Peter "Pete" Shaw was a domestic appliance engineer who met Sandra Stubbs when they bumped trolleys at the supermarket in 1988. This encounter led to two successful dates, which did much to boost Sandra's spirits after her separation from her abusive husband Ronnie. After some gentle ribbing about her new fella from Bet Gilroy at the Rovers Return, Sandra decided to bring Pete there before a date to meet Bet and her fellow barmaid Gloria Todd. Both were impressed; as Bet put it, he was not only good looking, but he had clean fingernails and a sense of humour, so unless he was into secretly dressing as Superman Sandra had done well for herself.

As well as regular dates, Pete sometimes dropped by the Rovers where he would wait for Sandra. Sandra's feelings for Pete quickly grew, with her telling Gloria giddily that he made her feel good to be a woman and was very polite, and they laughed at the same things. Despite being happy for Sandra, Gloria was slightly put out by her newfound happiness as she'd been manless for a while, despite several nights out the town with Sandra.

On one night, when Sandra had to break a date with Pete due to a parent/teacher evening at her son Jason's school, Pete gave Gloria a lift home. The pair hit it off, and Pete decided to drop Sandra for Gloria. The following evening, Sandra dressed up for a date with Pete, only to be stood up. As it was Gloria's night off, Sandra went to her flat to suggest a girly night in, however as Gloria had a man (Pete) in her flat at the time, she told Sandra she'd see her tomorrow. Despite feeling guilty and sorry for Sandra, Gloria was very keen on Pete and he was visibly more interested in her than he had been in Sandra, noting to Gloria that Sandra having a son who could burst in at any minute had been an issue for him. After Sandra left the flat, Pete and Gloria spent the night together. Afterwards, Pete ceased all contact with Sandra and ultimately Gloria told Sandra that she and Pete were in love, after a perceptive Betty Turpin threatened to tell Sandra herself. Sandra took the news badly and threw a pint at Gloria, causing Alec Gilroy to sack her and bar her from the premises, making Gloria feel even more guilty. Feeling Sandra stood to lose everything because of her, Gloria resigned from the Rovers so that Alec would be forced to reinstate Sandra.

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