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Sunday 22 April 2012

The Rovers Return according to Daran Little

One of our regular readers/commenters, "Dolly Tubb" sent in this information on the Rovers Return yesterday. She is kindly allowing us to publish what she has written. Her information is gleaned from one of Daran Little's books, Coronation Street: Around the Houses, published in 1997.

Daran was the show's archivist for many years and later, one of the writers. His many books on Coronation Street and the show's history are considered by fans to be the Bibles. Around the Houses has the history of Weatherfield's famous street and houses from it's construction in 1902 to 1997, where the pre-1960 details are either taken from memories spoken on screen by characters or invented by himself. It's a great read and if you should find a copy, it's well worth reading.

With that, here's the information Dolly put together from that book:

I have been intrigued by the Betty/Rovers/Annie Walker’s Will story.  I have written a bit below about the history of the Rovers since the Walkers to try and clarify things a bit after recent events (!) – I was going to put it in a blog post comment (Betty does not own the Rovers Return) but it might be a bit too big – what do you think?  It is taken from Daran Little’s ‘Around The Houses’, published by Granada in 1997 so I think it will be spot on!  It suggests that the Rovers was only sold by the brewery in 1994, to the Duckworths.  Annie Walker therefore never had anything of the Rovers to leave to anyone, although she did insist that Billy took over as the manager after she retired.
Dolly Tubb

The Rovers Return was one of several  hostelries in the area, including the Flying Horse, owned by local brewery Newton and Ridley.  Originally to be called the Queen Victoria, following the ‘Old Queen’s’  death in 1901 the pub was renamed the Rovers Return Inn instead.  It had 4 bedrooms (one was needed for paying guests for the Rovers to be considered an Inn) and a laundry room which was later converted into a bathroom.  The Rovers Return opened its doors on 16th August 1902.  

Jack and Annie Walker moved in to the Rovers in 1938.  There were quite a few lodgers in the course of their tenancy, including Emily (Nugent) in 1968.  Jack died of a heart attack in 1970 and Annie stayed on as manager, appointing Betty Turpin as head barmaid, and Bet Lynch as assistant barmaid. 

 In October 1983 Annie retired from the Rovers to go and live with Joan in Derby, and the pub was taken over by her son Billy Walker as a condition of Annie paying off his gambling debts of £6000.  Billy’s reign as manager wasn’t too successful and he left to go back to Jersey, leaving the managership open for grabs.  Betty Turpin urged Bet Lynch to apply for it, and to their delight Bet Lynch became manager of the Rovers Return.  

In 1986 the Rovers burned down as a result of Jack Duckworth trying to mend a fuse, but the pub was rebuilt and given a nice new modern look by the brewery.  Delighted with the new look Rovers, Bet tried to buy the licence from the brewery, but was overwhelmed by the size of the repayments and fled to Torremolinos.  

Alec Gilroy’s name was put over the door of the Rovers, helped by Betty Turpin and Gloria Todd, and after Bet and Alec married in 1987 Alec ‘gave’ bet the Rovers by putting her name over the door instead.  

When Alec left Weatherfield in 1992, Bet remained as manager of the Rovers.  In 1994 Bet heard that the Rovers was up for sale by the brewery and she could have it for £66,000.  With no money of her own, Bet approached Rita for a loan.  Rita briefly considered a partnership with Bet but backed out when she realised Bet had neither money nor business sense either, and turned Bet down.  

Consequently, the Rovers went under the hammer and was bought by Jack and Vera Duckworth, the first in a line of outright owners of the Rovers Return.

Thanks so much for this great history, Dolly!

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Llifon said...

Collinson never read that then! Then again, he didn't know Terry Duckworth had another son! Tsk!

bbhilda said...

Actually, Terry Duckworth has three sons. Paul Clayton, Tommy Duckworth and Brad Armstrong. I am very disappointed that the current people in charge are changing history the way they are. It is the long history of Coronation Street that sets it apart from the others.
I was very disappointed with the way they handled Betty's passing. After 43 years, Betty Driver deserved better than to have to share her exit storyline with Michelle Collins. Does that woman have to be in each and every storyline, even to the point of changing history to facilitate it?
Betty would also never have stolen those glasses, she would walk off the job at the mere suspicion that she might be anything but honest.

Anonymous said...

here here

Bryan Higgins said...

I've had an email from the archivist at CS and he states that Annie left the ownership of the pub tenancy to Betty, not to be confused with ownership of the pub building.

And as for Phil Collinson forgetting about Terry's other son, well he's only human and we're all prone to forgetting things from time to time. He's probably forgotten about because it's mainly been Tommy that Terry's been associated with.

Tvor said...

No excuses. they have an archivist for a reason. It's not even up to Collinson to remember, it's up to the storyliners and writers really, to research it. And if it was meant to be the tenancy, that's not what was portrayed in the script. Also, as someone else pointed out, Annie Walker didn't die in 1984, she retired. We don't know when she actually died, when her will would have been pertinent, so Stella labeling her the landlady from 1984 is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Daran Little is wrong. Annie didn't retire in October 1983. The character simply last appeared. Later in 1983, Annie was supposed to be poorly in bed and had instructed Bet on how to handle the wedding reception of Eddie and Marion. Bet mentioned this specifically on-screen. I don't know if the scene appears in the Granada Plus edited episodes.

BarrieT said...

the CS archivist is clearly trying to backtrack from something that clearly doesn't add up whatever way you look at it.

ChiaGwen said...

I guess Stella had to be in some of the story about Betty as she owns the Rovers where they had the celebration of Betty's life, but certainly not to root around in Betty's personal things. Surprised that Sally was not out on the street for Betty's funeral car, no mention of Liz talking with Diedre or Liz about it and didn't Collison say past characters would be back? I think the return of Terry Duckworth could have been moved to tonight's episode and not thrown into the Betty tribute episode.

ChiaGwen said...

I meant to say Liz talking with Diedre or Steve about Betty's passing.

John Sin said...

Does fiz die in coronation street death and leaving ??


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