03 August 2014

Crossroads 1987 - Growler And Charlie And Mrs Tardebigge And "Chloe"...

Debbie Lancaster (AKA "Debbie Dreadful), played by Kathryn Hurlbutt, is introduced to Growler, played by Growler, by Charlie Mycroft, played by Graham Seed.

Soap operas were different back in the 1980s. Brookside and EastEnders were brave new innovations which had tremendous impact and helped to shape the format of today's soaps (although soaps have become so sensationalised now they're rubbish - in my humble opinion, of course!). There were tremendous changes at the Crossroads Motel in the 1980s and the decade finally killed the Midlands-based soap. 

But, before that, in 1987, brash Brummie businessman Tommy "Bomber" Lancaster bought the place and invited his daughter, Debbie, to have a look around. Charlie Mycroft, major star of the Major International Hotels company, showed Debbie around and introduced her to his mascot - Growler - a plush Scottie dog with googly eyes which guarded his pillow.

Of course, Debbie was a little taken aback and Growler failed to charm her.

Meanwhile, motel char Mrs Tardebigge, had found a fifty pence piece up her 'oover. Wasn't that brilliant? "Finders, keepers, lover!" as Mrs T might have said. Mrs Tardebigge was, of course, a leading member of the Pat Boone Fan Club (West Midlands Branch).

 Mrs Tardebigge (Elsie Kelly) is thrilled by her unexpected good fortune. Elsie Kelly first joined the cast of Crossroads in late 1986 - her character was a creation of new producer William Smethurst.

Meanwhile (again), schoolgirl Beverley Grice, just arrived in the area, was trying to make friends at her new school. She introduced herself to posh Sara Briggs as "Chloe", and was not impressed when her younger brother Jason, who had personal stereo headphones apparently welded to his ears, told her that Chloe was a dogs' name. Somebody in their old neighbourhood had owned a mutt with that name. And it had peed up his leg and was a smelly old thing.

That dog was called "Woofer", Beverley insisted. Nope, their nana had called it "Woofer" but its proper moniker was Chloe, said Jason.

When Mrs Grice verified this at the dinner table, Jason smirked and Beverley stormed out in a strop. When she later asked her mother why she had called her Beverley (the girl HATED her name), Mrs Grice told her she might have had a spot of post-natal depression at the time.

Yep, soap operas were different back in the 1980s... All that, and not a serial killer or an explosion in sight...

Beverley Grice, played by Karen Murden.

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