|Ranking||Character||Played by||Duration||Number of Episodes||Running total||Previous year's ranking|
|1||Annie Walker||Doris Speed||Full year||76||922||1|
|2||Elsie Howard||Patricia Phoenix||Full year||75||900||4|
|3||Stan Ogden||Bernard Youens||Full year||74||518||14|
|4||Len Fairclough||Peter Adamson||Full year except for April||73||879||6|
|5||Ray Langton||Neville Buswell||Full year||69||276||3|
|5||Hilda Ogden||Jean Alexander||Full year||69||524||8|
|7||Bet Lynch||Julie Goodyear||Full year||68||120||17|
|7||Betty Turpin||Betty Driver||Full year||68||186||5|
|9||Emily Nugent||Eileen Derbyshire||Full year||65||605||12|
|9||Ken Barlow||William Roache||Full year||65||759||10|
|11||Lucille Hewitt||Jennifer Moss||Full year||62||598||17|
|12||Maggie Clegg||Irene Sutcliffe||Full year except for October||61||240||9|
|13||Alan Howard||Alan Browning||Full year||58||123||10|
|14||Minnie Caldwell||Margot Bryant||Full year||56||762||15|
|15||Irma Barlow||Sandra Gough||Until July and October to December||53||398||13|
|15||Ena Sharples||Violet Carson||Full year||53||823||2|
|17||Albert Tatlock||Jack Howarth||Full year||51||703||16|
|18||Alf Roberts||Bryan Mosley||February and from May||42||87||-|
|19||Billy Walker||Kenneth Farrington||Until July||40||122||20|
|20||Ernest Bishop||Stephen Hancock||February to September||31||58||28|
|21||Jerry Booth||Graham Haberfield||From October||18||383||-|
|22||Janet Reid||Judith Barker||August and September||11||13||-|
|23||Susan Barlow||Wendy Jane Walker||January to April and September||8||22||26|
|23||Ivy Tilsley||Lynne Perrie||June and November||8||8||-|
|23||Valerie Barlow||Anne Reid||January only||8||632||7|
|26||Peter Barlow||Christopher Dormer and Mark Duncan||January to April and September||7||21||27|
|27||Frank Barlow||Frank Pemberton||February only||1||273||-|
|27||Esther Hayes||Daphne Oxenford||February only||1||63||-|
|27||Mavis Riley||Thelma Barlow||August only||1||1||-|
H.V. Kershaw's seventh stint as producer ended with Episode 1043 on 13th January. Leslie Duxbury, one of Coronation Street's most prolific writers, took the helm for the following 16 episodes after which Kershaw returned, relinquishing the role again with Episode 1131 on 17th November. His successor was Brian Armstrong, a Granada producer who had not previously worked on the programme.
The two-month colour strike was called off on 2nd February when ACTT members accepted the ITV companies' offer of a 4% pay rise. Studio recording then reverted to colour beginning with Episode 1052, transmitted on 15th February, though two further episodes contained pre-filmed monochrome inserts. Episode 1055 on 24th February was the last instalment affected by the strike and the programme has been made in colour ever since.
A new street from the ashes
Anne Reid departed the programme in January after ten years playing Valerie Barlow. As Reid was adamant that she would not be returning, the writers decided to kill off her character, and retain William Roache in order to explore Ken's efforts as a single father. This chapter of Ken's life was brief, as the widower arranged for Peter and Susan Barlow to live with Val's parents in Glasgow in the summer with the intention of sending for them when he re-married. Currently played by Christopher Dormer and Wendy Jane Walker, with Mark Duncan appearing as Peter in one episode in September, the twins appeared only in guest stints for the remainder of the decade and were typically recast with each return appearance.
Frank Pemberton and Daphne Oxenford returned after long absences for Valerie's funeral episode as Frank Barlow as Esther Hayes respectively. According to Pemberton, his comeback was meant to test the waters for further appearances, but the actor died seven weeks after recording his scenes.
As well as writing out Anne Reid, Val's death by accidental electrocution provided a means for the writers to scrap the maisonettes. In their three year history, the maisonettes had barely been featured in the programme and since mid-1969 the Barlows' flat had been the only one occupied. Further, there was a noted lack of workplaces in the show and writers felt that the space occupied by the maisonettes could be put to better use. The decision was taken to demolish the maisonettes and replace them with a Community Centre (and caretaker's flat) and mail-order warehouse, replicating the original layout of the street in 1960. Within storylines, the reason given for the demolition was that Val's death had exposed structural faults in the maisonettes and caused the building to be condemned.
The new structures provided a raft of new storylines which dominated the first half of the year. Once they were built - overcoming fierce opposition from the community in the case of the warehouse - characters old and new gained employment there. Ena Sharples secured the post of Community Centre caretaker with "help" from councillors Len Fairclough and a returning Alf Roberts, who became a regular character ten years to the day after he first appearance in the programme. At the warehouse, Elsie Howard became checking supervisor and Emily Nugent a secretary. Among the staff in Elsie's department were Edna Gee and Ivy Tilsley, who were recurring until 1975. Glamorous and laid back, "Ivy Tyldesley", as she was initially credited, bore little resemblance to the Ivy of later years, with an entirely different backstory.
Other cast changes
In July, Billy Walker returned to London as actor Kenneth Farrington came to the end of his contract, and the Canal Garage was left in the hands of his number two Alan Howard. A storyline in which Alan had an affair with Irma Barlow was meant to follow, and scenes of the pair striking up a close friendship were screened but before the affair could begin properly, actress Sandra Gough absented herself from the programme. Judith Barker was brought back as Janet Reid, an old girlfriend of Len Fairclough's, and the storyline went ahead with Janet in place of Irma with minimal changes to scripts. Gough returned to filming in October, but was dismissed two months later without an on-screen exit. She was later quoted in the press as saying she was tired of playing Irma and kept taking time off to be with her husband, hoping to be sacked.
Meanwhile, Graham Haberfield returned as Jerry Booth three years after the actor quit, Dave Smith was phased out of the programme after appearing on an occasional basis for the past five years, and Thelma Barlow made her debut as dithering warehouse secretary Mavis Riley in a single episode, ahead of a more long-term role in 1973.
