From Coronation Street Wiki
1964 was Coronation Street's fifth year. It was the first to see major changes affect the series, with new producer Tim Aspinall sacking nine of the programme's actors, resulting in a large number of characters leaving the street, including Harry and Concepta Hewitt, Frank Barlow, and Jerry and Myra Booth.
Martha Longhurst was also killed off in one of the best remembered storylines of the 1960s, with the character suffering a heart attack in the Rovers Return. The storyline was very unpopular with the cast, with Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) almost quitting in protest; it was the first time a popular character had been killed off to attract viewers.
The year also saw the introduction of the popular Ogden family, the non-marriage of Leonard Swindley and Emily Nugent, and Valerie Barlow leaving Ken for Dave Robbins.
105 new episodes were broadcast on ITV in 1964.
- Elsie Tanner confronts Laurie Frazer over Dennis being sacked and is told it is due to him losing bookings over Christmas by not opening the office. Elsie pressures Dennis to find work and he takes a manual job in the loading bay at Amalgamated Steel.
- Joan Davies tells her parents that she's left Gordon as he and his family are pressuring her not to work and he doesn't want children. Jack and Annie Walker persuade her to return to Derby and make a go of her marriage.
- To get Dave Robbins out of No. 9, Valerie Barlow persuades him to rent the flat above Frank Barlow's DIY Shop which Len Fairclough does up to get ready for him. Dave moves in after a couple of weeks but becomes closer to Val when he tells her how lonely he is.
- Walter Potts has a successful concert and No. 11 is besieged by his fans. Lucille Hewitt is jealous of Jennifer Knott's claim to be President of the Brett Falcon Fan Club. She gets herself a tattoo on her arm about "Brett" which brings a horrified Harry Hewitt into conflict with Walter. The singer though is offered a national tour and a singing engagement in Cannes. Dennis smuggles him out of the house and sends him off from Weatherfield. Walter shows his appreciation by giving Dennis money from his best-selling record to have a bathroom installed for Elsie.
- Florrie Lindley plans to open a sub-post office in the Corner Shop and plans to move the front door from the angle of Coronation Street and Viaduct Street to stop the draughts.
- Laure Frazer plans to open a gambling and nightclub in the basement of Elliston's Raincoat Factory. Ena Sharples and Leonard Swindley immediately make plans to oppose the venture while Laurie offers Len the work of converting the site.
- Traffic is diverted down Rosamund Street making the road busy and dangerous. Ken campaigns for a crossing, even though Val worries that this might jeopardise his promotion application at Bessie Street School. Susan Schofield is knocked down and killed on the road. Dave blames himself as he was looking after the children at the time and Val comforts him. Ken does a television interview blaming the council for Susan's death, but without the school's permission.
- Ken's promotion is blocked because of the damage done by the television interview. He descends into a bout of self-pity from which Val is unable to help him. At the end of her tether she leaves him and tries to move in with Dave but when confronted by Ken, he tells him he doesn't want his wife and Val moves back with her husband. They go on holiday together to recover their relationship while Dave moves out of the flat.
- Dennis is set up by his workmates with practical jokes which brings him into conflict with his boss Mick O'Connell. Hating the job, Dennis deliberately gets himself sacked but is promised a job at the club by Laurie. He also employs Martha Longhurst as a cleaner in the same venture.
- The club gets its licence. Swindley's attempt to oppose the venture is betrayed on all sides as members of PPOP conduct business with Laurie. The final straw is reached when Emily Nugent sells Laurie 100 metres of velvet curtains from Gamma Garments for the club. Swindley shouts at her and tells Laurie he will not do business with him but Mr Papagopolous refuses to rescind the order. When Laurie does so himself, Swindley is left with the expensive and unsold material. He suffers a breakdown and wanders the streets in tears.
- Len takes on apprentice Eddie Thomas to help him with his huge workload. Lucille falls for him but dutifully asks her parent's permission to go out with him.
