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

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Iconic photo of Ena Sharples

This photo of Ena Sharples looking over the early 60s industrial landscape of Manchester/Salford (Weatherfield) is iconic. It was noted in a tweet earlier today via writer Mark Gatiss ("Retweeted" several times over) that it's one of the greatest photographs of an English actor. There was a link to this article on the BBC site about Northern Drama as the television show, Waterloo Road is about to move even further north to a Scottish location next year.

This photo is hanging in the ITV Granada studio offices in Manchester and also appeared on the back or inside cover of one of the older books written about Corrie (someone will have to let me know which one as it's escaped my memory at the moment).

Over on the photo site, Flickr, I'd seen the photo posted and there were people wondering where the picture was taken. There seems to be a consensus that the building below the smokestack was the old Hyde Brewery and the apartment block in the Moss Side area of Manchester. You can follow the discussion here.

I might almost agree with the person that suggested it was two different photos put together because of the exposure on Ms. Carson being so clear. It could very well have been two photos taken with exposure on her and then on the background and fudged in the darkroom or it could have had the exposure alone adjusted in the darkroom. No Photoshop in 1961!

It truly is a classic photo. Click on the photo for a larger version and any other information you can add about the location would be appreciated.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

i first saw it on the back of the autobiog of legendary 70s Street exec producer HV Kershaw

corrierules said...

It's on the back cover of Harry Kershaw's "The Street Where I Live". And yes, it's a fabulous picture.
Coincidentally, I just read that fact this week... just finished Sean Egan's "unofficial" history of Corrie. I own Kershaw's book and just checked... the photo is credited to John C. Madden. So I googled his name plus Sharples and came up with this (from a blog called Back on the Street):
http://backonstreet.blogspot.com/2009/09/ena-sharples-and-high-rise-photograph.html

I'll get me anorak. :)

abbyk said...

Dodge, burn and mask were all used in wet darkroom long before Photoshop. Could have been one or multiple images; regardless, it's a great composition.

Hmmm, imagine the 2011 iconic character and Manchester cityscape. Who would it be and what would they see? Thoughts?

Tvor said...

That's the book I was thinking about, corrierules, thanks

Humpty Dumpty said...

That wonderful black and white photo of a by-gone age made me realise one of the reasons the show was so gripping in the early days. The characters had known each other for twenty odd years before we met them. Ena was still waging war with immoral Elsie over the GI's she went with. It gave such depth to the characters. We'll obviously never get that type of feuding back. Actually, it would be interesting to have a moral voice on the street. Sylvia isn't moralistic, she's just acid-tongued. Perhaps we're completely unshockable these days.

Paul Lanagan said...

Ena Sharples (Violet Carson) from Coronation Street

High rise flats, Manchester, with slum clearances in background

Photographed by John C Madden, 1968

Paul Lanagan said...

Ena Sharples (Violet Carson) from Coronation Street
High rise flats, Manchester, with slum clearances in background
Photographed by John C Madden, 1968

I used this to inspire me to take a modern shot:
http://www.houghtonlespring.org.uk/ena_sharple2011.jpg

John Tomlinson said...

The flats from which the photograph were taken are the same ones used in the programme's first colour title sequence in 1969. This time the camera was on Clifford Court (the south westerly of the three tower blocks) and pointing northwards towards Grafton Court. Pickford Court, on which Ena is pictured, is the easterly of the three blocks shown and is not seen on the title sequence. The blocks are still there today although almost every single one of the buildings seen in the title sequence and in the photograph have long since gone.

More info here:
http://coronationstreet.wikia.com/wiki/Title_sequence

Anonymous said...

About thirty years ago as a treat for my birthday, I went from the North East to Blackpool. We went on a special trip bus and instead of the usual A1 motorway and A66 then onto the M6 etc, we went through some old villages. I did not know at the time where I was actually at, but someone suggested at a later time that it could have been Burnley. I only know that we took hours to get to Blackpool. However, I always remember that we went down this great big steep long street with houses either side that always reminded me of Coronation Street. I love looking at these old fashioned type of streets just like you are showing on your blog, and I hope they are still around in places for a very long time as it beats some of these modern houses.

Anonymous said...

It's flats by Cornbrook Street. That part of Cornbrook Street no longer exists. The subject was covered at Back On The Street Blog a while ago -

http://backonstreet.blogspot.com/2009/09/ena-sharples-and-high-rise-photograph.html

Sea Penguin said...

Fantastic photograph,thanks - hadn't seen it before.

Anonymous said...

i want to get this picture on a poster or to canvas - anyone any ideas how? email me jeremy.ure@live.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Judging by the way Violet is almost hanging on to the railings, I would say it is indeed a very wonderful photograph taken by a gifted professional from the neighbouring balcony. I wonder what she was thinking as she looked on her city from such a height? Apart from ``Get me down from here``, that is. Lol. Violet was and I think will always be the one Queen of Coronation Street.

Anonymous said...

Probably a good printing shop could do it for you, but no idea what they may charge. I would get quotes from 3 different printing shops. I would look superb on canvas, wouldn`t it? I don`t much use the word `iconic` but it is the only word that most fits this particular photograph. Good luck in having it transferred to canvas - although you may have had it done by now.

MsR said...

This photo shows Ena Sharples (Violet Carson) on the veranda of an 11th floor flat in Clifford Court, Hulme, Old Trafford 18th April 1966. I lived with my parents and 3 siblings directly below on Clifford Street and remember as a 6-8yr old watching as, across the cobbles, a whole row of friends and neighbours moved out of their homes, younger families excited, older folk not so. As the houses were demolished the awful dust and debris fell onto ours opposite leaving grimy layers both inside and out but the large croft the bulldozers created made a great area for the dwindling community's bonfire night. With plenty of abandoned furniture to burn and old sofas for sitting around the enormous fire it was the most memorable and best 5th Nov I've ever experienced .. Soon after though, the cranes arrived and so began 2yrs of us enduring the constant noise of a building site. We lived and played just yards away while 3 concrete blocks gradually rose from the ground higher and higher until they towered over our little terraced house. As families filled the flats we made some new friends, often taking a ride to the top of the towers to view the gloomy skyline but in Dec'67 we gazed from the amazing viewpoint forever and left memories behind to relocate as our side of the street was next to be demolished. We were fortunate to be allocated a 'posh' garden semi in Stretford and eventually the land our 2up-2down had sat became part of a recreation area.. The Clifford Street landscape and our lives had changed forever!!

GRITTY SAGAS BY CORRIE BLOG EDITOR GLENDA YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE. CLICK PIC BELOW!

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GRITTY SAGAS BY CORRIE BLOG EDITOR GLENDA YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE. CLICK PIC BELOW!