.

    Grant on Eric: A violent drunk who liked backhanding his kids and his old lady.
    Phil: He did make a habit of being cuffy, didn’t he?
    Grant: He punched you across the room once. Knocked you spark out. There was blood coming out of your ears.

    Grant: Dad was a violent drunk who only ever thought about himself.

    Sharon Watts on Eric: Grant said he was lovely.

    Phil on Eric: I think he worked [the violence] out of his system by the time he got around to Grant. He was his blue-eyed boy, he could do no wrong.

    Phil: When I was a kid, I was scared of my dad and I hated my dad.

    Johnny to Phil: I know you hated [Eric’s] guts, but he felt the same way about you, you know. “My Phil,” he used to say, “my Phil, he’s a total waste of
    space, useless, a lump of lard.”

    Phil: My dad, I didn't hate him. I thought he was great. Big tough Eric - he was scared of nothing and no-one, and I wanted to be just like him.

    Phil speaking in 2008: You want to know why I’m like this, why I’m the way I am? Because my old man bullied me into being like this and I didn’t do anything to stop it. I became exactly what my dad wanted me to be because I was too scared not to and so was Grant.

    Phil, speaking to Peggy in 2010: Do you want to know why I’m like I am? Do you? It’s because of you, having a mother like you. You drove me to it just you drove Dad. Both of us alkies, ain’t we? Do you think that’s a coincidence, do you? Because all you want to do is control us, to have us at your beck and call.

    Peggy to Grant: Your father had his faults, but the one thing you could always say for him — he hung his trousers on the back of the chair before he went to bed at night. And he also took all the loose change out of the pockets and put it on the bedside table.

    Peggy on her life with Eric: All right, it wasn't always a bed of roses, but what family is?

    Billy to Grant: Me and you grew up together, but your lot's always helped you.

    Billy: What I had to go through, being shifted about from place to place.

    Peggy on the Mitchells: We was always together when it mattered. I remember when Grant had chicken pox. I was knackered then, I can tell you, but the whole family rallied round, just took over. I didn't have to lift a finger. That's a real family.

    Phil: Reminds me of the old man, this — sitting by the water for hours. He was into fishing, had a boat and everything. Every now and again, he used to take me and Grant with him. I say take — drag us along, more like. We all used to pile into this tiny little boat. Grant loved it, but I used to get sick as a dog when the weather was rough.
    Ben: Did you ever catch anything?
    Phil: No, not really. They used to bite Grant’s line, not mine. All I ever used to catch was old trainers, except this one time when Grant got chicken pox and me and me dad we just went on our own, and I caught this massive great big trout. Bigger than your arm it was. When we got home, Dad told everyone that he caught it.
    Ben: Didn’t you mind?
    Phil: No, not really. Never really said much, my dad, but I knew that day that he was really proud of me and that didn’t happen very often. Got a taste for fishing after that.

    Peggy, speaking to Grant in 1996: I've had that [Christmas tree] angel for nearly twenty-five years. Do you remember bringing her home from school that day? You were so proud of yourself.

    Dot: Surely you done [Christmas] carols at school. Nigel: Yeah, but we used to change all the words.

    Dot, looking at an old theatre programme: Me first church panto, 1971. "Artistic director, Dorothy Cotton."

    Crew List on Dot’s panto programme:
    Producer ... Pauline Luxton
    Stage Electrician ... Alan Sims
    Dancing Mistress ... Joanne Holmes
    Pianist ... Leslie Hodgson
    Make-up ... Marisa Allen

    Alfie: Stage fright — I've suffered from it ever since I did the nativity play at Stanley Road Infants.

    Alfie: I was an angel [as a child].

    Alfie: I remember [decorating with fake snow at Christmas] as a kid once. I spent hours doing all the windows up. Me dad come back. I thought he'd be well chuffed. Then he realised I'd done it with spray paint. Took me days to scrape the thing off.

    Nana Moon on Alfie: It was Christmas and all he got was a jumper. It was a lovely blue knit rib. Oh wait a minute, I'm sorry — it might have been his cousin Eddie.

    Kat Slater to Alfie: You were seven-years-old one Christmas, remember? You wanted a little toy car.
    Alfie: That was me cousin Eddie.

    Maxwell Moon: When we were kids, the only time I ever saw youse was when you'd come round on the scrounge, just because I had better toys than you.
    Alfie: Max, everyone had better toys than me.

    Alfie: Max, you're right. I was a selfish little toe-rag. I blagged stuff off you.

    Maxwell: I envy you, Alfie. I always have.
     
  17. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1972

    Grant Mitchell to Peggy: I can remember us rowing over Christine Patterson because she sent me a Valentine's card when I was nine.

    Andrew Cotton: The amount of birthdays you’ve ruined.
    Rose Cotton: I’ve always tried to make your birthdays fun.
    Andrew: Yeah? Fifth birthday — house full of strangers from the pub. Me, eating cake off the floor where it had been dropped.
    Rose: You’re not usually so fussed where your cake comes from.
    Andrew: I’d been asking and asking for this red toy motorbike. Saw it in the window every day. Opened me present. It was a football.
    Rose: It was leather. All boys love football.
    Andrew: Anything I ever wanted, you never listened.

    Max Branning to Carol’s grandson Morgan: I’ve got a story about your nan. Family folklore, this is. She’s nine. She thought she was going to be Queen of the May or something, school fete. So she’s got a fancy frock on, she’s got a little tiara, the whole works. But the school, they make a mistake. They give it to another Carol. Now, your nan, apparently she’s fine with all this, but before you know it, she disappears, gone. Total panic — my mum and dad going nuts, they’ve half the East End out looking for her, it’s getting dark, police are called, everything. Do you know where she was? Outside toilet, back of the house. That’s where she was all along. That’s where she was hiding. True story.

    Derek Branning: I’ve been lucky enough to be the oldest sibling and watch these three [Carol, Max and Jack] come into the world.

    Max on his brother Jack’s birthdate: Fifth of September, 1972.

    Max: All you ever did [as a baby] was sleep.
    Jack Branning: How do you know? You were only three.
    Max: It’s engraved on my heart, isn’t it? The most boring brother in the world.

    Max to Jack: I’ve spent my entire life looking at your smug little face.

    Jack: I got the [physically fit] genes, didn’t I?

    Peggy Mitchell: You boys never refused a fry up at that age [ten].
    Phil Mitchell: Yeah, and look how we turned out.

    Shirley Carter: When I was [ten years old], I told every white lie in the book to get attention.

    Shirley: A friend of mine had some sort of breakdown at school. Ended up doing herself in.

    Phil: I didn’t go to school a lot.
    Peggy: No wonder I used to get all those letters.

    Peggy: I used to have to drag my two off to school. A complete waste of time. As soon as the teacher's back was turned, they'd run off.

    Grant: Mum was always going down the school about me when I was young.

    Phil: The only time I came top [of the class] is when I cheated.

    Phil: You think I was never a kid, eh - threw a sickie, trying to get out of something I didn’t want to do?

    Phil: When I started secondary school, this big kid started bullying me. I even started using a different route home, trying to avoid him, but then I realised I couldn’t hide for the rest of me life. I stood up to him.
    Ben: Did he hit you?
    Phil: Well, as it happens, it was more the other way round. It did the trick and he never bothered me again.

    Phil on being bullied: Dad gave us "the talk”.
    Grant: “Anyone gives you lip, give them a slap.”
    Phil: It worked with me.

    Alfie Moon to Nana Moon: Remember the time that Mum and Dad went on holiday and you had to look after me? You knew I was fretting about something and you wouldn’t let it drop till I told you. So I told you about this kid at school called Steven Melio who was nicking my dinner money. Do you remember him?
    Nana Moon: Oh yes, he was a nasty bit of work, wasn’t he?
    Alfie: And you booked an appointment for us to go and see the headmaster and I was so terrified you were going to make it worse. Anyway, on the home, you brought me to a caff and you got me a doughnut with hundred and thousands on it and you promised me that everything was going to be all right. You said to me, “Alfie, a problem shared is a problem halved.” And you were right because I never went hungry at dinner time again.

    Eddie Moon: You must have been — what, about seven or eight when I first took you down the Brisbane Road? Had you on my shoulders, remember? The ball hit you.
    Alfie: Right in the mush. Yes, I remember.
    Eddie: I thought you’d be crying, but you were laughing.
    Alfie: Of course I was laughing, Eddie. You were being beaten by Chelsea, weren’t you?!

    Arthur Fowler: West Ham and Hereford in the [1972] cup — [West Ham] were non-league, but they done Newcastle the round before.
    Phil: Afternoon kick-off, something to do with the power.
    Grant: The miners were on strike.
    Phil: Our headmaster had locked the school gates, having had a whisper there was going to be a mass exodus. So I'm up and over the railings. The head's got hold of my foot, and I'm telling him, "If you don't let go, my old man's going to give you a right slap."
    Grant: He was petrified of our old man because he was a boxer.
    Phil: I saw a good game. 3-1 it was. [West Ham] slaughtered them, gave them a right hiding.
    Grant: [Phil] got the cane for that.

    Derek Harkinson: I never caned anyone, not once in eleven years. They all thought I was soft.

    Arthur: I put one like that [a brilliant penalty] in meself. Lea Valley, 1972. The goalkeeper didn't get a glove on it.

    Cora Cross: Back in the day, men really knew how to play the beautiful game. It was all about raw passion.

    Glenda Mitchell: I couldn’t eat a thing before my wedding. I was so nervous.

    Glenda to her daughter Ronnie: Weddings are all about the dress. Men just don’t get it. Your father was the same.

    Peggy on Glenda’s wedding dress: It was a bit of a frilly thing, weren’t it?
    Glenda: No, not at all. Archie said I looked like a princess and that’s just how I felt. It certainly made for a memorable wedding night.

    Glenda to her daughter Roxy: Carnations, they were your father’s favourite. That’s what he had as the buttonholes at our wedding - yellow carnations. And he always said he wanted them in his wreath. Personally, I always thought they looked cheap.

    Glenda: I had everything at my wedding, an enormous marquee — you could have fit a circus in there — Pink Floyd cover band, practically everyone I’d ever met.
    Ronnie: And no doubt your carriage was drawn by six white horses.
    Glenda: A 1972 Silver Shadow, actually.

    Frank Butcher: A year before you was born, your mum was pregnant with another baby, only she lost it at twelve weeks.
    Ricky Butcher: I had no idea.
    Frank: No, well, me and your mum couldn't discuss it, it hurt too much — but then you come along. I think that's one of the reasons you've always been my special boy.

