The (Very) Late June Plasterfield RIP

11 01 2020

We must apologise for being a bit slow catching up on our obituaries recently, as at this time of year it’s hard to keep up with all the famous celebrities popping their clogs.

Recently we’ve lost a great TV medium, famous for his ability to commune with the spirits of dead sheep (Derek Acaora), the puppeteer blone who played Big Bàrd in BBC Point’s cryptomarxist educational kids’ programme “Sheshader Street”, popular TV intellectuals Clive Jamesmackenziesshop and Jonathan Kennystickysmiller, and top musical satirist Niall-Aonghas (famous for his spoof documentary of a top 60s beat combo from Point – “The Rubha-tles”)

But worst of all it’s taken us over a year to get around to reporting the demise of one of the grande dames of Stoarnowaywegian comedy…

At the end of 2018, the nation mourned the passing of Dame June Whitfield. Dame June’s contribution to film, radio and TV from the post-war years to the present day – from the early Carry-on films to “Absolutely Fabulous”, was unmatched.

Well, nearly. Whitfield’s passing unfortunately eclipsed that of her Leodhasach cousin who passed away the same day, and who enjoyed an equally long (if less successful) career as a comic mainstay of BBC Alba and its predecessors.

Like her relative down South, the late June Plasterfield was also recognised as a Dame (except sometimes if she was at the fank in her dungarees and bobban hat).

Dame June was born in Plasterfield when it WAS still a field, approximately where the skip outside the Blackhouse Bakery stands today. She graduated from RHADA (the Royal Hotel Academy of Dram and Antique Ceards) in 1944, and it wasn’t long before she was appearing in a smash hit West Side musical about a nurse stationed in Lemreway and a crowd of singing sailors on shore leave from the fishery cruiser – Rodgers and Hamnaway’s wonderful “South Pairc-cific”. Who can forget Plasterfield’s spirited version of ‘I’m Going To Wash That Ram Right Out In The Rain’ and ‘There’s Nothing Like a DM(boot)’?

Plasterfield’s big break into radio came in 1953 when she got the part of Eff, fiancée of permanently redundant Arnish cove Ron, in “The Glumaigs”.

Many BBC Alba and Grampian TV appearances through the 50s and 60s followed, including Tony Hancock’s “Blood Pudding” episode, Dixon of Dock Grianandaycarecentre, The Arthur Askernish Show, Stepwegailyonewegoe & Son, and the Dick Lemreway Show. Plasterfield was also a regular collaborator with Uist sheep magnate/comedian Fankie Howbeg.

Like many actors of her generation, June appeared in the long running Carry-Out films – on four occasions in her case. The premise of each Carry-Out film was the trials and tribulations of either a group of underagers trying to buy a carry out, or the Dawn Squad trying to get their supplies for the day sorted in the Crit. Alongside a talented cast including Sid Jamesondrive, Kenneth JDWilliamscatalogue, Joan Symesclock, Communionhattie Jacques and Charles Maw-tree, Plasterfield appeared in

Carry-Out Cathy Ghall’s

Carry-Out Up The Castle Grounds

Carry-Out Up the Alley Behind The Acres Hotel, and of course…

Carry-Out Up the Cabar- the antics of the Stornoway Army Cadets trying to sneak in to a wedding dance in the Cabar Hotel through the north-west entrance.

In the early seventies June began a long and successful period working with the actor Sir E Scott, first in the sitcom ‘Cha Bhi Ever After’ and followed by ‘Ferry and June’. Both sitcoms showed the hilarious antics of a middle class family living in the posh commuter belt suburbs of Stornoway (Barony Square). Plasterfield played the dutiful housewife, whilst Sir E played the Captain of the Loch Seaforth.

In more recent times, Plasterfield achieved massive popularity by returning to her home turf, with a role in long running sitcom Absolutely Pre-fabulous (or Ab-Prefab, as it was commonly known). Plasterfield played the mother of eccentric growing-old-disgracefully PR agent Murdina Mawsoon (played by Jennifer Sandstreet). Murdina’s partner in crime, hard-drinking chain-smoking fashionista Patsy Stoneyfield, was played by Joanna Chirstyalumley. Her hopeless Rubhach assistant Baybble was played by Jane Horgabost, and her long-suffering ashcart-driver daughter, Scaffy, by Lochie actress Julia Soval-tha.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: