Friday, 26 June 2009

Photos from 60s Corrie

1. Albert Tatlock and Alice Perkins 'no wedding' in 1969
2. Martha Longhurst dies in the snug in 1964
The three ladies that ruled the roost during the sixties: Ena Sharples, Annie Walker and Elsie Tanner
Minnie Caldwell, watched by Len Fairclough and bookie Dave Smith, was a regular at the bookmakers
Jack and Annie Walker are worried when Frank Turner blackmails Jack
Frank Barlow and Christine Hardman were briefly engaged, but they called it off when they were burdened by gossip
Emily Nugent jilted her boss Leonard Swindley in 1964
Hilda Ogden was hired as a cleaner at the Rovers and often went up the nose of Annie Walker
Harry Hewitt married Concepta Riley in 1961. They were only married for six years
Florrie Lindley suffers a breakdwon at the corner shop in 1965
The residents gather round for the wedding of Steve and Elsie Tanner in 1967
Len Fairclough hires Jerry Booth as his apprentice in 1962
Ken and Valerie Barlow were the soap's young couple during the decade
David and Irma Barlow were the corner shop owners from 1966 to 1968 before immigrating to Australia
Gordon Clegg jilted Lucille Hewitt at the altar in 1969

Corrie Decade - 1960s

This was the decade that started it all. What made it a hit with the viewers was the humour and the strong women in its cast. Characters like Elsie Tanner and Ena Sharples would provide the mould for characters like Bet Lynch, Rita Fairclough, Ivy Tilsley and Blanche Hunt in later years. During the decade, most scenes were played out in the Rovers, Corner Shop, the terraced houses and the Mission Hall. Until 1969, the episodes were in black and white and one shows their age if they remember Coronation Street in black and white! Overall, it was a success in its first decade, but it had its critics. Some people commented that the serial didn’t portray 1960s Britain, but more so the 1950s. It would have to modernise itself if it was going to survive the 1970s.

Main Characters

Albert Tatlock, Martha Longhurst, Ena Sharples, Minnie Caldwell, Jack Walker, Annie Walker, Frank Barlow, Leonard Swindley, Stan Ogden, Harry Hewitt, Florrie Lindley, Elsie Tanner, Len Fairclough, Hilda Ogden, Concepta Riley/Hewitt, Emily Nugent, Ken Barlow, Jerry Booth, Valerie Tatlock/Barlow, Irma Ogden/Barlow, Ray Langton and Lucille Hewitt


· Albert Tatlock becomes involved with Alice Pickens and they plan to marry, but call it off when they believe they’re jinxed when the vicar’s car breaks down

· A controversial move by producers was to axe Martha Longhurst in 1964. She dies of a heart attack in the snug. She would be the first main character to be killed off. The production team later confessed that axing the character was a mistake

· Ena Sharples is sacked by pompous draper Leonard Swindley for drinking on the job. She protests to the teetotaller and is later reinstated. She worked as a caretaker at the Mission Hall. The Mission is demolished in 1968 and replaced by maisonettes, leaving Ena unemployed until 1971

· Minnie Caldwell becomes addicted to gambling and falls into debt. She leaves town and is later found in hospital by Ena, suffering from pneumonia. She returns to the street when fully recovered

· Jack Walker is blackmailed by Frank Turner after he sees Lucille Hewitt behind the Rovers bar at the age of sixteen. Jack suffers a breakdown and when the neighbours find out, they rally round. Frank is later beaten up by Jerry Booth

· Annie Walker accuses husband Jack of having an affair with the street’s siren Elsie Tanner. She is later proved wrong

· Frank Barlow is shocked when wife Ida is knocked by a bus in 1961. After dating Florrie Lindley, he becomes involved with Christine Hardman, who’s 26 years his junior. They become engaged, but burdened by local gossip, they call it off. He later retires to Cheshire

· Emily Nugent’s admiration for boss Leonard Swindley. After years working side by side at clothes shop Gamma Garments, Emily makes a leap year proposal and he accepts. She later has cold feet and jilts him

· Stan, Hilda and Irma Ogden move to the street in 1964 and quickly make their mark on the cobbles and on screen. Stan is soon seen as a layabout while cleaner wife Hilda is classed as a busybody. Irma, the same mould as Elsie Tanner, marries David Barlow and they buy the corner shop before immigrating to Australia

