December 1996

Sunday 1 December 1996
Plenty of sympathy was being heaped in Curly's direction tonight starting with the effort of Gary Mallett enquiring as to why Curly wasn't in at work today. Curly of course seemed perfectly O.K in himself but just wanted a little bit of peace and quiet however no sooner had Gary gone home to tend his ailing wife than Percy was in to check in on Curly and his well being.

The Rovers struggled on with it's current staffing nightmares as Jack was still laid up and everyone else was either laid low with flu or finding themselves with a valid excuse for not being in work. Betty was on hand for the lunch time shift but the evenings were well and truly spoken for.

Fiona was ducking and diving to avoid her manager Alec as she had missed a very important gig the night before. Her new boyfriend seemed to have more guilt about her letting Alec down than she did herself, Fiona realised she had to face the music at some point, but not just at the moment.

Mavis and Derek prepared to play the role of entertainers to Fred Elliott and Rita, of course Derek's hidden agenda was to attain membership in to the Square Dealers which was why he was being all sweetness and light to Fred for the occasion.

Just before Curly could sink into any form of depression he received a visit from his past in the shape of Angie Freeman. Fresh back from her globetrotting exploits of the last few years fate and employment had brought her back to Weatherfield for business with none other than Mike Baldwin.

As she spoke to Curly it showed she was still the cheeky character she always was as she told Curly of her exploits in North America and Canada. The latter which had ended up with her getting a job with KayBec clothing and thus a design contract with them hence her involvement with Mike's company.

When questioned about his own life Curly remained guarded and did not furnish Angie with any details of his failed marriage to Raquel. Angie made it less easy for Curly when she reminisced a tad cruelly about Raquel and how stupid she was. You could fair see Curly wince as these verbal punches were landed unintentionally on their target.

At the Wiltons things were getting of to a fabulous start with Derek playing the genial if somewhat slimy host. Fred was toasting their friendships while Mavis beavered away in the kitchen. Rita merely looked like she was counting the minutes until the meal was over and they could make their excuses and leave. The pudding was ready to be served and the conversation which had held the heaviest hints of Square Dealership throughout turned to the subject of membership. It was then that Fred innocently dropped in the conversation about how the vacant place in the rectangle had been taken.

Derek's hospitality vanished quicker than you could say Nuttall's Ales as he turned on Fred in a rage caused by his non-selection in the dealership. He insulted everyone present as he ranted about how Rita would never marry a tub of lard like Fred. Rita stormed out followed by Fred leaving Mavis with her unserved puddings.

Fred apologised profusely to Rita about the going's on in the Wilton household, Rita of course was greatly annoyed and told Fred to go home and leave her alone. Understandably Fred was crestfallen to say the least as the object of his desires walked off .

Vera recruited a strangely willing Alec to get up behind the bar and do some serving as she struggled alone after a sick Judy Mallett finally gave up the ghost through flu and went home. It was here where Fiona confronted Alec and tried to apologise for her conduct. Alec smartly said that he was going to sue Fiona and she could kiss goodbye to the salon.

Liz gave Sean a hard time for his detective work into finding out who Liz's mystery admirer was when she discovered he had quizzed Jim about the gifts. Later at home with Dreary as they discussed the matter Steve rang and told her urgently to come to the prison the following day, he sounded scared in Liz's opinion.


Monday 2 December 1996
It was Fiona's birthday tonight but her 21st was tinged with a little bit of sadness as she looked through her cards but found nothing from her brother Lee who was currently in America. Maxine tried to reassure her that there was a genuine reasoning behind his lack of card but Fiona was in a somewhat drab mood anyway because she feared the consequences of legal action from avenging Alec Gilroy who was suing for breach of contract.

Rita was keeping a low profile in a bid to escape the attentions of Fred Elliott, she was letting an significantly embarrassed Mavis to hold the fort while she retired away from shop life for the day. Mavis truly expected the larger than life Fred to come through the shop door at any point looking for his beloved Rita armed with an apology.

Jim was a tad miffed about not being able to see his son on the prison visit but Liz got her own way and swung it so she took his visit. At the prison Steve explained to his mother about the prison's Mr Big and how he had taken a shine to her. Steve also implored her to act flattered at his attentions to her otherwise he would more than likely get a kicking. Looks like Liz's hands were tied in this situation.

Angie Freeman turned up again at Baldwin's factory with the KayBec designs, she met Sally first and they planned to surprise Mike as he entered the room. Mike's face was a mask of disbelief when he saw Angie but they soon got down to business at hand. Speaking of Sally she was suddenly called away home because she was needed to look after the children.

The cause of this was none other than Kelly, Ken had come around to see her and give her a progress report on how Daniel was, based upon his recent trip to Scotland. Apparently Denise was playing the perfect mother and Daniel seemed very happy there. This made Kelly emotional and when Kevin returned home for his lunch Kelly fled the house in tears, apparently with little in mind when it came to the idea of coming back.

Kevin dug his heels in and refused to take the afternoon off work which meant, as I mentioned earlier, Sally was bound at home for the afternoon. However she insisted that she would be in at work tomorrow and Kevin would have to do the honours whether he was busy or not.

Alec extended his duties behind the bar thanks to Vera's near begging of him to step in and help her out of the breach in her moment of direst need. Alec agreed to help whilst Jack remained an invalid in hospital.

Angie meanwhile had discovered Curly's secret about his failed marriage to Raquel and rushed around to his place to apologise. Curly seemed to be taking his marital break up very well almost matter of factly as he asked Angie if she wanted to go to Fiona's birthday party.

As Fiona's party got under way Fiona's boyfriend had a quiet word with Alec about the lawsuit he was planning and mentioned he was in the CID. He mentioned how messy things could get in legal cases and this made Alec stop and think about his actions somewhat. At the party Fiona was cheered up by the arrival of a cake from her brother Lee and a present in the form of her loan from him being waived. The party was in fact well under way with Curly showing his dancing prowess off very conspicuously.


