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Ida Clough

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Ida clough
Ida Clough
Occupation Machinist
Born 15th November 1937
Children Muriel Clough
Bernard Clough
First appearance 3rd April 1978
Last appearance 19th August 1998
Duration 1978-1988, 1995, 1996-1998
Number of appearances 254
Played by Helene Palmer

Ida Clough (née Bulmer) was a machinist at Baldwin's Casuals from 1978 to 1988, and later at Underworld from 1997 to 1998. A militant trade unionist, Ida always spoke up for her fellow workers. Her close friends were her colleagues Ivy Tilsley and Vera Duckworth.


1937-1988: At Baldwin's Casuals

Ida Clough started working at denim-maker Baldwin's Casuals in Coronation Street sometime prior to April 1978. She worked alongside Vera Duckworth and Ivy Tilsley and while not as aggressive as Vera or as firm as Ivy, Ida had elements of both and was often caught in the middle of their arguments.

Ida was married and had at least two children. Her daughter Muriel worked at Baldwin's for a while in 1978; when Ida had her eye on the staff supervisor's job, she instructed Muriel to flirt with assistant manager Steve Fisher so that the management would favour her. From 1981 to 1982, Ida's son Bernard worked as a van driver for the factory.

A staunch trade unionist, Ida obtained the position of shop steward at the factory in 1980, despite losing out to Ivy 14-17 in a staff vote. Ivy was already supervisor and, tired of Ida nagging her, agreed to relinquish the position of steward - but got her own back by criticising Ida's standard of work.

Ida mike ivy

Ida eyes up her competition

Ida and Ivy's positions made them the usual candidates in dealing with Mike, and he would sometimes foist difficult decisions on them. When an outlet for the factory's produce closed down, Mike demanded that Ida and Ivy decide who to make redundant, but they avoided choosing names by getting the girls to agree to a three-day week. To sell the stock, Mike made Ida and Ivy man a stall but they were replaced by Vera and Elsie Tanner when they were disastrous in the job.

Ida was known to make a stand on something she felt strongly about. In 1985, she received an anonymous letter telling her that van driver Henry Wakefield was a strike-breaker and rallied the other girls against him when Mike refused to give him the sack. Eventually Mike's hand was forced as the machinists threatened to go on strike themselves otherwise. The staff didn't always support Ida however - in 1986, they refused to walk out when Ida felt the factory was too cold to work in. Later that year, Ida decided to give up the position of steward as it was too stressful.

In January 1988, production at the factory was changed from denim to curtains, cutting the machinists' wages by 20%. Ida stood up to Mike, accusing him of making money at the workers' expense, but Mike sacked her. Ida felt she'd been fired with undue cause and told Mike she'd sue him for unfair dismissal. She also tipped off the police about Mike's drink driving, although when he was caught and charged, he sacked Vera, thinking she'd shopped him. When Ida heard about it, she came clean with Vera, who convinced Mike to take her back on if testified at the tribunal over Ida's sacking that Ida was a troublemaker. Reluctantly, Ida dropped the case.

1988-1998: Later life

Ida remained friends with Ivy and Vera and attended Ivy and Don Brennan's wedding in June 1988. She later appeared at Ivy's funeral in 1995 and went to see Vera in February 1996 when Vera thought she'd seen Ivy's ghost.

Two months later, Ida went for an interview for a position at Mike's new factory, Baldwin's Sportswear, and got a job as machinist although Mike warned her not to cause trouble. Ida thought she'd be in line for any supervisory position going and was affronted when Mike made Sally Webster a manager, although she satisfied herself by making Sally's job more difficult. The business ran for less than a year, but Ida applied for another job at Mike's factory Underworld in 1997, and was taken on by Angie Freeman, despite Mike not wanting her. There, Ida got on well with Janice Battersby and later Hayley Patterson. In August 1998, Ida fought to get Hayley reinstated when Mike sacked her after finding out that she was a transsexual. Ida threatened Mike with an industrial tribunal but despite not wanting to be bullied, especially by Ida, Mike gave in and Hayley returned to work.

Background information

  • Ida was introduced in Episode 1796 on 3rd April 1978 as an established worker at Baldwin's Casuals. She remained in the programme until 1988, appearing in factory-related storylines. Unlike her counterparts Ivy and Vera, Ida's character was never significantly built up although two of her children were seen.
  • The circumstances of actress Helene Palmer's casting in Coronation Street were touched on by her son David Palmer in an interview: "During her time working the clubs she was with people like Les Dawson, and Freddie Starr, also Pat Phoenix, Liz Dawn and Lynne Perrie. They were all good friends and she was with them when they all joined Coronation Street around the same time." [1]
  • Following her departure in 1988, Ida returned for one episode in 1995. A longer stint followed from 1996 to 1998, again in a supporting role at Mike Baldwin's factory. She was last seen in Episode 4458 on 19th August 1998, although the character didn't have a proper exit storyline.
  • The character's fate has not been addressed. However, in Episode 6740, during a conversation between Emily Bishop, Rita Sullivan and Norris Cole in The Kabin prior to Vera Duckworth's funeral service, the names of Ida, Ivy and Vera were mentioned by Emily. Rita's response of "One out, all out" hints that the character may be deceased.


"Every picture tells a story" (First line, about Steve Fisher)


"I told him to shut 'is gob. He’d got that much lip on 'im." (Final line)

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