The Rovers Return is the public house in Coronation Street Weatherfield. The pub has featured throughout the shows run and has also been the setting of many memorable scenes in the show. It has had many landlords and landladies over the years, from Annie Walker and her husband Jack Walker and their son Billy Walker, to Alec Gilroy and Bet Gilroy, and even layabouts Jack Duckworth and Vera Duckworth. Then Liz McDonald, yet again followed by Toyah Battersby. The brewery that used to own the pub before it became a freehouse is Newton And Ridley Brewery, who still supply the beers and spirits.
The neighbouring property is Number 1 Coronation Street.
- 1 Pre 1960
- 2 1960-1970: Jack and Annie Walker
- 3 1970-1983: Annie Walker
- 4 1983-1984: Billy Walker
- 5 1985-1987: Bet Lynch
- 6 1987-1992: Alec and Bet Gilroy
- 7 1992-1995: Bet Gilroy
- 8 1995-1999: Jack and Vera Duckworth
- 9 1996-1998: Alec Gilroy's return
- 10 1998-2000: Natalie Barnes
- 11 2000-2006: Fred Elliot
- 12 2006-2011: Steve and Liz McDonald
- 13 2011-2013: Stella Price
- 14 2013-2017: Steve, Michelle and Liz McDonald
- 15 2017-2018: Peter Barlow and Toyah Battersby
- 16 2018 to present: Johnny and Jenny Connor
- 17 The famous Rovers toilets leading into Ken's living room mystery
- 18 Trivia
- 19 Gallery
Pre 1960[edit | edit source]
1960-1970: Jack and Annie Walker[edit | edit source]
By 1960, Jack and Annie Walker had run the Rovers for 20 years. Their daughter Joan married in 1961 and their son Billy moved to London, making sporadic visits. In February 1962, Len Fairclough and Ken Barlow had a huge
altercation over the way that poshed up university graduate Ken slammed his working class roots in a local newspaper.
In May 1964, long term regular Martha Longhurst died of a heart attack in The Snug. In June 1964, the Rovers had a new regular customer - Stan Ogden. Stan often supped in the Rovers and became good pals with landlord Jack Walker. In August 1965, all the drinkers at the pub ran out into the street when Number 7 Coronation Street collapsed. In 1967, Jack went for fish and chips and at the same time a train crashed through the viaduct. Jack was OK though as he was at the chip shop when disaster struck. Billy Walker came to stay at The Rovers in 1969 with his Chinese girlfriend Jasmine Choong but Jasmine could not cope with Annie's strict rules.
1970-1983: Annie Walker[edit | edit source]
In 1970, Jack Walker died when visiting Joan in Derby. This left Annie devastated. Her son Billy Walker came back to Weatherfield from Jersey to take his late father's position. Billy was a bit of a dodgy dealer and would use underhand tactics. In 1975, when Deirdre Hunt chose Ray Langton over Billy, Billy left the area again.
In late 1975, the 66 year old Annie was quite vulnerable living alone in the private quarters above the pub. One night in
November 1975 she was threatened by 2 robbers. Len and Ray wondered why there was lights on downstairs so went to investigate and they tackled the robbers, who were later caught. In early 1976, regular customers Stan Ogden and Albert Tatlock were accidentally locked in the cellar overnight and drunk much of the booze. Annie clearly could not cope running the pub alone, without a cellarman, and relying on draymen to take beer to and from the cellar. So the brewery insisted she get a live in potman. Step forward Fred Gee. He was to live on the premises with Annie. Annie felt safe again. Fred was a big man so any troublemakers knew not to mess with him.
Fred became good friends with Betty Turpin and Bet Lynch and often they had lots of banter with each other.
1983-1984: Billy Walker[edit | edit source]
This was a period which saw huge change in the history of the pub. In late 1983, Annie Walker went on an extended holiday. She still kept in touch and gave instructions to Fred, Bet and Betty as to how to run the pub. Hilda was just a cleaner so did not have to worry about the running of the pub. In February 1984, Annie said she has left Betty in charge. Fred thought this was sexist, so as usual, he went over Annie's head and to the brewery. At his own reccomendation to the brewery, Fred was made manager. He took time off after eating a pie that made him violenty ill, and he was admitted to hospital. Fred then took time off due to a bad back, doing a Stan Ogden style trick to get time off work. Billy Walker came to manage the pub in July 1984. In August 1984, Annie retired altogether and Billy took over as the licensee.
Billy said out of Bet, Betty, Fred and Hilda, that Fred has the biggest reason to discuss his future. Billy said Fred is not needed, and to look for a job and a place to live right away but can stay on until that happens. Fred fought back against Billy and said he should get compensation. Billy refused but Ken Barlow said Fred has a case.
