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Character Profiles > Valda Sheergold Joan Sydney

Valda Lynette Cassidy (née Sheergold) 2002-2005, 2007-2008
Lived: 22, 24, 26, 28, 32 Ramsay Street

Born: 1937
Marital Status: Charlie Cassidy (2004; died)
Siblings: Beverly and Connie
Children: Lyn
Family Tree: Sheergold
Occupation: Retired Postmistress, Pub Cook, Chef, Online Entrepreneur

Loud and opinionated, with very little foresight for the consequences of her actions, Valda is the typical embarrassing relative. When Lyn mentioned that Auntie Valda wouldn't be able to make it to Steph and Marc's wedding, the Scully family breathed a collective sigh of relief. So, it was quite a surprise when she landed on their doorstep on the afternoon of the wedding, amidst all the fallout from Flick and Marc's betrayal. Valda tried to make herself useful, dishing out cups of tea and advice left, right and centre.

However, the last thing Lyn needed was an extra mouth to feed, and quite a big one at that, so she was thrilled when the Kennedys offered Valda a room at their place. At first, things seemed to go alright, Karl was a bit overwhelmed by Valda's tactlessness and ability to eat all the food and use all the hot water. It was the last straw for Karl when Valda called for her two poodles, Blanche and Stella, to come and stay with her. Since the death of her sister, Bev, Valda had bought the poodles for company and began to really dote on them. Karl was amazed to come home one day to find her serving them their dinner at the table from the best china. He was also not amused when he had to babysit the dogs, and even less amused when they escaped from the house. He helped Valda search for them, even though he was suffering with a cold. Valda realised she was on the verge of being thrown out of number 28, so when she found her poodles, she kept it a secret from Karl, in order to play on his guilt!

In the meantime, Valda had developed a keen interest in Harold Bishop. She soon needled him into a double date with Lou and Rosie, but it was fairly obvious that Harold wasn't as keen as she was. However, when Karl found out about Valda's scam, he did throw her out and she went to Harold to explain her situation. Apparently, after the death of Bev, Valda had run the business into the ground and was now penniless and homeless. Harold took pity and let her stay at number 24 for a while. Harold enlisted Rosie's help in dampening Valda's ardour and Rosie attempted to have a quiet word, telling Valda that she 'wasn't Harold's type'. Valda, typically, misunderstood this and led herself to believe that Lou and Harold were a couple. Valda began to enjoy spending time with the two of them, and Harold was oblivious to Valda's ideas about him. When he realised, however, he tried to explain that he wasn't gay, but Valda wouldn't listen so he ended up kissing her. Valda was thrilled, but her plans to continue the romance were put on hold when she discovered that one of Bev's old stamp albums was worth thousands of dollars. She set off that day on a cruise, only stopping long enough to ask Harold if he would join her. He declined the offer.

Some months later, mysterious gifts began arriving for the Scully girls; a motorbike for Steph, a bracelet for Flick and money for Michelle. Nobody was quite sure where they were coming from until one day a parcel came containing a letter and a huge framed photo of Valda. The letter told them that she'd be back soon. And back she came. Arriving unannounced on the Scully's doorstep, Valda immediately began organising the lives of the entire family. She quickly made sure that Alex was a suitable young man to be seeing Steph, then managed to get herself involved in Michelle and Connor's relationship - informing Connor that he had to stop stringing Michelle along and be upfront with her. Unfortunately, this resulted in the couple splitting up, but this made Valda all the more determined to help, telling Michelle that there were many ways to get her man back.

Valda herself had found romance during her months away on the cruise, and she spoke with great excitement of her new beau, Andreas. His letters said he would come and visit, and bring her poodles, Blanche and Stella, along. Despite having left Erinsborough with a great deal of money, Valda soon admitted that little of it was left. She managed to find herself work at the pub, cooking meals, when the chef suddenly walked out. Valda quickly made herself indispensable around the pub and managed to talk Lou into keeping her on full-time. Her ideas for revamping the menu - involving themed weeks centred around cuisines of the world - soon saw a 25% rise in profits and, despite Lou's attempts to get rid of her, she proved to be a huge asset to Lou's business.

