Very busy day. In fact, 17,000 step busy day. It was a day off the canals doing a lot of sight seeing. If you are not a Coronation Street follower, you might want to avoid this particular blog as that is where we spent a couple of hours of the day.
It was a 20-minute tram ride out to Salford Quays which is a rather large media development centre. It has ITV and BBC there plus many other media companies which no doubt all feed into one another. Our scheduled time for our tour was 11.45am so we made sure we had time to spare. As it happened, we had so much time that we went to the wrong entrance gate and Di got herself locked between two revolving gates and had to be set free by the security department. Oh well, at least we both didn’t get locked in between the gates as we would not have been able to reach the security call button – oooppps.
The tour was only of the outside set.
The set is an actual 9/10ths of the size of ordinary houses, but it does feel substantially smaller than that.
We were encouraged to look through the letter slots in all the doors so we could see what was behind each of the houses. Except in three of the cases, there was nothing. They were being used for storage of filming equipment or additional props.
The Kebab shop, Community Center and Police Station are the only buildings where filming is done inside, and you can see the full sets through the windows.
All other sets are inside the large four studios which surround the outside set.
They have the tours on weekends only, so there was no chance of seeing any of the cast which wasn’t our purpose of going there.
One story we were told by the guide was that people bring flowers to lay outside the builders yard where Tina was murdered – REALLY!!! We can now tick this off the bucket list.
Right next door to the studios is one of the four of the UK’s Imperial War Museums. A lot of these museums are free, so we took the opportunity whilst waiting for the next tram to have a quick look. If you remember the 880,000 poppies in the moat around the Tower of London in 2014, you will recognise them in the above photo. Some were sold to raise fund whilst some toured the UK and put up as temporary installations. These are a permanent installation at the War Museum.
Next it was off to the Trafford Center. We had heard about this shopping mall from various people but until you see it for yourself, no one can adequately describe it. The best we could come up with is Vegas on Steroids comes to Manchester.
Oh god, it was gawdy and hideous. When we first walked in, we were gobsmacked and so much so that this employee came up to us and asked if we were OK and needed helped. Guess the fact that our jaws were on the ground, gave us away.
The tacky opulence of the place was obscene.
Ten per cent of the UK population live within a 45-minute drive of the shopping centre. In other words, covid central. It was a whizz around the place and out quickly.
It was a huge entertainment night in Manchester with Ed Sherran, Alicia Keys and The Killers all playing at different stadiums and drawing in about 400,000 people to the city. We were not expecting a quiet night considering where we are moored.