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Esther helps Nancy with the housework at No.3. She warns Ken that Val is turning down hair appointments to assist the Barlows. Frank returns to work for the first time since Ida's death but is distracted and forgets to take his packed lunch with him. Nancy worries what they will do when Ken takes up his new job and also about a letter she's received from the council's housing office. Concepta receives a booking confirmation from their honeymoon hotel but refuses to tell Nona where they're going. Annie thinks she's wise so as to avoid practical jokes. Nona can't understand Jack's Northern sayings. Drayman Fred Clark brings the brewery order and tries to chat up Nona, showing off the £5 note he carries on him. Harry is in a hurry to get to work and doesn't share Concepta's excitement over the hotel. A sombre Frank returns to collect his lunch. Nancy confides in Esther that she's got an appointment to discuss moving into a council OAP bungalow that she applied for four years ago when her husband died but thinks now is not the right time. She goes to the housing office to see Mr Albright and learns that if she gives it up she'll have to wait another two years for another. She tells him of her changed circumstances and is advised to talk it over with her family as she only has two days to make a decision. Chief Petty Officer Bill Gregory turns up in the Rovers after a train journey from Scotland. He's looking for Len, after not seeing him for twelve years since their navy days. Jack suggests he waits for Len to turn up. Albert advises Nancy to take the bungalow and offers to take her out to the Over 60's Club‏‎ as a distraction. Len is delighted to see Bill in the Rovers and they catch up on their lives and their pals since they last met. Jack spots an error in the list of empties that were sent back to the brewery. He and Annie realise Fred Clark has fiddled them. As he's left his wallet behind, Jack knows he will be back and he can then confront him. Coming to pick Nancy up for their night out, Albert lets slip to Frank and Ken about the bungalow before she can say anything.


Regular cast

Guest cast



  • Both this and the next episode were firsts for the programme in that they were not recorded in the Quay Street studios of Granada Television in Manchester but instead used the facilities of Tyne Tees Television on City Road in Newcastle. The listings magazine for the North-East region, The Viewer, carried the story in its issue dated 14th October 1961, concentrating on Jack Watson who was recording his debut as Bill Gregory there and who had worked extensively in the area before. He was quoted as saying “Fancy having to come to Newcastle to start my role in Coronation Street.” The magazine stated it was a “red-letter day...when a large number of the cast of Coronation Street spent a couple of days at the Tyne Tees studios, doing two episodes of the series.” Based on the recording pattern of the period, the days in question were almost certainly 14th and 15th September, i.e. the week before transmission. The reason why the normal studios in Manchester were not available was not stated but was probably due to either maintenance work or another one-off production which bumped the programme from its standard routine booking.
  • A customer in the Rovers who enters with Len Fairclough is uncredited, despite having a line of dialogue.
  • Peter Adamson "dries up" in the scene where Len Fairclough meets Bill Gregory and has to be audibly prompted with his next line: "Hey, er, do you ever hear anything about the old gang, you know?"
  • Nancy Leathers says she has been a widow for four years, in contradiction to later established history that George Leathers died in 1916, before Ida Barlow was born.
  • TV Times synopsis: Frank Barlow returns to work, and the Royal Navy pays a visit to the "Rover's Return"
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 6,210,000 homes (3rd place).
September 1961 episodes
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