Rovers Return Inn
|Rovers Return Inn|
The Rovers Return Inn. This is a replica of the version used in the show. It was located in the Granada Studios Tour and was open to the attraction's visitors.
|Address||Rovers Return, Coronation Street|
|Employees||Several (see text)|
The Rovers Return occupies the corner of Coronation Street and Rosamund Street. The pub was built by the fictional brewery Newton and Ridley. The Rovers Return Inn has been a free house since 1996, although the brewery continues to supply it. The name comes from the Rover's Return in Withy Grove, Manchester, a 14th-century building which became a licensed house at some point but ceased to be so in 1924 and was demolished in 1958.
The Rovers has had three layouts. The original layout of a Public Bar, Saloon and the Snug was replaced by a single bar after a fire devastated The Rovers in 1986. This layout lasted until 2013 when another fire destroyed The Rovers.
- 1 History of the pub
- 2 Major Events
- 2.1 Jim Corbishley: 1902–19
- 2.2 George Diggins: 1919–37
- 2.3 Jack and Annie Walker: 1937–84
- 2.4 Billy Walker: 1984
- 2.5 Bet and Alec Gilroy: 1985–95
- 2.6 Jack and Vera Duckworth: 1995–98
- 2.7 Alec Gilroy: 1998
- 2.8 Natalie Barnes: 1998–2000
- 2.9 Fred Elliott, Mike Baldwin and Duggie Ferguson: 2000–01
- 2.10 Duggie Ferguson: 2001
- 2.11 Eve and Fred Elliott: 2001–02
- 2.12 Fred Elliott: 2002–06
- 2.13 Steve McDonald: 2006–12
- 2.14 Stella Price 2012–13
- 2.15 Steve and Liz McDonald: 2013—
- 2.16 Current Employees
- 3 Incidents
- 4 The Interior Set
- 5 See also
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History of the pub
The Rover's Return opened in 1902 on the newly built Coronation Street (1902 being Coronation year for Edward VII). It was originally to be called The Coronation but the brewery was forced to change the name when the go-ahead had already been given for the street to be named Coronation Street. When Lieutenant Philip Ridley returned from active service in the Boer War, the pub was named in his honour. In 1918, to celebrate the return of the soldiers from World War I, the apostrophe was removed, thus making it The Rovers Return. When Coronation Street began in 1960, the signage of the pub read "The Rovers Return" but at some point was changed to read "Rovers Return Inn", without a "The".
Originally, the pub was divided into three separate bars: the public, the snug (usually inhabited by unaccompanied ladies where drinks were half a penny cheaper) and the select (where drinks were more expensive but were served by waitress service). As late as 1960, the ruling in the pub was that ladies were not allowed to remain at the bar after being served. These archaic rules were dropped in the early 1960s. When the fire gutted the pub in 1986, the three bars were knocked into one large modern pub.
The living quarters downstairs bear no resemblance to the exterior set of the pub. In reality, the living room (the "back room") would be in the middle of the street at the side of the pub, outside the Medical Centre. Since 1960 the toilet and cellar doors on the other side of the building would seem to enter into the Barlow's kitchen, next door at number one Coronation Street. There is also no obvious room for a commercial kitchen, despite the pub famously serving Betty's hotpot for several years.
Since mid-2008, viewers have seen scenes in a kitchen/dining room in the upstairs of the pub (for use by the licensee/residents), although no other characters had ever used or referred to this room previously. A mock-up of the Snug bar was a feature of the Granada Studios Tour.
The set's exterior doors are narrower than the doors on the interior set. This has always been the case as the exterior set is reduced in scale.
In February 2008, after 22 years with the same look since re-opening after the fire in 1986, the Rovers Return was redecorated. It received new wallpaper, re-upholstered seating, new flooring and new light fittings. A smoking shelter was built, which is accessed by a new door in the main pub area. This door has not been seen on screen.
Since that make over in February 2008, the wallpaper was changed again in October 2008, making its on screen debut 17 October 2008. The producers were not happy with the choice of wallpaper in February 2008. The new wallpaper is similar to the wallpaper used after the 1986 fire which hung in the Rovers for twenty-two years.