- Len starts to go out with young machinist Joyce Lennox, despite Harry's warning that she is a gold-digger and Elsie's comment that he appears to everyone to be a dirty old man. Nevertheless he is shocked to find that she is a friend of his apprentice Eddie.
- Emily traces Swindley to his home after finding that he has left the shop door wide open. Seeing his metal state she summons his sister to help him and she takes him to her home to recover.
- After several weeks' of work Florrie's Corner Shop conversion is completed. She needs an assistant and offers the job to Myra Booth but Emily wants her to work at Gamma. Jerry Booth opposes Myra working at all and so Florrie, with great reluctance, offers the job to Dennis. He makes a hash of the task though and she is relieved when he leaves to work at the new club. Instead she interviews and takes on Irma Ogden as her assistant.
- Elsie celebrates her birthday, delighted with the bath bought with Walter's money but appalled when Dennis presents her with a cake with forty-eight candles on it – she's only forty-one. Len drops his other work to install her bath.
- Martha discovers old flame Ted Ashley is back after many years away in Australia where he has become a rich rancher. She dresses to impress him and "shows" him off to Ena and Minnie Caldwell but Ted doesn't remember her from his distant past. He makes a polite suggestion that Martha visits his sister in London and she eagerly takes up the offer, despite Ena seeing that she's chasing a dream and trying to put her off. Martha returns after a week but hides away at home and doesn't let on to her friends that she's back.
- Jerry is worried that Myra's spending is out of control and his fears increase when a delivery of new furniture arrives at No. 13.
- Lucille is upset when Eddie becomes evasive with her and Len is upset when Joyce stands him up on a night out – to go out with Eddie. Len riles Jerry about his weight and the two compete against each other in a walking race, cheered on by the residents. Jerry throws the race in order not to show up his boss.
- Ken and Val's relationship improves. He gets a job as Head of English at Granston Technical College.
- The Viaduct Sporting Club is about to open for business with Gus Lowman as its manager, much to Dennis's disappointment. The preparations for the opening night go badly when the ceiling collapses. Laurie threatens to sue Len but it is revealed that Gus weighted the floor too much by using it as a liquor store.
- The club opens with the ceiling repaired. Elsie runs the roulette table but her enjoyable evening comes to a halt when a woman appears who says she is Rosemary Frazer, Laurie's wife. Rosemary tells Elsie she is the latest of a long line in mistresses in Laurie's life and she is not perturbed by the situation. Elsie is though and breaks up with Laurie after a row in the Street. Laurie and Rosemary return to London together and Gus runs the club.
- Ken starts his new job but he finds teaching teenagers harder than the younger children he was used to.
- Yet more furniture arrives at No. 13, purchased from Frank. Myra wants a foreign holiday and to start a job but Jerry's old-fashioned attitude prevents her doing so. The Booth's credit slate at the Corner Shop starts to build up and she is only able to pay Frank back some of his money. This doesn't stop her putting down the deposit on a foreign holiday. Jerry discovers that she is two month's behind with HP payments and three month's behind with the mortgage, added to which she is pregnant. She admits that she has borrowed money from her father and events reach a crisis when their electricity is cut off. Len is unable to give Jerry a pay rise as he has not yet been paid for all his work on the club but he does lend him £3.
- Stuart Hodges is appointed preacher at the Mission of Glad Tidings in Swindley's absence and Emily worries that when he arrives the small congregation will lead to him recommending closure. When he arrives, the women fall for his good looks and even Ena starts to like him when he helps her clean the Mission.
- Martha contacts her friends at last and admits she had a terrible time in London. When she goes to look after her grandchildren, Minnie does her two cleaning jobs but falls down the stairs at the club. Minnie, suffering a torn ligament, stays with Ena to recover. It is established that the fault lies with Len, not Gus or the owners of the club and Stuart finds a solicitor to sue him on Minnie's behalf.
- Len is sued, and as he has no money coming into his business, Jerry and Eddie are laid off. Len settles out of court by paying £50.
