Saturday, 16 January 2016

The misleading ins and outs of Weatherfield buildings

There's one thing about television soap operas that really bugs me. Whether it be Coronation Street, EastEnders or Emmerdale, they're all guilty of having incorrectly proportioned buildings. I've been inspired to write this post all about those annoying extra rooms or random changes in Weatherfield's properties.

The Rovers
Probably the most obvious of all inaccuracies in our most favourite pub is the interior downstairs extension that sprouts out the left side and into Rosamund Street - but isn't visible on the exterior street. From the show's early days through to The Great Fire of '86, the Rovers had a number of extra rooms, including snug and performance room (the select) which ran downwards from the left of the bar. In theory, these rooms were parallel with the considerably sized back room and kitchen, though since the bar is now a more believable size and the other rooms are gone, the back rooms stick out like a sore thumb.

In the opposite direction, the loos. Although the alleyway in between the Inn and No. 1 allows for some extra room, technically poor Ken should be having to put up with the ladies and gents in his backroom. As for the changes that appear overnight, the most obvious ones are those pesky stairs which changed after the fire and that extra window on the exterior that appeared suddenly in 2014. There was also an upstairs living area which was seen for some time, though hasn't been seen or heard of since the end of the 00's.

Rosamund Street
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen earlier today that I tweeted about my favourite episode ever. It's the one from Christmas 1998 and Alec Gilroy is trying to throw the Duckworth's out of the pub, but with little luck. One shot in the episode is of Janice and Les Battersby staring up towards the Rovers bedroom window, and in the back you can see the bookie's (now the florist) and the medical centre. Back then, the entrance to the flat above (currently occupied by the Windasses) was on Victoria Street.


Suddenly in 2007, the entrance to the flat was moved onto Rosamund Street though the layout of the flat above didn't change. Surely moving the staircase from one side of the building to another would cause some sort of structural interior change?


No. 4 Coronation Street — the Metcalfes
From one side of the room to another: the staircase. Contrary to what is said online, the stairs in number 4 did not change after the events of the Peacock's fire, but infact just before. It was a stupid mistake that should of happened when the interior of the house was redecorated and remodelled following the fire. Personally, I believe the change happened so that it was easier to film from the 'fourth wall' perspective, though watching old episodes makes the house unrecognisable compared to today.

No. 13 Coronation Street — the Ogdens 
I'm concluding my article with a look back to an episode from the 1970s when the sets were brown, dire and boring in appearance. Though a door at the bottom left of the stairs is evident in quite a few episodes, which would surely lead into the corner shop. Also, in one particular episode, the stairs had moved to the other side of the hallway (where the door to the frontroom would be) and Stan walked down them into the backroom. Obviously the attention to detail wasn't quite as vigilant as it is nowadays (though perhaps this blog post from November can prove me otherwise!).

Do you have any niggles about the various shapes and sizes of Weatherfield? Perhaps you've noticed something I haven't? Let me know!

You can follow me on Twitter if you want to, it's @MichaelAdamsUk.

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27 comments:

Tvor said...

It's the elastic walls that get me and it isn't a new thing. As you pointed out, the old Rovers had a small bar, a snug and a function room and there was also a living room and kitchen downstairs, with two or three bedrooms upstairs and presumably a bathroom. Now look at the building from the outside. Would all that fit? It would not. At one point in the mid 90s, there were at least four people living in the Rovers and all of them seemed to have their own bedrooms. Number 5 is another mystery. The downstairs is one large room. Upstairs there should only be two bedrooms and a bath. But we have Sinead and Chesney, Kirk and Beth, Craig, and before that, Joseph would stay over. Some of the older houses have a separate front room where the window looks out onto the Street and in at least two houses, the Barlows' and Grimshaws', we know have been converted to a bedroom. Mary is now staying at Dev's. Where? in Curly's little observatory in the loft? That means the twins must be sharing a room still.

As far as the flat over the Bookies/whatever, it used to be a tiny run down flat. There was only one flat. Then all of a sudden there were two flats, one that opened out over the builder's yard so it must share the spaces over the shop. There's that tiny building that houses the Salon and Streetcars which houses two flats over head and each one has at least two bedrooms with, I believe I recall reference to it, a "box room" in Maria's.

I know we're supposed to ignore things like that but it annoys me.

Anonymous said...

It's the hall and back room of the Rovers that annoys me most - they should have rectified it after the last fire when the pub was off screen for a few weeks. My other niggle is Dev's totally unrealistic shambles of a shop - Alf Roberts' 1980s was the most realistic it's ever been.

Scott Willison said...

The fire in Ashley's house would have covered the moving of the stairs, but the whole plot line had to be refilmed as the kidnapping of Freddie coincided with the disappearance of Madeline McCann. They had to redo scenes from before the fire on the new, post fire set.

All the terraced houses started off as three beds with an outdoor loo and somewhere along the line they've all managed to move the toilet indoors while retaining a third bedroom. I can only guess that poor Aadi's room is so tiny he sleeps upright!

