Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Coronation Street - The 1960s


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

First episode, originally transmitted 9 December 1960
Written by Tony Warren, Directed by Derek Bennett

Florrie Lindley, a new arrival on Coronation Street, sets up her recently acquired grocery store. Former owner Elsie Lappin offers advice on the customers, mentioning in particular the Tanners at number 11, a warning that is repeated when Florrie later serves the formidable Ena Sharples.

At home, Elsie Tanner accuses her son Dennis of taking money from her purse; he denies it. She berates him for failing to find a job. He complains that he can't get a job because he has recently come out of prison and sarcastically asks whether Elsie would prefer him to behave more like his neighbour Kenneth Barlow.

At dinner with his son and wife, Frank Barlow remarks that Kenneth is ashamed of his working-class roots now that he has started college. Ida Barlow attempts to lighten the atmosphere, but when Kenneth mentions that he is meeting a girl at the Imperial Hotel, Frank is incensed. He forbids Kenneth to go, saying that he would be throwing his money away at the very place where Ida works hard to earn it. David, their younger son, arrives and mentions that he is fixing his bicycle so that he can put a deposit down for a motorbike.

At the pub, landlady Annie Walker refuses Dennis's request for credit to buy cigarettes. Dennis takes the packet of cigarettes that Kenneth offers him and, with a blunt remark about them being bought on government money, quickly leaves.

Elsie realises her accusation against Dennis was misplaced when Linda says she took money from her mother's purse for dinner. Linda admits that she has left her husband, and says that this time it is for good, hinting that her husband has dark moods. The two discuss the prospect of Elsie finding a job.

Ida tries to convince Frank to let their son go to the Imperial Hotel, but Frank will not back down. Kenneth tells his neighbour, Albert Tatlock, that he is reluctant to let his friend Susan see Coronation Street. Tatlock says he has to agree that Kenneth is becoming a snob. Ida runs in and says that Susan is at their house; Kenneth enters the room and greets Susan just as she has started to chat genially with his family.