Tag Archives: Rovers Return

Corrie Street 24 Sept. 2017

Beer Launch

Thursday, Newton & Ridley held a launch for a new craft beer at the Rovers. More secrets than beer got spilled.beer launch at rovers return

Tracy and Ken arrived just in time to see Peter holding a pint up to his lips. They went into full ‘no, no, no, how could you Peter, I knew ken-and-tracy-walk-in-roversthis would happen’ mode. ‘Eh? What’s the problem?’ from the brewery rep. Evidently, Newton & Ridley doesn’t do extensive background checks on their licensees. They did not know Peter’s history with alcohol. Nor did they know about his time in jail. Steve, ever helpful, let that one slip.

Evidently, surrogacy agencies also don’t do extensive background checks on their applicants. In the background of the chaos that was jackie-listens-as-peter-explains-pintthe Rovers’ launch sat a potential surrogate mother for Toyah and Peter. She had come to meet them so she could decide if she wanted to carry a child for them. So the process had moved past the administrative level to the actual nuts and bolts of surrogacy, the woman with whom you’d be sharing a joint pregnancy.

Toyah and Peter are not going the private route that Izzy and Gary did, with getting their mate Tina to carry their baby. Toyah and Peter peter-sees-tracy-and-kenare doing it the official way, through an agency with presumably vetted surrogates and parents-to-be. The individuals’ backgrounds, family structure, support system, skeletons in the closet – I’d think the agency social workers would check all that out, not the surrogates themselves. A lot of omissions on Peter and Toyah’s application form seem to have slipped past the administrative office.

toyah-hears-surrogate-has-leftSo the surrogate, Jackie, get to see Peter and Toyah and the fam in their natural habitat. Leanne snarling, Ken preaching, Tracy snapping, Steve being – well – Steve. That makes it a lot more fun for us to watch, but I would stay away from that agency on either side of their service provision.toyah-runs-after-jackie

Jackie decides to be their surrogate after all. Maybe, after hearing just a fraction of the tangled hedgerow that is the Barlow-Battersby family tree, she figures a kid born by surrogacy will feel that he or she has the most normal and boring ancestry of them all.

Newton & Ridley too maybe should review their vetting process. If only the licensee’s suitability is significant, then only Toyah’s background should matter. If the licensee’s partner and/or family is brewery-reps-aghastconsidered to be part of the pub management, which is reasonable, then Peter’s history should not be a surprise to the brewery at this late date. And if the rep at the launch just isn’t in the brewery information loop, then alcoholism, baby daddies or anything else is not any of his business.

Corrie Street 13 Aug. 2017

New Landlady

putting coin in tampon machineThe closing scene Tuesday: Toyah putting a coin in the tampon dispenser in the ladies’ room of the Rovers. Crying.

That morning, Peter and Toyah started work as publicans. Toyah’s name over the door, landlady of the Rovers Return. Arms around each other, they look up at the sign with pride. And hope – Toyah’s taking a pregnancy test next day and she has “a really good feeling.” Later on, she gets her answer in the bathroom. A dream fulfilled, a dream shattered.

toyah-takes-box-from-dispenserMonday and Tuesday’s episodes were perfect. A new era for the Rovers began and history was remembered. The kind of episode that former writer and keeper of Street history Darin Little did so well. Writers Mark Wadlow and Damon Alexis-Rochefort did an equally fine job.

Monday, Liz lets her heartbreak show in the back room of the pub. She is leaving her home and her job – her profession. But, front of the house, she wears a happy face. At the leaving party, in front of the punters and new owners, she graciously wishes them well. Toyah pays tribute to past landladies: Annie Walker, Bet Lynch, Vera Duckworth and the landlady she learned from – Liz McDonald.

Next day, in the factory, they talk about the party and the changing of the guard at the Rovers. Another owner, Fred Elliot, is remembered. I say, Fred Elliot is remembered.sign landlady Toyal Laverne Battersby

Peter and Toyah, that morning, savour the start of a new life. Who’da thunk it, that when she moved to the street all those years ago that she’d end up landlady of the pub. Don’t tell Les, Peter cautions her, he’d drink us dry in a week. Ha! Nice to hear Toyah’s dad mentioned.

Peter and Toyah happy about new businessA tiny moment of happiness, then the start of pressure building. Leanne needs a place to live immediately. So Peter says she, Simon and the baby can move in upstairs. Nice gesture, but it means he and Toyah won’t have even one day to enjoy their new space alone.

Peter’s alcoholism has been the focus for fears about their ownership of the bar. But there are less obvious elephants in the room. Toyah’s desperation about having a baby is a big one.toyah-cries-in-bathroom

There are also smaller ones. “A stroppy teenager, screaming baby” and sister and ex sharing your living space. Sean determined to show that he’s “the glue that holds the place together.” Unbridled enthusiasm can cause as much friction as no enthusiasm sometimes. I think the odds on whether Peter or Toyah cracks first have just shortened.

Corrie Street Oct. 27/13

high-heelOh, the joy of seeing Liz McDonald come through the Rovers’ door!  A real landlady back.  And just in time, before Michelle and her ego have a chance to completely destroy the business.  I agree with Michelle:  being the barmaid is a less taxing job than being the landlady.  Having no real responsibility or authority better suits her skills.

