Saturday, 12 September 2015

Kemptville Travel 2015

As ever, I wanted to share a report of the visit to Manchester by Kemptville Travel's annual World of Coronation Street tour.

The group arrived on Sunday and were treated to a city tour by guide Sue who included a stop at the church in South Manchester which has been used for a number of Corrie episodes including being the location for Betty's wedding to Billy, Joe's funeral and it's also where Peter married Shelley.

On Monday Sue further introduced the group to the sights of Manchester including the Town Hall, Royal Exchange and Castlefield.  There was also a trip on a canal boat!  In the evening a special guest came to dinner - Michael Le Vell (Kevin Webster).

 
The surprise guest on Monday evening

On Tuesday guide John  took the group around the beautiful county of Cheshire.  There were stops in Chester and Knutsford - and they also got to visit the location of Rob and Tracy's wedding, Capesthorne Hall (below).
 
A stunning wedding location
 
 
On Wednesday I joined to lead a day of location visits.  We started with a stop at Heaton park to see where Roy and Hayley had enjoyed their first kiss - and where Roy finally scattered Hayley's ashes.  Then  it was on to Daisy Nook Garden Centre and their Coronation Street exhibition.  The group met actor Roy Barraclough MBE (Alec Gilroy) who posed for pictures before we made our way to Portland Basin, where both Richard Hillman and David Platt drove cars into the canal.  Then it was off to Salford Quays for some free time, a drive by the famous Red Rec Park and then to the Studio Tours to see the outdoor set used from 1982 until ITV moved to Salford Quays almost two years ago.  Dinner was at Annie's where co-owner Jennie MacAlpine (Fiz) came to say hello.
 
A scene shot at Heaton Park

Danger for Rita in the Red Rec

Roy Barraclough MBE

One of the exhibits at Daisy Nook

The Quay Street Studios
 
 
On Thursday guide John took the group to Blackpool where they visited the famous waxworks, the Tower and enjoyed the illuminations.

On Friday it was back to Corrie locations with me taking them to the church in Sale where both Blanche's, and Tina's, funerals were shot along with Joseph's christening and - for those with very detailed memories - the funeral of John Stape's granny.
 
 

Then it was off to the Trafford Centre shopping mall before a brief stop at Weatherfield Community Centre before we arrived at the new Salford Studios.   There was no filming taking place for Corrie - although the TV show Loose Women was broadcasting live.  We had a tour of inside and outside sets and met a number of cast members who were rehearsing for the forthcoming live episode.  We also met the writer of the live episode Debbie Oates and saw some of the sets which were ready for this special celebration of ITV's 60th birthday.  In fact, we were asked to keep details - and pictures - to ourselves until after the event as we saw a few secrets!

Here are some of the cast we met:






In the evening there was a Gala Dinner at the historic Midland Hotel where another cast member joined the group.

Eva was the gala guest

 
 

On Saturday the group left Manchester for a few days in the West and South West.  For me, it was my final tour for Kemptville Travel - my 18th year - and a very happy one to finish on.

Please note that these pictures are taken from the internet and are not my copyright.