The death of Val Barlow was a ratings winner, with the seven episodes beginning with her exit all attracting audiences of more than 18,000,000. Episode 1050, on 8th February, was the highest rated episode of the year with 19.03 million viewers.
The average rating for the year was 15.78 million viewers, half a million down on 1970 but higher than 1968 and 1969 and, in the rest of the decade, beaten only by 1977. Three months gained year-on-year, each by less than 300,000 viewers. All other months dropped, with the biggest loss occurring in July, of nearly two million viewers (the same month in 1970 featured Elsie and Alan Howard's wedding).
Chart positions were similar to recent years. 21 episodes reached number one, a drop of three from 1970, but this would be the last time for eight years that the total of number one placings would exceed 10.
|1||1040||Monday 4th January||Ron McDonnell||Hugh Munro||7,600,000|
|2||1041||Wednesday 6th January||Geoffrey Lancashire||Hugh Munro||7,850,000|
|3||1042||Monday 11th January||Bernard Aspen||Carol Wilks||7,850,000|
|4||1043||Wednesday 13th January||Julian Roach||Carol Wilks||7,850,000|
|5||1044||Monday 18th January||Susan Pleat||Richard Argent||8,150,000|
|6||1045||Wednesday 20th January||Leslie Duxbury||Richard Argent||7,850,000|
|7||1046||Monday 25th January||Malcolm Lynch||Eric Prytherch||7,950,000|
|8||1047||Wednesday 27th January||Julian Roach||Eric Prytherch||8,300,000|
|9||1048||Monday 1st February||Geoffrey Lancashire||Carol Wilks||8,600,000|
|10||1049||Wednesday 3rd February||H.V. Kershaw||Carol Wilks||8,600,000|
|11||1050||Monday 8th February||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||8,650,000|
|12||1051||Wednesday 10th February||Julian Roach||Eric Prytherch||8,350,000|
|13||1052||Monday 15th February||Malcolm Lynch||Hugh Munro||8,300,000|
|14||1053||Wednesday 17th February||Ron McDonnell||Hugh Munro||8,250,000|
|15||1054||Monday 22nd February||Tony Perrin||Desmond McCarthy||8,050,000|
|16||1055||Wednesday 24th February||H.V. Kershaw||Desmond McCarthy||8,200,000|
|17||1056||Monday 1st March||Bernard Aspen||Eric Prytherch||8,300,000|
|18||1057||Wednesday 3rd March||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||8,150,000|
|19||1058||Monday 8th March||Julian Roach||Hugh Munro||8,250,000|
|20||1059||Wednesday 10th March||Malcolm Lynch||Hugh Munro||7,850,000|
|21||1060||Monday 15th March||Susan Pleat||Desmond McCarthy||7,950,000|
|22||1061||Wednesday 17th March||Brian Finch||Desmond McCarthy||7,800,000|
|23||1062||Monday 22nd March||Julian Roach||Eric Prytherch||8,000,000|
|24||1063||Wednesday 24th March||Tony Perrin||Eric Prytherch||8,450,000|
|25||1064||Monday 29th March||Brian Finch||Hugh Munro||7,300,000|
|26||1065||Wednesday 31st March||Malcolm Lynch||Hugh Munro||8,200,000|
|27||1066||Monday 5th April||Susan Pleat||Paul Bernard||7,800,000|
|28||1067||Wednesday 7th April||Geoffrey Lancashire||Paul Bernard||7,850,000|
|29||1068||Monday 12th April||H.V. Kershaw||Desmond McCarthy||5,550,000|
|30||1069||Wednesday 14th April||Leslie Duxbury||Desmond McCarthy||7,750,000|
|31||1070||Monday 19th April||Malcolm Lynch||Eric Prytherch||7,700,000|
|32||1071||Wednesday 21st April||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||6,800,000|
|33||1072||Monday 26th April||Julian Roach||Hugh Munro||7,900,000|
|34||1073||Wednesday 28th April||Susan Pleat||Hugh Munro||6,950,000|
|35||1074||Monday 3rd May||Bernard Aspen||Paul Bernard||7,400,000|
|36||1075||Wednesday 5th May||Leslie Duxbury||Paul Bernard||6,800,000|
|37||1076||Monday 10th May||Julian Roach||Derrick Goodwin||7,250,000|
|38||1077||Wednesday 12th May||Brian Finch||Derrick Goodwin||6,600,000|
|39||1078||Monday 17th May||Malcolm Lynch||Hugh Munro||7,200,000|
|40||1079||Wednesday 19th May||Tony Perrin||Hugh Munro||6,250,000|
|41||1080||Monday 24th May||Julian Roach||Paul Bernard||7,850,000|
|42||1081||Wednesday 26th May||Leslie Duxbury||Paul Bernard||6,250,000|
|43||1082||Monday 31st May||Julian Roach||Eric Prytherch||5,850,000|
|44||1083||Wednesday 2nd June||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||5,750,000|
|45||1084||Monday 7th June||Brian Finch||Hugh Munro||6,600,000|
|46||1085||Wednesday 9th June||Leslie Duxbury||Hugh Munro||6,000,000|
|47||1086||Monday 14th June||Malcolm Lynch||Paul Bernard||7,700,000|
|48||1087||Wednesday 16th June||Tony Perrin||Paul Bernard||6,350,000|
|49||1088||Monday 21st June||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||7,250,000|
|50||1089||Wednesday 23rd June||Tony Perrin||Eric Prytherch||6,450,000|
|51||1090||Monday 28th June||Malcolm Lynch||Colin Cant||6,900,000|
|52||1091||Wednesday 30th June||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||6,200,000|
|53||1092||Monday 5th July||Bernard Aspen||Joe Boyer||6,450,000|
|54||1093||Wednesday 7th July||Leslie Duxbury||Joe Boyer||5,500,000|
|55||1094||Monday 12th July||Barry Hill||Tim Jones||6,550,000|
|56||1095||Wednesday 14th July||Julian Roach||Tim Jones||5,900,000|
|57||1096||Monday 19th July||Leslie Duxbury||Paul Bernard||6,450,000|
|58||1097||Wednesday 21st July||Brian Finch||Paul Bernard||5,550,000|
|59||1098||Monday 26th July||Malcolm Lynch||Colin Cant||6,150,000|
|60||1099||Wednesday 28th July||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Cant||5,650,000|
|61||1100||Monday 2nd August||Susan Pleat||Eric Prytherch||6,100,000|
