He is an inattentive husband to Daisy, in that he never takes her out, nor has he ever bought her any jewellery or clothing. However, he does compliment her on occasion, and the two seem fond of each other despite their issues. His sex drive has slackened off considerably since his youth, and Daisy's frequent efforts to arouse him are often in vain.
Despite Hyacinth's utter contempt of him and her belief that he cannot succeed at anything, in the Christmas special "Sea Fever", Onslow managed to win a newspaper competition, which earned him and Daisy a first-class vacation on the QE2. Hyacinth and Richard were also on board in a cheaper cabin at the time, and, while at first intensely jealous, Hyacinth swallowed her pride and kindly wished Onslow congratulations and danced with him in the ship's ballroom.
Also, despite Hyacinth's usual mistreatment of him, Onslow is willing to help Hyacinth when she needs help though often she would rather it was someone else than him and even rescued her three-piece suite in the episode of the same name when the van carrying it crashed. He also admitted in "Riverside Picnic" that he admired Hyacinth's stiff upper lip when things went wrong. Hyacinth detests Onslow; however, he has no mean spirit and gets on well with almost everyone else, including his own vicar , Hyacinth's vicar, Emmett, Elizabeth, Bruce and Violet.
He is exasperated by Rose and Daddy on occasion, and thinks Daisy should not take their dramatics so seriously.
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Onslow is also good friends with Richard, nicknaming him "Dickie" much to Hyacinth's outrage though Richard himself does not mind , and often tries to persuade him not to let Hyacinth browbeat him all the time. Onslow is - when he can overcome his inherent sloth - a very loving and kindly character, despite his appearance suggesting otherwise.
He is Roy Clarke's favourite character in the show, as stated in the Comedy Connections series. Her daughter, Daisy's and Onslow's granddaughter, is named Kylie and is christened in the episode "The Christening". Great-Aunt Hyacinth does not approve of the name Kylie, saying it sounds like a foreign vegetable. She also disapproves of the fact that Stephanie had her baby out of wedlock , as do others, though she is the only one to make a point of her disapproval.
However, when Stephanie and Kylie don't show up to the christening, Hyacinth and Richard volunteer to search for them and find that Stephanie's caravan is broken down. They also are horrified to discover that she has become a hippie and lives in the caravan with two men, and has no idea which of the two men is Kylie's father. Even the men themselves don't know, and after delivering the trio to the church for the christening, Hyacinth insists she and Richard hide behind a column in the church because she is so ashamed.
Stephanie and Kylie are not seen again in the show, although in "Problems with Relatives", while pushing Daddy in a wheelchair , Daisy says it reminds her of when she and Onslow used to push baby Stephanie in the pram. It also reminds them of why they had to bring the wedding forward, implying Daisy became pregnant out of wedlock as well. Hyacinth's youngest, lustful sister, Rose has an eye for men and a taste for short skirts and flashy, provocative outfits. In the episode "Early Retirement", she reveals she was once married, though it is not stated whether she is widowed or divorced.
Her surname is also never given, though her maiden name is Walton like all the other sisters. She was played by Shirley Stelfox in series one and Mary Millar whose performance was more over-the-top than Stelfox's in every episode after that. She is another family member who threatens Hyacinth's social prestige, especially as the Vicar and Emmett are two of the men she sometimes chases. She even sometimes cosies up to Richard, though Hyacinth always puts a quick stop to that. Rose is promiscuous, unstable, and prone to fits of hysteria and depression , some of which are genuine but most of which are merely attention-seeking tactics.
However, Richard describes her as a gentle soul who is just a bit 'mixed up'. She is constantly having affairs with men, but her choice in men is poor and she often finds herself with married or otherwise unsuitable men who abandon her after a brief fling. Onslow has said more than once that her hormones never get a chance to settle, which explains her outrageous behaviour.
She has a penchant for stealing Onslow's cigarettes , and for going into long tirades about men and their unfaithfulness. She regularly becomes 'disillusioned' and decides to 'give up men', sometimes several times in a week, but always has a new beau in record time. She is shown to be relatively uneducated, never reads, and cannot spell simple words.
Hyacinth is particularly ashamed of Rose, and at times goes to great lengths to keep her existence and their relationship a secret. But she does care for her, all the same. In the episode " Charity Shop", she stands and listens patiently as Rose confides to her about her dysfunctional love life. Hyacinth cheers her up and then kisses her on the cheek before sending her home. In " Iron Age Remains", when Rose has locked herself in a room in one of her depressive fits, Hyacinth panics that Rose may have harmed herself, especially when there is no answer at the door in fact, Rose just had stereo headphones on and couldn't hear the people outside.
She sends Richard up a ladder to investigate, but he falls off. Hyacinth also tries to stop a fight between Rose and one of her lovers in "A Picnic for Daddy", thinking he is a reputable member of society, though she changes her mind and tells the man to stop bothering Rose when she realises she had mistaken his identity and that he was indeed another of Rose's bad choices in men. Violet played by Anna Dawson is the third-eldest of the Walton sisters, who married a successful but eccentric turf accountant named Bruce played by John Evitts. A sign outside their house reads "The Paddocks", but it is not revealed if this refers to their surname or is the name of their property.
