Constance "Connie" Clayton was the wife of Harry Clayton, who bought 11 Coronation Street in 1985. They lived there with their teenage daughters Andrea and Sue but the family did a moonlight flit and disappeared from the area after Andrea got pregnant by Terry Duckworth.
In January 1985, Connie Clayton was persuaded by husband Harry that 11 Coronation Street was the perfect house for them and their daughters Andrea and Sue. Harry bought the house from Bill Webster when Bill moved to Southampton.
Soon after the Claytons were settled into No.11, a row erupted between the family and the Duckworths. As an anniversary present for Vera, Jack asked Connie - a dressmaker - to make a dress out of some silver lurex he'd got for free. It was cheap material and looked hideous but Connie did the best she could with it, but Vera wasn't happy with the dress and offered only £20 of the £38.50 Connie charged for altering it. Connie refused to accept the payment and the families went to war; Harry, a milkman, stopped leaving milk for the Duckworths and Connie didn't pay Jack for cleaning their windows until Vera paid up.
While this was happening, Andrea was secretly dating Terry Duckworth although Connie and Harry found out when they caught them snogging on the sofa. Terry tried to settle the war by paying the money for Vera, but while Connie accepted it there was no love lost between the two families.
A short time later, Andrea told Connie she was pregnant by Terry. Connie supported Andrea, telling her it wasn't the end of the world and she offered to raise the baby with Harry while Andrea went to University; she'd been studying for her A-Levels for months and the family hoped she'd go on to achieve. Andrea hadn't yet decided whether she was going to have the baby but Harry and Connie told Jack and Vera in the Rovers and a fight ensued when Jack insinuated that Andrea was a slut and that Terry might not be the father. Andrea decided to keep the baby but didn't want Terry involved. Connie and Harry supported her attempts to keep Terry away but it wasn't easy as the Duckworths lived next door. On the verge of a breakdown, Connie told Harry they had to move and that her mother's house would do until they found somewhere else. Harry agreed and the family left the Street overnight. Connie and Harry returned a few days later to collect their furniture, and told Terry that everything was his fault.
The Claytons settled in Heaton Norris and Andrea had a baby boy, Paul Clayton, in February 1986. The Duckworths had no way of reaching Andrea or Paul until Andrea tracked them down in November 2000 and told them that Paul was experiencing kidney failure and Andrea's family had proved unsuitable as donors. Connie kept watch over Paul at the hospital with Andrea and Vera while Jack tracked Terry down. Once he was found and confirmed as a suitable donor, Terry agreed to have the operation but did a runner with the £25,000 Jack had given him as payment, as otherwise Vera would have donated one of her kidneys, despite the great risk to her. Vera went through with the operation and both patients pulled through.
- The Clayton family was created by Producer Mervyn Watson in January 1985. Watson felt the programme was missing an everyday nuclear family and created Claytons as a stable, happy couple with two teenage children. It was intended that they would be given smaller, relatable storylines and would work as a contrast to the more dysfunctional families in the Street.
- The Claytons were written out after less than a year, as they failed to make an impact on writers and viewers. Watson felt they didn't fit in the Street. Watson: "The Claytons seemed to get stuck. It's always quite a complicated, organic thing, planting a whole family. It's down to us to make the right choices. Once we've made the right choice there is an intangible thing which you can't predict which only becomes evident on the screen." Actress Susan Brown agreed with Watson: "There was a lot of talk about them wanting a very ordinary family but the characters were never defined and I never felt I had a big handle on the character." (The Coronation Street Story, 1995)
- Susan Brown played Connie in her 1985 appearances. When the character returned in 2000, Irene Skillington took over the role. Both actresses have played other roles in Coronation Street: Maureen Tully in 2006 (Brown), Carole Burns in 1988 and 1989 (Skillington), and Barbara Day in June 1998 (Skillington).
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