Coronation Street Wiki

Maurice Jones was a builder and property developer who bought up the south side of Coronation Street and built the new houses and shop units in 1989.

Jones came from a working class background and grew up sharing a bedroom with four of his siblings. Like his father before him, he became a builder, and by 1989 he owned his own construction company, operating from premises in Ardwick. As he became more successful, Jones did less building work himself and turned his attentions towards property development. That summer, he started planning a new development between Arkwright Street and Coronation Street and bought up the required land, and also purchased advertising space in the Weatherfield Recorder to promote his investments.

The last two pieces of the puzzle were the Community Centre and Baldwin's Casuals in Coronation Street. While the council were willing to negotiate the sale of the centre, Mike Baldwin would prove a tougher nut to crack. When he first approached Mike in July 1989, Jones was met with a flat-out refusal. Mike gradually came round to the idea when Dawn Prescott found out about Jones's other investments from her estate agent contacts, including the fact that the centre was now his. Realising that Jones was counting on a sale, Mike sold the factory for far more than it was worth.

When Mike announced to his machinists that he was selling up, he let them believe that Jones was intending to run the factory and so they were surprised when they arrived for work to find the factory gates locked. Jones told them the factory was closed but then faced a battle against the girls, who were advised by the Department of Employment that Jones was responsible for their redundancy payments. Jones refused to pay up and gave Percy Sugden the job of looking after the empty unit until the bulldozers arrived.

The factory and Centre were demolished on schedule but before building work started on the new development, the girls stepped up their battle for compensation; Emily Bishop started a sit-in on the site, soon joined by the other girls. They were supported by Councillor Deirdre Barlow and the Recorder, despite Jones being an advertiser. Jones realised he was beaten and agreed to pay the girls redundancy.

Jones managed the building work himself. In November, he arranged with Alec Gilroy a 5-a-side football match between the builders and the Rovers' regulars. He and Alec each bet £50 on their team to win, but the builders lost.

The re-development scheme proved to be costlier than planned. In December, work was disrupted when the police excavated part of the site as they thought Alan Bradley, one of Jones's workers, might have buried Rita Fairclough there. No body was found but Jones sacked Alan for costing him money. The following month, Jones had to pay compensation when Steve and Andy McDonald broke into the building site and drove a JCB onto the Street, smashing the Corner Shop window.

The new houses and shop units were completed in February 1990. No.6 was sold at cost to Jones's daughter Steph, who moved into the house with her new husband Des Barnes. Rita Fairclough bought the shop unit on the corner of Viaduct Street and moved The Kabin from its Rosamund Street premises onto Coronation Street. No.4 was sold to Derek and Mavis Wilton, and No.8 to Gail and Martin Platt. Phil Jennings bought the factory unit and Mike Baldwin bought the garage unit. No.2 was the last to be sold; it was leased to charity Friends of Weatherfield Hospital in early 1991 before the unit, along with the flat above, was finally bought by Denise Osbourne and turned into a salon in December 1992.

By September 1995, Jones was having a hard time; he had been forced to sell his own house in order to keep his business afloat and was therefore unable to spare much money to help Steph, who was pregnant and newly single. According to the hearsay of water company engineer Colin in September 2020, Jones went bankrupt following the recession of the late 2000s and died of a heart attack soon thereafter. David Platt had considered suing Maurice when a sinkhole appeared in his back garden, so Colin told him the news of Maurice's death.

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