- While some of the neighbours try to help the Booths as they become more entangled in their financial problems, Myra is refused credit in the Corner Shop and Jack refuses to lend Jerry money. George Dickinson agrees to pay their debts if they will live with him. Jerry accepts the deal and also gets a new job with Roscoe & Pitts.
- An excited Martha gets a chance to go on a family holiday to Spain. She obtains her first ever passport for the trip.
- Frank wins £5,000 on the premium bonds and sells his shop for £6,000. He uses the money to buy a house in Wilmslow and holds a leaving party in the Rovers, annoying some of the regulars with boasts of his wealth. The party comes to an abrupt end when Martha is found dead in the snug, having quietly slipped away with a heart attack. She is buried by her shocked friends and neighbours, Swindley returning for the funeral, and Ena argues with her daughter Lily Haddon for neglecting her mother.
- The Booths and Frank leave the Street to begin their new lives.
- Comic Charlie Moffitt gets taken on at the club as its resident comic and he and his dog, Little Titch, lodge with Minnie.
- Swindley returns to work with Gamma. Emily realises that as it's a leap year a woman can propose marriage and considers doing just that to Swindley.
- Emily invites Swindley to a meal during which she proposes to him. He panics and runs out but later changes his mind, accepts and they set a date. Len agrees to be Swindley's best man but Emily's father, James Nugent, refuses to attend.
- An exotic dancer at the club, Pip Mistral, invites Charlie to a party and he brings along Ken, Harry and Len. At the party Ken is taken with Pip and tries for a fling with her but is rejected. Val and Concepta Hewitt find out about the party and Val is hurt that Ken supposedly was attracted with Pip's intelligence, feeling patronised herself by her husband.
- While Annie is away, Jack takes on Irma as a barmaid. Upon her return Annie is uncertain about her latest member of staff but Jack refuses to sack her.
- Except for Lucille, who stays with the Walkers, the Hewitts go to Ireland when Concepta's father, Sean Riley falls ill.
- Charlie convinces Dennis that he is not cut out for showbusiness. He decides to leave his job at the club and take up hairdressing instead. Val agrees that he can watch her at work but when she is out he accidently dies Lucille's hair blonde.
- Elsie gets a part-time evening job but keeps to herself exactly what it is.
- Len is finally paid for his work on the club.
- Albert Tatlock organises a Bazaar for the Over-sixties.
- Lorry driver Stan Ogden turns up on the Street looking for his daughter Freda. It turns out that Irma and Freda are one and the same, she having run away from home and changed her name to escape her poor home life. Stan tells Irma he has changed his ways and is back with her mother, Hilda. She tells him that if he means what he says, he should buy No. 13.
- Stan buys No. 13 and he, Hilda, Irma and younger brother Trevor move in. Youngest siblings Tony and Sylvia remain in care.
- Val discovers that she is pregnant but Ken doesn't want to start a family yet.
- Florrie finds a paypacket in a box of goods from Ireland. She sends it back to the rightful owner.
- Albert's bazaar is held with most of the residents manning stalls.
- On the eve of her wedding to Swindley, Emily voices her doubts to Ken that she is doing the right thing as she feels sure he doesn't love her. On the wedding day itself she fails to turn up at the Mission Hall. Swindley goes to her, they talk and he agrees that it's best that they don't marry. He goes to the booked honeymoon hotel by himself while Emily goes to Wakefield for a rest.
- Three riggers cause problems in the Street. They challenge Len to a fight which he accepts but none of the residents except Stan back him up and the police don't want to know. Len refuses to talk to Harry for his lack of help.
- Elsie still refuses to tell Dennis and the others what he job is. When a Grecian urn arrives for her to use, Dennis follows her and discovers that she is a model for art students at a school of design. Dennis is ashamed of her work but Elsie argues with him that it's harmless.
- Stan asks Len for a job but is refused because of his lack of experience in the building trade. He does offer Trevor an apprenticeship but this is turned down as the teenager wants to make money.
- Hilda becomes the Rovers' new cleaner.
