Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 13: Miss Tatum

Dear Miss Tatum was a first class postmistress.

 Miss Edith Tatum, played by Elisabeth Croft, ran the village post office in King's Oak for years. She had been a dutiful daughter, giving up her freedom to look after her ailing mother as a young woman, but she wasn't bitter. The post office was something of a village hub and Miss Tatum was a great friend to many - including postman Vince Parker.

In her early episodes, Miss Tatum owned a dog called Jupiter, who landed her in court for sheep worrying. The court ruled that Jupiter must be removed from the countryside, and Miss Tatum hit upon the happy solution of moving to her house in Portsmouth - and inviting young Sandy Richardson to stay with her as he was moving there too. 

When she returned, Miss Tatum became the linchpin of the village post office.

Always very polite and with old fashioned English manners, Miss Tatum coped well with the village's rascally poacher Archie Gibbs. Archie was always one to ruffle feathers, but Miss T would admonish him with a stern: "MR GIBBS!"

During the 1970s, Miss Tatum gradually faded from the show. She was often more involved as village background or in other character's storylines rather than having prominent stories of her own, but, nonetheless, remained a highly popular character.

Miss Tatum attended Jill and Adam Chance's wedding in 1983, and that was her final appearance in the show, although she remained in the village off-screen. Doris Luke stayed with her for a while a year or two later. 

Miss Tatum was a tremendous favourite of ours. A clean living, kindly woman, of the sort that don't seem to exist in soaps these days.

She had no secret children scuttling out of the woodwork, or other unseemly secrets in her past.

And, whilst all alone in the world as far as family was concerned, she was a very positive character.

"Now, can I have three seven pence stamps and a stiff-backed envelope please, Miss Tatum? And have you heard about the latest goings-on at the motel? I was just talking to Mrs Turtle and she says..."

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