21. ENA SHARPLES (151 VOTES)
Played by: Violet Carson
2012 character poll position (men): 9
With her fellow cronies Martha Longhurst and Minnie Caldwell, Ena sat in the Rovers snug with her milk stout and gossiped about Elsie Tanner’s dalliances and other street gossip. Her catfights with Elsie were lynchpins during Corrie’s early years. But as the years went on, they grew a mutual respect for each other. In 1980, Elsie even invited Ena to stay with her for a few nights and Ena was on hand to dish out some honest advice to Mrs Tanner.
Known for her hairnet and Christian morals, Ena not only clashed with Elsie – Annie Walker, Albert Tatlock and Leonard Swindley were on her hit list too at times.
During her tenure, Ena held the job of caretaker in two establishments. Until 1968, she was the caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission on the street. She was heartbroken when the council decided to demolish the building as it didn’t have the purpose it once had. In 1971, a community centre was built and Ena secured the caretaker’s job once more. But health problems during the 1970s led many to think she was a liability. She stood her ground and remained in her post until 1980.
A talented pianist and organist, Ena often led sing-songs in the Rovers which reminded residents of the wartime years.
By the 1970s, she had mellowed and her appearances were more recurring with Violet Carson (who played Ena) having health problems. She became more of a caring grandmother figure by the end of her tenure, babysitting for the Langtons and such. She left for St. Anne’s in 1980 and never returned.
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