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Guest Character Profiles > Mrs York Esme Melville

Mrs Annabelle York 1986
Marital Status: Eric (died) Died: 1986

Elderly Erinsborough resident Mrs York was thrilled when Daphne Lawrence offered her a free ticket to a French cabaret in the city. Little did she realise that Daphne had been given the tickets by Clive Gibbons in the hope that they would help to reunite her with her ex-fiance Des Clarke. The plan fell through, but Daphne and Mrs York had a wonderful evening. A few days later, Mrs York turned up in Ramsay Street to thank Daphne and also asked her if she could keep some of the leftovers at the Coffee Shop, as she used them to feed the local wildlife around her house. As she was leaving, Mrs York suffered a dizzy spell, but was relieved to realise that nobody had noticed.

The following day, Mike Young and Nikki Dennison called at her house, but she didn’t answer the door. Earlier that afternoon, Helen Daniels had informed Mrs York that the kids would be calling in to get donations for the new school gym, and the elderly lady hid inside while they knocked. The following day, they spotted her outside and she was unable to avoid them, but managed to put off giving them any money until she’d been to the bank. Although several of the neighbours became concerned, particularly when Mrs York, usually a generous donator, only gave a dollar, Mrs Mangel assured them that Mrs York had plenty of money. Meanwhile, her plumbing started causing her problems and Tom Ramsay agreed to call in and help her. When he reported back to the family that Mrs York’s house had been burgled, Madge Mitchell was confused and decided to call in on her friend. Although she managed to keep up the façade for a short time, Mrs York eventually broke down and admitted that she hadn’t been able to keep up with the house maintenance since her husband died, and had been selling furniture and eating stale leftovers simply to keep up appearances.

Madge confided in Helen about the situation, but didn’t mention any names. When the kids overheard the conversation, Nikki immediately realised that it was Mrs York and wondered if there was any way in which she could help. As various neighbours began giving her food, Mrs York became upset and told them that she wasn’t a charity case. Helen called in the following day, but got no answer at the door. She told Madge what had happened, who took Clive with her the next morning. After receiving no response, but able to hear her dog, Billy, barking, Clive decided to break in and found Mrs York lying unconscious on the carpet. She was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with malnutrition and dehydration. Although still stubborn, Mrs York accepted help and advice from Madge and Helen, but was determined to return home as quickly as possible. After one night in hospital, she discharged herself, with Madge and Clive helping her home, before popping out to get her some groceries. When they returned, they found Mrs York had passed away in her chair, holding on to a photograph of her husband, Eric. Madge arranged a funeral, which was attended by all of her friends from Ramsay Street.

Trivia Notes
Esme Melville returned to guest star as Jean Halliday in 1992, Moina Beresford in 1994 and in the recurring role of Rose Belker from 2002.

Click here to read our interview with Esme, and here to read our tribute to her

Biography by Steve