Wednesday 4 December 1996
A busy episode tonight with Sally suffering at work as a result of Kevin's inflexibility with the children. Her office at Baldwin's took on a resemblance to a kindergarten as she was left holding the baby in a literal sense.

There were also developments for Tony on the horizon, but not in the positive sense. He was preparing to do the dirty on an unwitting Maxine as we discovered he was making moves on a friend of Fiona's. It looks like heartbreak looms on the horizon for Maxine because Tony looked very unrepentant about his actions despite a stern warning from Fiona.

Alec was on good form as he schemed his schemes (in his usual loveable way) in Jack's absence. Using his charm to butter up an unwitting Vera he played the Samaritan staying on as the hired help at the Rovers fitting the role as if he had never been away. He was trying to convince Vera that the way forward for pubs was theme nights. In particular an idea he was nurturing was one of an Irish night. Vera of course was in full agreement to this and even went as far as to suggest dying her hair green for the occasion.

Joyce had a win on the scratchcards of £100 much to the disappointment of Tricia who had bought one just prior. She was of course overjoyed and told how this had come at just right time. Judging from the financial mess that Joyce is being broadly hinted at having it would seem £100 is nowhere near enough. Especially now Judy was going to be checking the catalogues to see why her and some others were being listed as in debt when Judy was supposed to be paying their instalments for them.

Sam flirted a touch with Martin, however once again it was only a bit of a storyline which looked only half heartedly like it could lead anywhere. Sam likened Martin to the boy who administered her first kiss and told how it definitely hadn't put her off for life!

After a day of bumbling about Fred finally went to see Rita, however there was no reconciliation only an ending to any possible relationship they might have had together in the future. Fred was all bluster and bravado as he withdrew his proposal of marriage after a fashion. He claimed his flirting had got him into all sorts of trouble and he was supposedly to be wed to several local women whom had taken his professional relationship with them further than he ever intended.

In essence a maudlin Fred withdrew his proposal asking Rita never to mention what might have been and it was with a touch of sadness in her eyes she agreed.

Angie was on her way out of the Street again for now, as she had stated her visit to Weatherfield was to be only a flying one. Before she left though she drank with the regulars in the Rovers and she spoke of Canada. Somewhere along the conversation a quick jibe about dumb blondes was dropped into the conversation which upset Curly and he left.

Angie followed him home and the two of them had words, Curly was feeling hurt about the way she had just walked out of his life a few years prior and had not kept in regular contact with him since. What also hurt him was finding out Angie had a boyfriend in London. Curly basically sulked as Angie tried to say goodbye to him, in fact he was generally getting very bitter and twisted indeed in general.


Friday 6 December 1996
Mike wasn't the happiest of people tonight as he discovered that Tricia who was under his employ was pregnant. Sally of course was the one who would be taking the rap for not letting him know about her condition earlier. Sally however was fighting in Tricia's corner and was even going as far as suggesting the Baldwin's factory should have creche facilities.

Liz was also uneasy about the gift she had found in her flat, she confided in Dreary about the occurrence but under no circumstances did she want Jim involved in the situation at all. Neither did she feel in a position to go to the police about the matter.

Curly was suffering something of a life crisis as well tonight as he wondered about what direction his life was taking. He looked back at Angie's success in her chosen field and Raquel's recent departure and wondered if it was too late for him to make his mark in life. This attitude and behaviour spilled over at work as he sat dejectedly going about his mundane tasks much to the annoyance of super efficient Anne Mullone.

The Rovers, of course, was in full readiness for it's theme night. It was to be Irish all the way with Alec even donning his green clothing and a traditional Irish musical set being order of the day. Guinness sales were undoubtedly up in the Rovers as well. Fred was very maudlin about the loss of Rita and it showed as he slumped long faced at the bar.

Next door Ken got a surprise visit from the head teacher of his school. This was no repeat performance of crossed signals like we saw originally between the two but a far more grim offer in the offing. Apparently the school where Ken worked was heavily over budget and needed to cut costs dramatically. One way of doing so was proposing some early retirement packages for senior members of staff. Naturally Ken was very impressed about the idea and turned it down. Life it seems couldn't get any more stressful for him at the moment.

In the Rovers, Curly was making clear his plans of departure with his circle of friends. He announced that the world was his oyster and he was selling up and getting out before it was too late. Everyone was shocked by his announcement. A bored Jack rang from the hospital only to hear the suspiciously loud and unusual noise coming from his beloved pub. Vera soft soaped him with a story about it being a crossed line and he seemed to swallow it.

Sean received a "friendly" warning from the bearer of all Liz's gifts, he was told to stay away from slim redheads and he seemed to get the picture. Whether he will follow good advice remains to be seen.


Sunday 8 December 1996
Joyce was getting something of an earbashing tonight from her daughter Judy. The reason behind Judy's animosity towards her mother was to do with her recent money worries and Judy's suspicions that she had been using Vera and Betty's catalogue payments for her own ends. The argument started over Sunday lunch with Gary desperate to keep the peace yet Judy eager to broach the subject. Joyce refused to stay in the house a moment longer to be subjected to Judy's accusations of monetary foul platy and quickly left. After she left the house her first port of call was Rita's Kabin although it was closed, her quest to find scratch cards was all encompassing.

Next door Curly was entertaining Anne and Andy over lunch, after they had overheard the arguments in the Mallett household they all got ready to eat. Curly of course was still intent on throwing in the towel regarding his current life and setting off round the world.

Over at the Rovers, Rita was talking to Alec and asking him what he was getting out of the recent theme night at the pub. Alec claimed he was merely being charitable but then being Alec that is more likely to be a falsehood. He was obviously looking to make a quick profit from the venture and was encouraging Vera to consider making the Rovers a regular theme night venue. Rita also informed Alec that Fiona had approached her about acting as her manager. Alec informed her he had put the word out about Fiona's unreliable behaviour and she would find getting work in the area very hard right now.

