Shelagh Foyle was the daughter of Corner Shop owners Tommy and Elsie Foyle. Shelagh was born in 1935, with Minnie Caldwell acting as midwife, and grew up in Coronation Street with her older sister, Hilda.
During the Blitz, Elsie took Shelagh to Blackpool until the bombs stopped. The end of the war saw Tommy die suddenly from a heart attack. When Elsie married Les Lappin two years later, he insisted that the girls keep Tommy's name.
Shelagh was bullied at school, particularly after Hilda left to go into work. When Elsie saw the bruises, she mistakenly thought that Les had hit her and rowed with him, causing Shelagh to confess the truth. At fifteen Shelagh entertained the idea of pursuing a singing career, following in her mother's footsteps, but decided not to when during her first performance at a working men's club the the audience jeered at her and made obscene remarks. Choosing a job in Elliston's Raincoat Factory's canteen alongside her sister instead, Shelagh left the shop in 1957 to work at a girls' boarding school in Surrey.
- Despite living in Surrey by 1960, dialogue from Elsie Lappin in Episode 1 (9th December 1960) suggests that it was Shelagh who told Elsie of Florrie Lindley's interest in purchasing the Corner Shop.