In the planning stages: We hope to be devising a brand new Coronation Street locations tour for 2016 onwards once the old Granada set is demolished and we know what’s left.
Guide: Ed Glinert, the only Manchester tour guide who has recently guided on the live set.
City centre locations
* Whatever remains of Granadaland will be lovingly honoured.
* The pub where Coronation Street gained its name.
* Cropper Corner in Castlefield (where Tony Gordon tried to drown the redoubtable Roy).
* The block where that lowlife, John Stape, tried to commit suicide.
* The ornate location where Alf wed Audrey.
We are trying to devise a new (all-day) tour that takes in the city centre and goes to the suburbs (by tram) to see Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne (where Richard Hillman drove the Platts into the depths; St Christopher’s wedding venue, Weatherfield Registry Office; the new set (outside only) …
“Now the next thing you want to do is get a signwriter in. That sign above the door will have to be changed.”
Those were the opening lines of the world’s most famous television programme, spoken by Elsie Lappin to Florrie Lindley on 9 Dec 1960. Florrie replied: “It’ll seem funny ’avin me name outside me own shop.”
What about that? Not even Ken Barlow to Ena Sharples. But those lines ushered in a phenomenon, an institution, that is now 53 years old.
Coronation Street was not an instant success. Granada only commissioned 13 episodes. Few within the company thought it would last its run. However something caught the viewers’ imagination. Perhaps it was the liberal use of Northern phrases like “eh”, “chuck”, “nowt”. Perhaps it was the Dickensian gravitas of the cast’s names (purloined from Pendlebury Church graveyard). Perhaps it was the setting: Archie Street, Ordsall, with its compact terraced houses, backyards, corner shop, pub and church, less than a mile from Grandaland.
Fifty years of drama and farce, life, loves and laughs have followed on Britain’s most famous TV street, land of cobbles, factories, terraced houses, Kabin and Rovers Return.
Its success has been buoyed by the wonderfully drawn cast of characters past and present – Vera & Jack, Hilda & Stan, Elsie, Ena, Ken and Len; Bet and Betty; Liz and Lloyd; Steve and Norris; Stape and Fiz; Sonny Jim and Schmeichel (R.I.P. big fella).
Here’s a great story
When Julie Goodyear first turned up at Granada to play Bet Lynch in 1966, a friend gave her a lift into Manchester in his van. In the back was a cement mixer. Julie expected the pal to drop her on the main road, but as it was raining he insisted in pulling up outside the TV company’s front entrance on Atherton Street. By an amazing coincidence Pat Phoenix was just getting out of her Rolls Royce at the same time. Pat looked Julie up and down “as if I were a piece of dog dirt on her shoe,” as Julie recalled, and said, “‘Don’t you ever, ever dare to upstage me again, young lady.’”