P.C. Smith called at the Corner Shop on the night of 20th February 1974. Maggie Clegg was just about to leave to join a party at the Rovers Return Inn to celebrate the engagement of Len Fairclough and Rita Littlewood and Jerry Booth had gone to the shop to fetch her.

Smith checked that Maggie was Cyril Turpin's sister-in-law and then broke the shattering news to her that Cyril had collapsed with a heart attack outside his house that evening and had died by the time that the ambulance had arrrived. As Cyril had been in the police until 1970, they knew his now-widow Betty well and Smith's Inspector thought that the news would be easier coming from Maggie.