· Barmaid Concepta Riley is romanced by Harry Hewitt and they marry in 1961. They move to Ireland in 1964. When they visit Weatherfield for Elsie’s wedding to Steve Tanner, Harry is crushed under a van when the jack collapses, leaving Concepta widowed

· Florrie Lindley buys the corner shop in 1960. She soon feels lonely and suffers a breakdown in 1965. She had just refurbished the shop and opened a sub post office and had hired Irma Ogden as an assistant. Her estranged husband Norman returns and whisks her away to Canada

· Elsie Tanner’s liaisons with many men proved to be popular storylines. She eventually married in 1967 with an old flame, Steve Tanner. They moved to the USA, but she returned three months later. He followed her back and after she rejects him, he is later found at the bottom of her stairs. Both Elsie and her best friend Len Fairclough are suspected of his murder

· Len Fairclough is soon portrayed as a loudmouth builder who soon clashes with Ken Barlow. He buys the local builder’s yard and hires Jerry Booth and Ray Langton as apprentices. After his divorce from wife Nellie, he attempts to woo best friend Elsie, but she rejects him, stating that she prefers him as a friend more so than a husband

· Ken Barlow’s romance with Valerie Tatlock and they marry in 1962. Valerie later gives birth to twins Peter and Susan in 1965. They become the decade’s young couple and although both are unfaithful at one time, they become the soap’s first supercouple

· Shy Jerry Booth is bullied into marrying Myra Dickinson but the marriage soon crumbles after Myra has a stillbirth baby. He reunites with old girlfriend Sheila Birtles but they end the relationship when he finds out she’s pregnant with another man

· Ray Langton attempts to rape Lucille Hewitt and is jailed. He returns in 1968 a reformed man and is rehired by Len. In 1969, he has an affair with Audrey Fleming but it’s cut short when he becomes paralysed after the coach crash

· Lucille Hewitt was the first child on the cobbles. In the early years she caused trouble for dad Harry and his wife Concepta but as she grew, she matured into a pleasant young woman. After her parents move to Ireland, she is taken in by Jack and Annie. In 1968, she becomes involved with Gordon Clegg and they plan to marry but he jilts her

· Other storylines include Valerie Barlow being kept hostage by Frank Riley, the viaduct collapsing – burying Ena under the rubble and claiming Sonia Peters’ life, Number 7 collapsing in 1965 and the residents become involved in a coach trip accident leaving Jack Walker, Minnie Caldwell and Ray Langton seriously injured

Monday, 22 June 2009

Other Double Acts and Groups

1. Phyllis Pearce, Percy Sugden and Maud Grimes (1993-1996)
2. Alf and Audrey Roberts (1985-1998)
3. Minnie Caldwell, Ena Sharples and Martha Longhurst (1960-1964)
4. Bet Lynch and Fred Gee (1976-1984)
5. Derek and Mavis Wilton (1988-1997)
6. Ken Barlow, Deirdre Rachid/Barlow and Blanche Hunt (1999-)
7. Hilda Ogden, Eddie Yeats and Stan Ogden (1980-1983)
8. Betty Turpin, Annie Walker and Bet Lynch (1970-1983)

Corrie Double Act - Rita and Norris

For the last decade, Rita Sullivan has had Norris Cole as her assistant at the Kabin, echoing her long running partnership with Mavis Riley. Their scenes mostly revolve around the Kabin and they star in humorous storylines (as well as Norris’ landlady Emily Bishop), that run side by side with the soap’s dramatic ones. Rita constantly rolls her eyes heavenwards when Norris is on a mission and has to apologise to customers for his rudeness towards them. Storylines together include them holding a séance in the Kabin backroom with Blanche Hunt and Betty Williams and the pair going on holiday to Hungary where Norris broke Rita’s foot, leaving her on crutches. Their relationship rose to a new level in 2007 when Norris revealed that he had fallen for Rita and after some advice from his friends and making Emily think that he wanted to marry her, he proposed to Rita. She rejected and since then, they have remained friends. Norris is generally protective of both Rita and Emily and he convinced Rita not to invest in Richard Hillman’s scheme and supported her when she was falsely accused of assaulting Chesney Brown. He recently comforted her when it was revealed her boyfriend Colin Grimshaw was a pervert and convinced her to return to serving behind the shop counter.