Antiphon said...

Something which has annoyed me greatly is the sudden shortening of Rosamund Street! My understanding was that this was a major street in Weatherfield on which several important business premises have been located in the past, including Gamma Garments, managed by Leonard Swindley, the original Kabin (formerly Biddulph's newsagents until Len Fairclough purchased it for Rita), the original Roy's Rolls (originally Dawson's Cafe then Jim's Cafe before Roy bought into the business), and probably others, including possibly Miami Modes where Elsie Tanner worked in the 1960s. Now after the construction of the latest outdoor set it seems that Rosamund Street is merely a very short street which ends at a junction with another street just beyond the viaduct beyond the medical centre. Surely this cannot be right with reference to previous Coronation Street history?

There is also the question of the Viaduct arch where Nick's Bistro is located. In the early days of Coronation Street this was open but was blocked off from the street by metal railings. My understanding is that Jubilee Terrace lay on the other side of the viaduct, where Minnie Caldwell lived before moving into Coronation Street in 1961. When the first outdoor set was built in 1968 the viaduct was open and cars could therefore drive right down Coronation Street and under the viaduct to Jubilee Terrace. It was under this viaduct arch that Deirdre was attacked in 1977 not long after Tracy's birth on her way back from a keep-fit class in Bessie Street School. Now that the bistro occupies the space under the arch no-one seems to remember that it was once possible to drive straight under the viaduct, and it is no longer even certain if Jubilee Terrace still exists on the other side!



Anonymous said...

Oops Alf's 1980s refurbishment I meant.

MichaelAdamsUk said...

Roy's Rolls is the most notable for ellastic walls. Sometimes the tables that are pushed up against the wall are midway through the floor as if the wall doesn't exist, yet other times you see the wall. You're right about the Rovers - they used to take lodgers in the 60s too. Plus there was the upstairs lounge! . At one point in the mid 90s, there were at least four people living in the Rovers and all of them seemed to have their own bedrooms. As for no. 5, I can only come to the conclusion that the front bedroom (seen as Ivy Tilsley's occasionally) has been made into two separate rooms to accommodate the extras. As for the front rooms as bedrooms, we know that the Barlow's front room was Blanches and the Grimshaw's front room is Seans, and it was stated that Luke was living in the Dobb's front room when he moved in, though recently Fiz told the girls to go and play in the front room. I expect you're right about Dev's twins sharing a room, or perhaps the attic has been partitioned into two separate rooms and Mary sleeps in the 2nd bedroom?

You're right about the flat above the Bookie's - it was smaller but not much different to its current layout. Suddenly when Tina needed a home they introduced the flat above the Builders Yard (prior to that I assumed the entrance door was just to access the upstairs of the yard). When I visited MediaCity I went upstairs into the builders yard and across into the 'flat' which is used as a props store and you'd barely fit one of those properties in never mind two. Maria's and the Connor's flats are another mystery. Plus, Carla Connor's flat has a window above the kitchen which faces internally though sunlight shines through it...

Glad I'm not the only one who gets annoyed.

MichaelAdamsUk said...

Yes, you're right about the interior! When they started using the opposite wall to film from, the shop has suddenly grown larger and larger.

MichaelAdamsUk said...

Thanks for clearing the Peacock's situation up, Scott. I'd totally forgotten about that! Nobody online has provided a clear explanation until now, so thankyou!

MichaelAdamsUk said...

I like to think that Rosanund Street hasn't been shortened. My theory is that Mawdsley Street is in two halfs, with the half from under the bridge and to the left still being Rosamund Street, just now on a sort of L shape. Indeed, Rosamund Street used to be essentially what Victoria Street is now, providing characters with places to meet away from the street. The only difference now is that you see Victoria Street - you rarely saw the outside of the buildings on Rosamund Street.

jonnygforce said...

Didn't Tracy and Charlie live in the builders flat, before they moved to number 6? It wasn't introduced just for Tina that's for sure.

DavidS said...

Talking of Rosamund Street, the old Kabin always puzzled me because when people came in and out, you could clearly see the door of Jim's Cafe just opposite, but very close. This suggested that the Kabin and the cafe were not so much next door to each other as situated opposite each other up a small "ginnel" - and I never really understood why they had it laid out like that...

Unknown said...

Ins and outs not "In's and Out's"

omegatango said...

Only thing I can surmise with the "blocking off" of Rosamund St is that maybe for years it was a lengthy street until they moved to Media City and what we see today where Eccleston & Sons Hardware Store is they divided the street and become one of two new things:

A. The end we see is Rosamund St still and on the other side of the hardware store is a newly titled street.
or
B. We see Rosamund St South and beyond the Hardware store it still continues with its old name but slightly changed to Rosamund St North.