Violet and Bruce were initially unseen characters , apart from the occasional glimpse from a distance, but in the fifth series, both Bruce and Violet became regulars on the show. Bruce and Violet are extremely wealthy. Hyacinth often brags that Violet and Bruce have a large house , Mercedes , sauna , jacuzzi , swimming pool , musical bidet , and room for a pony. They also have a cottage in the countryside , and a villa in Ibiza.
However, Violet has a troubled marriage with her eccentric, cross-dressing husband, and repeatedly phones Hyacinth to complain about Bruce's mad behaviour. Bruce often confiscates Violet's clothes in order to wear them himself, leaving her with his clothes. He also has had an affair with his secretary , and has done other unsuitable things such as refusing to come down out of a tree, drinking to excess , wearing strange costumes , throwing childish tantrums over trivial things, and buying lots of nude artwork.
In "The Toy Store", Richard remarks that Bruce is supposed to be on some sort of medication but it's implied he often does not take it. However, despite everything, Hyacinth insists that Violet put up with Bruce for the luxurious lifestyle his wealth gives her, particularly the Mercedes. While Violet is obviously far more affluent than Hyacinth, she is not the snob Hyacinth is. She is far more accepting of Daisy, Onslow and Rose than Hyacinth, in that she is not embarrassed by them. In "Riverside Picnic", when told by Hyacinth to find a friend "in the same income bracket" to drive her, Violet calls Onslow and invites her father and sisters to gate-crash Hyacinth's "waterside supper with riparian entertainments".
Although continually bragging about Violet to her friends, Hyacinth cannot use Violet and Bruce to her full advantage, as she often cannot introduce them to friends and neighbours due to their volatile marriage and Bruce's costumes. On the odd occasion, Hyacinth has invited Violet to her candlelight suppers which Violet does not enjoy any more than anyone else , and it is implied the main reason Hyacinth invites Violet and Bruce around is because she likes to have their Mercedes in her driveway.
In the episode "A Barbecue at Violet's", when Hyacinth and Richard arrive at Violet's home, they arrive in the middle of a vicious domestic row, in which Violet and Bruce are arguing loudly and hurling objects at each other. By "Skis", Violet eventually wants to divorce Bruce, but Hyacinth frog-marches her distraught sister to the vicar to try to change her mind, determined not to lose her one genuine connection to a higher class.
Richard is shown to not be fond of Violet, remarking how she is "always moaning", nor is he fond of Bruce and his eccentricities. Daddy played by George Webb is the apparently senile , divorced father of Hyacinth, Daisy, Rose and Violet; the prequel Young Hyacinth reveals his wife ran off with an American. He lives with Onslow, Daisy and Rose. Hyacinth repeatedly makes bizarre excuses as to why he can't live with her one being that he brings Sheridan out in a rash , and Daisy herself remarks in "Angel Gabriel Blue" that to punish Daddy by making him live with Hyacinth would be inhumane.
Hyacinth loves her father dearly; however, his antics and constant requirement for attention put her social standing at risk. She tends to make up outlandish stories to explain his behavior to other people. It is often said by Richard that the rundown neighborhood that Daddy lives in is the one he has lived in all his life, therefore revealing that Hyacinth grew up in the grubby, decrepit area she loathes visiting.
While mentally senile, Daddy is still quite capable physically, and seems unable to keep himself out of trouble. He is fit enough to climb onto roofs , ride a skateboard , steal cars , dig trenches , ride bicycles , and wander all over the countryside - all of which he has done, usually causing some embarrassment to his family in the process. Rose apparently inherited her promiscuous streak from him, as he is constantly ogling, pursuing, and accosting women, sometimes promising to marry them.
He also relives experiences from his younger days, such as his childhood and his service in the war , and in those moments he will assume the character of his younger self in the clothes he wears and the actions he takes. He often goes missing, and requires the rescue efforts of his daughters and sons-in-law. He has a medication which makes him very drowsy and therefore manageable when given, but whenever it wears off, he starts causing trouble again. Daddy's screen appearances are somewhat rare, and his spoken lines even more so.
Although his given name is unknown, his surname is revealed to be Walton in Young Hyacinth. An unseen character , Sheridan is Hyacinth's and Richard's spoiled and selfish only son, about 18 years of age. He is away at college a poly which Hyacinth insists is of a " university standard" - the first three series were written before the Further and Higher Education Act and is known to audiences primarily through Hyacinth's telephone conversations with him. The major running gag surrounding Sheridan involves him ringing home whenever he needs money, Hyacinth without fail assuming at first that he is "just ringing his mummy" - despite his age, she still refers to herself and Richard as "mummy and daddy".
Most of the time, he needs money for ludicrous things that his friend Tarquin has suggested, up to and including a walking holiday in Iceland. Although Sheridan usually convinces Hyacinth of his need for the money much to Richard's exasperation , Hyacinth is very occasionally able to say no. Hyacinth claims Sheridan writes to her constantly, and often expects to receive letters from him, but Sheridan rarely gets in touch unless he wants money.
Only once in the series did Sheridan do something for his parents; in the episode "What to Wear When Yachting", he arranged a weekend for Hyacinth and Richard on a small yacht owned by Tarquin's father. Sheridan prefers not to talk to Richard on the phone, and has been known to pretend to be someone else whenever he calls and Richard answers. The other running gag is that Richard suspects Sheridan is gay , something which is implied through his love of needlework , his lilac -colored car, his desire for pure silk pyjamas , his male friend, Tarquin with whom Sheridan makes his own curtains , and his stated disinterest in girls.
