List of Last of the Summer Wine characters

List of Last of the Summer Wine characters

The following is a list of characters from the BBC sitcom "Last of the Summer Wine". The series focuses primarily on a trio of old men and their interaction with other characters in town. Due to its longevity, the series has been forced to replaces many key characters due to death, illness, or departure from the programme. Many characters were first seen in "one-off" appearances. and were popular enough and felt to have enough potential that they were brought back, becoming regulars.

"Summer Wine" trio

William "Compo" Simmonite

(Bill Owen): (1973–2000) Working class, and dressed in scruffy trousers and wellington boots, Compo rarely (if ever) worked for a living, preferring the lazy life. The name probably derived from the term 'compo' a shortened version of the word 'compensation',cite web |url=|title=compo|work=Wiktionary|accessdate=2007-12-26] sometimes used to refer to people living off compensation from an on-the-job injury. A great physical comedian, Compo was often the butt of jokes arising from the many dirty jobs, stunts and escapades that are a central feature of the series. Another recurring theme was Compo's lust for the ladies, especially his next-door neighbour, Nora Batty, of whose 'wrinkled stockings' he would frequently despair.

Compo lives a seemingly idyllic lifestyle, chatting and bickering with others, betting on horses, and playing with his ferrets. In fact, Compo was written as a fragile underdog, with a childlike addiction to fun and the joys of living. He thrives on the authority and argument he gets from the third member of the trio, as is evident from the regret he expresses in his moping around the café after the departure of Blamire in the third series episode, "The Man from Oswestry." [Bright and Ross (2000), p. 44]

Compo was written out of the series in 2000 following the death of Owen a year earlier. Although Compo was already seriously ill, according to Truly and Clegg, it was the sight of Nora Batty in baggy stockings that finished him off, but he died with a smile on his face (as claimed by Truly, Clegg and Nora).cite episode|title=Elegy for Fallen Wellies|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=2000-04-23|season=21|number=4]

Norman Clegg

(Peter Sallis): Middle class Clegg (or Cleggy, as Compo and some of his closer friends, especially Howard, often call him) aims for a quiet respectable retirement following his redundancy from his job as a lino salesman,cite episode|title=Last of the Summer Wine: Of Funerals and Fish|series=Comedy Playhouse|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & James Gilbert (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1973-01-04|season=14|number=1] but is continually involved in the schemes of Foggy and the others. Despite having been married to, the now deceased, sharp-tongued Edith for 31 yearscite episode|title=Last of the Summer Wine: Of Funerals and Fish|series=Comedy Playhouse|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & James Gilbert (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1973-01-04|season=14|number=1] Clegg fearfully shies away from women. Perfectly content reading alone in his cosy home, he also finds fascination in some of the smaller things in life. He is also so reserved and shy that he famously wears several layers of clothing: vest/long johns, shirt, jumper/sweater, waistcoat/suit vest, jacket/sport coat, and finally a plastic mac, which he just carries when it's not windy or raining. He is also the only one of the trio that has a driving licencecite episode|title=The New Mobile Trio|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & James Gilbert (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1973-12-10|season=1|number=5] and therefore occasionally finds himself reluctantly pressured into driving on the very rare occasions that they are not merely strolling about locally and manage to avail themselves of a vehicle sans driver. This inevitably results in a panic attack for Clegg who fumbles about with the gears and pedals uncontrollably.

Clegg was the sounding-board for Compo's glee and the third man's authority, and was often instrumental in pointing out the pitfalls concealed within the schemes of the third man. [Bright and Ross (2000), p. 50] Clegg is also well known for his philosophical asides, which have received praise for interjecting intellectual material into the series.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Series Profile: Last of the Summer Wine | date=May 2007 | publisher= | url = | work =The Insider | pages = | accessdate = 2007-12-04 | language = ] In early episodes, Clegg was much more forthright and adventurous. Within a few years he became more retiring and cautious, and the group came to be dominated by Foggy and the "third men" that succeeded him.

