Thursday, 23 May 2013

Is it time to close Underworld?

This blog post is inspired by Graeme's post on rancid Rob, who got me thinking about the future of Underworld. Industry has been a part of the lay-out of Coronation Street since its inception when the raincoat factory dominated the even side of the street before it was demolished in 1968. There was a hiatus between 1968 and 1971 before the warehouse was established that then became Baldwin's denim factory in 1976. Then the factory was knocked down in 1989 and there was another hiatus until 1996 when Underworld was established. But, I wonder, is it apt to call time on Underworld after 17 years?
 
Producers and writers have attempted to resurrect the glory days of Baldwin's Casuals with the gobby machinists and management/employees clashes, but it doesn't bode well for this Corrie fan. With the increasing number of factory closures, is the fact that Underworld, a small factory in a backstreet, is still open a bit ludicrous? I say close the factory and use the building for another purpose.
 
If that would happen, what would you like to see?
 
Myself, I think, to get the best character interaction, is to make it into a community centre.  And not have just a big hall, but have various rooms for various activities. What about an art class (led by Deirdre!)? Yoga? Coffee morning? Book club? One o'clock club? Cooking class? One commenter mentioned maybe establishing a crèche where all the Corrie babies can go. Something that all the characters can take part in. What about doing a play or a musical? The children can do their Natvity there.  
 
Dennis would be the perfect candidate for caretaker and then he'd get more screen time too!
 
If Corrie can show a community getting together, maybe it'll influence viewers all over the country to do something in their community and re-introduce that community spirit that Britain has been lacking these past few years!
 
Do you agree? Or maybe you have other ideas about Underworld's future? Maybe you want things to stay as they are?
 
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18 comments:

Graeme N said...


I'm glad my post inspired you (!) I agree with you, they are running out of ideas with Underworld and most of it doesn't ring true in this day and age.

I think a community centre would be a good idea, although where would everyone work if there was no more factory?

Chewy said...

They should make the factory into a convinience store, a Frescho Express would work well.

David Parnsips said...

Yes it’s totally stuck in a time warp – it’s not the 1980s any longer and all these “buyers” that keep mysteriously appearing would be going to Asia and the Far East. On the telly yesterday there was a programme about India make jeans for £3 a pair and underwear would be the same. All these walk outs and strikes and not a foreigner among them just makes it from a parallel Universe. Carla and Michelle are both irritating and have about as much business acumen as next doors moggy. Burn it down (again) and this time don’t bother to rebuild it. Perhaps an Express Supermarket or a charity shop or a community centre could be put in its place where everyone can congregate and gossip and let secrets out of the bag.

Humpty Dumpty said...

The factory should have gone years ago and its only purpose is to bring characters under one roof. But the characters and storylines are boring. As I said in another post, work is available beyond Coronation Street. I can see the point of a community centre but it should be a modern version where different organisations share the same premises. It might include a day centre for the elderly with a lunch club, a Sure Start base for families with under-5's, maybe the medical centre moves in. It could have rooms for evening classes.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely shut the place down and take Michelle, Carla, Tracey and Rob with it. Anything different would be a most welcome change. Too bad no one get can a job off the street. We even have a physiotherapist working at Dev's how completely ridiculous is that? I am very long time viewer but I think I watch now more out of habit. I so sick of Stella, Gloria and Carl. How long before he gets the punishment he so richly deserves? I don't understand how come Stella and Carl aren't looking for jobs. Stella could certainly get bar work somewhere and couldn't Carl get another cab driving job?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want it to close but they need to start thinking of new ideas. Hopefully the Carla and Rob storyline will be the start of something new and different.

Flaming Nora said...

I'm loving the idea of a Freshco Express. It'd still keep many characters under one roof too.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a Freshco express. Hopefully it would drive the Corner Shop out of business and we would be rid of Dev.

The Faktry really needs to go. The storylines are tedious and the "management" laughable. It says something about the poor state of comedy that no-one has parodied it yet.

Anonymous said...

"Right, you lot. Quit your gabbing and back to work. Or else you'll find yourselves in the job queue."
Threats, dismissals without written warnings, Dickinsian work conditions? As a non-UK resident, does this reflect the workplace of the average Brit? If Corrie is meant to be an accurate depiction of Northern working-class then clearly this needs to change.

ChiaGwen said...

I'm surprised they haven't found Bob Cratchit's remains at the Faktry...it is SO out of touch with today's reality. The machinists in Wed's episode were all hand sewing bras or knickers, just how many can they get done in a day and there are only...what? - 8 of them, unless there are a hundred more in the back we never see. Convert it to a Frescho's and bring back Curly as Manager!

Anonymous said...

Re-locate the Job Centre to the premises. That way, no one will ever have to leave the street...ever.

Anonymous said...

They were hand sewing bras because they are not allowed to turn the machines on! Too much noise apparently - so we can't hear all the goss!

Anonymous said...

When Izzy joined she worked at Freshcos. When she went to work at Underworld she said she got a pay rise, I remember. Then later it was said that Underworld machinists get the minimum wage. Freshco Express might need to be careful!

Anonymous said...

There has to be a central area so the characters can blab and it's such a small set..that has to be taken into consideration. The underwear thing isn't cutting it anymore IMO..something else maybe..footwear...they could call it 'Underfoot' or something equally as stupid. I don't know but agree that in this downward spiraling economy, not to many people are going to dole out the dosh on designer panties or bra's.

Janice. said...

How about the factory makes costumes for British period dramas and theatre? It would leave the door open to guest appearance by prominent actors who come in for fittings. It is totally believable that such a factory would not be outsourced.

Ida Reigns said...

Yes.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it does feel like Underworld has run it's course. I stopped watching Corrie for about 6 years and came back to it in 2011. I was surprised to see Underworld was still going and had changed hands several time (last time I saw it Danny Baldwin was running it). Anyhow, I see why they keep it around so several characters can congregate and gossip, but I've noticed in the last year that even those scenes are few and far between. And getting rid of Underworld would mean the end of the un-intrigue of Carla and Michelle's business woes. That alone is worth closing the factory.

Anonymous said...

Where would the emply. go, Britan has high unemployment and some of these gals are not very educated or skilled. Have a job center, and a training center , maybe something to do with banking as part of it. It doesn't have to be one thing but multiple things in one building. There was a bakery once but not sure what happened to that, missed that story line, lots of possibilities.

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