Richard regularly tries to raise the issue with Hyacinth, only for her to remain totally oblivious. A glimpse of the back of Sheridan's head can be seen in the episode "Let There Be Light" while he is in a taxi , and during the opening credits, a photograph of him as a young boy is seen on Hyacinth's writing desk ; this is the closest he has ever been seen on the show. She is played by Josephine Tewson. Hyacinth calls her Elizabeth, but everyone else calls her Liz. Hyacinth often invites her round for coffee , and despite frequent encouragement from her brother, Liz is too weak-willed to say no despite living in fear of Hyacinth's invitations.
Aware of Hyacinth's house-proud ways, Elizabeth is terrified of spilling, dropping or breaking anything in her neighbour's home, but ironically, Hyacinth's flighty mannerisms and nagging make Liz especially clumsy in her presence, and she indeed ends up spilling, dropping or breaking something nearly every time.
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Unlike most, Liz sympathises with Hyacinth, aware of how she is despised by everyone, including Liz's brother Emmet. She is likely Hyacinth's only real friend although she makes a point of referring to Hyacinth as a "neighbour" rather than a friend. This friendship is tested by Hyacinth's tactless and unthinking remarks. These usually involve Elizabeth's dexterity , clothes, car, appearance, and her daughter's intelligence. Liz likes Richard quite dearly, and has deep sympathy for him; the two seem discreetly fond of each other.
Liz feels pity for Hyacinth's and Richard's son, Sheridan, as well, believing "he never really stood a chance" with Hyacinth for a mother. Liz's husband Mr Warden is never seen: In "Onslow's Birthday", it is implied that Liz and her husband were having marriage troubles, which is what prompted him to take the position abroad.
They have a daughter, Gail, who is also never seen but mentioned in conversation in a few early episodes. Gail grew up friends with Sheridan, but unlike Sheridan she goes to a proper university and is trying to make something of herself. Hyacinth seems a bit jealous of Gail's success as compared to her son's, and sometimes finds reasons to put her down such as having a live-in boyfriend when she is mentioned.
While Elizabeth did eventually meet and become friends with Rose, Onslow, and Daisy in "Problems with Relatives", Hyacinth did her best to prevent this happening and afterwards would still go to great lengths to prevent her from seeing their shabby house.
Both parties have offered lifts for the other when one is stranded on the side of the road, and have met on other occasions as well. Onslow even jokingly kissed Liz under the mistletoe in the episode "The Father Christmas Suit", which prompted an inebriated Richard to do the same. Liz owns a white Austin Metro , which appeared in most episodes and was also subject to tactless comments from Hyacinth about its age and appearance, even though Hyacinth's own car is older. Emmet, played by David Griffin , made his first appearance in "A Strange Man", and appeared in nearly every subsequent episode.
At first, Hyacinth and Richard thought he was Liz's illicit lover, but later found out he was her brother who moved in after he reportedly  lost his own house in a messy divorce. Emmet is a cultured person, unlike most of Hyacinth's acquaintances. He rides horses , enjoys working in the garden , and has a fondness for sherry occasionally over-imbibing, which Liz chides him for. He is a classically trained pianist , as well as both producer and director for the local amateur operatic society.
He is also shown to have a fair singing voice, himself. Richard suggests that Emmett probably makes a good salary for his talents. Hyacinth, who always wanted to be on the stage, frequently sings at Emmet, and drops broad hints that he should include her in his work, but to no avail. Emmet is, like most artists , very temperamental. He has a tendency to be somewhat melodramatic though not to the same extent as Rose , and is terrified of leaving the house because of Hyacinth's terrible singing and even worse manners being enough to "ruin his day.
He also frequently falls or hurts himself trying to run to escape her. In "Singing for Emmett", Emmet explosively loses his temper at Hyacinth, only to realize Hyacinth is completely oblivious to it. Therefore, in later episodes, he frequently says nasty things about her practically to her face, because this incident taught him she doesn't listen and won't hear him.
Emmett also begins to seek out ways to get back at Hyacinth for the misery she causes himself and Elizabeth. In "Let There Be Light", he and the Vicar's wife contrive to leave Hyacinth outside the church hall during the Bring and Buy sale to meet a wealthy guest who happens to own two disagreeable dogs , but Hyacinth doesn't know this. In "Hyacinth Is Alarmed", Emmett makes a point to call Hyacinth and tell her when the house across the street is burgled twice, because he knows Hyacinth will be jealous that the burglars thought there were better pickings at the Barker-Finches than at her own house.
Arguably, his most famous revenge against Hyacinth came in "Please Mind Your Head", when he discovered Hyacinth was dressed in riding gear to impress the neighbors. He forced her to actually ride a horse to prove she could, taking great delight in her horrible attempts to mount and get the horse started, but showing some remorse when the horse threw her and nearly injured her.
In the latter years of the programme, Hyacinth can no longer ignore the fact Emmett is desirous to avoid her, but assumes he's shy and possibly has a romantic attraction to her. Upon hearing this, Emmet says, "I think I want to die! Emmett is initially flattered by Rose's attentions, even showing some attraction to her, but eventually comes to fear her as well because of how eagerly she forces herself on him.