Des, Claire and Becky returned from a weekend of working on the boat, but no sooner had they got in the house things had gone a little sour. Becky revealed in conversation that her school friends were jealous of the fact they had bought a boat. She also revealed how jealous they were about how she had both a flat and a house to call home. This was something which was supposed to be kept a secret on account of Claire's widow pension granted her from the RAF. If knowledge got out about her co-habitation with Des she would lose her money straight away. This of course caused and argument in the household with Claire and Becky whilst Des played peacemaker in the scenario.

In the Rovers the allotment crowd were gathered to play "identify the plant", Mavis and Derek were of course showing off the spiky leafed suspicious plant which had been given them by Des a few months earlier. Derek dutifully brought the plant across whilst one of the old hands at the allotment crowd wound off a tale of a similar plant he had seen years ago. It would transpire this was indeed a cannabis plant which generated an immediate wave of panic in the Rovers. To make things worse Fiona's policeman boyfriend happened to wander over and investigate the plant. Derek showed his true colours and blamed Mavis for the appearance of the plant whilst she implicated Des who had been drinking in the pub only seconds before but had now suspiciously vanished. As a result Des was on the receiving end of a verbal rollicking from Fiona's boyfriend whilst he was prepared to let the matter drop if the plant was destroyed.

Ken was rambling on to Dreary about his trip to Scotland and how his trip to see Daniel had been a disaster for one reason or another. Dreary had originally intended to stay the night but seeing Ken preoccupied like he was made her rethink her plan somewhat. However eventually Ken shut up about Daniel and Dreary decided to stay after all.

Liz was getting further panicked about her interested party especially following the threats made to Sean Skinner. What made matters worse was Sean calling round to see her to explain he would not be seeing her anymore. He explained how he couldn't take on the likes of her admirer as he was a big Manchester hoodlum with some serious influence in South Manchester. Liz told Sean to get out of her flat in a very angered and upset state. She was hardly impressed by the fact he wouldn't put his head in the noose for her.


Monday 9 December 1996
Derek and Mavis were feeling the brunt of the jokes following the embarrassment of being found in possession of a cannabis plant. Mavis was hiding out in the Kabin trying to avoid any confrontation with the locality. Derek of course had something of a vengeful mood brewing within and wanted to sort out the Des Barnes problem once and for all. He went round to confront Des but only found Becky, she informed him that Des would be in later that night with her grandparents present. Derek saw this as an opportunity to humiliate Des in front of his new assembled family.

There was trouble ahead for Tricia Armstrong as well when she was called into the office to see Mike Baldwin. Anticipating a pep talk about the baby she was expecting she confidentially strode into Mike's office. However nothing could be further from the truth as when Trish entered Mike bluntly announced she was no longer required to work for him. He cited his reasons for getting rid of her as being related to the serial lateness and slack attitude she was so keen on displaying. He claimed it was nothing to do with her pregnancy either but pure and simply a work related matter.

Sally heard about the sacking and immediately went to see Mike and confront him about Tricia's predicament. So incensed was she about what had happened that she instantly offered Mike a simple ultimatum. It was either Trish was reinstated or she would leave the factory there and then. Mike stood his ground hard and fast and it was Sally who walked out of the door first.

Trish meanwhile headed for the Rovers to find solace with Vera, she sat and wept whilst looking for solace with her friend. In the background Alec was setting up another theme night for the Rovers over the Christmas period. Vera had some much on her plate she let Alec get on with his plotting and planning unattended.

Anne informed Eric Firman about Curly's intentions of leaving to journey round the world, however she didn't check with Curly first. The problem appeared to be that Curly was having something of a change of heart. Eric however decided he wasn't going to stand in Curly's way and was allowing him to leave after the Christmas rush. Speaking of Bettabuys staff we discovered former employee Reg Holdsworth had become a father although the proposed inheritance his girlfriend was due had fallen through.

Liz meanwhile was still in something of a state following her recent trials, Dreary as always was her main confidant in the situation despite having problems of her own helping Ken cope with the loss of Daniel. It looked like there was no chance of Sean coming back on the scene until her admirer cooled off his interest.

The ongoing feud between Joyce and Judy had continued despite Judy being worried about her mother's financial well being. Joyce paid back the money she owed Judy and there was a few choice words about the "accusations" that she had suffered at her daughters hands.


Wednesday 11 December 1996
There was some speculation from Percy about the state of the relationship between Dreary and Ken as he witnessed them kissing goodbye to each other on the doorstep of Ken's house. He relayed this to Emily who of course took his story as something of a construct of an overactive imagination.

Joyce's financial troubles seemed to be escalating as she seemed to be spending obscene amounts of money on the scratchcards. Rita showed concern as Joyce poured yet more money down the drain with no rewards to show for it at all. However Joyce merely continued her financially destructive path unabated.

Mike's factory continued in a decidedly supervisor free style which promised trouble for Mike. Ida fancied her chances in getting Sally's old job but Mike didn't credit her with the ability to do the necessary work it entailed. In fact inefficiency seemed to be showing already without Sally at the reins.

Martin showed interest in Curly's car now he was "leaving", in fact everyone was showing an interest in Curly now he was going. Anne for one start wanted his job and to add to this Martin wanting his car it seemed everyone was playing the vulture against him.

Derek and Des looked like building their feud into previously unheard of proportions. Des was fuming at being made to look silly the night before by Derek's intervention whilst Derek was simply not prepared to forgive and forget. It looked like a scenario that will run and run indefinitely as the good humoured Mickey taking was now gone.

Maureen had a maudlin few moments when she discovered Reg was a father, she deliberated over what had been whilst Maud confirmed she was best rid of him.

Ken was gaining as much support as possible in his quest to get Daniel back he was looking for character references wherever possible using Kelly and Emily for starters. Even Mike wished him good luck in his attempt to get his son back which was indeed a turn up for the books.

Joyce's desperation caused her to hint to Alec if he fancied a live in housekeeper. Alec declined the offer and also declined being the one to lend her more money when she in a round about way insinuated needing a loan. Alec was more interested in the "miracle memory" talent of Roy who had memorised the classified ads of the local paper and with that talent had found Gary Mallett a specific bike advert.

