- "He looks to me like the same Handel Gartside he always was - shifty eyes, hot lips!" - Ena Sharples
Handel Gartside was a Weatherfield resident in the 1930s and a close friend of Ena Sharples, Minnie Caldwell and Martha Longhurst. In 1937, he was on the dole after losing his job as a weaver. He took a job in Quebec and moved to Canada. In 1970, Handel returned to the UK to visit his old home town. He was delighted to see Ena and Minnie again, but was saddened to learn about the deaths of Martha Longhurst and Jack Walker. On his return, he bought a house in Whaley Bridge but was a regular guest at Minnie's house in the latter part of the year. Minnie was happy to have Handel around but Ena treated him with suspicion and neighbour Albert Tatlock didn't approve of him as he was a conscientious objector in the War.
In January 1971, Handel returned and lodged with Minnie and Albert at 1 Coronation Street. In the previous December, Minnie had been held hostage in her own house by Joe Donelli and had since been taken in by Albert after being too scared to live alone. Handel tried to make Minnie's move back home easier by preparing the house for her, although during his brief stay Albert was slightly put out by the fact that Minnie and Handel got on so well together. After a short time lodging with Minnie, Handel returned to Whaley Bridge.
Minnie visited Handel at Whaley Bridge several times in the next few years. In 1976, Handel agreed for her to move there permanently. Handel went to see Ena in Weatherfield and moved Minnie's belongings out of No.5. Ena was upset that Minnie hadn't come to tell her in person, but Handel replied that Minnie was afraid that Ena would talk her out of moving. Ena reluctantly let Minnie go, with Handel promising to take good care of her.
List of appearances