Florence Lena "Florrie" Lindley was the owner of the Corner Shop in Coronation Street from 1960 to 1965. The shy widow surprised her neighbours in 1965 when her husband Norman tracked her down and they rekindled their relationship and left the Street. Florrie's lasting contribution to the Shop was moving the entrance from the corner to the side next to No.13. During her time in the Street, Florrie had a brief relationship with Frank Barlow and was friends with Elsie Tanner.
1922-1962: Early lifeEdit
Shy, retiring Florrie was a barmaid at the Farrier's Arms on Collier Street before moving from Esmerelda Street to Coronation Street in 1960, buying the Corner Shop from Elsie Lappin and renaming it "Lindley's Provisions". She was worried about moving to a place where she didn't know anyone, and told the neighbours that she was a widow when in fact she was separated from Norman Lindley who had left for engineering work in India.Her first few days in the shop were marred when she was caught by the police selling firelighters after closing time. She was fined £1 in court, but she was mainly worried about the local newspaper carrying the story and sullying her reputation.
Florrie settled in well, making a few friends such as Elsie Tanner and Albert Tatlock, and she hoped romance would be on the horizon with widower Harry Hewitt, but he was largely oblivious to her interest and ended up marrying barmaid Concepta Riley shortly after her arrival. She had no close friends in the street and usually went to bingo when she was lonely.
Sometimes Florrie had trouble paying her suppliers, so to generate a regular source of income, Florrie rented out the flat above the shop, while she lived in the accommodation behind the shop. The first tenants were Phil Braithwaite and Norman Dobson, and they were followed by Sheila Birtles and Doreen Lostock.
1962-1964: The lonely shopkeeperEdit
In 1962, Florrie and Elsie went on a few blind dates together. Elsie was more experienced at dating than Florrie, and still acted youthful, when actually both were the same age. Florrie ended up seeing Frank Barlow when they were both stood up, but they kept their meetings secret at first as Frank was also recently widowed. His intentions were never more than honourable and it soon dawned on Florrie that Frank wanted them to be just close friends. Florrie poured her heart out to him but he still wouldn't open up to her and he later admitted that he wasn't interested in her romantically. To save face, Florrie said she felt the same. They remained friends.
In 1964, Florrie decided to make some changes to the shop, and opened a sub post office, and moving the door to stop the draughts. She took on Dennis Tanner as assistant, but he wasn't up to the job and was replaced by Irma Ogden. However, she was trying to distract herself from the loneliness she felt and occasionally she lashed out at Irma. One particularly bad day saw Florrie have a breakdown in the shop and throw a tin through the shop window, and collapse in a sobbing heap.
Shortly afterwards things picked up as Florrie returned to the shop against her Doctor's orders and she started seeing Irishman Tickler Murphy. Tickler was interested in the shop, and kept up the relationship until Florrie started talking about marriage, too soon apparently as he was afraid of commitment and fled back to Ireland.
1965: Norman returnsEdit
In 1965, Florrie's estranged husband Norman Lindley tracked her down and appeared at the shop, seeking a reconciliation. The neighbours were stunned that Florrie wasn't a widow as she had always claimed. Florrie wasn't sure how to react to him, as he said if she didn't go to Canada with him they might as well get a divorce.
Norman's head was turned by Elsie Tanner, and they went out while Norman laboured under the impression that Florrie was going to turn him down. Florrie deliberated over it but eventually went to Canada with Norman after all.
- Florrie was mentioned by friends a few times after her departure from the Street. In 1967, she sent a telegram to congratulate Elsie on her wedding to Steve Tanner. In 1991, Emily Bishop mentioned Florrie in passing and Ken Barlow mentioned her name in 2007 while in the Corner Shop, now the domain of Dev Alahan.
- Florrie was one of the original set of twenty-one characters in Coronation Street and appeared in the first scene of Episode 1. An important part of aspect of Florrie's circumstances was that she was just settling into the Street and didn't know any of her neighbours, and thus writer Tony Warren was able to introduce several characters (and the Street itself) through Florrie's eyes as outgoing shopkeeper Elsie Lappin warned her about some of her more difficult customers.
- The character of Norman Lindley was introduced in 1965 as part of Florrie's exit storyline. Prior to his arrival, Florrie had always claimed to be a widow and the storyline was an early example of retconning established Coronation Street history.
First and last linesEdit
"Be funny having me name over me own shop. Florrie Lindley, licenced..." (First line)
"Well, we're off." (Final line)
|Ken Barlow | Frank Barlow | Ida Barlow | David Barlow | Jack Walker | Annie Walker | Elsie Tanner | Dennis Tanner | Linda Cheveski | Ivan Cheveski | Harry Hewitt | Lucille Hewitt | Concepta Riley | Ena Sharples | Minnie Caldwell | Martha Longhurst | Albert Tatlock | Christine Hardman | Florrie Lindley | Esther Hayes | Leonard Swindley|