I was having a bit of a sesh on YouTube the other day and ended up going down an ‘urban explorer’ hole, watching videos of (usually) grown men sneaking into old, derelict buildings and seeing some pretty creepy stuff.
We’ve seen plenty of these over the years, including the hidden bar underneath Victoria train station, and the old Camelot Theme Park (which has now been overrun with zombies for a summer of film screenings).
The best one I found though was a walk around the old Coronation Street set, located just off Quay Street in the city centre and once home to the fantastic Granada Studios Tour.
Opening to much fanfare in July 1988, the Granada Studios Tour allowed the public to actually walk down the famous Corrie Street, knock on some of the doors and nip into the Rovers for a pint of mild. It was massively popular, with over 600,000 visitors in the first 8 months alone.
As well as providing space for the tours, the street was the actual street used in the filming of the show, with interior scenes filmed in the adjoining warehouses. It made it all the more special that you could walk down the actual, real cobbles – and maybe catch a glimpse of Curly Watts on his way to film a scene.
2013 saw ITV move their entire operations into MediaCity, leaving the old Granada Studios site to be transformed by Allied London into the forthcoming St John’s Development.
They completely re-built the Coronation Street set over by the Ship Canal, improving the scale of the set as well as adding additional internal details, as well as a new extension taking in the adjoining Victoria Street set. But what happened to the old set?
Well, it seemed like they just left it there to rot away – and as a group of (proper Manc) blokes snuck in with their camera phones – it ended up looking like a post-apocalyptic nightmare, complete with overgrown pavements, smashed windows and rubbish strewn all over the street.
By now the set will have been completely demolished to make way for the new St John’s Development, a slice of Manchester history gone forever.
So check out the video right here – it basically makes you think that someone missed a trick when the street was still there – making a Zombie Corrie in the style of Walking Dead – I’d watch that.