Linda Patterson was a librarian who worked in the newspaper cuttings archive at Manchester Central Library.
In 1990, when Ken Barlow was doing some detective work into businessman Phil Jennings's shady past, he arranged through one of Linda's colleagues to search the archive. Linda dealt with the request, but to his disappointment only turned up a report on a charity football match which had been sponsored by Phil's leisure group PJ Leisure, portraying Phil as a philanthropist.
At Ken's request, Linda did some more digging under Phil's previous name of Smith and made enquiries with reporters. Through a journalist, she learned that Phil was under investigation by the tax office. She subsequently paid a visit to 15a Coronation Street to tell Ken her findings personally. A former pupil of Ken's at Bessie Street School in the early 1970s, Linda had been delighted to see him again as she had enjoyed his classes so much. Ken was equally pleased to be dealing with a former pupil, although he was embarrassed to be seen living where he was, the result of his recent separation from Deirdre Barlow about which he felt able to confide in Linda. Ken admitted that Phil was Deirdre's new boyfriend and that he was worried about both Deirdre and Tracy Barlow. Linda was sympathetic but disappointed to see that her former teacher who she had looked up to had become so bitter.