The change of decor in February 2008 was a storyline in the show, where Liz McDonald's husband Vernon hired friends to redocorate. The new look of the Rovers in October 2008 was not explained in the story. A few weeks later, Emily Bishop commented to Jed Stone that the local pub had "recently" been redecorated.
The fictional timeline proceeds as follows:
- 13 May 1964: Martha Longhurst dies after suffering a heart attack in the snug of the Rovers.
- 7 March 1979: A lorry crashes into the Rovers Return, injuring several people including Alf Roberts, Mike Baldwin, and Betty Turpin. Deirdre Barlow panics because she left a young Tracy Barlow sitting outside in her pram, but it emerges that she was kidnapped by Sally Norton.
- 18 June 1986: A faulty electricity box starts a fire in the pub, and the whole interior explodes. Bet Lynch was asleep upstairs, but is eventually rescued by Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell).
- 12 February 1993: Outside the pub, Lisa Duckworth is killed by a speeding motorist while crossing the road. She dies instantly.
- 13 April 2001: Toyah Battersby is raped in the ginnel beside the Rovers by an unseen assailant.
- 10 April 2005: Tracy Barlow's father Ray Langton dies of cancer during a party to celebrate the second wedding of his ex-wife Deirdre to Ken Barlow.
- 22 February 2008: Violet Wilson gives birth to her son Dylan assisted by Marcus Dent.
- 23 January 2012: During the wedding reception of Tracy Barlow and Steve McDonald, Steve's ex-wife Becky reveals that Tracey suffered a miscarriage the day before she blamed Becky for the miscarriage, thus meaning that Tracy was lying. Steve leaves Tracy.
- 9 September 2012: Kirsty Soames goes into labour after a fight with barmaid; Tina McIntyre, she later gives birth to her daughter Ruby Dobbs in the back room.
- 18 March 2013: In an attempt to frame Jason Grimshaw for arson, Karl Munro sets fire to the Rovers leaving Stella Price and Sunita Alahan hospitalised and killing Toni Griffiths and later Sunita.
- 26 May 2013: After telling Izzy Armstrong that Gary Windass made a pass at her, Tina McIntyre goes into labour with their child 2 months early.
Jim Corbishley: 1902–19
Salford grocer Jim Corbishley sold his shop for £40 to take over the newly built pub in 1902, which he managed along with wife Nellie and son Charlie until 1919. He and Nellie retired after the death of Charlie, who had been fatally injured at the Battle of the Somme.
George Diggins: 1919–37
In July 1919, George Diggins took over the Rovers Return. He and his wife Mary had no children, but a dog that slept in a beer barrel basket under the counter. His wife Mary ensured for the first time that women could be served in the Public as well as the Snug. They later retired to Southport.
Jack and Annie Walker: 1937–84
(Arthur Leslie and Doris Speed) Jack and Annie Walker bought the lease and moved into The Rovers Return on 4 February 1937. During World War II landlord Jack was away from the pub for some time on army duty, leaving Annie to run the pub by herself.
The pair were considered very different. Jack, a broad, Northern speaking man (the phrase "Eeee Annie" heard on many occasion), was no different from his customers, whilst Annie was a snobbish, "well spoken" lady. Despite this, the pair were inseparable until Jack's untimely death in 1970 while the couple were on holiday. (This was due to the sudden death of Arthur Leslie off screen.)
Considered by many to be the best landlady of them all, Annie Walker held the reins at the Rovers for 46 years. Her sometimes vicious snobbishness often alienated her from her customers and she ran the pub with class and stood no nonsense. Behind her mask of a hard landlady, Annie was a very vulnerable person. In 1975, she was held up in her bedroom by two young thieves. After refusing to reveal where she kept her money, they fled, receiving a beating in the yard courtesy of Ray Langton and Len Fairclough. Though calm throughout, this ordeal caused Annie to collapse later. The brewery had heard rumours that she was becoming an absentee landlady, something which she had always feared. She did not like to feel detached from her duties and was always free to speak to customers and develop friendships with her staff, in particular Bet Lynch and Betty Turpin.
