Monday, 21 November 2011

The New Houses - Completed In 1989

In Coronation Street, it seemed that the building of the new side of the street began in September 1989 and most of the building work was completed before the end of the decade. We've been exploring that story-line recently, but Ian has recently studied all the relevant episodes and has written to tell us that, in reality, all the building work on that side of the street began and ended in 1989.

I now have all the episodes from August 1989 to January 1990 and have been able to study the building of the new houses, the story-line time frame and the real time frame, bearing in mind that the show was recorded at least three to four weeks in advance. I've read your stuff on here, and would like to add my findings - made whilst studying the episodes concerned this week.

It was a great story because here was the Street undergoing immense change. New Exec Producer David Liddiment had decided to update the show in the summer of 1989 and had travelled around real Coronation Street terrace disticts where he saw modern houses and industrial units springing up beside the old houses. This seemed perfect for Coronation Street, with the show about to go three times a week, allowing much more story-line potential. In the story, the factory and community centre frontages were demolished in September 1989 (in reality, August 1989). That side of the Street was then boarded off and the production team teased us with very occasional glimpses of the new side of the Street going up.

In an episode broadcast on 1 December 1989 (recorded November) we were treated to an aerial view of the site with work in progress. In an episode transmitted on 11 December 1989 (recorded November), we glimpsed the nearly completed salon. In an episode broadcast on 1 January 1990 (recorded November or December 1989) we saw Steve McDonald drive a JCB from what is now the yard in front of the factory unit and garage into the Corner Shop window - and glimpsed part of the frontage of what is now Gail's house. In an episode broadcast on 8 January 1990 (recorded December 1989), Ken Barlow drove up the Street to visit Deirdre and we glimpsed the completed Kabin, waiting to have its windows put in (I think one was already there).

The evidence points to the new side of the Street being built in reality from August to December 1989. In January 1990, teaser shots of the completed houses appeared in various magazines (in the story-line the finishing touches were being made) and in February 1990 Des and Steph Barnes moved in - the first new residents.

On-screen, 1989: a teaser glimpse of what is now Audrey's salon.

Thanks for that, Ian - I've received a few queries about the new houses and all now seems clear. It was a very ambitious project for the Street and I remember enjoying every moment as the girls struggled to get compensation for losing their jobs at the factory, the bulding site lads brawled in the Rovers, Alan Bradley used a job on the site to terrorise Rita and Tina Fowler became involved with labourer Eddie Ramsden. And I love the way we were "teased" with glimpses of what was being built.

A great era for the Street.

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