In the corner shop at the end of Coronation Street in the town of Weatherfield, Lancashire, new owner Florrie Lindley takes over from Elsie Lappin who is retiring but staying on a short while to show her the ropes. Elsie advises her to allow some customers tick but not the Tanners from No.11. In that house, Elsie Tanner confronts her son, Dennis, about 2/- missing from her purse. Dennis has been struggling to get a job since getting out of prison but Elsie accuses him of not trying hard enough. She wishes they were more like the respectable Barlow family at No.3. At that house however, student son Ken is in conflict with his postman father Frank who thinks he's being a snob about their working class habits. Ida is interested in a girl Ken's meeting but Frank objects to his plan to take her to the Imperial Hotel where Ida works in the kitchens. Second son David comes home from his work as an engineering apprentice and learns about the row. Ken takes refuge in the pub on the end corner, the Rovers Return Inn, where he gives Dennis a packet of cigarettes when landlady Annie Walker refuses him credit for them. Elsie's tempestuous married daughter Linda Cheveski is visiting for a week from Warrington. She tells her mother that she was the one who borrowed the 2/- from her purse. Elsie realises Linda has left her Polish husband Ivan after another row. Elsie promises to look for a job for her but is dubious that the split is permanent. Florrie serves her most difficult customer: Ena Sharples, the outspoken and fearsome caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall which sits opposite the shop on the street. Frank helps David fix the flat tyre of his bicycle on the living room carpet while Ken is next door at No.1 chatting to pensioner Albert Tatlock. He tells Albert that his friend, Susan Cunningham, will be on her way to the hotel by now and it's too late to change his plan. He tells Albert that he doesn't want Susan to see where he comes from. Albert accuses him of becoming a snob. They are interrupted by Ida who tells them that Susan has turned up unannounced at their house. Despite her background, Susan is a down-to-earth girl who gets on well with Frank and David. Ken walks in and finds her waiting for him in the very place he didn't want her to see.
- Elsie Tanner - Patricia Phoenix
- Dennis Tanner - Philip Lowrie
- Linda Cheveski - Anne Cunningham
- Frank Barlow - Frank Pemberton
- Ida Barlow - Noel Dyson
- Kenneth Barlow - William Roache
- David Barlow - Alan Rothwell
- Florrie Lindley - Betty Alberge
- Ena Sharples - Violet Carson
- Annie Walker - Doris Speed
- Albert Tatlock - Jack Howarth
- Elsie Lappin - Maudie Edwards
- Susan - Patricia Shakesby
- Christine Farrar - Jennifer Moss (Uncredited)
- Coronation Street - See notes
- Rovers Return Inn - Public/snug
- 1 Coronation Street - Back room and kitchen
- 3 Coronation Street - Back room and kitchen
- 11 Coronation Street - Back room, hallway and back yard
- Corner Shop
- Stuart Latham began his stint as the programme's first producer, relinquishing the role with Episode 60 on 10th July 1961.
- The serial's first title sequence is a simple shot of Archie Street in Ordsall, the real-world inspiration for the architecture and layout of Coronation Street. The sequence was used until Episode 336 (2nd March 1964).
- The full exterior is not seen in this episode, nor would it be for the majority of the 1960s episodes with no outdoor set until the Grape Street set was erected and seen in Episode 770 (1st May 1968) and limited location filming and studio space prior to that. In this episode, the front of the corner shop and the doorway of the Rovers Return Inn are seen as studio sets while the front doors of Numbers 1 and 11 are seen by way of photocaptions, probably taken on the real-life Archie Street.
- Jennifer Moss, uncredited, provides the voice of Christine Farrar, an off-screen girl who gives cheek to Elsie Tanner when she tells her off for playing in her back yard. The reason for this "appearance" was to give the sixteen-year-old Moss experience of a television studio (and in this instance a live production) before her proper debut in Episode 4 on 21st December. For the same reason, she provides the voice of Sandra Haddon in Episode 2 on 14th December.
- Although Elsie Lappin is the first credited character to speak, two schoolgirls are seen singing outside the corner shop as the episode begins. One of girls is played by Lyn Paul, later a singer with the group "The New Seekers" . One year later in December 1961, under her real name of Linda Belcher she appeared as one of several credited children in two episodes.
- For the first episode, Tony Warren takes some measures to give viewers an idea of the layout of the Street as well as help them remember which characters live in which houses. Scenes inside the Rovers, No.1, No.11 and the corner shop are preceded by a glimpse of the appropriate front door, with the house number prominently displayed. Also, Elsie Lappin warns Florrie Lindley about "the Tanners at Number 11", and Dennis suggests Elsie wishes he was more like "Kenneth Barlow at Number 3". Later in the episode, Ena Sharples introduces herself to Florrie and affirms that the Glad Tidings Mission Hall is across the Street.
- The episode ends with a caption which reads "Next Episode: Wednesday 14th December 7pm". Captions of a similar nature continued until Episode 91 (25th October 1961) with only Episode 98 (20th November 1961) carrying one thereafter.
- TV Times synopsis: "Every front door hides a story. In this new twice weekly serial there are seven front doors and more than 20 interesting people. Come down Coronation-street on Wednesdays and Fridays and join the neighbours."
- The episode was broadcast live from Studio 2 at Granada Television's Quay Street studios in Manchester at 7.00pm. Fifteen minutes after the episode went out (i.e. at 7.45pm), Episode 2 was videotaped. This pattern (of a live Friday episode and a videotaped Wednesday episode) would be repeated until 3rd February 1961. The following Friday, an industrial dispute prevented the transmission of a live episode.