She continued her tenancy until 1983 (on screen), but in 1984 it was announced that Annie had decided to retire as landlady to spend more time with her daughter Joan and her family in Derby. She signed The Rovers Return over to her son Billy making him landlord. In 2012 it was revealed that Annie left the role of landlady to Betty Williams in her will, however Betty was not interested as the letter and will was only found after Betty's death (and the pub had already been sold prior to Annie's death, rendering the bequest moot).
Billy Walker: 1984
Wayward son of Annie, Billy Walker first appeared in Coronation Street in January 1961, but took over The Rovers Return in 1984 after his mother Annie retired and signed the pub over to her son. It didn't last long however and he left for good in 1984 after a series of run ins with police due to the lock-ins held after hours.
Bet and Alec Gilroy: 1985–95
Arguably the most famous barmaid on Coronation Street, Bet Lynch was in charge of The Rovers Return for a little over ten years. The brewery, Newton and Ridley, unhappy with the way the pub was being run into the ground by Billy Walker's wayward behaviour, made him an offer he couldn't refuse for the licence. Rather than resell the licence, the brewery decided to hire a manager instead and Bet applied, despite the fact that she thought she had little chance as the brewery normally favoured married couples. She was astounded, however, to be told by Dame Sarah Ridley that the 'regulars' at the pub had signed a petition insisting she be given the job. She became the brewery's first single manageress and the first ever manageress of the Rovers. She was almost immediately put under threat as the Rovers caught fire in 1986. She was rescued from her bedroom by Kevin Webster. While the pub was being rebuilt and out of commission, the nearby bar in Rosamund Street named the Graffiti Club enjoyed a massive increase in trade and its owner, Alec Gilroy, starting sniffing about after The Rovers reopened two months later. As The Rovers struggled to recover from the loss of business, Bet got to know Alec and even booked some of his acts in order to get the trade back up, leading to a love/hate friendship him.
The following year Newton and Ridley decided to sell the licence to the pub and offered Bet first refusal. However Bet couldn't raise the money and Alec (who was attracted to her) lent her the cash to purchase the licence allowing her to become the landlady. She started to have serious trouble keeping up with the repayments and, panicking, suddenly disappeared. Alec convinced Newton and Ridley to appoint him as a temporary manager so he could mind his investment. When Bet got in touch with the brewery three months later, Alec immediately flew to Torremolinos where she was working in a bar and proposed - that way, he argued, she could have the Rovers back as the wife of the landlord and this way she wouldn't lose face. She agreed, reasoning to herself that Alec was the only man who tried to charm her without pretending to love her. They were married a year later on 9 September.
Bet had given birth to a son, Martin, when aged 16 in 1956. She gave him up for adoption. In 1975, as a successful soldier based in Northern Ireland, he tracked down his mother "Elizabeth". Disgusted by Bet's common and lewd behaviour with the 'regulars', he stormed out of the pub without even telling her who he was. When a soldier friend of his visited Bet to give her the tragic news that he had been killed in a car crash, Bet was heartbroken - "The only decent thing a fellar ever gave me... and now even that's been taken away from me."
Contemplating suicide, she was talked out of it by Eddie Yates, whose kindness and willingness to listen made her realise that life was still worth living.
Alec had baggage of his own, a daughter, Sandra. Once again, ironically, Sandra and her husband met the same fate as Martin in 1991, leaving their 15-year-old daughter Vicky distraught and orphaned. Vicky moved in with her grandfather at The Rovers, before leaving after a disastrous relationship with bad-boy Steve McDonald.
In March 1988, Bet found out she was pregnant leaving her and Alec astounded. Despite the shock, they started to come around to the idea when Bet tragically suffered a miscarriage a week later. Both she and Alec were absolutely devastated but put on brave faces and carried on.
In September 1992, Alec was offered a dream job in Southampton. Newton and Ridley agreed to buy back the licence and Bet and Alec prepared to move. However Bet found herself unable to leave The Rovers as it had been her whole life for the past two decades and as a result Alec left alone. The brewery agreed to take Bet back on as the manageress.
