(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)
There's a good article in the Manchester Evening News about the Coronation Street set getting ready for public tours of the site. The picture above shows all of the new Corrie set tour guides.
The MEN says that Corrie wedding dresses, murder weapons and even coffins are heading back to the old Coronation Street set in Manchester - ahead of the grand opening of the former studios for public tours next month.
The M.E.N. has had an exclusive behind-the-scenes look as the studios prepares to open up to the public for Corrie tours starting on April 5, after production of the show moved out to a new set at MediaCityUK.
And among artefacts set to go on display include street signs from Weatherfield’s infamous tram crash, wedding dresses of key characters from down the years, Hayley Cropper’s floral coffin and even headstones of former characters.
There will also be the chance to see infamous murder weapons - including the whisky bottle that killed soap baddie Frank Foster in 2012 in one of the show’s most talked about “whodunnits”.
The soap’s arts director Gavin Lloyd Smith was given the brief to look after the props being used in the new tours - and has been overseeing their delivery back to Quay Street this week.
He’s worked on the show for ten years and says: “The new tour is going to be a real eye-opener for fans to see areas of Coronation Street never open to the public before. That means walking onto Stage One where they’ll get to see inside the Rover’s Return as well as walk through the “Green Room” where cast would sit in between takes, and through the costume department. There will be a lot of points of interest for dedicated fans.”
A team of 46 tour guides have been recruited to conduct the 45-minute tours which will run every ten minutes when the site opens to the public on April 5, and they are being trained up on 53 years of Corrie history, facts and figures to dazzle visitors with.
Gareth Cole, 33, from Bolton, has been appointed the tour’s duty manager - 15 years since he last worked on the Granada Studios tours as a guide.
Gareth beams: “No job has ever compared to my time working on the Granada Studios tour, I remember seeing the faces of all the people walking onto the set of their favourite TV show, and it was so special. So when this job came up I knew I had to come back. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for people to come and see this set.”
Visitors will get to walk through the backstage areas before seeing the studio sets on Stage One, an exhibition of classic props and moments of Corrie history, before being guided out onto the cobbles themselves. There will be a souvenir shop, as well as the chance to get a picture pulling a pint behind the bar of the iconic Rover’s Return.
See also: How to visit the Coronation Street set
Follow the Bluenose CorrieBlog on Twitter and Facebook