- The programme was broadcast in the following ITV regions - North of England (Granada), London (Associated Rediffusion), Central Scotland (Scottish Television), Wales and West of England (Television Wales and the West), Southern and South-East England (Southern Television), Northern Ireland (Ulster Television) and East of England (Anglia Television). It was not broadcast by Tyne Tees Television in the North-East of England or ATV in the Midlands (Tyne Tees would start broadcasting the programme with Episode 14 (25th January 1961) and ATV with Episode 25 (6th March 1961)).
- Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 3,501,000 homes (chart placing unknown).
- The episode had its first repeat, and its first transmission on Tyne Tees Television, on Friday 10th February 1961. This unscheduled transmission was caused by a strike at Granada which began at 4.20pm on Thursday 9th February and which was in protest at a letter to seven men by an engineer in charge of them in which he expressed his disappointment that they refused to work an extra two-and-three-quarter hours on a play whose recording had overrun. The strike ended at 5.25pm the following day but the second episode of a film entitled Variety Jubilee and the scheduled episode of the Street, both due to be transmitted that evening, were affected. In the place of the latter, Granada repeated Episode 1 to give, as a spokesman said, "a glimpse of how it started to viewers who missed the early episodes." This repeat was seen in 5,153,000 homes (chart placing unknown).
- The episode had its second repeat (and its first-ever airing in the regions covered by ATV, Westward Television, Grampian Television, Border Television and Channel Television) on Monday 4th May 1981 at 10.15pm at the start of a week of repeats celebrating Granada's 25th anniversary. The repeat of this episode in the Granada region contained all the original adverts from the 1960 airing. This repeat was not aired by Ulster Television or Anglia Television. This repeat was seen by 9,257,000 viewers (chart placing unknown but outside the top twenty). The other episodes repeated in the week were Episode 16 (the 1961 gas leak), Episode 375 (Emily Nugent jilts Leonard Swindley), Episode 668 (the viaduct collapse), Episode 702 (Elsie marries Steve Tanner) and Episode 923 (the coach crash in the Lake District) although these repeats were not screened in all of the ITV regions (see individual episode entries for details).
- The episode was given a third (and fully networked) repeat on Sunday, 2nd December 1990 at 7.15pm, exactly one week before the one-and-a-half hour, thirtieth anniversary special Happy Birthday Coronation Street. It had a specially recorded introduction by William Roache partially set in Studio 2 of the Granada Television studios where transmission had taken place thirty years before and achieved an audience of 12,070,000 viewers, placing it 23rd in the week's viewing charts.
- The episode was repeated for the fourth time (and again fully networked) on Friday, 8th December 2000 at 7.00pm as part of the programme's fortieth-anniversary celebrations. This repeat started one hour before transmission of the live anniversary episode and achieved an audience of 10,690,000 viewers, placing it 13th in the week's viewing charts.
- The episode was repeated for a fifth time on Monday 6th December 2010 on ITV1 as part of the series' 50th anniversary celebrations. Transmission took place at 8.00pm between Episode 7483 and Episode 7484. Slight edits were made to the episode, particularly in a scene between Ida and David Barlow to cut down the running time. The audience this time (against an episode of EastEnders on BBC1) was 6,740,000 viewers and was placed 26th in the charts. This version was repeated on ITV2 on Saturday 11th December 2010 at 4.00pm and on 25th December 2010 at 12.30pm.
- This is the only episode to have had five repeats on terrestrial television, followed by Episode 702 (6th September 1967) which has had three terrestrial repeats.
- A further repeat took place on Monday 12th September 2016 when the episode was shown at 9.05pm on STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh, two freeview channels serving the main Scottish cities.
- This episode was added to streaming service BritBox in late 2020 under the Coronation Street: Greatest Episodes banner and included an introduction by William Roache.
- A repeat took place on ITV3 on Monday 7th December 2020 at 10.00pm to mark the programme's sixtieth anniversary. This was part of a sequence of episodes shown which had originally been transmitted on or near every tenth anniversary of the show.
This episode was included on the following commercial releases:
- The Magic of Coronation Street released by Granada Video on 16th November 1982.
- Coronation Street 1961 released by Granada and Windsong Video on 5th November 1990.
- Coronation Street - The Early Days released by Granada video on 7th May 2001.
- The Network DVD collection Coronation Street: The Best of 1960-1969, released on 31st July 2006.
- The Golden Anniversary DVD Collection, released by ITV Home Entertainment on 11th October 2010. Also available as part of the Stars of the Street - 50 Years, 50 Classic Characters DVD set released on the same day.
Elsie Lappin: "Now the next thing you've got to do is to get a signwriter in - that thing above the door'll have to be changed." (First line spoken in series)
Elsie Tanner: (looking in mirror) "Ee, Elsie, you're just about ready for the knacker yard."
Elsie Tanner: "Well, they're nothin' all that marvellous, yer know."
Linda Cheveski: "What?"
Elsie Tanner: "Well, yer legs. I'm afraid you've got the Tanner side of the family to thank for that. Yer know, without a word of a lie, yer grandma Tanner were that bandy she couldn't have stopped a pig in an entry."
Ena Sharples: "What's your place of worship?"
Florrie Lindley: "I don't really do much about it."
Ena Sharples: "Oh, I know, C of E."
Florrie Lindley: "Oh I wouldn't say I was anythin' really..."
Ena Sharples: (interrupting) "Oh, it's like me sister's husband. You know he were made head of the plumbing where they live and it give her ideas. She said, "We're civic dignitaries now, we must head for t'church". Within a week they were received, christened and confirmed and within a fortnight she was sitting up all night sewing surplices. I'll tek a packet o' baking powder."
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