Created 12th August 2005
Updated 18th July 2007
Appeared: 19 August 1974 -
Born: 3 September 1937
Married circa 1957: John Harold ("Jack") Duckworth
Parents: Joss Shackleton (alleged father) and Amy Burton
One Child: Terence ("Terry") Duckworth Born: 4 June 1964
Three Grandsons: Paul Clayton Born in 1986 (whose
mother is Andrea Clayton)
The Following Profile was submitted by Jeremy Larner and is ©2005, 2007 to Jeremy Larner & emmerdale.org
Vera made her first appearance in the show in August 1974 as a loud
mouth worker at the Mark Britain Warehouse, which was situated on
Coronation Street. She worked along side her best mates Ivy Tilsley
and Edna Gee. She was first seen fighting with the management at
the warehouse about the retirement age. At that time Vera had split
up with her husband Jack and was living with a bingo caller called
Don McMasters. In late 1975 the Warehouse burned down and Vera’s
mate Edna Gee was killed in the fire. Vera was next seen in mid 1976
when she briefly dated Edna’s husband Fred Gee, however she
soon left him and got back together with Jack.
In 1985 the Clayton family moved into the house next door to the
Duckworths and Terry started seeing Andrea Clayton. Vera also had
a dress made by Connie but refused to pay for it. War was declared
but Terry paid behind his mother's back which made Vera angry when
she found out. However the entire family moved away after Andrea
became pregnant, so Vera was forced to accept she would have no contact
with her grandchild.
In the early 1990s Vera received the news that her mother had passed away, however she was stunned when Joss Shacklton arrived and told her that he was her real father and that he was also was the illegitimate child of King Edward VII. Vera was delighted to think she was a cousin of the Queen. Joss moved in with the Duckworths at Number 9 for a short time but soon moved to a flat, resulting in Curly moving next door to number 7.
In 1992 Vera hired a private detective to try and track down her grandson Paul, however this later led to Jack telling her that Paul had been adopted. Just after this, Terry returned home after a 5-year absence and told a thrilled Vera she was to become a grandmother again, as his girlfriend Lisa was pregnant. However a short while later Lisa turned up unexpectedly at the Duckworth’s to inform then that Terry was on remand in prison for GBH. Lisa insisted that Terry was innocent and the couple arranged to get married. During the wedding Vera begged with the guards to take off Terry’s handcuffs in order for photographs to be taken, but Terry used this opportunity to escape from the guards and go on the run, leaving poor Lisa shocked and upset as to whether he actually loved her. Terry contacted Vera and arranged to meet her at Bettabuys supermarket so she could give him some cash, however he was seen on the security camera’s by supermarket manager Reg Holdsworth who informed the police, this led to Terry being caught and taken back to prison, where he was later handed a sentence for 3 years. There was good news around the corner for Vera however, Lisa give birth to her grandson Tommy in September 1992, however Lisa’s friendship with Des Barnes made Vera uneasy and she informed Terry who arranged for Des to be beaten up. Seeing what sort of a man she was married to led Lisa’s friendship with Des to turn into an affair and she moved in with him.
In February 1993 Vera was dealt a huge blow though when Lisa was
knocked down and killed outside the Rovers, although they weren’t
on the best of terms at the time Vera was devastated, and put all
her energy into looking after baby Tommy. 1993 had an even worst
end for Vera, first her father Joss died, then Terry was released
from prison and sold baby Tommy to the Hortons (Tommy's maternal
grandparents), claiming Vera was too old to look after a baby. Vera
was absolutely devastated, however eventually her pain eased especially
when the Hortons allowed the Duckworths to visit Tommy in Blackpool.
In 1997 Vera became a grandmother for the 3rd time after Tricia
Armstrong gave birth to Terry’s son, Brad. In typical Terry
style, he had disappeared when he found out but Jack and Vera stood
by her and the baby was delivered in the Rovers back room with the
help of Betty. Later in the year the Duckworths celebrated their
ruby wedding with a trip to Las Vegas, where it was discovered that
Jack had lied about his age on their wedding licence so Vera was
convinced they weren’t legally married and were living in sin.
This was soon rectified when they had a wedding in Las Vegas and
returned home without telling their neighbours. The Duckworths had
financial problems so Alec Gilroy bought a share in the Rovers from
them. However, when they had yet more financial problems in 1998
Alec bought them out completely and changed the locks while they
were on holiday in Blackpool visiting Tommy. It was only Rita Sullivan
alerting them to what was happening that prompted their return from
Blackpool and after managing to get in, they were determined not
to leave. Alec wanted them gone so resorted to removing the staircase
in the hope they would concede defeat due to hunger. But he hadn't
banked on the neighbours rallying round and supplying them with food
and drink. He gave in and agreed they could stay living and working
there. Alec ended up selling the pub when his romance with Rita broke
down to barmaid Natalie Barnes and left the area. Natalie then became
the new landlady, and the Duckworths were forced to move into a Bed
and Breakfast run by Eunice Gee. When Eunice left the area, the Duckworths
took over the running of the B and B and took Tyrone Dobbs in as
a lodger, who became like a son to Vera. Terry turned up like the
bad penny in late 1999 and sold Vera a posh car, which turned out
to be a death trap. This resulted in an accident involving Vera and
Judy Mallett, which later resulted in Judy dropping dead in the backyard
in 1999. Once again the Duckworth’s disowned Terry. Jack and
Vera invited Gary and the twins over to the B&B for Christmas
dinner. Everything was going fine until Terry turned up on the doorstep.
Gary, unable to control his anger any longer, got into a fight with
Terry who ended up the loser when they threw their errant son out.
The following year, Vera and Jack heard the news that Terry was
once again in trouble with the police and in prison. A furious Jack
refused to have anything to do with him, however once again Vera
persuaded him to help Terry.
In late 2004, Jack concocted a scheme with his friend to persuade
Vera to agree to let him have pigeons again. So they pretended he
was from the North-West Conservation Society and their house had
been shortlisted to be turned into a museum, with the possibility
of Prince Charles opening it. Vera was delighted and told everyone.
But then while out shopping for a new outfit in the classy shops,
she was mugged and they made off with Frankie's handbag. Surprisingly
when she discovered the deception after Ken Barlow told her the man
was a pigeon fancier, Vera never once remarked about her recent trauma
though got her own back by pretending she'd cooked pigeon pie. Within
weeks she was back at work.
Recently Vera has become very concerned about her lodger and surrogate son Tyrone Dobbs as he is once again dating hairdresser and maneater Maria Sutherland. Despite Jack finding out from Warren Baldwin that Maria had been cheating on Tyrone with a footballer and informing Tyrone of the truth, Tyrone has still proposed to Maria and Vera was less than happy when they announced their engagement.
A while later Tyrone split up from Maria once again and started
going out with Molly who later moved into Number 9. Vera gets on
very well with the young couple.
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