When an American friend of mine visited England in 2010, he was bemused at the variety of accents and variations of the spoken language he encountered. He took in Newcastle, the Lake District, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, the Cotswolds, Cambridge, Dorset and Norfolk and was well fuddled by the end of it. "There are so many variations of spoken English in England!" he finally told me. "For a tiny country like yours, it's amazing! And I've never known why your toffs and royalty insert inappropriate r's into words. 'Orff'. That's stupid"
Speaking as somebody without any inappropriate r's whatsoever, but a man who calls a pudding a "pudden" and, furthermore, a man well acquainted with "Dickie's medder", I couldn't help him.
When Coronation Street was launched in 1960, it must have been puzzling for people in other parts of the country to hear that wonderful Northern version of the language which I personally hold very dear (my dad hailed from "up North"). So, in 1961, the TV Times appointed Mrs Elsie Tanner of No 11 Coronation Street (who, as a native, spoke the lingo fluently) to enlighten the rest of us poor saps. Here's what she had to say, with specially posed photographs of Pat Phoenix as Elsie and, in one of them, Philip Lowrie, her unfortunate son Dennis....
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Monday, 8 April 2013
I love the map above - take a stroll round Weatherfield as it was then envisaged - call in at Gamma Garments - where Miss Nugent is no doubt admiring Mr Swindley's antimacassars, note the posh bay window at the side of the Rovers Return (Annie Walker must have been chuffed to little mint balls!), and do a shift at Elliston's Raincoat Factory, having a Corner Shop barm cake for your dinner break. But be warned - I'd avoid the vestry at the Mission Of Glad Tidings if I were you!
Ena Sharples: " 'Old friends'? Well, I can't say any of us are old friends of YOURS - we knew your mother! And as for 'new faces'... We don't take very kindly to new faces round 'ere!"
Had a very nice e-mail from Joan, who has many kind things to say about Back On The Street, and posed a question:
I bought the three HV Kershaw novels based on the early years of Corrie in the mid-to-late '70s. I thought I had them all Early Days, Trouble At The Rovers, and Elsie Tanner Fights Back. Each one centred on a particular year,1961, 1962 and 1963, and they were very enjoyable as Mr Kershaw was heavily involved with Corrie since its pre-screen days. Recently, I came across an on-line reference to another HV Kershaw Corrie novel called Old Friends... New Faces. I've never heard of it before, and can't find a copy on eBay or anywhere. Have you got a copy?
No, I'm sorry, I haven't, but as far as I'm aware, NOBODY has - because it was never published. And I got that information from Mr Kershaw himself back in the early 1980s. I had been to my local library and was looking at the massive volume called Books In Print - the "bible" of what was around in the books world in that day and age. No library computers then, of course. I checked HV Kershaw's listings, and came across Coronation Street: Old Friends... New Faces. I wrote to Mr Kershaw, who responded very promptly and pleasantly, stating that only three Coronation Street novels had been published, and that he couldn't explain the error in Books In Print, perhaps the library could? The library couldn't.
I can only assume that this publication was well and truly in the pipeline, but never arrived.
I was disappointed because, like you, I had greatly enjoyed the first three volumes, and the title - Old Friends... New Faces - had whetted my appetite as it seemed likely to refer to the events of 1964, with the arrival of the Ogdens at No 13. I would have loved to have read Mr Kershaw's written version of the events of that year.
I've checked on-line, and I can only surmise that the Books In Print error has been carried forward into our on-line modern world.
But you can rest assured that no such title was ever published.