Sally's father dies in an accident. Her mother has received £8,000 and is giving Sally and her sister each £1,000 but when Sally suggests Kevin use it to buy a share in Brian's garage, Kevin starts on a macho chest thumping rant only to say eventually he doesn't want to do it because Brian's been so unreliable lately. Is that all?
Brian and Gail have been spending less and less time together which is worrying Ivy. She sticks her nose in six ways to Sunday offering opinions and babysitting services. Gail really isn't all that upset it seems, rather indifferent to his night time forays to the local disco with the lads. Mavis and Derek are house hunting but Derek seems to be finding fault and excuses every time they see a likely candidate for a new home. Vera has decided she would like stone cladding on her house to distinguish it from the rest.
Bet and Alec acquire a gloomy-Gus barman and lodger, Charlie who sets his cap for Betty, harassing her to which end Betty puts her foot down. It's Charlie or her. Alec knows who he'd pick but Bet has the final say and cagily snares Charlie into a web of deceit, saddling her friend Stella Rigby with him in the end. Alec has an offer to manage a 9 week tour in the Middle East but Bet isn't having any of it especially after she sees one of Alec's old "mates", Tanya who is an exotic dancer scheduled to appear on the very same tour. Alec finally turns down the tour but then realizes he has been dropped in it by the tax man. He could end up owing a lot of brass!
Alan Bradley is wheeling and dealing and getting bank loans to start up a new security business, except he's pretending to be Len Fairclough to do it. Needless to say Rita has no idea and is proud as punch he's done this all on his own without asking for money from her!
Alan's new business is open with Martin and Dawn Prescott as employees but it's the beginning of the end as first, an old girlfriend of Alan's makes a scene at the grand opening. Rita however is blinded to Alan's nefarious ways and defends him. He starts having close calls with "Len mail" misdirected to No7 and tries to be more cautious. However he starts to fancy Dawn and makes advances, telling her Rita is just his landlady. She begins to realize things are not as Alan paints it however.
Alec tries to manipulate the tax man but to his chagrin he is charged £8,000 and must pay up or name names. Bet lectures him about loyalty and insists he write the cheque but in return he insists he must take on the mid East entertainment tour to make up the loss so arrangements are made and he's off.
Brian and Gail continue to live separate lives much to Ivy's dismay. Gail finally tells Ivy they don't love each other anymore and Ivy goes in to a frantic panic to no avail. Brian and Gail have it out and although Brian wants to try harder at the marriage, Gail wants out. He's not happy and storms out of the house bitterly, leaving a weeping Gail behind. He never comes home again, getting himself stabbed outside a nightclub defending a woman who was being attacked by a couple of thugs. Gail is horrified and Ivy is devastated and the two of them clash over funeral arrangements but Gail gets her way . Mavis and Derek are still house hunting and Mavis is getting exasperated with Derek's inability to make a decision.
Alan Bradley moves in on Dawn but she fends his advances off once she starts to realize there's more than platonic feelings there. He gets angry and attacks her at the shop after work one day but she manages to fight him off and escape. Dawn later confronts Rita about her "lodger" and his actions but Rita defends him as the victim of a being a disgruntled employee but Dawn's tidbit of info about Alan receiving regular mail for Len Fairclough gets Rita thinking. She manages to search Alan's office and finds out all about his fraudulent business dealings. On the day of Jenny's 18th birthday party, Rita confronts Alan with all the evidence and he goes ballistic, beating her and nearly smothering her with a cushion but Jenny and Martin arrive just in time. Alan runs off but is captured at the train station a few days later and jailed leaving Rita to sleep better at night. Jenny sinks into denial that her father could do such a horrible thing as the street residents buzz with the gossip.
Ivy's priest helps her to forgive Gail and they make up their differences. Gail sells the garage to Tom Casey after giving Kevin the option to buy it. Sally pushes but Kevin backs down. Mr. Casey installs his son Mark as an employee. Mark and Kevin get off to a rocky start but manage to forge a good working relationship with Kevin as the manager and boss. Derek tries to socialize with the upper management but can only manage to have his dinner invitation accepted by a lowly accountant newly separated from his wife. Mavis invites Emily and the pair hit it off beginning a lovely friendship to the dismay of Mr. Sugden who thinks Arthur is a bounder up to no good.
Alec is away leaving the bar shorthanded so Bet advertises for a new barmaid and hires the blond and vivacious Tina Fowler. There is soon a noticeable cash error with the till in the Rovers and Tina mentions that Jack has shortchanged a few people but this never happened before the new barmaid was hired! Turns out that Jack needs glasses! His ego finds that a bit denting but he gives in case Vera permanently corrects his vision the hard way.
