Weddings on Coronation Street are always a hit-and-miss affair – witness Steve and Tracey’s recent nuptials – but one of the happiest took place in May 1968.
Newlyweds Jenny Sutton, played by Mitzi Rogers, and Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) danced down the cobbles to a joyful reception from all their neighbours.
Granada Studios had just built their new outside set and the marriage of Jenny and Dennis was just the right occasion to show it off to the nation.
New character Jenny arrived on the Street from London in January 1968. She was searching for her sister Monica who was part of a hippy commune.
Dennis found her a job at the hotel where he worked and romance blossomed. The couple married a few months later and moved to Bristol in June.
That was the last the programme saw of Jenny. The Tanners divorced in 1973 after Dennis was sent to prison for posing as a salesman in a scam to con pensioners.
Three more characters who made their debut in April 1968 stayed considerably longer. They were the Cleggs – Maggie, husband Les and son Gordon – who ran the corner shop.
Maggie was played by Irene Sutcliffe, Les by John Sharp and Gordon by future theatre producer and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright.
Maggie stayed at the corner shop for six years. She divorced her alcoholic husband Les in 1969 and married Ron Cooke (Eric Lander) in July 1974. The couple then emigrated to Zaire.
There was a dramatic development in December 1974 when Gordon was revealed to be the son of Rovers’ barmaid Betty Turpin, played by Betty Driver.
Gordon himself was romantically linked to Lucille Hewitt (Jennifer Moss) and Caroline Wilson (Elaine Donnelly) whom he later married. He made various appearances as Betty’s son from 1976 to 2012.
Kenwright even sang his newly released single Love’s Black and White on the show in July 1968. Lucille joined in the chorus!
Young couple Audrey and Dickie Fleming, played by Gillian MCann and Nigel Humphries, set up home at Number 3 Coronation Street in June 1968.
A love triangle ensued when builder Ray Langton (Neville Buswell) fell for Audrey. It ended in tears when Audrey fled Weatherfield in 1970 after learning Ray loved someone else.
Future Dalziel and Pascoe actor Warren Clarke, appeared in three episodes in June 1968 as Gary Bailey, the nephew of Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix).
Elsie was not amused when he spent £200 of her money on a white Jaguar – especially as she couldn’t drive! Unsurprisingly, the car disappeared along with Gary a few weeks later.
New cast member Effie Spicer, played by Ann Dyson, moved into the new maisonettes built on the site of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall in June 1968.
She locked horns with Ena Sharples (Violet Carson) on numerous occasions before leaving the Street in 1969.
Joe Donnelli made an explosive impact when he arrived in August 1968. Played by Shane Rimmer, the former American GI blamed Elsie Tanner’s husband Steve for his gambling debts and was out for revenge.
He promptly murdered Steve by pushing him down the stairs and returned in 1970 to kidnap Minnie Caldwell (Margot Bryant).
Later Stan Ogden (Bernard Youens) bravely took Minnie’s place and distracted Donnelli by singing Christmas carols to him as police surrounded the house. Donnelli shot himself when he realised he was cornered.
Finally, the 10th new character to appear in 1968 was Alice Pickens, played by Doris Hare – a veteran of the TV sitcom On the Buses.
She became engaged to grumpy Street regular Albert Tatlock (Jack Howarth), but the marriage was called off because both agreed ‘it wasn’t meant to be.’
A few of the new faces of 1968 were pictured at Coronation Street’s 10thbirthday party in December 1970.
On the back row were Graham Haberfield, Arthur Lowe, Brian Rawlinson, Ernst Waldner, Nigel Humphries, Bill Kenwright, Jack Smethurst, Gordon Rollings and Reg Marsh.
In front were Susan Jameson, Renny Lister, Christine Hargreaves, Doris Hare, Frank Pemberton, Noel Dyson and Kenneth Cope.
Together they made quite a line-up!