Saturday, 17 November 2012

Who should run the Corrie Corner Shop?

After blogging about who would make the ideal Rovers Return landlady, it got me thinking about other businesses in Coronation Street. I cannot think of anyone behind the counter of the Kabin apart from Rita and Norris. The Salon without Audrey would be sacrilege. And Roy's Rolls without Roy? Never! However, I do think Dev has outstayed his welcome at the Corner Shop. 

What a good opportunity to take a look back at previous Corner Shop owners I hear you cry. Ok, let's do it!

The first scene of the first ever episode of Coronation Street was set in the Corner Shop. The then current incumbent, Elsie Lappin, was handing over the reigns to new owner Florrie Lindley. 


Well, we couldn't have two Elsie's in the one street, could we? Florrie managed the shop for the first five years of the show, before the actress was axed by incoming producer TIm Aspinall in the mid-60s. 

Characters such as Lionel Petty and David and Irma Barlow also took charge of the shop during the 1960s before it was sold to Maggie Clegg in 1968. I really liked Maggie's character and thought she fitted in well on the Street.
 
However, these days she is really remembered as Betty Turpin's sister. Betty arrived a year after her sister and often helped out in the shop. 

Following Maggie's marriage and departure to Zaire in 1974, the Hopkins family arrived. Their tenure was short-lived as they proved unpopular with viewers, although they did introduce us to the wonderful Tricia Hopkins, friend to Gail Potter. I would love for Tricia to return as Gail really needs a friend again! The Corner Shop was also involved in scandal when the Hopkins' found proof that Betty Turpin was in fact the mother of Gordon Clegg, who had previously been known as Maggie's son.

My favourite boss of the Corner Shop has to be Alf Roberts. Originally a GPO (or Post Office worker) Alf became involved with the shop through marriage to Renee Bradshaw in 1978. Renee had bought the shop in 1976, immediately causing consternation by applying for a licence to sell alcohol. This brought the wrath of Annie Walker to her door, although the pair were subsequently on good terms (apart from when Annie frequently expressed her dismay at the poor variety of products available in the shop). Alf firmly donned the white grocer's coat after Renee's sad demise in a car accident in 1980 and ruled behind the counter until the mid-1990s. I loved this period - particularly his squabbles with his third wife, Audrey. Alf obviously took great pride in his little empire and was loathe to finally give it up. 

I would rather gloss over Reg Holdsworth's involvement in the Corner Shop, as I'd rather gloss over Reg in general. I still shudder at memories of his water bed, not to mention his truly dreadful wig. I did however enjoy seeing Maureen's mother Maud working in the shop. A latter day Ena Sharples, I loved Elizabeth Bradley's performances. It is often forgotten that she was in fact the first Coronation Street character to use a wheelchair. 


Fred Elliott and his son Ashley also ran the Corner Shop for a time before ownership was passed on to businessman Ravi Desai and his children Nita and Vikram. While both Ravi and Nita were relatively short-term characters, I did like Vikram, particularly his relationship with Steve MacDonald at Streetcars. Unfortunately the arrival of the Desai's ultimately led to Dev Alahan making an appearance. Dev was Vikram's cousin and took over the shop after the family left. Originally Dev ran the shop as part of a chain, however following Mad Maya's reign of terror, most of these disappeared (along with his countless other children) or were sold off. After being burned to the ground by Maya and then destroyed by a careering tram, we haven't seen much of the shop in recent times. I think it's time for a change of ownership.


So who was your favourite Corner Shop boss? Has Dev outstayed his welcome? Who is the true 21st Century heir to Alf Roberts' Corner Shop throne? And while I'm here I'll take a bottle of bleach and half a dozen of them fancies - and NO eclairs!



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17 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

Alf was king of the shop in the old days but, these days, I could see Julie and Brian (if he ever fell victim to the cuts)doing a good job.

Llifon said...

Since Alf's departure, the Corner Shop lost something. Before 1985, as the shop wasn't self-service so you could get a bit of interaction. These days, it's just you pay up and thank you and goodbye. I don't know who could be the next owner - bring someone new I think.

Beth said...

What a great post - thanks!

It has to be Alf in his white coat for me. And I quite liked it when Deidre worked for him despite Deidre not being a particular favourite of mine.
Maude was a great classic. She deserves a particular mention.

Reg Holdsworth and his ridiculous pantomime performance, shudder shudder shudder! The less said about that the better.