Curly has been spending a lot of time studying which his girlfriend Shirley finds excessively boring but he won't be moved. She decides to plan a surprise party for him for their one year anniversary. However this is the weekend before exams and Curly is studying overtime. He is not pleased when he comes home from the library to find a party in progress and throws the whole lot out. Shirley ends their relationship because they are just too different to be compatible. Curly is devastated and tries to follow Shirley around to convince her to return but she puts him right in the end. Curly mires in depression that has the neighbours worrying that he might do something drastic so Mr. Sugden makes it his mission to follow Curly for his own safety. Mark and Kevin are having a difficult time coming to a convenient working relationship as Mark is rather fond of skiving off and Kevin hesitates to complain to the boss, Mark's father. But Tom Casey allows Kevin the authority to keep a tight reign on Mark and the two young men end up friends and compatible workmates in the end. Emily's relationship with Arthur comes to an end when he and his wife decide to reconcile much to Mr. Sugden's obvious relief and satisfaction. Mavis and Derek are still house hunting and manage to have a bid accepted on a house but Derek's health assessment shows high blood pressure and he is transferred to a less stressful position. He quits in protest but his resignation is accepted much to his surprise and he can't talk his way back! Bet begins flirting and going out platonically with her friend Stella's husband, Paul. Betty and Jack foresee nothing but trouble, while the cat's away and all that. She manages to fend off Paul's many-handed advances, only wanting a bit of fun outside the pub. Stella knows there's yet another woman in Paul's life but doesn't suss that it's her best friend yet. Alan works on Jenny's sympathies trying to get her to persuade Rita to drop the charges, it was really just a domestic spat! Jenny believes him because she desperately wants to and she and Rita end up in danger of falling out when Rita will not be persuaded.
Alec arrives back from the Middle East a bit earlier than expected and catches Bet coming in late with Paul and it hits the fan. He refuses to believe nothing really happened. Bet tries everything to bring him around but it's no use. The war escalates when the two consult solicitors and Bet goes on housekeeping strike. Alec fires her then brings Paul's wife, Bet's friend Stella into the argument, turning her against bet and then Alec retaliates by bringing one of his exotic dancers in to keep house, forcing Bet to leave and take up residence in Alf's flat and Betty quits as well, fed up with the whole situation. Jack and Vera sneak off to the brewery hoping to take over the pub themselves by informing the brewery of the recent management upheaval.
Nicky begins having problems at school and is becoming a disciplinary problem at home too. He is missing his dad and Gail is having a hard time coping. He runs away early one morning but only goes to the garage to find his dad and Mark brings him home. Ivy starts in on Gail for not staying home with the children and the two of them are at loggerheads again. Alma fits out a flat above the cafe and informs Gail that to cut costs she may decide to work there herself. Which she does and while Gail is off tending to Nicky, she raises prices and runs the cafe like a boot camp. Gail finally gets fed up and packs in her job and Alma fires Phyllis in a fit of temper. She goes back to Gail and offers her a partnership in the cafe.
Don acquires a racing greyhounds in lieu of a fare to Ivy's dismay and he makes plans to race her (the dog, not Ivy). Ivy fears he'll get caught up in gambling again but the dog does not perform well and Don gives up. Ivy and Audrey decide to take over training her, Ivy having become quite attached to the dog. Derek is not taking unemployment well. He first pretends he still has a job while Mavis makes plans to quit hers to be an executive's wife but when it all comes out, Mavis and Rita nearly fall out due to Derek's macho ego but they make it up. Derek spends a few depressing weeks but does manage to find another sales job, selling joke novelties! Curly is done his exams and jobless. He falls behind in his rent and Alf hounds him until he eventually evicts poor Curly! Vera kindly takes him in as a lodger but won't take a penny in rent until he gets a job.
Ivy and Audrey plan out Lucky's training schedule but on the first night they race her, they find out why she's been so slow and sluggish! She's pregnant! They're delighted as is Don who plans to make a fortune selling the purebred puppies. But in the end he sells the dog back to the owner of the sire of the pups for £800, paying Ivy back for the gambling debt she bailed him out of.
