Gordon Bennet!

“I like Lillian because she doesn’t do self pity and picks herself up and gets on with life whatever it throws at her.”

Discuss with reference to moving in and infesting her sister’s premises indefinitely because she is so sorry for herself, and ditto the Bull on a previous occasion.


Maybe the poster is thinking of the previous Lilian, the one who was widowed young and worked hard, because it doesn’t sound at all like the Lilian who came back from Guernsey.


Must be, but I definitely agree that I think it utterly unlike the Lilian we have known this century, and thus a rather silly claim to make.

Lilian is a very popular character. I think people don’t really stop to consider what she actually is like according to what we hear on air, but substitute their own rather rose-coloured version of the fictional tart-with-a-heart. I’ve only listened to Lilian since 2007 (other than when she was a teenager, briefly, because only my grandparents, not my parents listened to The Archers). And at first I did rather get the impression that she was flighty, thoughtless, generous when it suited her and had a certain joie de vivre. All of which are still true. But I went off her when she was so horrible to that distressed woman whose husband was bankrupt thanks to Matt and when she said Susan ought to be grateful to having been given a job in the shop as if working and receiving a wage was taking charity. And various other things. Granted she was horrified at what Matt was doing to that couple, Arthur and Joyce (what? with 'er 'ip??) but she did not actually put a stop to it.

I don’t think people necessarily take all of that on board and just think she’s a likeable party girl because that’s what they’ve decided and disregard the rest. As I say, she is very popular. Perhaps less so now, given the tawdriness of her relationship with Justin.


Or Lily “What brake?” Pargetter?


I don’t think much of Lilian for her behaviour over men, but I don’t entirely agree about any of those incidents!

When Matt was done and subsequently imprisoned for whatever it was, his company closed and his accountant (I think; possibly a book-keeper of some sort) was therefore out of a job. The accountant’s wife turned up in Ambridge to accuse Matt of this and that, as though he had gone bust on purpose, and to try to blackmail him into giving them money which he did not have. Seeing her off was not quite as one-sidedly bad behaviour on Lilian’s part as you have remembered it! (And Matt did give her what money he had, too.) Lilian reasonably enough wanted to know what Matt was supposed to do about it: he could hardly give Watkins his job back when the company he had worked for no longer existed and Matt himself was facing prison.
Lowfield, Monday 1st June, 2009:
“Sarah Watkins’ husband has lost his job at C3PL and they now face losing their home, while Matt sits in his barn of a home and doesn’t give a damn. Matt finds it difficult to get a word in through the verbal barrage but when he does, the word is ‘sorry’. He gives her what cash he has with him; it’s not much.”

As for Susan, since it was her disgusting attack on Peggy which convinced Peggy that she should sell the shop rather than continuing to keep it open at a loss simply for Susan’s financial benefit as she had planned to do before Susan attacked her, I am with Lilian on that one: Susan deserved whatever came to her for her nasty doorstepping and attempt to bully a woman in her late eighties whose husband was in the process of being moved into a nursing home and who had had a stroke less than a year earlier. I expect Lilian heard all about the incident from Jennifer, who got rid of Susan on that occasion.

And she did put a stop to what Matt had been doing to Joyce and Arthur, the moment she found out about it; she got other builders than Darrell to do the repairs to their flat properly. That Joyce fell and broke her hip, and that Arthur subsequently died, were neither of them as a result of the state of their flat. (You can check the order of events in Lowfield; it was in the autumn of 2012.)


I rather liked Lilian until Paul. Not only was it a ludicrous storyline - while I am quite prepared to believe that some women of Lilian’s age are sexually active, I find it rather more difficult to believe in affairs which centre primarily on shagathons - but to my mind, it was out of character for Lilian. Since then she has largely done what the plot required, with occasional flashes of ‘Lilian-ness’. She has become crudely drawn, on the whole.


It was after her anger with Matt over his treatment of Joyce and Arthur that Paul turned up again in Lilian’s life, as far as I remember, and she started going about with him because she was still very fed up with Matt. She rang him in the first place because Matt had refused to go with her to a hospital where her son was lying injured after a car crash.

But yes, I agree with you, it’s all the blasted femme fatale nonsense drawn with a very broad brush indeed that I find so trying.

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Where did the original quote come from, and was the writer receiving alcohol or some sort of treatment at the time?

btw. I’ve said it before and will say it again… Gordon Bennett was a pupil at my junior school in the mid 60s. Much tittering when he won a race at Sports Day and his name was announced over the loudspeaker to collect his certificate.


Probably both. Guessing at the sauce, mind.

Sorry, that should be ‘source’, of cauce.

forget this, sorry; it was repetition of what I’d already posted.