|62||1101||Wednesday 4th August||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||6,350,000|
|63||1102||Monday 9th August||Tony Perrin||Ronnie Mutch||6,600,000|
|64||1103||Wednesday 11th August||Leslie Duxbury||Ronnie Mutch||6,050,000|
|65||1104||Monday 16th August||Susan Pleat||Colin Cant||6,650,000|
|66||1105||Wednesday 18th August||Malcolm Lynch||Colin Cant||6,250,000|
|67||1106||Monday 23rd August||Bernard Aspen||Tim Jones||6,650,000|
|68||1107||Wednesday 25th August||Brian Finch||Tim Jones||5,950,000|
|69||1108||Monday 30th August||Malcolm Lynch||Eric Prytherch||5,150,000|
|70||1109||Wednesday 1st September||Leslie Duxbury||Roger Tucker||6,200,000|
|71||1110||Monday 6th September||Tony Perrin||Colin Cant||6,750,000|
|72||1111||Wednesday 8th September||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Cant||6,150,000|
|73||1112||Monday 13th September||Barry Hill||Tim Jones||6,450,000|
|74||1113||Wednesday 15th September||Julian Roach||Tim Jones||7,100,000|
|75||1114||Monday 20th September||Susan Pleat||Roger Tucker||6,800,000|
|76||1115||Wednesday 22nd September||Julian Roach||Roger Tucker||6,900,000|
|77||1116||Monday 27th September||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Cant||6,850,000|
|78||1117||Wednesday 29th September||Brian Finch||Colin Cant||6,900,000|
|79||1118||Monday 4th October||Julian Roach||Tim Jones||7,050,000|
|80||1119||Wednesday 6th October||Malcolm Lynch||Tim Jones||7,350,000|
|81||1120||Monday 11th October||Tony Perrin||Roger Tucker||7,100,000|
|82||1121||Wednesday 13th October||Susan Pleat||Roger Tucker||7,650,000|
|83||1122||Monday 18th October||Malcolm Lynch||Colin Cant||7,650,000|
|84||1123||Wednesday 20th October||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||7,450,000|
|85||1124||Monday 25th October||Brian Finch||Eric Prytherch||7,400,000|
|86||1125||Wednesday 27th October||Leslie Duxbury||Eric Prytherch||7,700,000|
|87||1126||Monday 1st November||Barry Hill||Roger Tucker||7,400,000|
|88||1127||Wednesday 3rd November||Brian Finch||Roger Tucker||7,600,000|
|89||1128||Monday 8th November||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Cant||7,400,000|
|90||1129||Wednesday 10th November||Malcolm Lynch||Colin Cant||7,500,000|
|91||1130||Monday 15th November||Julian Roach||Eric Prytherch||7,550,000|
|92||1131||Wednesday 17th November||Bernard Aspen||Eric Prytherch||7,800,000|
|93||1132||Monday 22nd November||Malcolm Lynch||Roger Tucker||7,850,000|
|94||1133||Wednesday 24th November||Brian Finch||Roger Tucker||7,900,000|
|95||1134||Monday 29th November||Tony Perrin||Colin Cant||7,750,000|
|96||1135||Wednesday 1st December||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||7,800,000|
|97||1136||Monday 6th December||Leslie Duxbury||Eric Prytherch||7,550,000|
|98||1137||Wednesday 8th December||Leslie Duxbury||Eric Prytherch||7,750,000|
|99||1138||Monday 13th December||Brian Finch||Desmond McCarthy||7,400,000|
|100||1139||Wednesday 15th December||Bernard Aspen||Desmond McCarthy||7,500,000|
|101||1140||Monday 20th December||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||7,300,000|
|102||1141||Wednesday 22nd December||Barry Hill||Eric Prytherch|
|103||1142||Monday 27th December||Malcolm Lynch||Eric Prytherch|
|104||1143||Wednesday 29th December||Leslie Duxbury||Eric Prytherch|
- The brewery plans to prosecute and Annie Walker is given a date for the court hearing. At the Top Drum pub Stan Ogden overhears Arthur Burrows talking about getting his own back on Annie. Suspecting that he might have had something to do with the gin, he tells Len Fairclough. He and Ray Langton trick Burrows into admitting he watered the gin. They take him to the police and Annie is cleared.
- Stan is annoyed to discover Len and Ray have advertised for a housekeeper in the Corner Shop window. Hilda Ogden is upset when she is told they don't want her any more but Annie agrees to take her back at the Rovers. Len and Ray choose glamorous Gina Fletcher over competent Eileen Hutchinson, even though her cooking is hopeless. The two men climb over each other to please Gina not knowing that she's entertaining her boyfriend Charlie Braddock in No.9 when they're out. Soon after they discover his presence. Gina hands in her notice and quits.
- Elsie Howard is summoned by her boss at Charm Cosmetics, Dawn Painter and told to investigate a badly-performing employee, Mavis Sidlow. She tells Elsie she's had a breakdown after her husband left her. When Elsie tries to plead her case, Painter instructs her to fire Mavis. Elsie refuses to do so and is sacked herself. Mavis reveals to Elsie that her husband left her a year ago - it was only an excuse. Alan Howard is annoyed over Elsie's firing because of his debts. Elsie goes for a job demonstrating equipment in the ironmongery department of Harris and Platt. She takes the job, which entails training in Liverpool and long hours.
- Minnie Caldwell prepares for Handel Gartside's arrival but Albert Tatlock refuses to have a conscientious objector in No.1 but reluctantly agrees when Minnie threatens to return to No.5 with him. However Minnie and Handel find Albert too regimental and they move back to Minnie's. Albert takes the news badly while Minnie worries what Ena Sharples will say when she arrives home. They try to avoid her but she catches them and lectures them about living together.