Like Liz, Emmett deeply sympathizes with Richard. He and Emmett become friends early on, and Emmett is one of the few people who can get Richard to do something silly or unbecoming without Hyacinth being too upset, such as going to a pub in "Hyacinth is Alarmed". Emmett also is shown in several episodes to be friendly with Onslow, despite Hyacinth's initial attempts to keep them apart.
In the special features of the complete DVD collection of the series, it is revealed that David Griffin was being treated for cancer during much of the series' run. In later seasons, Emmett is noticeably much thinner and seems to have aged, because of this, though the show explains it as his having gotten prison pallor from hiding indoors from Hyacinth all the time. Michael played by Jeremy Gittins is the young and handsome vicar of St.
Mark 's Church , which Richard and Hyacinth attend. Like most, he is terrified of Hyacinth, and does his best to avoid her, often unsuccessfully. Moreover, he often forgets that Hyacinth prefers her last name to be pronounced "bouquet" and addresses her as "Mrs Bucket". When he's discussing Hyacinth with his wife, they refer to her as "the Bucket woman". He first arrived in the parish in "The New Vicar", after being a prison chaplain for an unspecified amount of time as referenced in "A Picnic for Daddy". He is called "that dishy vicar" by Rose, who often pursues him, much to the anger of his jealous wife, who dislikes the fact that the majority of Michael's congregation are women who make a fuss of him.
However, despite his dislike, he feels it his duty to be sympathetic to Hyacinth most of the time, trying to rescue her from the Commodore 's amorous advances in "The Commodore" and agreeing to help her with her kitchen dilemma in " Angel Gabriel Blue". He also twice stops to offer Hyacinth and Richard lifts when he spots them stranded on the side of the road, and agrees to try to council her sister Violet in the episode " Skis ", though Violet is unwilling to go through with it.
The Vicar likes Onslow and Daisy and is always glad to see them, and more than once has been to their house to help with various issues such as a ghost in Daddy's bedroom , or Rose being depressed. However, he has made no secret of the fact he dislikes Hyacinth's father, famously standing up to Hyacinth in the episode "The Father Christmas Suit" to demand she take her inebriated and nearly-nude father away from the church Christmas gathering 'as soon as possible'. He saddled her with the two most difficult seniors to deal with, telling his wife he'd 'make up for it on Sunday'.
Married to the vicar, Mrs Partridge played by Marion Barron is usually referred to as "dear" by her husband. She is a timid yet fiery young woman with a soft Scottish accent. She often finds her husband in compromising positions with Rose, whom she nicknames 'the vampire sister', or other young females and incorrectly assumes the worst.
These situations are usually prefaced in an earlier scene where she expresses jealousy over the attention that Michael's female parishioners give him. The vicar's wife initially dislikes Hyacinth, but as the series goes on, she grows to see more humour in some of Hyacinth's behaviour than other characters do. She has been seen to stifle fits of laughter at Hyacinth's suggestion of leaving sick parishioners outside while the vicar attends a party of Hyacinth's, and on another occasion merrily bobbed her head in time to Hyacinth's horrendous singing.
She also is the only person who seems willing instead of forced to go on Hyacinth's little expedition in "Riverside Picnic". Partridge, like Emmett, has frequently attempted various small revenges against Hyacinth. In "How to Go On Holiday Without Really Trying", she deliberately tricked Hyacinth into cleaning the toilets in the church hall all by herself, and in "Let There Be Light", she assigned Hyacinth to the booth farthest away from anyone else in the church Bring and Buy sale. Furthermore, in the same episode, she and Emmett contrived to get Hyacinth to stay outside and wait for Mrs.
Drummond and her disagreeable dogs, instead of helping set up the sale. The other vicar played by Gerald Sim had a single appearance in the episode "The Christening ". He is of an older appearance than Michael the vicar, and his church is located at a different location from Michael's. He is Onslow and Daisy's friend and likes to joke around with them. Michael the postman was played by Leo Dolan in the first series and by David Janson from on. He is impertinent, high-strung, and completely overwhelmed by Hyacinth Bucket, of whom he lives in fear.
He would rather avoid her, but tries to stand up to her when she pounces on him, which is every time he delivers and occasionally throws mail to her house.
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She constantly makes sure she takes all letters in person, never allowing him to put them in the letterbox itself and sternly rebuking him when he tries to do so. She frequently makes impossible demands of him, such as letting her see Elizabeth's mail, or switching all second class stamps on her letters to first class stamps , or having him track down packages or letters that were never actually sent. He tries many techniques to not speak to Hyacinth, but all fail.
In later episodes he develops a bad twitch , and he openly tells Hyacinth it is her fault, but she seems not to notice. He is the father of seven children. Played by Robert Rawles, the unnamed Milkman is in the same position as Michael the Postman, in that he constantly sneaks about doing his level best to avoid speaking to Hyacinth. Like the postman, he always fails, and usually finds himself bombarded with ridiculous requests such as finding out which specific cows the milk comes from and making sure Hyacinth receives the exact same bottles every time.
He and the postman consider themselves fellow brothers in affliction, and celebrate whenever Hyacinth is on holiday. However, unlike the postman, the milkman never loses his cool with Hyacinth and is not afraid of her, merely annoyed by her. Major Wilton-Smythe played by Peter Cellier , commonly known simply as "the major", only appears in the first two series, and hopelessly lusts after Hyacinth even though he is married to a never-seen wife, whom he refers to as "the ball and chain ".
