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Tuesday 23 November 2010

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1995

Day 35 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
As first barmaid and later landlady, Bet Gilroy was part of the Rovers’ furniture but it was all to come to an end. Newton and Ridley announced that they no longer wished to keep the Rovers as a tenancy and put the pub up for sale. The brewery at least gave her first refusal and a slightly reduced price tag of £66000 but with no savings it was never a sum she could hope to raise through normal channels. She approached her good friend Rita Sullivan for a loan and for a while she contemplated the deal and starting up a partnership with Bet but it was clear that Bet had little business sense and as an investment it didn’t look like a good prospect. She approached Vicky McDonald as well but she too saw the deal as a bad risk and turned her down. Rita’s refusal soured relations between the two who had been good friends and Bet felt like she didn’t have a friend in the world. Dejected, she packed her bags and disappeared into the night leaving no forwarding address.
The brewery decided that the Rovers would go to whoever came up with the asking price of £68000 first. Two couples were interested, Jim and Liz McDonald and Jack and Vera Duckworth. Unfortunately the McDonalds were late getting to the brewery as Jim couldn’t get away from work as Mike Baldwin’s chauffeur, though he tried so hard that he lost his job. The Duckworths had come into some money with the death of Jack’s brother Cliff. They’d considered using the windfall to buy the corner shop and had then arranged to buy Des Barnes’ house on the other side of the road as they fancied having a garden. They’d agreed the sale of no. 9 to Gary and Judy Mallet but the sale stalled when Des decided he didn’t want to move after all. And then the Rovers came on the market and they snapped it up.

With Vera Duckworth’s name over the door, they settled into life in the licensed trade but struggled hard to make a success of it. They enjoyed the idea of being mein hosts but they had little business sense and matters weren’t helped by constantly borrowing money from the till and by drinking so much of the profits. Terry turned up hoping to profit from his parents’ new venture though even he soon realised that he wasn’t going to get anything out of it and left but not before getting Tricia Armstrong pregnant. Andy McDonald helped them with their book-keeping but they were soon in trouble with the VAT and were presented with a huge tax bill. In order to pay it they had to sell half the pub to Alec Gilroy who had returned to the area having been made redundant by Sunliners.
The partnership was fraught with tension and was doomed to failure from the start as Vera could never see eye-to-eye with Alec. Alec bought out the Duckworth’s remaining share of the pub and kept them on as employees but the arguments still raged. Alec tried to throw them out of the pub but they managed to barricade themselves into the upstairs living quarters. In the end Alec couldn’t take any more and when Natalie Horrocks offered to buy the pub he washed his hands of the place and headed off to Brighton to help his granddaughter Vicky run a wine bar. Natalie was left with the problem of getting rid of the Duckworths who eventually moved out and lodged at Eunice Gee’s Bed and Breakfast.

Also in 1995: Raquel and Curly marry in 35th anniversary episode; Daniel Osbourne is born; Tracy Barlow suffers kidney failure; Samir is killed and Tracy receives his kidney; Ivy Tilsley dies and leaves her house to Nicky if he changes his name back from Platt; Roy Cropper makes his first appearance; Alf Roberts receives the OBE; Arthur the gnome goes on his travels; Bill Webster returns; Betty Turpin marries Billy Williams; Steve McDonald and Vicky Arden run away to St. Lucia and get married.


Anonymous said...

Wow, can't believe we have only had the pleasure of Roy Cropper's presence since 1995. It seems like he has been there forever.

Tvor said...

The scene where Bet and Raquel got drunk after hours in the bar (the pic above) was one of the funniest scenes ever!

Sea Penguin said...

I love that photo of Bet! Have to say though, I never warmed to Raquel, and was glad to see her head off to Singapore or wherever.

gadgee said...

I remember quite vividly Bet telling Rita "Pals!? You don't know the meaning of the word!"
Norris was behind the whole saga of Arthur the gnome wasn't he?

Nemo said...

Gadgee - I must correct your error.

The quote was:


gadgee said...

Hahah. I stand corrected, and here's the proof:

And here's the whole classic scene:


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