- Albert confides in Len that he is penniless but Ray jokingly hints to the Ogdens that he is wealthy. Hilda starts to call on Albert and he sets her to work cleaning the house. Stan is confident Albert has hundreds stashed away. Albert enjoys putting Hilda to work until admitting he is penniless. She is furious. Albert advertises for a housekeeper but nobody wants the job.
- The Barlows decide to emigrate to Jamaica when Ken is offered a job there. Val doesn't know how to tell Albert however he raises no objections to their move but says he’s capable of looking after himself and won't live with daughter Beattie Pearson. Val wants to see Edith Tatlock before they leave and they plan to sail from Glasgow. Ken gives Billy the car to sell and receives £130 for it while they pack all of their belongings. Annie lays on a farewell party for them in the Rovers and the residents gather to say goodbye. As Ken waits in the pub, Val gets ready. She tries to mend a plug on a hairdryer and electrocutes herself, starting a fire in the flat by knocking an electric fire into a packing case.
- The firemen arrive to try to save Val. She is rushed to Weatherfield Infirmary but is dead on arrival - electrocuted by the faulty plug. Ray and Lucille Hewitt take the twins to Glasgow as the funeral is held, attended by Frank Barlow, Beattie Pearson, Dave Robbins and Esther Hayes. Afterwards, Ken leaves for Glasgow to be with his children but a worried Edith Tatlock reports that he hasn't arrived. Instead, he has booked into the Baytree Hotel to be alone. Receptionist Yvonne Chappell befriends him. He tells her about Val but says he's not grief stricken. After a couple of days, he phones Edith and tells her he's travelling up.
- The fire exposes structural faults in the Maisonettes. The Council decide to demolish them. Although information is kept secret initially, it is announced that a Community Centre is to be built on the site but Len and Alf Roberts also know that a large mail-order warehouse is also being constructed. Workman Fred Chapman spills the beans and the residents are up in arms, organising a petition in protest.
- Mrs Parsons, Emily Nugent and Minnie hatch a surprise for Ena - a trip to see Tony Parsons' first concert at his music college. Ena thoroughly enjoys the event.
- Handel returns permanently to Whaley Bridge.
- Britain converts to decimal currency, causing some confusion to the residents, especially Minnie.
- Elsie starts demonstrating sandwich makers.
- The Canal Garage lands a new contract, servicing the Mayoral Rolls Royce.
- The brewery opens a new motel and plans to ask Ella Brough, the President of the Licenced Victuallers to formally open it but she can't. Instead one of the two Vice-Presidents - either Annie or Nellie Harvey - must carry out the task. After some plotting and scheming between the two women, Annie is victorious. She goes to the Brookside Motel on the same day that Billy Walker takes Alan, Elsie and Irma Barlow out for a fun drive in the Mayor's Rolls and they accidentally get caught up at events at the Motel, being mistaken for VIP's. Annie is unable to expose them as they have overheard her boasting about the “cocktail lounge” she runs back home. They escape when the real Mayor's party arrives but the Rolls is involved in an accident on the way home when it is hit by a car driven by Tom Hedley.
- Ernie is told by the Mission that if he wants to remain a lay preacher he has to get married but doesn't know how to ask Emily to marry him when the reasons are false. Len tells Emily about Ernie's dilemma. He gives up the Mission but the committee apologises and everything is sorted out to his satisfaction but not Emily's.
- Len rents No.3 out from Audrey Fleming for Ken and the residents prepare it for his homecoming. The Barlows return with Edith but Ken doesn't like the idea of living back in the house he started from and tells Elsie he's still going to Jamaica. However he gets a letter telling him his job at Granston Technical College is still open. Alan makes Ken realise he's going to be lonely and unhappy in Jamaica and he decides not to go.
- The Rolls has to have body work, costing Billy and Alan £75. Hedley demands action over his car and Billy tells Hedley they'll repair it for nothing. Len tells Billy he's been had - Hedley's insurance had run out.
- Ernie has to look after his sister's shop in Barrow-in-Furness for a few weeks. He awkwardly gives Emily his mother's dress ring to act as a bound between them. She is touched by the gesture.
- The residents plan a demo against the warehouse. The women, led by Lucille and Emily, stage a sit in at the building site which becomes violent and Lucille is hurt when a tipper dumps its load on her foot. She is accused of riot in the papers but Maggie Clegg refuses to serve the builders involved. Geoffrey Hunter, a PR man for the Mark Brittain Warehouse company, turns up and tries to win the residents over by promising jobs and custom for local businesses. Emily thinks Ena will side with them when she returns from visiting Henry Foster but she refuses, wanting to look after her own unspecified interests.
- Edith tells Ken she wants to sell up and move to Weatherfield to help him with the twins. Ken is worried that the neighbours are spoiling the twins and employs Margaret Lacey as housekeeper/nanny, upsetting Betty Turpin, who wanted to help and Edith, who returns to Glasgow. Albert is put out when Margaret makes it clear she doesn't want him around the twins. Lucille discovers that Margaret has locked the twins in their room for misbehaving and it triggers a memory of that Margaret once locked her in a coal shed for half a day at the orphanage when they were both there ten years before. Elsie advises Lucille not to say anything. The residents notice the twins are becoming very moody. Margaret recognises Lucille and asks her not to tell Ken about her past. The twins teacher, Mrs Fielding, calls on Ken and tells him the twins have become unruly at school and have become hard. Lucille tells Margaret she's telling Ken but Margaret begs for a second chance.
- Minnie buys a new grate which she can't afford and returns to her bed in a bid to keep warm, locking herself in No.5. Ena makes her accept money from her to buy coal for the new fire.
- Butcher and bowls club member Harold Dewhurst calls on Annie and pays his respects. Harold tells Betty the bowling club need Jack Walker's trophy to bring in funds. Annie gives the trophy to the club when it is named 'The Jack Walker Memorial Cup' and agrees to have dinner with Harold. Annie discovers Harold has a reputation as a womaniser but still goes to the Pack Horse restaurant for a meal with him. Harold asks Annie to go on a cruise with him. Annie is worried about the cost of the cruise but Billy orders her to go. Annie announces her planned cruise in the Mediterranean.
