After two failed marriages and a long string of men, Elsie Tanner met Alan Howard in 1969. Fancying his chances, Alan hired her as manageress in his newly opened hair salon. Although uninterested at first, Elsie agreed to a date. After many dates, Elsie married Alan in 1970. But the marriage was fraught with financial difficulties – Alan’s mainly. She found a rival in Janet Reid who tried to start a relationship with Alan, but Elsie saw her off. The marriage was tested in 1972 when Alan started drinking heavily. Elsie feared that he was an alcoholic after he nearly burned the house down after sleeping with a cigarette in his hand. Alan sobered up and recovered. In 1973, Elsie heard that son Dennis was in prison and, ashamed to admit to Alan, went to
under the pretence she was visiting old friend Sheila Crossley. In London , Elsie was knocked down by a taxi and when Alan went down to identify her, he suspected her of having an affair. Later that year, the Howards left for Alan’s native London . Elsie returned alone in 1976, now separated from Alan and divorced him in 1978.