Cyril Blamire

(Michael Bates): (1973–1975) The first third man, and the most childishly argumentative, Blamire was the contrast to Compo. Blamire was fired up by displays of youthful enthusiasm, energetic gusto, or any sign of the British spirit. [Bright and Ross (2000), pp. 56–57] He served as a corporal in the British Army in the Royal Signals regiment during the "the great fight for Freedom""cite episode|title=Last of the Summer Wine: The New Mobile Trio |series= Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & James Gilbert (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=unknown|season=1|number=5] as a "supply wallah" (a storeman) in India and retains his military bearing. He was a Tory and a self-important know-it-all with upper-class aspirations who often disassociated himself from the other two, especially Compo, due to his perceived superiority to them.cite episode|title=Last of the Summer Wine: Of Funerals and Fish|series=Comedy Playhouse|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & James Gilbert (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1973-01-04|season=14|number=1] Because of his sophisticated interests and insistence on table manners, Compo liked to refer to him as a "poof" (British slang for a male homosexual)cite episode|title=Last of the Summer Wine: Of Funerals and Fish|series=Comedy Playhouse|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & James Gilbert (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1973-01-04|season=14|number=1] When Bates left the cast due to illness in 1975, Blamire was written out of the series; it was said that he had left to get married.cite episode|title=The Man from Oswestry|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Sydney Lotterby (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1976-10-27|season=3|number=1]

Walter C. "Foggy" Dewhurst

(Brian Wilde): (1976–1985, 1990–1997) The successor to Blamire, Foggy was a former soldier who liked to boast of his exploits in Burma during the Second World War (in fact, he was a sign-writer). Although he considered himself very regimental and heroic, when confronted Foggy was generally meek and incompetent. He considered himself the leader of the trio, and frequently took charge of Compo and Cleggy. When Wilde left the series in 1985 to star in his own sitcom, it was explained that Foggy had moved to Bridlington to take over his family's egg-painting business.cite episode|title=Uncle of the Bride|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1986-01-01|season=8| New Year Special.] Returning in 1990, he claimed he had tired of a life of egg painting.cite episode|title=Return of the Warrior|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1990-09-02|season=12|number=1] In 1997, when Wilde's illness prevented him from taking part in the series, it was said that Foggy was swept away to Blackpool by the local postmistress to be married.cite episode|title=There Goes the Groom|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1997-12-29|season=18 Christmas Special.]

eymour Utterthwaite

(Michael Aldridge): (1986–1990) Seymour felt it was his duty in life to educate the masses, and in particular, Compo and Clegg, whom he was introduced to by his brother-in-law, Wesley Pegden, shortly before the wedding of Wesley's daughter.cite episode|title=Uncle of the Bride|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell(director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1986-01-01|season=8] He liked to invent, but the resulting inventions invariably led to disaster - especially for Compo, always the reluctant guinea pig. Seymour's house, outside the town, was modified into a laboratory, filled with new devices and contraptions that seldom, if ever, worked properly.cite episode|title=Uncle of the Bride|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1986-01-01|season=8 New Year Special.] His sister, Edie, always spoke very highly of him and how he was 'educated', refusing to take into his account his continual failed inventions.cite episode|title=Uncle of the Bride|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell(director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1986-01-01|season=8 New Year Special.] Seymour had previously been the headmaster of a school, although it is not entirely clear how successful he actually was in running it.cite episode|title=Uncle of the Bride|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell(director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1986-01-01|season=8] When Aldridge left the series in 1990 to care for his sick wife, Seymour was last seen leaving on a bus to take up a new job as an interim headmaster at a private school - just as previous third man Foggy returned.cite episode|title=Return of the Warrior|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1990-09-02|season=12|number=1]

Herbert "Truly of the Yard" Truelove

(Frank Thornton): (1997–present) A retired policeman with a pompous self-importance in all things criminal, [Bright and Ross (2000), pp. 71] Truly is more relaxed, fun-loving, and can be more of an equal match at the local pub than his predecessors as third man . He can also be a bit more devious with practical jokes or witty schemes. Likewise, he can be equally sly in getting people out of a scrape or just helping out a friend. Divorced, he frequently makes disparaging comments about "the former Mrs Truelove" (who evidently feels the same way about him, judging by her new husband's reaction to Truly).cite episode|title=The Second Husband and the Showgirls|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=2003-03-09|season=24|number=9] Because of his previous involvement with the police, Truly refers to himself as "Truly of the Yard".cite episode|title=There Goes the Groom|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1997-12-29|season=18 Christmas Special.]

