Born in 1919 in Weatherfield, lorry driver Stan met cleaner Hilda Crabtree when she fell over him during a wartime blackout in 1943. They married in December of that year. A marriage and four children - Freda, Dudley, Tony and Sylvia - followed, but the family struggled on low income and Stan's heavy drinking and occasional violence led to Tony and Sylvia being taken into council care, and Freda leaving home and changing her name to Irma. Stan eventually tracked his daughter down and bought 13 Coronation Street as a sign that for once he could be relied on to support the family.
As he approached old age, Stan took low paid jobs and struggled to stay on top of his failing health, including an interminably bad back, but his greatest obstacles were his own laziness and fondness for alcohol, which was usually greater than his sense of responsibility to his family. While his children eventually left home, Hilda stood by Stan, as she was utterly devoted to him (despite constantly nagging him), as she knew he was his own greatest enemy and it was usually up to her to push him into work and put aside whatever money they could save to pay bills. In return, Stan was reliant on Hilda, especially in his later years, when his health put him out of work for good.
Stanley Ogden was born on 17th May 1919 in Weatherfield. He was a soldier during World War II and served in Western Africa. It was in 1943 when he met Hilda Crabtree when she fell over him in a blackout. They were married by license seven days later. They went on to have four children, Dudley, Freda, Tony and Sylvia. Due to his job as a long distance lorry driver, Stan worked away from home a lot.
Stan first arrived on Coronation Street in June 1964, looking for his eighteen-year-old daughter Freda, who had run away from the family. Freda had changed her name to Irma and was working as Florrie Lindley's assistant in the Corner Shop. Stan, a long-distance lorry-driver, was away from home much of the time, leaving his wife Hilda to look after their four children. When he was home, he was given to drinking bouts and terrible rages, which caused their two younger children to be taken into council care.
Stan managed to convince Irma, as she was now known, that he had changed his ways, giving up lorry driving and trying to control his temper. He promised Irma anything if she would return to the family. At the time, No.13 Coronation Street was for sale, Jerry and Myra Booth having been forced out by financial troubles, and Irma made the condition of her return that Stan buy the house to provide the family with a permanent home. Stan surprised her by finding a deposit and buying the house for £575. In July, Stan moved his family; wife Hilda, son Dudley (who followed his sister's lead and changed his name to Trevor) and Irma, into 13 Coronation Street.
Hilda quickly found work as a cleaner in the Rovers, and Irma also worked there for a while as a barmaid. Trevor proved more troublesome, however. He ran away with money stolen from the neighbours when he was fourteen and wrote to his parents telling them to disown him. Stan complied with the letter and Trevor was unmentioned for years. Irma quickly fell for football star David Barlow, and they were married in late 1965. After that, Stan and Hilda were left on their own.
Stan had mended his ways, although he was still quite fond of his beer and quickly became Newton & Ridley's best customer. His reward: a free pint every day for life.
While Stan remained faithful to his local, for a few years he drifted from job to job. At various times, he was a milkman (early mornings compensated by afternoons in the pub), a coalman, an ice-cream salesman, a chauffeur, a street photographer, a professional wrestler (in his only match he was thrown from the ring into Hilda's lap) and an artist (creating sculptures from scrap metal; this backfired when his masterpiece was taken to the tip by mistake). However, in 1969 Stan bought a window cleaning round, and this would remain his primary means of support for the rest of his life.
Stan and Hilda had married six days after Hilda tripped over him in a wartime blackout. Through many harsh years of drinking and rages, Hilda stuck by him, believing that he was her man, no matter what. They were uncommunicative to each other, and Stan left Hilda to take all responsibilities for their home, including trying to pay the bills with their limited resources. This proved too much for Hilda, and in 1967 she suffered a nervous breakdown and disappeared. She was found wandering in Liverpool a few days later, and recovered, but the lack of promise in their lives hung over them like a shadow. For Stan and Hilda, life was marginal at best. They were never more than a short step from absolute poverty.
To prove himself a dab hand at whatever he turned his hand to, Stan installed a serving hatch between the kitchen/living room and the front room, but goofed and made it big enough for a canteen. Hilda liked the hatch, but pointed out that she had little use for it, as they never used the front room anyway. He also ruined Hilda's precious Alpine "muriel" that covered one entire living room wall when he fell asleep in the bath and overflowed water seeped through the floor.
The seventies brought Hilda a long streak of bad luck. Their grandson Darren Barlow was killed along with his father David in a car accident in Australia in 1970. During the same year, Joe Donelli had returned to the Street and Stan found himself looking down the cold end of a barrel when Joe forced them both to sing "Silent Night." However Joe soon blew his brains out with the gun and Stan was declared a hero. But not long afterwards, things didn't go well for Stan. In 1972, he was suspected of being a Peeping Tom and the residents turned on him. Hilda was furious, and spat on the floor of the Rovers. Days later, however, another man was arrested and the residents apologised to Stan.
Things did not go so well for the couple when No.13 was fumigated. Another time, in 1977, Suzie Birchall dropped a brick down the chimney of No.13 and this caused coal soot to ruin Hilda's precious muriel. Hilda blamed their bad luck on No.13 and ordered Stan to change the house number to 12a. Hilda prepared a roast lamb dinner to celebrate, but when she went outside to see the new numbers inadvertently locked them both out. By the time Stan broke in, their dinner was burned.
