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Martha O'Dare played by Cecily Polson

Episodes 1 - 404

Martha is the caring mother of Westside. She is a district nurse and works at the medical centre with Elly. Martha has a son, Steven. However they have not been in contact for a long time and she misses him terribly. Her motherly ways help many E Streeters through their problems and Martha is always on hand to help out. Her best friend is Elly and Martha loves nothing more than to have a gossip over a cup of tea and a plate of chocolate biscuits. Martha is a good friend to Elly and often looks after her young daughter Claire, whom she idolises. Since arriving in Westside Martha has developed a mutual friendship with Sergeant George Sullivan. They have helped each other through some tough times and now their friendship has blossomed into love. They often clash on morals, Martha tries to get George in touch with his feelings rather than act as a policeman in every situation. When local lawyer Sarah McKillop is murdered, Martha is devastated, even more so when George refuses to attend the memorial service. He eventually sees the error of his ways and joins Martha at the service. The arrival of George's daughter Alice cause concern for Martha. After Alice is involved in a plane crash her mother, George's ex - wife Katy, returns to Westside to nurse her daughter back to health. But Katy has an ulterior motive and as she and George get closer, Martha sees less and less of him. Martha is very angry and hurt. George has bad mouthed Katy constantly and she feels he is going back on what he has said in the past. With Elly's encouragement Martha sets out to win her man!! It's a hysterical battle between Martha and Katy as they compete over scrabble, George's shopping and even his favourite toothpaste. When it all comes to a head, George takes Katy's side and Martha walks out on him. After things with Katy fail, George sets out on winning Martha back. It's a tough fight as she is not going to take him back that easily! After dying his hair and changing his wardrobe fail to impress, George asks Martha to marry him. She laughs. Marriage is not what she wants. All she wants is a bit more commitment, she wants them to live together. So after a while of beating around the bush, Martha and George move in together.

Martha is always there for her friends and is there for Elly when she splits up with Daniel. She is also concerned for Ernie when he moves in his new girlfriend, Abbey into the pub. Martha has a high community spirit and wherever there is a battle you can guarantee she will be there. When the duck pond is threatened with a development she joins in the protest and even spends the night in the cell with Elly. When bad boy Sonny Bennett is on the loose Martha gets increasingly neglected by George. She takes second place to his work and the football team and she becomes drawn to Abbeys brother, Noah. Noah treats Martha nicely and listens to her, he has time for her where as George is forgetting her needs. As Martha and Noah grow closer he asks her to return to America with him. She is tempted but realises that she does love George. Although she waves Noah goodbye she feels guilty that she has come so close to leaving George and he knows nothing about it. So she tells him what has been going on. She says that Noah made her feel wanted and attractive again and says that she can't live in a relationship where she doesn't feel loved. George is shocked and walks out on Martha. She is devastated and confides in Abbey that she feels she has now lost both men in her life. Despite staying away for the night, George returns home and tells Martha that he is sorry for the way he treated her. She is not convinced that anything will change so with the help of Alice, George organises a big party for Martha. Surrounded by all their friends, Martha is overwhelmed when George presents her with a ring. He doesn't propose marriage but says the ring is a symbol of their love and commitment.

As things settle down Martha gets a visit from her estranged sister Heather, and her two children Nikki and Zac. They stay for a few days and when Martha returns home from work one day she finds the children alone. They say Heather has gone to the shops. Days later she has still not returned and Martha receives a package containing Nikki and Zacs passports and birth certificates. Martha breaks the news to George that Heather has gone and the kids are now their responsibility. It's a rough ride for Martha. Nikki is a troublesome teenager and Zac is very confused. She and George have hard times with the two but they somehow manage to provide a family environment for them. Martha gets Nikki a job at Elly's surgery and she settles Zac into school. She secretly likes being a mum again. As Sonny escapes from prison, Martha says goodbye to several of her friends. Firstly Kim is shot and killed, then Abbey, Chris and Megan Patchett are killed. Putting her own grief aside she tries to help those left behind. Kim's fiancé` Paul and the remaining Patchetts Ernie and Vi. Within no time at all, Martha faces the hardest goodbye as Elly is shot. She is seriously ill in hospital and for a while it looks like she wont pull through. However, Elly does live but is left paralysed. Martha nurses her back to her former self with the patience of a saint. She feeds her, baths her and is there for her when her problems with Bob and David arise. With the tragedies still fresh in mind, Paul, Ernie and Vi move on. It's sad for Martha when in the space of weeks she looses many friends.

