24. ANNIE WALKER (144 VOTES)
Played by: Doris Speed
2012 character poll position (women): 19
The Rovers landlady between 1937 and 1984. Married to Jack for over 30 years until his death in 1970. Mother to Billy and Joan.
Known for her snobbishness and delusions of grandeur, Annie ruled the pub with an iron rod. She was the queen of her palace with staff Betty Turpin, Bet Lynch, Fred Gee and Hilda Ogden as her faithful subjects.
She regarded herself as a pillar of the community and even contested in the 1966 local council elections against Len Fairclough. She failed to become a councillor but was in her element in 1973 when Alf Roberts asked her to be his mayoress.
She liked to separate her customers into two groups. She regarded the likes of Len, Alf, Ken and Emily as friends while she looked down at the likes of the Ogdens, Eddie Yeats and the Duckworths.
If Annie went too far with her big ideas for the pub, Jack would have to put his foot down and utter those famous words: “Eeh, Annie love”. Many times she tried to upgrade the pub but the regulars always protested. She had dreams of running a country hotel but Jack was never keen.
She ran the pub until she was in her mid-70s. By the early 1980s, she relied heavily on her staff to do the work while she played hostess and reminisced with the likes of Albert Tatlock, Elsie Tanner and Len. She retired to Derby in 1984, leaving the pub in the hands of son Billy. But by the end of the year, Billy had also upped sticks and an era had ended on the cobbles.
Were you a fan of Mrs Walker?
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