Corrie Double Act - Roy and Hayley

Originally a controversial storyline, the romance of Roy and Hayley blossomed to become the most loved in the soap’s history. What made it controversial was that Hayley was a transsexual. For the first few months, this would dominate their relationship, with them being rejected by the local church when they wanted to marry. They eventually married in the café with their friends around them. For over a decade, their scenes together have become loveable and scenes from the café are always a favourite, alongside the Kabin. Unlike other classic couples, Roy and Hayley are perfect for each other and enjoy the same interests: documentaries, railways and novels. When Hayley found out she had a son from when she was a man and that she met him behind Roy’s back, it threatened their marriage. In 2007, Hayley left for Africa to help build a school, leaving Roy to run the café alone. He soon found help in ex jailbird Becky Granger and neighbour Ken Barlow and during Hayley’s absence, both Becky and Ken shared memorable scenes with the unique Roy. When she returned, she seemed lost and later confessed to Roy that she had fallen for a co-worker in Africa, but she soon found out that he was a womaniser. Since then, Roy and Hayley’s scenes together have been limited.

Corrie Double Act - Bet and Alec

In 1986, the Rovers went on fire. During its refurbishment, the local nightclub owned by Alec Gilroy enjoyed trade. When the pub reopened, Alec began snooping around and got to know the landlady, Bet Lynch. They began helping each other and while Bet tolerated Alec, he began to fall in love with her. The following year, the Rovers went for sale and when Bet’s future was threatened, Alec loaned her some money. Alec was appointed the pub’s manager and they married later in the year. At first, fans were against their marriage and thought that the couple would me mismatched. But, they soon were in the same league as the Walkers, Ogdens and Duckworths as a couple. Their sarcastic banter between the bar and their personality clash (fiery Bet and pompous Alec) made them popular with punters and viewers. In 1992, the marriage began to crumble as Alec wanted to move to Southampton and Bet refused to leave her beloved street. Alec left and divorced Bet. She soldiered on behind the bar but decided to sell up in 1995, after falling out with best pal Rita. A year after her departure, Alec returned and became a regular for the next two years. He permanently left in 1998 but she made reappearances in 1999, 2002 and 2003.

Corrie Double Act - Jack and Vera

As the Ogdens’ tenure was coming to an end, the Duckworths were just beginning. An instant hit, they were part of our lives for 25 years and like the Ogdens before them, had their highs and lows. Again, their personalities were the key for their success: Jack was a layabout who enjoyed supping beer in the Rovers while Vera was loud, bossy and nosy. In 1989, Jack and Vera made their mark by installing stone cladding on the front of their home, much to the annoyance of their neighbours. Vera was overwhelmed when her father told her that she was related to the Queen, and her status rose as she became the Rovers landlady in 1995, following the footsteps of the Queen of Coronation Street – Annie Walker. During their three year stint behind the bar, Jack and Vera shared countless classic scenes whether it was Vera seducing Jack with her red dressing gown or Jack pinching barmaid Betty’s bum. Sadly, they were kicked out and moved back to Number 9. For the next decade, their continued to classically bicker, whether it was about Jack investing in art or Vera naming their home ‘The Old Rectory’. After a quarter of a century on our screens, the partnership ended when Vera died in her armchair in 2008, leaving Jack lost. Jack continues to be in the serial.

Corrie Double Act - Rita and Mavis

This was a partnership that lasted 24 years, longer than both their marriages put together. When Rita Littlewood realised she needed help to the run the newly opened newsagents called ‘The Kabin’, she appointed prissy Mavis Riley as her assistant. They became an instant hit, again due to the fact that their personalities clashed. Rita was independent, fiery and sexy compared to Mavis who was shy, reserved and timid. What made them funny was Rita’s constant eye rolling at Mavis’ dithering over her romantic status. While Rita was confident with men, Mavis was hesitant and both of them were shocked when two men were after Mavis: Derek Wilton and Victor Pendlebury. During their partnership, Rita married Len Fairclough and Ted Sullivan while Mavis settled for Derek in the end. Although Mavis was mocked by Rita, she was her rock when both Len and Ted died and during the Alan Bradley saga. In 1997, Derek died of a heart attack and Mavis decided to move from Weatherfield and live in the Lake District. She asked Rita to join her, and Rita agreed at first but reconsidered, stating that the street had a special place in her heart. Mavis left anyway, leaving her job, her home and her friends of nearly twenty five years. Rita continues to be behind the Kabin counter.

