In 2010, Coronation Street became the world’s longest-running TV soap. It first aired in 1960, but are you one of Corrie’s longest-viewing fans?
Corrie in the ’60s
If you’ve been following life in Weatherfield since the ’60s, you’ll remember a young Kenneth Barlow struggling to break free from the parochial confines of Coronation Street after winning a university place. I wonder if actor William Roache could have imagined that he’d still be resident on the street some 60 years later!
Other stalwarts of the early years were Annie Walker, Ena Sharples, and Elsie Tanner. Annie was landlady of the Rovers Return Inn from 1960 to 1983 and spent every one of those years looking down her nose at the likes of Elsie Tanner, a woman with loose morals according to Ena Sharples – the hairnet-wearing busybody who regularly enjoyed a milk stout in the Rovers’ snug.
It was 1964 before Hilda Ogden made her first appearance but she fast become a Street favourite. Ah, who can forget the three flying ducks on her “muriel” and her permanent curlers…
According to many in the Spring Chicken Community, those were the best years:
Coronation Street gave us all a good laugh back in the 1960s. Those were the days.
Of course, there was also plenty of drama. A train crashed from the viaduct in 1967, a coach crashed in 1969, Elsie Tanner received a poison-pen letter and then there was the murder of her husband Steve Tanner in 1968… what’s your favourite memory of Corrie life in the ’60s?
Corrie in the ’70s
Jack and Vera Duckworth moved into Coronation Street in 1974, and then Mike Baldwin arrived in 1976.
Other well-known characters making their first appearance in the ’70s include Gail Potter, Eddie Yeats, and Fred Gee who joined Bet Lynch and her earrings and Betty Turpin and her hotpot behind the bar in the Rovers Return.
The drama continued with Valerie Barlow (Ken’s wife) dying in 1971 after electrocuting herself with a faulty hairdryer, a warehouse fire in 1975, and a lorry crashing into the Rovers in 1979, but do you remember the tragic murder of Ernest Bishop in 1978?
Corrie in the ’80s
The ’80s might be considered the decade of weddings on the Street. Ken Barlow married Deirdre Langton in 1981, an event that saw 24 million viewers tune in, more than tuned in to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana just two days later. In 1985, Alf Roberts married
Audrey Potter, and then Kevin Webster married Sally Seddon in 1986. A surprise romance blossomed between Bet Lynch and Alec Gilroy, leading to a wedding in 1987, then the dithering Mavis Riley finally married mummy’s boy Derek Wilton in 1988, the same year that Ivy Tilsley married Don Brennan.
But, despite all these happy events, who can forget Deirdre’s steamy affair with Mike Baldwin in 1983?
Viewer ratings reached an all-time high in 1989 as Corrie fans tuned in to watch Rita Fairclough’s psychological abuse finally come to an end with the demise of Alan Bradley under a Blackpool tram. It was a gripping storyline, but was it one of Corrie’s best? If you’re a long-standing Street addict, which storyline would you vote the most gripping of all?