Yes, Dev has long stayed his welcome in my opinion and unfortunately to the poster who sees Julie and Brian taking on the shop - Julie yes, but Brian, NO!. He's a buffoon who is overly acted for laughs much like Reg Holdsworth was, similarly so, trying too hard. Embarrassingly stupid. Although he's far more believable for a corner shop than a headmaster :)

Anonymous said...

Eileen and Julie

Conversation Street said...

Alf has got to be the best corner shop owner, but I agree that it was great to have Maud in there for a spell too. Most underrated? Definitely Nita and Ravi - I loved Ravi's extravagant mannerisms, and remember being disappointed when he left after only a short time behind the counter.

Anonymous said...

A character only outlives their time when the writers don't give them any good lines i.e . Dev and Sunita. i qute enjoy Dev and especially Sunita,playing the tart ( out of character for her). These are good actors but are not utilized. As for Kirk, Fiz, or loud mouth Charlie what part are they contributing, and Steve, he just plays the unfit, unkempt hangeron. The writers are the problem and I am glad I only tune in about every two weeks, the show has gone down hill.

Kim Colby said...

A pity Ronnie Barker's popped off, he could have turned up and bought the corner shop, and Granville could have done the deliveries on his shop bike. Then rather than having to suffer visually some of the goings on of the characters that are naff and we all love to hate, we could have gotten all the gossip in one place, with a slight comedic twist on it before he yelled out, G..g..g..granville ...........f...f...f...fetch your cloth!!!

Janice said...

I can see Tyrone as the corner shop owner, though obviously not with Hammer Films leftover Kirsty. Fiz and Tyrone as latter day shopkeepers would be fun. Both have heart and understated comedy.

John McE said...

Sorry, Anon, but you could give Jimmi Harkishin Shakespeare to read, and it'd still come out sounding like Frankie Howerd. His vocal gymnastics make even Reg Holdsworth sound understated.

I agree that Eileen would make a great shopkeeper, but it would work far better dramatically, if they dispensed with the mini-mart shelves and went back to having a proper counter. Old fashioned, yes of course, but since when has that stopped Corrie?

Frosty the Snowman said...

Has Dev outstayed his welcome? Could Michael Jackson dance? Dev should have gone about a decade since! How about David and Kylie in the corner shop? I think they could be good.

Anonymous said...

Alf was the outstanding proprietor of the corner shop. As a local businessman, it all made sense for him to be a local worthy, participating in WARTS (Weatherfield Association of Retail Traders) and on the Council as well. In those days, there was some variety to the storylines beyond sex and crime.

The most memorable events of Dev's tenure have been him sleeping with Deidre, Mad Maya and Sunita and Karl. Oh and his dire acting. Sex and crime Fascinating. Zzzzzzzzz

David said...

There's a pattern with the better shopkeepers through the years in that running the shop actually meant something to them - that's why Alf is the best. The shop now is just a backdrop to Dev and Sunita's latest dramas. It's a shame to see it fade into the background given how important it used to be.

As for who should run the shop - someone new. It worked before with Maggie and Renee.

abbyk said...

I'd like to give Gail & Sally a run at it. They're good friends, play well off each other and have run small businesses before. Gail deserves a better job and Sally thinks she does. I could see Sal trying to go all upscale while Gail argues for frumpy good sense.

Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of Gail and Sally. Sally would have to be in charge, of course, but they are both very driven while also gossipy and involved in everyone's business. I think it would return the shop to what one poster mentioned above, to something that actually means a lot to the owner/operator(s). Julie is too silly to run that type of business and I don't see how Tyrone/Fiz would know where to start. At least Sally had that DIY hardware store.

Anonymous said...

Great idea about Sally and Gail running the local shop. It would bring back some magic to the dull shop no story lines just people popping in and racing out - need some exchange of words - discussions etc. Some fireworks perhaps. Come on Gail stop cleaning that bistro and get some bite back to your character. I heard on our local radio network a discussion about how in the UK when viewers complained about a show they were actually listened to - perhaps with the new director coming on board at Corrie he might peruse the Corrie web site(s) and see what the viewers actually want and think about the show. One feels alittle put out by some of the silliest storylines that are being bantered on air.

Graeme N said...


I do love the idea of Gail and Sally! Perhaps Sally could invest her money in the shop and hire Gail! I'd love to see Sally lording it over Gail like that...and that way Gail wouldn't have to give up her cleaner's tabard ;)

michelle nelson said...

I was thinking Gail ...she needs a job ...maybe with Kylie ..or Eileen

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