The Major lives in a large house called The Laurels , which is just around the corner from Hyacinth and Richard's bungalow. In " Golfing with the Major", he reveals he was wounded in the leg somewhere east of Suez , and he still has "some poxy foreign lead in there somewhere". He pretends to limp on this injury when he wants to get out of doing something he doesn't like, walking normally whenever people aren't watching.
He is brash and forceful, and disliked by Richard. In particular, Richard finds it odd that an elderly man like the major prefers whizzing about in a two-seat sports car convertible rather than driving in presumably a more sensible car - the major drives a Morgan Plus 4. Despite his irritating behaviour, his upper-class status means that Hyacinth refuses to sever contact with the man. At one point she admits "it's a good thing he's a Major Mrs Nugent played by Charmian May is high up the social ladder but low down the charismatic scale, being a dull, bad-tempered and ill-mannered woman.
She speaks in an overly loud and militaristic tone and goes on unnecessary tirades about "excessive romantic behaviour" and wasting money. Despite her dislike of romance, however, she thinks it would be fun to be a part of the film industry , and dons a skimpy costume when she thinks Richard is filming an amateur movie in "Richard's New Hobby". She also seems to be the only person who can get away with referring to Hyacinth as "Mrs Bucket" without Hyacinth correcting her. Hyacinth tolerates her, not only because of her status, but also because she wants a place on her committee. The committee itself is never identified, nor it is clear if Mrs Nugent or her husband is the Councillor.
Hyacinth admits that she doesn't know what the committee does, she just wants a seat on it. Above all her other acquaintances, Hyacinth is convinced that Mrs Barker-Finch is her greatest social rival; however, Mrs Barker-Finch does not seek to outdo Hyacinth in any way, and generally wants nothing to do with her at all. She is referred to in many episodes, but only makes an uncredited appearance in the episode "Driving Mrs. Fortescue", appearing on the sidewalk with a friend just in time to see Hyacinth embarrassingly trapped on the back of a moving lorry. She also had the temerity to talk while Hyacinth was singing, once, firmly making her an enemy of Hyacinth's.
Hyacinth hypocritically believes Mrs Barker-Finch to be a snob "She was a Barker, he was a Finch, now suddenly they're hyphenated" and is determined to get one up on her at every opportunity. She also believes Mrs Barker-Finch is inferior to her. In "Hyacinth is Alarmed", when Hyacinth hears that Mrs Barker-Finch has been burgled twice, rather than sympathise with her, she accuses Mrs Barker-Finch of being "pretentious", and opines that only a "low-class burglar" would rob Number Hyacinth furthermore becomes unreasonably jealous whenever Mrs Barker-Finch has some form of social success and becomes adamant that she will do better than her.
This was best exampled in the episode "A Celebrity for the Barbecue ", when Mrs. Barker-Finch invited a prominent businessman to her house. Hyacinth went to great lengths to throw a barbecue with a more distinguished celebrity. In "Three Piece Suite", Hyacinth ordered a three-piece suite that was "an exact replica of the one at Sandringham House ", and went to extraordinary lengths to ensure Mrs Barker-Finch saw it being delivered by "The van with the royal warrant on it", such as repeatedly phoning her so that she would have to come to the window and see the delivery van pull up.
An ill-timed phone call from Sheridan to ask for money fouled the plan up, and Richard had to pay the van to drive away and come back. Unfortunately, the van was seen to crash into a verge shortly thereafter, and Daisy and Onslow's hired lorry turned up just as this happened. This resulted in them delivering the three-piece suite to Hyacinth's house instead, which Mrs. Barker-Finch presumably saw much to Hyacinth's dismay. Delia Wheelright is another unseen rival of Hyacinth. At the beginning of the episode, Hyacinth is talking to Delia Wheelright on the phone. We do not hear the other side of the conversation, but it is revealed that the former is going on an expensive holiday to the Caribbean.
Although she does not express it on the telephone, Hyacinth is greatly put out by this and sets out to better her.
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Hyacinth drags Richard into town to visit some travel agencies and inquire about holidays, though not the cheap sort of holiday that 'caters to the spaghetti and chips brigade". Of course the Buckets cannot afford to pay for any of the expensive holidays, but Hyacinth grabs information regarding trips for the Orient Express and the QE2 the latter trip being one they actually save up to take in the Christmas special.
On the way home, Hyacinth deliberately drops the brochures out of the car window in front of some friends of Delia Wheelright, in the hope that they will see the brochures and the news gets back to her that Hyacinth is going on an expensive holiday. As usual the plan comes to nothing as the friends in question take no notice. Another of Hyacinth's social rivals, Lydia Hawksworth actress uncredited earned Hyacinth's ire during one of her candlelight suppers, when she obnoxiously commented that Hyacinth's kiwi fruit were "lower middle-class", and further rubbed Hyacinth up the wrong way by boasting about her recent holiday in Corfu.
By this behaviour, it can be assumed that she too is as snobbish as Hyacinth. Although not explicitly mentioned, it is possible that she may be either Emmet's ex-wife or some other relation of Elizabeth and Emmet. In the episode, "The Rolls Royce ", Hyacinth was outraged at losing to Lydia in a flower arranging contest, and even further dismayed that Lydia had acquired a flashy new Jaguar. She then began a scheme to show her up, by visiting an exclusive garage and convincing the owner to let her "test drive" a Rolls Royce. However, Hyacinth badgered Richard into driving the Rolls out to the country club where Mrs Hawksworth often went, and the vehicle was reported as stolen.
