Ethel was a strict, conservative type. After Mavis moved out of her aunt's house at 23 Jubilee Terrace and into The Kabin flat in May 1977, she was quick to look down her nose at her cousin and described the flat as "pokey". Mavis's boyfriend Derek Wilton soon got on the wrong side of her, after pointing out that she and Mavis were related and Auntie Edie's care should be shared between them. Ethel's main concern however, was that her dogs would have to be put down if she moved into the house as Edie was allergic.
Ethel dominated over Mavis, who accepted this and went through with her demands - and was even made to feel guilty enough to move back into her aunt's house at the beginning of August to continue looking after her and took time off work, despite Ethel pre-warning Auntie Edie that Mavis and Derek might get married. Having returned to work during the middle of the month, Rita Fairclough made Mavis work until 7.00pm that evening to start making time back, however at the end of her shift she returned home to find Auntie Edie had passed away.
Attending Auntie Edie's funeral and subsequent wake in the Rovers, Mavis's close friends were horrified at the way Ethel put both Mavis and Derek down. At the will-reading, Ethel was furious to discover that she'd been left two pot dogs while Mavis was left the house and threatened to contest the will, however solicitor Mr Lewis advised that the house had been sold to a finance company and wasn't hers. Mavis was given notice by the bank in September and moved back into The Kabin flat.