In Unseen Academicals, Mrs Atkinson is described as ...one of the most feared Faces who had ever wielded a sharpened umbrella with malice aforethought.
This elderly lady, as well as evoking a freelance Agony Aunt, is very typical of the hordes of shrieking old ladies who would descend on professional wrestling events* every Saturday to berate, belabour and batter the participants. Eighteen stone muscle-mountains would be scared of them, as a Mrs Atkinson rushing the ring who had deliberately sharpened her umbrella to a point could really hurt if she jabbed it into the thigh or buttock. Any wrestler thrown out of the ring to land theatrically in among the seated crowd would not want to be dropped among a group of Mrs Atkinsons, who could be relied upon to prod, poke, pinch, kick, stab and spit as he made his shaky way back to the bottom rope. Kendo Nagasaki, a legend among British pro wrestlers, who played the evil baddie role in the ring, is on record as saying he feared nothing so much as a bloodthirsty seventy-year old lady with a sharp umbrella.
- *We are talking about British pro wrestling here, generally a more cheap and cheerful spit-and-sawdust affair than the glitzy and improbable American WWF circuit. This is the sort of contest broadcast live from Dewsbury City Hall at four o'clock on a Saturday, invariably hosted by Kent Walton, while the nation waited for its football results in the 1970's. Ah, great days.