Billy Hardcastle

(Keith Clifford): (2001–2006) Billy Hardcastle was first introduced in the 1999 series as a guest starcite episode|title=How Errol Flynn Discovered the Secret Scar of Nora Batty|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1999-04-25|season=20|number=2] and also appeared in the 2000 New Year's specialcite episode|title=Last Post and Pigeon|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=2000-01-02|season=20 Millennium Special.] and a guest role in the 2000 series.cite episode|title=I Didn't Know Barry Could Play|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=2000-06-04|season=21|number=10] Due to his popularity, he was made a regular character in the 2001 series.cite episode|title=Getting Barry's Goat|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=2001-04-01|season=22|number=1]

Billy believes he is a direct descendent of Robin Hood. His first appearance on the show showed him attempting to recruit a band of Merry Men to go with him while he robs from the rich to give to the poor.cite episode|title=How Errol Flynn Discovered the Secret Scar of Nora Batty|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=1999-04-25|season=20|number=2] At the end of the 21st series, Billy moves next door to Truly [Bright and Ross (2000), pp. 140] and is teamed as the third member of the trio. When Billy joined with Clegg and Truly, much of the humour Compo previously brought to the series returned in Billy's child-like demeanour, although an element of physical humour was still lacking in the series. Much of his dialogue bemoaned the domestic presence of "the wife" or "the wife's sister".

Alvin Smedley

(Brian Murphy): (2003–present) Alvin Smedley was introduced in the 2003 series as Nora Batty's new next door neighbour following the death of Compo. When Tom's former acquaintance, Mrs. Avery, gives up the lease she owns on Compo's old house, Alvin purchases it.cite episode|title=The Lair of the Cat Creature|series=Last of the Summer Wine|credits=Roy Clarke (writer) & Alan J. W. Bell (director)|network=BBC One|airdate=2003-01-05|season=24|number=1] Although he publicly claims to hate Nora Batty, he feels it is his duty to try and bring some joy to her life, often in the form of practical jokes similar to those Compo once played on her.

Other regular characters

The Battys

Nora Batty

(Kathy Staff: 1973-2001, 2002-present) Compo's next door neighbour, Nora is proudly devoted to strict housework, and stands as a monument to classic northern women. During her marriage, she used to keep her husband, Wally, under her thumb. Despite Nora's gruff manner (and famously wrinkled stockings), Compo is desperately in love with her: a lust that is used to great interest in generating comic situations as he comes up with various plots and schemes to try and impress Nora (a plot device that was used a great many times, particularly from the mid-1980s until Compo's death). Although initially a stern Northern "battle axe", Nora has shown on occasion, particularly as the years have passed, that underneath that she is actually a rather caring and kind woman - although she doesn't openly promote the fact. When Bill Owen died in 1999, Staff initially announced her plans to leave the series, feeling that it would not be the same without him. But with the introduction of Compo's son Tom (played by his real life son Tom Owen), she was persuaded to stay. Staff actually "did" leave the series in 2001, to reprise her role as cleaner Doris Luke in the doomed revival of soap "Crossroads", with Nora said to be emigrating to Australia. When "Crossroads" folded, Staff returned, with nothing said about Nora's trip to Australia or her sudden return. Staff also played a very Nora-like character, Mrs. Blewitt, in another of writer Roy Clarke's hits, "Open All Hours", from 1976 to 1985.

Wally Batty

(Joe Gladwin: 1975-1986) Nora's perennially shell-shocked husband and Compo's next-door neighbour, Wally Batty was a short quiet man, kept on a short leash by his wife. His relationship with Nora stood in stark contrast to Compo's unrequited lust after her; in fact, he often welcomed the prospect of Compo running off with her. Initially mentioned but not seen, he first appeared on-screen in 1975. He was generally seen doing chores or stealing a quick moment away from Nora at the pub. Wally had a passion for racing pigeons and owned a motorbike and sidecar, occasionally taking Nora for a spin around the countryside. With the death of Joe Gladwin in 1987, the character died off-screen, but is still occasionally mentioned. (Note: in the Pilot episode of the series, which was part of the Comedy Playhouse strand, Nora referred to her husband (not seen) as Harold, not Wally).

