Like Annie, Nellie was snobbish and thought she was a cut above her working class clientele. Being a pub landlady, she was deft at presenting a smiling face and a warm personality to the public; a useful trait when dealing with Annie, who was equally driven by social ambition and who often competed with Nellie. Under the guise of friendship, Nellie would often appear at the Rovers to keep tabs on Annie, but her nemesis was no fool and Annie was able to keep up the outwardly jovial relationship while keeping Nellie at bay and looking for opportunities to get one over on her.
Most of their encounters in some way involved the Weatherfield Ladies Licensed Victuallers, an institution within which both Nellie and Annie had influence. In 1965, Nellie visited the Rovers to consider whether to put Annie forward as a chairman of organisation, and in typical fashion, arrived early, catching Annie unprepared. Nellie was pleased to see her old dancing partner Jack Walker - Annie's husband - and decided to give Annie the place on that basis.
Nellie was known to drop the pretence of friendship when Annie went too far. In February 1971, they were asked to find someone to open the Brookside Motel in place of the LV president. Nellie liked the idea of doing it herself but Annie put her bid in first and was accepted, causing Nellie to tell her some home truths. By August of that year, they were apparently on speaking terms, enjoying their usual catty relationship, when Nellie visited the Rovers on Annie's birthday and tried to trick Annie into revealing her age. Later that year, Nellie got revenge of sorts when she showed to Annie that Annie's surrogate daughter Lucille Hewitt was working at the Aquarius club, which Annie thought distasteful.
One month later, Nellie and fellow landlady Kitty Stonely organised a Boxing Day ball in aid of the RNLI which Annie muscled in on, catching the attention of retired Navy officer Gerald Prince who Nellie had set her eyes on.
In 1973, Annie appeared to win the battle when she was chosen by new Mayor of Weatherfield Alf Roberts as Mayoress. In December of that year, Nellie's husband Arthur left Nellie for Annie, even though Annie had showed no interest in him. Nellie was furious when she found out that Annie had let Arthur stay the night at the Rovers and announced that she would be seeking a divorce, citing Annie. Nellie received a visit from Annie who explained that she had tried but failed to convince Arthur to return to Nellie, but Nellie remained firm. She only took Arthur back when he told Nellie he was finished with Annie - in reality Annie had forced his hand by refusing to speak to him should he not return to his wife.
In 1976, Nellie decided to learn to drive, and passed after eighty-six lessons and bought a Mini. Unsurprisingly, she then gloated to Annie about her achievement and challenged her to learn in fewer than eighty-six lessons. Her plan backfired when Annie passed on her first attempt.
The following year, Nellie was responsible for spreading a rumour that Annie had sacked barmaid Betty Turpin for stealing from the till. Annie was annoyed as the gossip soon reached Betty, complicating Annie's attempts to apologise and resulting in Betty threatening to sue her for slander.
Nellie remained landlady of the Laughing Donkey in the early 1980s. In 1980, Nellie informed Annie, who was on holiday, that the Weatherfield Gazette was carrying the story of a boycott of the Rovers bins by the binmen. Nellie was well aware that it would cause friction between Annie and her staff.
- Nellie Harvey was played by Mollie Sugden. She last appeared in August 1976 but was referred to many times in the remainder of Annie Walker's tenure in the programme.
List of appearances