It seemed that No.13 wasn't unlucky, Hilda and Stan were. On top of this, the council ordered them to change the number back. When the Silver Jubilee took place that same year, the residents dressed up as famous people throughout the ages. However, they were furious after discovering Stan had left the lights of the lorry on all night and the battery had gone dead.
In the seventies, as Stan aged, he grew weaker and more tired. He often didn't work, claiming his back wasn't up to the job. Hilda had to assume responsibility not only for all the household chores and looking after Stan, but also scraped to make ends meet on her wages as a charwoman. There were times when Stan drover her mad. In 1976, when she found out Stan had stolen half of their Christmas money, she was furious. She told she was sick of him and sick of being the local joke. She ordered Stan out of her sight. He went, and disappeared for three weeks, much to the shock of the residents and to Hilda, who didn't hear from him for two weeks and feared he was dead.
Hilda enlisted the aid of Stan's friend Eddie Yeats to find him. Eddie finally tracked him to Norman Crabtree's chip shop, where he was helping himself to the chips and his brother-in-law's girlfriend Edie Blundell. Stan refused to return, but Hilda saw Edie off and dragged Stan home. After that, things went right back to the way they were.
Before his disappearance, Stan and Hilda had tracked their son Trevor down. He was married and living in a semi-detached house in Chesterfield. Stan and Hilda made a special visit, only to have his wife Polly tell them that Trevor had led her to believe that his parents were dead.
One high point of the Ogdens' marriage was in the late seventies, when they won a second honeymoon at a five-star hotel. A limousine whisked them from Coronation Street to the hotel, where they received free champagne. Hilda decked out in a silk nightdress, only to find that, typically, Stan had fallen fast asleep. Although the night was a quiet one, it was a fond memory for Stan and Hilda as they entered old age.
In the early eighties, Eddie Yeats secured a job as a binman, and became Stan and Hilda's lodger. He saw Stan and Hilda as surrogate parents, and they saw him as a son. Stan was in his sixties and slowing down (mirroring the deteriorating health of actor Bernard Youens). Eddie helped him on his window-cleaning round, later buying it and making Stan his employee. However, Stan's deterioration was rapid and Hilda took extra cleaning jobs to make some money, including cleaning Mike Baldwin's factory and Doctor Lowther's house.
In late 1983 Stan found out that he was three years older than what he thought he was. He thought he was born in 1922 but his birth certificate stated he was born in May 1919. He was shocked but delighted to find that he would be getting his pension next year. It was Harold who laid a new carpet for the Ogdens' who suggested that Stan may have been kept back at school and that could be why his mother got confused as to how old he was, and Stan himself.
Eddie Yeats left Weatherfield in December upon marrying Marion Willis, who lodged next door with Elsie Tanner. He moved in temporarily with Elsie and Marion, but moved to Bury afterwards to look after Marion's ill mother, but not before helping Stan and Hilda celebrate their greatest milestone.
In early 1984 Stan stubbed his toe on a paving slab that was sticking up slightly. Stan became a laughing stock amongst the regulars at the Rovers. He was later awarded £200 compensation and Hilda put the money into the bank but Stan kept making withdrawals. Hilda found out and Stan agreed not to draw any more money out.
Stan's health took a turn for the worse in May He became an invalid, bedridden and required constant nursing. In November it was suggested by Doctor Meakin that he be admitted to hospital. Hilda was frightened that he would not come out of hospital. Stan later died in hospital on 21st November 1984 leaving Hilda devastated. The exact cause of his death was never stated. On the day of the funeral, son Trevor came to visit, and told his mother that Irma couldn't make it. Hilda surprised the residenthospits at the funeral by not crying, but that evening, as she went through Stan's personal effects, she found the case for his glasses, and she clutched it to her chest, weeping.
- Stan had an Uncle Edwin, mentioned in Episode 2019 (6th August 1980), the exact reason of his mention was that Eddie Yeats needed a black tie for Renee Roberts's funeral. He also had a cousin named Edwin, who was married to Doris.
- Although it was mentioned early that Stan had two children, Tony and Sylvia, who were taken into care after he repeatedly beat them during drunken rages, neither were ever seen in the series. Tony, played by Willie Smith, was due to appear in two episodes (372 and 373) which were never recorded due to the 1964 ITV Strike.
- Stan's sudden exit from the programme was due to actor Bernard Youens becoming seriously ill and being admitted to hospital in April 1984. After multiple strokes and having to have a leg amputated after contracting gangrene, Bernard passed away peacefully in his sleep in August 1984. In November, three months after the actor's death, Stan was written out of the programme with the character also passing away.
- It has been hinted that Stan's middle name was Isaiah. In a Coronation Street character fact card it lists Stan's father as Isaiah Ogden. However, the book Weatherfield Life by Daran Little and Bill Hill lists Stan's middle name as Josiah. The 40th anniversary book also lists Stan's middle name in the Ogden family tree near the back of the book. Whether Stan's middle name was ever revealed in the show is a mystery.
First and last linesEdit
"A pint of mild, twenty fags" (First line)
"I'll not draw anymore" (Final line, to Hilda after agreeing not to take any more money out of their bank account)
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