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Simon Pemberton: Plot Summary, March-April 1997

The sound clips on the Mostly Simon Sound Site are taken from Peter Wingfield's appearances on the Archers during March and April 1997. At the time of writing, it seems likely that Simon has now departed from the Archers for good to allow Peter Wingfield to fulfil other filming commitments.


NOTE: Because of space limitations on my server, only real audio files will remain on the server. If you can't hear these and would like the .wav files, please e-mail me and I will happily send them to you.

Simon's Last Act

Simon Pemberton is the Estate owner, the owner of a large tract of land around Ambridge that is either let out to tenant farmers or farmed 'in hand'. Simon inherited the land from his father, Guy Pemberton, who died only a couple of years after buying it, and less than a year after marrying his second wife, Caroline. Simon was on difficult terms with his father, and consequently on bad terms with Caroline.

At the time of the first sound clips, the in hand land is being farmed under contract by David and Phil Archer, and one of the estate tenants is Eddie Grundy of Grange Farm. Last year, there was a major fire at Grange Farm. Instead of repairing the damage, Simon decided to sue the Grundies for damages and have them evicted from the farm. The tribunal which was to decide the Grundy's fate was now pending.

The Grundy's required a character witness and a farming witness. the trouble was, anyone who might help them was in some way or other either tied to the estate, or might be seen as having a personal grudge against Simon. The odds appeared to be heavily stacked against the Grundy's - as even David Archer is cornered into first providing evidence to Simon as to how Grange farm could be farmed more profitably, and then into agreeing to testify on his behalf at the tribunal S1.ra (30.5k). But Eddie is fighting back, buying a small herd of Jerseys, building a temporary milking parlour, and getting himself back in diary production, much to Simon's fury S3.ra (33k).

Meanwhile, a relationship is developing between Simon and Debbie Aldridge, who manages another large local farm with her step-father Brian S2.ra (19k). Simon shows her great tenderness S5.ra (32k), and also seems close to revealing something significant about the history of his relationship with his father S4.ra (16k).

Debbie is sometimes worried by Simon's attitudes S8.ra (26k), but is nevertheless strongly attracted to him S7.ra (75k).

But their relationship is causing concern to Shula Hebden, Simon's former estate manager. They had a relationship last year which ended when Shula realised that he had been two-timing her. When she confronted him with this fact, Simon slapped her, and Shula fears he may do the same to Debbie. She tries to warn Debbie, but they are interrupted by Simon S9.ra (22k).

Simon recently sacked Shula as his estate manager on the grounds that she was not acting in the interests of the estate. And now, as the deadline for the tribunal approaches, she feels that she owes it to the Grundy's to act as their farming witness, even though it will probably cost her her job S10.ra (36k). At the same time, Simon has pushed David Archer too far, asking him to 'dig up dirt' on the Grundy's, and he has decided to refuse to testify for Simon at the tribunal.

As the tribunal progresses, Simon's optimism S11.ra (31k) seems less and less justified, and in the end the verdict is in favour of the Grundy's, on the grounds that Simon has messed them about so much that he cannot be said to have acted as a reasonable landlord. At the end, Simon expresses grudging admiration to Shula for her performance in the witness stand S12.ra (29k).

But the next week, Simon seems to be hell-bent on taking revenge on anyone and everyone who acted against him. He first complains to David about the spraying costs on the estate farming contract, and then tells him he is terminating the contract altogether S13.ra (56k). He is rude to just about everyone, and Debbie is clearly more and more uncomfortable around him. She tries to get close to him again by talking to him about his past, but he pushes her away and she is left feeling she does not know him at all (35k).

Debbie avoids Simon for most of the week. Simon offers the estate farming contract to Brian, Debbie's stepfather, and Brian tells Debbie that if they win the contract he will let her manage the contract. But Debbie interprets this as Simon taking his revenge on David, and is more and more disturbed by his behaviour. Eventually, Simon catches up with Debbie and she agrees to see him that evening.

They have a very uncomfortable conversation, and Debbie tells Simon she can never love him S15.ra (54k). Simon loses his temper, and hits her several times. When Debbie's parents come back in the morning, they find her in bed with her face swollen and bruised. At first she claims that she was kicked by a horse, but eventually she admits that Simon hit her. Brian goes after Simon, who denies everything and drives away, saying he is leaving Ambridge, possibly for good S16.ra (27k).


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Last updated 06/09/1997