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

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Three reasons why the Platts’ sinkhole is true to life

Now that the dust has settled (perhaps not for the Platts), let’s take a look at why the sinkhole saga wasn’t actually all that farfetched.

1: Real manhole covers

Yep – those are access points to actual drains. Of course, everything beneath the surface was constructed as sets at Space Studios in West Gorton. But those metal lids are fully functional.

Here's a real drainage plan with manholes shown as red rings, along with some fun floating faces to illustrate Johnny and Jenny’s underwater misadventure:

If you’re a map enthusiast like me, you’ll probably also appreciate this diagram (link downloads image file) of the sinkhole, created by Terrafirma who do this sort of thing for a living.

2: Drains beneath

The storm drains look realistic. I asked everyone’s favourite Mancunian drain explorer, Martin Zero what he thought, to which he replied: “Yeah looks pretty good”. Definitive, if you ask me. 

See for yourself below – incidentally, the bottom photo looking down a real Victorian manhole was actually taken on the former Corrie set at Granada Studios.

Above: from Instagram @julia_goulding

Bonus trivia: The real-life Mancunian Way collapsed in Ardwick in 2015. United Utilities said “heavy rain caused a sinkhole to open up, damaging a major Victorian sewer underneath the road.” Sound familiar?

3: The ground

Because I don’t do things by halves, I got hold of some reports from the British Geological Survey just to see if a sinkhole in Gail’s back garden was hypothetically possible. Turns out it is – in part, due to something known as a ‘running sand’ hazard.

Part of one of several boring (as in, borehole) records for the area. But yes, they also happen to be boring.

So I decided to waste more of my own and others’ time by taking this info to a friend-of-a-friend geologist. He’s not a viewer or follower of Coronation Street, so the below comments weren’t influenced by anything he’d seen or heard about the storyline:

“Sudden rainfall events may overwhelm both man-made and natural draining channels, and the hydrostatic pressure may lead to sudden, rapid erosion of loosely compacted sediments. So, while I wouldn’t expect this geological sequence to result in classic, large-scale sinkholes in the true sense of the word, minor events would seem likely.”

He mentioned that it’s conceivable that a minor collapse could occur if there was an incursion of water, adding “maybe as a result of torrential rainfall.”

Arguably torrential.

In summary, aside from the fact that it would have been extremely difficult – if not impossible – for one of Ray Crosby’s cronies to deliberately cause a sinkhole to occur (we’ll just overlook that bit), the Corrie team definitely deserve a pint of Newton and Ridley for this one! Maybe just avoid the Rovers for a bit though…

As a side note, I made a Twitter @gaddasisbadass. I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to do with it, but it's there and I'm always up for a natter. Whether you're someone who begrudgingly watches Corrie but secretly loves it (I know a few of these) or a proud watch-every-episoder, don't be a stranger!

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

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