Liz was still at loggerheads with Sean over being dumped and despite his attempts to explain his actions it made no difference she didn't want to know him whatsoever. Unfortunately her prison based admirer had his spies watching her and saw them talking (and arguing) together.


Friday 13 December 1996
Christmas was coming to the Street but for some of the residents it was not starting out happily, starting with Des and Claire. A letter had arrived from the pensions agency stating they wanted to see Claire regarding her living accommodation with Des. It looked like she might be prosecuted for breaking the terms of her pension agreement. Des of course was livid and instantly jumped to a conclusion about who had grassed them up.

Derek of course was the main suspect and Des instantly rampaged across to the Wilton household. Once there he proceeded to give a perplexed Derek a piece of his mind. Des swore that he would get even with Derek for his "indiscretion". Derek of course remained none the wiser for all this.

The Malletts were still at war with Joyce although Judy was desperately wanting to break bread and make peace with her troubled mother. It looked like the only way forward for them was if Gary made the first move and started mediating the feuding mother and daughter. As it happened Joyce was in the Rovers that evening and Gary explained how miserable Judy was with the current situation. Thanks to this everyone was back on speaking terms.

Alec was trying to interest Roy in one of his little enterprises over a cup of coffee in the cafe. As an example Alec tried to get Roy to display his memory talents to all and sundry in the cafe. Roy however was not prepared to play to an audience and as a result displayed no interest in any of Alec's offers.

Percy found out that Emily was going to be away her sister's for Xmas so he tried to shanghai Maud into coming and spending the day with him instead. This of course sat well with Maureen and Bill who wanted to spend some time together over the festive period.

Maud also played advisor to Sally explaining it would be more constructive to go back to working for Baldwin rather than simply bowing out as she had without gaining any real ground. Sally explained it might already be too late for such action. However Sally did give it a go she went to the factory and spoke with Mike and after a bit of humming and ahh-ing she insinuated the terms she would favour as one of his employees. Essentially she wanted a bit more consideration for people with children such as creche facilities and the like.

Sean's night ended on something of a bad note as he took a beating from a couple of heavies who were presumably assuming he was still showing interest in Liz McDonald. Event though he was off the scene as far as she was concerned.


Sunday 15 December 1996
A rather sharp little episode tonight which moved along at a nice pace, Maxine was to be the on the sharp end of Christmas heartache courtesy of her "reformed bastard" of a boyfriend Tony. Whilst Maxine was languishing in the Rovers believing Tony was out shopping for her in Leeds he was round at Sally and Kevin's enjoying lunch and talking business.

Meanwhile tempers were frayed at the Malletts thanks to Joyce taking up residence in the house again. Gary was fuming at the prospect of having house and home invaded by the mother in law. Judy knew what sort of strain this could put them under so she got rid of Gary down the pub whilst she played twenty questions with her mother.

Roy was being badgered by the would be star maker Alec Gilroy. He was faced with something of a dilemma as Alec didn't want to take no for an answer when it came to a business proposition. Roy looked for advice in the form of Dreary and asked what Alec was like as a person and whether or not dealings with him would be wise. He revealed he didn't want the "fame and fortune" Alec offered as it was something of a tainted gift. He revealed he had been the member of a quiz team before and as a result he had become somewhat disliked and distrusted because he always got the questions correct.

Speaking of Alec he was hanging around the Rovers like a bad smell, His reason for staying was more or less to pester Vera with more of his theme night ideas. However Vera was more than keen to get rid of Alec especially as he was treating the pub as something like a personal office.

Sean Skinner turned up looking rather black and blue, the beating had been something of a nasty one as he came to explain to Des why he had not been at work the previous day. Sean's timing was a tad lousy as Claire's ex father in law was on the scene as he had been invited on to the boat for the day.

Sean explained what had happened including the connection with Liz then left but this didn't make things any easier in the Barnes household. Des and George Palmer's tone of conversation got frostier by the minute with Des then being the subject of a few choice remarks. Des found himself being accused of being something of a freeloader and at one stage even being accused of using the boat for drug smuggling. After this it even came out that George had been the one to drop Claire in the proverbial regarding the pension money.

This snapped the situation for Claire and she told George to leave the house pretty much scotching their relationship. Whether things would warm at any point before Christmas was any ones guess but Becky was looking a tad upset as her grandad drove away.

Fiona caught up with Tony at Sally and Kevin's house, Tony of course was being as arrogant as he could possibly be stating how he wanted a woman that was "going places" and not someone with bimboid qualities like Maxine. However Tony lacked the general backbone to explain what he wanted face to face with his girlfriend. Fiona insisted that it would be better if he acted decently.

Judy picked at her mother whilst Gary was away at the pub and eventually Joyce broke down in tears and explained why she had left her house. The problem was that she claimed that she had been sexually harassed by her landlord (Yeah, Riiiight.) and she felt too scared to return to the flat. This story soft soaped Judy and got herself on the right side of her daughter. Judy then told Gary who prepared himself to go and smash Joyce's landlord in the face.

Sean turned up in the Rovers and got chatting with Sam who found herself being offered the flat above the bookies. Sam went and viewed it with Sean and accepted it even though it was a bit dingy. Back at the pub when Liz found out what Sam had accepted she had another one of her sly digs about Sean.

Sam bit back though stating she wasn't looking for a love nest just a place to lay her head. She also returned fire against Liz explaining that a picture told a thousand stories when she looked at the state of Sean's face that day.

Maxine finally caught up with Tony and he explained why he had lied to her about shopping. Maxine had effectively been the last to know Tony didn't want her and left the house in tears. I hope she gets her own back on the swine because he showed little remorse whatsoever.


Monday 16 December 1996
It was all about apologies for Des Barnes tonight as he realised he was in the wrong over his wild accusation regarding the RAF pensions incident. His first port of call was Derek who flatly rejected his offer of an apology.

Alec was to spend the majority of the episode chasing Roy in his quest to make him into Weatherfield's latest star. Little did the scheming Alec realise that Roy was not as green as cabbage looking and would soon put the shoe on the other foot.

