Following the sad news of Mollie Sugdon's death I've just been having a surreal exchange of Tweets with Eric Joyce the MP for Falkirk over Twitter. So for Caron and others here is the catch up of Mrs Slocombe inspired thinking and Tweeting.
Obviously we all know that Miss Brahams (Wendy Richard) had also passed away in February this year, if not I'm sorry to have broken the news to you. So with Mollie's death that mean that the Womenswear Department of Grace Brothers is now bereft of it's staff. We know that the man most associated with the 'I'm Free!' catchphrase from Are You Being Served? John Inman as Mr Humphries died in 2007.
So it was that Eric Tweeted the following.
So quick as a flash I replied that still manning the floor would be Captain Peacock (Frank Thornton) although you will now see him more in The Last of the Summer Wine. I followed that up with Trevor Bannister playing Mr Lucus in menswear also in TLOTSW but for Doctor Who chic was in the 2007 audio adventure Nocturne.
Mr Rumbold actor Nicholas Smith was also offered by another Tweeter, who has appeared as a vicar in guess which long running sit-com. Yeah the same as the two above. But for that Doctor Who link his first speaking role was in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964).
When Bannister left he was replaced by Mike Berry as Mr Spooner. Mike is still alive and following his other career as a singer including a 2007 single 'Hi There Darlin'! Merry Christmas' credited as Mr. Bert Spooner with instrumental accompaniment by Mike Berry & The Outlaws.
Of course Arthur Brough who played Mr Grainger died in 1978 during the run of the show to be replaced briefly by James Hayter as Mr Tebbs who died in 1985 and then by Alfie Bass as Mr Goldberg but having passed on in 1987 non of the Senior Salemen from Menswear are still alive.
Arthur English who played the caretaker Mr Harriman passed away in 1995. As for Young Mr Grace (Harold Bennett) he passed away in 1981 just two days shy of his 82nd birthday also before the end of the show's run in 1985.
When you add on the fact that Ronnie Hazlehurst, who wrote the iconic music pastiching department store music with the announcement of the lift operator, died in 2007, there isn't much of Grace Brothers left. Just like there aren't many stores like that either.
I just someone remembers to look after Mrs Slocombe's pussy.
PS Eric tell me not to get us started on Dad's Army but after Ian Lavender, Bill Pertwee, Frank Williams and Clive Dunn there isn't much more to say about the survivors.