Updated 16th October 2002

Sandie Merrick

Jane Hutcheson

Appeared: 1980-1989

IMDB entry for: Jane Hutcheson

Stepdaughter of Jack, half-sister of Jackie Merrick and Robert Sugden, daughter of Pat & Tom Merrick.

Mother of Louise Merrick (Born Nov 1983, Father Andy Longthorn. Given up for adoption.)

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 the coloured boxes have been added.



As part of producer Anne W Gibbons' aim to increase cast numbers, Ruth Merrick also returned to Beckindale, but now with a new forename - Pat. As Ruth she had had a third child, Thomas, but on her return she had just two children, Jackie and Sandie. Actress Jane Hutcheson took the role of Sandie. She had previously appeared briefly in the serial as a farm girl in 1974, at the age of 17. She started her career at 14 and shortly afterwards acted in the epic series A Family at War.

While working in repertory theatre in York, Jane had lived on a farm.

Sandie Merrick found romance with Andy Longthorn and her brother Jackie fell for local girl Jane Hardcastle. But Andy could not compete when Sandie was swept off her feet by agricultural student David Blackmore, who arrived in Beckindale in his flash car to help Joe at NY Estates. Then she switched her attentions to unemployed Graham Jelks, a keen mechanic who was a friend of her brother Jackie and Seth Armstrong's son, Fred, who was also unemployed. Graham and Fred were often at the centre of trouble in the village, such as when they fought with Jackie over a loaded gun and accidentally broke the window of the Merricks's caravan.
When Sandie Merrick announced she was pregnant and refused to reveal who the father was, Dolly Skilbeck gave her the support she needed. Only later was it discovered that Dolly herself had given birth to an illegitimate son years earlier. The father of Sandie's baby was, in fact, her former schoolfriend Andy Longthorn, who had left the village to go to university. After deciding to continue with the pregnancy, and finding her mother, Pat Sugden, unsympathetic, Sandie travelled to Aberdeen, where her father, Tom, was working on the oil rigs, and baby Louise was born there, away from the wagging tongues of Beckindale.
There was more friction when builder Phil Pearce left his wife, Lesley, and young daughter, Diane, to move with Sandie into Mill cottage. The Mill had been converted into a flat by the company that Phil had just formed with Joe Sugden, Phoenix Developments. Sandie's affair caused another village scandal, and Annie Sugden made clear her disapproval.

Phil Pearce
When Sandie subsequently passed her auctioncer's exams and took over Pollard's job, he mounted a hate campaign against her. It culminated in him breaking into the mill conversion she shared with Phil Pearce and drunkenly threatening her with a poker. Matters only worsened for Sandie when NY Estates decided to close Hotten Market and pull out of Beckindale altogether and she lost her job. Pollard meanwhile made a play for Dolly Skilbeck.

Sandie left the village to live in Scotland with her father.

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