Corrie Double Act - Stan and Hilda

If there was any double act that made a national impact, it would be these two: Stan and Hilda Ogden. As a couple, they were a part of our lives for twenty years, and through those two decades we witnessed their highs and lows. They didn’t quite hit it off as a comedy duo until they were well-established, with the past history of Stan’s neglect and abuse towards his children being mentioned. As the 1970s dawned, the Ogdens were more or less the key to comedy on the cobbles with the instalment of the flying ducks and mural. What made them a hit was, like the Walkers before them, their personality clash. Stan was a layabout and was mostly redundant, always in the Rovers or in the bookies while Hilda was the street’s busybody and the breadwinner. Although they bickered a lot, Stan and Hilda loved each other and were married for forty years. Looked down by their neighbours, Stan and Hilda didn’t care and enjoyed mingling with the folk of the street. By 1983, the limelight was fading on the Ogdens as Stan’s health deteriorated and he died in 1984. Staying strong for the funeral, Hilda finally broke down alone when she opened the package from the hospital that had all of Stan’s belongings in it, clearing showing her loss. Hilda stayed in the street until 1987.

Corrie Double Act - Swindley and Emily

A month after Jack and Annie’s debut, another double act appeared on the cobbles, in the form of bumbling Gamma Garments manager Leonard Swindley and his timid assistant Emily Nugent. The partnership lasted four years, and is still regarded a favourite by viewers. The foundation of this double act was Emily’s admiration for Swindley and her wish was to be his wife. He was totally oblivious to her feelings and he was shocked when she made a leap year proposal in 1964. They planned to marry, much to the amazement of their neighbours, but sadly, Emily got cold feet and jilted Swindley. He wasn’t upset and went on their planned honeymoon alone, while she returned to serve behind the shop counter. Before Emily confessed her love, they starred in some humorous scenes that included Emily having driving lessons from Swindley and Swindley running for a council seat. As well as in Gamma Garments, Swindley and Emily shared scenes at the religious centre on Coronation Street, the Mission Hall. They were in involved in the street’s activities that included plays, concerts and pantomimes and usually starred in the leading roles. The partnership ended when Gamma Garments closed and Swindley was transferred. Emily continues to be in the soap.

Corrie Double Act - Jack and Annie

Often overshadowed by other married double acts such as Stan and Hilda and Jack and Vera, the Walkers were the first double act in Coronation Street, appearing in the very first episode in 1960. What made them popular was their personality clash, Annie with her snobbishness and megalomania and Jack with his broad Lancashire accent and friendly approach. When they were introduced, Jack and Annie had been married for 23 years. Being the landlord and landlady of the Rovers Return, the Walkers were at the centre of all the drama on the cobbles. As well as performing the soap’s earliest comic scenes, Jack and Annie also starred in some dramatic storylines that included Frank Turner blackmailing Jack and Annie being kidnapped as well as son Billy popping in and out of their lives, usually in debt. Humorous storylines included Annie accusing Jack of having an affair with Street siren Elsie Tanner. In 1964, Jack and Annie became Lucille Hewitt’s guardians after her father Harry and his wife Concepta left for Ireland and she gave them a new lease of life. The partnership lasted a decade, leading to Stan and Hilda Ogden becoming the next married double act. It ended due to Jack’s untimely death of a heart attack in 1970. Annie soldiered on for another 13 years before retiring to Derby.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Corrie Stalwart - Kevin Webster