- Stan buys an old motor bike from Billy for £5 but Billy buys it back for £7 as Stan can't shift it.
- Alan meets with a mysterious woman, Barbara Bromley.
- Albert tells Elsie he saw Alan with a woman in a car when they almost ran him over. Elsie talks to Billy about the overtime that Alan is doing but Billy knows nothing about it. Billy tackles Barbara about Alan and warns her off. She tells him Alan only sold her car for her, for which she paid him £25. Billy tells Alan all business should go through the garage books and Alan tells Elsie about the deal.
- Margaret keeps the twins in their room on their birthday when they misbehave. Margaret, Ken, Albert and Lucille throw a party for them. Lucille is about to tell Ken about Margaret's history at the orphanage, but she does so herself, promptly resigning as she feels she won't be trusted again. Ken takes Bet Lynch on to look after the twins. She alters her hours at the Rovers so she can have the days free, annoying Lucille who thinks she's being given favourtism by Billy.
- Ray and Irma decide to teach Stan a lesson when they discover he sleeps in a van during his night watchman's work at Hulmes Bakery. Ray drives the van, with Stan asleep inside, onto waste land where Stan is picked up by the police. He is sacked from the Bakery and swears vengeance on Ray when he finds he is responsible, even though he has given him a job at the Yard, however with a 20% pay cut. He tracks Ray down but he escapes into the ladies at the Rovers. Stan breaks the door down but Ray escapes through the window. Ray is trapped in the yard and begs for mercy. Stan lets him off because he's sprained his wrist jumping out the window. Annie returns from her cruise during the altercation and bars Stan from the Rovers but she has to lift it when he repairs the ladies' door. Stan gives Ray the run around at the Yard, taking advantage of him.
- Minnie refuses to be bullied by Ena into spring-cleaning No.5 and relaxes on the Bank Holiday. Ena does the cleaning for her.
- Maggie and Irma ask Emily to go through their books for them and see if they can get more profits out of the business but she discovers they owe £132.30.
- Emily sends the wrong caption details into the Weatherfield Gazette with a wedding photograph. Ernie returns and is forced to pay out for a wedding dress over the photo mix-up when the bride's mother Mrs Waldron complains and threatens legal action.
- Teacher Olive Rowe throws herself at Ken, using her friendship with Emily and Ernie to get closer to him. Emily feels used by Olive and snubs her. Ken puts Olive in her place by saying that he couldn’t replace Val.
- Betty and Billy wonder what happened on Annie's cruise when the lady herself remains circumspect on the subject. Elsie tells Hilda she saw Harold Dewhurst with another woman. Annie refuses to tell Billy about the cruise.
- Albert refuses to fill his census form in and annoys everyone with his constant complaints on the subejct.
- Ernie reveals that Elsie has landed the job of supervisor at the newly-opening warehouse, annoying Hilda who hopes for a job there herself.
- Elsie refuses to take Hilda on as a checker at the warehouse. Personnel Manager Edward Pollard requests a reference from Miami Modes from Elsie and she realises someone has told him about the 1969 court case. He tells her he can't employ her. Hilda admits she told Pollard about Elsie's court case. Maggie and Betty turn against Hilda for sneaking on Elsie. Alan sees Pollard and tells him about the case but he refuses to take Elsie back and insults Alan, saying he’s not going to be lectured to by a bankrupt. Elsie goes for a job at Stella Randell's Carousel Club, but she is too much like Stella herself and is turned down. Annie and Maggie put their case to warehouse manager Dennis Maxwell on Elsie's behalf and he decides to take her on.
- Ray is fed up with Stan messing up jobs. He gets him to work at 19 Inkerman Street and then threatens to tell Hilda that he's seeing Clara Regan. Stan has no choice but to buckle under.
- Albert wants to decorate No.1 but can't afford it. Billy agrees to pay for the material when Bet offers to do the decorating but Albert fusses over his choice of paper, exasperating Bet. Albert tells her not to bother - he'll do it himself.
- Edith turns up unexpectedly from Glasgow and catches Bet dressing at No.3. She tells her that her services are no longer required. Len and Edith talk Ken into going to the opening night of the Carousel with him and Ray. Ken gets drunk there and has to be taken home by barmaid Candy Brown to be greeted by a furious Edith. She tells Ken she's going to the Town Hall to ask for custody of the twins as he's not fit to bring them up. Ken persuades her to cancel her appointment and they both take the twins to Glasgow to talk it out between them.
- Ena relies on Ernie and Alf to stand by her over the job of caretaker at the new centre. Ena has her interview and Alf and Ernie vote for her but the others of the committee don't. Ena gets it out of Alf that Hetty Thorpe is the successful candidate and she orders Minnie to invite Hetty to tea. Ena turns up and tells Hetty tales of vandals and the roughness of the area. Scared, Hetty turns down the job and Ena takes it. Minnie is disgusted at Ena's treatment of Hetty. No one can help Ena move into the flat from the camera shop so she gets Dirty Dick to move her in his cart. However the wheel comes off in the Street and the residents are forced to help her move after all.
- Harold Dewhurst calls on Annie and they laugh about the way they both fell for others on the cruise. Harold later turns up at the Rovers with a woman. Billy throws them out. Harold and his son John turn up and angrily explain that the woman was John's wife. Annie tells Billy that on the cruise she ditched Harold for a Mr Chambers and spent her time with him.
- Irma confuses two Warehouse storemen, Bob Skelton and Keith Mason, as to whether she is French, Irish or Spanish. An amused Ray asks her to pretend to be French again for a date with a business friend of his, Mel Ryan, helping to charm him and seal a deal. Unknown to the two of them, Mel arranges with a real French girl, Francoise Dubois, to join the party.
- Emily feels she can't go on working with Ernie once they are married as they would be under each others feet and successfully applies for a job at the Warehouse.
- Ray and "Irma Barlot" arrive at the Carousel Club to be greeted by Mel and Francoise. As the evening wears on, Irma desperately tries to hide her real nationality. Ray gets a confession out of Mel that his business has been chosen because of a supposed reputation for shoddiness and cheap prices. A fight breaks out which Irma and Francoise join in. Ray ends up with a black eye and a £50 bill for damages from Stella.