The Cafe


(Jane Freeman: 1973-present) joint owner of tea-shop with husband Sid, with whom she would often have blazing rows in the kitchen, until his death. She now runs it solely, and viciously scolds anyone who dares misbehave or criticise the food. Generally the wisest and most level-headed of the show's female social circle. She was also on occasion a target of Compo's (unwanted) affection, who often said that if it wasn't for Nora Batty, he'd be all over her. When taking into account Kathy Staff's brief exit from the show in 2001 (see above), Jane Freeman as Ivy is the only character other than Clegg (Peter Sallis) to have been present throughout the course of the series (although Clegg is the only one to have appeared in every single episode).


(John Comer: 1973-1983), bluff tea-shop owner, who featured prominently for the first ten years, before his death in 1984. Ivy remembers him fondly, and often mentions him in conversation. Sid was one of the few characters who actually seemed to enjoy getting involved in the misadventures of the three central characters, and often saw them as an excuse to get out of the cafe for a couple of hours. Ivy and Sid often shouted and argued with each other (and Ivy was never shy about bringing up Sid's infidelity), but, as with many of the show's couples, there was little doubt that they loved each other. For John Comer's last appearance, in 1983's feature-length Christmas special, 'Getting Sam Home', illness caused by cancer affected his speech, and so his lines were dubbed over by another actor, Tony Melody. Comer died a few months later. Sid's death was not referred to until "Uncle of the Bride" in 1986.

"Crusher" Milburn

(Jonathan Linsley: 1984-1987) Ivy's giant, lumbering and very strong nephew, although bearing a striking resemblance to Sid. He helped Ivy out in the cafe for a few years after Sid died. His real name was Milburn, but insisted on being called "Crusher", was influenced by the Rock & Rollers of the 1950s and was into heavy metal music. Well meaning but not overly bright, he was rather easily led. Crusher was first seen in the touring stage show before being introduced into the series. Crusher vanished after Jonathan Linsley elected to go on a diet; most of the character's humor came from the contrast between his menacing size and his total harmlessness. Following his departure, Ivy ran the cafe alone (with an occasional assist from Nora Batty).

Compo's Family

Gordon Simmonite

(Philip Jackson: 1976) An oft-forgotten character, Gordon was Compo's gormless nephew, and appeared in a few 1976 episodes. In some ways he was a prototype of Barry, who was introduced in the mid-1980s.

Tom Simmonite

(Tom Owen: 2000-present) Compo's long-lost son, arriving just after his father’s death, Tom is played by Bill Owen’s real-life son. Tom is a layabout like Compo but seems a bit more enterprising in his attempts to maintain his slothful lifestyle. Originally it was planned that Tom would fill the gap in the three-man line-up left by his father, but it didn't quite work. These days he is paired with Smiler working for Auntie Wainwright, and also, in one episode, goes to live with Smiler (though it's not clear if this continued or not). Of the duo, he designates himself the 'leader' and the planner (often leaving Smiler to struggle with Auntie Wainwright's antiquated hand-cart while he strolls on ahead), although in truth, he is not particularly bright himself. Clegg and Truly often take advantage of his desire to live up to his father's reputation in order to convince him to do rather stupid things. After the death of Compo, Nora feels somewhat maternal towards Tom, and often showers him with affection - much to the embarrassment of Tom. He also has a scruffy puppet dog called Waldo. When not working for Auntie Wainwright, Tom can usually be found in his allotment shed, avoiding the repo man. When he first arrived in the series, Tom also had a tatty old yellow transit van, but this was only seen in a couple of his early appearances. (Note: For some years before joining the series as Tom Simmonite, Tom Owen sometimes appeared in small walk-on parts on the show, sometimes with no dialogue, and not always credited.)

Mrs (Lolly Minerva) Avery

(Julie T. Wallace: 2000-2001) Tom's live-in "associate"; much larger than him, and somewhat of a battle axe, yet rather easily manipulated. Although Tom always insisted that she was merely an acquaintance, Mrs Avery always wanted more, and was under the impression that Tom had promised to marry her. After a brief spell of living in the pair's bus, they moved into the deceased Compo's home next-door to Nora Batty's. This was not to last; she threw him out and disappeared from the series after a couple of years.

