Sunday, 31 October 2010

Coronation Street 25th Anniversary Celebration...

Eee, with Corrie's 50th anniversary coming up, I've been thinking back. And it doesn't seem possible. Was the photograph shown above really taken twenty-five years ago?

1985... seems more like ten years ago to me!

In those days, the Street didn't celebrate major anniversaries with bloodbath tram crashes, we'd have thought it ghoulish and odd.

The 25th anniversary photograph above seems to have been specially posed rather earlier in the year than December - probably for Jack Tinker's Coronation Street book.

Note that the Claytons are present - and they left the Street in August!

I love the cutting and pasting of various people in the photo above - and in those days it was literally cut and paste, a cut-out from a photograph and a dab of Pritt Stick!

So, who were the Corrie movers and shakers of twenty-five years ago?

Back row - from left to right: Ida Clough (Helene Palmer) was a machinist at Baldwin's factory and a good pal of Vera and Ivy's. She appeared from 1978 to 1988, and later re-emerged for another spell working for Baldwin. A glutton for punishment.

Next to Ida is Shirley Armitage (Lisa Lewis), the Street's first regular black character. Shirley arrived in 1983, another worker at Baldwin's Casuals. She later lived with Curly Watts in the flat above the Corner Shop, and left the Street in 1989.

Up next is Phyllis Pearce (Jill Summers). Originally seen in 1982, visiting her grandson, Craig, and nagging Chalkie Whiteley, Phyllis developed into a rather more sympathetic character. She was, as she said, a "hot blooded woman", and desired nothing more than marriage to Percy Sugden. Phyllis was last seen in 1996.

Sue Clayton (Jane Hazlegrove) is next. One of the short-lived Clayton family, Sue arrived in 1985, left school, and started work in a bakery. The family then left the Street.

Sue's sister, Andrea (Caroline O'Neill), was studying for her A Levels and seeing naughty Terry Duckworth behind her parents' backs. Soon she was up the duff.

Connie Clayton (Susan Brown), mother of Andrea and Sue, was a dressmaker and the front room at No 11 was converted into a workroom for her. Connie never really liked No 11, and liked it even less when she fell out with her gobby neighbours, the Duckworths. Having discovered that Andrea was expecting a little Duckworth, Connie beat a hasty retreat from the district with the rest of her family.

Harry Clayton (Johnny Leeze), daddy of the Clayton brood, was a milkman and played trombone with a local band called Gregg Gordon And The Bluetones.

Middle row: Betty Turpin (Betty Driver) first worked at The Rovers Return in 1969. Widowed in the 1970s, Betty became the hotpot queen of The Rovers in the 1980s when her speciality dish became a regular on the menu as the pub grub on offer was expanded. Betty's still in the Street today.

Vera Duckworth (Liz Dawn) first appeared in the Street as a warehouse worker in 1974. She became a resident in 1983, and horrified the neighbours with her great big gob. But dead common Vera, who could be oh so crafty in her on-going war with husband Jack, had a heart of gold. She died in 2008.

Jack Duckworth (Bill Tarmey) first appeared very briefly in late November 1979, then disappeared until 1981, when he began popping into story-lines now and then. In 1983, Jack moved into No 9 with Vera and son Terry.

Terry Duckworth (Nigel Pivaro) arrived on the scene in 1983 and soon made his mark on the Street, running a business called Cheap & Cheerful with Curly Watts, running off with his best mate's wife, and romancing a married woman in Mike Baldwin's Jag. Bad lad Terry first left the Street in 1987, but he's turned up since, several times.

Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell), the dependable young lad who worked as a garage mechanic for Brian Tilsley, first appeared in 1983. He married Sally Seddon in 1986. Poor Kev. He's still in the show today, having endured many traumas - some of the 1990s and 2000s stuff seeming so unlikely as to be completely daft. But then that's modern soap!

Norman "Curly" Watts (Kevin Kennedy) - a lovely, geeky, offbeat youth character, Curly first turned up in 1983 as a binman. He graduated to a position as assistant manager (trainee) at Bettabuys Supermarket in October 1989.

Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow), first appeared in 1971. In 1973, she became assistant to Rita at The Kabin. Mavis initially lived with her Auntie Edie. Her cousin, Ethel, who popped in now and then, was a right cow. When Auntie died, adorably twittery Mavis moved into the Kabin flat. She met Derek Wilton in 1976, almost married him in 1984, and finally did so in 1988. She also dallied briefly with one Victor Pendlebury in 1982/83 - and he declared his desire to marry her just before her wedding-that-wasn't to Derek in 1984. Mavis left after the death of Derek in 1997.

Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) was the crafty Londoner who livened up the Street no end from 1976 to 2006. Mike developed a long running feud with Ken Barlow in the 1980s.

Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) first appeared in the Street in 1966, a worker at Ellistons Raincoat Factory. She returned in 1970, and became a barmaid at The Rovers - although Annie Walker did think her rather common. In 1985, Bet took over The Rovers as manager. She married seedy Alec Gilroy in 1987, but that didn't last. Bet left the Street in 1994, but has since visited.

Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander) arrived in 1964 with husband Stan and spent the next twenty-three years gossiping for England. She left in 1987.

Percy Sugden (Bill Waddington) was the bossy, interfering know-it-all who arrived in the Street as Community Centre caretaker in 1983. Fighting off the advances of Phyllis Pearce and sticking his nose in everywhere, Percy was a bit of a nightmare neighbour. But he meant well. He left the Street in 1997.

Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire) first appeared in 1961. A genteel spinister, Emily finally found happiness and marriage to Ernest Bishop in 1972. But happiness was not to last. Ernest was shot dead in a wages snatch at Baldwin's Casuals in early 1978. Emily lived on at No 3, enduring a bigamous marriage to Armold Swain, and, from 1988 onwards, Percy Sugden as a lodger. Emily is still in the programme today.

Alf Roberts (Bryan Mosley) first appeared in Corrie in 1961, a pal of Frank Barlow's at the sorting office. Alf graduated to local councillor. His first wife died of cancer in the early 1970s, and he married Renee Bradshaw of the Street's Corner Shop in 1978. Alf inherited the shop in 1980, when Renee was killed in a road accident. He employed Deirdre Langton as his assistant and ran the shop happily until 1985, when he expanded it into a mini market and Audrey Potter became his lawful, awful wife. Alf died at the start of 1999.

Ken Barlow (William Roache) was there when Corrie first aired on 9 December 1960 - and he's still there today. His history is long and varied - including marriage to Valerie Tatlock and twins, marriage to Janet and her suicide, and marriage to Deirdre Langton. Ken was very close to his uncle-in-law, Albert Tatlock. Albert regarded Ken as true family, far more than his own daughter, Beattie Pearson, although he never said so!

Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) first appeared in 1972. She married Ray Langton in 1975 and the marriage broke up in 1978. Deirdre lived with Emily Bishop from 1979 to 1980, before becoming Alf's assistant at the Corner Shop and moving into the shop flat. In 1981, she married Ken Barlow. Deirdre, older but not much wiser, still lives in the Street today.

Gail Tilsley (Helen Worth) first appeared in 1974 and still appears today. Young Gail Potter met Brian Tilsley in 1978, married him in 1979, was divorced by him in 1986, and re-married him in 1988. Their second union was ended by rumblings of discontent and then his murder in 1989.

Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) was a bit of beefcake in the Street from 1978 to 1989. It seemed a little odd as he turned up before gym workouts were popular with working class men, and Brian certainly never mentioned going to a gym in his early years. So we were left wondering where Brian got his muscles from. His job as a garage mechanic? Actor Chris Quinten, of course, worked out all the time, so that was the reason behind Brian's bulging biceps.

Ivy Tilsley (Lynne Perrie) had it very rough. The character first appeared in 1971 and moved into The Street in 1979. From then on, it was misery on a buttie as the 1980s devastated her family - making Ivy's husband Bert unemployed and then killing him off, making Ivy's son Brian's marriage to Gail as rocky as could be, and finally killing Brian off in a stabbing incident outside a nightclub. The '80s did bring Ivy two grandchildren - Nicky and Sarah Louise - and a new husband, one Don Brennan. But as the early '90s proved, he was no blessing either. Ivy left the Street in 1994.

Rita Fairclough (Barbara Knox) was an exotic dancer who first popped into the Street in 1964. Back on the scene in 1972, Rita was memorably romanced and married by Len Fairclough. She continued her career as nightclub singer Rita Littlewood on an occasional basis. In the early 1980s, Rita and Len became foster parents. Rita was devastated when Len was killed in a road accident in December 1983, and distraught to discover he'd been in the midst of an affair at the time. Surely romance with Alan Bradley, blossoming in 1986, would bring her some happiness?


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