John Smith
John Smith
Occupation Scrap merchant
Spouse(s) Ellen Smith
Children Flora Smith and 1 boy
First appearance 14th October 1970
Last appearance 26th October 1970
Number of appearances 4
Played by Shane Connaughton

John Smith was in a group of travelling gypsies who encamped on slum clearance ground near to Coronation Street for two weeks in October 1970. Sharing his pleasant modern caravan was his wife Ellen, their young daughter Flora and their five-year old son.

The first resident of the street to encounter Smith was Peter Barlow who enjoyed a kick-about with his football when he was on his way to school before Val called him away as he would be late. Later that day, John and fellow-traveller Reuben Ward encountered the less-friendly form of Tommy Deakin when they tried to collect rag-and-bone on Coronation Street on a patch he had worked on since the Second World War. Reuben and Tommy almost came to blows before Ray Langton separated them but their feud was only delayed and later on in the Rovers another fight almost broke out when Tommy provoked the two men before Billy Walker threw him out - much to the ire of Annie Walker was most definitely not pleased at the sight of the new arrivals.

Hilda Ogden added to the problems the street residents had in welcoming their new neighbours when she quoted the old wives' tale that gypsies eat cats, leading to Minnie Caldwell becoming extremely flustered when she was shopping for Bobby’s food in the Corner Shop and John walked in. She immediately changed her order, loudly and vehemently dening having a cat, leading John to think she was barmy. He then argued with Irma Barlow when he asked 5/3 for a tin of corned beef as he could get it much cheaper at the supermarket. A more sympathetic response came a week later from Ena Sharples who saw John buying medicines for his children and under questioning he admitted his five-year old son was ill. She went back to the camp to see the child and complemented John on the cleanliness of his caravan, promising to get him a doctor as he had been unable to procure such a service himself from unsympathetic surgery staff.

The gypsies' time in Weatherfield was coming to an end though as Annie had handed in a petition to the police demanding their eviction and, at the same time, violence had broken out between the menfolk when a pile of scrap from the Builder's Yard that Reuben had been going through went missing. Ray brought in some heavies to get back the property back though he had no proof that it was in the encampment. A full scale fight was in progress when the police interceded and the gypsies were moved on, much to the anger of Lucille Hewitt who had befriended Ellen and Flora. She threw a brick through a police car windscreen in a fit of rage and was arrested as a result.

List of appearancesEdit


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