Sunday, 14 December 2008

Annie Walker - Coated With Class...

1978: Annie discusses Billy's posh job in Jersey with Renee Roberts - although mother and son are both in the hospitality business, Annie feels that Billy, working in a hotel in Jersey, is far better situated than she is:

"It has one great advantage - it has a very good class of trade. Not like working with the rabble..."

Annie Walker, played by Doris Speed, was a Corrie favourite of mine since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Always grand, always pretentious, always being knocked down, Annie brought a great deal of character to The Street and much interest. She appeared to have more of a social life outside of The Street than most of her neighbours and her Lady Victualler friends were the source of several fun story lines. Remember when Nellie Harvey learned to drive? Or the horror of the Bingo Hall carpet in Annie's living room, which was revealed as such just before the Lady Vics were due to pay Annie a visit?

Or what about that dreadful time in 1980 when Mrs Olive Taylor-Brown visited and Fred Gee lost Annie's tickets to a grand local government function, causing Annie the humiliation of herself and Mrs T-B being refused admission? Until Hilda Ogden appeared on the grand staircase, clutching the lost tickets and screeching: "Mrs Walker! Mrs Walker!" Annie's joy at recovering the tickets was, of course, tempered by the horror of her turbaned char squawking up the stairs in front of the local dignitaries.

Annie was, and still is, a Coronation Street legend, and I was thrilled on a visit to the Granada Studios Tour in the 1990s to see one of the coats she wore for many years on display, alongside one of Bet Lynch's old cast-offs. Of course, I had to take a photograph...

... and, as I walked by, I actually touched the garment!! It quite made my day! Although I'm sure I wasn't worthy...

"Now, I hate to sound snobbish and I am not being..."

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