Alderman Harold Chapman was Mayor of Weatherfield before Alf Roberts. He was in office from 1972 to 1973. A stern, sombre man who had had a poverty-stricken upbringing, Chapman was elected to the council as a Conservative candidate. His Mayoress was Ethel Bostock.
In November 1972, discussions about Chapman's replacement had began and were causing controversy due to it being the last appointment of a Mayor before the end of the borough. With Chapman coming under pressure to break the party agreement, he summoned Labour group leader Alderman Charlie Rogers to a secret meeting at Heaton Park, where Chapman proposed that they take the easy option of selecting an independent, instead of Rogers' preferred choice of George Clarkson, a fellow Labour man, or Chapman's choice from the Conservative side, Whitehouse. The most suitable independents were Len Fairclough, favoured by Chapman due to him being a successful businessman, and Alf Roberts, a union official who was Rogers' preferred choice. Together the men agreed to observe the candidates for the next few months and made a joint decision based upon those observations.
Len's chances were diminished two weeks later when his girlfriend Rita Littlewood made a spectacle of herself at the opening of the Gatsby Club and fell on Chapman's lap during a struggle with a tipsy woman. Len had later dumped Rita, hoping that Chapman would choose to ignore the incident, but Len's subsequent absence in the run-up to the election due to carrying out plumbing work in Scarborough also counted against him, particularly when stacked up against Alf's comparatively stainless record. Chapman attended the ceremony at which Alf succeeded him in the role of Mayor in May 1973 and the party in the Rovers afterwards.
After stepping down as Mayor, Chapman continued his work with the council and served as chairman of the Community Centre committee. In November 1975, Chapman (and others) interviewed Ken Barlow for the open position of Community Development Officer. Chapman was alone in his disdain for Ken, preferring that his own nephew be given the job, but Ken impressed the rest of the committee and won the position.
Chapman battled Ken again the following year, although this time his concerns were shared by others in the committee. After receiving complaints about Ken living in sin with his lover Wendy Nightingale, Chapman told him that either he gave up Wendy or he would lose his job, believing that it would reflect badly on the public image of the committee if they appeared to sanction it. Ken's domestic situation with Wendy was quickly resolved as Wendy returned to her husband Roger, and Chapman later denied that he had issued an ultimatum to Ken, producing a vote of full confidence from the rest of the committee in him continuing in his role. However, Ken took a dim view of employers who would try to control his private life and decided to resign - it was only the burden of having to care for Albert Tatlock which made Ken change his mind and stay.
In March 1978, Chapman delivered the news to Len Fairclough that his party, the Ratepayers Association, was demanding his resignation following his arrest for being drunk and disorderly. He later appeared in August 1980 at Alf's wife Renee's funeral where Annie Walker advised the others to keep him away from the brandy at the tea afterwards as he had a habit of monopolising it.
- The character was usually credited as Alderman Chapman. Chapman was one of three authority figures played by Frank Crompton in Coronation Street in the 1970s, the others were the Commissionaire in February 1971 and Councillor Tommy Garret in June 1975. He also played an unnamed spectator at a football match in April 1972, only nine episodes before his first appearance as Chapman.