Some light internet research has told me that number 2 Coronation Street is an address almost as central to the life on the cobbles as the Rover’s Return.
Some memorable characters have passed through those doors both as proprietor and customer and it stands today as a place that viewers can catch a scathing tongue lashing, catch up on street gossip they may have missed and watch some drama unfold.
What is known simply as “the Salon” was opened by that siren or sirens Denise Osborne in 1992. She borrowed money from Don Brennan to do so and under her ownership she brought on Fiona, Maxine and a man named Jon Welsh when the strain of her pregnancy got in the way of the business.
Fiona actually managed the salon and was good at it. Denise was kind of known for doing a ‘runner’ when the going got tough and Fiona was left to run the salon. It was during Denise’s runner that Fiona had to meet a big management challenge in the form of her friend and co-worker Maxine. Maxine was the prettiest ditz on the street and she couldn’t be trusted to turn up for work. Fiona fired her (if Maxine thought that was hard, she had no idea what was in store for her). No fear, Fiona eventually hired her back.
Fiona proved to have good sense as a manger – too bad she didn’t apply that top her personal life *cough* Jim McDonald *cough cough*– as well as some skill as a stylist, winning a hair dressing competition in 1995.
Fiona worked very hard for Denise and was truly hurt when Denise offered her lease to John Welsh even though it was Fiona who held the place together. Moreover, John was back with his wife who was also a stylist. There was no room in the salon for an extra stylist and that meant Fiona’s job was on the line.
Fiona went to Denise and confronted her. Denise relented, although her do-a-runner plans were set in stone. She had to get rid of that lease, so she offered it to Fiona, who was broke. Thankfully her brother had made a wad of cash in computers and lent her the cheddar to get the lease.
Fiona ran the salon for the next year and a half, I guess. That year and a half was marked with a number of things happening at the salon the romances and conflicts were in a classic Corrie style. Then, in November 1997 Fiona needed to do a runner of her own fleeing her I-slept-with-Jim-McDonald reality. She didn’t however, leave the show.
In December 1997 Audrey, loving the life of a salon worker, decided that she’d like to own the place. Fiona refused to sell but kept Audrey on to help her as she was expecting. Indeed, Fiona ended up going into labour at the salon but actually gave birth after Steve drove her to the hospital. No, Steve was not the father.
The pair do, however, get together and actually live together over the salon. It is in the salon that Steve ends up getting with Maxine. Well, they start in the salon and finish in the flat above the salon. Maxine gets fired again.
However, a good firing isn’t enough to make Fiona happy. So, she takes the long cab ride down the cobbles and off the street.
This is how the salon ended up in the hands of Audrey but only after a kerfuffle with Fred. He was going to invest some money into the venture, but then Alf stepped in. He’d have none of that. Since Audrey went for the better offer, Fred called her ruthless.
In October of 1998 Maxine feared for her job as Audrey mused about bringing in another assistant. She already thought Maxine was a dingbat, so I wonder who she’d choose to hire. At this time she also comes up with several ways to make the salon a thriving business, including discount cuts for OAPs.
Audrey’s husband Alf died at a New Years Eve party in a chair. Audrey was shocked and upset to find that she would not be the wealthy widow she imagined she would be and she would have to live on the profits from her salon.
As it turns out Audrey didn’t find another stylist for the salon. She did, however, go to Canada leaving Maxine in charge. Unable to cope, Maxine got an assistant from the local beauty school, Tom. Audrey returned for Canada unimpressed with this new guy and let’s Maxine have it. However, Maxine thought real hard and mentioned that Tom has increased the bookings at the salon. Audrey allowed him to stay until the end of the week as she had a bunch of jumped-up council functions at attend.
Later in March 1999, Audrey noticed that Tom is a good stylist and fired Maxine – it’s like a roller coaster ride for this girl – but kept Tom. Jokes on Audrey because he quit in solidarity and she and Maxine planned to open up their on place right above Audrey’s salon called “Cut Above.” They actually do it, then Audrey offered them their jobs back, which they accepted.
By February 2000 Tom left the salon and Audrey hired Deb. She used to do hair on a cruise ship so you know she was well classy. Buy October, I guess Deb was doing good enough a job that Audrey and Maxine could go away and leave Deb in charge. This is when Candice started working at the salon washing hair.
In May of 2001, with Audrey’s best friend Alma on death’s doorstep Alma does something strange. She decided to leave all her money to Gail, Roy and Hailey and Audrey. The condition is that Audrey change the name of the salon to “Alma’s.”
In October of 2001 Audrey takes on Maria as an assistant.
Does anyone know if the salon is actually called Alma’s? I think it is, but I’m not 100% on this.
In 2002 Sarah started to do some work at the salon but it is just a work experience thing and doesn’t start working there in earnest until July of 2004 and only after Gail basically uses guilt to get Audrey to take her on. Sarah didn’t really take to styling hair very well and Audrey commented on Sarah’s lack of common sense, talent and intelligence. She’s a real supportive grandmother. At one point Audrey even fires Sarah for her laziness.
In September of 2004 Maria nicked some money from the till and gave it to a boy named Dave. Dave takes of with the cash, obviously, and Tyrone is the one to gets Maria out of the bind. However, Audrey isn’t one to be fooled and notices the money went missing. However, while talking to Maria about it, she blames Candice.
About a year later, Audrey fired Candice for being rude and insolent. That’s OK, because she has bigger fish to fry. She’s going to be a weather girl, except she’s a moron. Things, however, do turn up roses for Candice. She ends up leaving she show and going on tour as the tour stylist for Status Quo. I remember her exit scene. It was great! No one believes that she is leaving and make fun of her terribly. But, after giving Sarah her best comb, the tour bus pulls up and off she goes!
For a brief time in March of 2006, after Audrey killed Fred, she starts to wonder about her life and there is some talk about Maria buying the salon giving Audrey the freedom to do what she wants. The sale doesn’t end up happening as Maria can’t raise the funds for the salon. The salon stays in Audrey’s hands and she starts to bring David in to work. He actually is great with the customers and she has even mentioned that he could become a good stylist. We’ll see what happens there.
Right now the salon is staffed by Audrey, Maria, Sarah and David. As the show has been sexed up a bit for a more modern audience we notice that while the salon is still popular among the blue rinse set, the younger and sexier women of the street head straight for a salon in the city, unless, like Tracey, they need to cause some trouble.
The salon is such an important meeting place for the street residents and more importantly for the ladies. We’ve seen affairs, love stories, business dealings and births and friendships. You could almost call it a room of their own, but that would be kind of offensive and insulting to the work of Virginia Woolf.