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Sunday 3 March 2024

Kev’s Purple Jacket & Ken’s Kimono! - Corrie Curios At The Coronation Street Experience

Kev’s purple jacket, Ken’s Kimono, & Eileen’s sofa! Just a few (of many) delights that caught my attention at the Coronation Street Experience during a rain-soaked Tuesday afternoon in Salford. I have been before, last October, for the Stephen Reid murder reveal press event. I'd seen the cinema, met a few cast members, and got a sneak preview of the October Super Soap Week episodes, but missed my chance to see any props, exhibitions, or costumes, hence my repeated visit last month. 

As it was a Tuesday afternoon in Feb, I don't think they’ll mind me telling you it was quiet, but that meant I had a tour guide all of my own! It took me about two minutes to start talking about this blog, and my most recent visits, but Daniel (we became pals quickly) didn’t seem to mind and ushered me into the Cinema to watch an 8-minute montage of classic Coronation Street moments. Unlike last time, I wasn't surrounded by cast members and branded popcorn, but being alone, I did laugh out loud at some of Corrie's finest moments. When the film was over it was time to get a lift to the first floor and for my first viewing of this new (ish) exhibition. 

The first thing you see are 3 beautiful wedding dresses (the most recent being Gemma’s orange creation) and I'm told this has been ‘dressed’ for Valentine's Day. My eyes then wandered to the ‘Corrie 'decades’ boards placed around the walls for us fans to see and read. As we took a slow walk around, my guide gave me a few titbits of the show's history (he was a huge fan like myself, obviously) With this rare opportunity for a one-to-one Corrie fan chat, my ''special interest'' enthusiasm went into overdrive. 

This exhibition is full of Corrie props and set pieces. Tram crash relics, Eileen’s sofa, Fred Elliott costume pieces (RIP John Savident) to that icon of Corrie timepieces: Kev’s Purple Jacket*! I didn't know where to look first. Emily Bishop’s costume, Ken’s Kimono (my guide told me not many people remember that, bizarrely) and even one of George Shuttleworth’s funeral suits. I sat on Eileen’s original N0.11 sofa and admired Daisy’s acid-attack wedding dress. 

The exhibition is also home to not one, not two, but three replica sets. Having been to the Rovers Return internal studio set, I can confirm it's a superb replica. I'm told that two of the pumps are working, and the idea is that visitors will be able to sup beer onsite soon. Surrounding the bar (it is just a bar by the way) are a few pieces from the original Quay Street Rovers set!

The Roy's Roll's replica set is bigger than its studio counterpart (I was told), and although I’ve not seen the other one, this replica does feel like the real deal - the attention to detail is outstanding. I felt like ordering a veggie sarnie and a brew from Shona whilst reading the Weathefield Gazette - just superb. 

As the rain continued to pour outside, I could almost feel the warmth of Corrie's greats, Jack and Vera, from the replica number 9 set. It is (to quote my guide) a bit of a ‘mish-mash’ of past and present residents focusing more on Jack and Vera (as opposed to Ty, Fiz and family), with one of Jack’s costumes proudly standing in the corner, alongside a portrait of one of my most favourite Corrie couples. 

Even Paul’s onesie (from late last year) has been added to the costume exhibition and I guess they will keep updating with relevant titbits from the show. I was almost overwhelmed to see Elsie Tannner's iconic red phone. I was wearing my Pat Pheonix / The Smiths tee (which I wore for the Weatherfield Precinct press day) just to add to my Corrie vibe. 

Deirdre's iconic 1980s glasses had a case of their own alongside some costume jewellery and a wedding veil from her marriage to Samir - poignant, and beautifully done. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the lighting inside this exhibition illuminates the pieces perfectly, you’d almost think you were at the V & A or something - very aesthetically pleasing. 

My only complaint is that they could make it bigger and include more items from earlier decades. My guide did say this is a work in progress so I’d expect to see more props, replica sets and costumes, on future tours. It's a permanent exhibition, and with Corrie’s 60 years + history - you can surely guarantee it. 

I imagine weekend exterior set tours often overlook this exhibition of props, replica sets, and insider information. However, at just £7.50 a ticket, it’s a bargain!

More info on how to get your ticket, and when the exhibition is open, can be found here 

*Kev’s purple jacket retired in 2022 -I had no idea! I hope ITV have a special retrospective documentary in the pipeline? I'm joking… possibly. 

I am @rybazoxo on X - Cobble's connoisseur, and Coronation Street Superfan!  

1 comment:

C in Canada said...

As an 'antiquer' myself I love this! Too bad I'm on the other side of the pond :(
Does anyone know who's wedding dress that one on the right hand side is?
Eva maybe?
I know the other two are Gemma (obvs!) and Rita's.
Does this mean they've actually retired Kev's purple jacket?? Wow!
It's too bad they don't have this virtually, just sayin!


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