Ida barlow
Ida Barlow
Occupation Cleaner
Born 16th December 1916
Birthplace Weatherfield
Died 11th September 1961
Father George Leathers
Mother Nancy Leathers
Sibling(s) Ethel Leathers
Vera Leathers
Spouse(s) Frank Barlow (1938)
Children Ken Barlow (1939)
David Barlow (1942)
First appearance 9th December 1960
Last appearance 6th September 1961
Duration 1960-1961
Number of appearances 41
Played by Noel Dyson

Ida Barlow (née Leathers) was the wife of Frank Barlow and mother to Ken and David. She worked as a cleaner at the Imperial Hotel in Weatherfield but left behind a devastated family when she was hit by a bus in 1961.


Ida Leathers 1920

Ida aged 4 in 1920.

Born in 1916, Ida Leathers never knew her father George as he was killed in the trenches during World War I before she was born. Raised by her mother Nancy, Ida married postman Frank Barlow on 1st May 1938 after going out with him for several years. They had two sons, Ken in 1939 and David in 1942. Frank was away for much of the war, only returning on rare occasions, such as David's conception. Towards the end of the war he stopped sending letters and Ida believed the worst, only to learn he was in a prison camp. In the war's early years, Ida was terrified, often taking to her bed, but after the death of her sister-in-law Marjorie Barlow and the passage of time, Ida became stronger. She even began a small business with Bessie Tatlock mending clothes. As the war ended, Ida realised how independent she had become, and how much she might regret a return to the old ways.

In 1960, Ida worked at the Imperial Hotel as a cleaner in the kitchens. Though usually supportive of Ken, who was at university and sometimes embarrassed about his working class roots, and proud of his education, Ida was displeased when Ken invited some college friends into 3 Coronation Street to make anti-Nuclear protest signs.A caring, "saintly" woman, Ida spent most of her time cleaning the house and cooking for the family. She rarely went to the  Rovers Return though Frank was a regular.

With her mother Nancy Leathers' health failing, Ida moved into her house to take care of her. Nancy later agreed to move in with the Barlows.

Ida was very close to Albert Tatlock. In September 1961, Ida went to visit Albert's daughter Beattie Pearson, but stayed out so long that Ken and Frank began to worry about her. Ken went to see Beattie, who told him Ida had never shown up. Soon they learned she'd been hit by a bus and killed.

After her death Ida was not forgotten. On his wedding day in 1962, Ken spoke to his father about her, after finding him looking at photos of her. Her first granddaughter, Susan Ida Barlow, was partially named after her. On the eighth anniversary of her death, Ken laid flowers on her grave.

Ida was mentioned irregularly during the 1970s, but for the most part Ken often spoke of Uncle Albert as though he were his only parent. Ken mentioned his mother in 1974 when talking to Len Fairclough, referring to the first episode. Ken was seen looking at a picture of Ida (along with other past members of his family) in 1991 when he contemplated suicide.

Background informationEdit

  • The mother of the Barlow family, Ida was one of Coronation Street's original characters and the first to leave after the programme's beginning in 1960.
  • Ida's funeral episode was the most watched episode of Coronation Street up to that point, with 15.6 million viewers.
  • Background information from 1939-1945 in Daran Little's book Coronation Street: The War Years.

First and last linesEdit

"Sauce, Kenneth?" (First line)

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Original characters
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

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