Mrs Smethurst was a neighbour of Percy Sugden when he moved into council housing in Parliament Street in July 1988. Though he had made sure not to tell Phyllis Pearce where he'd moved, she'd wheedled the street name out of Mavis Riley in The Kabin and encountered Mrs Smethurst while snooping around the street on the lookout for her man. Asking Mrs Smethurst if she'd seen Percy, Phyllis gave an overly flattering description of the pensioner, describing him as a very good looking man for his age, with a cloth cap and military moustache. Mrs Smethurst told her that such a man had moved into the area but that she didn't know which house.