Sylvia Snape
Sylvia Snape
Occupation Owner of Snape's Cafe
Spouse(s) Bernard Snape
First appearance 22nd March 1961
Last appearance 5th April 1961
Number of appearances 4
Played by Patricia Routledge

Sylvia Snape was the owner of Snape's Cafe in Rosamund Street in 1961. In March, she took on Doreen Lostock as a part-time assistant working Mondays and Wednesdays fron 7.00pm to 10.30pm as she had enough cover for the rest of the week. Doreen was keen for the extra work as she wanted to save up enough to travel and broaden her mind. One of the first tasks that Sylvia delegated to Doreen was to return some gloves that Ena Sharples had left there earlier. She guided the young girl into the intricacies of the till and how to keep a smile on her face when taking orders from customers.

One of the difficult ones on Doreen's first night was Alice Burgess, Harry Hewitt's sister, who complained about the state of a cream cake she had ordered. Sylvia stepped in and received a lecture from the fussy woman who advised her to invest in a covered display cabinet as it would be more hygienic. She also congratulated Doreen about the firm way that she dealt with two Teddy Boys, Bryan and Leslie when they came in, intent on causing trouble.

Although married, her husband Bernard was a commercial traveller selling ladies' and fancy goods and was away for long periods. Sylvia admitted to Doreen that she had lived a fast life and enjoyed the jitterbug and a peroxide hairdo before she had met him but had now settled down. Even so, she was capable of flirting with the good-looking male customers, including shy plumber Joe Makinson who, although he was planning to get engaged to Christine Hardman, came on strong (for him) to Sylvia. She was amused by his behaviour and told a surprised Jack Walker when he came in that the young man wasn't as slow as he appeared.

Someone else who got a shock was Doreen when Bernard returned from his travels and unashamedly patted her bottom. Sylvia wasn't put out by his behaviour and exchanged kisses with him when he spoke to her about returning to his conjugal rights.

In July, the Snapes sold up to Leo Bonarti and moved to Newcastle.

There is some evidence that characters of Sylvia and Bernard were originally intended to be regular parts but actress Patricia Routledge was not interested in committing to the programme long-term. Both her character and that of her husband abruptly disappeared after their final appearance, as did the cafe in time.

List of appearancesEdit


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