Valerie moved to Coronation Street in to live with her uncle Albert Tatlock when her parents moved to Glasgow. It was then that she started dating Ken and, despite their different educational backgrounds and outlooks on life, they fell in love and got married in Peter and Susan were born three years later. Valerie was a trained hairdresser and before the twins were born, she ran a salon in No. She gave up work to be a full-time mother and housewife, but once the twins were a little older, took jobs at the Corner Shop and Alan Howard 's salon , where she was head hairdresser.
Her marriage to Ken was mostly close and loving, but whenever Ken was caught up in his intellectual interests, he would often ignore Val and the children. In , the Barlows decided to emigrate to Jamaica as Ken had accepted a teaching job there. On the night before they left, Valerie died from an electric shock when using a faulty electrical outlet in her home.
In the early s , she was close to her uncle Albert Tatlock and sometimes visited him at his home in Coronation Street in Weatherfield. Ken and Valerie marry, In , Valerie moved into Albert's house for a few months and immediately caught the eye of Ken Barlow , who lived next door to Albert. They had a date, but Val wasn't as keen as Ken, as she felt that Ken would not be happy with her because he was university-educated and aspired to live above the working-class values which Valerie was comfortable with.
When Ken's mother Ida was killed in September , Val became closer to Ken and they began a relationship. As the pair grew closer, Valerie had to choose between staying in Weatherfield or moving to Glasgow , where her parents had moved so that Alfred could take a job as Station Master. Valerie initially decided to stay in Weatherfield, but left for Glasgow in November of that year, letting Ken down. The following year, Ken looked Valerie up while in Scotland with the school.
He immediately proposed to her and she accepted, with Ken doing his best to alleviate her worry that he was looking for a mother figure to replace Ida. They got married at St. Mary's Parish Church on 4th August , and took their honeymoon in London , which Ken paid for by selling his motorcycle. Marriage to Ken The Barlows bought 9 Coronation Street and moved in when they returned from their honeymoon. While Ken taught at Bessie Street School , Val, who had trained as a hairdresser, converted the front room of the house into a salon to earn extra income for the couple.
Married life was not always easy for Valerie. Ken was ambitious and politically minded. He preferred to let Val handle all household chores and their conversations together often concerned subjects which didn't interest her. While Val worried about maintaining the house and their marriage, Ken sometimes made decisions which would make things more difficult but would benefit him - later in , he considered giving up teaching to focus on writing, so that the pair would rely on the money Val was bringing in from the salon.
Fortunately he had a change of heart and stayed in teaching. In , one of Ken's teaching friends, Dave Robbins , became the Barlows' lodger. Ken and Dave put their careers in jeopardy by agreeing to give a TV interview arguing for a school crossing after a pupil was knocked down in Bessie Street.
Dave pulled out, leaving Ken to carry the interview alone, leading to Ken losing out on a promotion at the school. Dave, who blamed himself for the child being hit, was comforted by Valerie. As Ken despaired about losing the promotion, he told Valerie that they shouldn't have got married as she didn't really understand him and how much his values meant to him. Valerie decided to leave Ken for Dave but Dave wasn't that interested in Valerie so she ended up begging Ken to take her back, which he did.
To help things get back to normal, the pair went on holiday. Valerie in labour, In July , Valerie found out she was pregnant. Ken was upset, but later decided he was thrilled by the news. To prepare for the birth, Val closed down the salon and converted it into a nursery. On 5th April , Valerie went into labour and was driven to hospital in Len Fairclough 's van. She gave birth to twins - a girl and a boy. The babies were christened at the same church Ken and Val got married in and were named Peter and Susan.
Valerie's life changed completely as all her time was spent looking after the twins, while Ken continued with his intellectual pursuits. The Barlows had many friends in the Street and could easily find babysitters, allowing Valerie to attend evening classes in Sociology. In November , while Val was at a class, Ken was looking after the twins but went to the Rovers Return briefly, a piece of coal fell from the fire, filling the house with smoke.
Val returned home before Ken and put the fire out, but was outraged that he had left the babies alone while he went out for cigarettes. Val told Ken she would leave him if he ever smoked again.
From then on, Ken took on greater responsibility for Valerie and the kids. Going back to work Frank Riley keeps Val hostage, In , Val was keen to get a job and thought about reopening the salon, now that the twins were older. Instead, she started working in the Corner Shop for Maggie Clegg. That year also saw a change of address for the Barlows; the Glad Tidings Mission Hall and Elliston's Raincoat Factory across the Street were demolished to make way for a block of Maisonettes.
After seeing an artist's impression of the Maisonettes, Valerie told Ken she wanted to move into one, as it had modern conveniences the year-old Number 9 lacked. Ken didn't want to move, and when Valerie responded by making his life a little less comfortable, he accused her of having an affair with builder Ray Langton.
Val was innocent, and made him feel guilty by reminding him of an affair he had with Jackie Marsh in Ken relented and the Barlows moved into No. Shortly after the family moved in, convict Frank Riley held Val at gunpoint while Ken was away.
Valerie called for help by tapping an SOS on the pipes under the sink in the kitchen, with it fortunately being overheard by Ena Sharples , who found help. Riley, a convicted rapist, had demanded money and sex from Valerie, but was caught by the police before he got the chance.
After it was over, Valerie told the police and Ken that Riley hadn't touched her, but Ken refused to believe her. The couple almost separated over it. In , Val's mother Edith stayed with the Barlows, and tried to convince them to leave Weatherfield. When Edith took the twins out to the fair, she lost them, but they were found by an elderly woman who had taken them in and not contacted the family.
Ken was against Valerie working full-time as he earned enough money for them but he didn't stand in the way of her accepting the job. At the salon, Val fought for superiority with manageress Elsie Tanner , but their working relationship was eased by the fact that they were friends. In , the salon was bought by Dave Smith , who initiated a wave of changes at the salon, offering Valerie a pay rise but sacking other staff.
Val walked out along with the remaining staff members, convincing Smith to reinstate everybody Later that year, Ray Langton taught Valerie to drive while Ken was away on holiday.
When he returned, he received a letter warning him about Val and Ray. It transpired that Emily Nugent had written it, but she realised she was wrong and apologised. In the new year, Ken was offered a teaching position in Jamaica and Val agreed to emigrate. The residents of Coronation Street threw the pair a going-away party in the Rovers. Val was late getting ready, so while the party went on in the Rovers, Valerie tried to hurriedly get her hair dried.
She tried to fix the plug to her hairdryer by tightening it with a screwdriver. Knowing it was still shoddy, she attempted to use it anyway. Val plugged it in and was given a severe electric shock which killed her instantly.
As she fell to the floor, she knocked a portable heater into a packing crate and started a blaze. By the time rescue came, it was too late for Valerie.
The street watched in horror as the maisonette burned. Personality Valerie was a popular member of the community; she was friendly, reliable, caring, and unlike some of her neighbours, respectful of other people's privacy and didn't engage in gossiping.
After marrying, Valerie settled into a housewife role but while she had dreams and ambitions she always considered the practicalities first, even though it usually meant ruling out whatever she had in mind as the task of bringing up two children was massive. In her relationships, Valerie was patient and slow to anger, usually lashing out only when hurt.
Most of the time, the limit of Val's anger was a sarcastic comment to bring her opponent down to size.