Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Wednesday 27 October 2010

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1968

Day 8 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

There had been many changes to Salford since the area had been scoured by Tony Warren and set designer Denis Parkin looking for streets on which to base the Coronation Street set. Many of the old back to back terraces had been demolished and the local council had plans to demolish them all by 1971. In 1968 Richard Everitt accepted the job of producer with the proviso that he could change the physical environment as he felt that the indoor set was ridiculous and it was time to bring the whole thing up to date.

His plan was to demolish the half of the Street that made up the raincoat factory and the mission hall and replace them with flats. This would bring the area more up to date and also allow the producers to bring in more characters. ‘Dramatically, it is a device to bring the old into conflict with the new, to change the street, but at the same time to retain some of its time-worn flavour’ is what he wrote to the Granada executives. The plans were agreed and an old railway yard near the studios was acquired.

Denis Parkin was asked back to oversee the construction. At first the sets were simply transferred from the studio, with a brick frontage added and a half roof built on. It was 18 months before more money was found so that the backs of the houses could be built. Seven maisonettes were built to complete the set but in spite of the original intentions, only three were occupied and only one of those by a new character.

In 1968, the corner shop changed hands again. A local couple, Les and Maggie Clegg bought it and moved in with their 17-year-old son Gordon. Up to that point there’d not really been any youngsters in the cast to appeal girls and young women. While filming at Granada, 23-year-old Bill Kenwright was invited to lunch with the producer and offered the role without even an audition. Having a desire to play Shakespeare and not wanting to be typecast at so young an age he initially turned the part down. Not long afterwards his mother asked him if he had any jobs coming up and he told her about the offer. She nearly dropped the washing up. She dragged him to the telephone and rang his aunties, uncles and grandma and said: ‘Just tell him. Tell him what it would mean to us to have my son in Coronation Street.’ The next morning he went back to Granada and said yes.

Also in 1968: Steve Tanner is murdered; Dennis Tanner marries Jenny Sutton; Dickie Flemming marries Audrey Bright; No. 11 becomes a hippy commune; Emily falls for Miklos Zadie; David and Irma Barlow move to Australia; the handpumps are removed from the Rovers; Annie is kidnapped by students for rag week and has to pay the ransom herself; Stan buys a window round.


Anonymous said...

These are great! Thanks, Sunny Jim!

Sunny Jim said...

I'm glad so many people are enjoying these. It's a bigger task than I expected when I first decided to do it but it's very satisfying.

DeeDee Eckerslyke said...

This one has really made me want to see these episodes - a hippy commune!! Give Norris a tardis please :D

Sea Penguin said...

I'm enjoying these as well - really interesting.

Sunny Jim said...

DeeDee, these weren't just any old bunch of hippies, their leader was played by Martin Shaw, later of The Professionals.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely great - I study Corrie history myself and these posts are first class!


You might also like...

Coronation Street Books for Fans