Liz explained what had been happening to her recently with regarding to her relationship with Sean Skinner to Andy and explained that she was effectively being stalked. Although there was precious little Andy could do about the situation he did make the everything known to his father Jim. Jim did little other than gloat about the situation and told Liz not to expect his help in bailing her out of trouble.

Charlie (sorry, I referred to him as George in the other review) turned up at the Rovers begging forgiveness from Des. Des was in fact in a forgiving mood and the two had a drink before heading home to confront the less easy task of making peace with Claire. Initially Claire was very hesitant about having anything to do with her ex father in law but Des smoothed the path for them and an uneasy truce was reached.

Sam forcefully arranged for Curly to rent her his house when he left for his "trip", this was of course infinitely preferable to Skinner's flat. The problem was however that Curly was showing something of signs of cold feet about the matter.

Joyce was in trouble as Gary had been to see her landlord about her allegations of sexual harassment, Gary came away with the truth being that Joyce owed three months rent on her flat and had shown no sign of catching up. Joyce of course was backed into a corner here and fled upstairs to bed knowing there was no easy explanation for her predicament.

Roy invited Alec back to his flat to speak about his business proposition, the flat was very dark and eerie and soon Alec began to look a tad unnerved. This was made worse when Roy pretended to seek the advice of a dead relative in choosing whether he should seek fame and fortune. The practical joke worked like a charm and Alec fled from the flat suitably perturbed.


Wednesday 18 December 1996
Ken had something of a major role in tonight's episode as he went for the initial meeting regarding the welfare of his son Daniel. The meeting included Denise and was designed to see if they could mediate a solution to Daniel's living arrangements without a messy court battle.

Unfortunately for Ken, Denise was prepared to do anything she could to keep Daniel and this included lying through her teeth. She told the assemblage that both she and Ken had said that the agreement made regarding Daniel living with Ken had only been temporary. Ken was shocked and angry at this outright lie but without Kelly to back him up there was no way he could disprove it.

Dreary was somewhat stunned when she found out that Ken had mentioned her name at the hearing and insinuated that she would be acting as Daniel's parent if/when he got custody of his son.

It looked like Joyce had come some way to admitting her debts but there was still the matter of the money at the Rovers being missing and now there was some of Alec's petty cash missing from the travel agents. This of course all points to Joyce. Unfortunately a tactless Vera who had been trying to keep Alec from working behind the bar at the Rovers so close to Jack coming out of hospital absently accused him.

Steve got a visit from his increasingly desperate mother regarding her unwanted admirer. She wanted the situation calling off but unfortunately for her Steve no longer saw it that way. Having his mother's "boyfriend" inside with him gave him some sphere of influence. Essentially Steve's life was becoming a lot cushier since Liz became the focus of attention. Needless to say Liz and her admirer would soon meet as he had already arranged the details.

Andy and Anne were showing signs of stress in their relationship as Anne seemed critical of everything she that Andy did. She criticised his mother for her dress sense which visibly made Andy upset so much that he went for a walk.

Bill and Maureen were in the midst of celebrating their Spanish Christmas holiday plans but things were to be put on a sourer note when Bill announced he had received a letter from his ex wife. She explained how she would be in England for Christmas with Bill's son. Bill explained he was still intent on going to Spain with Maureen but she was looking somewhat awkward with the prospect now.


Friday 20 December 1996
A few storylines seemed to be stepping up a gear tonight kicking off with Maureen's disappointment over Christmas thanks to Bill. His ex-wife was going to be in Bristol for the festive season with Bill's son Kevin. Bill wanted to see his son but the problem was going to Bristol would mean a conflict with his Spanish holiday with Maureen.

Bill eventually had to decide and the decision ran to going to Bristol much to Maureen's disappointment. She came to the conclusion that she was little more than a loose end in this relationship she had going with Bill.

Alec was simmering over the accusations of theft from the Rovers and he took it upon himself to do some detective work of his own. He marked a couple of five pound notes whilst at work and planted them in his pocket to catch the thief.

Liz was dressing down to meet Frazer her prison based admirer, she raided Dreary's wardrobe to find something suitably dowdy for the occasion. She picked upon a business like blue outfit which had none of the trademark necklines or short length skirts and set off to the prison.

Claire was due to see the pensions authority over her widows allowance. Initially pensive about what could happen to her over her illegal claims she had her fears set to rest when she returned from their offices. She had to pay back an amount of what she had claimed but apart from that no other action would be taken. Also if she split from Des she would get her allowance restarted. Hence everybody in the scenario was happy, apart from Becky who didn't like the idea of her mother liking in Maureen's shop which is the first thing Claire did when she discovered her income was to become significantly lessened.

At the prison Frazer and Liz met with Liz going in all guns blazing telling him to cease his interests in her immediately ("Ith Got tooth thop" was what she said). Frazer was far from being a psychotic thug like I imagined him to be and turned out to be something of a charmer and by the end of the conversation Liz seemed quite taken. Frazer explained he had never intended to frighten her, he had merely seen and admired her from afar and wanted to change the situation.

Alec's little plan of action worked a treat as he tailed his missing fivers. It was Joyce who was the culprit and Alec followed her to the corner shop where she bought some booze. Alec got his own marked fivers back by changing a twenty pound note before following Joyce up the Street where he announced to her he would have to explain to people who the real thief was to clear his name in the Rovers if nothing else.

There was a tearful farewell as Ashley and Kelly said their goodbyes at the coach station. After much tonsil tennis Kelly tearfully waved goodbye to the forlorn Ashley as she bid goodbye to Weatherfield for Glasgow and Denise and Daniel.

Smaller bits included that bitch Anne letting her smart mouth run away with her again as she accused Liz of over reacting. Granted I don't like Liz but for God's sake why does Andy stick with such an unpleasant piece of work like Anne.


Sunday 22 December 1996
Kicking off with Joyce fearing the consequences of her actions tonight as she watched and waited for Alec Gilroy in the hope he would show some leniency towards her in the season of goodwill. There would be no such luck for her though as Alec was still incensed and rightly so about being a victim of Joyce's thieving ways.

