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1972: Rita writes down the horse racing odds

Benny Lewis's Betting Shop was a turf accountant which opened for business in 1972. Scouser Benny Lewis, who lived above the premises in his luxury penthouse, employed Rita Littlewood as hostess, Lucille Hewitt and Ted Loftus as clerks, and Hilda Ogden as cleaner at the shop which was situated in Weatherfield Precinct.

History

Benny set up shop in Weatherfield on the advice of Dave Smith, whose betting shop in Rosamund Street had recently been demolished, after they encountered each other at Aintree. By July of that year, the shop was ready to open with Benny running it, Carol Webb as hostess and Ted Loftus as clerk.

The shop consisted of the main room with the betting counter behind clear screens marked 'Pay In' and 'Pay Out'. On the opposite wall lay a blackboard containing the latest information on betting odds. Benny's office was through a side door behind the counter and was laid out so that Benny could see through some windows to the main room from his desk.

In order to establish himself in the town, Benny put on a function ahead of the opening, inviting local business owners and councillors including Len Fairclough and Alf Roberts. Disaster almost struck at the party when Carol, handing out drinks to Benny's guests, got sozzled and blurted out within earshot of Det. Chief Insp. Patterson that Benny didn't properly bank his cash. Benny immediately sacked her and offered the job of hostess going forward to Rita Littlewood, Len's plus one at the party. Rita agreed to work afternoons for Benny. Lucille Hewitt was also taken on by Benny after his bookkeeper got pregnant and didn't turn up.

The betting shop soon drew in the usual crowd from Coronation Street, including Albert Tatlock, Jacko Ford, Billy Walker, and Minnie Caldwell. In light of Minnie's past gambling addiction, Ena Sharples asked Benny to bar her friend from placing bets at his shop. Benny did so, but declined a later request from Emily Bishop to allow Minnie to bet but no more than 50p a week, which had been her arrangement with Dave Smith. Benny considered it unreasonable for his staff to be expected to remember customers' unique requirements.

The fate of Benny's shop is unknown although Lucille was still working there in 1974 when she packed it in to work at The Kabin.

Gallery

Staff

List of appearances

1972

See also

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