Following the sad demise of Peggy’s cat Ben, we remember how she came by him and Bill, and also the life of her previous much loved moggy, Sammy.

 

Sammy first came into Peggy’s life on 14 June 1983, when Jill gave her a kitten from a litter of farm cats at Brookfield.

In December, Sammy went missing after a fire at Peggy’s home, Blossom Hill Cottage. Nigel Pargetter got into Peggy’s good books by finding the missing cat.

Peggy took Sammy with her to Home Farm while her cottage was repaired. Her son-in-law Brian Aldridge found his presence irritating on several counts. Fearing that Sammy might be run over, Peggy told the drivers of sugar beet lorries to slow down near the house. Peggy feared that Sammy would eat the rat poison that Brian put down in the barn. When Sammy clawed the sofa, Brian and Jennifer gossiped about how awful he was.  Peggy overheard, and was upset.  When Tony invited her to move to Bridge Farm, she accepted with alacrity.

Sammy the matchmaker

In November 1989, Jack Woolley had a rival for Peggy’s affections: Godfrey Wendover. But a dinner with the interloper was not a success. Godfrey laughed at her idea to show Sammy at the cat show at the NEC. Jack pointed out that Godfrey was not an animal lover, whereas Jack understood how Peggy felt about Sammy because of his feelings for his dog Captain. Peggy admitted she wanted to go to the cat show but not by herself.

So Jack escorted her and they had dinner together afterwards. The following year she accepted his proposal of marriage.

In December 1998, Peggy had sold the Bull to Sid and Kathy Perks in partnership with Guy Pemberton (Caroline Sterling’s former husband). Peggy invited Sid and Kathy for tea and a ceremonial handover of her artefacts and keepsakes. However, Sammy took against a cute picture of two kittens playing with a ball of wool. Although he thought he’d seen the last of the ghastly object, Sid felt obliged to return it to the Bull and give it pride of place as a memory of Peggy’s happy days there.

By August 1999, Sammy was past his best. He had developed a very nasty dribble and spent hours staring at the wall. In October 2000, he went missing. Jack walked for miles looking for Sammy and eventually found him dead under a tree in the Country Park.  Peggy was sad, but glad that at least he hadn’t been run over.  They buried him near the golf course next to Captain, who had died in 1991.

Bill and Ben

Meanwhile, Will Grundy had found two orphaned feral kittens. His then boss Greg Turner reckoned the kindest thing would be to drown them. Caroline, with whom Will was lodging, didn’t want them either.

The rest of the family were living in a caravan, as they tried to recover from their eviction from Grange Farm. Nonetheless, William managed to persuade his grandfather Joe to care for them – by threatening to expose the truth over the supposedly ancient Borsetshire sport of spile troshing, which Joe had in fact made up out of thin air, or possibly pipe smoke and cider fumes.

Joe named the two kittens Bill and Ben. Hearing of Peggy’s loss, he brought them to her as a present, if she wanted them. He knew they could never replace her Sammy, but if she could them a home he would be very grateful. Peggy was smitten instantly. Bill and Ben had found a permanent home.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.

Combating loneliness - advice from Age UK

Learn more about 
Peggy, Jill, Brian, Jennifer, Tony, Kathy, Caroline, Will and Joe in our Who’s Who

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  • Comment number 44. Posted by JoinedPeetsBoard_Smeesues_too

    on 25 Jun 2014 14:23

    WEll I certainly hope you do not let DeeDee listen to TA handmade .. FAR too spicy at the moment!

    THere used to be an active OAP group in Ambridge .. headed up by the redoubtable Mrs P .. Peggy's mother. I wonder what happened to that? I can only suppose that Peggy got used to visiting Jack every day .. so her previous hobbies fell by the wayside ..
    JPBS

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  • Comment number 43. Posted by handmadebysoo

    on 24 Jun 2014 14:33

    I'm hoping that the sad little story line about Peggy's cat will soon fade into the background as every mention of Ben's demise aged 13, described by Alastair as 'a good age for a cat', is a little unnerving for our own elderly cat, DeeDee, who is a very sprightly 17.
    To counter her loneliness, why doesn't Peggy start a knitting group? Very popular in rural communities. A great chance for a natter and an excuse to eat lots of cake!

