Now please be warned from the outset that is far from being a normal love story. Normal love stories have two people in them…this one’s got five.
But a love story this is…in fact it’s more like two and a half love stories rolled into one…and it’s long.
You may or may not know that Carla Connor is to return to the street in the new year and has already started filming.
Carla was a great character and I loved her dearly. She was a stunner who was kept grounded by her human weaknesses.
She loved her tipple… and I’m talking a couple of bottles of red wine a day… she loved a bet… and she chose men badly.
But somehow you seemed to forgive all her weaknesses. She had beauty…and she always emitted a sense of vulnerability, surprising in such a strong personality.
Carla certainly had her share of failed relationships…but our love story this week focuses on Carla and Peter Barlow. With help and hindrance from others.
Our story starts in 2012 when Peter Barlow, a recovering alcoholic was engaged to be married to Leanne Battersby. At that time Leanne was working hard with Nick Tilsley, her ex husband, to open The Joinery, his new bar under the viaduct at the end of the street.
Peter’s relationship with Leanne was threatened from two sides.
Nick, clearly still had feelings for Leanne and worried that Peter’s alcoholism would end up breaking her heart. He did little to hide the love he still felt for Leanne.
At the same time, Peter began to develop feelings for Carla Connor. It was evident to Peter that Carla had her own drink problem and set his stall out to help her overcome her demons.
His experience in such matters was invaluable. He knew what the signs of alcoholism were and he knew how to combat the uncontrollable desire to drink.
He watched Carla’s back relentlessly, and in the process began to fall for her.
He hid the fact he was constantly helping Carla from Leanne but their relationship was beginning to feel the strain.
Nick’s new pub opened and Carla was one of the inebriated guests that helped to celebrate the opening.
Foolishly, she chose to drive home. She was stopped by the police, arrested and charged, and, you guessed it, Peter was there to console her and drive her home from the police station.
Each time Peter helped Carla, she felt a little closer to him and it wasn’t long before she began to fall in love with him. That night she came on to Peter but he rejected her, telling her he still loved his fiancé
Peter wasn’t to know at the time, but at that very moment Leanne embarked upon a clandestine relationship with Nick.
Leanne was friendly with Carla at the time and she told Carla of the affair. Not surprisingly, because of her own feelings, she advised Leanne to end the engagement with Peter and pursue her love for Nick.
Leanne thought long and hard about her tangled love life and came down fair and square on the side of Peter. She decided to rebuff Nick and go ahead with the wedding to Peter.
Peter held his stag party at The Joinery. During the evening a gas explosion devastated the bar, derailing a tram on the viaduct above which crashed into the bar, seriously injuring and trapping Peter.
Peter was rescued by Nick and Ashley Peacock, who died as a result of the rescue bid.
Peter and Leanne were married at Peter’s hospital bed that evening.
Peter survived his serious brush with death, but the rehabilitation was to be long and hard.
He had to learn to walk again and motivated himself by setting a target to be able to walk down the aisle with Leanne.
Peter tried hard to convince himself that Leanne was really the woman he wanted most in life, but always, in the back of his mind, lurked Carla.
The internal pressure of his mixed feelings weighed heavily upon him and perhaps inevitably he turned to drink again.
Slowly but surely Nick turned against Leanne and these feelings were exacerbated when he learned of his wife’s recent affair with Nick.
He set a course of deception towards a particularly nasty goal.
He set a date for a formal marriage with Leanne, and appointed Nick as best man.
On the day of the wedding, he did manage to walk down the aisle but then immediately treated the congregation to the facts regarding Leanne’s infidelity with Nick and told the blushing bride he wanted a divorce. Leanne was devastated and collapsed in tears.
Ken Barlow implored his son to change his mind and take Leanne back. He put up such a convincing argument that Peter agreed and the couple reignited their relationship.
They went away together to let the dust settle.
It appeared to everyone that the marriage had indeed survived, but unbeknown to anyone, Peter simply could not resist the feelings he still held for Carla.
Carla felt the same and they began to see each other again in secret.
Carla continued to drink and Peter’s services were required more and more to help her ward off her demons. Another affair soon followed and when Leanne found out she left the Street, which devastated his son, Simon, who had begun to regard her as his mother.
Carla moved in and although Peter loved her, Simon certainly did not. A rather dysfunctional family unit ensued. Carla really did try hard to forge a relationship with Simon but Simon was never going to accept her as his mother.
A strong feud developed between Leanne and Peter regarding the custody of the boy, who Leanne knew to be unhappy.
Eventually Peter agreed that Leanne could have custody of Simon and bring him up as his mother. He was actually devastated by this, as Leanne was still with Nick who would now be bringing the boy up as his own.
Peter and Leanne divorced and he left the country to live in Los Angeles with Carla, the current love of his life.
At the end of 2012 Peter and Carla arrived back on Coronation Street at the same time that Leanne and Nick were preparing to leave for Las Vegas to marry. Simon was overjoyed to see his dad again and the Vegas wedding was postponed. Simon said he wanted to live with his dad again.
Carla was not happy with the new situation and set off for Los Angeles alone.
As soon as she’d gone, Peter made advances to Leanne and insisted they’d be great together if they renewed their relationship. Leanne turned down the offer of a reconciliation and left.
Unexpectedly, Carla returned having decided not to return to the States.
In the meantime, Leanne had decided to jilt Nick and return to Peter, not knowing that Carla had in fact returned.
Peter did another about face and denied to Carla that he had asked Leanne back.
So Peter and Carla continued their relationship in Weatherfield, married and looked forward to a life of happiness ever after.
Peter lost his turf accountancy business due to mismanagement and he accepted a subordinate role to Carla at Underworld.
Peter being Peter, his roving eye once more got the better of him and he embarked upon a spasmodic affair with Tina McIntyre behind Carla’s back. He had actually first kissed her passionately on the day of his wedding to Carla.
Peter’s predicament wasn’t helped by Carla becoming pregnant and Tina nearly becoming pregnant. He hit the bottle again
Not thinking straight, his mind probably befuddled by alcohol, Peter agreed to ditch Carla and run away to Portsmouth with Tina. He then decided, because of Carla’s pregnancy he should stay with her.
Tina was furious and threatened to expose him to Carla.
Peter decided to beat her to it and confessed all to Carla.
Carla ended things and Tina was brutally murdered.
Peter’s whole world fell apart. Not only did he lose Carla, he was also wrongly convicted of Tina McIntyre’s murder.
He spent a goodly amount of time in prison until the real killer, Carla’s brother was arrested and he was released.
Carla really faired no better. She miscarried her baby and lost her husband and brother. It was she that shopped her brother to the police as she couldn’t see Peter rot in prison for something he hadn’t done.
Unsurprisingly, Nick and Leanne split up and Nick has since left Coronation Street
And so ends a rather unusual love story involving five people who have failed to find true happiness. There are no winners in this story, only losers. Everyone in the tale seemed unsure of the actual meaning of love and any tears I may shed are not tears inspired by true love but tears of pity.
This was not really a fairy tale love story, rather a love story tainted by the incompetent way people handle temptation.
It is a love story that will perhaps keep you thinking for a goodly while.
The history of Coronation Street is a fascinating subject, not just in respect of its love stories, but also its characters, houses, dramas, catastrophes and comedy.
A great way to enjoy it all is to stock up with historic DVD box sets that take you right back to the beginning in 1960. Why not start collecting now?
Here are some ideas:
Categories: CORRIE LOVE STORIES