Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Top 25 Favourite Corrie Females - No. 24


Duration: 1960-1983
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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Rapunzel said...

Yes, yes, yes! Not just an extraordinarily memorable character but also a classic Corrie archetype, who is currently reincarnated in our Sally.

John McE said...

Then it's hard to believe, Rapunzel, that you have seen Annie at her best, as she was simply without peer. Personally, I am disappointed that she didn't come a lot higher, but then I suppose only a relative minority of voters was watching the show in the 60s and 70s, so all of these polls are going to be skewed in favour of the current cast members.

Antiphon said...

Annie was a part of the classic Coronation Street in the Bill Podmore era which I remember between 1976 and 1984 when I was growing up between the ages of 10 and 18. The Rovers was never the same after her off-screen departure in early 1984 when Doris Speed had to give up the part due to poor health. I often wonder what Annie would have made of the Rovers today. I don't think she would have approved of the fruit machine for one thing!

When Annie left she went to stay with her daughter Joan in Derby. I wonder what happened to her after that? I fancy that she later moved into a very select flat of her own near Joan and eventually into a very select retirement home where she was able to rule the roost in her twilight years much as she had done in the Rovers. Doris Speed passed away in 1994 so I suspect that Annie did so at about the same time.

A couple of years ago Liz McDonald remarked that the Rovers hadn't sold bottled mild since Annie Walker's day. Liz never knew Annie personally but had probably heard about her from the brewery and from other residents in the street such as Ken Barlow and Emily Bishop. Probably the Rovers no longer sells milk stout either!

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