Derek always the optimist, ready to make the best out of any situation starts his new job selling novelties with gusto. He has a bit of a rocky start but manages to overcome embarrassing product and rival renegade salesmen. Gail invests Brian's insurance money in the cafe with Mike Baldwin's advice. Mike does not go unnoticed by Alma who takes a shine to this business magnate and she manages to get a few dates with him by obviously chasing him with Audrey's help.
Bet and Alec continue to be at odds, separated, while Megan tries to get her feet under Alec's table and Jack and Vera manoeuver to take over the pub. But when Alec defends Bet to the landlady of a rival pub who hired and fired Bet, he realizes how much she means to him and they reconcile, tossing Megan out on her ear with a cheque for her troubles. They take a holiday in Spain while Vera blames Jack for losing out on the pub, disappointing her once again.
Ken is under pressure from a new competitor and starts printing secret council business much to Deirdre's embarrassment. There's a leak at Town Hall and she is under suspicion and he won't say who his source is. Tension mounts between husband and wife as he continues to print confidential information and she takes the heat for it. We find out at the end of the month that the leak is the council secretary, Wendy Crozier.
Kevin and Mark decide to fix up an old car to race. Sally who is learning to drive wants a chance to race the car too but Kevin is against it. She passes her test to Kevin's astonishment and earns a slow practice run in the banger.
Deirdre must defend herself to the council who think she's the leak. She and Ken argue more often about his principles and her awkward position. Deirdre is determined to find out who the leak is. Eventually Ken tells her it's Wendy but to keep it secret. Alma continues to aggravate Gail, skiving off for dates with or in the pursuit of Mike Baldwin. Gail eventually takes Martin on part time to help as Christine has quit, fed up. Alma finally manages to bed Mike but not too long after that he gives her the brush off, beginning a relationship with Dawn Prescott who is now an estate agent and has sold Mike a posh flat on the Weatherfield Quays. Audrey gets a bee in her bonnet and starts nagging Alf to buy one of the flats too.
Rita and Dawn Prescott make peace over Alan Bradley. A developer is interested in buying Mike's factory. Don's greyhound gives birth but he sells the dog and pups to the sire of the pups for £800. Nicky begins to exhibit unacceptable behaviour, missing his father no doubt. Bet and Alec return from Spain. Jack continues to chat Tina up. She plays him at both ends and accepts a date with him. When Vera finds out she blows up, cutting all his trousers up as the next best thing to cutting up what's inside them. Jack seems to have learned his lesson as has Tina who was just doing it for a lark.
Derek has a job selling joke novelties. Alma licks her wounds and starts an affair with a married man. Jenny passed her exams and is accepted into a college in Brighton. Sally finally has a go in the racer after arguing with Kevin about it all summer but flips the car and breaks her ankle. So ends her racing career.
Martin takes Nicky under his wing when Gail begins to feel the pressure and can't handle it all alone. He and Gail grow closer and begin a secret relationship due to his being 9 years younger than her and Brian not yet dead 6 months. Mike sells the factory to Maurice Jones who instantly closes it down and the factory workers are left without any redundancy pay as a result.
Back from holiday in Northumberland, Ken promises Deirdre no more council leaks and no more Wendy. But he can't resist one more meeting to find out what's up with the new development. Deirdre takes more pressure from Town Hall and tells them the leak is Wendy. She loses her job, much to Ken's sympathy.
The factory workers fight for their redundancy with the help of Councillor Barlow. Ken is no help in the fight because Jones is a big advertiser. The factory workers, with Deirdre, hold a sit in on the building site until Jones agrees to comply. The factory is torn down and a new development including shops and houses is started.
Gail and Martin seem happy but when the news gets out. Gail and Martin hold together in the face of opposition. Jenny is jealous and Ivy is enraged, no respect for her dead son and a scandalously bad example for them kiddies. Audrey for once is on Ivy's side though isn't so nasty about it. Derek has a run in with an independent gag gift salesman invading his territory. Jenny decides to go to college in Manchester after all. Alan's trial date is set for October 19. Jenny is worried about having to give evidence against her father. Ken takes on Wendy at his paper.
Jenny and Rita both are having a rough wait for the trial, Jenny hoping he'll get off and Rita hoping he's sent down for life and things become quite tense between them as a result. Rita gets much needed support from her friends but stress is driving her to the gin bottle a little more often. Alan pleads guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault, is sentenced but let out on time serve, much to Rita's horror and Jenny's joy. A few days later Alan shows up at Rita's and scares the life out of her though he plays it very cool and calm, with only a few words to let her know that he blames her for ruining his life. Alan gets a job at the building site right across the street from Rita's house, much to her terror.
