Alfred Wormold and his brother Edward were landlords and letting agents who either owned, or let on behalf of others, a large number of the houses in Coronation Street and other parts of Weatherfield from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Greedy, not to be trusted, and with a terrible memory for the names of people he was dealing with, Wormold, like his brother, was not popular with the residents of the street but they held the power of controlling the roof over people's heads for many years, willing to turn to eviction for non-payment and only losing their grasp as people got richer from the 1960s onwards and were able to buy their properties outright and as the council conducted slum clearances of the borough, taking the brothers' portfolio away from them with Compulsory Purchase orders.
Mr Wormold had several notable interactions with Coronation Street residents: in January 1961, Christine Hardman was allowed to stay on at 13 Coronation Street following the death of her mother, May the previous month but with a nine shilling increase.
A further increase of ten shillings a week affected all of the residents in March 1963. Most accepted it, though with some grumbling, but Elsie Tanner was made of sterner stuff and refused to pay her rent until the increase was dropped. She asked the other residents to back her up but afraid of eviction they refused. Eventually the bailiffs were called in to empty No.11 and Elsie had no choice but to pay up, but not before she'd made a show of her furniture being put on to the street for the press.
In September of the same year, Wormold sold No.13 to newly-married Jerry Booth for £525 and the following July, after the Booths had left the street because of money problems, re-sold the house to Stan Ogden for £575, after demanding £600 and making a "mistake" in initially asking £700, saying that he was too soft. Len Fairclough felt that the Ogdens had been robbed.
Two months later, Albert Tatlock raised the flags in his back yard, intending to turn it into a small garden. In doing so he exposed an unexploded bomb from the Second World War and he and the other residents were evacuated to the Glad Tidings Mission Hall while it was defused. Not wanting to get in trouble with Wormold for many unauthorised alterations, Albert replaced the flags.
Alfred was in Majorca in early 1965 when Ena Sharples was left No.11 in the will of Mrs Briggs and she dealt with Edward on the matter. The brother was also the one who decided that No.7 should be fully demolished after the entire front of the house collapsed in August of the same year.
Alfred's money and influence meant that he had his pick of women. In 1965, he married his secretary with whom he had been knocking about for years, but continued to play away, indulging his predilection for younger women. In June 1967, when Ena Sharples was looking for Wormold's assistance in brightening up Coronation Street for its entry in the "Best Kept Street" competition, she got £25 out of him by revealing that she'd seen him going into a Chinese with a red-headed mini-skirted 18-year-old. Ena planned to put the money towards cleaning the graffiti-laden space where No.7 had once stood and tidying the vacant No.3, but efforts towards the latter were halted when Ena and Jerry Booth discovered the Lawson family squatting inside the house. While letting herself into No.3, Ena described Wormold's wife to Jerry as a "hard-faced piece" and commented that his former wife, Amy Wormold, was a lovely woman with a bad heart. In the event, Coronation Street lost the competition to Inkerman Street.
Annie Walker summoned Alfred to the street in January 1968 to evict a gang of hippies from No.11. It was Annie's last resort after Lucille Hewitt had left home to join the hippies and refused to come back. Wormold was after tenant Dennis Tanner anyway as he was late with the rent and so he promptly went to No.11 only to find it "dead as a tomb"; he'd called during the day when the hippies were asleep. Dissatisfied with his response, Annie urged him to go back and knock until sparks flew off the knocker. Wormold heeded Annie's warning and this time Dennis answered the door. Seeing the "vagrants" for himself, Wormold ordered them out and issued Dennis a month's notice. As the surly landlord turned to leave, he was accosted by one of the hippies, Monica Sutton, who put her hand on his face and told him that "all you need is love". Wormold's response to this was to hightail it out of the house and report back to Annie over a Scotch - his usual - at the Rovers. Claiming to be a lay reader, Wormold expressed his shock at the promiscuity on display at No.11 and his relief that the house was getting a clean break. Dennis did leave the area, but with Elsie's return from America in February, Dennis found his way back into No.11.
By November 1973, the Wormold's only properties on the street were Numbers 1 and 5 and these were subjected to a 50p a week rent increase. The following year he appointed Jimmy Graham to enquire into buying some the properties back but no one was interested in selling.
- Various references were made to "Mr Wormold" over the years without explicitly stating which of the two brothers were meant. As Alfred Wormold was the first to appear, this article assumes that all references outside of 1965 were to him. It is possible that the character of Edward Wormold was created as Ivor Dean was unavailable to reprise the part of Alfred in that year.