- Ena has a flat-warming party, glad to be back in Coronation Street.
- Election night for the Centre committee takes place at which the residents from Victoria Street clash with the Street's residents. Arnold Sheppard is elected chairman by one vote over Ernie. Emily is voted secretary, Mr Barton is treasurer. The committee members are Alf, Emily and Maude Braddock.
- Irma wonders if she can find her lost earring in the Mayoral Rolls when the Mayor arrives to open the Centre. She manages to do so but raises the suspicions of the Mayoress who thinks she's her husband's fancy piece. The day is almost a disaster when Emily forgets to order the food for the opening and the residents have to hurriedly make sandwiches.
- Tired of a lack of respect from his bosses, Stan tells Len and Ray he wants what he's entitled to as a working man and his employment put on a proper footing. They tell him he'd better form his own union and Ray even suggests the name: Stanley Ogden District Union. Ken realises it spells SODU and on his advice Stan renames himself the Stanley Ogden Labour Organisation - SOLO. The Ogdens call in Unionist Charlie Dickinson to negotiate for him. Charlie tells Len and Ray that Stan must have more money. They agree to pay him £1 over the union rate. Hilda then discovers he was already on £2 over the rate so he's effectively agreed to a pay cut.
- Annie tries to match-make between Billy and an old schoolfriend of his named Lorna Shawcross who he's not seen since she was a little girl. Billy isn't interested before he sees the attractive grown-up woman. He courts her but then finds out she is engaged to man who is coming home from Zambia.
- Warehouse checkers Ivy Tilsley and Edna Gee think there's something going on between Elsie and Dennis Maxwell. He starts taking Elsie out for 'business' lunches. Alan hears about it and tells Elsie it's okay so long as everything is above board. Dennis tells Elsie of his dishonest schemes for defrauding the company, using his position of authority. He asks her to join him, thinking she was guilty all the time of her 1969 shoplifting charge and will be happy to join him in his plan. Elsie indignantly refuses. Maxwell and Elsie hear that director Marcus Berlin is visiting the warehouse and he thinks she's betrayed him but during the visit Maxwell's promotion away from the area is announced.
- Alf announces a flower show at the Centre but Ena refuses to have it because of her supposed hay fever but is overruled. George Greenwood, Assistant parks superintendent comes to assist Ena. A shocked Hilda comes face to face with him again.
- Ken gets a letter and photos from the twins who are settling down well in Glasgow.
- Billy secures a loan to buy into a Chiswick business. He plans to let Alan run the Canal Garage but Alan tells him he wants a partnership and a share of the profits. They agree on £5 a week more plus 15% of the profits. Billy packs for and leaves for London.
- Alf asks Emily to judge wines at the flower show. She accepts when he allows Ernie to exhibit his photographs in a Town Hall competition although she worries about getting drunk on the wine. Stan meets George and they get on well. Stan nicks an orchid from the park and enters it in the show, telling Hilda that he's bound to win as her fancy man is the judge. Maggie bakes a cake for Ray to enter, not knowing what he's up to. On the day, Minnie gets drunk helping Alf test the beer while Emily does get drunk on the wine. Len is horrified to learn that he has won the cake decorating competition and realises Ray has set him up. George recognises the orchid as one of his own, to Hilda's shame. Hilda is sad that she has to stay with Stan and not George.
- An anonymous cartoonist has drawn cartoons of the judges for the Gazette - Annie is horrified at hers and tries, in vain, to find out who drew them, threatening legal action. Hilda raises suspicions about both Emily and Ken but it is Emily who finds some cartoon sketches in Ernie's drawer at the studio. He admits that he drew them and tells her he's landed a contract to do more. Pushed by Emily, Ernie tells the residents he did the cartoons. Annie and Emily call them offensive however a friend asks Annie for the original of hers and Annie she decides she's flattered after all.
- Emily finishes with Ernie over his deceit with the cartoons. She returns his dress ring, not knowing he has an engagement ring for her. They split for a short while, with Maggie and Betty trying to reconcile them. They finally are when she finds him trying to cope without her at a wedding shoot.
- Dave Robbins and Ken meet up again and form their old band with drummer Tim Wade joins Ken and Dave. Albert complains about the noise and is insulted by Ken. Beattie complains to the police about them and PC Dancy investigates however he is a guitar player and sides with Ken. The trio disbands when Tim and Dave take on another trumpeter to play in pubs.
- Beattie Pearson is worried as husband Norman Pearson starts to go out a lot, ignoring her nagging. Albert tells Beattie to take a firm stand with him but when she threatens to leave him, she's forced to carry out her threat and dumps herself on a horrified Albert. They are reconciled when she realises how much she needs him round the house and she agrees he can go out when and where he likes.
- Hilda discovers Betty has had a shower installed and tells Stan she wants one. Len puts her off a shower by telling her it would cost almost £300 and a fitting charge.
- Alan and Irma flirt with each other heavily.
- Ena goes to St. Annes and her stand in, Nancy Crossley proves to be very efficient. Len reveals that Ena's job is on the line.
- The Ogdens have a colour television delivered which Hilda delights in showing off as it's the first in the street, however they are unable to keep up the payments and it's repossessed. Hilda tries to hide the fact from the neighbours.
- Emily and Ernie decide to get engaged but Ernie discovers he has lost the ring. He suspects that Stan sold the ring to pay for the TV and accuses him outright. Hilda discovers it in the turn-up of Stan's trousers and Stan gives it back. Emily gets her bottom drawer ready while Ena and Lucille prepare the Community Centre for a party to celebrate both the engagement and Ernie's birthday. The residents and Emily's co-worker from the warehouse, Mavis Riley, celebrate. Annie refuses to attend as they didn't hold the party at the Rovers.
- Ena is told she has to be careful not to overstep the line at the Centre. She says she wants a job description. Alf, Len and Ena hold a meeting to establish what is expected of her but she runs rings round them as they are unprepared and don't even know what her hours are. She demands five days notice for preparation of any social events
- Annie celebrates her birthdays. Nellie Harvey tries to find out how old she is.
