Corrie on Tour is the first time, ever in its history, that Coronation Street sets have left Manchester. Glasgow is the first stop for fans to see some of the sets, props and costumes used on the show and hopefully Belfast will be next. In excess of 20 articulated lorries transported the sets, props and memorabilia around the country. So, what did we think of it all?
Well, I don't want to reveal too much and give away too many surprises from the event but I hope to give a flavour of what you can expect.
First off, when you go in there's a welcome film showcased by your virtual tour guide Alison King, who played Carla Connor in Corrie. At first, I thought it was going to be the same film that had been shown at the Manchester Corrie tour but it's not, it's brand new. And immediately, you know that you're somewhere different to Manchester, that this is going to be a totally different experience to anything else you've ever seen before. You're in Glasgow. You're in a big white dome. You've got Alison King as your tour guide. Toto, we're not in Weatherfield any more.
The film is great and really positions you within the heart of Coronation Street's history. It is a wrap-around experience, shown on three walls and I wasn't sure where to look first as there's so much to see. Sunny Jim was pointing out characters to me while I was looking at a different wall and so I missed a few things, as did he. It's a film I'd love to have been able to watch a second time, and a third, to see it all. Hopefully on the guided tours, this will be possible for fans as there's such a lot in the film to see.
With Alison King as your guide, she beams out from every set inside the big dome, telling you about each set that they have. As the tour guide, Alison is assisted by the non-virtual and very real tour hosts, a group of team members at the Corrie on Tour set. At each set there are also short clips from the history of the show telling you about the inhabitants of each property. There are exhibitions of some props - and many are new to those that were on show in Manchester. There's a few costumes on display too.
Walking around inside the big white dome looking at the Corrie sets and props, watching the films and clips, taking photos outside the replica Rovers Return, is all a bit surreal. You have to keep reminding yourself you're in Glasgow, in a dome, in a car park at the SECC. It all seems so familiar, as if Hilda Ogden herself could pop out of the Rovers at any moment, and yet... if she did, you know she'd have a Scottish accent.
There's even a section of the cobbles from Quay Street, which are locked away in a box. Outside of the replica Rovers Return is a strip of cobbles which has been made from a cast of the original Quay Street cobbles too. We also found out, exclusively from ITV, that the cobbles at Quay Street have all been dug up now. Where have they gone? Ah, that's another blog post!
|Mr Coronation Street - Craig Laurenson, Duty Manager at Corrie on Tour|
He's on twitter @craig247
All in all, it was a grand day out for Corrie fans. If you're a Coronation Street fan, I know that you'll go and I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as we did.
I've created a flickr album of all of our photos from yesterday's visit and if you'd like to see them, they're here. There are also pictures on our twitter feed here.
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