Saturday, 16 August 2014

Looking back

Going through some of my old pictures this week I found these.  I took them at the opening of Jayne Tunnicliffe's art exhibition in Manchester's Northern Quarter a few years ago.  Jayne played Yanna of course (that's her in the second picture with Wendi Peters).  Top is David Neilson and bottom is Tony Warren, Corrie's creator.  I asked him to choose which picture he wanted to be photographed with - and he chose Elsie.  He was very close to Pat Phoenix.  In fact, when she was gravely ill she checked into the hospital as Miss Warren.

Please don't reproduce these images without permission.  Thanks!

Chimney Pot Park

Those of you who have been on a Corrie locations tour with me will no doubt have been taken to the 'Red Rec' (Chimney Pot Park) and seen the 'upside down' houses which were constructed from the shells of the old terraces.  I found the first picture recently.  I took it about 15 years ago and it shows the view of the houses from the park before the work.    You'll recognise it from the old Corrie credits.

Some years back Urban Splash bought the area up and basically kept the shells but put new homes inside.  They have bedrooms downstairs and lounges up top and where the back yards and alley used to be they have decked gardens with parking below.  You can see these in the second picture. 

I was there on Tuesday when some friends (who are Corrie mad) came to visit from Birmingham and I gave them the grand tour of Salford.  I think it's great that they preserved the old whilst making them suitable for modern families.  The only thing I don't like is the skylights.  It's a nod to the old chimneys which gave the area it's nickname but they look 'bolted on' to me.

Some more pictures of Greater Manchester

In  order we have: A lovely shot of Castlefield in the city centre.  Then two doors at the Moravian Settlement in Droylsden.  A view of a church in Oldham - and finally, a misty November morning in Alexandra Park, Oldham.  I took the second and fourth.  Thanks to Shutterstock for the other two.

Coronation St to be demolished

It has been confirmed this week that the old Corrie set will be demolished in coming months.  This was always the plan and comes as no surprise.  The temporary tours were scheduled to continue until October - I suspect that they might be extended for a while longer but ultimately the set will go to make way for a new development.

I'll be sad to see it go but then, that's what happened to the original outdoor set which was used between 1968 and 1982.  I actually own a brick from that one!

Although the tour has done well - and taken a lot of money - there's no doubt that ticket sales would have petered out.  After all, the show gets (in the UK) around 8 million viewers and I think I read that they've sold a million tickets already.  The cost of upkeep would start outweighing the income so it would have to come down eventually.  The other issue is that the whole Granada site has been sold to a developer and the income from any kind of tour is also going to be smaller than the income from building flats on it.

It's sad but when Granada (or ITV as they are now known) moved to Salford the bulldozers were sure to come round the corner of Rosamund Street before too long.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Hartshead Pike

Two views of Hartshead Pike which sits on the hill between Oldham and Tameside.  There's been a 'pike' or tower on the site for many generations.  It was used as a place where a beacon was lit to announce major events such as royal weddings - or the outbreak of war.

It's said that this young lady used to live in or around the pike.  A gypsy woman - she was said to have special powers and to live on a diet of roast hedgehog! 

Kid's Gardening

Kid's gardening competition.  Shows how exciting it can be to win the best carrot award!


100 years ago today Britain entered the First World War. How sad that there is so much misery being caused by conflict in so many countries on this day.  Will mankind ever learn?

Mayoral Street

The Mayor of Oldham visited our Daisy Nook Coronation St exhibition today.  Here he is enjoying the view from Maxine's bench.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Meet Les

Meet Les Darlow, Daisy Nook's resident artist.  Les runs regular classes for customers - he guarantees you'll take home a creation to be proud of!
He'll also be helping us to celebrate painter LS Lowry's birthday in November.  Details to be announced.

Google Les and you'll see lots of his work - including footage of him working on You Tube.

A Manchester view

What a great shot of Manchester. 
In the back is the Beetham Tower.  Then we have the old Central Railway Station (now a convention centre) and in front of that is Touchstone.  Did you know that Julie Hesmondhalgh was proposed to on that stone?  And she said yes.

The centre is blooming

This lovely clematis is a deep purple which really zings in the sun.

These thrive in boggy ground.

What a splash of colour.

Roses offer so much colour - and scent.  This bottom one is just one plant but with two different colours of blooms on it.

Downton's Corrie connections

All the tours from Canada this year are combining a visit to the filming location of Downton Abbey.  This show has been a huge worldwide hit and has driven thousands of tourists to visit Highclere Castle and the village of Bampton where the house and village scenes are shot.  They are actually some way apart!

There are a few Corrie connections to the cast.  Rob James Collier of course played Liam in Corrie and now portrays Thomas in Downton.  Joanne Froggatt played Zoe, a cult member in Corrie (the cult was called The Cult of Nirab - Nirab being an anagram of Brian.  The producer at the time being Brian Park).  She plays Anna in Downton.  Siobhan Finneran who played nasty O'Brien also appeared in Corrie back in 1990.  Her character was Josie Phillips, a loud-mouthed machinist in the factory when Mike Baldwin had it.  Lord Grantham himself however never trod the Corrie cobbles - but he did appear in EastEnders as a teacher!

My own cast connection is to Mrs Patmore, actress Lesley Nicol, with whom I worked at the Bolton Octagon Theatre many years ago.  The play was written by a Corrie writer!

O'Brien used to work for Mike Baldwin.