Sunday, 17 April 2011

15 Coronation Street - The Corner Shop: 1960 - 1969

During the course of the past Fifty years, along with the Rovers Return, the Corner Shop has played a major part in the everyday lives of those Weatherfield folk.

Accompany me as I take a nostalgic gander down memory lane and look back at the shop's inhabitants & staff from the Street's first decade.

1960 - 1969

Elsie Lappin: is the original owner of the Corner Shop on Coronation Street. She speaks the first words in the show, when she is explaining the ins and outs of the shop and its customers to Florrie Lindley, with whom she becomes friendly with. Once Elsie hands over the lease to the shop to Florrie, she leaves the Street.
Elsie Lappin
Portrayed byMaudie Edwards
Created byTony Warren
Introduced byTony Warren
First appearance9 December 1960
Episode 1
Last appearance14 December 1960
Episode 2
ClassificationBit Part

Florence Lena "Florrie" Lindley: was played by actress Betty Alberge until 1965. Florrie is one of the show's original characters and appears in the very first scene with Elsie Lappin, the original owner of the Corner Shop who sells to Florrie prior to the first episode. As a newcomer to Coronation Street, the character is used at the beginning as the series' "eyes and ears", as she, along with the viewers, are introduced to all her new neighbours. She later renovates her shop in 1964 to include a post office agency, and takes in lodgers including Doreen Lostock and Sheila Birtles. Her biggest storyline occurs in September 1964 when she has a nervous breakdown, and smashes up the shop. Her shop assistant Irma Barlow has to run the shop while she recovers. In 1965, as part of an exit storyline for Florrie,Coronation Street retconned the previously established aspect that Florrie was a widow, and to everyone's surprise, she is reunited with her estranged husband Norman Lindley, who it is claimed has been working as an engineer in India. Florrie and Norman left the series by emigrating to Canada in June 1965.

Florrie Lindley
Portrayed byBetty Alberge
Created byTony Warren
Introduced byTony Warren
First appearance9 December 1960
Episode 1
Last appearance2 June 1965
Episode 467
ClassificationFormer Regular

Irma Barlow: was played by Sandra Gough between 1964 and 1971. Having previously changed her name from Freda and moved, Irma came to Weatherfield with the sole purpose to escape her family, with whom she did not get on. Just months after arriving however, the Ogdens - mother Hilda, father Stan and brother Trevor - followed Irma and moved into number thirteen on Coronation Street. It is in April 1964 that Irma is taken on as an assistant in the Corner Shop by Florrie Lindley. Irma strikes up a relationship with local footballer David Barlow in 1965 and the pair go on to marry in December. Following David's decision to cut short his footballing career after several setbacks, David and Irma choose to go into business together, buying the Corner Shop when it goes up for sale in 1966. Settled in their new life, Irma and David decide to try for a baby in 1967 but sadly after a brief four-month pregnancy, Irma miscarries. Broken hearted, she resigns herself to the fact she may never have children. Irma eventually grew tired of life as a postmistress, and David began to relaunch his football career. On being signed to an Australian team, the Barlows moved to Australia in April 1968. Whilst there, Irma discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to a son, Darren Barlow, in November.

Irma Barlow
Portrayed bySandra Gough
Duration1964–1968, 1969, 1970–1971
First appearance27 January 1964
Episode 326
Last appearance8 December 1971
Episode 1137
Date of birth28 September 1946

Lionel Petty arrived on Coronation Street as the new owner of the Corner Shop, which he previously bought from Florrie Lindley. He was an ex-Sergeant Major, and life as a shopkeeper was never his game. Lionel failed to fit in on the Street and left for Wales in January 1966 to go into business with his brother. Dennis Tanner is taken on and helps out on the shop for a couple of months.
Lionel Petty
Portrayed byEdward Evans
Created byHoward Baker
Introduced byJack Rosenthall
First appearance31 May 1965
Episode 466
Last appearance26 January 1966
Episode 535
ClassificationFormer Regular

In Jannuary 1966: The Pettys move out and sell the shop and flat to David and Irma Barlow for £1,750, plus £200 for the stock. David's first move is to close down the unprofitable sub-post office, and it reverts back to a traditional shop layout. In the June, Irma's Mother Hilda Ogden helps out inthe shop until August. In December 1967 David & Irma foster a little girl, Jill Morris for Christmas & New Year and lives with them in the shop accommodation. In April 1968 David & Irma emigrate to Australia to Les & Maggie Clegg. The shop then becomes, 'Cleggs Provisions.'

Les Clegg was played by John Sharp. Les was an alcoholic and this leads to the breakup of their marriage; Maggie divorces Les in 1970.

Margaret "Maggie" Cooke (née Preston, previously Clegg) was played by Irene Sutcliffe. She ran the Corner Shop from 1968 to 1974. Maggie's storylines included her life with alcoholic husband Les, who she divorced in 19470, a son Gordon who wasn't really hers (he was her sister, Betty Turpin's love child) and a further marriage to reformed alcoholic, Ron Cooke on 10 July 1974. She emigrated to Zaire after the wedding but made a brief return to the street in December of the same year when Gordon found out that Betty was his mother. She rejoined her husband the following month and has not returned to the street since.

Les Clegg
Portrayed byJohn Sharp
Introduced byMichael Cox
First appearance1 April 1968
Episode 761
Last appearance12 June 1969
Episode 782
ClassificationFormer Regular

Maggie Cooke
Portrayed byIrene Sutcliffe
Introduced byMichael Cox (1968)
Susi Hush (1974)
First appearance1 April 1968
Episode 761
Last appearance13 January 1975
Episode 1459
ClassificationFormer FRegular
Date of birth12 June 1924
OccupationShop owner (1968-1974)
Morphine worker (1974–)

June 1968: In an attempt to beat his alcoholism, Les Clegg leaves to live in a hospital and never returns. Ena Sharples becomes shop assistant. September 1968: Valerie Barlow becomes shop assistant. In June 1969: Maggie's older sister Betty Turpin arrives to help her out, but Maggie soon encourages her to take a job at The Rovers.

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