15 mawdsley living room

1965: Harry Hewitt, visiting from Ireland, has a catch-up with Lucille while Len is at the Blue John Mines

15 Mawdsley Street was a terraced house which was home to Len Fairclough from 1946 to 1968.

15 Mawdsley Street dated from 1902 when it was built along with the rest of Mawdsley Street and its neighbour Coronation Street. Len moved in with his new wife Nellie after he left the Navy and in 1950 they welcomed their first child, Stanley. For twelve years, it was a family home though not a happy one; Len spent most of his free time boozing and neglected Nellie. In 1962, Nellie left Len for insurance agent Harry Bailey, taking Stanley with her to Nottingham.

Len owned the house and when he was sacked from Birtwistle's Construction for doing foreigners, he converted the back yard and the one next door, owned by the Bensons, into premises for his own plumbing and building business. The yard had its own street entrance and postal address. He continued to live in the house by himself until August 1965 when he gave his spare room to Jerry Booth. As well as a loyal business partner, Jerry was useful to have around the house as he did the majority of the housework. The only other people to share Len's home were housekeepers; "widow" Norma Gee tried to get her claws into Len until her husband Harry came to take her back in January 1965, while Ena Sharples was employed by Jerry after walking out of the vestry of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall in protest of the building being used as a community centre in May 1966, returning to the Mission only when the community centre vacated.

In January 1967, Dennis Tanner accidentally set the parlour on fire while decorating for Len. His blowtorch had ignited some paint and rags. The fire crew dealt with the ensuing blaze and had to spray under the floorboards. The following May, Jerry left the partnership and moved out, and a few days later Len bought 9 Coronation Street from the Barlows and moved in there. In order to expand his business premises, Len knocked down his old house, which became part of Fairclough and Booth's builders office and yard (later Fairclough and Langton).

The house's layout changed slightly over the years. Until some point in 1965, Len's front door was opposite the entrance to his living room, and the staircase was to the left of the front door (as in the first image in the gallery below). This was eventually changed with the staircase moving to the opposite side of the room and the front door taking its place.



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