Laura Howard was the first wife of Alan Howard. Their son Mark was born in 1952. The marriage was over by 1969 when Alan came to Weatherfield to oversee the salon he had just purchased.

Alan briefly met Laura in August 1971 when he was staying at a hotel in Leeds. She admitted that there were times when she missed him but he was honest and said he didn't feel the same way. The reason he gave for seeing her was to enquire after Mark who he was estranged from.

By January 1972 Laura had opened up her own salon in Harrogate and helped Alan financially in order for him to buy the Canal Garage. In August of the same year, Laura came to Coronation Street to tell Alan and Elsie Tanner that she was getting re-married and wanted to drop Alan's loan - although Elsie refused.

Dialogue in Episode 999 names Alan's first wife as Dorothea and in Episode 947 Alan states that his wife was much younger than himself although the age difference once Stella Tanner had been cast eighteen months later did not seem to be as great as implied.

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