Monday, 17 October 2011

Goodbye Betty and thank you for the Hotpots

I've been away in Wrexham over the weekend at Welsh Liberal Democrat conference. It must be said that what was a pleasant weekend was destroyed by the rugby result. I can't write fully about it right now because it's too painful. Suffice to say, the manner of the defeat was bitterly difficult to comprehend and cast a shadow for me over the entire weekend.

An added source of sorrow on Saturday was the news that Coronation Street legend Betty Driver has died aged 91. It's no secret that I'm a big Corrie fan. But as a man of heritage, despite my relatively younger age, it is the history of the Street that enamours me more than the modern day goings-on down on the Cobbles. The link to the past means a lot to me so I take great comfort in knowing that the likes of Emily Bishop, Rita Sullivan and Ken Barlow form a direct link to a time on the show when those same Cobbles were trodden on by the shoes of Ena Sharples, Annie Walker, Albert Tatlock and Elsie Tanner. Betty's on-screen alter-ego, Betty Turpin (and later Williams) shared that same heritage as she had been working behind the bar at the Rovers Return since 1969. She appeared in over 2,800 episodes during the past 42 years and though in many cases was an under-stated character who never had many major plot-lines throughout those 40+ years, she nevertheless played this matriarchal figure that anchored the programme down to its proud roots and traditions.

There have been countless eulogies for her in recent days and deservedly so. But I'd like to mention Daran Hill at Wales Home who gave a more personal account of this stalwart figure which deserves a read and which I for one, can not better.

In addition, thanks to Liberal England, I fell upon this Desert Island Discs interview with Betty which was transmitted only back in January this year.

An incredible character with a wonderful sense of humour, she will sorely missed.

So we bid adieu to Betty and her hotpots, not that Betty Driver would mind - in real-life, she was a vegetarian!

A Corrie legend has left us and when the news is broken in the Rovers Return over the coming weeks, there will be tears. I suspect that I will be one of those to shed them because we haven't just lost our Betty, but we've also lost one of those indelible links to that glorious past.

No comments:

Post a Comment