Ivy Makepiece (née Harris) and family were the first tenants of 11 Coronation Street after it was built in 1902. The Makepieces were the largest family in Coronation Street and were comprised of Ivy, husband Alfred and their children Vi Makepiece, Frank Makepiece, Ralph Makepiece, Mary Makepiece and Lil Makepiece, with Will Makepiece and Susie Makepiece following in 1904 and 1906 respectively. They also had three other children who had died prior to 1902.
Ivy grew up next to Alfred in Bealer Street and was the daughter of a docker and a char. After a few years living with Ivy's mother Hetty Harris, the Makepieces were allocated a house in Coronation Street because of Alfred's job at Hardcastle's Mill.
The Makepieces were a bad lot. Their children were tearaways, Ivy drank heavily and neglected the kids, and Alfred stole from the Corner Shop. He lived until 1908 when TB claimed his life. Ivy was left with seven children to raise as well as a stall on Plank Street Market to run. Her alcohol problems continued and she would hit with her walking stick anyone who disturbed her rest. Another problem came in the form of Ivy's mother Hetty, who was evicted from her house in Bealer Street and dumped herself on the Makepieces. Ivy realised she'd be stuck with Hetty until she died and spent months poisoning her with arsenic to kill her off. She died in 1911, just as industrial action spread all over Weatherfield and the grave diggers downed tools. Hetty's body remained in the house until the long strike was over.
Gradually, Ivy's children left her. Ralph and Frank were killed in the war, and Vi married Jack Todd and moved out, while Mary was wed to Thomas Hewitt. Ivy started pushing Lil and Susie towards wealthier men and this worked for Lil, who married Corner Shop owner Tommy Foyle, but despite her attempts to set Susie up with Rovers landlord George Diggins, Susie had her own mind and ran off with her lover Billy Chad. Ivy wrote Susie off as dead and threw her out when she returned after five years to visit Ivy, calling her a whore.
Ivy was now alone; even her children who lived locally had families and were beyond her control. She survived the Depression by taking in lodgers and insured them in case they died and she was made to pay for a funeral. The first was Jack Jinks, who did in fact die, under mysterious circumstances. The investigating officer was Henry Robottom, who ended up being talked into taking the empty room.
Ivy died of a stroke in 1938, having drank her money away.