1981 was Emmerdale's 10th year in production. One of the major events of this year was Enoch Tolly was crushed by a tractor when he fell out of it and it tipped up and the yobbish antics of Tom Merrick never failed to entertain. Amos Brearly set up a newspaper called The Beckindale Bugle but it was short lived.

  • 8th January - An old friend of Jack Sugden's, Ian Probert, turned up at Emmerdale Farm. In mentioned his father and sister and did a few days work at Emmerdale Farm and Helen Acott's farm.
  • January Father Padraic Flynn said to Rev Hinton that he had cancer.
  • 27th January - Annie Sugden undergoes an operation on her knee. She was a bit scared at first but her father reassured her.
  • January, Rev Hinton visited Emmerdale to speak to Annie about the Merricks and offered to stand up for Tom Merrick in court over his Christmas tree theft.
  • January, Tom Merrick went to court for stealing Christmas trees. He was given a suspended sentence.
  • 19th February - Enoch Tolly is killed in a tractor accident. His body is discovered by his daughter Naomi.
  • March - Tom Merrick burns down an NY Estates barn in an attempt to frame Jack Sugden for arson.
  • 2nd April - Tom Merrick leaves the village after his attempt to frame Jack Sugden for arson fails.
  • 9th April - Emmerdale Farm was burgled.
  • 23rd April - Beckindale's burgular is arrested.
  • December, Jack Sugden proposed to recently divorced Pat Merrick.