If you drank coffee in the late 1980s and 1990s – or even if you didn’t – the chances are you were familiar with the face of Sharon Maughan.
The West Derby actress was one half of the hugely popular Gold Blend couple, along with actor Anthony Head, which featured in TV adverts both in the UK and USA.
The pair played Tony and Sharon whose slow-burn romance started, of course, over a cup of coffee and continued in 45-second instalments for more than a decade from 1987 to 1993.
Each advert ended in a cliffhanger and plot twists attracted serious media intention as the campaign grew in emotional intensity.
It was good for sales too as Gold Blend increased its market share by 50 per cent in the UK alone! Spin-off products included CDs, video compilations and even a novel entitled Love Over Gold.
In America, the coffee went under the name of Taster’s Choice so the ad campaign became known as the ‘Taster’s Choice Saga’. The actors’ voices were dubbed for the US market.
Back in the UK, Maughan has starred in a number of stage productions and TV shows, including Shabby Tiger, Holby City and The Bank Job.
She also appeared in the BBC crime drama Waking the Dead, starring her husband Trevor Eve, as well as Inspector George Gently and Kidnap and Ransom.
With Sharon Maughan as her mum and Trevor Eve as her dad, it was always likely that Alice Eve would go into the entertainment business.
Born in February 1982, Eve read English at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, where she appeared in a number of student productions and performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
She acted with her parents when she played the lead role in American romantic comedy She’s Out of My League in 2010.
In 2013, she portrayed science officer Dr Carol Marcus in the Star Trek movie Into Darkness and played Guinevere in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb in 2014.
Another Merseyside mother-daughter combination was renowned author Beryl Bainbridge and former actress Rudi Davies.
Born in Liverpool in November 1932, Bainbridge grew up in Formby and started writing at the age of 10. A year later she appeared with Judith Chalmers and Billie Whitelaw on the BBC’s Northern Children’s Hour radio show.
Her early work drew on her life in Liverpool, but later branched out into historical fiction with topics as varied as the SS Titanic, Scott of the Antarctic and Dr Samuel Johnson.
Bainbridge’s 18 novels earned her two Whitbread Awards and five nominations for the coveted Booker Prize.
Her daughter Rudi Davies played Penny Lewis in the BBC school drama Grange Hill from 1979 to 1982 and Suzie in the Channel 4 movie Forever Young in 1983.
Davies also appeared in the films Resurrected in 1989, The Object of Beauty in 1991 and Frankie Starlight in 1995 before retiring from acting.
A well-known Merseyside figure of the 1960s was Cynthia Lennon, wife of Beatle John and mother of musician Julian Lennon.
Raised in Hoylake, Cynthia met John in a calligraphy class at Liverpool College of Art. They were married at the Mount Pleasant register office in August 1962.
Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein was best man and the guests included Paul McCartney and George Harrison. No parents were present.
Julian was born at Sefton Hospital on April 8th 1963. John was on tour at the time and didn’t see his son until three days later. When he did his first words were: ‘Who’s gonna be a famous rocker like his Dad then?’
His prediction was accurate. Julian went on to forge his own career as a musician, singer and photographer. He also founded the White Feather Foundation embracing environmental and humanitarian projects around the world.
Housing projects in Liverpool were closer to the heart of battling MP Bessie Braddock whose famous mother was suffragist and trade union activist Mary Bamber.
Born in Scotland in January 1874, Bamber was at the forefront of labour history in Liverpool for nearly half a century. She served as a Labour councillor and Justice of the Peace.
Braddock was Labour MP for Liverpool Exchange from 1945 until 1970 and became the city’s first woman freeman.
No list of famous Merseyside mums would be complete without mentioning two TV matriarchs who’ve won a place in the hearts of the nation – Bread’s Ma Boswell and Brookside’s Sheila Grant.
Nellie Boswell was played to perfection by Bebington-born Jean Boht in Carla Lane’s sitcom from 1986 to 1991, while Prescot actress Sue Johnston played Sheila in Phil Redmond’s Merseyside soap from 1982 to 1990.
Women the world over owe a great debt to the implacable spirit of one extraordinary Manchester mother – and her two determined daughters.
In the early 20th century, Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Sylvia and Christabel led the suffragette movement which was instrumental in women gaining the vote.
Their pleas, protests, marches and meetings made it impossible to ignore the massive injustice of women being disenfranchised.
