15a Coronation Street is a two-bedroom flat located above the Corner Shop in Coronation Street, Weatherfield. It is home to Daniel Osbourne, Sinead Tinker, their son Bertie, and Adam Barlow, who rent the property from the shop's owner Dev Alahan.
Originally one of the shop's bedrooms, by the early 1960s the area had been converted into a bedsit, accessed via the stairway in the shop's living quarters. Florrie Lindley was the first proprieter to take in lodgers, and most of her successors have followed suit, although a few have used the space for storage or lived there themselves.
In 1985, as part of a modernisation of the shop Alf Roberts expanded the flat to fill the entire upstairs and built a new door to the apartment on Viaduct Street, separating the flat from the shop - although the properties have continued to be sold together.
Past residents of the flat include Sheila Birtles, Doreen Lostock, Emily Nugent, Bet Lynch, Tricia Hopkins, Gail Potter, Deirdre Langton, Shirley Armitage, Curly Watts, Ken Barlow, Chris Collins and Sunita Parekh.
When the Corner Shop in Coronation Street was built in 1902, it had three upstairs bedrooms. By 1961, one of the rooms had been adapted into a bedsit, allowing the shop's owner Florrie Lindley to start taking in paying lodgers. The first tenants were Town Hall clerks Phil Braithwaite and Norman Dobson.
During the 1960s and 1970s, most people who resided at the flat were either relatives of the shop's owner or live-in assistants. As it was technically part of the shop, and not a separate property, anyone living there was typically evicted when the shop underwent a change of ownership. When not occupied, it was generally used as a stockroom.
The bedsit's conversion into a one-bedroom flat occurred in 1985, as part of Alf Roberts's expansion of the Corner Shop. The bedroom and bathroom were previously part of the shop's living quarters, which was stripped away in the renovation. A new street entrance and staircase leading to the flat were built at the same time. From this point onwards, residents of the flat were full tenants, with a rent book, and the property was numbered 15a.
The flat started out as little more than a spare bedroom, lacking a bathroom, its own street entrance or postal address separate from the shop. Tenants entered the bedsit from the upstairs landing situated within the shop's living quarters.
When first let in 1961, the flat contained two beds, a stove, and limited kitchen facilities. The layout was unchanged at least until 1967, when Emily Nugent lived there, but by 1970 it had a kitchen extension to the right of the entrance, behind a glass wall. This was gone by 1975, replaced with a plasterboard wall and door. When Tricia Hopkins and Gail Potter moved in, they had the flat fully redecorated. The most distinctive feature they added was a crêpe paper entrance to the kitchen, which was still in place when Deirdre Langton took possession of the flat in 1980.
The renovation of the Corner Shop into Alf's Mini-Market in 1985 meant that the flat now encompassed the entire upstairs. The existing rooms were mostly untouched by the builders, but it gained a bedroom and bathroom from the old shop accommodation. As the staircase behind the shop was removed in the rebuild, a new one was put in place leading to the flat's new entrance from Viaduct Street.
List of owners and residents
- 1961 - Phil Braithwaite
A clerk at Weatherfield Town Hall who moved in along with his colleague Norman Dobson in October 1961. They had both left by January 1962.
- 1962-1963 - Sheila Birtles
A young machinist at Elliston's Raincoat Factory, who shared the flat with her best friend Doreen Lostock. The girls often annoyed Florrie with their pop music but they obeyed her cardinal rule forbidding boyfriends from staying the night. In 1963, Sheila had a mental breakdown in the flat after being dumped by Neil Crossley and considered killing herself, but was saved thanks to Dennis Tanner's intevention. She returned to her parents in Rawtenstall immediately afterwards.
- 1962-1963 - Doreen Lostock
Sheila's flatmate who worked at Gamma Garments. Doreen stayed on for a few weeks after Sheila's departure before signing with the Women's Royal Army Corp and leaving Weatherfield.
- 1965 - Jerry Booth
Lived in the flat for three months after the breakdown of his marriage to Myra and death of their baby daughter.
- 1965 - Sandra Petty
Daughter of shop owner Lionel Petty. The flat gave Sandra her own space away from her domineering father but it wasn't enough and at the end of the year she moved to a flat in Leestand Road to assert her independence.
- 1967-1968 - Emily Nugent
The Gamma Garments manager moved in when she returned to Weatherfield after spending a year nursing her sick father in Harrogate. She was forced to give up the flat when the Cleggs bought the shop.
