Friday, 19 November 2010

Preparing for disaster!

With a few hours to spare, I decided to get myself in the mood for the impending Corrie tram crash by digging around in the archives for disasters of old. Over a bowl of tomato soup I watched the 1969 coach crash. Ploughing through this some forty one years after the event, I have to admit that these episodes are a little odd!

Hilda's tea leaves didn't predict this . . .
The real problem lies with the filming of the episodes. Having been shot largely in the Lake District, they were meant to welcome the glorious ages of colour TV to Corrie. However, it soon transpired that the legendary H.V. Kershaw didn't have enough colour film and so reverted to black and white. Bizarrely, the next episode, set mainly in the hospital, careers between monochrome and colour. Rather than the majesty of the gardens at Brockhole, viewers first taste of colour was a shot of a bloodied Hilda Ogden scurrying down a hospital corridor.

The action itself is quite gripping and builds nicely with the usual mixture of comedy and drama. Annie Walker comes over all imperious as she wanders the gardens, Emily dances a strange drunken jig with Stan Ogden and Ray Langton, with a curiously shifting accent, attempts to lure Audrey Bright away from her husband.

Ena spots Elsie's lipstick . . .
As for the hospital scenes? Well, the nursing staff were played as demonic Hattie Jacques types. Most of the cast appeared injured but with a fresh coat of make-up, including Elsie Tanner sporting vivid pink lipstick. Overall though, these vintage episodes reflect the Corrie style of the time and the fight to save the coach from crashing is both realistic and dramatic. Unlike the drama to come though, there was no need for a funeral director . . .


  1. Did you not find the colours in that first episode particularly vivid and jarring? It was as if they found the brightest ones they could find and threw them all in the same scenes! Perhaps it's a trick of the type of colour film they used to use but it was bizarre!

  2. I totally agree! Plus the less than subtle device of cramming as many colours as possible on to the walls of Elsie's living room, under the pretext that she was having it decorated. They may as well have dressed her in a clown suit . . .

  3. I'm not as much of an anorak as you two (I'm pleased to say!), but I really like this blog! Very amusing and I love the picture of Ena. Kind of like how I feel (and look), when I glimpse myself in the mirror first thing.

  4. I need to get out more . . . Mind you, it hasn't got to the stage where I'm hanging around the gates to Granada studios but it will happen, in time . . .