However, now having her feet planted behind the bar as landlady and being able to lord it over the likes of Tracy, Michelle will surprise-gift-for-menot go gently.  The next fight, I predict, will be between her and Liz about the sign over the door.  It will be more evenly matched than fights Michelle has with Steve.  He proudly put up a new sign proclaiming Steve McDonald and Michelle Connor as proprietors.  If Liz put money into the Rovers’ purchase this time, she will want her name back up there.  And incidentally, have the rules changed?  Last time sign-over-doorSteve bought the bar, his criminal record meant that he could not be the legal licensee.*  That is why Liz was, despite having no financial investment in it at all.

I don’t know if I have ever wished that a grown man would revert to living with his mother and being a perennial ‘mamma’s boy’ but, given the choice of Michelle or Liz as Steve’s partner in life, I think he’s better off with Liz.  Although she is very good at belittling him, she’s not a patch on Michelle.  Of all the bitchy women who have been part of Steve’s life, Michelle has raised it to an art form.

Consider her initial reaction on Thursday to his surprise gift of the Rovers to her.  steve-plays-possumDespite knowing, as everyone on the street except Steve knew, that Michelle doesn’t like surprises, I was shocked by the nastiness that came out of her mouth.  In front of the whole bar, she told him what a loser he was and that having to work all hours in a “backstreet boozer” was not what she had dreamed of for her life.

One’s mouth can run ahead of one’s brain, so maybe Michelle would quickly realize that what she said was hurtful and ungracious.  She took herself off to the Bistro for a think or why-is-she-sayinga sulk.  Steve came in to make amends.  Nope, she was not having any of it.  It was a step back for her, she said, she had a career at the factory, she said, that she loved.  Fair enough, but she made it sound as if he had been responsible for her no longer having it.  Steve did not say, you got in a snit and walked out.  He’s a bigger man than I am.

Round three of negotiations:  Michelle returns to the Rovers ostensibly to apologize.  But liz-settles-fightshe still makes it Steve’s fault.  The words she said about “we need to communicate like adults, with inflection and pointed glance, came across clearly as you.  Steve really should have told her, when she asked if there was anything else, that there was another partner.  But after her earlier explosions, who would willingly cause another one?   How he thought he was going to hide the presence, and involvement, of Liz, I don’t know but I can’t blame him for wanting to.

pack-it-inAs soon as she walked in, Liz had to settle a catfight in the middle of the bar.  Her biggest fight is going to be with Michelle and my money is on Liz.

* The answer is here.  Thanks.

Corrie Street Jun. 9/13

lineup-outside-new-roversI got quite teary-eyed during Stella’s speech at Friday’s reopening of the Rovers.  I was as pleased as she to see everyone back in there with pints and large reds and Audrey with her G & T.

A couple storylines got advanced during the opening, Ches and Ryan getting in a fight and Izzy finding out what Gary has been so desperate to keep from her.  But Ryan and first-pub-fightKaty bore me stiff and, like Tina, I am tired of the Windass clan hovering around her.  The stress seems to be causing Tina’s baby to be born early.  Perhaps the birth of Rover, as I now call the baby, will well and truly christen the renovated pub.

But it was the subtexts that were most interesting.  Stella has refused to use the words “Grand Opening” or “celebration” in light of the tragedy that caused the rebuilding.  Two people died, one a hero and one believed Devto be a villain.

raise-your-glassesPaul and a fellow firefighter came in honour of Toni who died saving Karl.  Dev, husband of alleged arsonist Sunita, attended reluctantly.  He hadn’t wanted to revisit the place of his loss but Mary convinced him that he needed to face those demons.  Stella acknowledged him and his loss with grace and subtlety.

JasonThe camera reminded us of another story, the end of Jason and Stella’s romance.  As Stella thanks Karl, the camera focuses on Jason, not wanting to watch his former lover kiss the man Jason believes to be responsible for everything that has gone wrong.  Leanne also uses just her eyes to tell her story.  As Stella pulls Gloria and Karl to her, saying she couldn’t have done this without them, Leanne stands behind her.  First she throws a glare Karl’s way, a man she cannot trust no matter how often her mother says he’s changed.  Then she looks down and bottled-beerwalks off-camera, dejected.  Despite her animosity toward Karl, she gave Stella money for the pub fittings.  She and Nick also carried up bottled beer from the Bistro when Stella’s suppliers did not get her order delivered in time.  Surely, I think she was thinking, she deserves some public acknowledgement as well.

A developing story was touched on, that of Gloria as financial “angel” with her £80,000.  without-youBefore the opening, Stella continually had to rein Gloria in from buying balloons and banners and bunting.  Not a celebration but a ‘marking’, she repeatedly told her, to little avail.  After Stella thanks everyone for helping and for being there, Gloria says “what am I, chopped liver?” just loud enough for Stella to hear.  It’s wishful thinking if Stella isn’t aware her mother will be adding “Gloria” to the landlady sign.

bettyLastly, Rita bringing a new photo of Betty to hang in the bar makes it truly the Rovers Return.  As Stella said, “Buildings store memories in bricks and mortar, and I reckon this pub’s got lots of those already.  But now it’s got a few more that we’ll never forget.  So will you raise your glasses to present and absent friends.”   I think Jack and Vera and many others would have loved it.  I hadn’t store-memoriesrealized how much I’d missed the Rovers.  I wish only that they’d had a panoramic sweep of it with everyone quiet, so I could get a good look.  If you do want to see it and read about its real-life construction, check out this at Bluenose Corrie Blogger.