As a direct effect of Alec's actions Joyce went on the defensive and took to informing Judy and Gary that Alec was the dodgiest type this side of Weatherfield and he was not to be trusted. Gary however had already made plans to do business with Alec because he had got wind of Bill and Maureen's cancelled holiday. Hence he was trying to swing him and his wife a cheap Christmas break in Spain.

Curly was still intent on leaving Weatherfield and tonight began negotiating with Martin about getting rid of the car. Initially neither could agree on a price with both having ideas clearly poles apart on what the car was worth. In the end though they settled on a price and the deal was shook upon. Also being sorted out was Curly's house which in his absence was to be rented to none other than Sam who came round to finalise a few details.

Also regarding Curly, Anne Mullone was planning a secret party in the Rovers for Curly's leaving bash. Vera insisted on paying for the food as after all she and Curly do go back a way. Anne was her usual annoying self as she gave Andy his orders to "hang some curtains".

Speaking of the Rovers, Vera had been dishing out some novelty Christmas cards which showed her and Jack but with Jack in his hospital bed complete with casts on his arm with the heading "Get Plastered For Christmas with Jack & Vera". Also Trish managed to get herself another free meal at Vera's as Betty casually hinted at how it would be nice for Trish to come and spend Christmas Day at the Rovers.

Becky and her friend had recruited Sarah Louise to do some carol singing with them. It was intended she would be an appealing little face greeting people at their doors. Such was the case when Becky and Co chose to knock on Don's door. He took kindly to the singing but not to what came afterwards.

Sarah revealed that Don had not been invited to Gail and Martin's for Christmas because of Audrey not wanting the usual in rounds of fighting. Also invited for lunch was surprise guest Roy Cropper who as we know spends a good portion of his time working in the cafe nowadays. Now Don was already in a tetchy temper following a chat with Ashley which had got innocently enough on Ashley's part to the subject of Denise.

Upon finding out he was not a welcome party any longer he did the typical Don type thing and started laying into a bottle of Scotch. After a little bit of alcoholic lubrication Don toddled across to the Platt household to deliver a piece of his mind to Gail and Martin. What followed was one of his usual "I wouldn't come here if you paid me" style rants which are so common from Don in times of stress. After that he left the house and went home.

Joyce by this time had been more or less cornered into admitting her guilt to Judy and Gary. She broke down in tears but Gary proved to be uncharacteristic ally calm about the matter. It seemed getting the holiday off Bill must have relaxed him more than we knew.

Liz received a visit from Frazer's henchman who offered an apology for leaving Liz in distress over his actions in the previous weeks. Liz tore a strip off him but accepted the apology and told him to leave her bar. She had just been previously explaining what a nice chap Frazer actually was to Andy.

In the other side of the bar Mike and a few business types were enjoying something of a knees up with plenty of tall stories and loud laughter coming from the assemblage but mainly Mike. Eventually it was time for Mike to leave and as he stepped outside for his cab he saw who the driver was going to be.

Don looking a shade worse for wear was to be Mike's driver and as a result of his condition became abusive to Baldwin. Unfortunately for Don as he shouted and drew attention to himself a police car happened to be in the immediate vicinity. The officer got out and decided someone should be having a breath test and that someone should be Don Brennan.


Monday 23 December 1996
The morning after the night before and Don was it seems a free man for now following being held by the police until he sobered up. So for now he still had a license but word travels fast in those parts so when Julie and Gary Mallett needed a taxi to whisk them away on holiday they declined the offer of Don's waiting taxi in fear of the fact he might still be over the limit. Before they left Judy stated an intention of bailing her mother out of financial trouble. Gary was against the loan but woefully agreed on condition that she look for somewhere to live when they got home.

In the Rovers, Vera was working round the staff and customers telling them to keep shtum about Alec's involvement in the running of the pub in Jack's absence due to his hospitalisation. Everyone got the message and agreed to keep their mouth's shut about the matter.

Also in the Rovers Alec and Joyce made something of an uneasy peace between them as they sat having a drink. Alec announced he planned a quiet solitary Christmas without interruption. He declined Joyce's offer of dinner.

Andy had a word with Sean Skinner about Frazer Henderson. Apparently Frazer was not nearly as nice a bloke as he had painted himself to Liz. Sean explained to Andy how his mugging had resulted in him not losing any money which was more than a trifle strange. Andy relayed these fears to his mother who in turn spoke to Frazer's chief henchman and asked him if he could call Frazer off.

Jack returned to the Rovers tonight still looking most the worst for wear complete with his bandages and crutches. Vera of course wanted to soft soap him as to what had been going on in her absence. A seemingly impossible task although for a while Vera managed to keep Jack in the dark about the Irish night and all the other happenings in the pub in his absence.

Don meanwhile went around to the Platt household to deliver some presents and see the kids. Gail sought to make the peace and offered Don the chance of coming round for Christmas dinner. This seemed to flare up Don's temper something terrible and we got yet another one of his now famous irrational outbursts.

Over at the Rovers, one of the Irish musicians from a few weeks prior turned up at the Rovers looking for the landlord Alec Gilroy, unfortunately he said this to Jack who immediately collared Vera and took her through to the back to find out what had been going on...

Meanwhile Don was now hobbling down the Street sobbing his little heart out (badly) and headed for Kevin's garage. He then broke inside and presumably set about the business of gassing himself in one of the cars. All we saw was a crack of light through the garage doors and the sound of an engine running.


Wednesday 25 December 1996
The peace and serenity of Coronation Street is broken on Christmas Eve by the sound of a car horn blaring out. At first no one pays heed to the sound but after a few minutes Martin realises that it's going to wake the kids up if it continues.

Venturing outside he bumps into Kevin Webster and the two of them realise the noise is coming from Kevin's garage. The two rush over thinking that a burglary is taking place but upon entering the garage they are knocked back by exhaust fumes.

