Through the Corrie Keyhole of Number 3 – Richard Hillman Plots An Early Demise for Emily


Dear old Emily Bishop sailed very close to the wind when Richard Hillman’s investment in No. 3 turned sour. And that’s just part of the chequered history of this iconic house.

3 corrie

Sitting snugly next to the Barlow residence of No. 1, this bijou property actually started life as… a Barlow residence.

Ken’s dad, Frank, a postman, bought it in the early sixties, having rented it since 1938. He lived there with his wife Ida and sons Ken and David. Ida was hit by a bus and died soon afterwards and in 1964 Frank won a small fortune on the Premium Bonds. He took himself off to Chester and never looked back. By this time David, a professional footballer had moved south and Ken had moved into No 9 Coronation Street with his first wife, Valerie.


Frank Barlow, Ken and David’s dad

Frank didn’t sell the house before leaving, he didn’t have to, being a member of the nouveau rich now, and the place remained empty for four years. During this time a family called the Lawsons were discovered squatting there by residents Ena Sharples and Len Fairclough.

In 1968 Dickie and Audrey Fleming, a teenage couple bought it. At one stage they took in Ray Langton, Deirdre Barlow’s ex as a lodger. He made a play for Audrey and the couple split up in 1970.

Ray Langton.png

Ray Langton

Ken rented the house until 1972 when it was sold to the Bishops. Ernest and Emily bought the house just before they married, and they lived there happily until Ernest was shot dead during a bungled robbery at Baldwin’s Casuals across the road.

Emily & Ernest Bishop.jpg

Emily and Ernest Bishop

Emily did remarry but, to her horror, found she had married a bigamist.

Not surprisingly, Emily then lived in the house alone and in 2002 she sold it to the dreaded Richard Hillman as part of an equity release scheme. She raised a lump sum from this and promptly handed it to her nephew, Spider so he could set up a juice bar in London. When  his business floundered Richard looked for a way of seeing poor old Emily off so he could sell the house and realise some desperately needed cash. Fortunately, before an opportunity arose he found himself at the bottom of the local canal.


Emily continued living at No.3, and upon Hillman’s death, Gail Hillman signed the house back over to her. She lived there for another ten years until she gave the house to her lodger, Norris Cole, on condition that she could continue to live there.


Emily and Norris the current owner

Emily lived there until last year when she left for Peru to undertake charity work with Spider.

Norris still resides at No.3 with Sean Tully, Rovers barman and Underworld machinist.

Good old Emily was never short of lodgers and the long and winding list includes, in no particular order: Deirdre Barlow, Curly Watts, Kevin Webster, Amy Barlow, Brian Packham, Percy Sugden, Graeme Proctor, local window cleaner, Ramsay Clegg played by Fawlty Towers character Manuel, our lovely Rita, our lovely Kirky, and Jed Stone, better known as Sonny Jim, remember him?

Sonny Jim.jpg

Jed Stone a.k.a. Sonny Jim

Another lodger was played by National Treasure Ian McKellen. Mel Hutchwright was a supposed author but turned out to be an accomplished con man.


Mel Hutchwright played by Ian McKellan

Wow what a list. Emily would have done better to open a B&B years ago.

And that completes the chequered history of just one of the houses on a rather remarkable cobbled street. Am I going to leave it there? Not likely. I’m all set to look through the keyhole of all the others.

Watch this space…



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