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  • Comment number 42. Posted by JoinedPeetsBoard_Smeesues_too

    on 23 Jun 2014 19:17

    I think it was Jack that Peggy was mourning .. and I don't think she meant to hurt her family! She really thought Tony was"past it" because of his heart attack . and that Helen and Tom "needed" the money ..

    She particularly asked Helen and Rob whether "anyone was hurt" by their getting together and believed them when they denied this .. not nasty just mistaken .. Obviously they were convincing in their lies.,, and wishful thinking on Peggy's part for she wanted Henry to have a father.

    I think now that she realises the damage she did to Tom and is, in her own way, trying to give recompense. Of course there is nothing she can do about now
    JPBS

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  • Comment number 41. Posted by Pip

    on 23 Jun 2014 13:49

    I've had to come out of lurk after hearing the last couple of episodes, and reading these comments. I'd never have any animal of mine put to sleep in sight or sound of another. I'm no bunny-hugger, but I'm sure they sense things like that. Secondly, if Peggy's wail of loneliness was supposed to make me feel sympathetic, I'm afraid it just made me feel sick. The character of Peggy reminds me of a member of my family who is a passive-aggressive narcissist. Peggy cut her only hard-working child out of her will, then had it read out in front of him. She approves of her daughters, who both married money and seems to despise Tony. At least he worked for his money. He's no angel, but his mother acts like Queen Elizabeth 1st. Dispensing largesse to Tom whenever he wanted it, asking no questions about Jess when the whole village was all over the woman only a few weeks ago...nasty, nasty,nasty.
    Meanwhile, back in the real world, I hope you can take some comfort from dropping in on this blog and the other Archers sites,Mary-Jane. My daughter enjoys volunteering at the local food-bank so you might like to explore that avenue. Alternatively, I'm sure your local church (or other place of worship) would be very glad to see you. I know ours would.

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by The Leech Pedlar

    on 23 Jun 2014 12:40

    JPBS - In fact there is a possibility that nothing happened in the end ..


    That's alcohol for you, Bunners.

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by Wynkyn de Worde

    on 23 Jun 2014 07:30

    There you are Miss Elizabeth.

    The complete festival experience...

    I told you I would look after you...

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by JoinedPeetsBoard_Smeesues_too

    on 22 Jun 2014 13:01

    LP - well I for one hope that the Roy/Lizzie snogfest doesn't lead to an affair ..

    In fact there is a possibility that nothing happened in the end ..
    JPBS
    PS In my previous post I addressed "MaryAnne" - I now realise it should have been Mary Jane .. many apologies for that.

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by JoinedPeetsBoard_Smeesues_too

    on 22 Jun 2014 12:55

    MaryAnne - I'm glad that ginners mentioned the two Archers fan Boards - there you will find friendship and laughter and much else. Links to these two websites are on this Boards front page but I am repeating them here. I hope Keri doesn't mind!

    This is Smeesues ..
    http://mustardland.boards.net/

    and this is Peets ..
    http://www.paranormal.org.uk/mustardland/index.php

    All the best to you!
    JPBS

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by The Leech Pedlar

    on 22 Jun 2014 09:54

    Another question that might be worth getting an answer for, is do we really need yet another rather boring extramarital affair. Surely TAs copy of Noddy's Book of Story Plots, has more than one page?

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by Nemo399

    on 21 Jun 2014 16:34

    Message 31: Great blog! I can, however, clear up the confusion re. Fallon's treatment of PC Burns. As many have commented on Twitter, Facebook etc. 'PC Perve' sounds like an absolute creep!

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