Day 24 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
With the departure of Pat Phoenix, 1984 saw Bill Roache become the last remaining cast member who had appeared in the first episodes. Elsie Tanner’s old flame Bill Gregory had turned up on the Street for his friend Len Fairclough’s funeral and had been surprised to find that Elsie was still around. He whisked her away to Portugal where he had a wine bar and as Elsie left in a taxi for the late train, the taxi driver asked her if she was going away for long. ‘Ah,’ she replied, ‘there’s a question.’
She left her daughter, Linda Cheveski with the task of selling her house. Being in the throes of divorcing her husband, Linda took the opportunity to stay in the house herself. Builder Bill Webster was interested in buying the house to provide some stability for his children Kevin and Debbie after the death of their mother, Alison. Linda took quite a fancy to Bill and hoped that he would ask her to live with him but he wasn’t interested so she returned to Birmingham.
The year saw the end of another well-loved character. The health of Bernard Youens, who played Stan Ogden, went through a horrific decline, though he continued to appear for quite a while. On screen Stan’s health started to mirror that of the actor and he became bedridden. Hilda was worn to a frazzle looking after him and continuing to be the house’s main provider. After Hilda had a collapse, the doctor insisted that Stan be admitted to hospital and a couple of weeks later he sadly died.
Their son Trevor tried to convince his mother to have Stan cremated to save money but Hilda insisted on a burial, buying a plot with enough room for her as well. Throughout the funeral, Hilda had kept her dignity but on returning home she unwrapped Stan’s belongings which had been returned by the hospital and as she opened his spectacle case she wept floods of tears.
Also in 1984: Violet Carson dies; Bill Webster rents Len’s old builders’ yard; Mavis Riley and Derek Wilton jilt each other at the altar; Bert Tilsley dies; Albert Tatlock dies; Gail becomes manager of Jim’s Café after Alma goes off to Spain; Graffiti Club closes after manager runs off with profits; Mike installs a PC in his office; Jack buys Stan’s old window cleaning round and meets Dulcie Froggatt.