Aired Lunchtime: Monday
16 October 1972
The Miffield estate was the biggest employer in the village of Beckindale
- situated 39 miles from Bradford and 52 miles from Leeds. Lord Miffield
gave the lease of Emmerdale Farm, on the edge of the village, to the Sugden
family in the 1850s out of gratitude, after Josh Sugden had sacrificed
his life for the Earl's son in the Crimean War.
Josh's grandson Joseph married Margaret and they had a son Jacob. In the
1930s, Jacob Sugden, supposedly purchased Emmerdale Farm for his family.
In 1945 he married Annie Pearson - daughter of Farm Labourer Sam Pearson
and his wife Mary (or Grace) née Armitage.
Jacob had practically run the farm into the ground as he had drank away
most of the profits leaving it in a sorry state. It was badly maintained
and the future of the farm looked bleak at the time of Jacob's death on
the 10 October 1972.
Jacob left a wife Annie (nee Pearson) and three grown children, two sons,
Jack (the eldest) and Joe (the youngest of the three), and daughter Peggy.
These characters would form the basis of the series Emmerdale Farm.
Here to see Paul Berridge's Visual Updated of Emmerdale The First Episode
with lots of pictures.
for this 1st episode:
Jack Sugden..........Andrew Burt
Annie Sugden........Sheila Mercier
Joe Sugden............Frazer Hines
Sam Pearson.........Toke Townley
Peggy Skilbeck......Jo Kendall
Matt Skilbeck........Frederick Pyne
Amos Brearly.........Ronald Magill
Henry Wilks...........Arthur Pentelow
Marion Wilks.........Gail Harrison
Alec Saunders........Alan Tucker
THE FIRST EPISODE
Opened with the funeral of Jacob Sugden on the 16 October 1972.
Jacob had upset the family by leaving the farm to his eldest son, Jack,
who had not been seen since 1964 when, at the age of 18, he left his family,
heritage and Beckindale - for London.
Jack Sugden returned to the farm in this opening episode, although he
chose to stay away from the funeral - only making his presence known after
the service when the Sugdens returned to their home, "Emmerdale Farm"
- where they found him waiting there for them.
The first lines uttered in this first episodes were spoken by Peggy Skilbeck
"Matt, who’s she?"
Peggy was referring to Marion Wilks who was watching the funeral cortege
whilst out riding.
The Wilks proved to be new to the village, Marion's father Henry Wilks
was a wealthy businessman.
In subsequent episodes/months Jack sold a share of the Farm to Annie,
Joe, Peggy and his grandfather Sam Pearson. Emmerdale Farm Ltd was formed
after Henry Wilks bought Sam’s share of the estate.