(1973–2001, 2002–2008) Compo's next door neighbour, Nora is proudly devoted to strict housework, and stands as a monument to classic northern woman. 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. In one episode, she did seem to reciprocate Compo's feelings—in the episode "Extra! Extra!", she was bowled over by the sight of him in military uniform. 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 soap Crossroads, with Nora said to be emigrating to Australia. 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.