Hyacinth was apprehended by police officers as soon as Mrs Hawksworth arrived, much to the latter's glee. Mrs Fortescue played by Jean Anderson is the irascible, bossy and inconsiderate widow of a wealthy businessman who is a parishioner at the Buckets' church. Her sister is married to a baronet , which leads Hyacinth to perform favours for her even if they are inconvenient to her and Richard, with hopes of socializing with members of the nobility. She appeared in "Driving Mrs.
Mrs Fortescue asks for a lift into town - as she has had her own driving license revoked for speeding - and Hyacinth goes to enormous lengths to impress her, even forcing Richard to rehearse how he is going to ring her doorbell. Richard is not fond of Mrs Fortescue because she hits him with her walking stick. Much to Hyacinth's dismay, Mrs Fortescue accidentally meets Rose, Daisy and Onslow, and gets on extremely well with them. They are from a rather posh and "very old" family, their late father having been a Colonel.
Hyacinth and Richard drive through town, and on the way they pass the two Miss Pillsworths and, despite the lack of space in the car and the fact that both dislike Hyacinth and are reluctant to travel with her, manage to persuade the two women to take a lift. However, Hyacinth insists they detour through the beautiful neighborhood Violet lives in before letting them out of the car, prompting the elder Miss Pillsworth to fear they've been kidnapped.
Later on in the same episode, the sisters run away when they see Hyacinth coming, afraid she'll insist on giving them another lift. In "The Father Christmas Suit", it was Hyacinth's intention to have Mr Thorgunby and his wife Fiona played by Annette Peters around for mulled wine and hot mince pies so that they could discuss the conditions of Richard's early retirement. Unfortunately for her, a series of mishaps involving a drunken Richard, a disguised Elizabeth, and a semi-naked Daddy caused the Thorgunbys to give up on the idea of a Christmas visit and drive back home.
Earlier on in the episode, Hyacinth phoned the Thorgunby's house. She was surprised to have a timid childish voice answer at the other end. Believing it to be a child, Hyacinth told the person to "run along, poppet, and tell your Mummy Mrs Thorgunby that there is a nice lady wanting to speak with her".
However, it turned out that Hyacinth was speaking to Mrs Thorgunby. His unseen wife is a member of the Ladies' Luncheon Committee along with Hyacinth, and Hyacinth dislikes her, calling her a "thrusting creature. Frosticles instead of their actual names. Their acquaintance is only slight, as Richard forgot who they were for a time, and Millburn had no recollection at all of who Hyacinth and Richard were.
He was shown as a not-very-bright man, who valued stupidity as a quality and who enjoyed golfing. In "A Job for Richard", Millburn announced an open senior executive position at his factory. Hyacinth schemed with Onslow to get Richard the job, roping a reluctant Richard into it. The scheme involved Onslow pretending to be a hoodlum and Richard pretending to subdue him, to impress Millburn.
The arrival of two real hoodlums which Hyacinth had to chase off herself messed up the plan, and Millburn offered the job to Hyacinth instead, though she refused. Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. The Week Magazine Reviews and Press Clips for Nature Wars. From the Author of Frankie's Place: It was not the unabashed sexual display that was remarkable. Mating must be routine exercise out there, judging by the frequency with which brand-new rabbits can be seen eating the lawn, but foxes are another matter.
This is an in-town garden at a well-trafficked intersection two blocks from the county courthouse, definitely not a fox-friendly location. A single fox doing nothing at all on this turf would be a newsworthy sight; two foxes engaged in propagating the species would seem to border on the unthinkable. The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds argues persuasively that events like this foxes-in-the-garden sighting are evidence that humans are losing some kind of property rights struggle with creatures of the wild.
He cites an extensive history of resolute and sometimes blatantly hostile real-estate invasion by beavers, Canada geese, wild turkeys, and white-tailed deer, all of which were once assumed to be picturesque and even lovable denizens of the dark and safely remote forest. In-town appearances by coyotes and bears are now commonplace in communities across the country, and trespassers in my own garden, aside from the foxes, have included groundhogs, possums, skunks, feral cats, and one blue heron that ate all the koi with which we thought to beautify the fish pond.
The woods have no garbage cans and dumpsters filled with discarded food, no lovingly tended tomato plants, no ready-to-pluck dahlias and nasturtiums, no tasty, newly planted shrubs. Sterba believes that this human withdrawal from combative relations with woodland animals is one of the major causes of their proliferation: Experience of his own natural habitat comes largely from watching beautifully photographed films on television.
For the denatured reader, there is a wealth of useful statistics. Or that the giant variety of Canada goose, weighing ten to twenty pounds, does not migrate but likes to settle in groups of hundreds, sometimes thousands, on golf courses and public parklands where, with their distinctively hyperactive digestive systems, they must void their bowels approximately fives times an hour?
In a benign natural world, wild animals and birds not only got along with one another but were often portrayed as tame and peaceable, with human habits and feelings. Bambi and Lassie are two of the best-known practically human specimens that warm the popular heart. Those who seek something closer to Darwinian reality may prefer Bugs Bunny. His study is confined largely to the vast American deciduous forest land between the Atlantic Ocean and the prairie flatland, where approximately two thirds of Americans now live.
