Gilbert was a racing pigeon who landed at 1 Coronation Street in January 1975 and was “adopted” by Albert Tatlock. Albert named the bird after a communications pigeon that his troop had had in the trenches of the First World War and merely intended that he should be a pet. That is until Alf Roberts told Stan Ogden that such pigeons could be worth £1000 and bring in annual winnings of £750. Stan suggested to Albert that they should become partners in a pigeon racing enterprise and Albert agreed, immediately demanding £1 off Stan for his contribution to towards the food that he’d just bought for him. Albert further demonstrated his legendary thrift and enterprise by getting some cheap wood from the Builder's Yard for a cote and getting Jerry Booth to build it for him when Ray Langton refused.
At his first try-out, Gilbert successfully returned home to No. 1 when he was released from the nearby Red Rec but a second attempt from a site two miles away by Stan and Jerry was less successful and it was feared that the bird was lost. Albert threatened to sue the two men, however Gilbert reappeared and it looked all set for the “training” to continue when Bobby the cat caught and eat the potential champion. Minnie Caldwell refused to countenance the idea that her beloved pet would do something so cruel, Albert was stoic while Stan drowned his sorrows with a one-man wake in the Rovers.