In October 1995, the brewery once again wanted to sell The Rovers but this time they weren't just selling the licence but the entire pub and if Bet wanted to keep her home and her job she would need to buy The Rovers outright. Bet knew she could never come up with the £67,000 she needed by herself. First she asked her long-time friend Rita Sullivan to lend her the money and become a business partner. Rita had the money, and was about to agree when she talked with Alf Roberts she quickly realised that Bet's idea of a partnership was 'you buy it, I'll run it' and refused. However Bet, having heard from Mavis Wilton that Rita was going to buy it, was furious and this led to a blazing row between the two. Name-calling and dredged up memories were flung between the two and the fight ended their friendship permanently. Bet then turned to Vicky, who was now married to Steve McDonald. She was also unwilling to invest, considering The Rovers to be a bad investment, and her offer to buy a house for Bet to rent out just infuriated her. Enraged, she threw Vicky out of The Rovers and, realising that she had no-one else to turn to, threw everyone out of The Rovers in the middle of a busy afternoon session. Sending the staff home, Bet promptly packed her bags and called herself a taxi. After a last look at her licensee nameplate and not knowing where she was going, Bet climbed into the taxi and left the Street.
Jack and Vera Duckworth: 1995–98
Newton and Ridley put The Rovers Return up for sale. Possible owners were the Duckworths and Jim and Liz McDonald. Liz had run the Queens Pub in 1993 for the company. Though they had lived through financial hardship for much of their lives, Jack came into a large inheritance gained from the death of Jack's brother Cliff and sister-in-law Elsie in a car crash. Combined with the money made from selling No. 9, Jack and Vera had the cash ahead of the McDonalds and were allowed to buy The Rovers Return. As Jack had a criminal record, Vera was made the licensee. For Vera, who always had elevated ideas of her own status, she had finally made something of her life.
Her happiness was short-lived when in 1997 they discovered they owed £17,000 in taxes and were forced to take on Alec Gilroy, who had returned from Southampton, as a business partner who allowed them to continue living in The Rovers and stay on as members of staff. When Natalie Horrocks took over the pub a year later, she evicted the Duckworths and they ended up running a friend's B&B instead.
Alec Gilroy: 1998
When Alec Gilroy the ex-husband of former Rovers Return landlady Bet returned to the street in 1998 he conned Jack and Vera Duckworth, who had money problems, into selling half of The Rovers to him. Alec and the Duckworths carried on as business partners until Jack and Vera sold Alec their remaining share in The Rovers. In late 1998, Alec sold The Rovers Return to Natalie Barnes and moved away from the Street again.
Natalie Barnes: 1998–2000
Natalie raised her own standards by her purchase of The Rovers. Known for interfering in the Websters' marriage, she was one of the Street's typical sirens.
Her reign was also short. A month after their marriage, husband Des Barnes was murdered by thugs in search of Natalie's son. She fell unexpectedly pregnant and left both the pub and Weatherfield in search of a new life.
Fred Elliott, Mike Baldwin and Duggie Ferguson: 2000–01
Natalie put the pub up for sale when she left. However, the interested party was a pub chain called The Boozy Chain who intended to rename the Rovers Return as The Boozy Newt. Fearing that they were about to lose part of their local heritage, the above consortium of businessmen put together the £75,000 needed to buy the pub.
Duggie was the only one with previous experience as a landlord and was left doing the lion's share of the day to day running, the other two simply reaping the profits. He devised a plan that resulted in Fred and Mike selling their share to Hamilton Griffiths Holdings, only for Duggie to reveal that he was the man behind this company. He now took full control of The Rovers.
Duggie Ferguson: 2001
Duggie's time in charge was short-lived however. He decided to buy Weatherfield Rugby League and Social Club, being a former Rugby League player. The resulting auction caused a massive bidding war between barmaids Geena Gregory and Shelley Unwin. However, Fred Elliot came back and stumped them all with his bid, acting on the wishes of his new wife, Eve Elliot.
Eve and Fred Elliott: 2001–02
(Melanie Kilburn and John Savident)
As a couple, their time in charge was short, with Fred discovering that Eve had in fact committed bigamy by marrying him. Eve left Fred for her husband Ray Sykes but had no legal claim to The Rovers as all documents called her Eve Elliot which was not her name given that the marriage had never occurred. Fred thus became the sole licensee.
