Farmer Saltmarsh owns the land around the LNER upon which Dennis is furtively encroaching by moving the hospital-bed fence a few inches every year. Dennis’s water supply comes from a cattle trough in Saltmarsh’s field. The chief feature of the Saltmarsh farm is a huge…
Eunice Turkentine is the current headmistress of the local school. She has many modern ideas about education, including banning parents from the school lavatories where they had long done their laundry, often causing fights over whose detergent was whose. For a glimpse into how Eunice prepares her charges for life on the fen, listen to School Open Day from the album Trouble Is.
Dennis does odd jobs for Mrs Jeffreys, the low-born but socially ambitious wife of an executive, Alan. The Jeffreys reside in The Closes, a smart housing estate in the village. (Well, smart for Grunty Fen.)
Dennis hates Mrs Jeffreys, and she despises him – possible because he once had a run-in with her underwear. That episode is Me Trouble, The Fen and That Mrs Jeffreys on the album Tha’s All In Ya Loif.
Sally Field is a great friend of Dennis. She’s the impoverished mother of countless children (including Little Haley, the twins Kylie and Jason, and Little Reg, the angelic-looking but naughty choirboy) and is married to Slippery Sam who is usually in Bedford Jail but occasionally comes out to try some doomed and illicit business.
Nigel, the local bus driver, is ever ready to interrupt his scheduled service to help villagers with DIY. However, his life is made a misery by the Feral Nuns (see Religion). To find out why Nigel has to be inch-perfect with his parking, you need Best Kept Fen from the album Archive Editions 5.
Mrs Sharp lives in the council houses and is famous for taking a five-day holiday in the Canary Islands where she learned flamenco dancing using one castanet, the other having been ‘lost in customs’. Very often you will hear the cry, ‘Ole, Mrs Sharp! Ole!’
PC Faircloth grows mushrooms in the cells and accommodates any prisoners in his home where they dine with the family. Known for his very quiet bicycle on which he approaches unsuspecting villains. To hear Grunty Fen’s attitude to law and order, listen to what happens as Mr South stumbles across an ‘accident’ between two lorries – in Highway Robbery from the album Trouble Is.
Buzz is Dennis’s stepfather who runs a dry-cleaning business with Dennis’s mother in Calhoun, Georgia, dealing mostly with greasy overalls from a peanut butter factory’s workers. Interestingly, he is unwittingly responsible for the decline in numbers of the once-bountiful coypu in Grunty Fen. See Wildlife.