Updated 15th October 2003
["Pat" (Ruth Patricia) née Harker]
Appeared: 1972 (as Ruth Harker), September 1980
- 26 August 1986 (as Pat Merrick nee Harker)
Died: 26 August 1986
Married: Tom Merrick ( 1960s), Divoriced 1981.
Married 2nd: Jack Sugden 5 October 1982.
Children: Jackie Merrick, Sandie Merrick & Robert Sugden
(initially there was another son Thomas by Merrick when she first appeared as Ruth in 1972, however this character did not re-appear in 1980 with the rest of the family.)
A Huge Big Thank you to Paul Berridge who has made various profiles and photos availabe to me. They were previously on his Beckindale site (that is no more). This is one of those profiles (although it has been slightly edited).
|August 26th 1986. Pat Sugden bites the dust after swerving to avoid a sheep on the road.|
|Oxfordshire born Helen Weir took over the role of Pat Sugden from Lynn Dalby who played Pat in the seventies.|
|Helen had stage experiene with the Royal Shakespear Company and had acted in television roles, appearing in Rogue's Gallery and Armchair Theatre. She was also in the Oscar-winning film The Boy Who Turned Yellow.|
|Born Pat Harker in Beckindale, ( She was know as Ruth in the early days) Pat Merrick returned to her roots in September 1980 after a disastrous marriage. She rediscovered romance with teenage sweetheart Jack Sugden, yet this happy event was to have unforeseen repercussions.|
|When Jack had left Emmerdale in 1964 after an argument with his father, he was blissfully unaware that his girlfriend, Pat Harker, was pregnant. Neither did Tom Merrick - the man who married Pat immediately afterwards while she was on the rebound from her teenage relationship was also ignorant of the fact. Pat disappeared from Beckindale in the early 1970s. Pat had another child, Sandie, by Tom, and both Jackie and Sandie were by her side when she returned in 1980.|
|After Pat's divorce, she became friendly with Jack again and they married at Hotten Registry Office in 1982 (though not until after a set-to between Jack and Tom outside the Woolpack!). By that time, Jack knew that Jackie was in fact his son, not Tom Merrick's. When the lad discovered the truth in a most unfortunate way, after an argument between the two, he was understandably resentful. Jackie had naturally regarded Tom as his father, and both took the news badly, but, by the time of Jackie's death in 1989, Jack and Jackie were close.|
|Ironically, Jack and Pat's marriage - the original catalyst for Jackie's rebellious outbursts - had been close to ending when jack's affair with Hotten Market employee Karen Moore became public knowledge. A resentful Pat, wondering if her second marriage had been as big a mistake as her first, decided to act. Taking the bull by the horns, she confronted the lovers in their nest and laid down the law in typically straightforward style: 'Come home now or you'll never see me again.'|
|Jack had needed no second bidding, having finally realized where his responsibilities lay when Jackie was injured in a road accident. Tom Merrick was persuaded to look after Emmerdale while Jack and Pat kept joint vigil at their son's bedside. After several days hovering at the brink, Jackie finalls opened his eyes and called Jack 'Dad'. Never before had he acknowledged him as his natural father.|
|Jack and Pat had a further son, Robert, in March, 1986, but Pat was killed later that same year when her car plunged down a hillside as she swerved to avoid a flock of straying sheep. By that time, she'd become part of the extended Emmerdale family looking after Sam Pearson's vegetable garden and taking readily to life on the farm. Paradoxically, her death cemented Jackie's new-found relationship with Jack, and this helped both parties pull through.|