Backstage Pass - Coronation Street Tour

Monday, July 20, 2015

I was lucky enough to be invited to a bloggers Back Stage tour of Coronation Street or Corrie to those who know it well. 

I work at less than 1 minutes walk away from the tour and so excited when the email came through.

Corrie was always on when I was a kid even when it was only on a couple of times a week. I went on the Granda studios tour when I was about 8 and ever since I’ve worked where I do now keep saying I wish they’d re-open the full tour, the highlight back then was the street and I had the obligatory picture outside Jack & Vera’s Cladding.

The tour lasts for around and hour you start in the green room which is where the cast used to hang out in till filming their scenes followed by a trip down the hallway of the stars past the dressing rooms. Some of the doors are left open and you can see how each person had set out their own rooms. I was snapping away feeling very privileged to be allowed to take pictures only 10 Minutes later to realise I didn’t have a memory card in my camera (I can’t work out if my camera has an internal memory so there may only be pictures from the sets)

At the end of the corridor you turn into the costume department where a lot of the cast’s original costumes are still kept. It was fun guessing who’s out fit was whose and I love all the info the guide provided.

There is so much to see I feel like if I went another three times I still won’t have seen it all.

Before you head over to the soundstage where all the sets are kept we watched a film montage of lots of classic corrie moments. This brought back so many memories and I’d forgotten about so many of the cast. I can’t even begin to think about all the names. Corrie is one of those programmes that as well as the sad times has so many laughs and such comedic brilliance to it.

The first sets we saw are Carla’s flat and Gail’s house, it’s phenomenal how much details goes into them and they are able to take them down and move things around if they need to film something else there.

It wouldn’t be a trip to corrie without pulling a pint in the Rovers or calling time for last orders. The Rovers is smaller than you think but as with all the sets, they have lots of tips and tricks to extend the set physically and visually. We also had our picture taken behind the bar, which we received at the end of the tour. I think you have to pay for these as a rule but we received a complementarity copy. 

The sets might be compact but they fit in so much detail to everyone. After the Rovers we headed to the Knicker Factory followed by a look at some iconic props from over the years before a trip to the home of Coronation Street Royalty Jack and Vera. They had some of the sweetest scenes, volcanic fights and that tearaway son Terry.

On to the Kabin which is a fairly new set to the tour, this set really shows off the level of detail, the sweets are real (but out of date) they have real magazines to bulk out the shelves and for the top layer fake magazines are made by the production team even though they probably won’t be picked up by the camera. They also switch out the greeting cards to match the seasons. Have you noticed that? I haven’t but I’m sure some eagle eyed viewers will have.

The final part of the tour is through the production suit which has been left in the same state it was after the final episode was recorded there in December 2013, then you head out into the bistro doors on the cobbles.

Out on the cobbles you can wander into Gail’s back yard and down the ginnel behind the houses on the opposite side of the street. Details everywhere. 

As a treat they’d put on some pizza’s which we got from the Kebab shop and a tin of pop while we sat on a picnic bench, while we chatted and then had another wander round before heading to the medical centre which is also the gift shop to collect a goodie bag containing a postcard which we posted in the post box outside Dev’s shop. This is new thing and Royal mail are now doing collections direct from the street and you can put a Weatherfield post mark across the stamp which is so cute. I sent mine to my mum.

I had such a good experience and while I got more access then the normal guest by being allowed on the sets and to take pictures inside it was such a good experience it is such a shame it’s going to close on 31st December this year, I hope they are somehow able to move it all to a new home to keep the tour going. While it won’t be the same not being in the actual location it would be a shame to lose all the heritage that is in that small plot of land at the bottom end of Manchester.

All remaining tickets have now been released to the website and I know my mum and gran want to visit so I’ll be booking some tickets if there are any left when payday comes around.

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  1. I don't watch Corrie any more (James moans at any soap I watch) but I grew up watching it and still have a lot of fondness for it. I can't believe they're shutting it down. :/ Great photos and description! xx


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