Originally a newsagents known as as Biddulphs incorporating a cafe and a lending library, the shop at 16 Rosamund Street was bought by Len Fairclough in May 1973. The name was later changed to The Kabin (despite Rita's suggestion of 'Rita's' turned down) with Len's love interest Rita Littlewood as the new manager - a title which she held for more than thirty years despite changes in ownership, staff and location.
Quickly realising that staff was needed, Rita appointed Mavis Riley, despite Mavis' bout of hiccups during the interview. Mavis was to work alongside Rita for over twenty-five years. Often infuriated by each other, a genuine and lasting friendship developed between the two ladies that continued with Rita still going to visit Mavis at her guesthouse in Cartmel.
Len made the ownership deeds of The Kabin out in Rita's name as a business convenience. When he attempted to sell The Kabin to Alfred Wormold, he found that Rita was unwilling to sell and blocked the deal, denying Len a profit but ensuring her independence.
In 1990, The Kabin relocated to a new location on the corner of Coronation Street, opposite the Corner Shop and next to Kevin Webster's garage. No longer feeling safe in her own home after her experiences with Alan Bradley, Rita moved into the flat above The Kabin.
In 1999, after a long absence, Sharon Gaskell, Len and Rita's long term foster-daughter, returned to Weatherfield. In an attempt to keep Sharon in Weatherfield, Rita gave her The Kabin and took a job as Sharon's assistant. When Sharon was reunited with her husband and the couple decided to leave the area, Rita was forced with no option but to buy back The Kabin for £40,000.
In 2000, Rita underwent training and was able to open a sub Post Office in The Kabin. The Post Office remained until 2010 when the shop was badly damaged by the tram crash. When the Kabin reopened in March 2011, the sub Post Office had gone.
In recent years Rita's assistant has been Norris Cole. Growing unhappy with his role as an assistant despite his senior years, Norris was allowed to invest in The Kabin, becoming a junior partner.
In 2004, The Kabin was at the centre of an attempt by Cilla Battersby-Brown to blackmail Rita over accusations of assault on Chesney Battersby-Brown. Rita spent a night in jail after an outburst in court, but the attempt failed when the judge awarded only negligible compensation. Rita considered selling the business as a result of the incident, but was talked out of it by Audrey Roberts.
Also in 2004, Norris became convinced The Kabin was haunted when he learnt that the newsagents was built on the site of the former Mission of Glad Tidings, where Vera Lomax had died. The cause of the strange events that worried Norris were eventually diagnosed by builder, Charlie Stubbs, as nothing more than the effects of rising damp.
In September 2009, Rita decided to leave her precious Kabin to Norris.
In December 2010, both the Kabin and the flat above were badly damaged in the tram crash, with Rita trapped in the ruined shop for hours until Norris raised the alarm and she was found by the emergency services. The shop and flat were rebuilt and reopened in March 2011 as 'Norris's News'. Rita was distraught but thanks to Emily Bishop, the shop was changed back to The Kabin shortly afterwards.
When Rita or Norris are ill or on holiday, Mary Taylor usually covers at The Kabin for them.
Current Staff Edit
Former staff Edit
- Mavis Riley (1973-1997)
- Louise Clayton (1980)
- Deirdre Barlow (1980, 1989) - Cover
- Sonia Wilkins (1984)
- Leanne Battersby (1997-1999)
- Sharon Gaskell (1999)
- Jenny Bradley (1993) - Cover
- Emily Bishop (1989, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2006) - Cover
- Judy Mallett (1997) - Cover
- Ken Barlow (1997, 1999, 2006) - Cover
- Blanche Hunt (1999, 2006) - Cover
- Sally Webster (2002) - Cover
- Doreen Fenwick (2007) - Cover
- Tina McIntyre (2008-2014) - Cover
- Dennis Tanner (2011-2014) - Cover