In Christine married George Barford, a gamekeeper , which was seen as a class transgression, even though her uncle, Tom Forrest was also a gamekeeper, and colleague of her future husband. Her marriage to George lasted over 25 years and was happy, but latterly they experienced difficult times as their house burned down due to an arson attack by Clive Horrobin. George died peacefully whilst they were waiting for the house to be re-built.
Christine lived with Peggy Woolley for some years but in suffered a fall and went into The Laurels initially for respite but is intending to take up a place in an assisted living flat. She lost her capital in a fraud perpetuated by associates of Matt Crawford.
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When married to Jack Archer, they managed and later owned the Bull. After many years of close friendship, Peggy married Jack Woolley. Peggy has two daughters, Jennifer and Lillian, and a son, Tony, by her first husband. She is indulgent of her grandchildren and has provided several of them with significant financial support.
Although she was something of a left wing firebrand in her youth she is now very conservative living in The Lodge which was the gatehouse for Grey Gables. She is married to Brian Aldridge. For more details see below under Aldridge family. After acquiring her second husband Ralph Bellamy in , she left Ambridge to live with him in tax exile in the Channel Islands ; she has by him a grown-up son James rarely encountered except when he needs money.
Bellamy senior died in , but Lilian unaccountably returned to Ambridge in and took up with Matt Crawford then a married man ; her exploits cause much gnashing of teeth from her respectable sister Jennifer Aldridge. Lilian was elected to the parish council in January Lilian took dancing lessons from Mike Tucker after she discovered that Crawford's ex-wife was a much better dancer than she.
In she and Crawford were briefly separated, and Lilian was an unwelcome guest at The Bull, but with the connivance of Sid and Jolene they were reunited.
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Crawford has since served a prison term for fraud. Their relationship was further tested when his long-lost brother Paul Morgan sought out, befriended, and ultimately fell in love with Lilian. Since then she has formed a relationship with Justin Elliott, a wealthy businessman. In his younger days he romanced a string of girlfriends and led a laddish life before settling down to marry Pat, with whom he now runs a fully organic establishment at Bridge Farm.
Despite owning an MG sports car, bought with a windfall from his mother, he is generally considered to be a rather dull man. His brother-in-law Brian Aldridge enjoys winding him up over farming matters, and dinner parties involving the two couples usually end in tears. Pat and Tony had three children, John, Helen and Tom. John was killed in a tractor accident. Tom runs a sausage business and makes pork ready meals under the Tom Archer brand. Tony suffered a heart attack in late February , and a serious farmyard accident in autumn Having recovered from both, he now takes more of a back seat in the family business.
Much taken with studying feminism in the mids she came close to having an affair with her lecturer, Roger, just before Bridge Farm entered the process of becoming organic. Affected by severe depression at the time of John's death, she discovered at the end of that he had fathered a child. Filled with remorse, Pat had strongly disapproved of Sharon, John's girlfriend, and this discovery turned into an obsession which caused problems for her family.
She also had problems with her daughter Helen's new boyfriend Rob in , especially given the affair and the break- down of a marriage within which they were brought together. Although she came to accept him after Helen made a drastic move and left her family home and moved in with Rob in February, she had questioned whether Rob had played a part in Helen quitting her long- running job at the Ambridge Organics store.
Her first husband, Mark Hebden, a solicitor, was killed in a road accident in that also involved her best friend Caroline Bone later Sterling. Shula and Mark's son Daniel was born after the death of his father as a result of IVF treatment after a long struggle with infertility. Some years after Mark's death, Shula had an affair with the village doctor who was himself living with Shula's hitherto good friend Usha Gupta , thus two-timing her boyfriend Alistair the local vet whom she subsequently married.
This was in the context of Shula's devout Christianity and membership of the local Parish Council.
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She owns and runs the riding stables which formerly belonged to Christine Barford, her aunt. She used once to have great fun with her best friend, Caroline, but later Caroline became engrossed in her husband Oliver Sterling and their business activities. After her marriage to Alistair, Shula lost her lightheartedness and became rather dour, self-centred and even, at times, sanctimonious, as evidenced by her attitude to the marriage to Usha Gupta, a Hindu, of the vicar, to whom Shula had been 'right-hand woman' for the parish. Coping with the childhood arthritis of her son, Daniel, did not help, nor did her husband's gambling addiction , which nearly destroyed their marriage before he finally admitted to owing huge sums to Matt Crawford and others.
