At number two is a
Coronation Street legend. Played by the late Maggie Jones to a tee, Blanche was the street’s battleaxe for a decade, following the footsteps of the likes of Maud Grimes, Ivy Tilsley and the original battleaxe Ena Sharples. Mother to Deirdre, Blanche first appeared in 1974 to plan her daughter’s wedding to Billy Walker and found a nemesis in his mother Annie. There was no wedding and Blanche stuck around to run the corner shop until she was whisked away by Dave Smith. She returned for the birth of granddaughter Tracy in 1977 and to comfort Deirdre after the breakup of her marriage to Ray Langton in 1978. It would be at Deirdre’s marriage to Ken Barlow that Blanche would appear next. She disappeared again and reappeared 17 years later and became a permanent fixture at 1 Coronation Street until 2009. The acid tongued pensioner enjoyed gossiping and found an ally in Norris Cole, but it was ridiculing son in law Ken and daughter Deirdre that made her popular. As well as Dave Smith, she has dated Steve Bassett, Archie Shuttleworth and Wally Bannister.