Mavis Wilton


Full name: Mavis Wilton (née Riley)
Parents: Tom and Margaret Riley
Born: 7 April 1937 [or 12 April 1938], Weatherfield, Lancashire
Siblings:
Married: Derek Wilton (9 November 1988, Weatherfield Register Office)

Played by: Thelma Barlow
Appeared: 14 August 1971 - 10 October 1997

Mavis first appeared in Coronation Street, at Emily Nugent and Ernest Bishop's engagement party. Deep down she was a little miffed that her best friend had beaten her to the diamond ring stakes and consequently got drunk on gin. Her father retired from his off-licence in early 1974 and her parents moved to Grange-over-Sands, but thinking there was a life for her in Weatherfield, Mavis (rather bravely for her) moved in with Edith Kenyon - Mavis' dreaded Auntie Edie. In May 1977, she plucked up courage to move out of Auntie Edie's, and ended up renting the flat above The Kabin. After her previous embarrassment, she was seldom known to down more than the occasional sweet sherry as she twittered away in the Rovers. She took a job at Rita Fairclough's newsagents, below the flat, a post she filled for over 20 years. She and Rita made an unlikely pair but their partnership was to last longer than many Street marriages. Rita seemed to have genuine affection for Mavis, but got exasperated by her at times (and understandably so).

Mavis had her fair share of admirers, including plumber Jerry Booth and potter Victor Pendlebury but the love of her life turned out to be pompous Derek Wilton. She even went to Victor to try and get a job for Derek, but Victor said he wouldn't be able to see Derek every day, and not remember what he had taken from him. Derek was a man almost as dithery as Mavis herself. In fact, so indecisive were they as a couple, that they both failed to turn up at the altar for their first wedding. But eventually they came to their senses and realised they were made for each other and were married in 1988, moving into number four two years later.

Often appearing fluffy-headed and whimpery in a crisis - her cries of 'Well, I don't really know' became her catchphrase - when it came to getting her own way or knowing how to handle Derek, Mavis was very strong. Her biggest passions were the arts, particularly painting for which she had a real talent; walking in the Lakes; her pet Budgie; and her allotment and garden, where she and Derek would spend many a happy hour, neighbours permitting.

She attended a painting night class, and showed real talent, but Derek was very cutting and disparaging about her work. Everyone at the class praised her highly, and she started a friendship with another (male) painter. Derek got very jealous and the friendship and the painting were forced to end.

When Derek had a heart attack at the wheel of his car, her world fell apart. She turned on the mourners at this funeral: 'Perhaps you thought us figures of fun. Well it doesn't matter to me. Because I loved him and I know he loved me.' Life in Weatherfield without Derek eventually proved too much for her and she left the Street in 1997 to run a B&B in her beloved Lake District.
 


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