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Bessie Proctor

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Bessie Proctor
Bessie Proctor
Occupation Cleaner
Spouse(s) Walter Proctor
First appearance 27th November 1972
Last appearance 6th December 1972
Number of appearances 4
Played by Jill Summers

Bessie Proctor as a cleaner employed by Benny Lewis at his newly-opened Capricorn Club. Unfortunately for her, Hilda Ogden was also employed in the same capacity but on the understanding that she was Bessie's senior. After years of being bossed around by all her employers, Hilda let power go to her head and constantly waved the big stick in Bessie's direction. On one occasion in the frenetic days leading up the opening, Hilda ordered Bessie to clean the cloakrooms, just before Rita Littlewood insisted that the glasses behind the bar be cleaned. Hilda immediately gave jobs to Bessie but Rita stepped in and sent Bessie to do the glasses and an aggrieved Hilda to do the cloakroom, referring to the pair as tweedledee and tweedledum as they sulked off to their allotted tasks.

On the day of the opening, Bessie stopped her work to admire Rita as she rehearsed I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby for that night's cabaret, telling her that it was her and husband's song when they were courting but the romance had died the first time they had had sex - twelve years before they were wed! Hilda interrupted her to tell her off for gossiping but proceeded to do the same thing herself, once she had seen her junior on her way.

That night, Benny Lewis admonished the ladies for hanging around in their scarves and cleaning gear after the doors had opened but they insisted on being paid for their work in cash, and even then Hilda tried her one-upmanship by asking for extra money for having had to supervise Bessie.

A week later, Benny asked both ladies to work in the evenings washing up on a rate of £1.50 an hour. Bessie refused as her Wally wouldn't like her working late but Hilda eagerly snapped up the extra money.

The character is notable for being played by Jill Summers, ten years before she began in her regular role as Phyllis Pearce.

List of appearancesEdit

1972

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