In the September, Bet lost her handbag in Marshall's department
store. Someone claiming to be from Marshall's telephoned her,
saying her bag had been handed in, and asking her to come and
collect it. While Bet was at Marshall's, her flat was burgled
and completely cleaned out. All her friends rallied round and
donated clothes, household goods, cosmetics, jewellery and money.
Bet was genuinely overwhemled by the public support she got, never
realising how much she was held in people's affections.
In April 1982, she was (easily !) talked into an affair by Jack Duckworth, which lasted for a couple of weeks until Vera used Bet as an alibi for her own affair, and Jack couldn't resist catching her out. Not wanting to be caught in the middle of the Duckworth's fighting, Bet rapidly called the affair to a halt. Later in the year, Bet's flat was demolished, and she moved back into the corner shop flat in June 1982. By this time Alf owned the shop on his own; he didn't want to rent the flat, but somehow she talked him into it.
In 1984, Betty Turpin took in a lodger, a policeman named Tony
Cunliffe. Bet fell for him, but he dumped her for Rita, who
in turn dumped him soon afterwards.
In 1983, Annie Walker retired. Her son Billy took over the licence of The Rovers. He was involved in various dodgy things and screwed up frequently. He was the landlord for less than a year; he got in trouble with the brewery, and the tenancy was purchased back by Newton & Ridley.
The brewery decided to appoint a manager rather than sell the licence. Sarah Ridley appointed Bet manageress. Bet was flabbergasted, but ecstatic. She moved out of the corner shop flat into The Rovers in January 1985. Soon after, on holiday she has a fling with a barman named Frank Mills. Frank came to stay at the Rovers intermittently from August 1985, but was given his marching orders on New Years Day 1986 after making a play for barmaid Gloria Todd.
In June 1986 a fire gutted The Rovers. It was caused by a ham-fisted attempt at electrical repair by Jack Duckworth, replacing a fuse with one of too high a rating. Bet was sleeping upstairs when the fire broke out, and nearly died. She was saved by Kevin Webster. The brewery decided that it wasn't worth rebuilding The Rovers, and decided it should be demolished. Fortunately, they relented, and rebuilt, renovated, and redecorated it. The grand re-opening was on 13 August 1986.
The Graffiti Club had opened across Rosamund Street from The Rovers in September 1983. At the time of the fire, Alec Gilroy was running it, and he enjoyed a significant increase in business while The Rovers was out of commission. Once The Rovers was re-opened, he started nosing around, checking out the competition. This is how he got to know Bet. Actually, business at The Rovers was down, and eventually Bet booked some acts represented by Alec to try and increase the Rovers' business. Alec became attracted to Bet; Bet tolerated Alec.
In the Spring of 1987, Newton & Ridley decided they wanted to sell The Rovers' licence. This meant that Bet was out unless she could purchase the tenancy herself. She required something in the order of £12,000 to £15,000 to do so, and she was turned down for a bank loan. Because Alec was attracted to her, he lent her the required cash. She purchased the tenancy and became landlady. However, financially, things turned out to be very tight and very difficult. Bet had trouble coming up with enough money to make repayments to Alec; she panicked, and ran away to Torremolinos without telling anyone.
The brewery found out, and Alec made a deal with them: they agreed to make him temporary manager of the Rovers so that he could mind his investment. No one heard anything from Bet for 3 months. When she finally contacted the brewery, Alec flew there to find her. She was working as a waitress in a cafe catering to British tourists. She felt humiliated, hopeless, and like her life was over. He felt strongly for her, realized that he loved her, and proposed. In so doing, he offered her both marriage and the opportunity to be in charge at the Rovers again, this time as the wife of the landlord. She would be able to go back to Weatherfield without losing face or status. She accepted, and they returned to Weatherfield. About a month later, on 9 September 1987, they were married.
In approx. March 1988, Bet was shocked to discover she was pregnant. Alec was dumbfounded by the news as well: they were both absolutely gobstruck. However, they fairly quickly adapted to the idea. Tragically, one week later just as they were starting to look forward to the possibility, Bet suffered a miscarriage. They both took it very hard, but each put on a public face and perservered.
No major events or developments really until 19 July 1991. Alec was informed his daughter Sandra and her husband had been killed in a car crash. Alec and Bet became guardians of their 14 year old daughter, Victoria Arden. About a year later, approx. September 1992, Alec was offered a job in Southampton, overseeing the entertainment acts on the ships of Sunliners Cruises. Bet and Alec sold the tenancy back to the brewery and prepared to move to Southampton. At the very last minute, Bet realized that The Rovers was her whole life, and she couldn't leave. Alec went on to Southampton alone, and Newton & Ridley took Bet on as manageress again: a step down from being landlady, but at least she still had a job and a home.
Things remained fairly quiet for Bet until in 1994 she met truck driver Charlie Whelan. They became involved in a fairly rocky relationship, and Charlie moved into the Rovers with Bet in July 1994. Bet was quite hurt when in October he ran off to Germany with Tanya Pooley, a barmaid at the Rovers.
Bet remained manageress there until October 1995. Once again, as in 1987, the brewery wanted to sell the Rovers; however, this time they wanted to sell of the entire pub, not just the tenancy, and Bet would need to purchase the pub if she wanted to keep her home and her job. However, she could not come up with the needed £67,000 the brewery was requesting. Hurt that none of her friends or family would help her come up with the money, and with all her wordly possessions in a couple of suitcases, she left the pub, the street, and the people who had been virtually her entire world for nearly 30 years.
It transpired Bet had ended up running bars in Spain and the
Canaries, but eventually come back to Britain to run a bar in
Brighton. She returned to the Street briefly in June 2002, ostensibly
for Betty Williams retirement, but actually to take part in a
court case against a former lover and business partner who had
allegedly swindled money from her and other investors. When she
lost this case she retreated back to Brighton with her tail between
her legs to lick her wounds.
The fall of 2003 finds Bet attending a licensee do in Blackpool where she crossed paths with Liz McDonald who was working in a pub in the vicinity. Cecil Newton, of Newton and Ridley's, an old acquaintance of Bet's is more than pleased to see Bet again. She is rather reluctant to spend too much time with Cecil, aware of his reputation as a womanizer but slowly he wins her around and proposes marriage, someone to keep him company in his retirement years. Bet, never one to turn down an opportunity, agrees. In the meantime, she gets tangled up in Liz's problems dealing with her randy boss and the escape of Jim McDonald. Jim and Liz don't manage their escape to Ireland and despite Cecil's son Paul's objections and Private Investigations, meets Cecil at the registry office. It is not to be however. Cecil has a heart attack and later dies in hospital. Bet returns to Brighton with Liz accompanying her.