Yet the forest comes back fast. By the s, one half to two thirds of the landscape was reforested. For one thing, because oil, gas, and coal replaced wood as the major fuel for heating and cooking. Nationally, Sterba reports, tree canopy covers about 27 percent of the urban landscape. As this motorized workforce flung people outward, the scattering population began to produce new, smaller workplaces—little urboids, too small to be cities, too lifeless to be towns.
For many they have begun to seem just another variety of pest; for some, they are simply menaces. Geese, for instance, have lost many devotees since several were sucked into the engines of a jet departing LaGuardia Airport, in January , and forced an emergency landing on the Hudson River, which people survived only because of the extraordinary skill of pilot and crew. This may be because there are simply too many deer for their own good.
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I recall the excitement of seeing a deer standing perfectly still on a northern California mountainside in Seeing a deer at all in those years was a thrilling event. Now it is likely to be merely irritating, if not downright alarming. Various estimates for the United States put it at 25 to 40 million and growing unchecked, and apparently uncheckable. By eating plants that grew under large trees they damaged songbird habitats and put certain bird groups at risk.
Then, says Sterba, they made one last crucial adjustment: Most did not hunt. Thinking of possible ways to avert a disaster in deer—human conflicts, Sterba imagines a return of the human predator. By Donna Seaman 9: But the driveway was occupied by deer. Five elegant young does turned their large, deep, dark eyes on us with the disdain of teenagers annoyed at being interrupted. We gazed back, simultaneously thrilled by the proximity to such beautiful animals and impatient to park and stretch our legs. The deer flicked their tails, swiveled their ears, nosed the ground and slowly, grudgingly, sashayed onto the grass.
Sterba's first book, "Frankie's Place," is a memoir about courting and marrying his wife, the journalist and author Frances FitzGerald, whose own account of the Vietnam War, "Fire in the Lake," won the Pulitzer Prize. The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds," is about why herds of deer now occupy our driveways and yards, eating our flowers and plants.
As I read this census, I find myself nodding. Even in our Poughkeepsie neighborhood, we see lots of different songbirds, woodpeckers, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, woodchucks, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, beavers, ducks, eagles, turtles and blue heron. But there was no such cavalcade of wildlife when I still lived at home, back around the time I read Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring.
Carson's now classic book of warning begins with "A Fable for Tomorrow," which presents a world in grim opposition to the vitality Sterba describes. The people had done it themselves. The environmental movement did coalesce in the wake of "Silent Spring," and laws were passed to protect endangered species and the air, water and land that sustain all of life.
Even so, environmental threats continue to multiply.
The battles to protect wetlands, forests, rivers, oceans, public lands and wildlife against pollution, destruction, decimation and global warming rage on. Environmental writers continued to sound the alarm. Yet there have been some phenomenal improvements. The facts about wildlife resurgence that Sterba present in his mind-bending dispatch from the new world of "people-wildlife conflicts" are startling and staggering.
The cougar Chicago police shot dead in Roscoe Village? Consider the more routine animal nuisances: We have enhanced their habitats and eliminated predators — although we do accidentally kill an appalling number of animals with our cars, and millions of birds die in collisions with high-rise windows. Filled with wonder over the beautiful animals that are now all around us, we feed wild birds supporting a hugely profitable bird seed industry and even coyotes and bears, inviting deadly attacks.
And don't get Sterba started on the subject of feral cats. Consider, there were no deer left in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio by the late 19th century. Restocking and restoration efforts have been a tremendous, resounding success. We owe profound thanks not only to environmental writers, but also to all the unsung biologists, environmentalists, policymakers, attorneys, grass-roots activists, government staffers and politicians who ensured that we averted ecological disaster 40 years ago. But just as we had no clue as to what havoc we were unleashing with the use of DDT, we have not been aware of the consequences of renewed animal populations.
We've even been oblivious, Sterba tells us, to the return of the trees. The halt to deforestation in the late 19th century initiated an era of luxurious regrowth. Citing tree counts and aerial survey, Sterba asserts that we are all, in essence, forest dwellers now, even those of us who live in the heart of big cities. Roosevelt" — was also "an ardent and knowledgeable conservationist. Leopold's paradigm-alerting land ethic, as he explained, "changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. Fish and Wildlife Service for which Carson later worked.
Darling proved to be a formidable and effective protector of ducks and geese, so much so that his agency inadvertently established the very conditions that nurtured today's immense population of "nuisance" Canadian geese. American wildlife has rebounded from near-extinction to overabundance, and many of us recoil from the need to cull animal populations. It's one thing to argue that animals are sentient beings and that we should never abuse or unnecessarily kill them.
We are going to have to figure out how to live safely with all those amazing and, yes, precious, deer, geese and beavers, those coyote and cougars and bears. Well worth the effort if you are engaged in conservation issues. Seeing some grapevines choking off a ravine and stream, Sterba rips out the interloping vines so the original forest can take hold. But his research reveals that the vines were probably planted in the 19th century, when the entire area was bucolic farmland. The major annihilation of nature in the U.
