(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2014.)
way to spend two hours on a Wednesday afternoon in early April than to take a
tour around what is now the old set of Coronation Street? Everything about the
tour was absolutely fantastically marvellous.
to think that since December 1960, Coronation Street has been brought to our
living rooms from the very sets on the tour. To give an idea of how long ago
that is, the price of milk was 3d a pint. It was eleven years before decimalization
and 3d is worth about 1.5pence. I know!
The tour was
open from 2pm -4 pm and we had almost total freedom to go where we liked. That
said, there is a rough order to the tour. We started off in the ‘Green Room’ which
hardly has anything green in it, let alone enough green to call the room after
the colour. The Green Room is the quiet space set aside for the cast to learn
their lines in peace and quiet. To all intents and purposes it looks like your
great-aunt’s sitting room. There is nothing of grandeur there.
We then went
through the corridor of the stars, where there are photographs of past
characters, on either side on the walls, many of whom have gone to glory. One woman in particular was featured there in
all her wonderfulness – the inimitable Elsie Tanner.
rooms were open to view. Several were like home from home, whereas others had
no adornment at all. Helen Worth’s (Gail’s) was one such and the reason she had
not made it her own was to do with suspicion. She thought that if she made it
too cosy and homely, she might be tempting providence and would not have her
Next was the
wardrobe room, where on industrial strength clothes rails hung the specific clothes for each character. A lot of thought
goes into what a person would wear. Gloria’s wardrobe `consisted of high end
high street- Hobbs and Phase Eight. She obviously left then behind as she
roared off with Dennis.
The Hair and Makeup Section looked very
ordinary, Audrey’s salon appearing much more glamorous. The women of the cast
are usually a half hour in hair and make-up, but the men, a mere fifteen
minutes. I couldn’t resist sitting in
the chair for a few moments.
interesting of all to me were the interiors of the ‘houses’.
At the Duckworth’s
(9 Coronation Street)) now lived in by Tyrone, Fiz, Ruby and Hope, was the
chair that both Jack and Vera died in. And right there, sitting in the interior
was the wonderful Stuart Blackburn, now the boss at our favourite street. He
had time for everyone, was particularly friendly, but was careful not to give
was on display with its ridiculously clean kitchen; so clean because she hardly
ever (never) uses it. One of the tour
guides was telling us that a lot of thought went into decisions about people’s
living spaces, using examples in catalogues to make decisions.
of the Platts’ house (8 Coronation
Street) was very interesting and we were told that all the kitchen appliances
actually work and that when you see one of the characters cooking , they are
actually cooking, though what they eat is provided by a small kitchen space
nearby, but not for the viewers’ eyes.
stairs down which David pushed his mother Gail were on full view, but it was
surprising to see that the stairs went nowhere – they just stopped abruptly.
Rovers Return and there, propping up the bar was none other than Richard Hillman!
The actor Brian Capron was very pleasant and happy to talk about his time as
Richard Hillman. Coronation Street’s most notorious killer was there to help
launch the tour. Not a murderous glance in sight!
onto the cobbles – Wonderful! It’s all there along with the quite recent Barlow’s
Buys, the kebab shop and all the rest.
guides are excellent – clued up, friendly and even willing to hold an umbrella
over your head as you venture outside, just when the rain came down. The rain
seemed fitting somehow and added just a little something extra to give even
more credibility to the wonderful street that was Coronation Street for 53
It is very
well worth a visit and it is only on for six months. Get your ticket now. It's only open for six months. After that, who knows?...
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