> Guest Character
Fred Parkes Colin Duckworth
Fred Parkes 1998
Whilst completing a sociology project for school on the subject of Realities of the Destitute, Anne Wilkinson arranged with Salvation Army officer Harold Bishop to interview a homeless man. Anne met with Harold at The Coffee Shop, who pointed her in the direction of Fred Parkes, a well-dressed man sitting at one of the tables. Anne was confused, but Harold insist that she go and introduce herself and have a chat to him, as it would be very enlightening. Anne was surprised to find that, although Fred lived in a homeless shelter, he was also very positive about his situation, telling her that, at his age, it wasnít worth being negative and bitter. Anne then approached Harold and thanked him for his help, but explained that Fred wasnít really the type of person she was looking to interview. Harold, however, encouraged her to ask more questions and find out about Fredís past, to which Anne reluctantly agreed.
Fred explained to Anne that he had once been a gambling addict and the situation had led to his wife walking out on him, and the loss of his home and job. As the interview continued, Anne felt that she owed Fred something for agreeing to be interviewed, so she asked him back to her house for dinner. Once at number 32, Anne told Fred how glad she was that Harold had chosen him for the project and went to the kitchen to turn the oven on. Although she was only gone for a few minutes, she was shocked to find, upon her return, that Fred had passed away. Because Anneís mother, Ruth, was away, neighbour and local doctor Karl Kennedy, as well as Harold, came over to help Anne when they found out what had happened, but she assured them that she would be fine. And, once the police had questioned her over the incident and the body had been taken away, Anne decided that, even if nobody else was there, she would attend Fredís funeral.
Notes: Colin Duckworth previously played the judge at the case against Raymond Chambers in 1992, and returned as Bishop Don McDermott in 2002.
Biography by Steve