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On 4th April, people up and down the country will be celebrating National Pub Day.
The day was created to help highlight the positive roles played by pubs in communities; and if we’re talking pubs, you can’t get more famous than the Rovers Return.
The Rovers Return is located right on the corner of Coronation Street and Rosamund Street. The pub first opened way back in 1902 – the same year as Coronation Street. The Rovers has played a key role in the soap since the very first episode on 9th December 1960.
In celebration of National Pub Day, we thought it would be only appropriate for us to take a look back through the vast and dramatic past of Coronation Street’s legendary pub. We’ve picked out some of our favourite highlights and dug deep into the history books to find some interesting facts that you might not know about the Rovers!
Over the years, the Rovers Return has had 18 different incarnations of landlords.
The very first landlords of the pub to appear on screen were Jack and Annie Walker, who ran the pub until 1970. When Jack passed away, his wife Annie continued to run the pub until 1984. Jack and Annie’s son, Billy, had a brief stint as landlord before being forced out for holding after-hours parties.
1985 saw the arrival of one of the pub’s most famous landlady, Bet Lynch. Bet Lynch would run the pub until 1995, her twentieth year at the helm. 1995 to 1998 saw Corrie faves Jack and Vera Duckworth take reigns of the Rovers, before Natalie Barnes took over from 1998-2000.
Between 2000 and 2006 there were 4 different landlords, including Mike Baldwin and Fred Elliott. In 2006, Liz and Steve McDonald joined forces to run the pub. In 2011, Steve went solo before giving ownership to Stella Price. Liz and Steve took back the pub from 2013 and are the current landlords.
The lorry crash
The Rovers has seen its fair share of drama, and the lorry crash in 1979 was one of its first key incidents.
Deirdre Barlow (then Langton) had dashed inside the Rovers to speak with Annie Walker in the back room, leaving her daughter Tracy outside. During their conversation, there was a loud crash outside. In the spot she had left her daughter, was a pile of timber and a crashed lorry. However, Tracy was not found. Instead, it turned out she’d been kidnapped – of course she had.
Up in flames
On two separate occasions, the Rovers Return has gone up in flames.
The first fire, in June 1986, was caused by an electrical fault in the middle of the night. Bet Lynch had her exit blocked, but managed to escape thanks to the help of a young Kevin Webster. Thankfully, nobody died and instead, the cliffhanger was whether the pub itself would survive the fire.
The second fire in 2013 was much more dramatic. After being jealous of the relationship his ex-wife, Stella, was having with Jason Grimshaw, Karl Munro set the Rovers on fire in order to try and frame Jason. Things didn’t go to plan, and he was caught by Sunita. In a bid to keep it secret, Karl knocked her unconscious and left her in the building.
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