Tom Russell was the resident for a very short period of the bedsit flat across the landing from the one occupied by Bet Lynch at 44 Victoria Street.

The flat had previously been occupied by a Spanish waiter, Carlos, and Bet was unaware that he had suddenly moved back home when she knocked on his door one evening in March 1976 and Tom answered in his place. Bet introduced herself and he later came to her for change for the phone in the communal hallway. He got no reply to his call and when he returned the money, Bet offered him a drink from an opened bottle of red wine she had. She refused his cigarette as she was trying to give up and he said he was doing the same. He told her he was an engineer who had come looking for work in the area from Wallasey though he wasn’t born there. He used to be a works manager and had had several jobs including a spell in the navy spending time all over the world, including Singapore. Bet liked his quiet shyness and they got to talking about different places in the world they had been to and Bet got out her photos of Majorca from eighteen months before to show him. Tom said he has happy to chat with her and look at the photos as he was at a loose end. He showed her a photo of his wife, Cath, his daughter and son and confessed that he’d left them for good. Bet was crushed again, thinking that she had been on to a good thing with him.

Bored herself that evening, she invited him back to share a half bottle of whisky. Tom told Bet further details of his married life, saying that it had taken him months to decide to leave his wife and one night he had just got up, walked out and driven off to Weatherfield on a whim. Bet told him his actions were cruel which got him annoyed, replying that his marriage was dead and the only thing him and his wife had in common was that they hated each other’s guts, spending all their time rowing. He now had plans to to start trying to find romance again. A bitter survivor of life's vicissitudes, Bet told him that he had little chance of meeting a girl of his dreams now at his age and to go back to his family, it being better than having no one to talk to at all as she did. Whether or not Tom took her advice, he was soon gone from his flat.