The relationship between the outspoken and harridan-like Sylvia and Roy, whom she labelled a "disappointment", was fraught from the start. Her marriage to second husband Roger Goodwin further soured relations between the two, leading to Roy's departure from the family home aged sixteen.
Roy had very little contact with Sylvia until April 2011, when Roger died. Roy received an invitation to the funeral but did not attend, believing it would bring back painful memories. However, Sylvia turned up at Roy's Rolls after the funeral, enquiring about Roy's 'lack of support'. She was hurt to find out Roy had married without telling her.
Roger's death had left Sylvia financially ruined (he had died with numerous debts to his name), and she ended up selling the house and moving into a retirement home. Hayley could sense that Sylvia was uncomfortable at the home, and persuaded her to move into the flat above Roy's Rolls with herself and Roy - much to Roy's annoyance. Sylvia began helping out behind the cafe counter shortly afterwards, often bemusing customers with her blunt speech and insistence on manners.
After some months, Hayley realised that she would have to admit that she was a transsexual woman before anybody else informed Sylvia. Tracy Barlow managed to spill the beans before either Roy or Hayley had a chance to. Though Sylvia was shocked at the revelation, Roy insisted that she would have to accept Hayley or move out of the flat. Sylvia grudgingly put the revelation behind her. Roy was angry that Sylvia had re-entered his life at this stage, thinking her an unwanted reminder of an unhappy past. Sylvia revealed that no matter the difficulties she encountered in raising him, she was proud that he had built up an entire business and found a wife all on his own.
In August 2011, Sylvia decided to become more involved in the business of running Roy's Rolls, and promptly decided that offering customers free condiments at the table was nonsensical. Buying all the necessary sachets, Sylvia decided that all condiments and other extras - including sugar and milk - would be sold at the counter for 10p. Roy felt unable to act, despite Sylvia's actions alienating customers. Following yet another unnecessary charge - this time on the lavatory after Karl Munro entered the cafe solely to use the facility - Norris Cole decided enough was enough. After he managed to slip unnoticed into the lavatory, Sylvia insisted he pay the 20p charge or spend all night in the closet. Norris stuck to his guns and was promptly locked in until the next morning. After Sylvia's actions were revealed to Roy, Mary Taylor, Emily Bishop and Dennis Tanner, her punishment was to wait on the four of them during a specially prepared after-hours meal.
In October 2011, after retrieving a discarded magazine competition entry written by Norris and Mary, Sylvia submitted the entry and promptly won the prize of a cruise to America. Upon her return on Christmas Day, she informed the regulars of her spontaneous romance with businessman Milton Fanshaw and "entertained" the cafe-goers with her renditions on the uke-banjo, which had been given to her by Milton. Keeping in touch with him, Sylvia took Skype lessons from Sophie Webster in order to avoid the hefty transatlantic phone costs. Mary, who was still aghast at Sylvia having won the cruise with his entry, entered an unwilling Norris into a music competition with Sylvia. The competition took place in the Rovers in January 2012 in front of the regulars. Milton made a surprise appearance at the show, and immediately rekindled his romance with Sylvia.
Milton noticed the empty unit next to Roy's Rolls - previously occupied by Elliott & Son - and suggested that Roy purchase it, expanding the cafe into an American-style diner. Though Sylvia thought the plan was an excellent business venture, Roy was firmly against it. Eventually, Milton decided to return to California and insisted that Sylvia join him. She initially jumped at the chance, bidding Roy and Hayley goodbye and travelling to the airport with him. However, deciding that she couldn't turn her back on her son, she decided not to step onto the plane and concocted a suitable cover story for her return.
Later in the year when Milton suffered a fall at his home, Sylvia went over to look after him. When Roy and Hayley went to visit, Sylvia also had an accident. When Roy returned to Weatherfield to check up on his business, Hayley remained with Sylvia and Milton to take care of them.
"I knew this was a bad idea." (First line)