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Coronation Street

Up to date as of January 31, 2010
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The Rovers Return Inn is the main gathering place for Coronation Street's residents and workers. Its licensees and most of its staff are major characters.

The Rovers Return Inn was built along with the street in 1902 and was given that name to celebrate the safe homecoming of Lt. Phillip Ridley of the family who part-founded the brewery Newton & Ridley. The bar was separated into three rooms: a public bar, a snug, and a select (function room). It has had many landlords and landladies, starting with Jim Corbishley and his wife Nelly, but their time at the pub was shortened when their son died aged thirty-one and they moved to Little Hayfield to start a fresh life in 1919.

George Diggins, a retired police sergeant, bought the pub from the Corbishleys with his wife Mary. The couple had no children but Mary had a dog who lived in a basket made out of a beer barrel. When any beer was spilt on the floor, he would lap it up. The Diggins liked the pub but moved away in 1937 to Southport.

Jack and Annie Walker, a couple of newly-weds, bought the pub off the Digginses. They had two children in the pub, twins, during the blitz. They were called Billy and Joan. Annie ran the pub single-handedly whilst Jack was away serving in the army. She always thought of the pub as a 'stepping stone' to more gracious surroundings.

During the Blitz in 1940, Elsie Tanner gave birth to daughter Linda Tanner (later Cheveski), behind the bar with the help of local ARP Warden Ena Sharples. Annie Walker was shocked at it and had the left-over mess cleaned immediately.

Annie was finding it hard to cope in the Blitz and needed help. In 1942 she found herself a living nanny, newly graduated schoolgirl Teressa Dakins. Upon finding her Annie had begun also seeing a lot of Teressa's headmaster. This was much to the horror of Ena Sharples, who threatened to inform Jack straight away.

In the late 1950s the Walkers supervised the removal of the spittoons from the bar and replaced the sawdust on the floor with tiles. Realising that she was stuck with the pub, Annie had decided to make the most of the situation.

In 1961 Annie and Jack hired barmaid Doreen Lostock. Doreen seemed like a nice enough girl, but she could also be trouble.

In 1963 the couple employed Martha Longhurst as the Rovers cleaner.

On 13th May 1964, Annie was shocked by the sudden party Frank Barlow demanded. As the party got going, Ena played old songs on the piano and Jack Walker had the unfortunate luck of finding Martha dead in the Snug.

In 1964 new arrival Hilda Ogden applied for a job as cleaner and surely enough got it.

In 1969 new barmaid Betty Turpin took up the post after moving to Weatherfield to help out her sister Maggie Clegg. In the same year Annie and Jack both feared they were never going to return to the pub again when a coach trip to the Lake District went wrong. The coach lost control and crashed into a tree. Many residents were injured. Annie feared Jack was dead.

In 1970, Jack died of a heart attack while visiting Joan in Derby. Annie couldn't cope with this and took a long time off serving behind the bar, employing her son, Billy, to run the pub in her absence. Billy employed factory worker Bet Lynch as a barmaid. In 1984, Annie retired and Billy bought the tenancy of the pub because he was in huge debt and needed the money, but he didn't like the responsibility of being the landlord. Eventually, in 1985, he was approached by the brewery and told that they did not like him being the tenant and they bought him out.

The brewery was looking for a new manager for the pub, and the locals persuaded Bet to go and apply for the position; little did she know they had signed a petition and sent it to the brewery. She was then given the position of landlady and moved into the living quarters.

In 1986, the Rovers caught fire, which destroyed most of the pub and living quarters. This fire led to a huge panic. Ken and Deirdre Barlow at No.1, Emily Bishop at No.3, Ivy Tilsley at No.5, Jack and Vera Duckworth of No.9 and Hilda Ogden at No.13 feared the whole street could be damaged.

The brewery was going to demolish the pub but then decided to refurbish it and kept paying Bet while it was being done up.

The new Rovers was very modern and retro at the time. The three rooms got knocked into one big public bar. The toilets got moved into one door and the staircase from the living quarters got moved to the other side of the hall. In 1987, the brewery announced it was going to revert the pub with Bet having first refusal. She needed to get £15,000 to buy the pub. She asked rival Alec Gilroy to help. When she seriously thought about it, she could stand the thought of losing the pub and ran away. Alec Gilroy asked to be put in as temporary manager while Bet was away. After three months Bet called the brewery saying she was in Spain and Alec went to go and fetch her back. While he was over there he proposed to her.

A month later, the couple got married and the pub was Bet's again. In 1993, Alec was asked to go and work on a cruise liner. He wanted the job very much but he and Bet were looking forward to moving to Southampton to start a new life; however, when the time came nearer, Bet couldn't bear to leave the pub and the couple split up.

The next few years were hard for Bet. But in 1995, the brewery decided to make the pub a free house and invited Bet to buy it; but with not enough money she couldn't, so she asked Rita Sullivan and Vicky McDonald for a loan but both refused. Understanding her time in the Rovers was up, she left Weatherfield for good.

Jack and Vera Duckworth bought the pub lease from Bet with a payout from Jack's dead brother, Cliff. They received £30,000 and bought the pub at the first chance, but by 1997 the couple were getting old and moved back to No.9, selling the pub to Natalie Barnes.

Natalie's husband, Des, was killed in 1998 because a gang mistook him for her son whom they were after.

.....

In about 2007, Steve McDonald bought the pub so that his mother Liz could go on running it. It was not long before he developed a romantic attachment to barmaid Michelle.

By 'eck! It's like Sodom and Gomorrah all over again
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This article uses material from the "Rovers Return Inn" article on the Coronation Street wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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