Saturday, 30 November 2013

Coronation Street new set – our visit in full

It was a proper privilege to be invited to the reveal of the new Coronation Street set yesterday in Manchester. Armed with notebooks and camera, we set off from Sunderland at 6.30am to arrive by train at the new set just as the heavens opened and the rain chucked down. Typical Weatherfield weather!

Flaming Nora!  It's Weatherfield weather!
All of our pictures are here from the day, and the official ITV time-lapse photos from the big build are here.  The press were out in force and you can read lots of good stuff from proper journalists at The Guardian and The Mirror and the Manchester Evening News and of course, the official Coronation Street website.

But how did it feel for us, as bloggers and fans, to be allowed to see the new set and what did we think about it?  Well, it felt as fantastic as you’d expect, and a real privilege. Thank you from the bottom of our Corrie hearts to ITV for inviting us in.

So, without any further ado and with some of our own pictures from yesterday’s visit, here we go with our write-up of yesterday’s big trip.


The first thing you notice when you see the new set is... 

It looks exactly like the old one.  I was worried it was going to look too clean, too tidy, too new. It doesn’t.  It looks exactly as it should. And because of that, it positions you right at the heart of our favourite show - and that’s when I got the goosebumps.  It’s a new set, with new cobbles, new windows, new doors, new paintwork, a new tree. But that newness brings with it the old magic. For bricks and mortar to create such a strength and depth of emotion and feeling that I got goosebumps and a lump in my throat was incredible, and it took me completely by surprise.

Things that are obviously different and new on this set...
It’s wider, so that two cars can pass on Coronation Street and on Viaduct Street. It’s longer and this means there’s an extra window upstairs in the Rovers Return. There’s an additional door called 16a next to Roy’s Rolls.  Lamp posts have been pushed to the back of pavements and kerbs have been dropped (for ease of production).


There’s now a path behind the gardens of the houses to allow the cameras more access than they had before. Mawdsley Street is now visible as a 3D backdrop that can be lit.



Things that are the same as the old set…

The magic  - and I can’t stress that enough. The new cobbles are as difficult to walk on as they are on the current set (and I had flat boots on).

Items of note…
The attention to detail is incredible to make the new set look as old as possible. It’s a new set but already looks suitably and rightly worn down by generations of Weatherfield worry.


The best bits of our day…
Being given permission to graffiti the garage door.

Watching raffle winning, Salford legend Mike Sweeney put up the new Coronation Street sign.

Listening to Clint Boon from The Inspiral Carpets’ DJ set in the press tent while swigging champagne, eating mince pies and wondering how much 54,000 cobbles cost to buy.  Seeing Corrie creator Tony Warren giving interviews to the press.

Things we learned from the press pack...
The new bus stop has been specially designed by JC Decaux for Coronation Street with a higher and shorter roof to allow for boom mics and a hinged glass sidescreen for better camera angles.  The tree outside of Audrey's salon is 25 years old and is called an Alnus Icana (if you squint a lot, it looks like the tree's called Almas Incarnation).  Interior filming done in Underworld and Streetcars will now be done inside the cab office and factory on the new set rather than in the studio.

Our overall feelings about the new set...
More than anything it was relief that it’s not changed – too much.  Will we notice the changes when we see it on TV? It’s hard to say because they’ll do such a fantastic job with the camera angles.

And finally, the new set is...
It's truly fantastic. It’s magical. It’s Coronation Street.

We've been caught on camera too - have a look at this!

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13 comments:

Conversation Street said...

Great write up and pictures. It's a relief to hear how good a job they've done of making it look old and worn. Glad you took our advice about the graffiti, too! ;-)

Graeme N said...

Wonderful! Glad you had a great day xx

Digger said...

Also a relief to learn that they've only gone up to 80% of real life in terms of sizing from the original 60%, alleviating those worries that the... um... "petite" cast would look like an army of hobbits on the new set.

Barrie.T said...

One thing that stands out to me is Nicks Bistro. It looks normal now. The old set looked fake and too narrow and tall. It looks like they've made it wider now. I thought i hadn't seen 16a at Roys Rolls before. Its probably a health & safety thing as if there was a fire in the cafe the people upstairs in the flat would be trapped without an exit. There seems to be a few tower blocks in the background which will make it tricky for filming. I wonder why they didn't make the Kabin and Audreys an outdoor set for filming. Perhaps the older cast would find it too chilly to work in. The biggest missed opportunity of course was not correcting that silly bridge next to the Rovers

Anonymous said...

I loved the photos! Thank you. The set looks wonderfully like the old one, only much better of course! How hard everyone must have worked to recreate the smallest of details; well done!

Shan said...

Great post and pictures!
I always wondered about Roys Rolls and where the proper entrance to the upstairs flat was. It seemed weird that they always entered through the cafe, what if the flat was rented out?

I imagine they're still going to keep it a mystery as to where some people park their cars?

John McE said...

I was amazed at how authentic the new set looks. When it was last replaced it took ages to get used to the "too new" brickwork, and it's good to see that they haven't made the same mistake again. But to me, the cobbles look a different shape.

I'd imagine, to start with, they'll use clever camera angles to disguise the width of the new street, so we can gradually get used to it.

There is one thing that is different. They've altered the bus stop sign, which previously had "towards Weatherfield" on it, (which always seemed wrong, when the stop is in the middle of Weatherfield). Now it says "towards... somewhere else".

Tvor said...

It looks amazing. So, Mawdsley Street is still only a "back of" rather than a full frontal street. Good that there's a few extra doors for flats that we can see. I hope they've put heating inside the factory and Streetcars sets!

ruth owen said...

So pleased you had a good day Glenda.Thanks for the wonderful photographs and your great write-up.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing day you must have had! Geeky question....does it still have dennis tanner 1954 engraved on Eileens window ledge?- Micky

Anonymous said...

Lovely to see you both on Friday. What a day! Have updated my full set of 48 photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianwylie/sets/72157638189471414/

Sunny Jim said...

Micky, that was one of the first things we checked but it would have been a complete shock if it hadn't been there. There's a photo of it here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30922768@N07/11119823734/in/set-72157638182852516

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! It's little things like that which matter! Glad you had a great day- Micky

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