Monday, 6 December 2010


UK readers will no doubt know that this week (actually Thursday 9th) marks the 50th anniversary of the worlds longest running TV soap opera. I make no apologies for loving 'The Street', almost as much as anything or anyone it's been a huge influence on the photographs I make. Above are two original pictures I was given of a newly built GRANADA STUDIOS dating from 1958 two years before CORONATION STREET went live, look at them ashtrays and HP sauce bottles on the table! In case you missed it on tonight's TV below is the first ever episode. Produced only seven years before I was born It seems such a different Manchester (or Salford) and a different country but has much in common with an England I can remember as a kid. It represents a different type of romantic vision of England. Not the chocolate box country cottage home counties England, but the close knit communities of a Northern industrial working class town, like the ones that throughout the next few decades were systematically destroyed by successive governments and councils of both persuasions. The continuing success of the show is probably due to romance and nostalgia for times past, as well as being bloody good telly. Tony Warren knew that the daily lives of ordinary streets and people could be both fascinating and comforting and were already beginning to disappear. Large areas of Salford had already been subject to the wrecking ball with communities being dispersed all over Greater Manchester several years before the show was aired. The episode below and to a lesser degree the modern show is a lament to an England that no longer exsists and many people miss.

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