Valda also decided to help out Lyn during her pregnancy. Valda's advice was difficult for Lyn to take, as Valda had never had children herself, something which seemed to play on Valda's mind a great deal. After a particularly difficult conversation with Lyn, Valda found herself crying in the office of the pub, while looking at some black and white baby photos. Further heartache was in store for Valda when she found out that the remaining stamps in her album were worthless and she had to break the news to Andreas that she wasn’t as rich as she thought. She was shocked when he dumped her over the phone and sent her poodles back to her. However, she soon got over it – announcing to Lyn that she had her sights set on a new man – Lou. As her advances towards Lou became more and more obvious, he got the idea from Harold to play her at her own game. He came on strong to Valda – and she broke down in tears. She admitted to Lou that she felt like a fool for letting Andreas take her for a ride. Lou found himself seeing Valda in a whole new light, and a new bond was forged between them.

When Joe returned from New York, he was furious to find Valda still living there and even more furious when Karl returned the poodles to her. Valda overheard him telling Lyn that her aunt would have to leave, and so she packed up her stuff and went to stay in the garage. Valda turned to Lou for help when she found that she had no idea how to survive with no money and he helped her start up a savings plan. However, she immediately went out and bought Lou an expensive watch, leaving him shocked and causing her to run off in tears once more. When he found her, she told him she could no longer cope with the burden anymore and that she had a big secret – she was really Lyn’s mother! Lou promised to keep the information to himself. A few days later, Lyn was injured during the robbery at number 28, Valda tried to visit her daughter in hospital but Joe told her, in no uncertain terms, to stay away. A distraught Valda took Stella and Blanche and walked out of Ramsay Street, telling her poodles that they wouldn’t be going back…

Lou and Steph finally managed to track Valda down and found her suffering from pneumonia. She was rushed to hospital where she gradually began to recover and Lyn was glad to finally have her back, although she was slightly confused about the reason for Valda vanishing in the first place. While Valda was still recovering, Lyn made the shocking discovery, after watching some old home movies, that Valda, and not Connie, was infact her mother. Valda was unaware of the discovery and was confused when nobody came to collect her from the hospital, so she made her way to number 26 to help celebrate Lyn’s birthday. Joe tried to warn Valda that the family knew all about what had gone on in the past and Lyn was upset, but Valda went down to the salon nonetheless. Lyn refused to speak to her mother, and proceeded to extradite her from her life, packing up her things and throwing her out.

Valda found a good friend in Lou, who she had already confided in several times and he offered her a room. As time went on, Valda tried to get through to Lyn, but with no success. Only Jack spoke to her, having dinner with her in the pub and assuring her that things would eventually work out. When Henry, the man Lyn believed to be her father, arrived to visit, Valda found herself the target of his anger, but she refused to accept any blame. Lyn became curious about her real father, Charlie Cassidy, and so asked Valda where she could find him. Valda explained that he’d had a fishing business in Shelly Bay, but it was 20 years ago, so it would be a long shot. After learning that Lyn had found him and was on the way there, Valda followed and found Lyn standing next to her broken down car. The two carried on to Shelly Bay, but Lyn was still very bitter. However, after meeting Charlie at last, Valda was distraught to learn that he had never loved her back then. Valda left the hospital and Lyn finally tracked her down on the beach. The two made up, as Valda admitted that she felt like nobody had ever really cared about her. Lyn insisted that she meant the world to the whole Scully family.

It was also revealed during the visit that Henry was the one who talked Charlie into abandoning Valda, so he and Connie could have a child of their own. Returning to Erinsborough, Valda was thrilled to have everything out in the open and actually have the chance to be a mother. However, money was still a problem for Valda, so when she was offered a chef’s job at an oasis retreat near Broome, she decided to accept. Although the contract was only for four months, it was still painful to say goodbye, but made all the more easier when Lyn called Valda ‘mum’ for the first time.

A few weeks later, Valda was thrilled to learn of the birth of her new grandson, Oscar, and returned to town briefly for the Christening. Valda was over the moon when Lyn decided to make her one of the baby's Godparents. Meanwhile, things with Lou were still awkward, with neither of them admitting to their feelings for the other.

Valda returned a few months later to celebrate Christmas with her family. Soon after arriving back in Erinsborough, she found out that Lou had become engaged to Trixie Tucker and was devastated, firmly believing that she’d be rushing straight back into the arms of Mr. Carpenter. With that shock over, she got down to spending Christmas with the Scullys. Although Jack and Joe were called away to help Mick with the bush fires, Valda got to spend time with her daughter. They bought each other gifts to cement their new roles as mother and daughter and spent Christmas day at the Hoyland house with Steph. The following day, Valda’s upset over Lou and Trixie boiled over in the middle of the wedding. When the celebrant asked if anyone objected, Valda made an exhibition of herself by announcing that Lou’s new marriage was a complete sham. An embarrassed Valda decided to pack up and return to Western Australia as soon as possible.

