Saturday, 23 October 2010

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days - 1964

Day 4 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

1964 saw the arrival of a new producer in the shape of 28 year old Tim Aspinall, its fifth since Coronation Street’s inception. As many producers have done over the years he embarked on a cull to shake up the programme and get rid of the dead wood in an attempt to reassert itself at the top of the ratings where it had been replaced by Steptoe and Son.  Frank Barlow, Harry and Concepta Hewitt and Myra and Jerry Booth were all subject to the cull but by far the most shocking victim was the popular character of Martha Longhurst.

Along with Ena Sharples and Minnie Caldwell, Martha formed the trio of old ladies in the Snug at the Rovers that formed a sort of Greek chorus. There is a suggestion that Tim Aspinall got rid of her for a bet but whether he did or not it was certainly an audacious move. As everyone from the Street gathered in the main bar of the Rovers to say farewell to Frank Barlow, who was moving away after a £5000 premium bond win, Martha slipped quietly into the Snug, removed her spectacles and with her passport for her forthcoming holiday in Spain on the table, she suffered a heart attack.

The rejuvenation of the show also meant the arrival of some new characters. Probably the most significant of these was the Ogden family. They were conceived by Tim Aspinall as ‘real sluts – Dad is a long distance lorry driver and Mum is the kind of woman who spends the kids’ dinner money in the pub’. Irma was the first to arrive followed by her father Stan who had come looking for her. As often happens the character started off very dark, with a history of drink-fuelled violence that had caused some of his children to be taken in to care, before mellowing out to become the hen-pecked, feckless waster we all came to know and love.

Stan bought No. 13 and he moved in with Irma to be joined by Hilda and their 14-year-old son, Trevor. In the original script, when the Ogdens arrived they actually had four children but the episode was never broadcast and when broadcasting resumed, it was explained that the other two children were in care. In later years they were airbrushed out completely and whenever Stan and Hilda were talking about their kids, there were only ever two, not four.

Also in 1964: Emily Nugent proposes to Leonard Swindley but then jilts him at the altar; Harry and Concepta Hewitt move to Ireland; Lucille Hewitt moves into the Rovers as the Walkers’ ward; Florrie Lindley opens a sub post office in the corner shop; Charlie Moffitt and his dog Little Titch lodge with Minnie; Jerry and Myra Booth leave.

4 comments:

Coronation Street Corner said...

Apparently, Martha's death was Corrie's biggest mistake. Other supposed casualties were Albert Tatlock and Ken and Val! Can you believe that?!

Martin Rosen said...

When did the sub post office close down in the corner shop? Does anyone ever use the post office now it is based in the Kabin ?

Tvor said...

I've seen shots in the Kabin that show that the post office is not by the door opposite the counter anymore but the sign is still on the outside. Maybe it's combined with the regular counter or moved somewhere out of shot.

Anonymous said...

The post office counter made a surprise appearance in the Kabin last month - was I the only one to see this? I remember being quite puzzled about it because the counter hadn't been a fixture for quite a few years, and I wondered why they had brought it back. Alas, it hasn't been seen since then!

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