Coronation Street

you can  buy a limited edition of this photo here

.. is a street in Salford. Yes I know you thought ‘TV soap opera’ when you read the title; it’s not that Coronation Street I’m on about though. It’s this one. Coronation Street, Salford is in the news today because it’s the subject of a painting by L.S Lowry which is to be sold next week at Christies. Lowry painted the scene in 1957; it’s typical of his classic Salford street scenes with the legendary stalk-like figures, little dogs and looming industrial buildings set amongst terraced houses. According to the blurb on the Christies site, Coronation Street (the soap) was based on a street near Coronation Street (the Salford one, which is about a mile west of the current fictional TV set). Doing a quick Google Streetview of the neighbourhood certainly does evoke a sense of Weatherfield in the style of the Victorian terraces. Unlike its fictional counterpart, though, this neighbourhood has the  bleak inner city vibe unrelieved by cosy corner pubs or domestic dramas played out on the cobbles (which have long been replaced by cheaper tarmac). In 1986 The Smiths stood at the corner of Coronation Street for the photo seen above which has now become famous and is included in the National Portrait Gallery collection. The corner in question, I only discovered today, is the site of Salford Lads Club, itself another legendary spot. Morrisey has a long association with the Lads Club and it was featured again in the video for ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’. The Smiths and their bicycling acolytes cycle past the club here and later pose outside. There is also some interesting footage of Coronation Street and the surrounding neighbourhood in all its boarded-up, socially deprived Thatcher-bashed eighties state; no wonder Mozza loved it so much.

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