Some months later, Valda was back in Erinsborough, to teach at the catering school in Anson’s Corner. She managed to arrive just as the Scully family had been chosen to have their home renovated on cable TV show Making Mansions. She also returned in time to see Lou return to town a broken man after the break-up of his marriage. Valda was quick to make sure he knew that she’d told him so, but she also managed to put the past behind her and buy a pair of cheap speakers from the man. When these proved to be faulty, she turned on him once again and Lou promptly disappeared, with nobody having realised just how low he had sunk. Having come close to death, Lou started dreaming of Valda and, upon his return, decided to try and make a go of things with her. But Lyn was quick to warn him off breaking her mother’s heart again, and Valda had other things on her mind anyway, as she attempted to pay granddaughter Michelle to return to New York, rather than stay with boyfriend Connor.

When Michelle decided to take her grandmother’s advice, and concentrate on her career, it caused a huge falling out with Lyn, who wanted her child by her side. They managed to put aside their differences to farewell Michelle, and then Valda’s problems returned when Lou started taking an interest once more. Valda found some flowers on her doorstep, with a note from Lou inviting her for dinner. However, with her course at the catering school completed, and having outstayed her welcome at number 26, Valda decided to give Lou the message once and for all by heading off back to her old job in Broome.

Lou was in for a big shock, however, some weeks later when he suspected that his house had been broken into – but came face-to-face with Valda. She revealed that she was behind the Ipanema Investment Group – the new owner of Lou’s house. She and Lou struggled to live under the same roof, but it was soon evident that they were still harbouring feelings for each other. Things only got worse when Valda agreed to step in as pub chef for a while, and the pair were both living and working together. In the end, they agreed to a date, but Valda was humiliated as she ended up waiting for hours. When Lou eventually arrived he explained that he’d received a call from Trixie and hadn’t managed to get away. Valda was appalled, but reluctantly agreed to a second date. This time, however, it was one of her old flames who spoilt things, as Charlie Cassidy returned to town. Realising the absurdity of their situation, Lou and Valda decided that they were much better off as friends. Valda was therefore horrified when Lou was sentenced to three years in jail as a result of his dodgy deals with Rocco. However, Valda’s main reason for returning was to help Lyn plan Steph’s wedding to Max. As the big day finally dawned, Lyn and Valda were horrified to realise that the couple had eloped. Luckily, they tracked down the new venue just in time and the wedding finally took place. Afterwards, Valda was in for the shock of her life when Charlie got down on one knee and proposed. Everyone then went to the original venue for Max and Steph’s wedding for the second wedding of the day, before seeing Valda and Charlie off on their honeymoon…

After spending several months cruising around the world, Valda and Charlie, along with his sister, Doreen, returned to Australia. Valda was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and ordered to rest, but she was happy for Charlie to go and spend what looked like being his final Christmas with Lyn in Ramsay Street, joined by Doreen. Soon afterwards, Valda heard that Charlie had passed away, and she made sure to get down to Erinsborough, arriving just in time for his funeral. Valda was astounded to find the entire family at odds with each other and demanded to know what was going on when Steph was arrested in the middle of Charlie’s wake. They were forced to explain that Steph was suspected of aiding Charlie’s premature death, but Valda refused to believe this. She managed to help hold the family together as Lyn struggled to come to terms with what had happened and Charlie’s son, Michael, blamed her and the rest of the Scullys for taking away his final months with his dad. Although Steph was found to be guilty at her trial, she received a suspended sentence. Valda was pleased when Michael managed to make up with his new-found family. The following day, she agreed to sell number 22 to Paul Robinson, an old face who had recently returned to the area, as long as he continued to keep Lou on as a tenant. Valda and Doreen then left town for Shelley Bay, where they planned to use the money to continue fixing up Charlie’s cottage.

