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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Bess Robinson June Salter

Bess Robinson (née Ross)1985
Marital Status: James Robinson
Children: James 'Jim' (Junior)
Family Tree: Robinson

After her husband James was killed in the Second World War, Bess Robinson set out to find herself and right the wrongs of the world. Unfortunately, this meant that her son, Jim, would often be left with relatives, including the formidable Aunt Daisy, for long periods of time. As time went on, Jim grew used to the situation, but managed to hide his resentment as he went into adulthood. Bess made several fleeting visits to Jim and his family over the years, but there was one that changed everything.

Shortly after her grandson, Paul, married Terry Inglis, Bess arrived in Ramsay Street unannounced, as was her style. Jim was uncomfortable having his mother around, but Scott was delighted to see her, and she was happy to encourage his interest in journalism. Soon after arriving, Bess almost collapsed, knocking over Lucy in the process. Although Lucy soon forgave her, Scott was concerned, but Bess quickly brushed off the incident. Scott was delighted when Bess gave him permission to write her memoirs. However, whilst going through her papers, he and Danny Ramsay found a letter from her doctors. She was forced to admit to Scott that she was dying and unsure of exactly how much time she had left. She also made him promise not to reveal this information to anyone else.

As Bess started talking about moving on to her next adventure, she was encouraged by Scott to give a slide show from her various travels. The evening, however, was doomed from the start. Having been encouraging Terry to go out and get a career rather than be a housewife, Terry chose that evening to announce to Paul that she didn’t want children. Paul and Terry quickly left to discuss this, with Paul blaming Bess for putting grand ideas into his wife’s head. Slides showing Jim as a child then brought up bad memories, provoking an outburst in which he told her how unhappy he’d been. With Bess due to fly out of the country, Helen invited her for a going away dinner with the family. Jim, however, announced that he would be going out of town that afternoon, on business. As he was leaving, Bess phoned from her hotel to say goodbye, but he missed the call. Luckily, Bess’ solicitor called in with some papers for her at number 26, and managed to let her secret slip. Later that evening, when everyone was gathered for dinner, Jim returned unexpectedly. He forgave his mother and, with the entire Robinson family present, he made a toast; to Bess Robinson.

In 1988, Bess was taken into hospital in America and her medical care almost bankrupted the Robinson family, until Jim convinced his cousin Hilary to give them a statue which, together with the one Jim owned, was worth $40,000. The following year, Bess finally lost her battle for life, and Jim and Paul flew out to Washington DC for her funeral.

Biography by Steve



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