Daniel was expected to go to university to read Law in his father's footsteps, but upset his mother by joining the Royal Tank Regiment , though later she accepted his choice of career. Alistair and Shula are now divorced as she was unsatisfied by the relationship, much to her husband's surprise. Alistair Lloyd born Michael Lumsden , Shula's ex-husband, is a vet. A committed atheist he riled Shula and antagonised his son, but indulged Daniel and contrived to get along with everyone else, except for Phil who saw through him.
Alistair mentored Ryan at Gamblers Anonymous. Having turned his back on the family farm to join the Merchant Navy , Kenton tried his hand at a number of ventures, including selling antiques and running a wine bar. He disappeared to Australia and New Zealand for several years and was married originally to gain a visa, though they subsequently fell in love , had a daughter Meriel , and divorced before returning home.
Together they run the Bull. When younger she was a stalwart of the Borsetshire Country and Western scene under the name the Lily of Layton Cross , and object of Eddie Grundy's affections, much to Clarrie's distress. Following Sid's untimely death she formed a relationship with Kenton Archer, and they were married in David Archer born David Thomas Archer, 18 September Timothy Bentinck , formerly played by Nigel Carrivick is the second son of Phil and Jill and, as the only child of the four to show any interest in, or aptitude for, farming, has assumed responsibility for Brookfield Farm.
Over recent years he has become increasingly caring, for example driving up to Northumberland to bring his widowed mother-in-law to stay, and renting a piece of land to Joe Grundy to allow him to keep the barn he had erected without planning permission. Brookfield has suffered in recent years from bovine TB , but David is enthusiastic about his herd of Herefords. His cowman 's heavy-handed advice which he and Ruth reluctantly accepted that they should dispense with the services of Shula's husband as vet for their dairy herd in favour of a specialist caused a serious family rift, and was followed by his near-affair with Sophie Barlow.
Recently, he bought an old tractor , dubbed Rufus, which he has restored. Unusually the character comes from a real rather than fictional place, Prudhoe in Northumberland.
She came to Ambridge as a Harper Adams student looking for agricultural work experience in , and promptly met David, who was keen to settle down: the couple married within two years. They have three children: Philippa Pip , Josh and Ben. Ruth survived breast cancer which struck in , undergoing a mastectomy operation. In an unpopular and heavily criticised plotline Ruth teetered on the brink of an affair with farm employee Sam Batton in the autumn of Many listeners viewed Ruth's behaviour during this storyline to be entirely out of character, and therefore unbelievable.
Others thought her immature self-centred shilly-shallying was entirely in character, and it was the largely off-air rehabilitation of the marriage and the family's 'blind eye' that was unbelievable.
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She has since undergone breast reconstruction surgery to restore listeners' empathy with her not entirely successfully , and coped rather better than David with the sudden transformation of priggish daughter Pip into a very stroppy seventeen-year-old with a much older boyfriend, Jude, who eventually dropped her. More recently, Ruth has suffered a miscarriage and championed a potential move from Brookfield to Prudhoe should "Route B" be constructed, breaking the farm in two.
Although David went along with this at first, he had doubts and confessed he could never leave Ambridge. Following her marriage to Nigel Pargetter, she took to her role like a duck to water and her quick mind and sound business sense ensure that the Hall runs like a well-oiled machine.
Her practical side was the perfect grounding for her eccentric and slightly scatty husband, who died in a fall on 2 January As the family rallied round, devastated Elizabeth drew her precious twins close to her. After David admitted to her that it had been he who had convinced her husband to go on the roof in the first-place, Elizabeth exploded in a violent rage, and swore she would never forgive him. After 18 months David was being targeted by the Horrobins and Elizabeth realised the feud had gone on for too long and family relations returned to normal.
After the suicide of her gamekeeper partner Greg Turner in ,  she suffered from anorexia nervosa , but recovered after a time at a specialist clinic. In she dated a journalist who quickly rejected her; this subsequently threatened a return to her earlier problems. On New Year's Day , whilst driving drunk, she knocked down Mike Tucker  but Tom, a passenger in the car, took the blame. The shock of this event made her re-evaluate her life and she has since helped develop a new type of cheese with Oliver Sterling.
Father and daughter were reconciled, however, after the birth of her son Henry Ian Archer, who was delivered by emergency caesarean section the day after New Years Day , Helen having been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.
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In she was attracted to the recently arrived dairy unit manager, Rob Titchener. Intimacy ensued, although Rob was still married to Jess, who remained in Hampshire caring for her sick father. Helen and Henry moved in with Rob in early , and Helen and Rob married in summer During , the increasing indications Rob was coercively controlling and emotionally abusing Helen, became a major plot line. In April , after meeting secretly with Jess, Helen stabbed Rob after he refused to let her and Henry leave placing a knife in her hands, goading her to end her own life, then lashing out at Henry when the child interrupted the confrontation.