Billy then decided there was a way to get rid of Fred without paying him a penny and that was to goad Fred into thumping him by working him into the ground and making vile insults to him so that he could sack him. Fred did seem to take the bait and a few times he almost came close to hitting Billy. Fred's best mate Jack Duckworth told Fred to wait until he gets his compo then he can smack him. One time Billy sarcastically asked a very agitated and irritated Fred if he is happy in his work. To Fred this was the straw that broke the camels back so he thumped him in front of all the customers. Billy sacked him on the spot. Fred took lodgings locally. He went from working at the pub to being a customer. Billy kept holding late night lock ins and buying cheap booze from wholesalers instead of the brewery, and doing underhand tactics so in December 1984, he was forced out of the brewery. This bought the 47 year Walker empire to an end. Billy left Weatherfield for good the following night. Also, Fred Gee left the area completeley in late 1984.
Gordon Lewis took over as relief manager. He said that Billy Walker, who had recently left the area, always was a law unto himself.
1985-1987: Bet Lynch[edit | edit source]
In January 1985, it was obvious that Annie Walker, Billy Walker and Fred Gee would be gone from the area forever. Bet, Betty and Hilda worked under Gordon Lewis at the start of the year. Gordon left on the 2nd January. Frank Harvey took over as relief manager in early January 1985.
By January 1985, the pub was a more peaceful place to work at, and to drink at now that loudmouth Fred Gee and devious scheming Billy were gone.
In February 1985, Bet was made landlady. She finally got the position after 15 years working as a barmaid behind the bar. Bet was a more everyday landlady, who did not mind the odd flirt with the punters. She was very different to snooty Annie Walker. Bet swiftly employed Wilf Starkey as a potman. Bet, Betty and Mavis went for a holiday to Blackpool that summer. Wilf resigned in August 1985 after being accused of stealing. So soon after, Jack Duckworth went from regular customer to employee of the pub, being the new cellarman.
In June 1986, the lights started flickering and Bet asked potman Jack Duckworth to replace the fuse. Jack put a stronger fuse in and overnight the switch overheated and started a fire in the cellar which spread to the main bar. Bet was rescued. Vera reckoned it was Bet smoking in bed but a worried Jack
wondered if it was the wrong fuse he put in.
1987-1992: Alec and Bet Gilroy[edit | edit source]
The pub shut for a while but Alec Gilroy helped Bet Lynch to drum up business in the reopened Rovers. The snug was now part of the main bar, so was gone, and The Select and stage area was gone. Bet became Mrs Alec Gilroy in September 1987. In December 1987 cleaner Hilda Ogden decided to leave the grimy back streets of Weatherfield for Derbyshire so a party was held for her. Alec was pleased the nosey parker was going.
In March 1988 Bet found that she was pregnant again at almost 48 years old. She had a miscarriage. Bet and Alec spent the next few years running the pub together but they split up in 1992 and Alec left for Brighton.
1992-1995: Bet Gilroy[edit | edit source]
In 1993, Bet hired Tanya Pooley as a barmaid but Tanya soon proved to be trouble. Bet saw herself as a mother figure to Raquel Wolstenhulme, her barmaid. When Tanya betrayed Raquel by sleeping with her boyfriend Des Barnes, Bet sacked Tanya and moved Raquel into the pub.
In 1995, the brewery decided to put some of their pubs on the market and Bet wanted to buy the pub. She asked if best friend Rita Sullivan would invest. Rita said she would think about it. Bet jumped the gun and assumed that Rita was going to go into business with her. Rita told her to wait telling the brewery about knocking the price down to £66'000 but Bet still enquired about it.
In October 1995 Alf Roberts advised Rita on 3 reasons not to go into business with Bet. One was that Bet and Rita both like to run their own shows and make their own decisions so a partnership may cause arguments, and the second reason was what if they did had a row it would end their long standing friendship and they would both be stuck running a pub. Also the third reason was the fact that Bet had never made any profit during her 10 years running the tenancy, and never offered a percentage to Rita. Rita decided not to accepts Bet's proposition.
Bet waltzed into The Kabin with champagne. Rita said Bet is jumping the gun. Rita said that she is dropping out.
Bet's happiness soon turned to dismay. She said Rita is only rich because she married Len Fairclough. Bet accused Rita of only being a pal when Bet had no problems. Bet also said to Rita that she does not know the meaning of the word pals. Rita says she is sorry. Bet asks her that she wont change her mind. Rita says she will not change her mind. Bet says she is sorry, sorry she ever asked. She then turns round and quietly walks out of the shop. Her friendship with Rita was over.
For the next few days until Bet left, she kept well clear of Rita. Bet even tried to throw one more roll of the dice by asking step-granddaughter Vicky if she will lend her the money. Vicky refused, and Bet was not happy. So Bet surrendered her tenancy and decided to make a fresh start away from Weatherfield. On the 16th October 1995, She packed all her suitcases and took a look at herself in the Rovers bar mirror. The taxi pulled up outside. Bet got into a taxi and the taxi drove out of Coronation Street. Bet put Weatherfield and The Rovers behind her.
