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Wednesday 19 June 2013

Corrie A-Z: F is for Flying Ducks

The pride and joy of No.13 resident Hilda Ogden were the flying ducks on her ‘muriel’. They have become Corrie icons as much as Hilda herself over the years. They appeared on Hilda’s wall from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. One of the ducks infamously would be seen diving into the sea on the mural, and apparently Jean Alexander, who played Hilda, would check this before filming.
The flying ducks did appear on the show before debuting on Hilda’s wall. Next-door neighbour Elsie Tanner had some on her wall and they were seen in the very first episode in 1960 as well as during the 1960s. But it seems that Hilda never bequeathed them from Elsie. In fact, she acquired them from her Auntie Aggie as she told Sally Webster in 1987. Flying ducks were common ornaments in homes across England at the time.
When Hilda left the street in 1987, she took her flying ducks with her. As she told Percy Sugden:
"I've come in here more times than I care to remember. Cold. Wet. Tired out. Not a penny in me purse. And seeing them ducks and that muriel... well they've kept me hand away from gas tap. And that's a fact."
The flying duck on a downward spiral has become a symbol of the bad luck the Ogdens often had as well as their house being number 13.
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Anonymous said...

What are the ducks made of? Plastic? Metal? And how do they attach to the wall?

Anonymous said...

You bequeath something TO someone. You acquire them FROM someone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 18:52 Can you borrow me some money?

Tvor said...

The ducks are plaster/ceramic and there are hooks on the back for hanging

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tvor, I always wondered :) So when it says that Jean Alexander used to check the ducks before filming, does that mean she would make sure the 2nd duck was hooked at an appropriate angle, so it looked like it was diving?

The artist Giacometti made a tree for the first production of Beckett's Waiting for Godot and, the lore goes, Beckett always went on stage before the show to make sure the tree was standing at the right angle!

Same same.

Mrs Barton said...

Hilda's are brass in that picture! I've got some brass ones myself in my living room, in a mid terrace in Salford. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

and as they say on Corrie, someone has robbed some money.

Anonymous said...

My Mum had a set of those (ceramic) when I was a kid! Long before Corrie even aired. (boy I'm old!!) :-D

~JB in Canada

Dolly Tubb said...

Loved the ducks! They had a hole in the back of them so that they could be hung on a nail on the wall, so they would often get a bit squinty when they were dusted (Hilda being a bit particular, an' all). I'd so love a set - very envious of you, Mrs Barton :) !

Anonymous said...

Aren't there ducks in Tyrone's house?

Anonymous said...

Um, nice article. But you wrote: "They appeared on Hilda’s wall from the late 1970s to the early 1980s."

And yet they were there until 1987, as you also state. Surely 1987 qualifies for the description "late 1980s"?


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