    Shirley on Ricky: Did someone drop him on his head as a baby or what?
    Darren Miller: Probably.

    Kathy Beale: I remember Ian's first day at nursery. I was heartbroken.

    Kathy on Ian: He's always been a bit protective of me. He was [competitive with] Pete. Always asking who I loved the most. We were inseparable then.

    Ian on the importance of family: I've had it drummed into me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

    Ian on the fruit and veg stall: I was brought up working it with me dad. I've been taking stock since I was a nipper.

    Melanie Healy: I have this picture of Ian helping his dad out on the stall before he could hardly walk.

    Pauline Fowler to Ian: I lost years carrying you about while your mum and dad was on the stall.

    Alfie on Nana Moon: She looked after me when I was a kid when I really needed her.

    Alfie on Nana Moon: She never failed me once.

    Alfie on Nana Moon: She used to kiss me on each eyelid when I was a kid.

    Alfie: My nana taught me everything I know. Of course, I ignored her.

    Alfie: Nana, do you remember that time when you took me to Ally Pally and I wanted to go to the toilet and you took me to the cafe and I got locked in there? I was really frightened I was going to stay in there all night. People started locking up and I was in there on my own. I was so scared and I was only eight and I could hear all these voices outside and I was calling out your name. And you came striding into the gents and people were trying to stop you, and you come looking for me and you were shouting out my name.

    Hazel Hobbs on Garry: He used to have accidents. I had to give up taking him visiting when he was little because of his accidents because his bladder’s ever so small.

    Garry Hobbs on Hazel: She’s always been trouble, all my life.

    Hazel to Garry: You always had the knack of screwing me up. You’ve got a sewer mind. Even when you was a toddler, I’d have to watch you very careful or you’d have your nappy off.

    Rose Cotton on Andrew: When he was little, he used to run around without any pants. I used to let him — get a nice breeze through his undercarriage.

    Peggy: Phil and Grant had every sort of pet under the sun when they were kids.

    Phil on Grant: When he was a kid, someone ran over his pet rat.

    Dan Sullivan: When I was a kid, I had a little tiny pet rat. Thing is, I got bored of it and ended up drowning it. Cruel that, isn't it?

    Nigel Bates: Pete Egbert tied a hanky round my guinea pig and lobbed him off the viaduct.

    Mehmet Osman: I went to Turkey for my education. That's why I'm the brainy one. Left the family fold and came back a stranger.

    Ali Osman, Mehment’s brother: I was a right little terror when I was a kid. When I was [sixteen], I wanted to be a professional gambler, didn't I? Girl on each arm and a Porsche outside.

    Kevin Wicks: Where did you get all your info from [about] sex, growing up, all the rest of it?
    Max Branning: School, playground, back of the bike sheds.
    Kevin: Same here. It was probably the same for you.
    Phil Mitchell: Yeah.
    Kevin: All that pony you hear off your mates you think’s true like, “If you touch it, a potato will grow out your ear and everybody will know what you’ve been doing.”

    Nigel Bates on the facts of life: My old mum called it — mind you, it was different then, people didn't really talk about it openly like we do now — but my old mum called it "courting".

    Shirley Carter to her mother Sylvie: The first time I come on my period at school, the teacher had to convince me that I wasn’t dying because I didn’t know. You never told me.

    Peggy: You should have heard some of things my two [boys] used to come out with.

    Peggy on Phil and Grant: Terrible, they were. I once caught them melting down their granddad's war medals.
    Grant: We thought they were gold and silver and we'd sell them for a fortune.
    Peggy: Ruined me oven.
    Phil: Granddad weren't too pleased either, was he?

    Nana Moon on her husband's war medals: I had them insured once for a couple of hundred pounds. It's not much, is it, for what my William went through?

    Jim Branning: Geezer I knew had a couple [of war medals] left to him in the war. Put [them in] an auction in the end. He bought a car, didn't he? The only new car he ever had.

    Norman Simmonds: Do you remember that knockdown classic sports car that Frank bought that time?
    Pat: Yeah, turned out to be a ringer.
    Norman: Yeah but then he found a load of jewellery in the glovebox.
    Pat: Worth twice what he paid for the car!
    Norman: Frank always was the lucky one, with money and the ladies.

    Terry Raymond: When I bought my first car, my hand was shaking when I wrote out the cheque. I thought it was so much money - two hundred and fifty pounds.

    Terry: My very first car [was] a Standard Vanguard 1955. I bought it on the strength of my first pay cheque when I started out in the real estate game.
    Paid fifty quid for it. Gave it a respray, steam cleaned the engine, sold it on to a classic car collector for three hundred. That's business. And with that three hundred, I bought a 1966 Ford Anglia 1200. Put on some wide wheels and a fibre glass spoiler, retuned the carburettor, put a hole in the silencer to make it sound throaty. Next thing you know, some boy racer's paying me seven hundred — which led on to a Ford Zodiac, the Triumph 2000 automatic, the Vauxhall Ventura 3.3 litre ...

    Terry: It was the early seventies. I was doing well, getting good money, but it was hard work.

    Grant to Phil on pulling scams: Remember what our old man used to say about doing it on our own doorstep?

    Grant: Do you remember when the old man was away and Mum sent for Granddad because she caught us trying to do the gas metre? We sat there, knowing he was on his way.
    Phil: And when he got there, what was it he said?
    Grant and Phil adopting an Irish accent in unison: "You're neither use nor flaming ornament, the pair of you!"
    Grant: Didn't half give us a good old whack though, didn't he?
    Phil: I got the worst of it.
    Grant: Oh yeah. Well, you were old enough to know better, weren't you? I was just a baby.
    Phil: Yeah, but you was always bigger than me.

    Alfie: Nana was always good at getting the truth out of us. It was like torture. She'd sit you down and she'd get her little peepers on you and say, "Alfie,
    is there anything you want to share with me?" Even I couldn't tell porkies under them conditions.

    Alfie on his cousin Maxwell: He never could keep a secret.

    Grant on himself and Phil: We [were] just a couple of kids trying their luck.

    Phil: I never meant it to go this far.
    Peggy: That's the story of your life, isn't it? Even when you and Grant were kids and I had the police on the doorstep - "It was never meant to go that far".

    Grant on social workers: We had enough of those to last a lifetime when we were kids. They were all for Phil, of course.

    Peggy on her children: My lot used to keep me up all night.

    Eddie Moon to his sons: The minute you lot were born, every single one of you, that’s when the worry started.

    Derek Branning: Michael Moon, born to lose.

    Peggy to Grant: It was always you I was more worried about. I always thought you needed Phil to look out for you.

    Phil: Grant would do anything for a dare as a kid, especially if it involved taking his clothes off. He was always a bit of a nutter.

    Grant: Sometimes I can't cope. I get this rush to my head. I've had it ever since I was a kid. I go mad for a couple of seconds, I get all confused, I hit out, I hurt people.

    Nigel: Phil always used to say that Grant would kill someone one day.

    Anne Howes: Have you always looked after [Grant]?
    Phil: Yeah, sort of.

    Phil: I've spent my whole life running after you, picking up the pieces.
    Grant: Yeah well, I never asked you to.
    Phil: And you never stopped me either, did you? You're happy to have someone clear up the mess. You've never given a toss about me.

    Grant: Me and Phil would get Mum to buy us a tennis racket every summer. We'd play with it for a couple of weeks, then end up batting each other over the head with it.

    Phil: Grant used to have a Doberman he used to take to school.

    Phil on resuscitating a newborn puppy: I saw the old man do it a few times with the greyhounds.

    Nigel: My dad was good at dogs. Ran them, bred them. We always had dogs when we was kids.

    Phil on himself: Saved a dog from being run over once.

    Heather Trott: I always wanted a dog but, you know, they make me sneeze and Mummy said I’d never be able to look after one.

    Billy on Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World: I loved that film when I was little.

    Heather: I never saw films as a kid.

    Billy on Bambi: I cried at that one. Had to be taken home.

    Billy: 1984 [by George Orwell]. We done it in English.

    Honey Mitchell (née Edwards): You’re not thick, Billy.
    Billy: Well, that’s what the other kids at school called me.

    Zainab Masood: Fractions, I was good at those at school.

    Manda Best: “It is the very error of the moon,
    She comes more nearer earth than she was wont
    And makes men mad.”
    Shakespeare. Othello, O Level English. Mrs Haines used to give us a lollipop for every quote we remembered.

    Shirley Carter on Waiting for Godot: It’s a play that they made us do at school — two blokes waiting for another one to turn up.
    Vinnie Monks: And did he?
    Shirley: I think so, yeah. I don’t know. I bunked off the last week.

    Shirley: All kids bunk off now and again. I mean, I did it. Don’t tell me that Carol [Jackson] never had a visit from the wag man.

    Nigel on his toy hare: [I had it] since I was twelve. A family heirloom. It got stolen at my birthday party years ago.

    Paul Trueman to his brother Anthony: What a naughty boy you used to be.

    Audrey Trueman on Paul: Where did that sweet little boy go?

    Patrick Trueman, mid-anecdote: So the wife call out, "That's right - kick down the door!" So what I do? I had no choice - I kick down the door!

    Paul: I was thinking about Dad, all the happy memories I've got when I was little with him. Can't remember a single one with her [Audrey].

    Patrick to Paul: Your mother wasn't an easy woman, you know. For all the pictures of Jesus she had on the wall, man, she had a heart of stone.

    Zoe Slater: How old were you when they [Patrick and Audrey] split up?
    Anthony Trueman: About two, I think.

    Paul: Me and my brother, we were barely out of nappies when our [father] went AWOL.

    Patrick on Audrey: Chucked me out on the street like a dog.

    Paul: You walked out on us because you wanted to.
    Patrick: No, man, no. Nothing in this life is quite so simple, son. It wasn't just me alone, son. That is how Audrey wanted it too.

    Pat Evans, speaking in 2001: How long is it since you've seen these two?
    Patrick: The boys? Thirty years.

    Patrick to Anthony: I left you when you was a baby and it was a terrible thing.

    Patrick to Paul: She [Audrey] could be a hard woman, you know. I mean, she tell me, she say I must keep away from you and Anthony so that all you don't grow up to be like me. So I said to meself, "Just walk away, man. Let Audrey and the boys get on with their life. Don't interfere, don't divide the children's loyalties and maybe in time ..."

