Coronation Street Wiki

The Community Centre flat, along with the centre itself, was a one-bedroomed flat which was included at the front of the building, directly opposite the Corner Shop, and had the postal address of 16 Coronation Street (although in episodes shown in July 1978, the flat had the address 12 Coronation Street). A door from the flat led into the centre, and was intended as the caretaker's accommodation.

Ena Sharples was the first caretaker, and took over the post in June 1971. During a short break a few months later, the stand in, Nancy Crossley impressed the centre committee with members Len Fairclough and Alf Roberts having to warn Ena that unless she toed the line at the centre, her job was at risk. Despite a number of incidents, the worst one being a break-in at the centre in February 1972 when the new colour television set was stolen after Ena had fallen asleep and left the main door unlocked. Ena managed to keep her post, although Albert Tatlock was appointed assistant caretaker. Ena suffered from health problems and suffered a heart attack in October 1973, collapsing in the Snug at the Rovers Return Inn. In December 1973, Ena was sacked after disappearing with the centre keys, and the children's Christmas party could not be held. She was given a month's notice and asked to leave the flat by Ernest and Emily Bishop, who were later snubbed by the residents.

Following Ena's departure, she was replaced in March 1974 by Gertie Robson, who was more suited to the hard work. She was well-liked by the residents, and took in her football-playing nephew, Gary Turner a short time later. After finding the work at the centre too much, and after impressing Annie Walker at the Rovers Return with her cleaning skills, Gertie prepared to leave her job and take on a new role as Annie's housekeeper. She was later poached by rival pub The Flying Horse, and left the centre in July 1974. Stan and Hilda Ogden were offered the post as caretaker, but were let down by the record with Health and Safety, much to Hilda's dismay.

Ena Sharples returned to the centre flat in October 1975, when Alf Roberts offered her the flat, on the understanding she would do minor work at the centre, and cleaners would be employed. Apart from a few breaks staying with her grandson in Hartlepool, Ena enjoyed retirement for the next few years.

In February 1980, Ena was told that the centre was to be modernised and she would need to find alternative accommodation for the time being. She was annoyed that nobody would give her a room, and was grateful when Elsie Tanner took her in. She stayed with Elsie for a few days before going to stay with old friend Henry Foster in St. Annes. Upon her return in March, she was angered that the flat was still not finished, and lodged at No. 1 with Albert Tatlock and Ken Barlow. She eventually decided to leave for St. Annes, and left Coronation Street for the last time.

In September 1981, newlyweds Fred and Eunice Gee were taken on as the new caretakers and moved into the flat. Eunice did the majority of the work, while husband Fred still kept his shifts as barman/potman at the Rovers Return. Eunice's daughter Debbie Nuttall joined them later. Councillor Ben Critchley was is angry at complaints made about the couple, and urged Alf Roberts to fire them. After taking a shine to Eunice, Critchley offered her and Fred jobs at his hotel. Eunice accepted and left the flat and her husband in order to be with Critchley. Fred returned to his room at the pub and a new caretaker was taken on.

Old soldier Percy Sugden took the post as caretaker in August 1983. He brought a military bearing to his new job, as he worked out rotas and guarded the ping-pong bats until they were issued from his lock-up. He also ran a local Home Watch group and started a dance formation troupe, "The Percy Sugden Formation Dancers". In May 1988, after reaching the age of sixty-five, Percy was told by the council that he must give up the post, and despite barricading himself inside the flat, he eventually relented, and left. He later moved across the Street to lodge with Emily Bishop at No. 3.

After the sale of the centre to Maurice Jones in September 1989, along with the centre, the flat was demolished by the bulldozers. On the day of the demolition, former caretaker Percy handed his set of keys to Maurice, who tossed them into the rubble.