Since Alf Roberts gave him a lift back in 1983, Kevin has led an eventful life. He was employed a mechanic at Brian Tilsley’s garage and soon enough, he moved into Number 11 with dad Bill and sister Debbie. Within a year, they had left the cobbles and Kevin became Hilda Ogden’s lodger. In 1986, he met Sally Seddon and they married the same year. They continued to live with Hilda until she sold the house to them as she was moving into the countryside. In 1990, Sally gave birth to Rosie and four years later, to Sophie. For many years, the young family led a quiet life until Kevin’s affair with Natalie Horrocks led to Kevin and Sally’s separation and later divorce. Kevin struggled to live without Sally, but soon found love in Alison Wakefield who he married in 2000. They had a son Jake who died the day after he was born. Grief struck, Alison later committed suicide by stepping in front of a lorry. In 2002, Kevin and Sally reunited and remarried, originally for the sake of the girls, but soon enough, it was true love again. Kevin currently owns the garage he bought from Mike Baldwin in 1997 with his business partner Tyrone Dobbs. Both his daughter have given him their share of grief with Rosie’s affair with her teacher John Stape leading to Kevin being sent to jail after he assaulted John on Christmas Day 2007.

Corrie Stalwart - Jack Duckworth

Although he made his first appearance in 1979, Jack didn’t become a regular until 1981. In 1983, he bought Number 9 on Coronation Street and since then he has become a prominent part of the cobbles for the past 25 years. Married to Vera for 50 years, Jack also had his share of affairs, mainly bored housewives. His biggest conquest was busty barmaid Bet Lynch, but that came to an end after she found out about Vera. Following the footsteps of Stan Ogden, a layabout, Jack has had many jobs that include window cleaner, lollypop man, cellar man and cab driver. He miraculously became landlord of the Rovers, twenty five years after the last Jack ran the Rovers: Jack Walker. After going bankrupt, he sold the pub to Alec Gilroy and ran Eunice Gee’s B&B. Soon enough, they were back at Number 9. Since his retirement, Jack has been interested in pigeons, much to Vera’s annoyance. In 2008, Jack and Vera decided to leave Coronation Street and move to Blackpool. Sadly, Vera died before they made it. Since her death, Jack has led a quiet life, revolving around his newly-married lodgers Tyrone and Molly Dobbs, but he has recently started a relationship with another pigeon lover, Connie Rathbone.

Corrie Stalwart - Audrey Roberts

Audrey first appeared for her daughter Gail’s wedding to Brian Tilsley in 1979. For the next five years, she would have a recurring role. In 1984, after chasing young men, she settled for grocer Alf Roberts and they married the following year, becoming the most loved couples in the soap’s history. Originally a floozy hairdresser, her marriage to Alf made her of a higher status. She was in her element as Alf’s lady when he became mayor in 1994, but was miffed when Alf sacked her and appointed Betty Turpin in her place. Audrey and Alf were married for thirteen years and she was devastated when he died of a stroke. After Alf’s death, she bought the local salon. As soon as Alf had passed away, Audrey was being charmed by Fred Elliott and he proposed to her in 2000. She declined stating that Alf was still a part of her. In 2002, she fell victim to son in law Richard Hillman’s clutches. He convinced her that she was losing her mind and even tried to kill her by setting her house on fire. Audrey’s accusations led to Gail banning her from family occasions and sided with Richard. When Richard confessed, Gail felt guilty and apologised to her mother. Since Fred, Audrey has been charmed by other gentlemen such as Archie Shuttleworth and Keith Appleyard.

Corrie Stalwart - Mike Baldwin

The late Mike Baldwin was brought into the serial as the owner of the newly built denim factory in 1976. As well as four wives, Mike had 25 girlfriends and during his 30 years on the show, Mike fathered three sons: Danny, Mark and Adam. His affair with Deirdre Barlow in 1983 made headlines and began his long feud with her husband Ken. In 1986, he angered Ken more when he married his daughter Susan. Their marriage lasted two years, ending when Mike rejected Susan’s intentions of having a child. Three years later he married Jackie Ingram, who he married for her money. A week after the wedding, Jackie confronted him with a gun and they later divorced. A year later, he married his true love according to fans, Alma Sedgewick. They’d previously dated before Mike married Jackie and their marriage lasted nine years and ended when Alma found out about Mike’s affair with Julia Stone. In 2000, Mike married factory machinist Linda Sykes but that also ended within the year after Mike found about Linda’s affair with his son Mark. In 2006, Mike began behaving strangely and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s’ disease. While walking confused on Coronation Street, he was found by old rival Ken and suffered a heart attack and died in Ken’s arms.