Friday, 10 June 2011

I'm Visiting Manchester ....

One of the most frequent email enquiries I get is 'I'm visiting Manchester and I'm a Corrie fan - what is there to see?'  Sadly, the answer - at least on your own - is 'not much' ... but here are a few suggestions:

Manchester Town Hall -
used as a filming locations in
countless TV shows and films.  Find
out more on a walking tour - see below.
 Manchester City Centre:
Granada Studios: Many people think the studios are still open to the public - they are not.  They used to be open as part of the Granada Studios Tour attraction but it all closed down in 1999.  You can walk around the outside of the studios and if you know where to look you can just about see the original viaduct at the end of what was the first outdoor Corrie set and you can just about see the viaduct and side of Dev's shop on the current set.  There are also some blue plaques commemorating some of the original cast members, but that's about that.  There is also no gift shop or anything like that.
Science and Industry Museum: This museum - which is very interesting and free to enter - is next to the studios.  You used to be able to see through a window onto the Corrie set but not anymore.  There is a small - and I mean small - exhibit (a script and a few bits of memorabilia) plus the chance to watch some old episodes on a small TV.  There will be a larger exhibit in due course (I understand they've got the replica tram used for the 50th episodes to show off eventually).
Castlefield: The area to the east of the studios has been used for location filming a lot down the years - a walk around there (it's lovely) will evoke memories I'm sure.  Again, if you know where to look you'll find the place where Tony Gordon tried to drown Roy Cropper, where Les Battersby almost committed suicide, where Zoe ran off with Fiona's baby, where Jamie bid farewell to his dad Danny and so on.
The Old Grapes: The pub which used to be owned by Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth) still has some of her pictures and memorabilia on the walls. 

Further afield:
Bury: The East Lancashire Railway was where they filmed the train scenes for Roy and Hayley's wedding.  The station is opposite the Drill Hall which doubled as the prison housing John Stape.
Arley Hall: This lovely stately home is where Liam and Maria, Mike Baldwin and Linda, and Steve and Karen married - it's also where Joy Fishwick's funeral was held.
Tatton Hall: Has appeared many times - Annie Walker's car went into the lake here, Deidre's solicitor was based here during the John the Pilot story and more recently, Roy and Hayley's wedding reception (well, some of it) was shot here.
Worsley: Martha's barge was moored here when she had her dalliance with Ken.
Bradford: Both Tracy and Gail's court cases where filmed here and in the National Media Museum you can watch old episodes.
Ashton-under-Lyne: The town is the home of Portland Basin, where Richard Hillman drove the Platts into the canal, Ryecroft Hall which doubles as the registry office and Ashton Town Hall which is where Alf Roberts used to be Mayor.

Guided Tours:
I offer a guided tour (it's just for your group so does not operate on set days or at set times) which takes you around the city centre for about 1.5 hours (you'll hear some of Manchester's history, visit Castlefield, the Roman ruins, go round the outside of the studios, hear how Corrie is made, hear about Granada and Tony Warren etc) then we call at the Old Grapes (see above) for 20 minutes or so before boarding a Manchester tram to Salford Quays where we walk for another 30 minutes (you'll see where Steve proposed to Karen, where Don tried to kill Alma, where Mike, Dev, Danny and Carla have all lived, and where the new Corrie studios are being built).  We then finish at a shopping mall where there's a food court and a discounted Cadbury's chocolate store.  I, of course, point out where the tram stop is to get you back into town after you've eaten and shopped.  We normally start in the city centre at 10.30am and finish about 2.15pm. 
Everyone gets a free book as a memento and of course, you can ask all the Corrie questions you like - and I'll bring along lots of pictures, a Corrie script and other items to illustrate the talk!
If you would like more details, my availability for a particular date or a quote please email with the number in your party (it's ideal for ones, twos and upwards).

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