Minutes after the new issue was delivered to the printer, I learned that my good friend John Bardon (Jim Branning) had passed away at the age of 75. John had a stroke in 2007 and he never fully recovered. But thankfully he was in good health when he and his wife Enda enjoyed a wonderful holiday in New York in November 2005. My condolences go out to Enda, a trained nurse, who took wonderful care of him throughout his illness. Bardon, in a wheelchair and despite his poor condition, remarkably made a few appearances on EastEnders in recent years because he loved being on the show so much. Please go to the Walford Gazette website (www.wgazette.com) for my remembrances of John, whom I first met in 2002 at the BBC studio’s canteen (photo below). A full tribute will run in the next issue. –Larry Jaffee
Here are some of my favorites over the years: Dot & Pauline at the launderette; Minty & Gary at the Arches; Tracy, the sometime barmaid at the Vic; Martin and his fruit stall; Pat at the bookies; Patrick & Yolande at the Mini Mart; Nigel in the video rental store; and Robbie, the market road sweeper, later to be replaced by Gus.
Isn’t interesting that it seems the only jobs in Albert Square are service-related?
Why are there no financial services, insurance companies, solicitors, or realtors? Sure, Johnny Allen is doing his best to fill the void of the latter as the Square’s benevolent loan shark.
With exception of Sonia who earned a nursing degree, there’s a dearth of higher education, which is odd considering all the universities in real London, including the East End. Sure, in the early years, Michelle went to college, as did her well-schooled roommate Rachel.
Sure, on occasion a doctor will become a principal character (e.g., Dr Legg or Dr Trueman), but it seems to me that EastEnders’ creative team embraces an interpretation of an East End working-class neighbourhood that might be a tad yesteryear, considering all the gentrification taking place in London in the New Millennium.
What do you think of Walford’s lack of economic diversity? And what are some of your favourite occupations in Albert Square?
May Arthur rest in peace. He was my favourite market sweeper.
—Larry Jaffee, editor & publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the new issue (#86) of the Walford Gazette hitting mailboxes next week, we celebrate a quartet of ladies who left their mark on EastEnders:
Edna Doré, who played Mo Butcher, died in April at 92. the consummate acting professional, her jokes were legendary, she swore like a trooper, smoked like a chimney — and didn’t suffer fools……
Michelle Collins, in her new autobiography This Is Me, acknowledges Cindy Beale gave her British fame. she takes nothing for granted, considering herself a jobbing actress looking for her next gig…..
Laurie Brett is responsible for being the best woman (Jane) who has ever come into ian Beale’s life….
Laila Morse also published her life story aptly titled Just A Mo, as in the inimitable Slater matriarch ‘Big Mo’ Harris, with whom you don’t want to mess.
Check your Walford Gazette subscription status, or order a new one for $25 (4 issues) of $46 (8 issues) by paying electronically via PayPal to email@example.com or via check to East End Company, PO Box 271, Kings Park, NY 11754
Some sad news: Edna Dore passed away. She played Frank Butcher’s mum suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Gretchen Franklin (Ethel) once told me that she would often go on auditions for commercials and find Edna and Anna Wing (Lou Beale) there. Now they’re all sadly gone.
Here’s The Guardian’s obituary:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/apr/14/edna-dore-mo-butcher-eastenders-actress-dies-92