- Ena hears an intruder in the Mission at night.
- The intruder is Trevor Ogden, who is stacking twelve bags of onions for safekeeping there before selling them. Ena agrees to let him for 10% of the profits. Later, she, Trevor and Irma move them to the cellar of the Rovers. As Trevor completes his sale, Annie catches them all in the act and sacks Irma and Hilda (although Jack reinstates them later). Trevor's profit is taken off him by the women involved in the scheme.
- The Irishman who received his paypacket back safely from Florrie writes to thank her and promises to visit.
- At the art school, young teacher David Graham becomes infatuated with Elsie. She is not so certain because of the age difference and when David turns up at No. 11, an angry Dennis goes for him. Dennis then asks Ken to find out what sort of person David is and Ken reports back that he is slightly unbalanced and has a temper. When Elsie finishes with him, David has a breakdown and traps her in No. 11 with his service revolver. When Elsie cries with fear, David is ashamed and shows her that the gun is empty. He runs off and Dennis comforts his mother.
- Emily returns from Wakefield to run the Gamma Garments' store, Swindley having moved to another branch to provide holiday cover.
- Sean Riley has to retire from his garage business. Concepta wants them all to move to Ireland and take it over but Lucille point blank refuses. Harry sides with Concepta and Annie provides a solution to the dilemma when she offers Lucille a room with them so that she can continue her schooling in Weatherfield. Harry gets Stan his old chauffeuring job at Amalgamated Steel and the Hewitts leave a crying Lucille behind to start their new life.
- To help pick up trade at the club, Charlie organises a talent contest. Annie is convinced that her singing voice will ensure that she is the winner but it is Lucille who takes the prize with a rendition of "My Guy".
- Norman Phillips offers Lucille a singing contract but she turns her chance of stardom down.
- Feeling alone and unloved, Florrie undergoes a breakdown. After Irma walks out on her because of her behaviour, Florrie wrecks her own shop. Her balance is restored when Tickler Murphy, the Irishman whose paypacket she returned, turns up in Weatherfield, planning to make his fortune in England. He makes Florrie feel important and wanted.
- Stan is sacked from his new job when he takes several people for a joyride in the company Rolls Royce and the interior seating and upholstery is damaged by Minnie and Little Titch.
- Albert wants to dig up the flags in his backyard to plant a garden. Stan helps him and they discover an unexploded wartime bomb. All the residents are evacuated to the Mission cellar where they enjoy reminiscing and singing wartime songs. When they return home the residents find that some of their homes, shops and businesses have been burgled. Over the next few days there are various other robberies and Tickler and Irma especially come under suspicion. The culprit is revealed to be Trevor who runs off to London with his "takings".
- Ena angrily castigates Minnie when she discovers she has been gambling on the horses. Charlie is interested when he hears of Minnie's winning luck and that she never backs a loser.
- As the General Election approaches, Ena invites all three candidates to the Vestry at the same time to hear and compare their promises.
- Tickler is a wrestling promoter and interests unemployed Stan in becoming a professional wrestler. Emily makes him a cloak with "Ogden the Terrible" on it. A nervous Stan hears that his debut match has been booked – against twenty stone Ian Campbell.
- Stan has his first (and only) professional wrestling match which is held in the club. He submits to a Boston Crab hold and is thrown out of the ring.
- Tickler worries that Florrie is getting too close to him and has marriage in mind so he leaves Weatherfield.
- Lucille starts skipping school and Emily discovers her working at Mason's Record Shop. She forces her to give up her job and return to school but Mr Barroway, the welfare officer, calls on the Walkers but her notice runs out. Lucille blames Emily, thinking she told the Walkers.
- The brewery tells the Walkers that the Rovers is not as profitable as some of their other pubs. Jack spends an evening going to the various pubs to see how they manage things differently, completely forgetting it is his wedding anniversary. He placates a furious Annie with perfume. Jack decides that the Rovers needs music to attract customers.
