Friday, 11 March 2016

Top 25 Favourite Corrie Females - No. 21


Duration: 1960-1980
Played by: Violet Carson
2012 character poll position (women): 9

The original Corrie battleaxe and a force to be reckoned with.

With her fellow cronies Martha Longhurst and Minnie Caldwell, Ena sat in the Rovers snug with her milk stout and gossiped about Elsie Tanner’s dalliances and other street gossip. Her catfights with Elsie were lynchpins during Corrie’s early years. But as the years went on, they grew a mutual respect for each other. In 1980, Elsie even invited Ena to stay with her for a few nights and Ena was on hand to dish out some honest advice to Mrs Tanner.

Known for her hairnet and Christian morals, Ena not only clashed with Elsie – Annie Walker, Albert Tatlock and Leonard Swindley were on her hit list too at times.

During her tenure, Ena held the job of caretaker in two establishments. Until 1968, she was the caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission on the street. She was heartbroken when the council decided to demolish the building as it didn’t have the purpose it once had. In 1971, a community centre was built and Ena secured the caretaker’s job once more. But health problems during the 1970s led many to think she was a liability. She stood her ground and remained in her post until 1980.

A talented pianist and organist, Ena often led sing-songs in the Rovers which reminded residents of the wartime years. 

By the 1970s, she had mellowed and her appearances were more recurring with Violet Carson (who played Ena) having health problems. She became more of a caring grandmother figure by the end of her tenure, babysitting for the Langtons and such. She left for St. Anne’s in 1980 and never returned.

Were you a fan of Mrs Sharples?

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Antiphon said...

Ena was a classic. Although other similar characters came after her such as Phyllis Pearce, Maud Grimes and Blanche Hunt Ena was the classic battleaxe, although she also had a kind and compassionate side which became more apparent as she grew older. I well remember the moving scene in I think 1979 when she prayed with Deirdre in Emily Bishop's front room when Tracy was thought to be buried under the load of timber when the lorry crashed into the Rovers. Another moving scene was in 1968 when she stood in the street with her memories of her life as caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission when the building was being demolished.

Antiphon said...

I often wonder what happened to Ena as we never heard anything more about her after she departed for St Anne's for the last time in 1980. At the time it was not realised that this would be her final appearance as Violet Carson intended to return to the show later as she usually did. Unfortunately ill health prevented this and Violet passed away in 1983. Possibly the writers were unwilling to definitively write her out in case her health improved and she wished to return to the program. In 1989 Deirdre remarked that she was probably "spinning in her grave" which suggests that Ena had passed away by then.

My guess would be that Ena continued to live with her friend Henry Foster in St Annes until her death, probably in 1983. Ena was not the type of person who would have settled into a retirement home!

C in Canada said...

I can't believe she only made #21.
I have to ask...if anyone knows...why did she always wear the hairnet? Seems an odd choice of headgear if you're not in the food industry. It's a question I've always wanted to ask!

David the Wavid said...

Might as well stop the countdown here! Ena is top of the pile for me, surpassed only by Albert Tatlock when you add on the men.

Anonymous said...

Agree with David the Wavid. They don't make them like Ena anymore and she should be in the Top 3 at least along with Rita and Elsie .....

Anonymous said...

I agree, she should place much higher than 21st.

Bill Podmore, the street's longest serving producer wrote that he thought the programme would FAIL once Ena left, such was the then dominance of the character.

Antiphon said...

Like many people I think it was a great mistake to kill off Martha Longhurst in 1964 as it denied Ena many more delightful scenes in the Rovers Return snug with her and Minnie Caldwell. I think that Ena and Minnie were both slightly sadder between Martha's death in 1964 and Minnie's departure for Whalley Bridge to live with Handel Gartside in 1976, although they were still devoted to each other. I believe Ena mentioned Martha as late as 1979, indicating that she still missed her.

Lynne Carroll who played Martha did not die until 1990 so if she had not been killed off in 1964 she might well have stayed in the program into the 1970s or even the 1980s. She might even have been the last remaining member of the snug trio if she had stayed on after Ena's departure in 1980. I believe Lynne Carroll was actually younger than the character she played.

Anonymous said...

Ena was the greatest!!!Should have been number one!

Adam said...

Really should have been in the top ten at least. Can't beat a bit of Ena. :)

Anonymous said...

Suspect this ranking, and the others so far,shows the average age of those voting.
Ena first wore her hairnet in a episode in which she was in a hospital bed. It was very common at the time that ladies wore them in bed at night to keep their hair tidy.

Anonymous said...

I believe Lynne Carol was in her forties when playing Martha Longhurst !

abbyk said...

This is a fun poll, not a scientific one, so the numbers for long term viewers will be (way) off. Think about it: fans from the Ena Sharples era are not the internet users that today's fans are. Sure there are some, but not nearly the number or percentage of the younger fans. The votes will be skewed towards their preferences. It would be fun to see a comparison of voters by age bracket, but Llifon explained earlier that was not possible. Just thank him for his efforts; it's a lot of work.

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