Babs Avery

(Helen Turner: 2000) Arriving on the scene with Tom Simmonite was Babs, Mrs. Avery's niece and a rather large and troublesome teenager who was involved in several of Tom's schemes. The character was not well received and did not last long on the show; after the handful of episodes that remained of her inaugural season, she quietly disappeared.

eymour's Family

Seymour Utterthwaite was the third man of the trio from 1986 to 1990. He left the series in 1990 when Foggy Dewhurst returned to the show, but his family had gained so much popularity themselves that they remained on the show.

Wesley Pegden

(Gordon Wharmby: 1982, 1984-2002) Edie's husband, who spends all his time in his workshop / garage. One of the most popular and often recycled scenes in the series, would be as Edie called Wesley in from his garage (after much shouting, first in gentle 'posh' tones, before ending up in harsh yelling) and would lay down a trail of newspaper for him to stand on - often putting one on the wall just in time as he leant against it. Wesley generally kept out of wife Edie's way in his garage, restoring old motors. The character first appeared in the 1982 episode 'Car and Garter' in a small part. The writer and producers liked him so much that they brought him back for the 1984 Christmas Special 'The Loxley Lozenge' and the 1985 episode 'Who's Looking After The Cafe Then?'. He reappeared in the 1986 feature-length 'Uncle Of The Bride', in which he was established as Edie's husband, and both became regulars. Mechanic Wesley was often called upon by the main trio to construct the many bizarre creations they came up with, and to drive them into the hills for test runs. In early years in the series, Wesley seemed to have a love of loud rock music, which led to the trio desperately trying to call over it to get his attention on a number of occasions. When Wharmby died in 2002, the character also died; although it was not immediately announced, subsequent references to him were in the past tense.

Edith "Edie" Pegden

(Dame Thora Hird: 1986-2003), a highly opinionated older woman, sister of Seymour Utterthwaite who called her Edith and house-proud host of the women's coffee mornings. She was introduced, along with Seymour, daughter Glenda and son-in-law Barry in the 1986 episode "Uncle of the Bride" (husband Wesley was introduced in 1982). Wesley restored a convertible car for her to drive, despite the fact that she is a terrible driver, and was always accusing Wesley of moving things (particularly the gear lever) around. In later years, Hird (who entered her 90s during her time in the series) suffered bad health, which particularly affected her ability to stand. To cover this, she was often seen sitting down, or, when standing, something for her to hold onto (often out of camera shot) was used. For driving and far-off shots, her double (Amy Shaw) was used. When Hird died in 2003, Edie was also said to have died; as with husband Wesley, it was not immediately made obvious, but later references to the character indicated that she had died. In series 29, a framed photo of Edie can be seen on Barry and Glenda's mantlepiece.

For the first few series in which she appeared, Edie was extremely concerned with her reputation in the neighbourhood: whenever there was company, Edie would try to put on a posh, educated voice - which would suddenly vanish when she was shouting for (or at) Wesley. This aspect of Edie's character acted as a prototype for Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances (also written by Roy Clarke). Once the latter series was created, this aspect of Edie's personality was toned down a bit (although not completely), in order to separate the two characters.

Glenda Wilkinson (née Pegden)

(Sarah Thomas: 1986-present) daughter of Edie and Wesley. The other women in the group consider that she is somewhat naive, despite her being middle-aged. When her mother was alive, if she attempted to join in a mature conversation, Edie would snap "drink your coffee!" She speaks glowingly of her husband Barry, but is often insecure and unsatisfied with him at home, often due to the pressure of her mother and other ladies in the group. She often comes to the defence of men when other women in the group speak the worst about them and does not believe that all men are lost like they do. She appears, like her husband, to have a very meek demeanor, but under duress she has proven to be quite a force to reckon with.

Barry Wilkinson

(Mike Grady: 1986-1990, 1996-present) meek and mild husband of Glenda. Dull and ineffectual, accountant Barry strives for adventure but seems destined for paperwork and domesticity. His one pride is his shiny new car, which he was always trying to keep away from father-in-law Wesley, who could not resist tinkering under the bonnet. Barry is often trying out new hobbies in an attempt to stop his life being humdrum; and in more recent years, has made a number of attempts to fit in at a local golf club, often upsetting the golf captain "The Major". After being introduced in the feature-length "Uncle Of The Bride" in 1986, which centres around Barry and Glenda's wedding, Barry was much-mentioned but not seen for a few years when Mike Grady left to pursue several other television projects, before returning as a regular in the mid-1990s.

