Dorothy 'Dolly' Skilbeck (née Acaster) arrived in Beckindale from Darlington to serve as a barmaid in The Woolpack. Dolly soon fell for Matt Skilbeck and they married on 29th June 1978.

Having had a miscarriage in February 1980 after seven months (announced the pregnancy in July 1979), Dolly began work at the village playgroup. A healthy son, Samuel David Skilbeck, was born on 23rd December 1982 but Dolly would suffer another miscarriage in November 1985.

Later it emerged that Dolly had become pregnant by Richard Roper in the mid-1960s and gave their son up for adoption. Her illegitimate child, Graham Lodsworth, came to find her in 1986.

In late 1987 Matt discovered that he had inherited Crossgill Farm from the previous owner. Dolly insisted that they move out of Emmerdale Farm but Matt refused. Dolly and Matt began to grow apart resulting in her affair with timber consultant Stephen Fuller in 1988. Fuller ended up being killed by a falling tree in November 1988 and Dolly arranged his funeral. Dolly began divorce proceedings from Matt in November 1989, then left the village in 1991 having had an abortion after an affair with crooked councillor Charlie Aindow. Dolly and Sam moved to Norfolk.

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