- Irma is rushed into hospital with appendicitis. Maggie takes unemployed Janet Reid on at the shop and she moves into the flat whilst she's working there. She and Alan are attracted to each other. Janet's ex-colleague Colin Harvey turns up after a job at the warehouse but instead Alan takes him on at the garage. He also fancies Janet. Maggie warns Alan off Janet. and he realises he's going to have an affair with her. They exchange a kiss. With relations strained between him and Elsie, Alan goes to Leeds, on business. She feels he just wants to get away from her. Janet tells Maggie she wants the day off to visit her sister Helen but instead rings Alan's hotel in Leeds and books herself in. Alan gets together with ex-wife Laura in Leeds. Janet arrives at the hotel and the two of them stay overnight, returning the next day.
- Alf and Maggie get closer when he agrees to paint her ceiling and takes her to the pictures. Betty advises Maggie not to see too much of him as he's married.
- Emily starts preparing Ernie's Eccles home as their new home. Ernie cuts his sister Edie Burgess's allowance down from £4 to £2 a week and she and her grasping hypochondriac husband Sidney turn up to complain. Edie accuses Emily of robbing her but stands firm against them. Norah Seddon turns up to give her sister Emily a present of a teapot but breaks it whilst rowing with Ernie. Ernie throws them out.
- Willie Piggott wants Ernie to go abroad for a month to take photographs for his travel brochures. Ernie realises the opportunity is too great to miss. He tells Ernie he has to go with model Sheila Miller. Emily is alarmed when she meets the glamourous girl.
- Piggott points out to Emily that he chose Ernie because he is moral. Emily sees Ernie and the models off.
- Helen Ormerod, Janet's sister, arrives to see her and news leaks out that Janet didn't visit her recently as she claimed. Janet confesses to Len that she and Alan spent the night together at the hotel. Elsie forgets a dress for Betty from the warehouse and in anger Betty tells her about the affair. Elsie confronts Alan. He tells her Janet followed him to Leeds but nothing happened. Elsie confronts Janet who breaks down, telling her all she wants is someone of her own. Elsie tells Janet that Alan is hers and she's going to fight for him. They shock the residents by drinking together before Elsie makes sure she leaves the area.
- Dave Smith refuses to give Lucille a pay rise. Lucille goes to the bank on her own with the £435 takings and is mugged. She is taken to Weatherfield Infirmary with bruises, shock and slight concussion. Det Sgt Sharp suspects Lucille of being in on the robbery. Lucille reveals that after the attack she heard someone say her name. Dave sacks Lucille. Bet bumps into Frank Bradley and when he asks about Lucille she realises he mugged her. Lucille recognises Frank's voice but he and Bet deny all knowledge of the attack. Bet is confused about how Frank feels about her, but realises she wants him out of her life. She phones Dave and tells him Frank will be in her flat the next day. She then has a change of heart and warns Frank but it is too late; Dave and his men arrive and advise her to leave while they deal with him.
- Irma convalesces in Llandudno.
- Ray and Len refuse to let Stan do a job because they don't think he's capable. Minnie advises Stan to show Len and Ray how skilled he is by building a serving hatch in No.13. He does so using the plans for a work's canteen and the hole takes on gigantic proportions. Hilda returns and loves it.
- Ken gets a job at the Centre teaching immigrants.
- Dave wants to pay for a treat to take Minnie to Blackpool on her birthday but Ena refuses to go with her on money obtained from gambling. Minnie calls her a bigot and goes with Dave, visiting the bingo parlour, much to Dave's embarrassment, and wins a tea set. Minnie and Dave paddle in the sea and see Ken with the twins and Yvonne Chappell.
- Lucille goes for a job at the warehouse and gives Emily as a referee. Emily tells Lucille she can't recommend her for a job because she shouldn't have taken the money on her own. Annie is worried as Lucille can't find a job.
- Minnie catches a chill from her paddle and takes to her bed. Ena blames Dave Smith for her condition.
- Lucille goes for a job at a travel agents but is too late to get it. She then gets a job at a button factory but doesn't want it as there are no perks. Emily and Betty grow annoyed at Lucille's workshy attitude and Annie demands she pay the normal rate for rent. Her dole is stopped as she keeps refusing jobs.
- Ken shows Yvonne around the Street. Elsie warns Ken that people are talking about him. Ken offers to take Yvonne to Glasgow to meet the twins but she tells him she's not a substitute for Val - he has to decide what he wants. Yvonne doesn't want to commit herself but agrees to see more of Ken. Yvonne and Ken start afresh, getting to know each other. Ken decides to go to Glasgow to see the twins where he decides to let them stay there for the foreseeable future. Ken takes Yvonne on a picnic on the canal and asks her to marry him. Yvonne would have liked to have married him but doesn't feel she can be a replacement for Val.
- Lucille bumps into Jerry at the labour exchange. Len is horrified to hear from her that he is out of work and wants him back at the Yard but Ray doesn't think they've got enough work. Len offers to let Jerry to live at No.9 for £3 a week, full board, but Jerry insists on paying the correct rate of £4.
- Irma returns from Llandudno, pleased to be back home.
- Ena double books Ken and Albert's classes at the Centre. Albert interrupts Ken's lesson for immigrant children and tells the entranced youngsters about Remembrance Sunday. Albert's own gardening lecture goes wrong when attendee Trevor Parkin keeps correcting him.
- When Stan skives off work constantly, Len and Ray decide to sack him and replace him with Jerry, who doesn't feel he has the right to take his job. Hilda catches wind of what's happening and throws accusations in Jerry's direction. Stan and drinking pal Jim Stoker rile Jerry in the Rovers for sucking up to Len. After a constant barrage of insults, a fight breaks out and Jerry knocks Jim unconscious. He is arrested for assault and goes to court where he pleads guilty to assault. Bet and Len are called to give evidence at the court case. The magistrates conditionally discharge a penitent Jerry for twelve months.
- A report in the paper says Ernie has been arrested after an “orgy on a Spanish beach”.
