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Mrs Toft

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Mrs toft
Mrs Toft
Residence Weatherfield
Sibling(s) 13 brothers and sisters
Spouse(s) Mr Toft
Children At least one child
First appearance 10th March 1969
Last appearance 20th May 1974
Number of appearances 18
Played by Beatrice Neild

Mrs B. Toft was an elderly widow who lived in the vicinity of Coronation Street in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Mrs Toft was a contemporary of Minnie Caldwell and Ena Sharples with whom she was casually acquainted. She courted her husband for over thirty years before they were wed, and they had at least one child together who went on to produce a grandson. Mrs Toft was widowed in 1967, but she still had company at the family home courtesy of her cat Suki.

In April 1969 she joined Ena's group of pensioners in protesting outside Weatherfield Town Hall at the proposed demolition of an OAP Clubhouse to build a new car park. Mrs Toft made up a banner calling the council fascist pigs, which Ena endorsed when even Albert Tatlock baulked at the label. She subsequently participated in a sit-in at the clubhouse to stop the bulldozers moving, leading to the council overturning the ruling and saving the clubhouse.

One year later, Mrs Toft and her friend Miss Merryfield spotted Minnie and her new "gentleman friend" Handel Gartside in the Peel Street Tea House, on the same afternoon that Minnie had dropped out of their weekly visit to the market. Concerned that she and Handel would be the subject of gossip, Minnie looked away when Mrs Toft waved to her and left a few moments later.

When Mrs Toft visited Coronation Street it was usually at the Corner Shop where she was happy to stop for a friendly chat with the counter staff. In January 1971, while popping in for a loaf of bread, she told Lucille Hewitt and Irma Barlow that her house was coming down the following April and enquired about a card in the window advertising for a live-in housekeeper. However, when she was informed that it was for local grump Albert Tatlock, she decided not to apply. A few weeks later, Mrs Toft was pressurised by Maggie Clegg and Hilda Ogden to sign a petition against the Mark Brittain Warehouse. In January 1973, she tried to exchange a pile of rice pudding vouchers for cash at the shop but Maggie told her that they could only be swapped for rice pudding. The softly-spoken pensioner admitted that she didn't actually like rice pudding and had been feeding the contents to her cat. Having heard the conversation, Alf Roberts - a self-confessed rice pudding man - offered to take the vouchers off her hands for 2p each, enabling her to buy a birthday present for her grandson. In May 1974, Alf helped her out from the other side of the counter when Maggie let him work at the shop as her assistant. A novice at shop work, Alf took a while with Mrs Toft's order, but the pensioner didn't mind, considering it a pleasant way to spend the time.

The Community Centre was another place where Mrs Toft was often spotted. In October 1971, she was one of three people in attendance at Albert's horticulture lecture. Much to Albert's displeasure, his audience constantly interrupted him and at one point Mrs Toft and Trevor Parkin argued amongst themselves about sloam. In March 1973, Mrs Toft was one of the few members of the community to turn up at a meeting called by Emily and Ernest Bishop where the public could pitch classes to be taught there, although Mrs Toft's suggestion of a rug-making class wasn't taken up.

In 1972, Mrs Toft helped Hilda Ogden track down her husband Stan by informing her that she saw him on Inkerman Street.

In September 1973, Mrs Toft entered a draw to win a two-week holiday in Llandudno. Hers was one of the names drawn by Emily Bishop, and she was lucky enough to win again when Albert demanded it be re-run due to his name being left out. However, Albert's boorish behaviour towards Emily upset Mrs Toft who felt that all the pleasure had been taken out of her win. The holiday was Mrs Toft's first since 1919, when she and and seven of her thirteen brothers and sisters went to a house in the country where poor children were sent by the council.

Actress Beatrice Neild made several background appearances from 1961 to 1974 and also portrayed an unnamed woman in Episode 310 (2nd December 1963). These may be extra appearances as Mrs Toft, particularly those which occurred after the character's debut, namely in episodes 928, 937, 1036, 1037, 1084, 1085, and 1205.
The information about Mrs Toft's courtship and marriage come from Episode 1155 (9th February 1972). Note that in Episode 1169 (29th March 1972), Len Fairclough gives 40 years as the timeframe of Mrs Toft's courtship. Both of these are inconsistent with Mrs Toft having a grandson, as mentioned in Episode 1252 (15th January 1973). Mrs Toft's middle initial was given in Episode 1322 (17th September 1973).

List of appearancesEdit

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

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