The suffragettes would not be silenced, regularly enduring arrest and imprisonment, hunger strikes and force-feeding to achieve their goal.
The Pankhursts’ story began on Thursday July 15th 1858 when Emmeline was born in Moss Side to Sophia and Robert Goulden, both political activists.
Robert came from a progressive merchant family. His father was present at the Peterloo massacre and his mother was associated with the Anti-Corn Law League.
On October 10th 1903, Emmeline founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) at her home in Nelson Street, Manchester. It played a major role in securing votes for women in 1918.
Christabel was born in Old Trafford in September 1880. After reading law at Manchester University, she moved to London to become the organising secretary of the WSPU. The press quickly dubbed her ‘the Queen of the Mob’.
Sylvia, born in May 1882, studied at Manchester School of Art before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in South Kensington, London.
She designed the logo for the WSPU as well as leaflets, banners and posters. In 1907, she toured the UK painting pictures of women in the workplace.
The Pankhursts’ activities as suffragettes were not always lawful. Emmeline believed direct action was the only way to get her message across.
She later wrote: ‘Deeds not words was to be our permanent motto.’
The Pankhursts richly deserve their place in the pantheon of renowned Manchester mums and their famous offspring.
Although none can match the Pankhursts’ unique achievement, many have excelled in their own way in world of entertainment – and TV soaps!
A modern on-screen dynasty has emerged from the cobbles of Coronation Street in the form of Middleton-born actress Sally Dynevor and her daughter Phoebe.
Sally has played Sally Webster on the Street since January 1986. She won the award for best on-screen partnership with Joe Duttine, who plays her husband Tim Metcalfe, in the 2016 British Soap Awards.
Phoebe Dynevor, born in Trafford in April 1995, was a child actress in the BBC school series Waterloo Road before landing the starring role of Daphne Bridgerton in the current Netflix period drama Bridgerton.
Another successful Manchester mother-daughter combination is that of writer and presenter Judy Finnigan and freelance journalist and fitness expert Chloe Madeley.
Born in Newton Heath, Finnigan attended Manchester High School for Girls before studying at Bristol University. She joined Granada TV as a researcher in 1974.
Along with husband Richard Madeley, she hosted the ITV programme This Morning from 1988 to 2001.
Chloe Madeley, born in Manchester in July 1987, partnered French skater Michael Zenezini on the ITV show Dancing on Ice in 2011. They reached the final three of the competition.
Madeley also took part in the second series of the Channel 4 show The Jump in 2015, finishing in fifth place.
Some of the most explosive mother-and-son relationships have occurred in the fictional world of Coronation Street, featuring a host of Manchester stars.
Who could forget the verbal onslaughts between Elsie Tanner, played by Fallowfield-born Pat Phoenix, and her son Dennis, portrayed by Ashton-under-Lyne actor Philip Lowrie?
With his get-rich-quick schemes and patchy employment record, Dennis never quite matched up to Elsie’s expectations in the 1960s and early 70s.
Machinist and sometime Rovers Return landlady Vera Duckworth got nothing but grief from her criminal son Terry, played with sinister menace by Manchester actor Nigel Pivaro.
Vera, portrayed by Liz Dawn, and her husband Jack (Ardwick actor William Tarmey) were exasperated when Terry surrendered custody of his son Tommy for £10,000.
Some of the Street’s most tortured mother-daughter storylines have involved Deirdre Rashid, played by Oldham actress Anne Kirkbride, and Tracy Barlow, portrayed by Salford-born Kate Ford.
Deirdre featured in a love triangle with Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin, a major fraud trial and a foreign marriage during her hectic years on the cobbles from 1972 to 2014.
Tracy herself was imprisoned for killing her boyfriend Charlie Stubbs in 2007, but has since returned to run the Street’s florists Preston’s Petals.
*The Pankhursts feature strongly in the iNostalgia book First in the Fight, the critically acclaimed story of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue in St Peter’s Square and a tribute to the 20 Manchester women on the statue long list.
Priced at £19.99 plus postage and packing, the stylish book by historian Helen Antrobus and Andrew Simcock, is available on the inostalgia website inostalgia.co.uk or through an order hotline on 01928 503777.
*Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book, The Home Front – Britain 1939-45, is now on the sale at the special pre-order price of £14.99 including UK postage and packing.
Just go to inostalgia.co.uk/shop to order your book or call the order hotline on 01928 503777.