    Patrick: I was robbed of me sons.

    Patrick: I should never have left Audrey alone to bring up the both of you.
    Paul: No you shouldn't have. I used to think it was my fault that you left us. Stupid or what? We thought you were dead.
    Patrick: It's nothing you did, son. It was me.

    Patrick: I wasn’t exactly a hands on parent, a casualty of being a seaman I guess.
    Heather: I bet they looked up to their dad though.
    Patrick: I walked out on them, Heather. What was there to look up to?

    Patrick: I was pretty selfish, always looking out for Number One. I was no role model - walking out on the boys. I let Paul down when it counted.

    Milton Hibbert to Patrick: You couldn't wait to see the back of Audrey and the boys, and that's when you thought they were both your sons

    Paul on Patrick: That's why he left us when we were kids, because he knew [he wasn't my father], like I knew, deep down.

    Patrick on Audrey: I left that woman to bring up two young boys on she own. Left she without a care in the world.

    Patrick: I was just a young fool, you know, just out to have a good time.

    Anthony on Patrick: He walked out on my mother when I was just a baby. She’s the one that brought us up. She’s the one that juggled three jobs and still somehow managed to get us to school on time, and where was Patrick? Patrick wasn’t there.

    Patrick on Audrey: I did write to her, but the letters kept coming back unopened. And there was a cheque in every one of them. After a while, I just gave up. She was a good woman, but forgiveness came hard to her.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1973

    Pat: Monopoly, 1973 - a bloke wouldn’t pay his fine for landing on my Park Lane. He was on crutches for a week.

    Big Mo on ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond: I’ve seen Pat, thirty years old, dancing to this. She was going like the clappers. No bloke in the room could take their eyes off her.

    Arthur Fowler, speaking in 1993: Big Ron's been working that stall what, twenty years?
    Tracy, a florist on the market: Longer than that.
    Mark Fowler: He's been there since I was a kid.
    Kathy Beale: He's been there as long as I can remember and that's going back a bit.

    Les Coker on Walt, a market trader on Bridge Street: It was his biggest regret, leaving Walford.

    Den Watts on The Sands of Time, the traditional Albert Square pub crawl: No one's managed it since Charlie Banford in '73 - and he signed the pledge the next day.

    Angie Watts: Den always wanted a big family, but I was never that keen.

    Den on the Queen Vic: We built this pub up from scratch. We were the perfect couple until she started drinking.

    Angie: It could have been different if we'd had kids. They couldn't find anything wrong with either of us. We tried for nearly five years, but nothing.

    Sharon, Den and Angie's daughter: My mum couldn't have kids. Dad bought her things to make up for it.

    Angie: In the end we adopted Sharon.

    Sharon: Den and Ange adopted me, but I was still on my own really.

    Sharon: I've got a hazy memory of my life changing when I was little. I couldn't have been more than three or four, but I remember everything changing almost overnight — places, people, everything. I'd just get used to somewhere and we'd have to move on. I thought it was the same for everyone. Didn't know any different. And then we came here [the Queen Vic] and it's been the only permanent thing in my life since I was born.

    Angie: I always wanted a little girl.

    Sharon on Angie: They got me to keep her quiet.

    Den on adopting Sharon: It was the best thing Ange and I ever did together.

    Sharon: They wanted kids, but they couldn't have any. So my dad sorted it, like he sorted everything.

    Den to Sharon: I remember the first time I saw you, three years old and pretty as a picture, and I picked you up and you clung to me and you wouldn't let me go. I loved you from that moment. It was like a bullet in the brain, the first day of unselfish feelings in my whole life.

    Angie on Sharon: She was four then, but we wanted her and we loved her.

    Sharon: There's these photographs of me when I was about four. I had these little ankle socks and bows in me hair and everything. There's this one when I was about two. I had these right cute little dungaree things on. You wouldn't think it was the same kid to look at.

    Michael Moon on ‘One Day Soon’ by Matt Munro: Your mum and dad’s favourite record.
    Janine Butcher: My dad played this at Ricky’s christening and it just sort of became their thing.

    Angie on Sharon’s christening: Your dad was there and all. One of the few times we ever went anywhere together.

    Den to Sharon: When we first moved in here [the Vic], you weren't as high as that bar. Couldn't see over it.

    Pauline Fowler: I have known Sharon since she was a child.

    Dot Cotton: I have known Sharon since she was a little girl.

    Sharon: I’ve known Dot all me life.

    Sharon: Ian, we’ve known each other all our lives.

    Dot to Sharon: You always was a lovely girl.

    Sharon: I learnt how to run a bar before I could walk.

    Sharon on the Queen Vic: I always used to think I was lucky living here when I was a kid, used to think it was great living in a pub. You know the first thing I noticed? Big boxes of crisps behind the bar. You could take what you liked and no one shouted.
    Michelle Fowler: Except Den.
    Sharon: Yeah, when he wasn't shouting at Ange. I never belonged anywhere till I come here.

    Ian: Growing up round here, getting your hands on the Vic - I mean, that was the big one. My old man used to reckon it would be like winning the pools.

    Sharon on the bust of Queen Victoria displayed in the pub: Me dad bought that. Remember, Pete?
    Pete: Yeah.

    Invoice: From Marty Green
    To Dennis Watts The Queen Victoria Albert Square
    Queen Victoria Bust from mould: £250

    Angie: When you was a kid, we told you adoption means you're special because you're chosen by us.
    Sharon: I used to be so proud of that. I was always telling the other kids.

    Sharon: Mum used to say that they chose me specially from thousands of babies. No wonder I was such a little madam.
    Pat: You didn't feel like you were missing out on anything though, did you?
    Sharon: Not when I had more toys and presents than all the kids in my class put together, no! But more than that, they made me feel wanted — loved and wanted.

    Cora to Ava, her biological daughter: It’s not that I didn’t think about you. It was more I couldn’t allow myself to think about you. Every day, on your birthday, I used to ...

    Kathy to Donna, her biological daughter: Each year on your birthday, I used to wonder what you'd be like now.

    Mr Ludlow, Donna's adoptive father: My wife was always more perceptive about Donna, much as she loved her. I indulged and forgave her and refused to see what was staring me in the face. No matter how hard we tried, we could never give her enough love. I don't think anyone ever could.

    Donna on the Ludlows: I knew, I always knew they weren't my parents.
    Kathy: Donna, they told you. Your parents told you!
    Donna: No, I knew!

    Tanya Cross: Did you know anything [about your biological mother]?
    Ava Hartman: Just a name on a birth certificate, that’s all.

    Kathy on Donna: I used to think of her all the time. I had this picture of her, just a little bundle. I had this idea, perhaps when I was married and that,
    I'd go and try and find her. Not to say, "Here I am," or anything, but just to see her. So I could get away from that tiny bundle.

    Cora on Ava: You wake up trying to picture her face, her smell, someone else feeding her, holding her when she cries.

    Donna: When I was a kid, I used to imagine what Kathy would be like. I used to imagine finding her and how pleased she'd be.

    Sharon on her biological mother: I thought of her as this beautiful princess and I was her love child. Then one day, the wicked goblins came and tricked her into giving me away. She swore that one day she'd find me and reclaim me.

    Ava: All my life, I’ve wanted to know whose eyes were looking back at me.
    Cora: Was it a good life?
    Ava: The best.
    Cora: Your mum and dad?
    Ava: Best parents I could have asked for. Didn’t have it easy, mind. Try telling all the kids why you’ve got two white parents. I don’t think the hairdressers in Surbiton knew what to do with an afro. We muddled through, though.

    Cora: When did you learn to sew?
    Ava: I’ve been doing it all my life, as long as I can remember.
    Cora: Learn it at school, did you?
    Ava: No, my mum taught me.

    Sharon: Dad put up Flintstones wallpaper for me. Gave me nightmares for a month before he took it down.

    Kat Slater: My mum had really bad taste in wallpaper.

    Sharon: When I couldn't sleep, my mum used to come in here [the Queen Vic kitchen] and make me a cup of warm milk with a little bit of sugar in it. Worked every time.

    Andy Hunter on sleeping remedies: Whisky and honey worked wonders for me as a kid.

    Sharon: I used to come downstairs and nick the crisps while they were fast asleep.

    Den: We used to put Sharon to bed, lock them doors and we used to sit [in the Queen Vic bar], just the two of us, and talk.
    Angie: They were good days.

    Den on Angie: When we got married, I didn't deliberately say, "I'm gonna make this girl's life hell." And when we adopted Sharon, I didn't set out to destroy her life. It just sort of crept up on us. The bubble burst, the dream faded.

    Sharon describing herself: The adopted kid, there to patch up a marriage that was dead long before I arrived.
    Pauline: They loved you.

    Sharon describing herself: Some charity case who never knew where I was from or what I did that was so bad that my own mum and dad didn't want me.

    Mark Fowler to Sharon: Den would have done anything for you. He didn't care where you came from or what complicated mess brought you here.

    Den on parenting: I've done my bit when Angie's been lying flat out on the sofa with an empty gin bottle. I've had to.

    Sharon on her childhood: All the happy memories of lullabies and Winnie the Pooh? The only lullaby Mum ever sang was Roll Me Over at chucking out time. As for Dad, he'd have nicked the honey before Pooh Bear got a look in.

    Sharon: Funny sort of childhood — sitting upstairs watching telly while me mum and dad got on with it downstairs. Nobody's got any real time for you. Wasn't all that bad though. I used to watch me mum putting on her warpaint for evening sessions and listen to me dad doing his dodgy deals. Of course, I never understood what was going on, but I knew it made him happy. And if he was happy, I got a present.

    Charlie Slater: In the cab I used to handle so much cash, at the end of a shift, me hands smelt of all old notes — sickly. Viv used to make me wash them when I came home. I hated that smell.

    Kat: Dad never brought his work home with him.

    Kat: I used to walk around in Mum's high heels when I was three.

    Heather Trott: I used to leave me dad these drawings on his pillow when I was little. I used to follow him round the garden, him whistling and smoking his fags and me eating all his mints and us playing schools.

    Louise Raymond: I remember getting ready with me girlfriends to go out for the night. Everything was possible then.

    Andrea Price: I was never a home bird. It was always the highlife I was after.

    Louise: I was good at school, you know. I could have had a career.

    Terry Raymond on Louise: She used to be a looker. She knew she was, too. That was part of the trouble. With her looks, I wasn't exactly her first, let's put it that way. Not by a long chalk.

