Since I began watching Corrie back in 2002 (which is not that long), I’ve noticed a few recurring themes that appear throughout the main storylines: money, or lack thereof, as a key motivator for life decisions, class divisions, or a character whose trusting nature gets him/her taken advantage of, etc. etc.
But the one theme I want draw your attention here is that of negligent, or even abusive, mothers. To watch Coronation Street, you’d think millions of British children are being abandoned every day.
Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders:
Gold Medal: Cilla Battersby-Brown
Cilla came to street as a barfly who called herself Lulu. Les picked her up and a half-decade of ruddy faced passion began. It was later learned that Cilla was, in fact, the negligent mother of Fizz Brown, who came to the street as a bit of a runaway (now we know why).
Cilla “raised” her children, Fizz, Chesney, and the rarely seen Billy, in an environment of emotional abuse, welfare scams, and an endless succession of mooching “uncles” until she hooked up with Les.
Her marriage to Les brought about a brief bit of stability in their lives, even going so far as seeing Les legally adopt Chesney. Alas, it was not to be. Eventually, Les took off to live his dream of being a roadie for an Irish ZZ Top cover band (ZZ Top o’ the Mornin’), never to be seen again. Cilla, too, began taking off for short periods in an ongoing effort to rid herself of her family. When she wasn’t taking Yana on holiday or jetting off to Florida in her cancer scam, she stayed at home to make Chesney’s life miserable by belittling his role in the school musical.
Finally, she got a job working as a caretaker for a rich, grouchy man named Frank. When he died, she pawned a neckless that fetched, to her shock, £45,000. Instead of using that money to invest or start a savings, she took off to the one place on Earth engineered to separate you from your money: Las Vegas.
Despite the fact that his adoptive father was long gone, Cilla abandoned her son with her now former lodger in a house that nobody seems to pay for (unless Les sends rent cheques).
Silver Medal: Tracy Barlow
Once up a time, Tracy had a drunken one-night stand with Steve Macdonald. Around the same time, Tracy drugged and led Roy Cropper to her bed, causing him to believe that they shared a night of passion and that he betrayed his Hayley. When Tracy discovered she was pregnant, she convinced Roy that the baby was his to the point of writing his name on the birth certificate, indentifying him as the father. She then sold “Patience Cropper” to Roy and Hayley before eventually telling the truth. After much agonizing, Patience was returned to Tracy, who re-named her Amy Barlow. Steve’s name was rightfully written on the birth certificate as the father. The affair nearly destoryed Roy and Hayley’s marriage and pretty much broke Roy for a while.
In the care of her birth parents, Amy was frequently shuffled off to whomever had a free arm so Tracy could go about doing … whatever it was Tracy did in her spare time. In the end, Tracy murdered Charlie Stubbs and went to jail, depriving Amy of her mother for the next couple of decades.
Bronze Medal: Teresa Morton
The rarely seen, often mentioned, ex-wife of Jerry Morton and mother to his four children. One day Kayleigh Morton got a call from her half-brother Finlay, who lives with Jerry’s ex, Teresa. It seems he had been abandoned by Teresa and her new fancyman. When Jerry confronted her about this, she wasn’t interested in her son’s well-being and so he came to live with the Mortons.
What do you think? Any other contenders for the bad mum crown from the past 48 years that I may have missed? How about dads? Do they seem to be off the hook, or is that just my perception?