A perplexed, vivacious, sexually frustrated, middle aged spinster, “Tired of waiting for life to knock on her door.” She wants to get out and pitch! Her mother, who always wanted her to marry Prince Charles in a full white wedding, was raised in India and her father was a Colonel. Her mother couldn’t stand Rigsby, “O-h dear….”, when they met for the wedding. She thought he wasn’t normal, especially putting boot polish in his hair for a callow appearance. An original tenant of Rigsby’s dour-dwellings, she compares it to, “Living with The Muppets!”. She better not let Rigsby hear that though as any sign of ill talk of his dwellings and he’ll cut her tenants water off! As in the case of Spooner’s suggestion, “Wait ’til he wants to take a bath. They’ll be a sudden shortage of hot water!” Ruth has been a courteous, clean living, tenant who’s now all on her own with only Rigsby to try and avoid “Oh… Miss Jones!”, bursting in on her at all times of the day making small talk.
Ruth dedicated a good deal of her life looking after her father. He was always interfering with her love life. He died three years ago on Guy Fawkes night, “He had a heart attack in the street. People kept stepping over him they thought he was a Guy… He had 4&9 in his hat.” Her Uncle, Felix, was buried at sea. The trouble was he kept coming in and out with the tide at Worthing and he couldn’t stand Worthing! Her mother was very well refined and slightly prudish in Ruth’s eyes, she was against sex before marriage “But then she was never-terribly keen after.” Whereas Ruth’s opinions are far more relaxed, she doesn’t mind it before or after. As long as it’s not instead of!
Ruth possesses a wry sense of excitable humour and a fondness for intelligent, romantic conversation along with the odd poetry reading now and again, John Betjeman being a favourite of hers. She reads Woman’s Realm/Own and enjoys the fresh smell of flowers, knitting and listening to late night radio shows along with her cup of cocoa and chocolate digestives. She also has a great deal of interest in learning First-Aid, though last time she was called to help she fainted.
Ruth has a great fondness for music, never without her bedside radio companion, and this is none more evident in her accompaniment to Douglas, the curate, in playing the recorder for the local church. One of her favourite musical performers is that old crooner, Matt Monro. Ruth is extremely charitable, “…always happy to help are little brown brothers.”, and opposed to violence, the Polaris missile and all that ru.b..i.s….sort of thing. She has previously been a model with her poise and elegance she modelled……gloves, well it’s a start. Ruth also has experience in acting, her walk “Where did you learn to walk like that?” according to Hilary, is her prized possession, he can see her potential. Well, she did once have a part in an Agatha Christie production, even if it she was strangled in the first Scene. Lying still on the ground, a small boy in the front row kept poking her with a stick! The local press said of her, “We have to go a long way to find anyone deader than Miss Jones.”
As an active member of the badminton club, mainly to gain some social contact, yet the other players always ignored her and never spoke to her. Though they did use to shout the score across the net….. occasionally. She still is an active member of a Badminton club and a member of the local Womans Guild. Now with a steady job at the local college, attended by the boys upstairs, in administration. Rigsby believes she wastes too much time on the students, especially when she agrees to find accommodation for Philip Smith after an evening out with him, “I dunno why she ‘ad to go and bring ‘im ‘ere for?”. Ruth explains to Rigsby that he is a conscientious, hard working student, an aristocratic gentlemen by the name of Philip SMITH. She finds the black on white with Phil very romantic though her father would have turned in his grave, “Dad wanted to keep Britain white.” Her fondness for Philip is very intense as she incites him to be, “Impulsive, live life to the dregs.”, she’s always waiting to hear him coming up the stairs, pouncing on him, making him pies and food and she’s even been doing his laundry for the past three months!.
Ruth’s strongly attracted to his physique, “My word you’re in good shape Philip.” and animal grace, “…like a panther.” It’s not long before their friendship becomes a little out of hand and Philip has to break the news to her that he already has 10 wives! Well, poor Ruth is distraught and confides in Rigsby that she is contemplating jumping into the canal, “Just a small splash and it’ll all be over.” Whereas Rigsby informs her that it would be quicker to drink it! besides it’s full of prams. Rigsby, as ever, concerned for Ruth’s safety, “If you want ‘im duffin up…” though he doesn’t know it’s that bl-a-c., Phil upstairs, and offers his assistance throughout the night, “I can bunk down on the settee?”. Ruth though is happier on her own with her blue glasses, little red sleeping pills and the thoughts and dreams about what might have been.
She possesses an interest and attraction for exercise and physical prowess after taking an inventory of herself and discovering she was, “…lacking something.” She’s desperate to improve her figure, “Nothing missing was there Miss Jones?” So, the leotards on, “erm…striking outfit.”, but all the thumping about is causing the plaster to fall on Rigsby’s dinner… and it’s fish fingers’ Rigsby can’t believe she’s gone in for all this exercise lark besides she has an hourglass figure, according to him, with poise and elegance. Ruth though, unfortunately, couldn’t help wishing she had a little more….” Oh no!…”…..a little more sand.
Ruth Jones seems to be so unfortunate in her quest for companionship, she believes men are slightly put off by her worried frown. She has had it since the age of three due to her pushchair having an insecure wheel and it kept flying offl, sending her out into the road. At one time she was engaged to a sensitive, charming young man who was fine until he saw all the wedding presents. Something snapped in him and he was off and so were the presents! The last time she saw him he was speeding down the road in a hired mini-bus with Ruth’s father clinging to the roof
Throughout her numerous liaisons with the opposite sex Miss Jones has had a particular affection for clean-cut Policemen. She once went out with one but he would wear his uniform all the time. Every time they went out together she felt as if people would think she had been arrested. She kept swinging her arms so they could see she didn’t have any hand-cuffs on! This, however, does not hinder her impetuous affair with whimpish, middle aged, Desmond in 1975 “What!. D-e-s-m-o-nd? “who hangs around in the poetry section of the local library where he works. He proposes to Ruth and she accepts. He describes Ruth as enchanting with lights in her eyes, like stars, reflected in limpet pools…etc. ugh! Ruth’s knight in Shining armour arrives to take her away for a life of passion. She’s away for near on two years with Desmond but it didn’t quite work out “There was someone I was trying to forget but couldn’t.”. Rigsby’s not surprised, “…can’t resist this kind of charm for long.” and now she’s back in her old room, “Oh…it’s just like the old days Miss Jones.”
As well as pouncing on any unsuspecting males who come to visit her room “Please stay with me don’t leave me.”, be it the gasman or election candidate, she has also known to have had an affair with Douglas, the curate from the local Parish who also runs the local whist drives which Miss Jones just so conveniently attends. A rumour was around he had been seen at the screening of ‘Last Tango in Paris’ without his dog-collar with an unknown lady……”Yes…. well.” departs Ruth, “Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been given this power over men.”
When all else fails she has been known to join a matrimonial agency where they once put her in touch with a fun loving extrovert with an urge to travel. He sounded fine until she found out he was serving five years in Parkhurst! Another time she met a nice, sensitive, small man who barely came up to her shoulders. He deserted her after Napoleon was brought up in conversation.
Ruth eventually did find true romance with scrupulous landlord, Rigsby, chiefly after playing the role of his sour wife in the will scandal. There was a vision of what might have been and thus, after a few months she decided to marry him but after years of disappointmrnts it was just too much for her, “How many hearts you gonna break Miss Jones?”. After So many rejections in the past and failed engagements it was sadly not to be, “I just couldn’t go through with it!” her doubts, unsurprisingly, were far too strong.
Referring to Rigsby.
Ruth: “I know he’s not handsome and dashing but he’s lonely and kind like me.”