    Ollie Kingston on Louise: Was she working before the two of you got married?
    Terry: Secretary.
    Ollie: She gave up a career to raise your children.
    Terry: Well, I never forced her. If I'd had a womb, I'd have done it meself.

    Louise: When we first got married, me and [Terry] had a flat over an off licence. He didn't drink very much in those days. He was lovely. Everything was different then. We didn't really have very much, but I loved that flat. It was home. We'd rush to back to it every night after work, lock all the doors. We didn't need anybody else.

    Terry on Louise: Very good in bed as well.

    Louise on her ideal relationship: Someone to take care of things, tell me everything's going to be all right. I had it once — the good years with [Terry]. Paid the price in the end.

    Terry on Louise: I suspected from the start she was carrying on. Trouble was, it wasn't always the same fella and this one particular day, I come home, I open the door and I see this strange pair of shoes in the hall ...

    Ronnie Mitchell on her father Archie: The whole of their marriage, he was up to his neck in affairs.
    Peggy Mitchell: He was never like that.
    Ronnie: The Archie you knew was the Archie he wanted you to know. Behind closed doors, that man was a monster.
    Peggy: No, he was a diamond and he was so kind to me.
    Ronnie: Yeah well, he fooled you then, didn’t he? Just like he fooled my mum.

    Ronnie on Glenda and Archie: Do you want to know what he did when she found up what he was up to [with other women]? He rubbed her face in it. Didn’t give a monkey’s about how she felt.

    Peggy: Archie loved you.
    Glenda Mitchell: Yeah he did, but not the way he loved you. His feelings for you cast a shadow over our whole marriage. It was as if he was trying to
    punish me for his mistake.
    Peggy: I never knew.
    Glenda: You had your own problems. You married the wrong person too.
    Peggy: It seems like we both suffered in our own way.

    Dot: I knew a Valerie Rickman. She lived in Victoria Road. Flighty fish she was. She had a couple of daughters.

    Pauline: I knew of the Rickmans. I think the father was a cabby. Dog rough they were and all. [Arthur] knew them better.

    Dot: Angie, she was a very good friend of the [Rickman] family. Till she realised that Den was getting a bit too friendly too.

    Den on Paula Rickman: [She was] my mate's daughter.

    Sam Mitchell to Dennis Rickman: Den Watts had a knee-trembler with your mum [Paula]. The result is you.

    Dennis Rickman: Dad wanted Mum to get rid of me. She didn't.

    Dennis, speaking in 2003: You don't much remember my mother, do you?
    Den: Of course I do.
    Dennis: What was she like then?
    Den: Blonde girl.
    Dennis, holding up a picture of a brunette: She look blonde to you?
    Den: You remember every girl you had? You remember their names, their faces? You hang around long enough afterwards to find out if they were pregnant?
    Dennis: So my mother, what was she to you then, apart from being your mate's daughter?
    Den: She was a very pretty girl.
    Dennis: Much good it did her.
    Den: Look, I was a young bloke, full of it. It was about having a laugh in those days - getting your leg over, closing the door with the left; don't look back, move onto the next one. What happened afterwards was usually the girl's business or that's what you told yourself. I never thought about the consequences - you know, your mum. Didn't exactly do my thinking with my brains back then.

    Vicki Fowler: Do you know what happened to [the Rickmans]?
    Dot: Moved on, I suppose.
    Vicki: To?
    Dot: I ain't got the foggiest.

    Carol Jackson: When I was [young], I really liked this bloke. He was my best friend's older brother. I was eleven and he was engaged to Jenny Simpson.
    Sonia Jackson: Did you ever get over him?
    Carol: Yeah. In a couple of weeks, I couldn't work out what I'd ever seen in him.

    Dot on Nick: He’s been apart from God ever since he was a teenager.

    Dot: I always had a soft spot for little Mark Fowler.

    Nick Cotton to Mark: You always were the golden boy.

    Pauline: All mine could write their names before they started school.

    Mark to Pauline: When I was little, I remember being terrified going off to school. You'd wrap me up in this scarf, tell me to be brave, tell me that you'd be thinking about me all day. I wasn't scared anymore.

    Michelle Fowler on Mark: He always was a closed book. None of us ever really knew what he was thinking.

    Pauline on Mark: When he was little, he wouldn't tell you anything - if he'd done something good or he was in trouble at school. You had to ask him. You had to know his looks and his moods, and then you had to ask him.

    Arthur on Mark: [Pauline was] always listening to him when really what he needed was a clip round the ear.

    Ruth Fowler: Did you ever get hit when you were a kid?
    Mark: I got shouted at plenty and when I went too far, I got a clip round the ear like all kids do.

    David Wicks on Pat: A clip round the ear — that was her usual welcome back for the prodigal son.

    Charlie Slater: Did I really used to hit you?
    Kat: Hardly ever. I probably had it coming anyway.

    Pete: When Ian was a nipper, I used to shout at him, even give him a smack once or twice, but I always felt guilty.

    Ian: My dad was never violent.
    Phil: Mine was. And an alcoholic.

    Arthur: You haven't [stolen from your family], have you?
    Mark: Not since I was a nipper.
    Arthur: I gave you a good hiding for it.

    Pauline on Mark: You know how adventurous he always was. Remember when he was five and we took him to the fair?
    Arthur: Cato Road, where they used to have the funfair on Bank Holidays. We took Mark and Chelle down there. Chelle was still in her nappies.
    Pauline: It was a long, long way away, but [Mark] managed to find his way back. If it hadn't been for Ethel falling over coming out the palm reader's tent, he'd have been there yet.
    Arthur: I won that vase, horrible thing it was, but your mum liked it.

    Sharon on a keepsake: Dad won it for me at the fair when I was a kid.

    Eddie Moon: I haven’t had a go on [a Test Your Own Strength machine] for years.

    Ethel Skinner: Me and Lou used to enjoy them Dodgems.

    Frank Butcher: I did see The Tattooed Lady at the end of Brighton Pier once. She had some very unusual pictures.

    Pat on a bracelet: Frank bought it for me in this little jewellery shop just off Brighton Pier. Do you know, he even haggled the bloke down a bit. This cost [him] a fiver. It’s silver plate.

    Jean Slater: I love Brighton. We used to go there as kids.

    Jean: Those foreign fairytales used to scare me. There was never a happy ending, was there?

    Nigel Bates: I've only ever smoked one cigarette all the way down. Grant Mitchell gave me one in the boys' toilets at school. I was sick. For the first time in my life, I was in the right place at the right time.

    Shirley Carter on drugs: Don’t tell me you’ve never dabbled, Phil.
    Phil Mitchell: Well, if you call smoking dried-up banana skins outside the khazi with Grant and Nigel dabbling, then yeah, I’ve dabbled.

    Grant Mitchell: Last time you had an idea, we were in the third year and I ended up doing three weeks' detention.
    Nigel: Come on, that weren't my fault. How was I to know she was going to walk under the window?

    Nigel: Some of my teachers used to stand me in the corner. I used to like it. It was better than sitting next to Stinky McKinley, the boy who never washed.

    Heather Trott: When I was a kid, until someone told me, I didn’t know [I had BO]. Well, Mummy knew but she enjoyed not telling me.

    Heather: All those girls at school, they used to say I’d end up on my own, stinking of cats in some high rise.

    Heather: Mummy always said I’d end up in a high rise living with a load of cats.

    Heather: All my life, I’ve had people telling me what I can’t do. You know — can’t wear a dress, can’t be a vet, can’t go ice skating. My whole life’s been one long list of can’ts.

    Heather: Pig’s Trotters — that’s what they used to call me, the other girls. They’d push me in the showers in my gym kit because I didn’t want to get changed in front of them. They stole my knickers once and hung them from the basketball net. They said they were big enough to be the school flag.
    Shirley: When them bullies had a go at you, what did you do?
    Heather: Skipped school, hid in the boiler room.

    Heather: I’ve known bullies all my life and all my life, I’ve let them win and I’ve backed down. That’s because I’ve never had anything worth fighting for.

    Heather: I tried to run away once. Got to the end of the road, got hungry, then turned back again.

    Kim Fox on Denise: She [said she was leaving home] when we were kids. Then three hours later, we found her hiding under the stairs in a wet pair of knickers.

    Ben Mitchell: What made you want to run away?
    Heather: Other kids. They can be cruel.
    Ben: How did you make them stop bullying you?
    Heather: I didn’t. They did stop eventually - you know, once they got bored of me and moved onto somebody else. But I found a way of getting through it, found a way of shutting it all out. One of the girls who bullied me, she ended up in prison and the other one, she had five kids by five different men. They all ended up in care.

    Nigel: There was hardly a day went by when I wasn't getting bullied by someone. When I started to think about the kids who bullied me, I realised it was always the ones who didn't trust anyone. They always had to control things.

    Phil: Nigel was a bit of a useless lump when it come to having a ruck. Then one day, Nigel had this fight with this kid that had been picking on him for days. Anyone else would have given him a slap and that would have been that. Grant even offered to do it for him, but Nigel insisted on doing it himself and acting the hard man. Well, this kid came up to Nigel at the bus stop — you should have seen Nigel. He was quaking in his boots. He even shut his eyes.
    Shirley: Oh don’t tell me — he didn’t stand up for himself so he got a good pasting?
    Phil: No. He shoved the other kid in front of the bus. We couldn’t believe it but that’s what he did — panicked, went right over the top. Luckily the bus driver had his eyes open, slammed on the brakes and managed to stop the bus in time but that’s what he did — panicked, overreacted and went right over the top.

    Nigel: I used to try and kid my mum I was sick. Once I got her lipstick to make it look like I had measles, to get her worried. Well, when she saw me sitting in front of the mirror with her make up, she was worried.

    Grant on Nigel: When we were kids, he was always a bit of a loser. No one ever thought he'd amount to anything, himself included.

    Phil: I’d have killed to do something like this [football training camp] when I was [eleven].

    Alfie Moon: Bobby Moore, the greatest, most capped player that has ever lived.
    Tyler Moon: Nothing to do with the fact that he’s West Ham then?

    Minty Peterson: When you're a kid, nice is the last thing you want to be. You want to be hard, you want to be mean, you want to be cruel even. It's the sort of thing that gives you the edge, that makes you "the man" — but you are what you are, ain't you? Whether you like it or not.

    Cora: Christmas was all right till it started happening once a fortnight.

