Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Changing Face Of The Corner Shop

How it changed - the Corner Shop as featured in the original opening titles of Coronation Street in 1960 - a view of Archie Street; with its new frontage in 1964; and in 1985 as Alf's brand new mini market.

First in a series of posts in which we take a look at The Street and its changing architecture over the years.

I'm starting with the Corner Shop at No 15 because it was a favourite Street location of mine - I fantasised about owning it when I was a youngster. Move aside, Maggie Clegg and Renee Bradshaw!

We know that the Corner Shop experienced several changes of ownership in the 1960s and '70s - from Florrie Lindley to Lionel Petty, from Lionel Petty to David and Irma Barlow, from David and Irma Barlow to the Clegg family, and from the Clegg family to Renee Bradshaw.

The shop enjoyed a brief period with a sub post office added in the mid-1960s and a longer-lasting change with the addition of an off-licence in 1976.

Remember the 1980s, when the shop was owned by Alf Roberts (Bryan Mosley)? After the death of his wife Renee (Madge Hindle) in July 1980, Alf was the shop man for the rest of the decade and into the early 1990s.

Let's take a look at the structural alterations made to the shop in the 1960s and 1980s...

In the beginning, as Florrie Lindley (Betty Alberge) took over the shop from Elsie Lappin (Maudie Edwards), the shop door was on the corner of Coronation Street and Viaduct Street, with display windows in both streets.

This was based on the original model for Coronation Street, Archie Street in Ordsall.

Archie Street had an off-licence on the corner which provided the inspiration for the Corrie Corner Shop architecture.

Back to the story-line.

Always a quiet soul, Florrie Lindley never really made much of an impression on the Street, the biggest surprise being the arrival of her husband after she'd claimed to be a widow, but she did make an impact on the Corner Shop. It was towards the end of Florrie's reign at the shop that she had the frontage rebuilt and the door moved from its position on the corner. The new frontage had a door opening straight on to Coronation Street and a small display window to its right.

And that's the way it stayed until long after Florrie's departure in 1965 - right up to 1985 in fact, when Alf Roberts had the shop made into a mini market. This meant interior changes - the disappearance of the living room at the back which became additional shop space - and a new, more modern self service system.

Last days of the old Corner Shop - the Street c. early 1985 - shortly before the mini market.

Alf actually wanted to enlarge his little empire dramatically and incorporate the house next door, No 13, into his new scheme of things. But when this plan failed to come to fruition, he settled for transforming the existing shop premises.

And what a dramatic transformation it was!

The frontage was totally altered - now having a smart new metal door, a tiled surround, a very '80s red-on-white sign proclaiming "CORNER SHOP" and a new window emblazoned: "ALF'S MINI MARKET".

The change meant a great increase in items stocked.

The premises were suddenly pulled out of the mid-1960s and into the mid-1980s. It was at this point that the Corner Shop entered its modern day era.

Alf adored the place - he was a dedicated Mr Green The Grocer, although wife Audrey (Sue Nicholls), who married Alf in 1985, was never that keen.

However with shop assistants Deirdre Langton/Barlow (Anne Kirkbride), who first worked there in 1980, and Sally Webster (Sally Dynevor), who took Deirdre's place in 1987, the Corner Shop continued to hold its own - even against competition like the Bettabuys supermarket, which was introduced in 1989.

The shop was much handier than Bettabuys - and the quality of the gossip on offer much higher!

In fact, throughout the first three decades, the gossip which bounced around the Corner Shop's walls was second to none!

And I daresay that's something which hasn't changed to this day!

No comments:

Post a Comment