The Rovers Return Inn (formerly The Rover’s Return Inn and often referred to as The Rovers Return or The Rovers) is located on Coronation Street, Weatherfield and is arguably the most famous public house in Britain.
Here are some little-known facts about Britain’s favourite boozer:
- The Rovers Return opened in August 1902 and was given its name to commemorate the repatriation of local hero Lieutenant Philip Ridley after the Boer War.
- The pubs first tenants were Jim and Nellie Corbishley (1902 – 1918).
- George and Mary Diggins then ran the Rovers until 1938 when Annie and Jack Walker took over.
- The Walkers (pictured at right) ran the Rovers from 1938 until 1983 (although Jack died in 1970).
- It was the Walkers who brought in the pub’s first long-stay barmaid, Concepta Riley in 1960. They also hired Hilda Ogden as their cleaner.
- The pub was originally divided into three areas – the public bar, the snug (a ladies-only corner where drinks were a half-penny cheaper than in the public bar) and the select (a larger entertainment room with waiter service where drinks cost half a penny more than in the public bar).
- Until 1960, women were not allowed to stay at the bar after being served.
- Lucille Hewitt moved into the flat above the Rovers in 1964 and helped out Annie Walker behind the bar.
- Betty Turpin took over from Emily Nugent – later Emily Bishop – as barmaid in 1969.
- Gloria Todd enjoyed good times as a Rovers barmaid until she ran out of town along with Sandra Stubbs’ boyfriend.
- Long-term Rovers barmaid Bet Lynch became landlady in 1985, thanks to a loan from mate Alec Gilroy who ran the Graffiti Club. They eventually married and ran the Rovers as a team.
- The Rovers was gutted by fire in 1986 when new potman Jack Duckworth attempted to fix a tripping fuse by using a stronger fuse wire, which caused the box to burst into flames. When the refurbished pub reopened, the three areas were now one large bar.
- Tina Fowler joined the bar staff in 1989 and became a familiar face on the street.
- There have been two deaths – Martha Longhurst (1964) and Ray Langton (2005) – and one birth – barmaid Violet Wilson gave birth to baby Dylan in 2008 – inside the Rovers.
- The fictional Newton and Ridley brew served by the bar staff on camera is really weak shandy made with non-alcoholic beer. And Betty’s hotpots were made by the Granada TV canteen ladies.
- The Rovers mysteriously gained a second upstairs window when shooting moved from Granada Television Studios on Quay Street to new offices at MediaCityUK in Salford (see pictures below).