    Kathy: I only started to like Christmas after I'd married Pete and then Ian was born. All seem to make sense then. You know, all that stuff about the season of good cheer and good will.

    Pauline to Michelle: We used to take you and Mark every Christmas up the West End to see Santa.

    Ian: Me dad [took] me to see Santa. Ended up getting a clip round the ear. I wouldn't sit on Santa's knee. I got scared, I think, and the old man lost his
    patience with me. I couldn't have been more than four years old.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  19. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,896
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    1974

    Pat on New Year’s Day: I never liked it very much — resolutions you’d never keep.

    Arthur Fowler, recalling a power cut: It was just after New Year. Mark and Michelle were [under seven years old]. Your mum was over the Vic with Ethel. We were watching Morecambe & Wise, and then voomp! It went black. Didn't half shake us. And Mark started crying his eyes out.
    Pauline Fowler: Tommy Cooper. It was Tommy Cooper on the telly.
    Arthur: Oh yeah. Mark wouldn't stop crying. He was terrified, absolutely terrified.
    Pauline: And then Michelle went and gave him a hug. She put her chubby little arms round his neck, hugged him, and he stopped, just like that. Just put everything right with a hug.

    Mark Fowler to Pauline: You taught me to play [cards], remember? The power cuts, and all those endless nights in front of the telly when we couldn't watch it.

    Phil Mitchell to Grant: I’ve always been better at cards than you.

    Terry Raymond: Do you remember the miners' strike? Our electric was out for weeks. Louise was pregnant. She had to stay in bed all day just to keep warm and you know what I used to do? Go down the pub. I was a rubbish father from beginning to end.

    Babe Smith: Sylvie and Stan, they had problems. When Tina was born, things got better. He stopped drinking so much and lashing out.
    Stan: You’re making me sound like a monster.
    Babe: Are you going to deny you ever raised your hand to my sister? Are you? May God strike you dead if you do.

    Tina Carter on Stan: If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t exist.

    Stan to Tina: I tried, Teen. Tried to be a good husband, good dad.

    Shirley on Stan: He don’t need any of us. He never has.

    Sylvie Carter: Shirl, I’ve told you before, it’s rude to point.

    Shirley to Sylvie: The times you used to hit me.

    Shirley on Sylvie: She’s always been sick in the head.

    Babe to Shirley: I know you think there weren’t good times, but I remember a few — when I was on leave from the navy, you, me and your mum having a giggle.
    Shirley: No, I don’t remember.

    Babe: I was away at sea a lot.

    Babe to Fiona “Tosh” Mackintosh: Knew lots of women like you in the merchant navy — hard as nails, never take back anything they’ve said, lonely.

    Linda Carter, speaking in 2014: Forty years my mum’s run a pub.

    Big Mo, speaking in 2011: A grand, just for winning a pub quiz? In the old days you’d have to bump someone off to earn that kind of dough.


    Johnny Allen: I've done some bad things in my time, some very bad things.

    2006 Walford Gazette headline about Johnny Allen: “I CONFESS - NIGHTCLUB BOSS CONFESSES TO STRING OF GANGLAND MURDERS ... Ronnie Adlington KILLED IN WAREHOUSE.”

    Kenny Beale on the Walford Towers estate: This [used to be] all warehouses. When did they put this lot up?
    Pete: 1974, I think.

    Carol Jackson: I've lived on estates all my life.

    Carol: See over that wall over there? That’s where our old house used to be till they knocked it down years ago. It was an old prefab.

    Arthur: I can remember people saying that Jerry did us a favour blasting all the back to backs, saying they'd have to build us somewhere decent to live now, and look what they got - tower blocks.
    Phil: My old man ended up in one of them, poor old beggar.
    Arthur: Slums on stilts. Doesn't mean to say you're living in Heaven though, does it?

    Peggy Mitchell to Phil: Your dad always wanted [a house with] a snooker table, a drinks bar. He'd have loved that, sad old sod. He'd have thought he'd have made it then.

    Alfie Moon: Proper little boy scout, me. Twice crowned Bob-a-job King.

    Alfie: Just before my tenth birthday, I'll never forget it, I cried myself to sleep. Everyone was going on about it - "Oi Alfie, you're gonna be ten! Double figures!" I could feel my childhood just slipping away. I thought to myself that night, "Well Alfie, no more single figures for you, pal."

    Alfie: Sold me first motor at ten and I never looked back.
    Max Branning: What — too busy running from the bloke you sold it to, were you?

    Maxwell Moon to Alfie: You were always sending me out to the offy to get [cider] when we were kids.

    Mick Carter, Stan’s grandson: The only reason he had kids is so he had someone to send round to the shop for his fags.

    Phil: I used to love [cherryade] when I was a kid. Me and Grant used to go round the back off the offy, nick the empties, go back round the front again and get the deposit back on them. I haven't had any since I was about fourteen.

    Rose Cotton: I’ve not bought myself a drink since 1974 — flash a bit of leg, open a button.

    Rose on her black negligee: That’s kept me warm on many a cold night.

    Rose on the reason she changed her name to Beauchamp: It was a man, as usual, in Liverpool. It wasn’t a good relationship, Dot. It was ...
    Dot: Adulterous?
    Rose: Violent. He hurt me, Dot. I had to do what I do to get away so he couldn’t find me. I had to change my name, change my identity, whatever it took. I need someone to take care of me. I always have.

    Pauline to Arthur: I've been thinking [about] the school concert for parents when Mark had to sing "Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird." He thought that was funny. "I thought it was only budgies and parrots that spoke, Mum." How old was he, six? And the night before the concert, he got himself in such a state. He woke me up and I had to give him a big cuddle and stroke the back of his hair. He liked that. Then the night of the concert, and we're sat there in the school hall and you took my hand, the piano started and nothing happened. Then you caught Mark's eye and you mouthed the first words to him, "Morning has broken." You knew all the words. It did the trick. He sang it all the way through, never missed a note.

    Shirley on Minty Peterson: How many O levels does he have?
    Heather Trott: None.

    Pat: How long you and Shirley been mates then?
    Heather: Since we was kids.

    Shirley on Heather: She’s been a real good mate to me.

    Shirley to Heather: You’re just some stray I found hanging outside the flat one night. One plate of food and I was stuck with you.

    Queenie Trott to Heather: [Shirley]’s used you since the moment you met.

    Shirley on Heather: She was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Andrew Cotton to Shirley: You kept [Heather] down all her life, just so you could feel better about yourself.

    Shirley on Heather: I was drying her tears when her bully of a mother was calling her a pig.

    Heather to Shirley: All my life, I’ve had people telling me what to do — you, Mummy.

    Heather: I used to look in the catalogues when I was a kid to see what [engagement] ring I’d choose. Mummy would laugh at me. “No man’s ever going to marry you, Pig.”

    Heather: I’ve not even been a bridesmaid.

    Dot, speaking in 2011: How many times you’ve been bridesmaid now?
    Heather: This will be my fifth.

    Heather: The moment I waited for all my life — husband on the way home, roast dinner waiting for him on the table.


    Carol: I had this fantasy when I was twelve years old. I had it all worked out — country churchyard, man in tails, me all in white with half a dozen bridesmaids, all dead jealous, me dad walking me down the aisle to give me away - oh, and my picture on the cover of Bride Magazine.

    Carol: I’ve never been one for the limelight. I’ve always been the same. I’ve always hated any fuss.

    Carol: When I was [twelve], I was always falling out with me mates and making up again.

    April Branning: We had some good times, didn't we, eh?
    Carol: Yeah.

    April: Forget about the sixties, the seventies was the time to be young. I was mad about the Bay City Rollers. My room was a shrine to Eric.

    Julie Perkins: We were all into Bay City Rollers. That’s how I first got into tartan.

    Nigel Bates: As far as I'm concerned, the Bay City Rollers are the seventies. The seventies was my time. I loved it - Jackson 5, Olivia Neutron-Bomb, Brotherhood of Man.

    Jean Slater: Cliff Richard and ...
    Ted Hope: Olivia Newton-John.
    Jean: Yes, that’s it. Saturday teatimes!
    Ted: Before she was famous.
    Jean: Oh, he was so handsome.
    Ted: She was so pretty.

    Heather: George Best, he was gorgeous.

    Patrick Trueman: I'm a ‘70s man myself — Isaac Hayes, Barry White.

    Paul Trueman on his brother Anthony: Always did have bad taste in music.

    Sharon Watts: Mum was bonkers about Scott Walker. She had all his records. [He] used to be on all the time when I was a kid.

    Ricky Butcher on Jim Reeves: My nan used to listen to him.

    Roxy Mitchell on Otis Redding: My mum worshipped him. Every day on the anniversary of the [plane] crash [in which he was killed], she would play Otis all day long. It was like a religion.

    Jim Branning on a "Reggae's Golden Greats" LP: My Carol had that when she was a teenager. That's got Bob Marley on it. [Sings:] "No woman no cry, No woman no cry ..." I'm not one of his greatest fans like, but some of it's a bit catchy.

    Charlie Slater on the family record collection: [Viv] bought most of these.

    Charlie: My Viv used to be a good mover, but I couldn't keep up with her of course.

    Aunt Sal: My Harold used to be a dab hand at darts. Him and the kids used to play for hours against the kitchen door. Had to put an end to it when he put one through his cousin’s cheek.

    Jean: Brian used to play darts. Never taught me.

    Cora Cross: I taught Phil Taylor everything he knows.

    Pauline: Pat used to throw a fair arrow.

    Pat: I was captain of a darts team once — years ago mind, when platforms were in the first time round.

    Peggy on 1970s fashions: Did we honestly used to wear stuff like this?
    Jim: I didn't.
    Mark: I did and I nearly got arrested!

    Nigel on 1970s fashions: It was our generation who invented it. It was our idea. We had to test run the stacked heels and suffer sprained ankles. We lived it, man. We suffered.

    Billy Mitchell: I’ve always wanted [a lava lamp].

    Billy: 1974, fell down a gully. Well, my mate Julie pushed me down a gully. Smashed right into the side of this old Anderson shelter. It was totally overgrown. I mean you’d never know it was there. Anyway we made a little camp out of it. You know, kitted it out with bits and bobs, the way kids do. A lampshade — no light, just the shade — a couple of comfy chairs, and we kept it to ourselves, me and Julie. Our little cave.
    Alfie: Sounds nice.
    Billy: It weren’t really.

