Wrinkled Stockings:
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The famous 'Wrinkled Stockings' are synonymous with Yorkshire because of Nora Batty, star of the world’s longest running TV comedy series 'Last of the Summer Wine', based in Holmfirth; she was the one who wore the wrinkled stockings.

In his woolly hat, threadbare jacket and wellies, Bill Owen, who died at the age of 85, became one of the nation's best-loved stars as the mischievous Compo in BBC One's Last of the Summer Wine based in the Yorkshire town of Holmfirth, as he relentlessly pursued Nora Batty, going wild for her Wrinkled Stockings and exasperating everyone with his harebrained schemes, viewers shared his matchless portrayal of a pensioner enjoying a second childhood.

Compo's full name was William 'Compo' Simmonite and he was played by Bill Owen, from 1973 to 2000; Compo was nearly always dressed in scruffy trousers and Wellington boots; he rarely, if ever, worked for a living, preferring the lazy life; the name Compo probably derived from the term 'compo' a shortened version of the word 'compensation', sometimes used to refer to people living off compensation from an on-the-job injury.

A great physical comedian, Compo was often the butt of jokes arising from the many dirty jobs, stunts and escapades that were a central feature of the series; another recurring theme was Compo's affection for his next-door neighbour, Nora Batty, of whose 'Wrinkled Stockings' he would frequently despair.

Compo leads a seemingly idyllic lifestyle, chatting and bickering with others, betting on horses and playing with his ferrets; in fact, Compo was written as a fragile underdog, with a childlike addiction to fun and the joys of living; he thrives on the authority and argument he gets from the third member of the trio, as is evident from the regret he expresses in his moping around the café after the departure of Blamire in the third series episode, "The Man from Oswestry."

Compo was written out of the series in 2000 following the death of Owen a year earlier; although Compo was already seriously ill, according to Truly and Clegg, it was the sight of Nora Batty in chorus girl clothes that finished him off, but he died with a smile on his face, as claimed by Truly, Clegg and Nora; Compo was referred to as 'Uncle Bill' by his nephew Gordon Simmonite in episodes in 1976.

Nora Batty was played by Kathy Staff, from 1973 to 2001 and 2002 to 2008; she was Compo's next door neighbour and was proudly devoted to strict housework and stands as a monument to classic northern women; during her marriage she used to keep her husband, Wally, under her thumb; despite Nora's gruff manner, and famously 'Wrinkled Stockings', Compo is desperately in love with her, with a lust that is used to generate comic situations as he comes up with various plots and schemes to try to impress Nora, a plot device that was used a great many times, particularly from the mid 1980s until Compo's death.

Although initially a stern Northern "battleaxe", Nora showed on occasion, particularly as the years passed, that underneath she is actually a rather caring and kind woman, although she doesn't openly promote the fact; she even seemed to grow fond of Compo; in the 1996 Christmas special "Extra! Extra!", she was bowled over at the sight of him in military uniform; she also seemed very flattered when Compo sang about his feelings for her at a concert in the previous year's Christmas special.

When Bill Owen died in 1999, Staff initially announced her plans to leave the series, feeling that it would not be the same without him; with the introduction of Compo's son Tom, played by his real life son Tom Owen, however, she was persuaded to stay.

Staff actually did leave the series in 2001, to reprise her role as cleaner Doris Luke in the doomed revival of the soap Crossroads, with Nora said to be emigrating to Australia, but when Crossroads folded, Staff returned, with nothing said about Nora's trip to Australia or her sudden return; she continued to play the character until shortly before her death in 2008; with Staff unable to appear in Series 30 because of ill health, Nora was again said to have left for Australia, this time to care for her elder sister, Madge; staff also played a very Nora-like character, Mrs. Blewitt, in another of writer Roy Clarke's hits, Open All Hours, from 1976 to 1985.


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