WHEN last seen by Coronation Street viewers, Fred Gee's Rover 2000 was rolling gently down a hill at Tatton park and into a lake with barmaids Bet Lynch and Betty Turpin in the back.

The famous comic episode, broadcast in May 1983 and frequently re-shown, featured the green Rover car Fred had bought from formidable Rovers Return landlady Annie Walker.

But the car lived to tell the tale and, once dried out, went on to have a succession of private owners after being sold by the programme makers.

But this week it finally reached the end of the road when, after four years languishing in a Manchester garage, it ended up at the Metro Salvage yard in Waterloo Street, Bolton.

The yard, owned by Terry Walker, specialises in removing the polluting parts of scrap cars, such as oil tanks, and crushing them.

And, despite crushing more than 1,000 cars a month, even Terry had to think twice about converting such an iconic car into a cube of twisted metal.

In the end pressure for space at the yard forced him to press the button and condemn the vehicle.

"It has now gone to the great scrapyard in the sky," he said.

But the car still lives on in videos featuring the highlights of Coronation Street.

It all began when Annie Walker passed her driving test and bought the second hand car from Eddie Yeat's crooked pal Lanky Potts.

Cellarman Fred Gee subsequently bought the car from Annie and decided to take Bet and Betty for a picnic to Tatton Park. All had gone well until the two ladies got into the back of the car at the stately home and Fred slammed the boot shut.

A faulty handbrake sent the car rolling into the lake and the two barmaids had to paddle to dry land.