Saturday, 30 July 2011

Coronation Street - 1989: A Pivotal Year...

Pump Up The Jam...

Flippin' 'eck! 1989! What a year it was! Rita Fairclough was nearly smothered by Alan Bradley, and a tram dominated the end of that saga... but what ELSE happened down Weatherfield way?

Well, one half of the Street disappeared and new buildings rose in its place, courtesy of one Maurice Jones.

Deirdre Barlow (note her squarer framed glasses and nice '80s perm) found out that Ken had been up to naughties with former town hall mole Wendy Crozier. The icy atmosphere at No 1 ruined Tracy's Christmas.

Meanwhile, the Corner Shop suffered a direct hit - from a football, causing the front window to fall out. The McDonald twins, Steve and Andy, were responsible. The Roberts household was already under strain as Alf and Audrey's attempt to buy a new house had fallen through and they'd gone to live in the flat above the shop. Audrey was not pleased. "It's only temporary," wheedled Alf, taking her a nice early morning cuppa. "LIFE'S only temporary!" snapped Audrey.

And for Curly Watts his new job as assistant manager (trainee) at Bettabuys Supermarket was fraught with complications. Manager Reg Holdsworth asked him to write reports on all the staff, and then announced his intention to use them as the basis for making redundancies in January 1990.

Curly was gobsmacked - particularly as his landlady, Vera Duckworth, was on the redundancies list.

There's so much more to write about 1989...

We'll be returning soon.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

We've Got Rita's 1980 Dream Kitchen!

1980 - and Rita tells Len where to get off.

Judging by various publicity photographs I've seen, Coronation Street now has the worst interior decorating schemes it's ever had. Not sure why. A lot of them don't look like anything around my own rather common housing estate. "It's 1970s!" screech various nerdy types, almost peeing themselves with excitement. But, of course, that's not true. Look back at the Street in the 1970s and nowhere was as bad as today, and there are few similarities! And anyway, sorry '70s nerdy types, but "1970s" decor was usually 1960s, all those lovely gaudy wallpapers, etc, were actually a product of - or inspired by - the 1960s (probably designed by hippies on bad "trips" by the look of them) - and tarried on through the '70s and into the early 1980s.

In the photograph above, we see Rita Fairclough telling husband Len where to get off in 1980. No 9 was a shambles, apart from a spot of wallpapering in the back room, Len hadn't touched it since years before they were married, and Rita wanted different.

Well, lovey, there were 'ell to pay. Rita left home, Len clobbered her one, then she fled to Blackpool to work in a laundrette and live with her Uncle Harry. In the end, Harry told Len where she was, and Rita finally returned home.

To please Rita, Len made changes at No 9 - second hand central heating, new wallpaper (probably chosen by Rita and absolutely skank, even though this was 1980) and new kitchen units. Rita was thrilled by the kitchen units, and so were me and my Mrs when we re-watched the episode in which Len and Eddie Yeats fitted them recently. They're exactly the same as ours!

Rita's fake wood effect, self assembly units, with the lovely hard wearing work surface, are precisely the same design as the ones still doing service in our kitchen today! As for the rest of our house, our front room is trapped in the 1980s (lovely pastel blue walls, and lots of black furniture, including a glorious black up-lighter), our hall is trapped in the 1980s (a very pretty pink), our bedroom is a style we call "near derelict" (one day we'll decorate). It's not that we created a mostly 1980s style house on purpose. We just somehow got stuck taste-wise circa 1987 and we're comfortable with the look and feel of the place.

The kitchen has not been touched by us (apart from re-painting it a few times) since we moved in, it's not our choice. The kitchen units are flanked by glorious brown and cream flowery tiles, giving the room more of a late 1960s/1970s/early 1980s effect than the mainstream '80s feel elsewhere, and we didn't like it much. The house was built in 1980, so it's obviously all original.

But now we've witnessed Rita's delight, we're thrilled with it. She always did have style, our Reet.

Me and the Mrs went dancing round the kitchen in a frenzy of merriment as soon as we'd viewed the episode. Even better, we think Rita's units did long service with the Duckworths after they moved into No 9 in 1983.

We're chuffed to little mint balls!

Just imagine, us serving up our cheese and spud pie on our trendy Fairclough/Duckworth style work surface, in our trendy Fairclough/Duckworth style kitchen.

Viewing by appointment only.