Alison met Ray at a house party, where she nearly fell over him when he was lying drunk on a sofa. They got talking when Alison answered his request to pass a glass of water over his head. Ray told Alison she was the most wonderful girl in the world and that if she was in trouble she was to look him up.
In September 1973, Alison gave birth to a son named Jonathan, and lived with the baby's rich father, Harvey Shaw, in a posh flat in Manchester. Alison's mother was ashamed of her for living over the brush and told people that her daughter was flat-sharing in Chelsea and working as a receptionist. The cozy arrangement lasted until May the following year, when the couple rowed over Jonathan's father seeing other women, resulting in him walking out on Alison and the baby, breaking their engagement. Alison couldn't afford the rent on her own so, having failed to find alternative accommodation, she remembered Ray's offer and decided to get in touch.
Alison traced Ray through Fairclough, Langton and Booth building contractor, initially reaching Deirdre Hunt. When she met Ray, she had to recount the story of their first meeting, as Ray had been so drunk that he'd forgotten her. Taking Alison at her word, Ray let Alison and Jonathan stay at 9 Coronation Street until further notice. The couple faced the added complication that, because of Ray's reputation as a playboy, most people assumed he was the father; when Len Fairclough returned, he threw Alison and Jonathan out of No.9, and everyone else in the Street refused to put them up for more than one night, not wanting to get involved.
Though reluctant herself, Rita Littlewood took them in at The Kabin flat in Rosamund Street. This meant that Len still had to contend with them, and when he and Rita had to cancel an intimate evening together to baby-sit Jonathan, he decided that enough was enough and tracked down Harvey to attempt to spark a reconciliation. When Harvey turned up at the Rovers Return, Rita went to fetch Alison from the flat, passing on £20 from him in exchange for hearing him out, though Alison refused the money and fell into Harvey's arms as soon as she saw him. She and Jonathan then left the area.