Ros Utterthwaite

(Dora Bryan: 2000-2005.) Edie's sister, who has always been more romantically adventurous, to Edie's unending shame. She often speaks of past flings, often with married men. Dora Bryan left the series in 2005 to concentrate on stage work, although the door has been left open for her to return.

Howard, Pearl, and Marina

Howard Sibshaw

(Robert Fyfe: 1985-present) shy, simpering, henpecked husband, and would-be lover of Marina. A creative but unconvincing liar, he and Pearl live next-door to Clegg, and, much to the annoyance of Clegg, Howard is always pestering him to aid in his various schemes to escape Pearl and to be with Marina. Over the years, he has come up with countless disguises, cover stories and hideaways to allow him to see Marina, all of which have ultimately been doomed or exposed. He tends to ignore Marina when he's out with her, partly out of fear of his wife Pearl, and partly because he gets so deeply caught up in cooking up charades to cover up his affair. However, their relationship doesn't appear to have gone beyond hand-holding and moony-eyed gazing (much to the annoyance of Marina). Howard is often too busy worrying about Pearl to pay Marina any kind of romanatic attention, and it is hinted that even if the opportunity ever "did" arise, Howard would be too cowardly to go through with it anyway! Howard first appeared in the Bournemouth summer season show of the series, and was popular enough and felt to have enough potential that he was soon brought into the series proper. At first, he, Pearl and Marina were used on a semi-regular basis, but as time has passed and their popularity grew, they are now firm regulars. Although very seldom used in the series, Howard and Pearl's last name has been confirmed as Sibshaw.

Pearl Sibshaw

(Juliette Kaplan: 1985-present) Howard's wife, a bit of a shrew and always one step ahead of his crafty schemes. She is often shown to know about his (attempted) affair with Marina, but is almost gleefully obsessed with exposing Howard's philandering and generally tormenting him. Although she has a fearsome reputation, she, like Nora, occasionally surprises Norman Clegg and others (not including Howard) with displays of kindness, especially after Compo died.

When she was first introduced on the show, Pearl was somewhat naive, especially towards Howard's affair with Marina. When introduced to the ladies' tea group, Nora, Ivy, and Edie integrated her into the group and, over time, her demeanour has hardened.


(Jean Fergusson: 1985-present) busty but over-age, Howard's love interest, Marina works in a local supermarket. Despite her carefree appearance and large chest, Marina is a long-suffering type, having to deal with the disapproval of the prominent village women, the indirect wrath of Pearl, and the timorous and neglectful romancing by Howard. Although at first seeming a "tart", in truth Marina is only longingly searching for love. Marina works as a check-out girl at the local Co-op (although in more recent series, the name has not been given); a place where Howard often sneaks to pass or receive notes from her (or more often, sends Norman Clegg in his place!). Marina longs for love, and seems to have a particularly soft spot for Clegg. It is suggested that there was once a—what she perceived as—romantic incident with Clegg, something Clegg, who is terrified of her, always strongly denies. Marina first appeared in the spin-off 1984 Eastbourne summer season show, and was soon introduced into the series properly.

Aunty Wainwright's Shop

"See Also: Tom Simmonite"

Aunty Wainwright

(Jean Alexander: (1988, 1989, 1991-present) sly and grasping junk shop owner. She is Howard's "Aunty" and while both have a general predisposition towards sneakiness, Aunty Wainwright is much more adept at applying it. Clegg is reluctant to go into her store, since she always sells him something. In addition to her junk shop, she has also been seen owning a junk yard where Compo went to meet one of his long-time loves. She is extremely cheap and pretends to be cheated when she gives the slightest discount. At Compo's funeral, she grabbed Eli by the arm and pretended to be blind in order to avoid giving money to a collection outside the church.

As with several other characters, she originally was seen in a "one-off" appearance in the 1988 Christmas Special "Crums", and was so popular that she was brought back, eventually becoming a regular from 1991 onwards.