Fred Elliott: 2002–06
The local butcher, Fred was never really interested in running a pub, although he would frequently help out. Thus Shelley Unwin became the first manageress of The Rovers since Bet in 1985. However, following a nervous breakdown, Shelly became agoraphobic. Her inability to leave her bedroom seriously compromised her ability to the run the pub although she eventually recovered, returning it to relative stability. In September 2006, Fred planned to move away with his soon-to-be wife Bev Unwin and agreed to sell the pub to Steve and Liz McDonald. However, Fred died shortly after agreeing to the sale and, nothing having been finalised on paper, the pub now legally belonged to Fred's son Ashley. Liz began to worry that the pub was slipping out of her hands again and was relieved when Ashley, who did not have the time or the interest for running The Rovers, honoured the conditions of the sale, allowing Liz to fulfill a long-time dream of running The Rovers Return.
Steve McDonald: 2006–12
For years, Liz had worked at The Rovers on and off. She dreamed of buying it at one point with her then-husband, Jim. Her dream partly came true when her son Steve bought the pub. Liz became landlady as Steve could not hold the title due to having a criminal record. A smoking shelter was erected in the back yard, albeit built without planning permission. This was to cater for smokers after the public smoking ban was introduced in the summer of 2007. A direct walkway was also built in the bar, knocking through part of the back wall of the building so patrons didn't have to pass through the living quarters.
In 2011, Liz learned that Steve had started to run the pub into the ground due to taking out loans against it so wife Becky could buy her nephew from her negligent sister, an action that had also caused him to surrender custody of Amy to Tracy. Liz laid the blame for all this squarely at Becky's feet, causing a rift between her and Steve. Jim returned and soon developed the same contempt for Becky and offered to buy the pub for Liz from Steve and Becky, claiming he had the money. However this was a lie and after failing to raise the cash in time Jim desperately attempted to rob a bank but was imprisoned. Devastated, Liz found she'd lost her love of The Rovers and decided to leave without telling Steve and Becky. Calling a taxi, she packed her bags before leaving the pub and the Street.
With Liz gone, Steve and Becky were forced to find a new licensee as neither could hold the title due to having criminal records. Steve hired Stella Price as the new manager and licensee of The Rovers Return. Heat was dismayed when she moved her boyfriend and daughter in with her although soon accepted the situation. In December 2011, Steve decided to buy Number 13 after beginning a relationship with Tracy Barlow and having tired of running The Rovers decided to put it up for sale.
Stella Price 2012–13
Stella was offered first refusal and while she was interested in buying the pub, her partner Karl was reluctant, although he soon warmed to the idea. After an application for a mortgage had been approved, Stella bought The Rovers outright.
When Stella finds out about Karl's affair with barmaid, Sunita Alahan, she sacks Sunita and throws Karl out. She then starts a relationship with Jason Grimshaw, who is 20 years younger than her, making Karl jealous. However, he is more jealous when she asks him to move in with her. In March 2013, Karl Munro sets The Rovers Return on fire, trapping Stella Price and Sunita Alahan in the pub.
After the fire at The Rovers Return landlady Stella realises that the insurance company wont pay out and she cannot afford to pay builder Owen Armstrong for the refurbishment. Stella comes up with a plan to sign half of The Rovers over to Owen if he will wave her bill. When Owen refuses the deal, Stella's mum Gloria steps in and pays Owen £80,000 to finish off refurbishing The Rovers. Gloria mentions to Rita Tanner in the Kabin that she now owns half of the pub and therefore is Co-landlady. Gloria also says that her and Stella will be reopening the Rovers that weekend.
Steve and Liz McDonald: 2013—
When Stella Price discovers on her wedding day that it was her new husband Karl Munro who started The Rovers fire and not Sunita Alahan, she and Gloria decided to put The Rovers up for sale as it holds to many bad memories. Stella says that she has received an offer on the pub for the full asking price of £160,000, which she has accepted. The buyer turns out to be former landlord, Steve McDonald, who has bought back half of The Rovers and tells Michelle that she can be managing supervisor and landlady. A few days later, Steve's mum Liz returns and announces that she owns half of the pub and is also landlady. Michelle is furious as Steve did not tell her that Liz was returning. Liz and Michelle do most of the work in the pub so that Steve can concentrate on his other business, Street Cars.
