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Corrie at 40: tragic moments; 1972-1977.

IT'S 1972 and the Street is buzzing with excitement as the hapless Ogdens set off for Paris.

What they don't know is that the pair have missed the plane and spent the day at the airport. Hilda and Stan aren't too keen to let them in on the truth when they return either, and keep up the pretence.

Ken Barlow is appointed deputy head at Bessie Street School, under Wilfred Perkins, but upsets his boss by striking up an acquaintance with Rita Bates.

Ernest and Emily are married on Easter Monday at Mawdesley Street Congregational Church. Mavis Riley, Emily's workmate at the Mark Brittain Warehouse, is bridesmaid.

Meanwhile, Benny Lewis opens a new betting shop in Dave Smith's old premises and Emily and Ena ask him to curtail Minnie's gambling. Hilda is sacked by Annie for taking a job cleaning at the shop.

Benny proposes to Rita Littlewood and, although she accepts, before long she's jilted him for Len Fairclough.

In September, Ena is on the Street outing to Preston Guild when her grandson Colin Lomas and his wife Karen call to say their baby, Jason, has been kidnapped from outside the Rovers. Luckily, it's a happy ending as the tot is found by Emily and Betty Turpin.

Ray Langton lends Sharon Duffy, barmaid at the Vine, the keys to bookie Benny's flat and she arranges for her boyfriend to burgle the place and pounds 5000 goes missing. Jacko Ford is arrested.

Alf Roberts' wife, Phyllis, dies in hospital, and Lucille finds Annie depressed and suspects that she's overdosed.

Ken and Norma manage to clear Jacko's name over the burglary and he's a free man once more in 1973. Meanwhile, Alf is appointed mayor- elect and asks Maggie to become his mayoress. She refuses, but Annie is only too keen.

Later that year, Bet is mugged on the way home from the Rovers. Stan is suspected, but he has a controversial alibi - he was with his "bit of stuff" at 19 Inkerman Street.

Elsie is knocked down by a taxi in London and suffers amnesia. She's traced by police and eventually taken home.

Ken brings his twins from Glasgow to meet fiance Janet and the pair tie the knot in Keswick. Albert proposes to Minnie for financial reasons, but she tells him to ask Ena's permission first. Ena thinks he wants her hand in marriage and accepts. Rita announces plans to marry Len.

Cyril Turpin dies in February, 1974, leaving Betty only pounds 859. Hilda sails off for a job on a cruise ship, leaving Mrs Robson to monitor Stan's movements in the vicinity of 19 Inkerman Street.

A young soldier, Martin Downes, calls at the Rovers looking for his long- lost mother, called Elizabeth. Shocked by Bet's vulgarity, he leaves without telling her he's her son.

Gail Potter first appears in the Street as a clerkess at the warehouse. Billy Walker and Deirdre Hunt fall in love, until he meets her mum, Blanche, and she takes a shine to him.

Later that year, Granny Hopkins finds a birth certificate in the back of a Corner Shop drawer which shows that Gordon Clegg's mother is Betty Turpin, not Maggie.

In April, 1975, Bet ends her affair with Len, then discovers her illegitimate son Martin has been killed in a Belfast road accident.

Deirdre breaks off her engagement to Billy and he leaves to manage a Jersey hotel. Later, her attentions turn to Ray Langton and they wed at Weatherfield Register Office in July.

Blanche Hunt leaves with Dave Smith to manage his new country club in January 1976 and Betty takes over. Later that year, Mavis is seeing someone special and even has a romantic trip to the Lake District with Derek Wilton. The Ogdens invite Eddie to lodge. He offers to decorate, but runs out of paper. To fill in the gaps he buys a scenic vista of the Alps, to the delight of Hilda who loves her new "muriel".

Vera Duckworth arrives on the arm of Fred Gee, and Deirdre announces she's pregnant.

Mike Baldwin buys No.5 and Bet Lynch moves in as his housekeeper. He also snaps up Sylvia's Separates with plans to set up a trendy retail outlet

After a false alarm, Deirdre's baby arrives in January 1977 and Bet dishes out a black eye to a girl chasing Mike.

Len and Rita are married in April. This is the year of the Royal Jubilee celebrations, although Ken has problems organising a float.

In October, Deirdre is molested under the Viaduct. The factory girls, under Ivy Tilsley, threaten to strike when Baldwin promotes his new girlfriend.

hello to...

ONCE more the Ins were on the up, with a host of new faces appearing.

Among the bigger names to arrive on the Street for the first time - all set for long runs in Britain's favourite soap - were Mavis Riley, Ivy Tilsley, Deirdre Hunt, Gail Potter, Rita Bates, Derek Wilton and Vera Duckworth.

Then there was the emergence of more fleeting characters such as bad guy Jacko Ford, Tommy Deakin, Benny Lewis and Ron Cooke.

There wasn't much in the way of maternity arrivals, with the notable exception of Tracy, Deirdre's new baby daughter.

farewell to...

BET'S long-lost son Martin Downes came in and out of the soap when he appeared looking for his mother and later died in a car crash in Ireland.

Also falling victim to the fatal exit were Cyril Turpin, Phyllis Roberts and Mavis's Auntie Edie.

As the soap merry-go-round continued, several other names also took their leave from Weatherfield.

These included Annie Walker's son, Billy - who went off to a new life in Jersey. Hapless binman Eddie Yeats left to serve a prison sentence and reappeared in 1976.

Deirdre's mother Blanche Hunt also took a temporary spell of absence.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 16, 2000
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