Emmerdale Woolpack staff past and present – family feuds and tragic deaths

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The Woolpack Pub in ITV soap Emmerdale has a long history and is one of the most famous pubs on television.

It has been at the heart of some of the soap's major storylines, and has been owned by a cast of characters that have become beloved by viewers throughout the decades.

With the current owners Chas and Marlon Dingle currently in financial difficulty, fans have been speculating who they would like to see own the Woolpack next, with some suggesting characters such as Bernice Blackstock or Joe Tate.

Here, we look back at the characters who have owned and worked at the pub since the soap began in 1976, and some of the biggest moments that have taken place.

Amos Brearly & Henry Wilks: 1976-1991

Amos Brearly and business partner Henry Wilks, played by Ronald Magill and Arthur Pentelow, owned the Woolpack pub for longer than any other characters in the soap.

The duo owned the Woolpack from the soap's very first episode in 1976 to 1991.

During their ownership, the pub had a number of bar staff including Alison Gibbons, Dolly Acaster, Caroline Bates, Kathy Merrick, Sarah Connelly, Mick Caven and Archie Brooks.

When Amos retired as the owner in 1991, ownership was taken over by Alan Turner.

Sadly, Henry Wilks died in the soap one year later.

Alan Turner: 1991-1999

Alan Turner, played by Richard Thorp, took over ownership of the Woolpack Pub from Amos Brearly and Henry Wilks in 1991.

One of the bar staff at the Woolpack during this time was also Alan's girlfriend and later wife, Shirley Foster, played by Rachel Davies.

Sadly, Shirley tragically died during a siege at Home Farm in the soap in 1994, only months after she had married Alan.

Characters who were bar staff at the Woolpack pub from 1991-1999 also included Kathy Merrick, Carol Nelson, Rachel Hughes, Lynn Whiteley, Jan Glover, Britt Woods, Susan Wilde, Mandy Dingle and Tricia Dingle.

During Alan's ownership, the Woolpack was also badly damaged in a storyline in 1993, following a plane crash in the village.

In 1999, Alan retired and sold the Woolpack to new landlady Diane Blackstock (later Sugden).

Diane Sugden: 1999-2016

Diane Sugden, played by Elizabeth Estensen, took over ownership of the Woolpack pub, alongside her daughter Bernice Blackstock, from 1999.

She is the longest serving landlady of the Woolpack, and daughter Bernice worked as bar staff at the pub in 2002.

Barstaff at the Woolpack pub under Sugden's ownership also included a long list of characters such as Mandy, Tricia and Chas Dingle, Lexi Nicholls, Jo Sugden, Maisie Wilde, Moira Barton, Alicia Metcalfe, Priya Sharma, James Barton, Doug Potts and Jermaine Bailey.

During this time, characters Val Pollard and Louise Appleton also had shares in the pub.

From 1999-2016, the Woolpack has been at the centre of some of the soap's biggest storylines, including the 2013 siege at the pub, and the huge storm in 2003 that caused the building to collapse, tragically killing Tricia Dingle (the granddaughter of previous owner Alan Turner and first wife of Marlon Dingle).

In 2010, Sugden sold the pub briefly to Nicola King and her husband Jimmy. However, the couple soon changed their minds, and the pub's ownership went back to Sugden.

She later sold 50% of the pub to Chas Dingle, who ran the Woolpack with her, until Sugden decided to sell her half to Chas' cousin Charity.

Sugden's character currently runs a B&B in the village.

Last week Elizabeth Estensen, who has played Diane Sugden for 22 years, announced that she had decided to leave Emmerdale after over two decades on the soap.

Charity and Chas Dingle: 2016-2021

Charity Dingle, played by Emma Atkins, was sold half of the Woolpack pub by Diane Sugden in 2016.

After buying Diane's share, she ran the Woolpack pub with cousin Chas Dingle for five years.

Under their ownership, bar staff included Rebecca White, Dawn Taylor, Finn and Matty Barton, Bob Hope and Zak, Faith and Debbie Dingle.

However, in 2021, Charity sold her share of the pub to Marlon and Chas Dingle, who now run the Woolpack pub.

Chas and Marlon Dingle – Present owners

Chas and Marlon Dingle, played by Charlie Hardwicke and Emily Symons, are the current owners of the Woolpack pub.

Current bar staff includes Matty Barton and Bob Hope, with Marlon assisting.

During their ownership, they have seen happy times including in 2019, when Chas gave birth to daughter Eve in the Woolpack.

However, they are currently facing financial difficulties in the soap, with a mystery intruder posing more problems for them and putting the life of someone close to them in danger, in this week's episodes.

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV

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