Don is slumped on the steering wheel in one of the cars within in the garage. Overcome by fumes he had by this time passed out, Martin and Kevin immediately spring into action and drag Don from the car and outside into the night air. Of course this is punctuated with Martin screaming how Don needs oxygen in his usual over the top way.

Meanwhile in the Rovers Return Jack is having a showdown with Vera, something that she isn't taking entirely seriously. Jack you see is convinced that in his absence Alec Gilroy has had designs on not only his pub but also his wife as well. He claimed that Vera would be his one step to controlling the pub. No matter how much Vera protests her innocence the incensed Jack maintains his dour mood. This isn't improved by the cheeky cheerful countenance of Tricia and her wayward son Jamie.

By this time outside Don is conscious so Martin drags him back to his house where they put him on the sofa and wrap him up nice and warm. Kevin makes his excuses and leaves for the night. Don by this time is capable of speech and was steadfastly refusing to go to hospital claiming he wants to go home. A distraught Gail refuses to let him out of her sight and this means the Platt's have got Don for Christmas.

The next day dawns and the news of Don's suicide attempt appears to have been kept to a minimal level. Of course the obvious people who were going to be around him had to know about the event which meant Alf and a very unsympathetic Audrey. Over Christmas lunch at the Platt's Don is silent whilst the most animated conversation comes from Roy and Audrey talking about Jesus's birth date.

Maureen of course is stuck with the thrilling company of Maud and Percy who midway through the meal decide to talk about goose fat and it's inventive uses. Something which puts Maureen off her meal as much as the dull company.

At the Rovers, Jack is still simmering over Alec Gilroy's presence in his absence. When Jamie told Jack about how Alec had insulted his pigeons this only fired his anger even more. As soon as Jack saw Alec out in the bar he took to arguing with him and accusing him of trying to steal his wife. Alec took offense and decided to leave the pub but before he could do Jack barred him from the premises.

Maureen discovered that Bill would be back a day late from Bristol due to the fact he had drunk to much to drive. So unable to contend with Percy and Maud any longer she took herself round to Curly's house. The two of them sat down for a few glasses of red wine and a chance to reflect on the past year and it's heartbreak. The wine began to flow and tongues began to loosen as did inhibitions....

Over at the Rovers, Vera was in a similar state of mind. It would appear that in Jack's absence she had been missing the physical side of their relationship. Jack of course was using the excuse that he was an invalid at the moment but Vera promised that she would be gentle with him.

Meanwhile at Curly's I was surprised to see Curly the old tart making all the moves on Maureen. Both confessed how they liked each other and when Curly left the Street how they would miss each other. More wine flowed and they snuggled together on the settee when Maureen decided it was time to give Curly a "farewell performance"

Ahem....I believe the term used is Wa-Hey!


Friday 27 December 1996
Bill returned home to a frosty reception from Maureen in the shop, it looked like guilt on her part could be playing a part in her cold behaviour. Essentially she was very snappy towards her new boyfriend much to his and Maud's surprise.

Don Brennan was packing his bags to return home following his short stay at the Platt residence. He was still refusing to seek a medical examination following his suicide attempt and despite Gail's heartfelt tearful plea to stay Don remained as miserable as ever. His stubbornness inflamed Martin's temper until he ended up shouting at Don.

Martin tried to make amends for his misdeed though by informing Don's closest friends Jack and Vera to keep an eye on him during these troubled times that he was experiencing. Jack vowed to go and check him out later that day mainly as an excuse to get out of the house and away from the constant rabble of Jamie and Tricia.

Frazer's henchman Jerry came jogging along (yes,jogging) just as Liz was opening up the wine bar with a little message for her. Apparently Steve was in some form of trouble although what exactly he wouldn't say. Liz tried to phone the prison but got no information from the authorities. Andy presumed it was a subtle game of Chinese Whispers which was designed to get Liz's attention piqued for Frazer.

Back to the Duckworths and Co in the Rovers, a simple conversation between Anne and Curly about a former employee at Firman's could spark a new pay row for Tricia and Mike Baldwin. Apparently a Firman's employee who had left on maternity leave was having difficulty getting her maternity pay. Jack overheard this and chipped in asking if Tricia would be eligible even though she had been sacked. According to Anne it looked like Tricia could be due some money.

Whilst this was going on Curly was talking to Maureen about what had happened the previous night. He explained how despite being a one off (Yeah, that's what they said the first time) it was a very special night for him. In fact Curly effectively talked Maureen out of the guilt she had been feeling over what she had done. His manner and approach were very out of character as he seemed like some predatory lounge lizard type.

Later back at Firmans, I could almost swear he was going to make a move on Anne. However all that was happening there was Curly handing over his job on his last day. The job wasn't official but providing that Anne could prove herself then there shouldn't be any problem with her getting it. Anyway to top everything off today was Curly's last day was over and he was now out of the rat race.

Jack was true to his promise and went to see Don, the premise of the afternoon was to sit and watch some racing but Don was obviously not in the mood. Jack however tried to persevere with the situation but after a few beers Don twigged that Jack was an emissary of Gail and Martin. As the conversation rolled on Don revealed that he was unrepentant about his suicide attempt and the fact that he had failed only irked him more.

There was of course a send off party for Curly being planned in the works with Anne being the instigator. Emily was playing the decoy for the event and Vera and Jack were preparing the food.


Sunday 29 December 1996
It was still the suicide watch special for Don as Martin paid his daily visit to check that Don was still in the land of the living. Of course Don was still in the depths of depression so Martin suggested it might be time Don sought some professional help with his problems. Don knew better and refused any help being offered him.

Before a bad situation could get any worse the two were interrupted by the lively return of Ashley accompanied by his Uncle Fred. There was of course tales abound of tough turkey and overdone vegetables over the festive period. Don of course was about as responsive as a brick through all this but Ashley's naivety blinded him to Don's problems.

The rest of the episode dealt mainly with Curly's departure to pastures new and kicked off mainly with preparations for Curly's big party at the Rovers. Curly almost rumbled the proceedings at lunchtime as he walked into the Rovers for a quick drink before closing time. Thankfully Vera and Jack ably assisted by Maxine managed to deter Curly and get him out of the way using Anne Malone as the deterrent.

