Sunday, 1 March 2015

Happy St. David's Day - Corrie's Welsh connections

Time to repost this lovely blog from blogger Llifon in honour of Coronation Street's connections to Wales for St. David's Day.

Hello all! As I'm from North Wales, I thought I'd delve into the Corrie archives to see the links between the soap and North Wales. North Wales and the cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Chester have strong links through tourism, shopping and retirement and Corrie hasn't ignored this link with characters referring to towns like Rhyl and Llandudno. As well as links through the characters, both cast and crew have links as well.

Firstly, those who were born in the region. Ian Puleston-Davies who plays Owen Armstrong was born in Flint; Huw Garmon who played factory owner Phil Dunbar in 2011 was born in Penmynydd on Anglesey; Iain Rogerson who played cleaner Harry Flagg between 2002 and 2004 was born in Wrexham; Wyn Bowen Harries who played Reverend Gerald Douglas (the Les Battersby lookalike who conducted Sophie and Sian's blessing) hails from Llanllechid near Bangor; and Sue Roderick who played barmaid Megan Morgan in 1989 was born in Porthmadog.

Two individuals who had links with Corrie passed away in North Wales. H. V. Kershaw, a writer, script-editor, producer and executive producer on Corrie between 1960 and 1988 retired to Prestatyn and died there in 1992 aged 74. Jack Howarth, who played Uncle Albert for 24 years passed away in Llandudno hospital in 1984 aged 88.

Those who have or had other links with the region include the following: William Roache (our Ken) was educated in Colwyn Bay, is a patron at a hospice in Llandudno and has a holiday home in Abersoch on the Llyn peninsula; Jack Howarth worked in the theatre in Llandudno and ran a cinema in Colwyn Bay where he met William Roache for the first time - both having no idea they'd work alongside each other for nearly 25 years on Corrie; Eileen Derbyshire (Emily) used to (don't know now) have a holiday home in Rhoscolyn on Anglesey; Bruce Jones (Les Battersby) had a holiday home in Conwy; and Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow) was ironically caught drink driving in Llandudno in 2008.

Various characters have holidayed or moved to North Wales over the years. Here are some that come to mind:

Frank and Ida Barlow holidayed in Colwyn Bay in 1961, weeks before her untimely death.

Irma Barlow moved to Llandudno in 1972 before emigrating to Canada.

Albert Tatlock and Ena Sharples holidayed in Llandudno in 1973 but Ena returned home early due to suffering a heart attack.

Mavis told a bemused Rita in 1976 about how she was proposed to by Sunday school inspector Mr. Eccleston while on a trip to Rhyl. He told her that if they missed the coach, they'd marry, but sadly they caught the train instead. Rita's reaction: "British rail - spoilsport". Mavis Eccleston has a ring to it doesn't it?

Fred and Eunice Gee honeymooned in Rhyl and Llandudno in 1981.

Hilda Ogden and Sally's uncle Tom Hopwood went on a coach trip to Rhyl in 1987.

Martin and Gail Platt honeymooned in Abersoch in 1991.

Emily considered retiring to Rhos on Sea in 1991 but decided to stay put in the end

The Websters and Rita holidayed on Anglesey in 1995.

John Stape hid out in Anglesey while on the run in 2011.

Fiz Stape and Tyrone Dobbs went on the run to Anglesey in 2013. 

And last year Ken and Deirdre went on holiday to North Wales (despite filming being in rural Cheshire!). Ken proved to be a dab hand at speaking Welsh. And as a Welshman, his pronunciation was spot on! It also gave Ken and Deirdre one last chance to shine in a humorous storyline after William Roache's absence and before Anne Kirkbride's untimely death.

And to finish. In a classic scene when discussing what to do with her brother's inheritance money in 1983, Hilda said she'd like to go on holiday with Stan. "They say Lanzarote's nice" said Betty. "Oh no, we want to go somewhere further than Wales" said Hilda. Hilda thought the exotic Canary Island was in Wales and to me, that's very flattering! She probably thought it was near 'Landudno' (mispronounced as it's Llandudno).

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Anonymous said...

That was very interesting CSC! That's a lot of research, most of which I wasn't aware of.
Going back a bit, I remember the Hopkins family; Granny, Tricia, Idris and Vera, they were very Welsh.
Also, don't forget that it's been reported that Helen Flanagan is to move to Swansea to be near her Swansea football boyfriend :)

Coronation Street Corner said...

Ah yes. But my post was about the links between Corrie and North Wales - the Hopkins were from the South. If I'd add Mid and South Wales it'd be a very long post!:P Another South Walian I recall was Dirty Dick that appeared in 1971-72and helped Ena move into the Community Centre.

Tvor said...

I remember Sally and the girls went camping with Martin and his kids, which was where Sally and Martin first got together. Was that in North Wales too? And the Battersbys and Platts were in caravans in north Wales as well I believe.

Coronation Street Corner said...

Yes I recall that as well. I wasn't sure if that was in the north or south. These are the ones that I found that are definite for the north. The trouble is, the episodes say Wales, but for me, Wales is a big country - is it North, Mid or South? Corriepedia is the source I've looked at which is an excellent site. Another link I've found was that Swindley and Emily were due to honeymoon in North Wales in 1964, but the jilting spoiled that! :)

Anonymous said...

Although not from northern Wales, Charles Dale, who played Dennis Stringer, was also born in Wales.

Anonymous said...

Living in the Netherlands I have always been interested by the number of references to Amsterdam - site of Hayley's sex change, home to Ray Langton for many years, and if I'm not mistaken both the Battersby girls have lived there too. I''m sure there have been many other mentions but can't think of them now.

Tvor said...

Here's another North Wales reference... When Emily Nugent jilted Leonard Swindly in 1964, he went away on the honeymoon by himself, to North Wales!

Anonymous said...

Happy St. David's Day to all who are proud to be Welsh or of Welsh ancestry!
Interesting post; I'm always pleased to hear a reference to Wales, most recently Brian getting a job there, but of course, that was probably not in the north, same with Fiz and Tyrone running away with the kids.
North or South, it's still nice to hear a reference to Wales on Corrie.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Tyrone & Fiz take Ruby & Hope to Anglesey when they went on the run to escape his psycho ex?

Llifon said...

Yes, and Brian had a job in Wrexham, which is in the north :)

Anonymous said...

Mark Eden, who played Alan Bradley was in Repertory Theatre in North Wales - Llandudno (and Colwyn Bay I think) in the late 50s or early 60s. I remember seeing him in several plays when I was a teenager.

Anonymous said...

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus i chwi Llifon, from Canada.

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