Sir Richard Arkwright (1732 - 1792)
Arkwright, like most characters in the series, is a rational, practical man, who shows no signs of any sentimentality, unlike Granville, who seems to dream away most of his days, and longs for a life away from the shop. Arkwright speaks with a stammer, which he acknowledges sometimes makes it difficult to express himself. He often makes his impediment into a joke, for example asking: "Granville, how do you spell P-p-p-pepper? Arkwright was shocked on one occasion to find that he also appears to stutter even when thinking to himself. By the time of the episode Still Open All Hours and the sequel series of the same name, Arkwright has long since died Barker died in , but almost all of his personality traits have passed onto Granville.
Granville keeps a framed photograph of Arkwright in the shop's kitchen which he occasionally talks to. Several people in the town, including Granville, believe that Arkwright's ghost still haunts the shop, particularly the cash register, attributing events such as the lights switching on and off or the register randomly opening and closing to him.
Arkwright: Cotton King or Spin Doctor?
Arkwright's sister, whose name is never known, died shortly after giving birth to Granville. Less as an act of love and more as a source of free labour, Arkwright brought up the child. Arkwright paints a picture of his sister being a floozy and possibly a part-time prostitute. He sees no harm in this, seeing this as an enterprising choice of career. This is often implied by phrases such as "Just take the man's money and smile Granville, that's what your mother would have done", "You're j-just like your mother, happiness is h-horizontal", or, "Now, d-don't misunderstand me, s-some people loved dearly!
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Others used to get it on discount". Granville once takes a call from someone he addresses as "Auntie Lily"; seeing as his father is unknown, this would have to be another sister of Arkwright's. When Granville on occasion badgers his uncle about his own father's unknown identity, he retorts by calling him an "Hungarian P-p-p-p-p-prince". Granville is often made to pay for anything he takes from the shop's shelves, even if Arkwright was the one who gave it to him.
In later life, Granville demonstrates a great deal of affection and respect for his uncle after his death, taking comfort in his apparent poltergeist activities around the shop, saying: "I like having him still around, so long as he pays his own electric. It's never made clear exactly how old Granville is during the original series run, but considering the age of David Jason, its easy to assume that Granville may actually be in his 30ss during the ss run.
Gladys is a midwife , to whom Arkwright is informally engaged.
Their engagement doesn't seem to be serious, however they do seem to be fond of each other. Their engagement is not mentioned until the end of series one, so for the first few episodes, Arkwright can appear to be a "sex pest" to Gladys, to some viewers. Most of the characters who use the shop are old-fashioned, domesticated characters, and while Gladys is very straight forward and Arkwright is somewhat eccentric, she does seem to find company in him, as he is probably more enlightened than most in the area.
Gladys always says she won't marry Arkwright until her mother who is in her eighties dies, a day that Arkwright seems to look forward to.
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However, Gladys has also claimed on several occasions that she refrains from marrying him because of his excessively tight-fisted ways or his overworking of Granville. Emmanuel is Arkwright's sexual conquest; although he never manages it in the series, he does come close in the back of a mini van that proves to be too small for the act. Arkwright and Gladys apparently never got married before Arkwright's death; Gladys claims he died to save the cost of the church.
Arkwright: Cotton King or Spin Doctor? | History Today
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The programme is named after the famed 18th Century engineer Sir Richard Arkwright - , inventor of the water frame and the 'father' of the modern factory system. Full details about Sir Richard can be found on Wikipedia. In the first year of the programme just five Scholarships were awarded. Since then the number of Arkwright Engineering Scholarships awarded each year has grown steadily.
In , a record number of sixth-form Arkwright Engineering Scholarships were awarded.