Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Admittedly, when Hayley died, I feared that Roy would have no real role other than Roy's Rolls café owner and general provider of the goods for cake run, the full English and the sausage sandwich. But I don't think I should have worried. Roy has a definite role and the cobbles is all the better for his presence. (I hope by now you been able to stop laughing at this brilliant play on words or maybe...)
Roy acts as the cobbles' yardstick. Those who accept him and like him are the good people. The ones who criticise him, who are rude and offensive to him, are the morally flawed. Who can forget Tracy's insults to both Hayley and Roy and her shocking attempt to sell them her own baby, claiming that she and Roy had slept together and that, as a result, Tracy had become pregnant.
Roy first appeared in 1995 as a resident at one of Mike Baldwin's flats He was initially quite taken with Deirdre and became rather overprotective towards her. Over time, that initial aspect of his character was phased out and marriage with Hayley, who was once Harold, was the making of Royston Cropper.
It is fair to say that Roy's friendships are quite diverse. One friendship that did develop was the one between him and Carla. That was a masterstroke by the writers. It was Hayley's illness that brought them together, but even after her death they remained firm friends. The fact that they were so different in every conceivable way, worked to make their friendship all the more convincing. Maybe, one reason why an understanding grew between Carla and Roy was because of their unhappy childhoods.
Despite his unhappy childhood, Roy and Hayley became foster parents. Their aim was to offer troubled children a home where they felt valued. And good work they did too, especially when they protected Wayne Hayes from his violent stepfather.
Brian also lied to Roy when he went to a concert with Cathy. Cathy and Roy? Cathy and Brian? Surely Cathy must realise the superiority of Roy over Brian.
Roy's interests, his ways, his profound love for Hayley and his genuine kindness, all serve to make Roy Cropper one of the Street's greats.
Ruth Owen, twitter: @Ruth1722
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