Clem "Smiler" Hemmingway

(Stephen Lewis: 1988 - 2007) eternally miserable and not-too-bright comic foil, very similar to Lewis' character Inspector Cyril "Blakey" Blake in LWTs hit comedy "On The Buses" (many episodes of which he co-wrote) from 1969-1973. Smiler was first seen as a one-off character in 1988's 'That Certain Smile', in which the trio had to sneak a hospitalised Smiler's beloved dog Bess in to see him. The character was popular enough to be brought back on a semi-regular basis, and nowadays is a regular (although his dog died between his first and second appearances). In some early appearances, he was a lollypop man ("crossing guard" to Americans), and nowadays works for Auntie Wainwright, unto whom he seems to be suffering some sort of indentured servitude. On early appearances, Smiler was also a lodger with Nora Batty, which enraged the jealous Compo. Smiler also owns a big, but rather beaten up and poorly maintained, white convertible Chevrolet Caprice from the mid 1970's, which he sometimes drives around in with Tom, and which on occasion has been used in various promotions for Auntie Wainwright. Smiler was last seen in the 2007 series, before ill health forced Lewis to leave the show.

The Library

Mr Wainwright

(Blake Butler: (1973 and 1976) The rather timid head of the local library, which the trio visited a lot in the show's early days. Mr Wainwright left at the same time as Mrs Partridge's departure (see below), but was "transfered back" to the area in the third series, featuring in two episodes where he was once again romancing his new assistant, Miss Moody. (Note: Mr Wainwright is not related to Auntie Wainwright.)

Mrs Partridge

(Rosemary Martin: (1973), a librarian at the aforementioned library, and who was engaged in an affair with Mr Wainwright which they (mistakenly) believed was secret. The characters were never really felt to catch on, and disappeared as the library was written out as a favourite haunt of the main trio. However, a few years later, the storyline was resurrected and used of sorts for Howard and Marina.

Miss Probert and Miss Jones

(June Watson and Janet Davies: 1975) The two librarians who briefly replaced Wainwright and Partridge during the second series. Miss Probert is a radical (for Holmfirth) feminist, who is always railing against men to the more timid Miss Jones. Miss Probert has two missions in life; one is discouraging the lending out of books she considers "filthy"; the other is making a proper man-hater out of Miss Jones, in whom she seems to take a more than professional interest.

Miss (Lucinda) Davenport

(Josephine Tewson: 2003- ) After many years of the library setting not really being used, Miss Davenport was introduced as the new librarian in 2003. A very emotional woman haunted by a string of past rejections, she first appeared as a guest, driving Gavin Hinchcliff around while he skied on the car roof. Originally, Glenda took up the cause of socializing her and tried to fit her in with the coffee-drinker circle of Nora, Ivy, Pearl, and co. They didn't take too well to each other; in more recent episodes, she's bonded with Marina instead, with the pair of them both longing for love in their individual ways. In the episode: "In Which Howard Remembers Where He Left His Bicycle Pump", it is revealed that Miss Davenport's first name is "Lucinda".

Around Town

Eli Duckett

(Danny O'Dea: 1986-2002) An extremely short-sighted bumbler, Eli maintains a highly cheerful, friendly attitude despite not having a clue what's going on around him. He generally only makes brief cameo appearances, walking into a scene and commenting on his near-sighted interpretation of the action, and then walking off again. In the 1995 New Year Special episode featuring Norman Wisdom, 'The Man Who Nearly Knew Pavarotti', Eli is the conductor of the Holme Silver Band. Originally brought in as a friend of Wally Batty, the character was popular enough that Eli remained on the show after the death of actor Joe Gladwin.

In one episode, a passing comment by Compo seemed to suggest that Eli was a sniper during WWII.

Eli has not appeared again since the death of O'Dea, though the character has not been explicitly killed off. In the 2002 Christmas Special, Eli was not present. His place of sorts was taken by two drunks, but this turned out to be their only appearance in the series.

In the 1988 episode "The Pig Man Cometh" of All Creatures Great and Small O'Dea played the character Rupe who, like Eli, was nearsighted, clearly alluding to his role on Last of the Summer Wine.

'Electrical' Entwistle

(Burt Kwouk: 2003-Present ) Electrician and fortune-teller from the land of eastern wisdom, Hull. His real name is McIntyre but he changed it so people wouldn't mistake him for a Scotsman. When Wesley died, Entwistle took over his job of shuttling the others across the countryside in a battered red Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, and occasionally constructing the various contraptions the main trio produce. He also seems to be taking over a character version of Auntie Wainwright, although he mainly sells second-hand washing machines.In recent series, Entwistle has often been paired with Alvin, with many stories revolving around their dealings with Howard or Barry.