1995-1999: Jack and Vera Duckworth[edit | edit source]
In mid October 1995, now that Bet was gone, the pub was still up for sale as the brewery wanted to sell it. The brewery swiftly shut the pub and they said Bet is not returning. Rodney Bostock was bought in as temporary manager until a buyer could be found. Jim and Liz McDonald and Jack and Vera Duckworth jostled until Jack and Vera won. Jack had a criminal record for minor driving offences so was not allowed to be licensee so Vera took the license.
Jack sulked due to this, as he thought his wifes name over the door and not his name there as well was total proof that he was a henpecked man, dominated by his wife. Vera enjoyed being the landlady and loved wielding power over Betty and Raquel.
1996-1998: Alec Gilroy's return[edit | edit source]
In 1996, Alec Gilroy returned to help a struggling Jack and Vera out. Jack even sold some shares to Alec to raise money. Vera was furious but Jack said that Alec would be more of a sleeping partner. Alec owned half the pub with the Duckworths but gradually wanted to take full control of the Rovers. He bought the Duckworths out in 1998 for £30'000 but allowed them to live and work there.
This arrangement didn't work out, and when Jack and Vera wanted to spend Christmas in Blackpool, Alec refused. They ignored him and still went, causing Alec to change the locks. Rita thought that Alec had gone too far, contacting the Duckworths in Blackpool and apologising. A three-day siege took place with no one willing to back down. When Alec discovered it was Rita who had phoned the Duckworths, he felt totally betrayed, and showing that money meant far more to him than affection, ended their relationship. To Rita's dismay Alec boarded up the doorway between their flats.
When Vicky unexpectedly turned up at Christmas 1998, it gave Alec the change to contemplate his life and reassess his priorities. Alec suggested to Vicky that he could go in partnership with her at her new wine bar in Brighton. Alec jumped at the chance to get away, selling the Rovers to Natalie Barnes. Alec then left Weatherfield, this time for ever.
Natalie saw in New Year 1999 as the new Rovers landlady.
1998-2000: Natalie Barnes[edit | edit source]
Natalie kept on Betty as a barmaid and hot pot chef. Natalie employed Leanne Battersby as a barmaid.
2000-2006: Fred Elliot[edit | edit source]
2006-2011: Steve and Liz McDonald[edit | edit source]
2011-2013: Stella Price[edit | edit source]
2013-2017: Steve, Michelle and Liz McDonald[edit | edit source]
In an attempt to cheer up Michelle, Steve secretly bought the Rovers with the help of Liz, and the McDonalds were back in charge. Michelle wasn't too happy when she found out, especially as he got his mother involved, but eventually came round.
2017-2018: Peter Barlow and Toyah Battersby[edit | edit source]
2018 to present: Johnny and Jenny Connor[edit | edit source]
The famous Rovers toilets leading into Ken's living room mystery[edit | edit source]
Since 1960 it has appeared that the toilet doors on the side of the wall dividing the pub and No 1 next door seem to lead straight into Albert Tatlock/Ken Barlow's living room. That may have explained why he was so grumpy. There was not enough space inbetween the pub and No 1 to even have a small corridor with a stairwell going downstairs into the toilets which may have been underground. In 1982 when the second outdoor set was built, a small alleyway was built inbetween the pub and No 1 to avoid confusion. However in the early years of the show, there was an alleyway inbetween the pub and No 1, when the show filmed in a studio.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
From 1960 to 1986, the Rovers interior was much larger than the exterior, such as the Rovers toilet doors seeming to lead into Albert's living room and The Select and stage area seemed to be in Rosamund Street. A running joke from viewers and the media alike was that Albert Tatlock may have been so grumpy because people were always walking into his lounge from the pub. Although The Snug did seem to fit OK into the interior, as it was at the immediate back of the main bar, and a door from the main bar lead into the Snug. The pub was always established as being on the corner of Coronation Street and Rosamund Street, and looking at the pub from the front, there clearly was not enough space to fit the main bar, Snug, Select and stage area all at once. TARDIS style. The fire of June 1986 gave the production team the chance to rectify this.
A storyline was written when the pub caught fire due to an electrical fault, where dozy potman Jack Duckworth replaced the fuse with a stronger fuse after the pub lights begun to flicker. However this extra surge of electricity started a fire in the early hours of the next morning. After the fire, the pub's interior was redrawn to match the exterior more, the Snug was removed (and made part of the main bar) as was the huge Select, and the size of the main bar matched the exterior much more, although the private living quarters at the back still seemed to extend across Rosamund Street.