Saturday, 30 April 2011

Manchester and Salford Tours for Groups

Are you a group organiser or a coach operator in the UK?
A hidden corner of Greater Manchester -
visited on our Hidden Manchester
and lowry tours.
 We now offer day tours of Manchester and Salford with an experienced, insured guide.  You just provide the coach and driver and we'll provide the itinerary. 
Themes include: Film and TV (this includes some Corrie locations, Last of the Summer Wine, film locations and much more!), Coronation Street (this includes lots of exterior locations, a trip around the outside of the studios and much more!), Manchester's Hidden History (we visit some of the out of the way places including an 18th century village, the roman ruins, a former home to cowboys and indians and much more!) and In The Footsteps of Lowry (which includes visits to places he painted, the gallery named after him and some of the areas he lived in over the years).
We can also provide a meeting point near the M60 for your group to leave their cars or to take morning coffee (weekdays only).
Email us at theagency@btinternet.com for more details.

Coming to Manchester?

Book a walking tour and ride the tram!
I get a lot of emails asking what there is to see in Manchester for Corrie fans.  The truth is that there's very little sadly.  You can walk around the outside of the Granada Studios and catch the tiniest glimpse of the back of the Corrie set but that's about it.  Of course the crew go out and about on locations to film weddings and funerals, cars going into canals etc but these locations are spread across a wide area and without a guide they are very hard to find.  That's why I started acting as guide for travel agents (http://www.kemptvilletravel.com/ http://www.square1travel.com/ and http://www.coronationtravel.com/ all offer trips from Canada) and group organisers.  I've expanded this to include a walking tour which is ideal for smaller groups.  Obviously it's not just about Corrie but the four hour jaunt includes a two-hour walk around the city centre when you'll hear about Manchester and some of its quirky past, we walk around the studios and I'll point out where the first outdoor Corrie set was, show you the Corrie blue plaques, tell you about Tony Warren, how the show is made etc and we pass several locations used for key stories over the years.  We then take a short break in the pub owned by Liz Dawn (Vera) which has lots of Corrie pictures on the walls.  Then we see the Town Hall and climb on a tram to travel to the docks area of Salford (it's about 15 mins on the tram) and we walk around there, again with me telling you some history and pointing out some Corrie filming locations.  You'll also see where they are currently building the new Corrie studios (yes, Corrie will move within the next two years) before I bid you farewell outside the Cadbury chocolate shop, food court and tram stop.
These tours are exclusive to your party (mostly it's twosomes) and can be booked for any day I'm available.  We normally start at 10.30am and meet at the Midland Hotel in the city centre.
Just email me at theagency@btinternet.com with a day or dates and we'll email you back with availability and cost.  It's up to you whether you then book!

Here are some of the comments we've had back from bookers:  "Something I will always remember - and I'll watch Corrie much more attentively in future knowing all the work that goes into it!"  "Thank you - my mum loved her day with you!"  "Wow!  I can now say I stood where Tony tried to drown Roy Cropper!"  "We thoroughly enjoyed our walk - bumping into Fiz and David like that was the icing on the cake."  "Steve is my favourite so to see where he proposed to Karen was lovely.  The whole thing was a treat."  "I'm so glad I booked the tour - I feel I've been to Weatherfield."

Please note that it is not possible to enter the Corrie studios unless on an organised large group trip (check out www.kemptvilletravel.com for details)

Filming in Manchester


The Bonded Warehouse (you see it behind the medical
centre in Corrie) used to stand on one side of Grape St
with Granada Studios on the other.  Now the street is gone
and the studios occupy the whole site.
 It's been a busy few weeks with quite a few days spent filming for a couple of overseas projects.  I was asked to talk about Granada in the 60s for a programme, which is to be aired on RTE in Ireland later in the year, about the late actor Ray MacAnally (My Left Foot, A Very British Coup etc).  Ray worked at Granada in 1967/8 when he starred in 'Spindoe'.  I had to tell his son, Aongus, what the studios would have been like in those days and about the series.  Aongus is a TV star in Ireland.  We filmed in Granada and I got the crew permission to film on what's known as Grape Street where they have a replica of the Rovers Return (it's not used for filming but is left over from when the studios used to be open to the public).  Aongus turned out to be a big Corrie fan so he was delighted when I showed him Gail Force, the infamous boat, some Streetcar cars and other bits and pieces that were lying about the place.  He wasn't allowed to see the street set though.
I've also been filming for a Canadian project which I'm not allowed to say too much about right now.  It's something Corrie fans will be interested in and if all goes well Canadians will get to see it next spring.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tours to the UK for Canadian fans

On both tours you'll see where Richard Hillman died -
and lots more!
There are two tours coming up in September.  The first is run by Kemptville Travel (out of Toronto) and includes the full Corrie experience (studio visit, Corrie locations and 2 special guest events) and several days in Ireland. 

The other is run by Square 1 Travel in Vancouver and includes London, Manchester (including a day of Corrie locations and a guest for dinner).

Check their websites out for all the details!  http://www.kemptvilletravel.com/ and http://www.square1travel.com/



Don't forget - if you visit Manchester on your own, I do run walking tours.  You'll find details in previous posts.