    Billy on panic attacks: I used to get them a lot when I was younger. My mate Julie used to talk to me. She was the only person that could calm me down.

    Julie Perkins, speaking about Billy in 2010: Still the same old self-pity, still the same old Skid Mark, still the same old Billy.

    Julie to Billy. I’m the one that liked you the way you were.

    Julie to Billy: Even I could beat you up when we were kids in the children’s home, Skids.

    Billy on the children’s home: Weren’t all bad.

    Billy to Julie: We survived back then because we were a team.

    Julie on herself and Billy: We didn’t have any parents but we had each other.

    Billy to Julie: We used to have spirit before we had it drummed into us that we’d never amount to anything.

    Billy: There was lots of running about — in and out of shops, up and down in the lifts all day, like a big wild pack we was — and days when the sun was
    shining.
    Julie: That Evening Standard bloke who used to stop for a fry up on the Dock Road, do you remember?
    Billy: Pushed his van over.
    Julie: We’d nick his newspapers and sell them on to the ship workers.
    Billy: “Hot off the press!"

    Billy: Proper little tearaway, I was.

    Julie on being fifteen: I needed a firm hand. I didn’t get one though, did I?

    Billy, looking at an old photograph taken at Hope Manor Children’s Home: Don’t we look smart?
    Julie: Yeah. That’s the day the inspectors were coming, that’s why. Look at you, the only one not looking at the camera, and there’s me, hiding at the back as usual, wishing I wasn’t there. And there’s Gillian — Gillian Hodge, Graham Ash, Danny Bilson. He’s dead now. Long time ago. There’s Nancy Stewart.
    Billy: I used to fancy her something rotten. She was halfway to being a junkie.

    Billy, looking at another picture: That is me — an old photo from the home.
    Jay Brown: You was a handsome little bleeder, weren’t you? Who’s that [in the photo] - your mate?
    Billy: Well I thought he was, but I nicked his milk one day so he broke me nose.

    Billy, mid-discussion: I’m telling you we never had a party at the home, never.
    Julie: Yes, we did. Do you remember Rita Nesbitt? She brought in some vodka and we locked that little kid with callipers in the storeroom all night. Remember?
    Billy: Oh yeah - except it wasn’t Calliper Charlie you locked in the storeroom all night, was it?
    Julie: I’m sorry, Skid Mark!

    Billy: It was the nights. Monsters don’t have fangs — they come at you with smiles, look like your best mate, and then they turn and you want to hate them and that’s the worst thing because you can’t even do that properly because deep down, even when they’re beating you to a pulp, even then, you still want them to like you.

    Henry Mason, carer in the children’s home: Always liked you, Mitchell.

    DS Mulligan: Did you know Henry Mason?
    Billy: Yeah. People knew what he was up to. They just turned a blind eye.

    Julie on Henry Mason: He was never violent with me and he never deliberately set out to humiliate you like Kite would, for instance. That man was evil.
    Billy: Or Stovey.

    Julie to Billy: Do you remember when we were younger, me and you — back of that shop?

    Julie: Henry Mason, I did have a thing with him. I was a slag.
    Billy: You weren’t a slag.
    Julie: Oh come on, Billy. It was only thing I had to trade. None of us were angels.
    Billy: Julie, you was fourteen years old. That’s statutory rape.
    Julie: But he wasn’t the one who got me pregnant. He always used something. The only time round then when I didn’t was with you, Billy.

    Henry Mason on Julie: Bit of a troublemaker as I recall. No wonder she got herself knocked up.

    Billy: Why didn’t you tell me that I was the father?
    Julie: Because I was frightened of what they might do to you.

    Billy to Julie: You was already showing by the time that you left.

    Billy: Mason said that you’d gone to stay with some distant aunt or something.
    Julie: He lied. He sent me to a home up north. “Somewhere nicer to have the baby,” they said. A really nice place — all the other kids called me the
    cockney tart.

    Dot: I’ve always maintained you go north of Watford at your peril.

    Billy: When I was [fifteen], growing up in all them homes, being shifted — three months here, six months there — I remember I swore to meself that if I ever had kids I’d wrap them up so tight so nothing could touch them.

    Archie Mitchell: I always wanted kids and a family. It came naturally to me.

    Glenda Mitchell on children: They spend nine months inside you, all safe and part of you, and then someone cuts the cord and snip — it’s out of your
    hands. But they’re still tied to you, aren’t they, in here [the heart]? No one can cut the bond between a mum and her baby.

    Veronica “Ronnie” Mitchell, date and place of birth: 07 Jul 74, Harold Wood.

    Glenda to her daughters, Ronnie and Roxy: I was the first person to hold you and I was first person to love you.

    Roxy Mitchell to Ronnie: You were born to be a mum.

    Roxy to Glenda: You threw [Ronnie] to the wolves the minute she was born.

    Roxy to Ronnie: Your whole life has been a punishment.

    Archie: Veronica was always so special. I know dads always say that about their daughters, but right from the day she was born I watched her, fascinated. You could never work out what she was thinking, but I tried and sometimes I tried too hard. I was my own worst enemy and in the end I was her worst enemy.

    Archie to Ronnie: I love you. I always did.

    Archie: Ronnie always was a handful.

    Archie: Ronnie’s always had a mind of her own. I don’t know where she gets it from.

    Archie to his younger daughter Roxy: It might be a few years since I’ve rocked a baby to sleep, but your mother always said I had the magic touch.

    Peggy: There was a time when me and Eric, well, we were going through a really bad patch. The love was still there, but it was hidden by the day to day grind of living with someone else. There was the usual stuff — bills mounting up, boys playing up at school. Eric drank, I nagged. Then he went to the pub and I nagged him again when he came home. We'd forgotten who we were, why we were together. Couldn't see the wood from the trees and, well, if we'd carried on like that, one of us would have left.
    Lisa Shaw: So what changed?
    Peggy: I got pregnant. I had Sam. Eric [didn't want another child] so I didn't tell him what I had in mind. By the time Eric found out I was pregnant, it
    was too late.

    Dennis Rickman Born 28th August 1974

    Dennis Rickman to Den: My mum had your kid. Had me at seventeen. She regretted not getting rid though, or so she told me often enough.

    Sharon: Dad had a son we never knew about.

    Dennis: So you didn't know about me?
    Den Watts: Never heard about you.
    Dennis: [The affair] must have meant more to her than it did to you. Serves her right for getting starry-eyed.
    Den: Well, she was very young.
    Dennis: Yes she was.
    Den: But she'd got your gran and granddad.
    Dennis: What — your mates? They didn't want to have anything to do with it. Kicked her out.

    Den to Dennis: I wouldn't have been any good for you. Even if I'd known about you, I wouldn't have been any good for you.

    Angie Watts: Do you remember when you were trying to sell the Morris?
    Den: How old was Sharon then?
    Angie: Four or five. Five.
    Den: Bloke was just reaching into his pocket for the dough ...
    Angie: And then she said, "Daddy, I'm so glad you're selling that car because it keeps breaking down."
    Den: I've never seen a bloke put his money away so fast.

    Sharon: I grew up on lies and dodgy geezers whispering in corners. I watched Mum being lied to for more years than I can remember.

    Stan Carter: Lies break families. Mine did.

    Sharon on Den: He brought me up. He looked after me. He made me feel safe.
    Dennis: What — his little princess? So he could dress you up like a toy doll or something?

    Sharon to Michelle: Do you remember them clothes Angie used to put me in? Everything was always lacy, all frilly and that. I must have looked like a right tart. I think she used to dress me how she'd want to look.

    Pauline on Sharon: Only seems like yesterday Ange was taking her off to her first day at school.

    Ian on Walford Primary School: It's not that bad a school. I went there.

    Ian: I remember my first day at school — shirt was all pressed nice. I looked at myself and thought, “Yeah, I’m the man,” in me little tie. I walked through those gates and I thought, “Do you know what? By the end of the day …”

    Sharon: I remember the first school uniform I ever had. [Angie] took my skirt up three inches. Everyone else had a skirt just below the knee and a white shirt, and there was me with a skirt halfway up me leg and one of them blouses with the frills down the front.

    Sharon: I had plaits. Thought I was the business.

    Sharon: The first time a boy gave me a ring, he said, "I'll love you forever." I was five, he was six and the ring came out of a Christmas cracker. I thought he meant it though. I held onto that ring for months after him and his mum had moved away. Anyway, Dad got fed up of me moping around and shoved the ring in the bin. "It's about time you learned, nothing lasts forever."

    Pat Wicks: I am what I am, Simon. I've never pretended otherwise. I've got a temper, but by God I've used it fighting for you.

    Pat: I never got any complaints at the old Duke's Head. It was working there paid for [Simon's] piano.

    Pat to Simon: Who made you practice the piano and paid for it, bought you your first keyboards? Who went without for your piano lessons, new clothes, shoes?

    Pat on Simon: When he was nine, he won the piano prize up at the school. I cried buckets watching him.

    Kevin Wicks: All I ever got at school was, “Kevin should try harder.”

    Pat to Simon: Anything you've ever asked of me, I've got it for you somehow. You name it, you wanted it. It never stopped. Same with your brother and he's no more grateful than you are.

    Cora Cross: My wedding day, I was off my head before I even got in the cab. No fancy cars for me. Mini-cab there, bus back. Belly out here, seven months pregnant. It was the social event of the year.

    Cora: I smoked and drank all through my pregnancies. Didn’t affect my girls.

    Michelle Fowler on writing to Father Christmas: Gran used to say it was rude to ask Santa for presents. She said the polite thing to do was wish him a Happy Christmas and hope he'd pop in for a mince pie on Christmas Eve. Gran used to sit me, Mark and Ian down and we all used to write thank-you letters to him afterwards.

    Mark: Do you remember when we were kids, Gran telling us not to ask for presents at Christmas because it meant that we wouldn't get them? I'm sure she did it just to shut me up. I remember going round for weeks saying to meself, "I don't want football boots, I don't want football boots." And it was football boots that I wanted more than anything else in the world.
    Michelle: Did you get your football boots?
    Mark: Actually, now you come to mention it, no I didn't.

    Arthur: I always used to do Mark and Michelle's [Christmas stockings].

    Mark: When I was a kid, all I got was an apple, an orange and a gun.

    Pauline to Michelle: You and Mark, you always used to have a wish on the Christmas pudding.

    Carol on her mother’s Christmas pudding: When we were little, we used to stir it and make a wish. She used to put money in it for luck, but one year, Max nearly choked on a 5p so she never bothered again. She used to love Christmas.

