Andy Mitchell relives memories from the cobbles
I used to be quite a Corrie fan some years ago, but probably like many of us, packed it in when it stopped being funny. So the promise of a trip to Blackpool for the Rovers Return regulars seemed like an ideal opportunity to once again see how the Weatherfield crowd would take to a day at the seaside.
The 10,000th edition of the soap on Friday night was a special moment in our history. Sixty years of memories came flooding back in just an hour.
I didn’t matter that the coach never made it to Blackpool in the end because the driver had a heart attack (he lived).
The whole hour was a vehicle (literally) for a recollection of old names from our childhood that resonated with what’s left of the old guard... Rita, Audrey, and of course Ken played by the legendary Bill Roache. The story, it emerged was about how Ken, after 60 years living in the street, was going to leave to shack up with Rula Lenska in a twilight home away from the cobbles.
The whole hour was perfectly pitched at its middle aged audience. And there were some clever bits too. Those who remember the very first episode of the Street in 1960 ( or at least have seen a DVD for those of us who weren’t born) will recollect the first scene opens with the children reciting a skipping rhyme outside the corner shop. Six decades later, a new generation did the same “one two three four, Mary at the cottage door....” a delightful nod to Tony Warren’s first few seconds of his creation that December night in 1960.
Then there were the usual haunting voices from the past for Rita as she wandered through the bar in the night. “Annie Walker, Betty Turpin and Hilda Ogden.
All gone now, she remarked. And the army of 50 and 60 somethings nodded at home.
I love this sort of nostalgia... it’s what Corrie does best, and it reminds us of how funny those characters used to be. Rita pauses outside Dennis Tanner’s old house. “His mother was Elsie Tanner” she tells a teenager.
I could almost hear Ena Sharples say her corner shop line from the first episode “You’d better watch ‘er... she’s a bad ‘un!”