- Dennis passes his hairdressing exams. He starts to receive anonymous love letters and Lucille meets the woman who claims she is his fiancée - Sandra Petty. Not knowing how to get in touch with this mysterious woman, Irma suggests an advert in the newspaper's "personal" column.
- Harry Bailey returns from Nottingham with the news that Nellie Fairclough has died. Len asks Elsie to marry him and be a mother to Stanley. Elsie doesn't believe they would be compatible once wed and suggests a trial marriage to prove it.
- As part of the trial marriage, Len eats his meals at No. 11 but stays overnight at his own house, his movements carefully monitored by Ena and Minnie. He doesn't like being made to wash up, keep tidy and pay housekeeping money and after a row over his tea not being ready they agree that marriage would harm their friendship. Len subsequently tells Harry that Stanley can stay with him.
- Trevor Ogden sends Stan and Hilda £4 to make up for some of the money he stole.
- Sandra Petty turns up at No. 11 - she is one of Dennis's hairdressing clients and is besotted with him. When he sees that she has a train timetable for Gretna Green in her handbag he panics and tells her that he is engaged to Irma. Sandra confronts Irma who realises what is going on and goes along with the deception.
- The Rovers gets its music licence and the Walkers employ pub pianist Alf Chadwick after the first candidate Howard Seymour proves unsuitable. During their first new-style evening Stan stops the newly installed electric clock so that the party can go on for longer. Jack is booked by the police for opening after hours. Stan admits his actions and the matter is dropped.
- Ken and Val decide to decorate No. 9, initially employing Ted Grieves, who proves to be too expensive, and later Charlie to do the job for them.
- Emily starts organising Cinderella - a Christmas pantomime for local children to be acted by the residents.
- Annie discovers that their bank account is overdrawn and that Jack has been sending regular cheques to a Mrs. Nicholls. Suspecting Jack of having another woman, she walks out on him, causing embarrassment when Ena comes for an invited Sunday lunch and discovers that her hostess is absent. Jack thinks Annie is staying with Joan but discovers she isn't.
- The police won't help Jack trace Annie. Billy Walker arrives from London when he hears that his mother is missing. Annie is staying at the local Egremont Hotel where she "breaks down" so that another guest rings Jack to alert him as to her whereabouts. Jack refuses to go on his hands and knees to Annie but he breaks down at the thought that he's lost her for good. Ena witnesses this and fetches a sorry Annie back herself. Billy tells her that he was sacked from the Blue Bell Garage and Mrs. Nicholls is his landlady – Jack was paying his rent for him. She apologises to Jack and Billy returns to London where he gets a new job.
- Charlie, decorating No. 9 and laying an electrical flex in the loft falls through the ceiling to Elsie's bedroom in No. 11 where Dennis has put up showgirl Rita Littlewood for the night. Charlie makes Dennis pay for the damage himself by threatening to tell Elsie of Rita's stopover but Elsie finds out anyway.
- Local butcher Willie Piggott tries to bribe Ken with £100 to make sure his son Brian passes his exam at the Tech but Ken refuses and publically hands the money back and tells Piggott he's informing the police. The residents and Val are disgusted with Ken going too far with the butcher.
- Swindley returns to the Street and takes over the panto when Emily finds the rehearsals too much and the cast walk out on her. They overcome their differences and put on a successful production.
- Stan gets the idea of running a waste paper collection business of his own with Charlie and Albert after he hears of the similar success of Bernie Sparks, Irma's godfather. Waste paper starts to accumulate at No. 13.
- David Barlow returns to the Street for Christmas and Irma falls for him. He tells everyone he has a torn ligament and that he wants to avoid the press but causes a puzzle when he goes dancing with Irma. The Ogdens like the idea of Irma dating someone successful like Irma and invite him to tea. The papers report that David has been suspended for taking a bribe.
- Charlie is sacked from the club.
- Hilda reads Val's fortune and forecasts twins.
- Ena receives a letter from landlord Edward Wormold asking to see her.
Who lives where
Coronation Street residents