Alan howard salon

1970: Elsie and Hilda in the main hairstyling area

Alan howard salon desk

1969: Val, Alan and Elsie at the front desk

Alan Howard's Salon was opened in 1969 in the premises formerly occupied by The Pink Posy florist. It was Alan Howard's first venture in the Coronation Street area, and employed Elsie Tanner as manageress, Valerie Barlow as senior hairdresser, Hilda Ogden as cleaner, and Elsie's niece and nephew Sandra and Bernard Butler as junior hairdressers.

The salon opened for business on 22nd December 1969, after being converted by Ray Langton. The building work was carried out at the last minute, with refitting still taking place on opening day. It quickly became the hairstylist of choice for many of the street residents, although it was not plain sailing; when Annie Walker first graced the establishment, Alan insulted her by suggesting that a lacquer might damage her tinted hair (Annie stated it was entirely a natural colour), and Sandra Butler compounded the embarrassment when she presented Annie with a bill that had a reduced rate for pensioners.

In March 1970, after his relationship with Elsie broke down, Alan left for London and put the salon up for sale. Ken Barlow considered buying it for £30 a week for Val to run, and asked Dave Smith for a loan as the bank had turned him down due to his lack of business experience. Instead of helping Ken out, Dave bought the salon himself, retaining the trading name of "Alan Howard's Salon". On his first day in charge, Dave sacked Bernard due to him boring the customers with his conversation, and in response Val, Elsie and Sandra went on strike. Dave had to hurriedly take on Adam and Jasmine, who proved disastrous in their jobs and led to Dave re-employing Elsie, agreeing to her condition that Bernard and Sandra were also taken back on. Val also returned and managed to get an extra £1 a week plus commission out of Dave. The changes came at the cost of Adam and Jasmine, who walked out when everybody else was taken back on.

The salon hosted an impromptu 21st birthday bash for Lucille Hewitt on 13th May when the official party in the Rovers select proved too dull for Lucille, Len Fairclough, Irma Barlow, Dave and Bernard. Dave laid on booze and girls for the private bash.


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