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Doreen Braithwaite was a friend of Alma Sedgewick who looked after Jim's Cafe for two weeks in August 1984 while Alma was in America with her "fancy man".

Friendly and approachable, while disliking the work itself, she told Gail Potter that she had spoken to Alma on the phone the previous evening and had been told that she didn't know when she was returning and was consequently offering a surprised Gail the job of full-time manageress. Gail liked the idea but chauvinist husband Brian Tilsley objected, saying his garage business came first. Doreen pointed out that if no one could be found to take the position, the cafe might have to close. This alarmed Gail who realised she would then be totally out of work. She and Brian rowed about the matter with the result that he told her to take the job if she wanted, but he refused to offer her his support.

The next morning, Doreen was delighted that Gail had accepted the position, wished her luck, and promptly left her to it.

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