    Pauline: Two days before Christmas, you went and found all your presents before they were wrapped.
    Mark: You told me that Santa was too busy to visit all the boys and girls on Christmas Eve so he stuffed my presents in the airing cupboard. I don't think I quite believed you somehow.

    Arthur to Michelle: I got you this [doll's pram] last thing on Christmas Eve. Shops stayed open then. I was a bit tiddly and I left it on the bus. I had to run after it. And when I got it home, your gran said, "That's no good. It's got no covers." And her and your mum stayed up half the night sewing.
    Michelle: It was the best one in the Square. How old was I?
    Arthur: You must have been five because you insisted on taking it to school.

    Arthur to Mark: My dad used to tell me that if you went into a farm on Christmas Eve, you'd see all the animals kneeling down saying their prayers, just like they did on the first Christmas when Baby Jesus was born. I used to tell you that story.
    Mark: You were still doing it when I was sixteen and I brought my first girlfriend round for tea on Boxing Day.
    Arthur: Don't be daft!

    Arthur: It used to snow every year.
    Michelle: No, of course it didn't.
    Arthur: I'm telling you, we had a white Christmas every year. That was before the holes in the ozone layer and that greenhouse thingy. It always used to snow.
    Michelle: Yeah, yeah, the summer's were hotter!
    Arthur: Yes, they were.
    Michelle: No, you just want to remember it like that.

    Pauline: Christmas was always such a happy time — children up at first light wanting to open their presents, Pete and Kath dropping by with Ian, Mum sat in her chair there, wearing a paper hat and snoring her head off all through the Queen’s speech. There was children everywhere, and noise.

    Dot Branning, speaking in 2007: I haven’t missed one of [the Queen’s] speeches for over fifty years.

    Den on the Queen Vic Christmas decorations: We got them from the last governors.

    Den to Sharon: Watching my daughter open her [Christmas] presents — always gave me a buzz, that — the little smile on your chops when you opened up your packages. Remember that walky-talky doll I give you? Nearly as big as you, wasn't it?
    Sharon: Head fell off by teatime, didn't it?

    Carol to Max: When you were a child and something bad happened, you’d go all moody and go into yourself. Do you remember that toy army truck you got for Christmas one year when you were about five? You played with it so much, all its wheels fell off. You were so angry that you broke it, you threw it in the bin and you wouldn’t speak to anybody. I sneaked into Dad’s shed and I went through his toolbox and I managed to mend it. He knew that I’d been in there and he went mad at me, but I didn’t care because the look on your face when you saw that I’d fixed it was worth it.

    Den on Phil Mitchell: I was dealing with his sort while you [Sharon] were still playing with your dollies.
     
  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1975

    Dot Cotton, speaking in 2007: I’ll have you know, I’ve been keeping the garments of Albert Square clean for over thirty years.

    Pauline Fowler, speaking in 2003: How many years have you worked [at the launderette], Dot?
    Dot: Twenty-eight, on and off. Advert in the window said "Temporary vacancy."

    Dot: I’ve worked hard all me life. Well, there’s nothing else for it.

    Dot: I’ve never skived off work, not for a day.

    Dot: I’ve had an overflowing plate all me life. Every woman has.

    Dot: I have never taken a perk in me life.

    Rose Cotton: I worked in a surgery.

    Cora Cross on her daughter Tanya: To think I went through the pain of childbirth for this.

    Cora on bringing up a baby: Too much angst nowadays. Get on with it — that’s what we used to have to do.

    Tanya Branning to Cora: You think I’m stubborn? You think I’m self-centred? Well, guess what, Mum, I learnt from the best.

    Cora on Tanya: We never did know where she got her gob from.

    Cora on Tanya: Her dad was a sulker. Always got to have one sulker in the house.

    Billy Mitchell on his son: Was he all right — I mean, healthy, no problems?
    Julie Perkins: He was perfect.

    Julie to her son: I held you for ages when you were born. I know it’s not much, it’s nothing really, but this midwife said that being born was really stressful for babies so I just kept it peaceful, I couldn’t really do anything else, so I just held you very, very still.

    Julie on her son: The day I gave him up I said to myself, “This is your life now."

    Julie: I got to feed him a couple of times and then a week after he was born, he was gone. They took him away.
    Billy: Into care.
    Julie: No, into a family, a good family. They promised me that.
    Billy: He could have been with us.
    Julie: A couple of care home kids — what start in life is that?
    Billy: Better than we had. We could have been a family. Me, you and our little boy, it would have been brilliant.
    Julie: He got better than us, Billy. He got a family — nice people with jobs and all of that.

    Henry Mason on Julie: Best thing she could have done, giving it up. I mean, it’s not as if she had a lot to offer anybody, is it?

    Julie: I wasn’t fit to be a mum then.

    Lola Pearce, Julie’s biological granddaughter: You’re a selfish, selfish cow. That’s why you got rid of my dad.

    Julie: They said he went to a nice family. They all said it was for the best.

    Julie on her son Dan: He went to a good home, didn’t he, when he was adopted?
    Paul Leese, Dan’s friend: That didn’t really work out too well.

    Julie: I gave him nothing. Nothing. I’ve never been there for him.

    Billy: My son, he never knew his dad and I never knew he existed.

    Julie, speaking about granddaughter Lola in 2011: She reminds me so much of me years ago and I’ve just been blotting that out all my life and running away from it.

    Tanya Branning: Did Dad ever know [about the baby you gave up for adoption]?
    Cora: No-one ever knew. It was my secret. I never forgot her. I never ever stopped thinking of her.

    Dr Legg to Mark Fowler: The last time I was called out to see you was when you fell out of a tree. You were seven years old.

    Mark: You should have seen me [as a seven year old]. Always bumping into things. Black and blue, I was.

    Phil: The park I used to play in as a kid, there's this great big beech tree there. Me and Grant used to climb it, see who could get to the top first. He just
    used to go at it. Always falling out of that tree he was. Me, I took it slowly, just one hand at a time.
    Sonia Jackson: And who got to the top first?
    Phil: Who do you think?

    Derek Branning: I’m not very good with heights. Had a fall once. Nearly broke me neck.

    Den Watts to Sharon: Brickley Woods, the old railway tunnel. Your mum and I used to take you down there when you was a kid.

    Sharon on Phil and Grant: Their dad would kick off and that's where they'd go, Brickley Woods. No-one could touch them.

    Ronnie Mitchell on Eric: I heard what he put you through, you and Phil. My mum told us.
    Peggy: He was OK.
    Ronnie: He hit you.
    Peggy: He hit a lot of people.

    Glenda Mitchell to Peggy: You stuck it out — martyr extraordinaire. You stuck it out because you were too stupid to leave. No matter how bad it got, you stuck it out, even when Eric got tired of using you as a punchbag and turned on your boys instead.

    Samantha “Sam” Mitchell, Peggy’s daughter: Why did you stay?
    Peggy: I had my reasons. I wouldn't have had any money. I'd have had nowhere to live.
    Sam: So you just put up with it, did you?
    Peggy: I was pregnant. It stopped when you came long.

    Ronnie to Peggy: There was my mum telling us you were an idiot. You can blame my dad for that. He’d all but destroyed her by then.

    Peggy to Glenda: You didn’t think much of me if my memory serves. What was it you used to call me? Oh yeah - Tweety Pie. Always swanning around like you were something special. Thought you were a cut above the rest of us. Old head on young shoulders.
    Glenda: If you must know, I was jealous of you. Oh, I knew that you and Eric had your problems, but you were so stoic, Peggy. You went through it, you were so strong for your children, everybody loved you, but every moment that I was married to Archie, I felt that I was losing more and more of myself, and I always took second place to the girls.
    Peggy: That’s what happens when you have kids. You put them first.
    Glenda: I know you did and you made it look effortless. I so envied you for that. I know that Archie was impressed and why wouldn’t he be? You were the perfect wife, the perfect mother.

    Sam: My date of birth is the thirteenth of the fifth, 1975.

    Peggy: Sam came along and from the absolute instant I put her in his arms, he was my Eric again. He was the man I married. Those last years were the best we ever had.

    Peggy: My Sam, she was a difficult birth and I had a rough patch after.

    Sam: You must have thanked your lucky stars when I popped out — a little girl, all sugar and spice and all things nice.
    Peggy: Well, it's nice to have a girl after two boys. Every mum wants that.
    Sam: Especially after those two, right handfuls like Phil and Grant — and then there was Dad, hardly a shrinking violet himself, was he? A bit intimidating, wasn't it? All those male hormones rushing round must have made you feel like you weren't quite in control anymore.
    Peggy: I've never been intimidated in my life.
    Sam: Oh Mum, come on. Dad did more than intimidate you, quite a few times as I remember.
    Peggy: Yeah and I could always give as good as I got.

    Peggy to Sam: When you were born, I swore I wouldn't let you have a life like mine.

    Peggy to Sam: You were six weeks old when you had your first haircut.

    Peggy: Eric used to knock my boys around. Then one day after years of it, he hit Phil and I let him, and he hit Grant and I stood by and watched that too, and then he looked at me and do you know what I did? I picked up a kitchen knife and pointed the tip right at his heart and said to him if he ever laid a finger on my kids again or looked at me like that, I'd kill him, stab him in his sleep if that's what it took to stop him, and I meant it. And do you know what? He never did it again.

    Sam, shortly after giving birth in 2010: Did I sleep for long?
    Peggy: Nearly four hours that stretch. More than I used to get with any of you lot.

    Peggy to Sam: You should have heard the noise you made when you was a baby.

    Eddie Moon on his son: Michael didn’t sleep through till he was about three.
    Kat: Bit of a handful, was he?

    Peggy: You should have seen my ankles when I had Sam.

    Ethel Skinner: You remember my gallstones — that was pain.

    Dot: Ethel and me, we always wanted to go to the Ritz. Of course they wouldn’t have let us in, not with her Willy.

    Ethel: My William had the mange.
    Lou Beale: It's a wonder your husband didn't get something worse, the way he got around.
    Ethel: It was the dog that had the mange.

    Dean Wicks: Did you ever think of having an actual career?
    Andrew “Buster” Briggs: I did once, down Billingsgate with your granddad. I was only a little ’un. Blimey, did I love that place.

    Buster: I had a friend called Russell Sprout once.
    Stan Carter: You never did. You’re making it up.
    Buster: No, I did. Went into politics. Joined the Greens Party.

