Monday, 9 September 2013

Coronation Street 1982 - When Weatherfield Met Ambridge...

The BBC Radio 4 serial The Archers and Coronation Street were alike but unalike back in the '60s, '70s and '80s. Both were soaps, both had some notable characters, but, whilst none of The Archers characters had the style or breeding of Annie Walker (tragically, there wasn't a single Beaumont of Clitheroe in the vicinity of Ambridge), the radio farming saga seemed much posher somehow. I was more at home with the Rovers Return and Corner Shop of the Street than at Grey Gables or Nelson Gabriel's 1980s wine bar.

Norman Painting, who played Phil Archer and wrote numerous episodes of The Archers, did not seem to be a huge lover of Coronation Street, which he mentioned in his autobiography Forever Ambridge, and HV Kershaw, Corrie producer and scriptwriter, was not overflowing with praise for the rural radio soap in his autobiography, The Street Where I Live.

But in 1982 the folks down Weatherfield way were happy to help their soap world comrades in Borsetshire...

From The Stage and Television Today, September 23, 1982:

Getting together in the interests of the listener, Granada has loaned the sound of Alf Roberts' shop bell to The Archers, who were having trouble with theirs. From the left, at the recording, Coronation Street's series planner, Gordon McKellar, Bryan Mosley, assistant sound recordist Ian Maclegen, and film sound recordist Ray French.

I used to love the sound of the Corner Shop bell. It was last heard in Coronation Street in 1985, when Alf Roberts had the shop modernised. I'm not sure how long it lingered in Ambridge!


  1. So you don't like The Archers then?

    1. Oh no, I didn't say that! Very fond of Walter Gabriel, Mrs Antrobus, Lynda Snell etc "back in the day". But, being a poor working class lad, I always felt more at home with the Street.