BETTY Driver spent more than 40 years as Betty Turpin/Williams, the Rover’s Return barmaid in Coronation Street.
She died last week aged 91.
Though Betty the barmaid was her defining role, she started singing aged eight and became a music hall and theatre star with a fine ear for a sketch and joke.
It was this side of Betty Driver that Anita Curry, of Fartown, remembers.
“She signed my autograph book in 1950 when she was playing Huddersfield Palace Theatre on the same bill as comedian Harry Shiels,” said Anita.
“The way it came about was that Harry, who played a drunk leaning on a lamp post, wanted a girl to wander on to stage with a dog.
“Harry would then pick up the lamp post as the dog went by.”
Even though Anita was only 11 she was really stage-struck.
Her uncle, who was a chef at Silvio’s cafe in Westgate, had theatrical connections and so arranged for her to go quite regularly to the Palace.
“Betty was a really decent person,” Anita recalls. “She had time for everyone.
“I told her I wanted to go on stage but that I didn’t think I was good enough. ‘You can do anything you want to do,’ she told me.’’
Anita did indeed spent a lot of time on stage, acting first with Huddersfield Technical College’s drama group, then in Huddersfield Thespians’ Green Room productions and with concert parties and amateur operatic society productions all over town.
“I would have loved to go on stage as a career, but it never happened,” said Anita.
“Instead, I worked in gown shops and became reasonably good at window dressing.”
STUART Wright was sales director at Quarmby beer mat printers in Milnsbridge for a number of years before deciding to move out from his home in Shelf, Halifax, to live in Mijas Costa in southern Spain.
He had always hankered after a writing career and in summer 2009, a short while after moving to Spain, self-published a book called Life’s A Laugh on the Costa – Honest!
This was an amusing A-Z guide on how to spot tourists and foreigners.
“Things have moved on considerably since then and my new book was released in the UK and USA on October 1,” said Stuart.
This time Stuart has addressed his perception that a taste for knowledge is sometimes not fully exploited in school. The book is called More Interesting Than Your Teacher and is a sort of colourful scrapbook on the lines of popular TV show QI.
It’s published by Black Dog Publishing at £9.99.