Either way, it does add some confusion to Mawdsley St and Crimea St.
Mawdsley St we've always known, runs parallel to Coronation St and they share the ginnel. Crimea St ran off of Rosamund St on the Medical Centre side but slightly further down than Mawdsley St. Now the question to that is:

A. Does Mawdsley St t-junction Rosamund St and continue? Therefore meaning Crimea St is beyond the hardware store somewhere.
or
B. Does it end at the t-junction and then becomes Crimea St? Therefore meaning Rosamund St, Mawdsley St and Crimea St all share the t-junction?

So many mysteries, Glenda that map I mentioned to you, I really need to do it onto the computer and email it to you to see what you think!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if I'd taken the tour of the old and new indoor and outdoor sets I'd have my bearings better and, care more about the physical locations and sizes of the various buildings. As it is, I've chosen to accept the Tardis qualities of the sets. What I have much more difficulty with is the personality shifts and transplants of the various characters. Now that is annoying!

Anonymous said...

While we're discussing implausibility, how about all the incredibly attractive young women (and a few good-looking young men) on one little northern backstreet? I don't know of any real streets that have so many beauties in one place!

DavidS said...

Going slightly off topic, another layout question: Why does Roy's Rolls have that partition wall just in front of people as they come in (the one they post notices on the other side of)? It can't be a logistical thing to cover up the fact it's a studio and there's nothing "outside the door", because you frequently see the door from the side as people enter. Just seems completely redundant; why can't the whole space be open-plan?

Anonymous said...

Having been lucky enough to visit both the old and the current sets there are so many changes over the years that haven't made sense. By and large of course, they've been introduced to cover odd corners and views on the set and to make filming easier. There's the daft viaduct next to the Rovers which, if ever it was used for a train or tram, would see the transport crash into the pub itself. It goes no where and never could have done. The staircase in the Rovers changed direction between Annie and Bet's times. The exit for customers to get into the Rovers back yard appeared so that customers could use the smoking shelter. The factory has changed so many times - remember when there was a big clock inside there? But go way back to the early days and a church stood where the Medical Centre is (albeit a painted backdrop).

MichaelAdamsUk said...

You're right there Jonny! And a whole load of others (why had I forgotten?). First occupied by Peter Barlow on his return in 2001.

MichaelAdamsUk said...

Yes, you're right - and you could see the door to the Kabin if someone in the Cafe opened the door. I think this probably made it easier so they didn't have to create a backdrop showing Rosamund Street. You sometimes saw the outside of the Cafe though which jumbled things up .

MichaelAdamsUk said...

Thanks for letting me know - the original title used the word 'Interiors and Exteriors', but I changed it to 'In's and Out's' and didn't think about the apostrophe!

MichaelAdamsUk said...

I definitely agree with your B theory! I think Rosamund Street now is an L shape which turns left coming out under the bridge.

P.S Thankyou Glenda for adding the image at the top! I was actually looking for an image of the MediaCity set and mulled about putting a photo of Granada up (I should have just done it!)

Funny thing that about the residents of Weatherfield - aren't they all very dramatic?

MichaelAdamsUk said...

Anon is right about covering certain angles and avoiding places that wouldn't normally be shown. I think the wall in front of Roy's Rolls door is stop the view looking out onto the backdrop.

My theory about the viaduct over Rosamund Street is that it was built as a bridge, not a viaduct. I was going to mention the entrance to the smoking shelter but didn't, as it was introduced after the recent fire.

Laura said...

How can the Grimshaw's front room be Sean's? We've seen him bring his "guests" upstairs I'm sure of that.

Tvor said...

I wonder if the partition in the cafe is to block the draft when the door is opened. Can't see any other reason for it. The Rosamund street thing is very strange. On the old set there was a big mural on the wall of one of the studio buildings so that it looked like the street continued on straight. Now as we know it doesn't. I expect that had to do with how they built the new set. If they aren't going to use the new shops or the outdoor portion for filming why bother? why not just recreate the mural and put it on a wall or something?

There is no front room in Number 5. When Mike Baldwin owned it years and years ago he knocked down the wall to make it one open space.

Anonymous said...

Laura you are right about the front room at the Grimshaw's being Sean's bedroom. When they held a surprise party at the Grimshaw's, Sean told everyone to hide in his room, but the last couple of years when he comes down in the morning, he comes down. So I have no clue as to who is sleeping in the supposedly front room. The other problem I have is with the window behind the table in the main room. The one with the gorgeous curtains - Does that mean that the kitchen is like uber tiny?

MichaelAdamsUk said...

The front room always was Sean's, he was often seen walking out from the hallway (but not from down the stairs) in episodes set in the morning. Though yes, he was seen walking upstairs with Billy. Perhaps Eileen has a nicer wallpaper

joanne taylor said...

I found this map, if it helps...and if the link works https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=coronation+street+map+of+street&view=detailv2&&id=58BE8A701CDE0606FDC94BB458F5FEA28C0CF4E7&selectedIndex=3&ccid=m59pPqjM&simid=608001098899522372&thid=OIP.M9b9f693ea8cc8bc92407677b46ff3fe7H0&ajaxhist=0

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