- Annie and Emily discover that Ernie is being charged with offending against the public morality. Piggott foots the bill to send Emily to Spain, on the condition she sends back the photographs he has taken on his shoots. After an absence of several days Annie is worried when she doesn't hear from Emily and goes to the consul Juan Arrabal. She learns from him that Ernie is in prison in Santa Eulalia and has three regular women visitors. Emily returns from Spain and reports that the authorities have agreed that Ernie is innocent but they need to go through the formalities before he is released. Ernie is duly released and is on his way home via Malta.
- With Len away, Ray takes Jerry on at the Yard.
- The Ogdens go after another colour television on credit. It is refused and Stan discovers they are on a credit blacklist.
- BBC Manchester interview Albert about the Great War and insists on saying what he wants to say, despite interruptions from Minnie. Unable to listen to the programme on their own radios, they go to Grimethorpe's electricals shop in Victoria Street to listen to the interview.
- Maggie has a visitor when Jennifer Swann turns up from London and tells her she's engaged to Gordon. Maggie is put out by the way Jennifer looks down at her and Gordon's background. Ray recognises Jennifer from his youth in the back streets of Burnley and thinks Gordon ought to be warned that Jennifer is a gold digger. Maggie decides not to tell him, thinking her drive and ambition might be good for him.
- Elsie is put up for promotion in Solihull, though Alan is unhappy, especially when he hears that Dennis Maxwell is the manager there. He tells her that if she goes to Solihull she goes on her own. Elsie slowly wins Alan round to the idea of moving but decides not to go and turns the job down. She then discovers that Maxwell is going to Australia and Marcus Berlin recommended her.
- Irma takes on Stan's debt to Dave but is finding it hard to pay him back. Dave insists that Stan pays it. Hilda is delighted when she wins £500 on the premium bonds.
- Irma gets a new boyfriend but keeps quiet about his identity. He turns up and it is Weatherfield County FC's star footballer Eddie Duncan. The men watch Eddie play, unhappy about his performance on the pitch. Eddie agrees to have tea with the Ogdens but before meeting him Stan insults his playing to his face - not knowing who he is. Eddie makes his peace with him.
- Lucille gets a job at the Aquarius disco pub but tells Annie she's on the night shift at the YWCA. Nellie Harvey spots Lucille and lures Annie to the Aquarius. Annie is horrified to see Lucille dancing there and insists that she resigns. Lucille drafts a letter of resignation to the Aquarius bosses, Newton and Ridley, expressing Annie's dislike of disco pubs. Annie backs down, knowing that her bosses won't take kindly to her views.
- Alf tells Ken he should apply for the vacant Deputy Head teaching post at Bessie Street School.
- Stan tells Hilda they should pay Dave back wit her winnings though he is strongly tempted by the sight of £500 cash in his hand. While Hilda decides to spend it, Stan tells Dave about the money and agrees to pay back the majority of their loan. Hilda couldn't spend the money so Dave is paid and the Ogdens go shopping with the remaining £95 and buys a string of useless items including a cocktail bar. To stock it, Hilda buys a set of miniatures and a book on cocktails. Stan gets fed up with them and, well before Christmas, Hilda drinks them all with Albert and Minnie. Stan is forced to sell the cocktail bar in order to buy more drinks for the festive season.
- Ray organises a go-go evening at the Rovers when Annie is absent for the night. Lucille and Bet dance and manage to finish quickly when Annie returns unexpectedly.
- Len tells Irma that Eddie is getting too old for football when he is dropped from a match. Irma tries to take better care of him as Dave wants him kept refreshed for the evening before a cup tie but he takes her to a party in Liverpool. The next day, Eddie isn't on form and County lose 2-nil. Dave blames Eddie and Irma disappears to stay with a friend, unable to take the pressure. Eddie goes out with Bet instead but can't control his drinking. The men grow disappointed with Eddie but County win 3-2 with Eddie scoring all the goals. Dave transfers Eddie to Torquay United F.C.. Eddie asks Bet to go with him but she refuses as she knows football is more important to him than she is.
- Emily is upset when the camera shop front is smashed by hooligans and resigns from the warehouse in order to look after the it. Annie, Lucille, Ena and Minnie throw a tea party for her to cheer her up on what should have been her wedding day.
- Len gets a phone call from a woman and tells Ray he's taking a couple of weeks off.
- Elsie wants to spend Christmas in a Blackpool hotel. Alan agrees but then has to cancel as a customer's vans need MOT's. As Laura is going to the Mediterranean for Christmas, Alan invites Mark to stay without checking with Elsie who goes berserk. Alan decides he's had enough of her temper and leaves. The two have a miserable Christmas apart.
- Maggie is amazed when Lucille steps in to help her out at the shop.
- Annie puts fellow landladies Nellie Harvey and Kitty Stonely out by expressing an interest in their RNLI Boxing Day charity ball at the Windermere Rooms when they try to hide the event from her. Ena sorts Bet and Betty out so Annie can go. Annie is the belle of the ball but doesn't like the coarseness of comic Bernard Manning. Kitty and Nellie look on enviously as Lt Commander Gerald Prince dances the night away with her.
- Ken upsets Albert by going to Glasgow for Christmas but Ena takes him in. Ken returns and is successful for the position at Bessie Street.
Who lives where
- Rovers Return Inn - Annie Walker, Lucille Hewitt and Emily Nugent. Billy Walker (until August). Lorna Shawcross (June only).
- 1 Coronation Street - Albert Tatlock. Minnie Caldwell (until January)
- 3 Coronation Street - Ken Barlow (from March onwards). Peter and Susan Barlow (March to May).
- 5 Coronation Street - Minnie Caldwell (from January). Handel Gartside (from January to February).
- 9 Coronation Street - Len Fairclough and Ray Langton. Jerry Booth (from October onwards).
- 11 Coronation Street - Elsie and Alan Howard.
- 13 Coronation Street - Stan and Hilda Ogden.
- Corner Shop (No.15) - Maggie Clegg
- Corner Shop Flat (No.15a) - Irma Barlow (until August and from October to December). Janet Reid (August and September only).
- Maisonettes: No. 14 - Ken, Valerie, Peter and Susan Barlow (January only).
- Community Centre flat - Ena Sharples (May onwards)
|Coronation Street in the 1970s|
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