Saturday, 2 August 2014

Ena Sharples - 10th Anniversary Portrait

This lovely portrait of Violet Carson, in character as Ena Sharples, was one of a series commissioned by the TV Times magazine to celebrate Coronation Street's 10th anniversary in 1970. Other characters were featured over the ensuing weeks.

Ten years is a long time, and for Ena they had not been easy: she had faced the sad loss of her daughter Vera Lomax and her longtime friend and Rovers Snug companion Martha Longhurst; she had been buried in rubble when a train crashed off the viaduct; she had almost been killed in a coach crash; she had fought many battles with the fiery Elsie Tanner; her vestry home at the Glad Tidings Mission Hall had been vandalised and later demolished...

In the opening years, Ena was rather a scary figure and not terribly pleasant to have around (well, not for the other residents of the Street, but a WOW for viewers!). However, as the 1960s had continued, she had mellowed and, although still capable of epic battle, had become a much-loved and respected figure, a soap legend.

Violet Carson commented in 1970:

"Ena's still the battleaxe she was ten years ago, but she does have a heart of gold, and the mellow side of Ena has come out much more lately. Over the years I have tried not to let Ena's character overwhelm me. I've done my best to keep Ena and me well apart. Otherwise, by now, she would have taken me over."

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