Dave Smith's Betting Shop (trading as "Dave Smith Licenced Betting Office") was a Rosamund Street bookies owned and managed by Dave Smith until 1972.


Dave smiths betting shop 1

1969: Dave Smith takes bets

The betting shop was in place by at least 1962, when Elsie Tanner and Dot Greenhalgh had a win on the horses.

Due to his other business concerns, Dave Smith wasn't always in the shop and normally employed two clerks to man the counter. In 1966, Dave did Elsie a favour by hiring Dennis Tanner, but when two thugs from Carlisle, Sid and Geordie, caught up with Dennis at the shop, Dave decided that he was more trouble than he was worth and sacked him.

The shop itself was small, consisting of the main room with the betting counter behind a grille and a private room which Dave used as an office. Although a telephone was installed in the shop, Dave only took bets made in person.

Dave also employed heavies which he had cause to use on occasion. In 1971, Lucille Hewitt was mugged by Frank Bradley while on her way to bank the shop's takings of £435. Lucille had worked for Dave since 1970 following an earlier stint there in 1969. The police initially suspected that Lucille had stolen the money as she had recently been refused a pay rise by Dave, and had gone to the bank without Big Norm. The insurance company paid out but by then Dave had already sacked Lucille and taken on Jackie as her replacement. Frank was never caught by the police but his girlfriend Bet Lynch told Dave that he was the mugger, allowing Dave and his heavies to corner him and administer a beating.

Dave had several critics in Coronation Street, notably its moral guardian Ena Sharples. In 1967, Albert Tatlock was knocked to the floor in the betting shop while breaking up a fight between thugs Phil Ferguson and Eric Briggs. Ena used the incident to drum up support against Dave having his gambling licence renewed, and started a petition which Len Fairclough signed as "Councillor". Dave reached an agreement with Len to keep troublemakers out of the shop in exchange for Len getting Ena to drop her petition - an agreement which forced him to get his hands dirty by thumping Phil and Eric to make sure they never came back.

Two years later, Ena's friend Minnie Caldwell ran up a debt of over £10 at the shop, and ran away when Ena rowed with Dave for "making children starve", causing him to go back on his decision to write off the debt. When Minnie was found safe and well, Dave placed a limit of 50p a week on the pensioner's bets.

In 1972, Dave closed the shop and moved to Birmingham to open a country club. The premises were then demolished. His long-term clerk Ted Loftus went to work for Benny Lewis, who opened a new betting shop in the precinct following a tip from Dave.



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