Ethel had amazing wigs, tea-cosy hats and pug dog Willy under her arm. She and Dot were friends for years, always falling out, but dependent on each other.
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19th February 1985
7th September 2000 (Deceased)
Pint-sized Ethel Skinner was to all appearances a real old dear, but she could be a trouble-maker when the mood took her. She spread the most insane rumours about all and sundry in the cabal of gossips that she formed with the formidable Lou Beale and Dorothy Cotton.
Oooh, where's Willy?!Ethel Skinner
In spite of her age, Ethel was a good-time girl. She could high kick with the best of 'em, loved to tell a good yarn and claimed to have 'the gift' - telling fortunes, cards, tea leaves and palm readings.
After her husband William (a docker) died she got herself a dog (an adorable Pug) to replace him, naming him 'Willy.' Cue various inadvertent innuendo-laden references to 'My Willy'. Ethel and Willy were inseparable and she was heartbroken when he passed away in '92.
Aside from William and Willy, Dot was Ethel's soulmate. The pair were a fantastic double-act, alternating between petty tiffs and tricks and schemes. In fact their friendship was so strong that Ethel asked for Dot's help in ending her life when she discovered that she had inoperable cancer.
In what proved to be one of Walford's most heartbreaking moments, the pair celebrated Ethel's birthday before she passed away in the arms of the best friend she ever had.
Played by Gretchen Franklin