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Sandie Merrick first arrived in Beckindale with her mother, father and half-brother in 1972 but left not long after. She later returned for good with her mother and half-brother in 1980.

Sandie found romance with Andy Longthorn in 1982. Their love blossomed but he could not compete when Sandie was swept off her feet by agricultural student David Blackmore, who arrived in Beckindale in his flash car to help Joe Sugden at NY Estates. Sandie then moved on to unemployed Graham Jelks, a keen mechanic who was a friend of her brother Jackie and Seth Armstrong's son, Fred.

When Sandie announced she was pregnant and refused to reveal who the father was, Dolly Skilbeck gave her the support she needed. Only later was it discovered that Dolly herself had given birth to an illegitimate son years earlier.

The father of Sandie's baby was, in fact, Andy Longthorn, who had left the village to go to university. After deciding to have the baby but finding her mother, Pat Sugden, unsympathetic, Sandie joined her father, Tom, in Aberdeen where he was working on the oil rigs and gave birth to her daughter, Louise, away from the wagging tongues of Beckindale. Pat disapproved again when Sandie put Louise up for adoption and tried to rebuild her life.

There was more friction when builder Phil Pearce left his wife, Lesley, and young daughter, Diane, to move with Sandie into Mill Cottage. The Mill had been converted into a flat by the company that Phil had just formed with Joe Sugden. Phil and Sandie started an affair which Diane unveiled to a packed audience in The Woolpack. Sandie's affair caused another village scandal, and Annie Sugden made her disapproval clear.

When Sandie subsequently passed her auctioneer's exams and took over Eric Pollard's job, he mounted a hate campaign against her. It culminated in him breaking into the mill conversion she had previously shared with Phil and drunkenly threatening her with a poker. Matters only worsened for Sandie when NY Estates decided to close Hotten Market and pull out of Beckindale altogether and she lost her job. Sandie left the village to live in Scotland with her father.

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