Mrs Dumbarton was the stringent Miami Modes department supervisor and direct superior of Elsie Tanner and Dot Greenhalgh at the clothing outlet in the early 1960s. Mrs Dumbarton was a stickler for timekeeping but despite Elsie's complaints about her bossiness, Dot pointed out that if Elsie ever made it to work on time she would probably die of shock.
The two swapped many barbs. In April 1961 Elsie was considering buying one of the store's dresses and Mrs Dumbarton cattily told her that it was from the "teens and twenties" range, causing Elsie to retort that that ruled both of them out from wearing it then. Within seconds, she was turning up the charm when rep Walter Fletcher arrived and then in full dragon mode again with hapless sales assistant Noreen. Just a month later, she berated Elsie for taking time off to look after a sick and pregnant Linda Cheveski, saying she couldn't do the same for her daughter in Australia, though Elsie wished she could!
Mrs Dumbarton had left the department by January 1962, but was back by October when Elsie "borrowed" a dress from the shop to wear to Jack and Annie Walker's silver wedding anniversary, intending to return it without Mrs Dumbarton noticing. Elsie was delayed getting it back as she had to have it cleaned after Leonard Swindley spilled wine over it at the party, but while Mrs Dumbarton noticed the dress's absence, Elsie managed to get it back before her suspicions were aroused further.
- The part was played by Valerie Skardon in 1961 but Diana Coupland took over the role for her 1962 appearances, a rare instance in the programme's early days of a part being re-cast.
List of appearances