|Owners||Steve McDonald (50%), Liz McDonald (50%)|
|Bar Staff||Sean Tully, Eva Price|
Martha's death, 1964
Episode 357, transmitted: 13 May 1964
In 1964, the producership of Coronation Street was handed to young, enthusiastic Tim Aspinall. He immediately began to ring changes. Since it had been fully networked across the various ITV regions in 1961, Coronation Street had never been out of the top ten ratings of the week (that continues to this day, 50 years on). However, competition came from the BBC (there were only two channels in those days, BBC Television and ITV - BBC 2 was to follow later that year). The BBC placed their most popular comedy series such as Steptoe and Son opposite the programme. In those pre-video recorder days, viewers were forced to choose what to watch, and, as a consequence, Coronation Street began to lose the ratings war. It was decided, by Aspinall, that several 'blockbuster' storylines would have to be staged, the most radical being the death of Martha Longhurst.
Despite being a nosy old gossip and, in the Mancunian dialect of the show was "... no better than she should be....", Martha was a highly popular character; thus she was chosen to be killed off in a highly cynical bid to boost the ratings.
On the night of her death, the residents were gathered in the Rovers, singing songs and celebrating Frank Barlow's £5000 win on the Premium Bonds. Martha, on her way to Spain the next day, had been showing off her new passport, of which she was very proud. She began to feel faint and retreated to the Snug, away from the singing punters, all in tune with Ena Sharples on piano.
Feeling flushed she undid her top button, pushed off her beret, clutched her chest and collapsed onto the table. The regulars, with the impression she was drunk came to see what was going on. Upon inspection Len Fairclough pronounced her dead. She had suffered a fatal heart attack at the table she had frequented for years. The punters left, leaving only the Walkers, lifelong friend Ena and the late Martha Longhurst.
Violet Carson, a highly accomplished pianist (she had played the piano on the BBC's long-running Children's Hour) kept her back to the camera as she played the song "Down At The Old Bull and Bush" as she was so upset by the storyline and didn't want the camera to see her tears.
That night saw the credits roll in silence for the very first time (something that would later become the norm whenever a character was 'killed off'), with the rooftop scene replaced by a close of the snug table which contained a sherry glass, a passport and Martha's famous NHS spectacles.
Lorry crash, 1979
Episode 1893, transmitted: 7 March 1979
Deirdre Langton wheeled her young daughter Tracy down to the Rovers in her pram. She was to see Annie Walker with regards to a knitting pattern. Knowing Annie's strict rules concerning children on licensed premises, Tracy was left outside in her push chair.
No more than two minutes had passed as Deirdre and Annie spoke in the back room. Suddenly, their conversation was halted by screeching of brakes followed by a terrible crash, which shook the pub. Annie froze but Deirdre rushed through the pub and outside where she had left Tracy. In that very spot was a 6 foot pile of timber. Accompanying the pile was a lorry, turned on its side and smoking from the crash. Deirdre hysterically pulled away at the wood screaming for Tracy. Inside the pub, Alf Roberts had been sitting with friend, Len Fairclough in front of the window. Alf lay unconscious as Len, whose own arm was broken, desperately tried to help him.
Ken Barlow, having rushed across from the community centre, took control. Having realised the driver was dead, he began to help the distraught Deirdre who was still frantically clawing at the timber. Once the police had taken charge, and Deirdre had been taken away to be comforted by Emily Bishop and Ena Sharples, the timber was eventually cleared from the shattered pub.
The story was concluded when Tracy was found not to be under the timber, but had been snatched away moments before the pub was hit. The snatcher was a crazed young woman called Sally who had become obsessed with Tracy. Mother and daughter were re-united later by the canal as Tracy was rushed to the arms of Deirdre. For Alf Roberts, the scars remained and he underwent a personality change months after he returned from hospital.
The Fire, 1986
Episode 2631, Transmitted: 18 June 1986
During a sing-a-long night, when the guests stood around the piano, the lights in the pub had been flickering and cutting out all night. Much to the frustration of Bet and the rest of the punters. Jack Duckworth, potman at the time, decided to fix the problem. Upon return, he was graciously thanked for solving the problem. However, he had replaced the fuse with a far stronger one, leaving the problem of a potential explosion.... Bet retired to bed that night, having locked up. In the middle of the night, the inevitable happened, and the fuse caught fire.