A couple of years later, Valda and Doreen were joined in Shelley Bay by Lyn and Oscar. Lyn was trying to move on from a brief marriage to Paul Robinson, and eventually decided to settle in the area, opening up her own salon. Valda also had a new business interest, when she found out that one of her neighbours made lingerie for the larger woman. Valda went into business, creating her own online company, Voluptuous Vixens. Whilst her website was being built for her, Valda headed to Erinsborough, where Steph and her baby son, Charlie - named after Valda's late husband - still lived. Steph was busy being a mum, running her own bar and had just become a local councillor, so Valda's arrival came at just the right time to help out around the house and the bar. She also found herself caught up in the relationship dramas of Steph and her boyfriend Toadie Rebecchi, who had just proposed and been turned down. Steph quickly managed to sort things out though, telling Toadie that she'd love to be his fiancee, but would prefer a long engagement. And Valda soon found herself sparring with old friend Lou, who was now running his own General Store with Harold, and Lou was soon interested when he learnt about her new online venture, wanting to know how he could get in on the action. It didn't take long for Valda to convince pregnant Carmella Cammeniti to take her fruit and veg business online either, and she put her in touch with Jude Troy, who had been creating Valda's site for her. Meanwhile, Valda found a new way to tease Lou when she told him that she was taking part in the Erinsborough fun run. Determined not to be outdone and left feeling old, Lou entered himself and Harold into the race and the three took part in the senior's section walk, but the two men were left feeling foolish when Lou dragged Harold to take a shortcut, and they still ended up losing to Valda, who walked away with the trophy, despite her protests that she clearly wasn't old enough to have been entered with the seniors.

Having convinced Carmella and Lou to splash out and pay Jude to open websites for them, Valda became concerned when her own lingerie site - following a lavish launch at the bar - started having problems. Computer whizz Zeke Kinski informed her that her site was simply one page with no ability for people to buy anything from it, and helped her to find Jude's details on the business registry. Having found Jude, Valda was stunned to find that he'd been closed down by the bank, and nobody would be getting a refund. Feeling awful about ruining Lou's retirement plans, and giving pregnant Carmella financial problems just before she was due to give birth, Valda raided her own bank account, paying them both back the money they had invested, and lying that it had come from Jude. Valda's problems then worsened when she found herself being chased by lingerie suppliers, threatening legal action unless she paid up. Valda decided that the only option was to sell her car, but when Toadie then spotted buyer Trev Devlin driving by in Valda's car, she lied that it must have been stolen, and before long, Steph and Toadie had forced her to report it to the police. Finding herself getting deeper and deeper into the lie, Valda finally had to come clean when Toadie spotted Trev in the Lassiter's car park and made a citizen's arrest. Forced to explain the whole sorry story, Valda was relieved when Steph and Toadie were sympathetic, managing to contact local cop Adam Rhodes before he'd had a chance to send off her insurance claim, and offering to loan her the money to pay off her debts.

Grateful to Steph, Valda insisted on helping out, free of charge, at Charlie's bar and stood by her granddaughter as she struggled through problems, including finding herself blamed for a shocking accident in which a warehouse, hosting an illegal rave, had collapsed, killing three teenagers. Steph had been one of the councillors who had voted for security to be removed from the building, but knew that she was innocent, as she had missed that meeting and given her proxy vote to Mayor Jackie Jones. Only days earlier, Steph's crumbling relationship had come to an end, as he jilted her at the altar, painfully aware that she didn't really want to get married and was only going through with it to make him happy. Valda did her best to try and get the couple to talk through their problems, but this, as well as her council dramas, led Steph to decide to get away for a few weeks and spend some time with her mum and Oscar in Shelley Bay. With Steph away, Valda was left to run the bar and, coupled with worrying about Lou, who had suffered a panic attack (though he let her believe it was a heart attack) when Harold announced plans to leave Erinsborough, she soon found herself exhausted. A couple of days after Steph returned, Valda was making herself cheese on toast in the kitchen of Charlie's when she nodded off, only waking up as smoke filled the room and Lou rushed in to save her. Taking this as a sign that he still had feelings for her, Valda tried to talk to him about their relationship, but Lou palmed her off, claiming that he would have rushed in to save anyone from a burning kitchen. Upset, Valda asked Harold if she could join him as he left on his trip around Australia, so that he could drop her off in Shelley Bay, and pointed out to Lou that he had until the following day to declare his intentions. After saying her goodbyes to Steph and Charlie, Valda was delighted when Lou approached her, just as she was about to leave with Harold, only for him to simply wish her a safe trip, and so she once again left Erinsborough.

Trivia Notes
• Valda had an auntie back in Wothering who had TIAs and she lived to be 95

4008-4024, 4204-4295, 4318-4319, 4386-4395, 4428-4473, 4502-4528, 4630-4647, 5306-5420

Magic Moments
Episode 4008: Valda's Arrival

Biography by Steve