    Stan to Buster: You always were a comedian. You were trouble.

    Shirley Carter: I met Buster when he first started working at Billingsgate with Dad. Little bit older than me, good looking, nothing complicated. One of three blokes that ever really meant anything to me. He was a laugh.

    Nancy Carter on Shirley: Wow, must have been back when she used to smile!

    Minty: I can’t imagine Shirley as a teenager. I bet she was into Rod Stewart.

    Dean to Buster: You’re just some grubby biker she [Shirley] picked up.

    Shirley on Buster: He used to do wheelies up and down the street and share his chips with me.
    Sylvie Carter: Didn’t take much, did it?
    Shirley: And then we started hanging around together and then doing stuff.
    Sylvie: Little tart.

    Phil: You and him …?
    Shirley: First time for everything, isn’t there?

    Sylvie to Shirley: You’ve never been a looker, have you? Still, the fellas weren’t really after your face, were they?

    Buster to Babe: I’m fourteen years old and you’re chucking me out the house.

    Kevin Wicks: I left school without a single A Level to my name.

    Rod Norman on Nick Cotton: I was at school with him.

    Dot: I always hoped that my Nick would end up in one of them polytechnics. He was ever so gifted with his hands.

    Dot on Nick: He always was clever, even at school — when he wasn't spoiling himself, getting himself into trouble. I tried and tried to get him to stay on at school.

    Derek Branning: Dropping out of school — well, we all did that.

    Dot: ”Nick," I used to say, "just be a little discriminating. Remember at all times that you come from a good home and don't let yourself be tempted by low types."

    Barry Clark on Nick: I've known him since I was a kid, ever since he was me brother's best mate.

    Pauline: Nick and Graham Clark, Barry's older brother, they used to hang about together.

    Charlie Cotton Jr, Nick’s son, to Ian: Were you one of my dad’s mates?
    Sharon: Well, we kind of grew up together. I mean, your dad was a bit older than us, but …

    Nick Cotton: I just remembered that time I took you thieving in that tobacconists.
    Mark: That was terrible! I was only about seven.
    Nick: The only reason I took you along was because you were little enough to crawl in through that back
    window.
    Mark: Yeah, that's right. It was fags for you, toffees for me. It's burnt into my memory, I can tell you.
    Nick: And what did you do? You only stuffed a whole jar of toffees up your jumper.
    Mark: Yeah I got stuck in the window coming out, didn't I?
    Nick: The copper couldn't keep a straight face when he found you.
    Mark: Yeah well, my mum didn't laugh when she found out about it when he took me home.
    Nick: Well that was your own fault, wasn't it? You should have been a better liar. Your trouble is you could never sweet talk your way out of a paper bag.
    Mark: No, I reckon I told my share of porkies in my time. I finally just twigged that what happened when I got found out was far worse than what would have happened if I told my mum about it in the first place.

    Dot on Nick: I brought up a liar. I brought up a liar and a thief. I know what deceit sounds like.

    Dot: My Nick used to say he was sorry. I can see him standing there, wide-eyed. “Sorry, Ma,” he’d say. “I’ve learned me lesson this time.” And every time, every single time, I believed him.

    Dot: [“He’s just a child.”] That’s what I used to say about my Nick and I was wrong. I should never have listened to him all them years ago.

    Yolande Trueman: So why did you listen to your Nick?
    Dot: Because I was a fool.
    Yolande: Because you wouldn’t have been able to live with yourself if you hadn’t.
    Dot: Much good it did me.

    Dot to Abi Branning: When my Nick was your age [sixteen] and courting a different girl every week, he bought none of them flowers.

    Dot: How did you meet Nick?
    Yvonne Cotton, Nick’s wife: He was fresh out of borstal and me, well, I was too daft to know any better.

    Nick: I remember you and me getting drunk on cider after I come out of borstal.
    Yvonne: I wasn’t drunk.
    Nick: The only way to get into a good girl’s knickers.
    Yvonne: Only way to make a bad boy bearable.

    Nick on Yvonne: I was in a bad space when I met her.

    Yvonne on Nick: He might have had his demons, but deep down there was something good.

    Derek Branning: I did a flit from a borstal once. Didn’t mean to. It wasn’t a bad gaff. I was bunging one of the night staff so I could slip out and see this little sort in the village — vicar’s daughter. Lovely she was, very forthcoming. First time I’d ever seen a duvet. Anyway, one night, me and the rev’s pride and joy, we decided to hit the altar wine. I overslept. Woke up in the morning with the vicar screaming at me and his wife hitting me with a dust buster. I grabbed her handbag and done a runner. Got caught trying to board a ferry. Never been lucky for me, Dover. After two weeks of living rough, I was glad to get caught. It’s lonely out there on your own.

    Charlie Cotton Jr on his parents: She was a nurse. They got married when they found out I was on the way.

    Shirley Carter: So why hasn’t Dot ever met you?
    Yvonne: Well, they [Dot and Nick] had had a falling out apparently. He said it was something to do with a family allowance book.

    Dot: I’d have baked your wedding cake.
    Yvonne: Never really went in for fruitcakes. We didn’t have a cake at all at ours.
    Dot: I wish you had. I wish I’d been there.

    Liz Turner: June meant the summer holidays were just around the corner. Had a sister-in-law in Southend. Every year without fail we took Owen to the coast.

    Pat: Every summer, I used to take my David and Simon down to the coast.

    Nana Moon to Alfie: Remember how you used to love a bucket and spade when you was a little boy?

    Alfie Moon: Whenever we went to Margate as kids, we was always sick in the back of the bus. So me nan got us to play Snap and it always calmed our nerves. We were so dead set on winning, we was always forgetting to throw up.

    Heather Trott: I nearly drowned in Margate. I was trying to rescue me mum’s flip flops from the sea and all these massive waves came over me. I was only seven at the time.

    Alfie on his grandmother's silverfish pendant: Nana, you lost it, remember? It was at the seaside. We spent all day looking for it and the sea came in and ...
    Nana Moon: And it washed it all away.
    Alfie: That's right, and you said ...
    Nana Moon: "It's all right now, because it can play with its little friends." Crying your eyes out, you were — little Alfie.

    Alfie: Me Aunt Hilda's caravan in Southend.
    Kat Slater: That place where you used to stay as a kid? You said it was miles away from the toilet block.
    Alfie: Millions of miles, and you can forget about any hot water.

    Kevin Wicks on a caravan holiday: I remember running to the toilet block in the middle of the night. You’d go in there with your torch and there’d be all this scurrying — all the creepy crawlies running around!

    Alfie to Kat: You remember when you was a kid, right, and you'd go down to Southend Pier, and you'd see that little old couple sitting on the bench and he'd be wearing a brown trilby hat and she'd be wearing fluffy boots with zips up the front and they'd be eating fish and chips out of old newspaper, and they'd been married for hundreds of years and they're still holding hands?

    Shirley on herself and Buster: We had a laugh until I found out he’d got me into trouble.

    Shirley: I thought I was putting on weight — my clothes, they were getting too tight — and then she [Sylvie] barged in my bedroom while I was getting dressed and saw my tummy. I was four months gone and I didn’t even know. And then she just come at me and started slapping me round the face and screaming at me and shaking me and I didn’t know what was going on.
    Sylvie: You knew. You did it on purpose.
    Shirley: Why would I? I didn’t know anything because you told me nothing [about the facts of life].

    Shirley: I found out I was pregnant. I was fourteen. I was so scared and I was told that it was best if I didn’t tell anyone.

    Phil: You didn’t ever think about, you know, getting rid?
    Shirley: Well of course I did, but I was just a kid. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was the seventies, nobody did. By the time I got head round it, Mum has cottoned on and Dad, after his old man died, he wasn’t out of the pub long enough to notice.
    Phil: For nine months? Are you telling me he never knew?
    Shirley: Mum come up with a bright idea, this cock and bull story that they needed some time apart — I don’t know, I never asked.

    Stan Carter to Shirley: Why didn’t you tell me [about the pregnancy]?
    Babe: Because she knew if you found out, you’d chuck her out. That’s what Sylvie told her and she was right, you would have.
    Stan: I wouldn’t have thrown you out.
    Shirley: Yes, you would.
    Stan: You were my Shirley Temple.
    Sylvie: Shirley Temple? Look at him, acting the innocent. I could tell you plenty about him.

    Sylvie on Shirley: The staircase outside the flats, she threw herself down them. Tried to murder [her son] before he were born.
    Stan: Hang on, that was an accident.
    Sylvie: Some accident!
    Stan to Shirley: Why would you do that?
    Babe to Stan: Because of you. She was frightened. She was just a kid.
    Sylvie to Stan: You made our daughter so scared, she threw herself down the stairs.
    Shirley: I didn’t throw myself.
    Tina to Sylvie: You pushed her?
    Sylvie: Of course not!

    Babe: I knew about the stairs, after it had happened. If I’d known, I’d have stopped [Sylvie]. I would, Shirley. You know that.

    Shirley to her son Mick: When it didn’t work, I knew you were a fighter, Mick, and that’s when I realised that I wanted to keep you but they wouldn’t let me.
    Babe: I only did what I thought was best.

    Babe: Sylvie and Stan, they had problems.

    Stan to Babe: We were all right on our own and then you came with your meddling and spreading poison. You tried to split us up so you could have me — as if I’d be interested in an old crone like you.
    Babe: I was trying to help save your marriage.
    Stan: Only person you tried to help was yourself.

    Babe: Sylvie wanted to keep hold of [Stan] so we — yes, it was partly my idea — we had this idea that she could pass the baby off as hers.
    Shirley: And I said no. I didn’t want that.
    Sylvie: To spite me.

    Shirley: When I started to show, they took me to Ramsgate.
    Tina to Stan: What, and you never knew?
    Stan: We’d had a row. Can’t remember what it was now, but it must have been a big ’un. [Sylvie] took off with you and Shirl. Went to stay with your Aunt Babe in Ramsgate.

    Stan to Sylvie: Said you’d be a week, but it took months.

    Mick: Why didn’t you go after her [Sylvie]?
    Stan: I had work. I wasn’t going to go begging. Anyway, she was always taking off. All right, I was pigheaded, but I’m the one that’s missed out.

    Babe to Stan: State you were in, I’m surprised you even noticed we were gone.

    Shirley: We ended up in some grotty little caravan site in the middle of nowhere with Aunt Babe and a chemical toilet and I swear it rained every single miserable day.
     

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