Tom Hedley was a middle-aged man who crashed his car into the Mayoral Rolls in February 1971, damaging his bonnet. Hedley's insurance had run out but as the collision had happened because of the Rolls being badly parked outside a chippy, Hedley decided to try and pull a fast one on Billy Walker, owner of the Canal Garage who had taken the Rolls in for servicing.
Billy too had reason to keep the crash quiet; he was on a joyride in the Mayoral Rolls along with Irma Barlow and Elsie and Alan Howard when the incident occurred, and told Councillor Len Fairclough that the damage had been sustained when he reversed it into a wall at the garage. While waiting for Billy at the Rovers Return to resolve the situation, Hedley encountered Len and unwittingly blew the whistle on Billy by telling Len the true reason for the damage to the Rolls. Despite spending the day avoiding Hedley (after being warned to stay away from the Rovers by Irma Barlow), Billy agreed to repair Hedley's car free of charge. It was only later that he found out through Len about Hedley's insurance situation and realised he'd been had.