Who has owned the Woolpack in Emmerdale over the years? The pub is the beating heart of the village, where the residents come together. Hardly a week goes by without a fight, a flirt, or a funny happening occurring in the famous hostelry.
All this drama has been seen by the pub’s landlords and landladies over the last five decades as they pull the pints. Here, we check them out, from fusty Amos Brearly to feisty Chas Dingle…
1972–1991 The Amos and Mr Wilks Years
You think old-school Emmerdale Farm and these are the two faces that come to mind: Amos with his mutton chops and Mr Wilks sucking on his pipe. Amos Brearly took over the pub in 1948, so was well established as the landlord by the time we met him when the show began in 1972. He was joined by ‘Mr Wilks’ – as Amos always referred to him – in 1973. Henry arrived to stay after his house was destroyed by fire, but ended up forming a business partnership with Amos. Although famous for their bickering, the pair become close friends and formed a solid team behind the bar. Meanwhile, Amos was the font of all village gossip – whether you wanted it or not.
Dolly Acaster; Henry’s girlfriend Alison Gibbons
When the pub is found to be suffering from subsidence in 1976, Amos and Henry buy a new building and move the Woolpack there, where it remains to this day.
Amos and Henry are held hostage by an armed robber.
After suffering a stroke and a bad fall, Amos decided to give up the pub. Henry was hurt and disappointed that he was deserting the business, but the pair parted on good terms. The same can’t be said of Henry and new landlord Alan Turner, who don’t get on, leaving Henry to move out for good.
1991 – 1999 The Alan Turner Years
Although originally unpopular in the village for his ruthless ways, taking over the Woolpack mellowed businessman Alan, and eventually, he became a much-loved and upstanding member of the community. Some of his ideas to bring the pub up to date raised a few eyebrows, but modernise it he did. He even opened up part of the building as a wine bar. Alan was joined by his new wife Shirley behind the bar, but she was tragically shot and killed just months after their wedding.
Memorable bar staff
Alan’s bubbly granddaughter Tricia Stokes; Bernice Blackstock; Mandy Dingle
The famous plane crash damages the Woolpack and destroys the Wine Bar, leaving Chris Tate paralysed.
An accident with some fireworks sees the pub gutted, and Alan has it totally refurbished.
After Shirley’s death, Alan brought in bar managers Terry and Britt Woods to run the pub. He then continued to take a back seat with Bernice Blackstock among others running The Woolie. However, a heart attack in 1999 saw him decide to sell the pub, and Bernice’s mum Diane, with whom he’d become close, agreed to buy it to run with her daughter.
1999 – 2010 The Diane Sugden Years Part 1
With her Geordie warmth Diane was a natural behind the bar, and she had the toughness to keep any rowdy regulars in check. She originally co-owned with Bernice, but after her departure, bubbly Aussie Louise Appleton became her partner in the business. Later, Diane kept it in the family again once again when she partnered up with sister Val. Their stormy relationship meant there were few quiet nights behind the bar.
Future landlady Chas Dingle: Andy Sugden’s wife, Jo; Chef Marlon made his debut in The Woolie kitchen during this era.
During a storm, the pub is hit by lighting and part of it collapses, killing Tricia.
Yet another argument with Val made Diane realise she couldn’t go on with their partnership, so she bought her sister out. Her new romance with Charlie Haynes saw her plan to relocate to France with him, so she looked around for a buyer…
2010: The King Era
While Jimmy King might be a bit gormless, he was a friendly face to see behind the bar. As for his wife, Nicola… well let’s just say front customer-facing roles may not be her forte. The couple only took over the pub briefly from Diane, but Nicola found the role rather a struggle, especially with young daughter Angelica to look after.
Nicola and Jimmy never completed the deal, and with Diane having discovered Charlie was a conman, she reluctantly took back the reins back at the pub within weeks.
2010-2016 The Diane Sugden Years Part 2
Diane took back the pub, but struggled running it on her own. Step in long-serving barmaid Chas Dingle, who knew the business, was great with the customers and fancied buying into The Woolie.
Moira Dingle; Priya Sharma left the family business to take a role behind the bar.
As a terrible storm batters the village, Cameron Murray holds several residents hostage, but later dies in the flooded Woolpack cellar.
Thinking she’s an intruder, Chas accidentally stabs Diane.
Diane almost sold her share of the pub to Chas in 2013, when she was thinking of moving to Oz, but changed her mind at the last minute. However, when she faced a second cancer battle, Diane decided it was finally time to give up The Woolie.
2016 – 2021 The Chas Dingle Years
With Diane gone, Chas could really put her stamp on the pub., However, when new co-owner Charity turned out to be rather work-shy, Chas was left frustrated by her behaviour. Meanwhile, Charity’s acerbic manner didn’t exactly make her a natural with the punters either. With Charity on a downward spiral, Chas eventually refused to work with her. Charity was eventually persuaded to sell her share to Marlon, who became Chas’ new partner. Although he was thrilled, the business isn’t currently turning out to be the bed of roses they thought it would…
Bob Hope, Matty Barton, Dawn Woods.
Vanesa is stabbed round the pack of the pub after catching Donny Cairns setting fire to the bins.
Steven is a writer, editor, and commentator with a passion for popular TV and soap operas. He spent 20 years as the editor of Inside Soap magazine, documenting every punch up and pucker up in the Street, the Square and the village. As a feature writer he’s covered TV crime dramas, period dramas and even some real-life star dramas. He’s been seen as a talking head on more TV clip shows than he cares to remember, has a
a life-long passion for TV sci-fi – the older and creakier the better – and is a slight obsessive about any reality show featuring hotels.
Get the latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
Thank you for signing up to Whattowatch. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.