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

Sunday, 12 June 2022

The many faces of Weatherfield Police Station

Weatherfield Police. Despite being a well-respected institution amongst many Coronation Street residents, are the taxpayers really getting their value for money? With over a dozen police stations in 40 years (that's about three a year, for those statistically inclined), some may argue that the force's regular relocations are excessive.

But for location nerds like me, these many filming spots are little gems of detective work to try and figure out where they are. So, here's a look at some of Weatherfield's finest cop shops from the past half-century...

Quite possibly the first time we see the police station outside of the studio. It's actually the former Bootle Street Police Station (Headquarters) in Manchester city centre; soon to be Gary Neville's 'St Michael's' development.
Eddie Yeats stands outside following an incident involving an allegedly stolen cart. 
See this spot for yourself at M2 5GU.

The next time we see the police station (as far as I've been able to tell without watching every episode, so please correct me if I'm wrong!) is a decade later.

This time, it's an interior set built inside Granada's newish Bonded Warehouse conversion at their Quay Street site, with a one-time exterior appearance of the old Walkden Police Station in Worsley – now a block of flats known as 'The Old Nick'.

Ken and Tracy spend their 1988 Christmas Day in the police station. Meanwhile, Deirdre is missing.

A young Jenny Connor goes to pick lovely Alan Bradley up from the police station.
                                                   See this spot for yourself at M28 3DT.

Another police station-turned-flats, Eccles Police Station at 2A Police Street makes a couple of appearances in the early 90s. The converted apartment block is today known as 'The Shackles'.
Steve McDonald dobs his dad in over some stolen radios. Catch yourself on.
See this spot for yourself at M30 0TP.

The station makes a return to Manchester city centre a few years later – this time, to the Greater Manchester Police Museum at 57A Newton Street (also an old police station).
A rare non-mandatory visit to the station for Jim.
See this spot for yourself at M1 1ET.

This one appears to be a studio set, but I can't be sure. If anyone knows, do feel free to comment below or tweet me!
Dev in less happy times.

Apparently, Arch 1 or Arch 2 of the original outdoor Street set was used as an exterior/immediate interior during this time, although I wasn't able to find any footage of this. For reference, here's that same bit dressed as quite a different set:
Is that @DaveSecurityOBE on the door?

The real-life Salford Magistrates Court in the old Salford Town Hall building was used for filming courtroom scenes, with its west wing doubling up as the police station both outside and in. The building is now the 'X1 Town Hall' apartments.
Bev Unwin outside / Lloyd Mullaney inside.
See this spot for yourself at M3 6DD.

Like Salford Magistrates Court, Bolton's former Castle Street Police Station was also used for courtroom scenes. This one is a personal favourite of mine as I was involved in some non-Corrie filming here and got to stand in the dock! The building currently houses a college.
Becky vouches for Roy and Ken at the station after they're arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
See this spot for yourself at BL2 1AE.

Why shoot on location if you don't have to? Well, the novelty of new places is always a winner, but Corrie successfully managed to use various parts of the former Granada TV Centre without it looking lazy:

Peter and Carla inside / outside in 2010.
In the left screengrab, the interior was actually shot on a set inside the Underworld building (shown below).
See the exterior spot for yourself at M3 3GS.

This article by Chewy covers the slightly later-built set which utilised the studio's audience entrance space. Here's a shot of poor Becky at this one, with a photo below looking out from where she's sat. This outside area wasn't often seen; last making a very brief appearance on Karl and Stella's wedding day.

Inside; looking out.

Eileen also hosted Weatherfield Police's video investigation room in her front bedroom. Very accommodating of her, but goodness knows how she found the space for officers as well as her lodgers!:

And finally, between the point at which ITV vacated their Quay Street site at the end of 2013 and the completion of the new set extension at MediaCityUK in 2018, a number of locations across Manchester were used as an interim solution. These are:

We see a couple of ad break 'bumpers' featuring the abandoned Piper Hill/Southern Cross School in Wythenshawe, dressed as the police station. This location was used until it was redeveloped into the current Pioneer House High School.

Another former police station, Plant Hill, on Plant Hill Road. Used extensively both internally and externally for filming during this period, the building eventually became home to squatters. It has since been secured by its owner, Manchester City Council, who are planning affordable housing in its place.

See this spot for yourself at M9 8LU.

Damage to a window, presumably caused by enemies of PC Neil Clifton.

Following Plant Hill Police Station's ironic conversion to a real-life drug den, the former Grey Mare Lane Police Station (also on a road of the same name) was used instead – notably, for Daniel Osbourne's first stairs-pushing storyline. I still can't believe he got away with it twice.

During this time, an unidentified interior also appeared on screen, possibly utilising one of the existing sets contained within the police station itself (previously used for Scott & BaileyThe Bay and Bancroft). Sadly, the building has since been demolished.

A youthful-looking Adam with a Ken-looking Ken.
See this spot for yourself, along with some pretend police detectives, at M11 3AJ.

2018-present of course the new, shiny Weatherfield Police Station. Across from the main building was at one point the older custody suite (see below), however this appears to have since been re-labelled as "Weatherfield Crown Court" with the 'police blue' repainted.

Sally 'Pennywise' Metcalfe is booked into custody for fraud, bribery and money laundering.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you didn't and just skipped to the bottom, I understand. If this sort of thing does float your boat though, I occasionally post stuff on Twitter too @gaddasisbadass.

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


Bobby Dazzler said...

Surprised there isn't a photo of the most famous arrest of the "The Weatherfield One"

which police station was that at?

Ben said...

I think we only saw an interior set for that one, but I stand to be corrected :)


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