Corrie star bows out


A BRIDLINGTON actress who had a starring role in Coronation Street has died.

Helene Palmer had lived quietly with her husband Alex in Sewerby for the past 20 years, after a career which began as an entertainer on the clubs circuit in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In 1978 she became a household name as Ida Clough, the militant machinist at Baldwin’s Casuals in Coronation Street.

She stayed there for 10 years until 1988, when she was sacked by Mike Baldwin after reporting him for drink driving.

She had worked alongside big characters such as Ivy Tilsley, Vera Duckworth, and Elsie Tanner.

Ida returned to the street for Ivy’s funeral in 1995 and was taken back on at the factory, this time with Janice Battersby and Sally Webster, making her last appearance in 1998.

Her son David Palmer, 49, who lives in Buckton, said he never really knew how his mother came to be in The Street.

He said: “During her time working the clubs she was with people like Les Dawson, and Freddie Star, also Pat Phoenix (Elsie Tanner), Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth) and Lynne Perrie (Ivy Tilsley).

“They were all good friends and she was with them when they all joined Coronation Street around the same time.”

But his mother also had many other acting achievements, among them was appearing in Spend, Spend, Spend – the story of Castleford pools winner Viv Nicholson.

She was also in the film Yanks, which starred Richard Gere.

The last thing she did was to play the wife of Eric Sykes in an eight part comedy series, Stan The Man.

Helene and her husband Alex, who both come from South Yorkshire, bought the cottage in Main Street, Sewerby, in the early 1970s with the idea it would be somewhere for them to retire to.

The couple had been in the licensed trade for many years and moved to live in Bridlington in 1986 when they took over the Nags Head in Market Place.

They were to run it, living on the premises, until Alex retired in 1990 and they moved into Sewerby.

David said: “She had a very busy life, running the pub and appearing in Coronation Street but always tried to help local organisations who wanted a celebrity to open an event or something similar. She was quite a character that everyone in Bridlington knew.”

Helene died early last Wednesday morning in Scarborough Hospital after a short illness. She was 82. Her husband Alex, 85, still lives in Sewerby.

Her funeral is at St John the Evangelist Church, Sewerby, on Tuesday, January 18 at noon followed by cremation at East Riding Crematorium, Octon.