Annie Walker


Full name: Anne Walker (née Beaumont)
Parents:
Edward and Florence Beaumont
Born:
11 August 1909, Clitheroe, Lancashire
Married:
Jack Walker (23 October 1937)
Children:

  1. Billy (b: 8 September 1938; f: Jack Walker)
  2. Joan (f: Jack Walker)

Played by: Doris Speed
Appeared:
9 December 1960 - 12 October 1983

Anne Beaumont was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, and liked to refer to herself as the last of the Beaumont's - a line, that could by her account, trace it's origins back to William the Conqueror and whose motto was "We Shall Rise Again".

During the depression Anne moved to Weatherfield to find work, the only work she could get in those depressed times was in a cotton mill. It was during this time she met and married Jack Walker in 1937. They moved into the Rovers Return and for 33 years until Jack's death ran it together. They had two children Joan, a sweet, undemanding child, the apple of her fathers eye, and William (Billy) who was spoilt by his overindulgent mother.

During the war Jack was away fighting for his country, so Anne ran the pub. By this time she was known to all as Annie, although she hated this name much preferring to be called Anne. When Jack returned, Annie still appeared to run the pub, unless she seemed to be going too far, then Jack would say in a most un-Jack like voice "Annie!", she would then come back into line. The customers loved Jack and put up with Annie for his sake but over time they came to admire if not really like her.

In 1964 Annie left Jack, believing him to be carrying on with another woman. Jack appeared unconcerned, most likely because he knew he was innocent and Annie was "just being silly", as he was wont to say. Once she had made her point, she returned and all was as before. Annie really wanted to be a Lady and did everything possible to become one. She was a leading light in the Licenced Victuallers' Assocciation, she loved amateur dramatics, never letting an opportunity pass for playing only the best parts, and enjoyed ballroom dancing.

In 1961 Joan was married with all the fanfare that Annie could muster. Later that year Jack and Annie were offered the Royal Oak by the brewery after much soul searching they both agreed that to stay at the Rovers was the best for them. During the rest of the 60's Annie had quite a few surprises, her past came back to haunt her when an old newspaper cutting of a re-enactment of Lady Godiva's ride this time through the streets of Weatherfield appeared. It seemed that in her youth Annie had been the girl who played the part of Lady Godiva. She tried to hide this as she was not sure how Jack would take it. That Christmas, Dennis Tanner hosted a This is Your Life in the community hall, and Annie was pleased to find out she was the 'star' of the moment until the Godiva incident was mentioned. In the end everyone had a good laugh and Annie managed to appear as if she did not mind.

In 1967 Annie won a weekend in Paris with a french film star, when she returned to the Rovers she tried without much luck to have a café atmosphere French style come to the Rovers, needless to say the regulars soon put "that grand idea" out of her head. In 1969 Annie won the Best Landlady contest and a trip to Majorca.

In March 1970 Jack died and Annie felt that she could not manage the pub alone, so got her son Billy to return and let him run the Rovers. He hired Bet Lynch, Annie was very annoyed with Billy and told him she did not want the likes of Bet Lynch serving in her pub. Billy persuaded her to give Bet a weeks trial, and after the trial, Annie always the businesswoman, realised profits were up and Bet stayed, and as they say the rest is history!

In 1973 Alf Roberts was to be Mayor of Weatherfield and needed a Mayoress, Annie's year was made when Alf chose her. She milked being the last Mayoress of Weatherfield for all it's worth, had a marvelous time and did Alf proud. During this period Billy was living a very high life and managed to allow many debts to mount up. Annie, worried that she could lose the pub, took all money matters for the pub away from Billy and Betty Turpin stood in for Annie when Annie was busy.

After a while Annie hired manager Glyn Thomas, he tried to make many changes, once again the regulars put a stop to someone "mucking about with their pub". During the early 1970's various things happened to Annie and the pub which made the brewery take a stand that forced Annie to take on a live-in cellarman to help with the work and for security - Fred Gee and all his tricks arrived.

In 1979 Annie felt she was too old to run the pub and tried to get Billy back to help her run it. Once again it did not work out The next decade was Annie's last at the Rovers. She was seen less and less but each time she re-appeared it was an event. In 1981 she took a cruise to Casablanca and left yet another meddling manager, Gordon Lewis, to look after the pub. Annie came home to find that Lewis had fired her staff, and he thought he was going to run the pub from then on, but he had no idea who he was dealing with!

1982 was the brewery's 200th anniversary Ball, Annie planned for this event for months before, at the last minute her escort backed out and Annie would not go alone, so she made Fred Gee take her. For once in his life Fred did not disgrace her. 1983 was the last appearance of the Rovers landlady; she retired to Derby and we never saw her again.


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