Young couple Kevin and Sally were returning from a rock concert in the early hours. Noticing the smoke billowing out from under the Rovers door, Sally alerted Kevin. The street came alive as residents Percy Sugden and Terry Duckworth offered a helping hand. Kevin acquired a ladder with the help of Percy and was able to reach the bedroom window.
Inside, Bet had found her exit down the stairs blocked by flames that leapt up at her from the hallway. She let out a gut wrenching scream and crawled back into the bedroom, vomiting up the smoke that had congealed in her stomach. (Actress Julie Goodyear says that her night dress caught fire during filming the scene, and she was in genuine danger - "I can assure you, the scream at the top of the stairs is a genuine one.") She collapsed, overcome from the smoke.
Kevin had smashed his way through the window with a brick. Shouting to the rest of the residents that he could see her, he climbed in. Down below the front windows of the Rovers blew out into the street, sending shocked residents running. As Kevin dragged Bet to the window, the Fire Brigade arrived to take over.
Bet was saved as heroic Kevin was led home, refusing to be taken to hospital. Vera Duckworth had sarcastically suggested that the cause had been Bet smoking in bed, though Jack knew who was to blame. As Bet was led away in the ambulance she joked "Can you give me a minute, love, give me time to put my face on...?"
Breaking with convention, the episode ended not with Bet fighting for her life, which would have been the usual soap opera cliché, but the pub itself, which Newton and Ridley thought was not worth saving and intended to demolish.
Once the Rovers was renovated and refurbished, Bet pinned an electrician's number up on the board telling Jack to call upon the services of a professional, as they had the Rovers back, and she intended on keeping it.
The closing credits for this episode were particularly long, this was due to a pigeon being captured on the camera after the closing sequence was filmed. The pigeon magically flew over the viaduct and landed on the blackened Rovers sign. The closing credits were extended to show this, with almost the entire theme tune being played, and delays between the last few credits. The entire sequence was 1 minute 45, over twice as long as usual.
Ray Langton's death, 2005
In 2005, Ray Langton returned to Coronation Street, where he died. His death was the second death in the history of Coronation Street to take place inside the Rovers.
Dylan's Birth, February 2008
In February 2008, barmaid Violet Wilson gave birth in the pub to Dylan who was fathered by gay barman Sean Tully. Landlady Liz McDonald, Eileen Grimshaw and Vernon Tomlin were present at the birth. Sean's boyfriend, Marcus Dent delivered the baby.
The Cellar, 2008
Episode 6834, Transmitted: 6 June 2008 In June 2008, Steve McDonald and Dan Mason became engaged in a petty feud. Steve believed that Dan scratched his car, which resulted in Steve stealing Dan's mobile phone. At closing time, Dan went to the pub to confront Steve. He ended up hitting Steve by accident. Steve then struck Dan with a crate and threw the mobile down the cellar stairs. When Dan went to retrieve it, Steve locked him in the cellar. Dan, suffering pain from the blow of the crate, fell over in agony on the stairs. Steve, however, had already left and did not hear his shouts for help. The next day, Michelle Connor found Dan and he was rushed to hospital. Steve was arrested for attempted murder and unlawful imprisonment.
The Fire, 2013
On 18 March 2013, Karl Munro set fire to the pub's cellar in order to frame Jason Grimshaw but was caught by Sunita who was knocked unconscious by Karl when he fled to the Bistro to do his "Full Monty" act. Norris Cole came into the restaurant to tell everyone about the fire, and Karl discovered Stella was upstairs in one of the pub's bedrooms so he went back in to save her. As he got to her, the stairs collapsed, trapping them. Luckily Paul Kershaw managed to get to them and got Stella out while his friend and fellow-firefighter Toni Griffiths got Karl out before the roof collapsed on top of her and killed her. Shortly afterwards the fire brigade arrived, put out the fire and were able to get Sunita out. The fire caused significant damage and will cause future financial problems for Stella. Sunita was in a coma for a while and was killed by Karl when she began to recover. The Rovers re-opened on Sunday 26th May 2013.
The Interior Set
The Rovers Return set features walls and windows that can be removed to allow filming from different angles. There is a painted backdrop which looks over to the Webster's house, Audrey's salon and the flat above the salon.
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