(June Whitfield: 2006-Present ) A more recent addition to the ladies' coffee-drinking set. Nelly's never-seen husband Travis needs constant attention, which Nelly generally administers over her mobile phone. She provides a counterpoint to the other currently married ladies in the circle by not placing her husband on a pedestal (like Glenda does with Barry) or openly holding him in contempt (as Pearl does with Howard). Also, Nelly has spent some years living in a more progressive town, and therefore has a more modern perspective which often confounds the other ladies. June Whitfield previously made a "one off" appearance in the series as a different character, Delphi Potts, in the 2001 Christmas Special, 'Potts in Pole Position', married to Lother, the character of Warren Mitchell, a couple of years before she became a regular as Nelly.

Minor Recurring Characters

Billy Ingleton

(Norman Wisdom: 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002 and 2004) First appearing in the 1995 New Year special 'The Man Who Nearly Knew Pavarotti', and quickly brought back for the 1996 Christmas Special 'Extra! Extra!'. Much loved comedian Norman Wisdom occasionally pops up, sometimes for the storyline of an episode, at other times in smaller appearances. He is not always credited for smaller appearances.

Herman Teasdale, the Repo man

(Christopher Beeny: 2001-2006) At first an unnamed character, The Repo man is always pursuing Tom Simmonite, claiming that he owes money. While he is determined, however, he is gullible, and Tom always evades him. From 2005 on, he has not only been mentioned by name, but also calls on Barry for social visits, with Barry not being too thrilled at this newfound friendship. In certain episodes in 2005, it is clear that he still repossesses belongings, which Glenda suggests is the reason none of his friendships lasted: he kept repossessing his friends' items.

The Major / The Captain

(Trevor Bannister: 2001-2006) The Captain at the local golf club of which Barry is often trying to fit in as a member, but always manages to end up somehow offending the Major, despite his best efforts to impress him. Trevor Bannister (best known for playing Mr. Lucas in another comedy favourite, "Are You Being Served?" with Frank Thornton from 1972 to 1979, and who also starred with Brian Wilde in the short-lived "Wyatt's Watchdogs") had previously played a tailor in the 1992 episode 'Who's Got Rhythm?'.


Local policemen often witness the bizarre goings on, usually related to the main trio, and watch in bemusement. They are generally seen parked up around the moors and trying not to get involved with "anything", instead eating (they have even been seen to have a roadside barbecue on occasion) or drinking tea.

PC Cooper (aka 1st Policeman)

(Ken Kitson: 1983,1988,1989,1990-Present) Kitson first appeared in the 1983 Christmas special 'Getting Sam Home' and made 2 furthur guest appearances before becoming a semi-regular character from series 12 onwards. In series 29 he was finally given the name PC Cooper.cite web |url=|title= Last of the Summer Wine - Sunday 06 July|publisher=Radio Times |accessdate=2008-07-04] Cooper tends to be the bigger-headed of the two, but he has many ingenious ways of dealing with petty crimes with minimal disruption to his relaxation.

PC Walsh (aka 2nd Policeman)

(Louis Emerick: 1988,1989,2005-Present) Emerick first appeared alongside Kitson in 'Downhill Racer'. He made one more appearance in the next series, in the episode 'Three Men and a Mangle', and later reappeared in 2005 to partner Kitson after Tony Capstick's death. In series 29 he was finally given the name PC Walsh. Walsh is more level-headed than Cooper and enjoys "taking the mickey", but he tends to be a little more naïve.

2nd Policeman

(Tony Capstick: 1987,1990-2004) Capstick made his first appearance in the 1987 special 'Big Day at Dream Acres', before becoming a semi-regular alongside Kitson from series 12 in 1990, up to his death in 2003. His last appearance was the episode 'Yours Truly - If You're Not Careful'. Capstick's character was spacey and less intelligent even than the often-oblivious Cooper.



cite book
last = Bright
first = Morris
authorlink =
coauthors = Ross, Robert
title = Last of the Summer Wine: The Finest Vintage
publisher = BBC Worldwide
date = 2000-04-06
location = London
pages =
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0563551518

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