- 1968-1969 - Gordon Clegg
Son of Betty Turpin, raised by Maggie and Les Clegg. Moving in when his parents bought the shop, Gordon lived at the flat for a year, while studying accountancy at Commercial College. He left to work at his firm's head office in London.
- 1969-1970 - Betty Turpin
Along with her husband Cyril, Betty moved into the flat to be closer to her younger sister Maggie. Maggie allowed the Turpins to share her living space, but secured Betty a job as a barmaid at the Rovers Return in order to keep her out of the shop. The Turpins stayed for a year, moving to 37 Hillside Crescent in 1970.
- 1970-1971 - Irma Barlow
The shop's co-owner moved into the flat with Bet Lynch after the Turpins left. Recently widowed, Irma's time there was characterised by bad relationships with men, including Joe Donelli who confessed to murdering Steve Tanner and locked Irma in the flat with him. She disappeared abruptly in December 1971 and pulled her money out of the shop two months later, settling in Llandudno.
- 1970, 1977-1980, 1982-1985, 1989 - Bet Lynch/Gilroy
The longstanding Rovers barmaid flat-shared with Irma Barlow for just four months before leaving to live with Frank Bradley at 44 Victoria Street. In 1977, she rented the flat for £8 a week after splitting from Mike Baldwin. Not until a year later did Bet find out that Mike had been subsidizing her by £2 a week to alleviate his guilt for mistreating her. Between her smoking, her boyfriends and taking forever in the bathroom, Bet tested the Roberts' patience at times but they kept her on mainly to prevent Renee's mother Daisy Hibbert from getting ideas about moving in. She left in 1980 when the Roberts banned her from having her boyfriend Dan Johnson there overnight. A third stint began two years later, orginally a temporary arrangement while her bedsit's roof was being repaired. Alf didn't take any rent and felt a fool when Bet's entire street was demolished. Nevertheless, he let her stay until 1985 when she moved into the Rovers as its new landlady. She lived there briefly for a fourth and final time in 1989 during a period of separation from Alec Gilroy.
- 1971 - Janet Reid
Len Fairclough's ex-girlfriend filled in for Irma at the shop for four weeks while Irma recuperated from appendicitis in Llandudno, and in return was allowed to use the flat. Feeling lonely, Janet threw herself at Alan Howard, but was seen off by Elsie.
- 1972-1973 - Norma Ford
Answered Maggie's ad for a live-in assistant in 1972 and stayed for a year and a half.
- 1974-1976 - Tricia Hopkins
17-year-old daughter of shop manageress Vera Hopkins. The flat functioned as Tricia's bedroom while her parents and grandmother occupied the rest of the living quarters. In 1975, after the Hopkins flitted to the other side of Weatherfield, Tricia came back on her own and rented the flat privately from Gordon Clegg, sharing with her friend Gail Potter. The girls were given notice in 1976 when Renee Bradshaw purchased the shop.
- 1975-1976 - Gail Potter
Best friend of Tricia Hopkins. The pair worked as secretaries at the Mark Brittain Warehouse while living at the flat until it was gutted in a fire in late 1975. The following year, they had a short spell in charge of the shop until Renee took it over.
- 1976 - Terry Bradshaw
Younger brother of Renee Bradshaw. Terry moved into the flat while working at Fairclough and Langton, on the condition that he kept his independence. He left at the end of the year to sign up after being rejected by Gail.
- 1980-1981 - Deirdre Langton
Single mother Deirdre became Alf's live-in assistant after leaving 3 Coronation Street. She left the flat after just under a year when she married Ken Barlow, but kept on her job at the shop.
- 1985-1986, 1989-1990 - Alf Roberts
Alf moved into the flat after renovating the Corner Shop, removing the living quarters. He and Audrey did not stay long, as Audrey insisted on having a proper home after they were married - to her dismay, Alf bought No.11, two doors down. The Roberts moved back in for a few months when their purchase of a Hillside Crescent semi fell through and they had to house-hunt from scratch.
- 1985-1986, 1989-1990 - Audrey Roberts
Audrey married Alf in 1985. The shop - and by extension the flat - were the bane of her existence. She was overjoyed when they bought 5 Grasmere Drive in 1990 and they not longer had to suffer the humiliation of living above their own shop.
- 1987-1988 - Kevin Webster
The flat was Kevin and Sally's first home of their own, seven months after they were married. Less than a year later, Hilda Ogden sold No.13 to them.
- 1987-1988, 1998 - Sally Webster
Wife of Kevin. Sally was Alf's assistant in the shop during the period in which she lived in the flat. Ten years later, Greg Kelly let Sally move in with him after Kevin found out about their affair and threw her bags in the street. Gradually it dawned on Sally that Greg was only after her money. When he turned violent, she moved in with Rita Sullivan.
