Jane Smith, once described by motel owner Meg Mortimer as: "One of our waitresses, with a heart of gold."
A real plain Jane with a real plain name, this waitress, played by Sally Adcock, was employed at the motel in the mid-to-late 1970s. She was plain speaking too, a great, down-to-earth Northern character.
Her family background was rather unsettled and her mother was... well... not the nicest nurturing influence, but Jane fought her way upwards and onwards and was a very loyal member of the Salvation Army. Occasionally, I found her a little bit too much of a do-gooder and she got on my nerves but, in the main, plain Jane was solid gold, always caring and cheerful. I particularly liked her scenes with Sandy Richardson. There were times when Jane almost seemed like a sister to him, and the two had a great rapport which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Jane was also a great friend to Carney and Diane and Benny and, in fact, just about everybody. She even stuck around for Diane, with whom she shared a flat for a while, when Diane went a bit loopy and took to prowling around at night shredding clothes and other strange things, and then thinking an intruder had done them.
Jane's positive attitude and devotion to the Salvation Army made for heartwarming viewing.
I don't think they make soap characters like Jane Smith any more. In today's soap world of lusting, money-grabbing and serial killings, kindly Jane would seem very out of place.