Happiness arrives as Elly and Bob get engaged but again, it isn't long before Martha is waving goodbye to Elly and Claire as they set off for a new life after Elly and Bob split up. Martha then keeps her eyes on the younger generation. With Elly and Vi gone, Toni and Max are missing their mother figures and Martha steps in to provide vital advice. Martha's motherly ways continue to shine as Claire runs away from her new home and flees back to Westside. Martha helps Bob to look after Claire and when Elly finally agrees to let Claire stay in Westside Martha becomes her surrogate guardian. Next up it's time to be a grandmother as George's daughter Alice gets pregnant. After turning 50, George is feeling down about life and whilst finding his youth he again neglects Martha. She tells him she wont stand for it again. Quickly George polishes up his act and it looks like he is not going to risk ever losing her. It`s soon time for change again. Elly returns, Virginia leaves and Nikki and Zacs Mum returns. She claims to have started a new life for herself and now feels that she is stable enough to look after her children. As much as Nikki and Zac are grateful to Martha and George, they miss their mum and they decide to go back to New Zealand with her. As they say goodbye Martha realises how much she will miss the kids and she promises them that there will always be a home for them in Westside. At the last minute Nikki changes her mind, she can't leave her friends in E Street. Zac still goes but Nikki stays with Martha and George. Relieved, Martha prepares for the next arrival - Alice's baby. As Alice goes into labour Martha and George are on hand and she asks them to stay with her, resulting in them both seeing Alice's baby daughter, Amber born. After the birth Alice moves in with Martha and George, she is having problems living with Lisa, so they offer her a place to stay. As well as Amber, another cute face arrives - in the shape of Ernie. He has decided to return to Westside where he belongs. Martha is over the moon and life seems a little normal again as she has her best friends back.

Since Zacs departure, Nikki has become slightly subdued and Martha realises that it's only a matter of time before she joins her mum in New Zealand. She's right and rather hastily, Nikki leaves for her new life. On the work front Martha faces a bit of a shock. The council decide to cut her hours. She is very hurt but more angry and after a campaign to reinstate her normal working hours fails, she decides to quit nursing. Elly is not pleased, she feels that Martha should at least give something rather then nothing. But Martha says her job is hard enough without trying to squeeze it into a few hours a week. So Martha gets a new job working for a cosmetics company. At first she is told she is a glamorous marketing executive, but she is soon traipsing door to door around Westside selling lipstick and eyeliner. The residents of E Street support her by buying aftershave and other goods but Elly isn't so supportive as she disagrees with what Martha is doing. Eventually Martha confides in Toni that she is just a sales woman and after much thought she decides to take whatever nursing hours the council are willing to provide her with. George's latest project is a schoolgirl called Bonnie Tate, a little madam who George is ordered to keep an eye on by her rich father. Martha's interest in Bonnie becomes more than just George's job as she sees that Bonnie is not as tough as she makes out. With her father away so much, Bonnie lacks affection and it isn't long before Martha and George are providing her a home. George is quick to comment that they can't take in every waif and stray, but Martha talks him around and Bonnie moves in. Martha then turns her attentions to Elly who has found out she is pregnant with Bobs child. After helping Elly decide to keep the baby, Martha is then on hand when Elly miscarries the child. She listens to Elly and helps Bob to understand what she is going through.

More comings and goings as Alice and Amber set off to Queensland with Lisa, Martha welcomes back Nikki. She is back to see boyfriend Max and is not impressed when she finds Bonnie in her bed and stealing her boyfriend. Martha then finds herself in the middle of the rows but tends to take a backseat and lets them get on with it. Martha's life has always revolved around her friends in E Street so perhaps the most devastating event for her is when good friend Rev. Bob dies in a car crash. Having played confidante` to him and matchmaker where Elly was involved she feels a great loss when he dies. She takes it hard and has a large amount of anger towards Bobs brother Jack who was responsible for his death. Of course though it is Elly who has lost the man she loves and as ever Martha is nearby to provide that vital should our. The silver lining to this cloud appears when Ernie remarries. He has met a nice lady called Sally and Martha and George act as witnesses as they elope.

So then we reach E Street`s conclusion and Martha is seen nursing the victims of the pub explosion, as well as Bonnie who lays in a coma after road accident. As the residents of E Street gather around Bonnie's bed, I guess it's a time of reflection for Martha. The only woman in E Street to have seen the beginning and the end. A fantastic character whose humour is hard to write down on paper. She saw them all come and go and was friends with all the good guys. Much remembered for her relationship with George and her girls night out with Elly; Martha was definitely the coolest girl on the street.