The Hayes family moved into 5 Coronation Street in 1908. Then 32, Sidney had just married Alice, 25, and they had no children yet. Sidney was a lay preacher and held down a respectable job as a clerk at the GPO, whereas most of his neighbours were mill workers. Alice didn't work but she was often engaged in Mission work. Their eldest children were Ada, born in 1910, and Frederick, born in 1915.
Sidney was a pacifist and stood by his principles during the war by refusing to sign up, with Alice's backing. He was imprisoned for the duration of the war. While he was away, Alice was ostracized by the neighbours and their son Fred died from diphtheria in 1916. Their troubles didn't end with the Armistice as Sid was beaten up during a victory parade and their family's harsh treatment continued for years.
The younger Hayes children were Esther and Tom, born in 1924 and 1926 respectively. During the Depression, with many neighbours falling on hard times Sid and Alice's soup kitchen at the Glad Tidings Mission Hall was appreciated and their old prejudices were laid to rest. Sid died during an air raid on 24th December 1940 while returning home from a delivering a sermon at Booth Street Chapel. His death took the fight out of Alice and she retired to bed, relying on Ada and Esther to look after her, even though they were now adults themselves. She finally got out of bed when Tom got out of prison (much to her daughters' furies) but it didn't last as when Tom re-offended and went back to prison, Alice's "weak legs" gave in and she returned to bed. In 1949, Ada emgirated to Australia with her new husband Matt Harvey, leaving Esther alone to shoulder the burden of coping with Alice. When Alice died in 1952, Esther let out a sigh of relief.