A Trip Down the Cobbles: 60 Years of Coronation Street

We take a look back at some of the best (well, funniest) moments of the last 60 years...

By Manchester's Finest | 29 December 2020

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It certainly won’t be news to tell you that Manchester is known for its mastery of the arts – we’ve given birth to some of the industry’s most renowned musicians, huge production companies now flock to our city to film, and of course… we have bragging rights to the man behind Ken ‘real-life Casanova’ Barlow.

After all, where would we be if Tony Warren hadn’t taken our great city to screens across the nation in 1960?

Back then, the working-class neighbourhood of Weatherfield was something never before seen on television. Today, it’s a huge part of Britain’s pop culture.

Whether you were forced to watch it at your gran’s when you went for your weekly supper as a kid, or you fly your Corrie flag high and are yet to miss an episode, there’s no denying that Coronation Street is ingrained into our DNA.

It’s the Mancunian soap we know and love – one that proves we really do do things differently here.

Anything goes on the cobbles, and as the world’s longest-running soap celebrated its 60th year this week, we take a trip down memory lane, and onto the Street’s most iconic moments…

The First Colour Episode, 1969
The swinging sixties brought with it many things. People danced in fields with paint on their face, their hair flowing free… vibrant colours were brought to the entertainment world by a new wave of hallucinogenic-inspired creativity… but the real showstopper? For soap lovers across the north, that was a feat reserved only for Corrie’s first ever colour episode.

In October 1969, residents of the cobbles were injured in a coach accident that killed the driver. In a real twist of events, audiences saw the Corrie clan crash in black and white and come round in colour. Confused? So were the northerners meeting their favourite soap characters in a whole range of hues for the very first time.


Bet and Betty – stuck in a lake, 1983
Back in the day, Rovers legend Fred Gee attempted to woo barmaid Bet Lynch by organising a picnic. What he didn’t plan on was Bet bringing pal Betty Turpin with her, frightened at the prospect of being alone with him.

She should have been more frightened of his driving, though, as Fred’s attempt at romance ended in the trio and their vehicle rolling into a nearby lake. Things didn’t get much better with the rescue mission, either – when Betty made it back on to dry land face-down in cow pat. Classic.


Schmeichel goes for a bath, 2004
If you remember the hapless Battersbys well, you’ll know that when Cilla and Les planned a romantic evening in their new whirlpool tub, it was always going to end badly. After the cobbles’ favourite Great Dane hurtled upstairs and jumped in with them, the ceiling fell through and they crash-landed in the living room, dog and all. It’s fair to say Cilla and Les weren’t best pleased.


Eileen and Gail, 2004
Known for their Oscar-worthy squabbles on the cobbles, their debut fight back in 2004 is arguably one of Corrie’s most meme-able moments. The pair have never seen eye-to-eye, and after finding out Sarah’s boyfriend was having an affair with Karl Foster, Gail flung herself at Eileen as the women battled it out in a panto-style brawl. Nobody screamed ‘she’s behind you’ to poor Eileen, though.


Rita and Emily confront Norris about his knickers, 2008
After Emily finds some ladies’ knickers in her charity bag, Norris got his in a bit of a twist. Rita and Emily gave him a bit of a grilling, forcing everybody’s favourite busybody to confess his real secret: he was addicted to competitions.

“I won them by writing about my dream date with Pierce Brosnan,” he explained. “I signed it Noretta Cole.” We can all relate, Noretta.


The Tram Crash, 2010
Is there anything more quintessentially Mancunian than a disaster caused by a tram? We’re sure you’ve probably had a fair few of your own during the daily commute, but hopefully none as traumatising as the Corrie’s live 50th anniversary show.

When the viaduct was destroyed due to a gas explosion, a tram came crashing down – along with the hopes and dreams of poor Tyrone Dobbs, who found out he wasn’t the biological father of son Jack all in one episode. Cheers Metrolink, son’s crying.


Deidre throws a proper wobble, 2014
Sadly, this turned out to be Anne Kirkbride’s final scene. As she struggled with the stress of Peter’s murder trial, Tracy and Carla began arguing over a family meal. Patience pushed to the limit, Deidre lost her temper and threw her unset trifle against the wall, crying “jelly shouldn’t run, it should wobble.”

An iconic exit for an iconic actress.


Corrie’s Most Memorable Quotes…

“Then you’re deluded, so let me make this crystal clear. I despise you. I curse the day we met, and every moment we spent after that. I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to hear you. I don’t want anything to do with you. As far as I’m concerned, that bouquet in your hand may as well be a wreath.” – Peter Barlow said this to Leanne in 2011’s Valentine’s Day episode after finding out about her affair with Nick Tilsley. Savage.


“Like Postman Pat, do you? ‘Early in the morning, when the day is dawning?’ Your real Postman Pat rocks up around noon wearing a pair of shorts and his breakfast. And, if he’s not chucking elastic bands like confetti, he’ll be rifling through your birthday cards read for cash, or leaving your valuables on the step. Nowt but propaganda, is this!” – Blanche Hunt

It wouldn’t be a fair round-up of memorable moments from the street without at least one quote from soap world legend, Blanche. Famous for her witty, no-holds barred dialogue, she certainly wasn’t known for mincing her words.


“I’m on pills, for god’s sake!” – Gail Platt

Kids doing her ‘ead in as usual, this iconic phrase from Gail Platt led to a series of incredible memes and videos. Enjoy.