During her time in the Street, Doreen tried her hand at various jobs, including an assistant at Sylvia Snape's cafe and a barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn before settling down to a shop assistant's position at Gamma Garments, where she worked with Emily Nugent under pompous Leonard Swindley. Chatty Doreen was always on the lookout for attractive men and spent most of her free time gossiping with Sheila. In 1963, Doreen left the Street to join the Women's Royal Army Corp.
Ditzy, scatterbrained Doreen Lostock was born on 1st February 1941. She was educated at Bessie Street School and first came to Coronation Street to work at Elliston's Raincoat Factory sometime before 1961. She had a relationship with Billy Walker, son of the landlords of the Rovers Return Inn pub, but although they stayed together while Billy was away doing his National Service, they split up when Billy moved to London for work.
Doreen and her friend Sheila Birtles, another factory girl at Elliston's, liked to admire the men of the Street and gossip about the goings-on. In 1961, Doreen quit her job at the factory having had enough of her boss Harold Pilkington groping her. She was taken on at Sylvia Snape's café but lost the job after only a few months when the café was bought out. Doreen quickly found work as a barmaid at the Rovers and was relieved when Annie Walker, who hadn't liked her when she was seeing Billy, didn't hold a grudge in the workplace.
In 1962, Doreen was out of work after quitting her job at a grocers shop in Rosamund Street and was taken on as a shop assistant at Gamma Garments, a clothing shop managed by Leonard Swindley. Although never short of words, Swindley wasn't efficient as manager and was always in fear of his own boss, Mr Papagopolous. Swindley often used Doreen and Emily Nugent in his schemes to attract business, including one scheme which saw them model a new range of clothing. Although Doreen was not sure her job was secure at the flagging business, she enjoyed it and held onto the job for more than a year, far longer than she usually stayed in jobs.
In 1963, Swindley was replaced as manager of Gamma by Neil Crossley. Although charming, Neil continually failed to fulfil his work commitments and left most of the running of the shop to Emily and Doreen. The pair quickly discovered that Neil was stealing from the till, and Doreen was especially worried as Sheila had fallen for him and was dating him in secret. When Doreen confronted Sheila about it, Sheila rejected her help and fell into depression as Neil treated her terribly. Neil soon left the area and, after a brief spell in charge for Emily, Swindley returned to Gamma and things returned to normal. Sheila, however, went to live with her parents after her relationship with Neil nearly drove her to suicide.
Shortly after Sheila's departure, Doreen herself decided to move on. She left to join the Women's Royal Army Corp in October, leaving her job and the flat behind for good. When Sheila visited the Street in 1974, she told Emily that Doreen had stopped writing years since and she didn't know her current whereabouts.
- Christine Hardman once referred to Doreen as "Doreen Binns".
- In 1962, Frank Barlow warned Doreen about gossiping after people were talking about Frank and Florrie, when Doreen had seen them arguing in the shop. The incident caused Doreen to worry that Florrie would evict her and Sheila.
- In 1963, stock from Gamma was stolen under Emily and Doreen's watch, as they thought the drivers were transferring it to another store. They both fancied the driver, so when the police interviewed them they didn't want to give a detailed description of him.
- The character received a credit in Episode 957 (25th February 1970), which featured a clip of Episode 165 in which she also appeared.
- When Sheila Crossley visited the Street in 1974, she told Emily Bishop that she had lost track of Doreen years before as they had stopped writing to each other and she had no idea where she had ended up.
- Along with Sheila Birtles, Doreen appeared in minor roles throughout 1961. Early scripts didn't carry names for them and referred to them as 'the Barm Cake girls', although by the time their episodes were transmitted they had been named. Sheila and Doreen's friendship has since proved a successful motif for later young characters who have appeared in the show.
- Doreen wasn't seen during the Equity actors' strike between late 1961 and early 1962. When she returned, her absence wasn't explained, even though Doreen had been working at the Rovers when Angela Crow's contract expired.
- Angela Crow appeared opposite Arthur Lowe's Leonard Swindley again in the Whose Baby Are You? episode of spin-off Pardon the Expression.
First and last linesEdit
"Aye, join the flippin' army and see the flippin' world." (Final line, to Dennis Tanner)