- 1988-1989 - Shirley Armitage
Baldwin's Casuals machinist who lived in the flat with her boyfriend Curly Watts. Shirley narrowly beat Curly in applying for the tenancy, so when Alf offered it to Curly anyway, Curly suspected him of being motivated by racism, and decided to refuse it. It was then that Shirley suggested they flat-share, an arrangement which Alf was obliged to accept in order to clear his name. Shirley walked out on Curly a year later, deciding that he was too serious for her.
- 1988-1989 - Curly Watts
The binman-turned-student shared the flat with Shirley Armitage, losing his virginity to her on the night they moved in. As they were living in sin, some did not approve of the arrangement, with Curly's parents refusing to let him take his old bed from the family home. Curly went into seclusion after Shirley dumped him, before finally moving out owing Alf £80 in rent.
- 1990 - Reg Holdsworth
The Bettabuy supremo moved in when his wife Veronica found out about his affair with Renee Dodds and kicked him out. Alf only agreed to take Reg on when Curly, assistant manager at Bettabuy, paid off his arrears. Three months later, Bettabuy started up a bus service with Coronation Street as one of its pick-up points, and Alf evicted Reg for stealing his customers.
- 1990-1994 - Ken Barlow
Ken lived at the shop flat for four years, during the period when he was separated from Deirdre. As his relationship with Wendy Crozier had ended, Ken hoped that living so close to his estranged wife would make a reconciliation more likely, but it only caused arguments. He was forced out in 1994 by his new landlord Reg Holdsworth, who wanted the flat for a store room.
- 1997 - Bill Webster
The builder lived there for most of 1997, while he was seeing the shop's owner Maureen Holdsworth. Bill stayed on after finishing with Maureen but her new husband, Fred Elliott, did not want him around and served him notice.
- 1997-1998 - Chris Collins
The Coronation Street Garage mechanic spent only four months there before moving on to Coventry. In March 1998, Des Barnes kicked the door in and caught Chris in bed with his girlfriend Samantha Failsworth.
- 1998 - Greg Kelly
Mike Baldwin's business partner at Underworld knicker factory. Greg had agreed to negotiate a reduced rent on the flat for his girlfriend Maxine Heavey, but when he saw the landlord Fred Elliott he asked if he could have it himself instead and then told Maxine that they couldn't live together as he needed his own space. Greg then moved onto Sally Webster, frittering away her mother's inheritance on his business projects. When Kevin threw her out over their affair, Sally moved in with Greg. She left him when he showed his true colours and started hitting her. Not long afterwards, Fred evicted Greg for not paying the rent.
- 1998 - Rosie Webster
Sally and Kevin's seven-year-old daughter. Not willing to let Kevin have the girls, Sally brought them to live with her and Greg in the cramped flat. No one was happy with the arrangement, least of all Greg.
- 1998 - Sophie Webster
Sally and Kevin's four-year-old daughter. Despite his attempts to happy families, Greg kept forgetting the girls' names.
The flat's interior first appeared in Episode 167 on 18th July 1962, when Sheila Birtles and Doreen Lostock moved in. Before that, the bedsit had been occupied by Phil Braithwaite and Norman Dobson, but the onset of the Equity actors' strike shortly after their introduction precluded any further appearances of the characters.
During the early years of the programme, the flat was one of the least-seen residences in the street, often going years without appearing even when occupied. The frequency of appearances changed with the tenant, ranging from relatively often (Sheila and Doreen, Gail Potter and Tricia Hopkins), to rarely (Norma Ford, Bet Lynch), to never (Cyril and Betty Turpin, Terry Bradshaw). As a case in point, its final appearance prior to the 1985 refit of the Corner Shop was in Episode 2115 on 8th July 1981.
The flat has sported dramatically different appearances over the years. While some changes have been explained within storylines, others have not and are difficult to reconcile with the previously established layout and dimensions of the flat. Episode 434, in which Jerry Booth moves into the flat, shows it to be on the ground floor, contradicting other episodes, though this was presumably a production error. During the 1970s, the door to the flat inexplicably moved along the outer wall to the adjacent corner of the room. The property's layout was consistent from this point until the early 1990s, except for the addition of a bedroom and bathroom which were explained as being originally part of the shop's accommodation which was knocked through in 1985. By Ken Barlow's time there, the staircase door had moved again, now lying to the immediate right of the kitchen door.