|First appearance||23rd June 1975|
|Number of appearances||1|
|Played by||Robert Neild|
Barney Gardner was a little middle-aged man who drank in the Rovers. On the night he was a customer, Annie Walker was expecting a visit from Customs and Excise (having been tipped off by Nellie Harvey) and the male regulars suspected that he was the supposedly undercover enforcement officer. Annie was unaware that Len Fairclough and co had topped up several of the optics with water after having helped themselves while carrying out some work in the pub, only to then find Annie had marked the bottles. Decidedly nervous that their antics could lead to trouble for their friend, they were in the middle of the task of ordering all the remaining whisky, bacardi and other smalls from the affected bottles before the C&E men arrived and started testing and Barney’s order of a glass made their hearts skip a beat. Realising that he was an ordinary customer, they carried on ordering and drinking the entire contents themselves, spending £20 and getting blind drunk in the process, causing puzzlement and astonishment to Annie.
Another mystery in the Rovers at that time was Betty Turpin’s claim that she had seen the ghost of Martha Longhurst. When a pair of glasses similar to Martha’s were seen on the bar, Betty and Annie wondered if this was another manifestation. Barney solved the mystery when he returned for the specs, claiming he was always leaving them behind.