(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)
Until 1962, Minnie Caldwell had lived on Jubilee Terrace with her mother but when she died, Minnie decided to take the tenancy of no. 5 Coronation Street with her cat, Bobby. She always had trouble finding enough money for the rent so she supplemented her pension by taking in lodgers. The first of these was a friend of Dennis Tanner’s, Jed Stone, who she came across sitting on his suitcase in the Street. He’d left his native Liverpool when the police had grown too interested in him and hoped to put his past behind him by moving to Weatherfield.
A wheeler-dealer he was full of get-rich-quick schemes and used Minnie’s front parlour as a warehouse to store the merchandise he acquired, which he would sell on the market. A lovable rogue nicknamed ‘Sunny Jim', he was never without his trademark flat cap, not even in bed. Minnie regarded him as the son she never had and in return he looked out for her and called her ‘Ma’.
His dodgy dealings finally caught up with him in 1966 when he was sentenced to nine months in prison for handling stolen blankets. When he was released he vowed to go straight and opened a double glazing business, moving in to a house on Nightingale Terrace. He kept in touch with Minnie and would send telegrams to the weddings of his friends on the Street but he wasn’t seen again until 2008.
Tony Gordon was planning a multi-million pound development and the only fly in the ointment was an old man and a cat who refused to move out of their house. He may have grown old and be less healthy than he was but Jed Stone wasn’t the sort of man to be bullied by anyone. Tony tried menaces and money but Sunny Jim wasn’t about to budge. Unfortunately he suffered a heart attack during a visit from Tony and while he was in hospital his belongings and cat were thrown out onto the street.
Emily Bishop recognised him in Weatherfield General and when he was discharged she offered him a place to stay. He visited Tony in the factory to demand money for the loss of his home and accused him of the murder of Liam Connor. Tony strangled him with a negligee he had bought for his wife and dumped his limp lifeless body in a clothes hamper. When he returned the following day to dispose of the body Tony found that Jed was still alive but rather than finishing off the job he packed him off to a flat in Wigan and gave him £3000 to keep quiet.
Also in 1962: Christopher Hewitt is born; Christine Hardman marries Colin Appleby; Colin Appleby dies; Baby Christopher Hewitt kidnapped; Jerry Booth makes his first appearance; Len Fairclough is sacked for carrying on with Elsie Tanner so he sets up his own building business on Victoria Street.