The conservationist efforts of the past years have been so successful that wildlife such as coyotes, turkeys, bears, and deer — not long ago a sight so rare that Americans stopped their cars to get a look — have become plentiful pests. Nature Wars' details an uneasy relationship Jim Sterba takes a thoughtful look at Americans' widespread and enduring ignorance of the natural world. Among them all one stands out: Not only are America's Eastern forests roaring back to life, they've been doing so for more than a century. He sees feral grapevines strangling a birch tree.
When he gets out of his car to rip the vines out, he finds a rusting Maine license plate. The grapes were there before the trees, "a remnant of a very different civilization that had existed not long ago. Now armies of cute and cuddly creatures are filling up those forests too, including white-tailed deer. So many deer, in fact, as to become odious and obnoxious. At its best, "Nature Wars" isn't really a book about the conflict between man and nature. Nor is it about the clashes between those who defend nature and those who seek to manage it.
Instead, it's best read as a history of Americans' widespread and enduring ignorance of the natural world and how that ignorance has created new and strange ecosystems — especially in our sprawling suburbs and exurbs. Beavers were wiped out in Massachusetts by frontiersmen and Indian trappers and traders in the early 18th century — they never coexisted with European settlers.
Sterba shows how beavers soon thrived in resurgent forests now largely free of their old predators — including humans, no longer interested in slaughtering them en masse for the fur trade. By , the state's beaver population was estimated at 24, Both like to live along brooks, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes with lots of nice trees nearby. He shows us how new suburban residents plant pretty trees in their yards, only to see the beavers chew them down to build dams that flood those yards.
In Sterba's often amusing narrative, species such as the wild turkey are cast in the role of victims in one era, only to reappear as pests in another. Like human history, bird history repeats itself — the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. But they come back thanks to human restoration efforts and to hunters who breed them as live decoys to shoot other birds. In the ensuing century, Sterba writes, humans had created a goose paradise filled with "… soccer fields, playgrounds, and parks, all planted in what happened to be the favorite food of Canada geese: We Americans don't understand nature in the same way that Sterba did when he was a boy growing up on a Michigan farm in the s; Americans today have become so immersed in "virtual reality," he writes, that they prefer to have "the natural world delivered to them on a digital screen.
Among other things, they sprayed their fields with pesticides that wiped out songbirds and nearly caused the bald eagle to become extinct. White-tailed deer, Sterba shows us, thrive in the faux rural, predator-free zones of many an American exurb. He paints a vivid and memorable portrait of these new eco systems, where only one, plentiful species is capable of bringing balance and harmony among living things: In his new book, Nature Wars, reporter Jim Sterba explores how, ironically, many Americans are living closer to nature than ever before—and how ill-equipped we are to deal with it.
After centuries of uncontrolled hunting and clear-cutting devastated ecosystems, the environmental movement inspired people to try to restore some kind of natural balance. Beavers flood septic systems, deer devour plants, and black bears forage in our trash bins. At the same time, some suburbanites shy away from management strategies such as hunting and trapping—activities that, along with enacting ordinances to ban feeding wildlife and requiring that trash be stored in more secure bins, can help municipalities overcome this growing problem, Sterba argues.
There were the deer devotees, who held a vigil and lighted one candle for each of the deer—"my closest friends," said one activist—killed in a controlled hunt at Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts. And there were the Canada goose protectors, who turned out with a television crew in tow to decry an impending "goose Holocaust" in Clarkstown, N. But a funny thing happened on Jan. That was the day that United Airlines Flight struck a flock of geese on takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, lost both engines, and was piloted to a near-miraculous safe landing minutes later in the Hudson River by Capt.
After Flight , they stopped answering my emails and returning my phone calls. Sterba documents in "Nature Wars. Another booming business these days is "nuisance wildlife control companies. Sterba notes, that spilled seed from bird feeders is a significant cause of the trouble, attracting skunks, raccoons, rats and even black bears that drive frantic homeowners to call in "control experts.
They live in the forest," Mr. More than million acres of forests have regrown on what were once cleared farm fields in the eastern United States. The changes have not only brought people in contact with wildlife but also produced ecological conditions that favor a number of species whose populations have unnaturally exploded—deer, most obviously, but also beavers, geese, turkeys, moose and bears. People feel the impact—literally, in the 3, deer-car collisions per day. But so do threatened bird and plant species, whose habitats are being wiped out by ravenous herds of famished deer.
Sterba shows that policy makers who aim to address these problems frequently must resort to hypocrisy and deceit to navigate the morass of public sentiment. There, a proposal to allow limited hunting as a way of keeping the deer herd in check produced predictable outrage, including a death threat to a local official.
In Massachusetts, rapidly growing numbers of dam-building beavers have flooded basements and septic tanks, contaminated wells, and undermined utility towers and railroad embankments. In the Humane Society of the United States launched a successful referendum campaign to ban the use of lethal traps to catch beavers in the state. Wildlife officials tried to point out that the ban would simply "turn what were valuable resources harvested for fur into pests to be eradicated at taxpayer expense. Trappers were driven out of business, and beaver numbers soared.
Instead of using the now-banned lethal traps that instantly dispatched a beaver, they have to employ cumbersome and supposedly "humane" live traps that hold the terrified animal for hours until it can be retrieved, bashed on the head and disposed of. Sterba is particularly good at untangling the complex politics and strange alliances that have formed in these battles. Birdseed companies, outraged that federal and state wildlife agencies had correctly advised against using seed mixtures containing grains that birds simply discard, fought back by going after the agencies' funding.