ATV Today has dug into the news archives to bring a photograph wander down Beckindale’s memory lane following the announcement Emmerdale stalwart Sheila Mercier has passed away aged 100.

Actress Sheila Mercier passed away just shy of her 101st birthday it has was announced yesterday. The performer died peacefully in her sleep according to former Yorkshire Television co-star Frederick Pyne, who played Matt Skilbeck in Emmerdale Farm from its launch in 1972 until 1989.

Speaking on social media he said, “Sad to tell all you Emmerdale fans that Sheila Mercier, Annie Sugden, died peacefully in her sleep… She would have been 101 years old on New Years Day. She was a great character and wonderful to work with.”

Here we take a wander through some of the Yorkshire Television pictorial memories of Sheila’s time on Emmerdale and Emmerdale Farm as the matriarch of the Sugden family, Annie.

Emmerdale Farm Gallery – The Annie Sugden Years

Episode One, from 1972 opened with the funeral of Annie’s husband, farmer Jacob Sugden.

Annie ran Emmerdale Farm thereafter with the help of her family.

Notably sons Joe and Jack.

Happy times with son-in-law Matt and the twins, sadly the young boys died in a car crash.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom over at Beckindale in the 70s though…

Many family troubles or farm crisis’ were discussed around Emmerdale’s kitchen table.

It was also a place where friends from Beckindale village could come for advice and support.

Emmerdale Farm was at the heart of village life, along with the Woolpack Inn.

Wedding bells in 1974 for Joe Sugden and Christine Sharp.

Despite the press suggesting Emmerdale Farm was sleepy, it had its fair share of disasters and dramas.

The Beckindale Concert of 1977 gave the villagers cause to dress up…

… while The Queen’s Silver Jubilee also saw the community come together.

Making hay in 1981, up at ‘t farm.

A Beckindale Christmas, a carol for all.

In 1995 Annie said farewell to son Joe Sugden.

In the storyline, Annie departed the village to spend a happy retirement in Spain with former Woolpack Inn landlord Amos Brearley.

Annie made her last appearance in 2009 when she laid to rest son Jack.

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