Anne's brief was simply to get Curly out of the way on the premise that she would be helping him complete his packing duties. However things weren't going to end up quite that simple. Essentially what had happened was Anne had been drinking in the Rovers and had got more than a touch tipsy. When she walked into Curly's she was greeted with the sight of his one man tent erected in the living room. A giggly Anne decided to check out the tent and climbed inside whilst Curly made some coffee. When Curly returned he was forced to climb into the tent to administer the coffee. It was there that he was confronted with Anne minus her inhibitions. She confessed that she didn't really love Andy and announced how she had always carried a torch for Curly on the grounds of how well matched they were as people. She then leaned over and kissed Curly who briefly enjoyed what Anne had to offer before pulling away.

Curly told Anne that she had to be honest with Andy and tell him how she felt. Curly was of course speaking from first hand experience here with Raquel and the prospect of seeing a friend hurt and in his predicament obviously struck home with him.

The next visitor to Curly was Emily, she was of course the true decoy to get Curly to the party. However she was there on the premise that she would be giving Curly his final meal. Whilst they were in his front room Curly handed over some of his and Raquel's possessions for Emily to look after in his absence. The two then set off for Emily's until she suggested they nip into the Rovers for a quick drink. Curly agreed thinking the pub would be quite at this time of night.

He was of course wrong as the Rovers was enjoying something of a full turn out in Curly's honour. Curly was of course gob smacked as he hadn't been expecting anything of this magnitude. What followed was Jack and Vera giving out the tearful speech and handing over a present to the man who they had often looked upon as their surrogate son during his time in the Street. There was plenty of little things going on in the background as well it has to be noted. Maxine who had been gradually drinking herself silly all day was going round with a straw finishing off everybody's drinks. She was of course suffering a major case of the blues because she had been single for 15 days and the stress was killing her.

Fiona of course was fretting because she her new boyfriend hadn't called her that day. Slight concern began to turn to niggling worry as the day wore on until she finally retired to her flat to await a call for him there.

Curly almost dropped through the floor when along came Bill with an opening line of "Maureen told me what's gone off" but instead of referring to what indeed had gone off Bill was referring to Curly's intended trip. Bill handed Curly a list of friends he could contact if he needed work whilst he was passing through Germany.

Fred and Norris came bearing a gift which listed all the Square Dealer locations across the globe. Something that would be recognised in every country apparently according to the Rectangle's most famous twosome.

There was also some sharp shooting sniping between Des and Curly as these two long time enemies had final digs at each other across the bar. Meanwhile at the bar Tricia squared up to Baldwin and announced he had better get his hand in his pocket as she was going to sting him for maternity pay when she next went to the DSS. Mike looked unimpressed by her threats but Alma warned to be on his toes.

Martin told Ashley about Don's Christmas feeling Ashley had a right to know about Don's current state. Instead of running a mile like Martin had perhaps anticipated Ashley went round to spend the night with his landlord and friend.

Fiona finally received a phone call but not from her boyfriend but instead Liz McDonald. She was of course looking to find out if Steve had rang her over Christmas. This prompted an angry response from Fiona who was sick of Steve McDonald still having a place in her life after all this time.

Meanwhile Curly was leaving the party and was heading off up the Street back to his house. He had sidestepped both Maureen and Anne who had been vying for his attention. He became aware of a presence behind and turned only to discover a tipsy and non-coherent Maxine toddling up the cobbles after him. Curly tried to dissuade her asking her to catch a taxi but Maxine seemed a little too preoccupied to do anything of the sort.

Eventually Curly decided to ring for a taxi for Maxine himself, all the while Maxine rambled on about how nice Curly was and how she rarely got nice men. Before Curly knew it Maxine was draped all over Curly and giving him something of a passionate kiss. Next she had slipped through his door and into his house and was seductively beckoning Curly to follow her lead. Needless to say Curly cancelled the taxi.


Monday 30 December 1996
Maxine started the day trying to creep out of Curly's house following her night with Weatherfield's stud wonder. As Curly came down stairs she tried to make excuses about leaving through the back door to avoid gossip but a very chipper Curly wasn't having any of it.

Tricia made an early visit to the DSS and from appearances she seemed to have got her monetary problems sorted in the most part. There still remained the problem of informing the CSA about Terry Duckworth being the father. This was a subject the Duckworths seemed split upon as Jack wanted to see his errant son finally pay his way in life. Vera of course was pulling the opposite way fearing Terry's presence back in Weatherfield would upset their relatively cosy lives again.

Don received a little unintentional bolstering from Ashley tonight as the youngster praised Don on his betting prowess and the lessons that he had learned from the Brennan School Of Gambling. Ashley mentioned this as his prowess in poker had proved well over Christmas in betting against an opponent in a family game.

Liz went to prison fearing the worse for Steve but instead her latest chat with Frazer Henderson revealed him in the light of a benefactor. Frazer was effectively trying to keep Steve on the straight and narrow by keeping Malcolm Fox out of his way during his incarceration. Hence in truth the only trouble Steve had been in during his spell inside so far was of a moral nature.

Curly made his last minute preparations to leave the Street with Sam being quietly impressed by his resolve in simply striking out and making a fresh start. There was of course a series of elongated goodbyes as everyone in the Rovers wished Curly well. It was finally Martin who drove Curly to the bus station and sent him on his way.

Maureen had been wracked with worry about something for the duration of the episode. Bill thought it was because he was deliberating whether or not to journey back to Bristol to see his son again for the new. However Maureen was soon to put Bill in the clear as she was about to announce the truth about what had happened over Christmas. Slowly she forced the truth out and explained how she had been so lonely over the festive season so she had slept with Curly.

Just at that moment less than a few hours after leaving for pastures new Weatherfield's intrepid explorer ambled back into his local. Apparently he had a change of heart and had decided to stay home after all. Of course his timing left a lot to be desired as Bill glowered at him from the corner of the pub with Maureen looking like she was about to drop dead with shock.

Written by Adrian Carter

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