Vera tells Alf and Renee that Ida is challenging Ivy for the stop steward job. Albert doesn't like Ena staying at No.1 and urges Ken to get her flat ready quickly. Belshaw's send Len a cheque. Eddie can now get his £30 owing but Len refuses him a bonus for getting the money for him. Ivy and Ida bicker over the sewing machines about the election. Mike is nervous about who will win. Deirdre is despondent that work is slow to come in. Flying Horse landlord Tony Hayes has challenged Fred to a barbershop competition with the Rovers and he tries to find a quartet. Renee pushes Alf to volunteer. The atmosphere in the sewing room is bad and Pauline suggests the vote is held at dinner time. Ida wants the election to be a secret ballot. Eddie agree to join Fred and Alf in the quartet but Len refuses. Albert is pleased with a potato pie that Ena bakes but they continue to argue. She makes him do the washing up. Bert agrees to be the final member of the quartet. The ballot papers are filled in for the election. Ivy worries about the result. Annie reminds Fred that the good name of the Rovers is at stake. Fred sets up the competition for next Monday. The men are horrified. They practice, singing Sweet Adeline and amusing Elsie and the regulars with their poor performance. Ena points out that Fred is the one out of key. The others agree and drop him and they instantly improve. Pauline gives the results: Ida gets 14 votes but Ivy wins with 17. The two make up. Ken tells Albert that the decorators won't be starting on Ena's flat until after Easter. He breaks the news to her when she comes back from the pub. Ena angrily tells Ken that he and the committee have messed her about for long enough. She announces that she is going back to Henry Foster in St. Anne's and threatens not to return. Albert is delighted. Fred and Alf realise nothing in the rules says the quartet must all be men and press gang Renee into joining them after Rita refuses.


Regular castEdit

Guest castEdit



  • Final appearance of Violet Carson as Ena Sharples.
  • TV Times synopsis: The Rovers' Barber Shop Quartet is one man short - who'll fill the gap? Meanwhile, the factory girls vote for an official shop steward…
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 17,861,000 viewers (2nd place).
  • The Granada Plus repeat of this episode on 9th April 1998 was edited down for timing reasons and omitted the latter 24" of the scene in Part Two when the shop steward election results are announced, the first 28" seconds of the following scene where Ken Barlow tells Albert Tatlock that the Community Centre won't be finished until Easter, and the final 9" of the same scene, thus omitting the final words ever said by Violet Carson as Ena Sharples in the series - "I don't suppose either of you thought of puttin' the kettle on, did yer?" - and Albert laughing at the thought of her imminent departure. A last edit was the first 10" of the final scene in the Corner Shop.

Notable dialogueEdit

Vera Duckworth (about Ida Clough): "I think she's gone a bit power-mad yer know, since we let her decide what to have on t'sandwiches."


Annie Walker: "Sweet Adeline? Do you know, Fred, I think I've underestimated you. That is an excellent choice. I suppose it was the rich Edwardian flavour you've gone for?"
Fred Gee: "Well no, it's not that exactly, Mrs. Walker - it's the only music I could find, see."


Ena Sharples (to Ken Barlow): "I've been mucked up by you and your committee for long enough. I'll be the one to say when I come back. If I come back."
Albert Tatlock: "What d'yer mean, "if" you come back?"
Ena Sharples: "I'm fast coming to the conclusion, Albert Tatlock, that the air up there is much more to my liking than it is round 'ere these days - an' you can take that any way you like. I don't suppose either of you thought of puttin' the kettle on, did yer?" (Final lines in series - see Granada Plus note above)

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