Martin and Gail go public and their friends are more supportive. Martin moves in but Gail insists on appearances being followed so officially he's a lodger living in Nicky's old room. Ivy softens somewhat toward Martin when she helps Gail out by nursing Nicky and, reluctantly, Martin who are both ill with mumps. Ken's employment of Wendy and Deirdre's crusade for the factory workers take a toll on the Barlow marriage. On his birthday, he feels neglected and goes out for a drink with Wendy, ending up in her bed while Deirdre waits at home with a ruined birthday dinner. Wendy quits the paper so Deirdre won't get suspicious.
Audrey decides she must have a new house and starts working on Alf to buy one of the flats like Mike's. He compromises by promising a new semi and the house on Coronation Street is put up for sale. Astonishingly, a buyer is interested immediately, Jim and Liz MacDonald. Curly has passed his exams and spent the summer looking for work. He gets hired as an Assistant Manager (Trainee) at Bettabuys Supermarket where we first meet his boss Reginald Holdsworth. Vera is hired on as a shelf stocker in quick order much to Curly's consternation.
Vera has a rocky start at Bettabuys. Vera makes a match between Kimberly and Curly. Alec enjoys the increased trade from the builders but they are a bit rowdy and cause some trouble with the regulars. One of them, Eddie takes a shine to Tina and she eventually returns his affections and they start dating. Alec bars the regulars for fighting though the brickies started it but has to suck up to them to participate in a football grudge match arranged between him and Maurice Jones (a bet is at stake!) Tina is astonished to find out that Eddie is a single parent of a 9 month old baby, Jamie.
Alf tries hard to avoid it, but the house at No11 is sold to the MacDonalds. Mike meets Dawn's brother who ends up conning Mike out of much of the money he gained from the factory sale on a bad real estate deal in Spain. Mike blames Dawn and throws her out, a broken and broke man!
Alan starts quietly stalking Rita whose nerves are crumbling fast. He's so clever at it that nobody believes her when she says he's out to get her, not even the police. Mavis is the only one that believes her. Jenny becomes bitter at Rita's continuing accusations and moves out of No7 to the college dormitory. Rita is soon reported missing by the loyal Mavis who fears that Alan has murdered her. The police are sceptical at first but think there might be something to it and end up digging up the building site, fearing to find a buried body there. Alan is pressured by the police though he knows nothing of Rita's disappearance and his resentment of her grows.
Ken's affair with Wendy continues, he tells Deirdre he's working long hours. She's busy herself, helping Mavis out at the Kabin with help from Emily. They don't fight much because they just don't seem to see much of each other. Wendy starts pressing Ken for a commitment and he manipulates her into waiting. Mike spies the two of them at the airport and holds the secret over Ken's head.
Deirdre becomes suspicious at Ken's "long hours" when he is rarely in the office. She confronts him but he goes on the offence, implying Mike has been telling tales when of course Mike had said nothing. Deirdre puts a few more pieces together and confronts him when he gets home from Wendy's late on Christmas Eve. He says it's not in retaliation for her affair with Mike and wants her to wait until he's got it out of his system. She tells him she's not fighting for him and throws him out on New Year's Eve when he returns from another evening with Wendy.
Rita is discovered in Blackpool by Bet and Alec. She's had a breakdown and is singing in a hotel under her previous stage name Rita Littlewood. Alec is the one that spills the beans to the cops and to Alan. Alan finds Rita in Blackpool and chases her across a busy street but he is hit by a tram and killed instantly. Rita recovers and Jenny bitterly buries her father with only Martin and the Websters in attendance. She becomes too dependent on Martin and when Gail insists he back off, she turns on him too. Rita tries to make it up with Jenny at Christmas but is cut down cold for her efforts.
Alf and Audrey buy a house but on moving day are turned away when the people they are buying from have their own new house deal fall through. The MacDonalds move in so Alf and Audrey have no choice but to move into the flat over the shop, much to Audrey's disgust and embarrassment. After a few days of Pity Party, Audrey begins looking for houses to move into once again.
Vera loses her job due to an unflattering assessment done by Curly who almost pays for his betrayal with the loss of his lodgings. He is saved however by the discovery that his married boss is having an affair with the security woman at Bettabuys. Derek gets drunk at the company Christmas party and gets locked in the factory. He makes his way out, dressed as Father Christmas, by way of the roof, observed by a drunk Jack who pledges to quit drinking but is relieved to find out he wasn't seeing things after all. Derek later finds out he was laid off and is now unemployed again.