|This article is written
from the Real World
point of view.
Archie Street was a small terraced street in the Ordsall district of Salford which provided the design inspiration for the look of the fictional Coronation Street when the serial began in 1960. The late nineteenth century street was notably different in several ways to its television counterpart:
- The (northern) side of the street used to model the fictional Coronation Street had nine houses instead of the scripted seven.
- The Corner Shop end of the street did not have a railway viaduct but was instead crossed by Taylorson Street, then a major thoroughfare through Ordsall (a section of which still exists albeit very different in its current appearance) however there was a shop in the correct place whose outside appearance was closely used in the design of the television version. The name of the real-life shop in 1960 was "Daniel Clifton & Co. Ltd."
- There was no pub on Archie Street and the television "Rosamund Street" end was crossed in reality by Cavendish Street on which stood St. Clement's Church. This church still stands today and is useful for pinpointing the present-day location of where Archie Street once stood. When Coronation Street was studio based in the 1960s the "Rovers" end of the street also had a church on it – St. Mary's Church – and this was occasionally seen through the use of painted backdrops.
- The houses had a double-bay window at the front whereas the studio-built version had single bays, presumably to be able to fit the set into the confines of the cramped Studio Two at Granada Television.
Archie Street was chosen by Tony Warren and designer Denis Parkin in the autumn of 1960 as they drove round the Ordsall district looking for a suitable location on which to base the programme's set designs. The street was used in the first title sequence for the programme and also in various end-caption photographs. A filmed shot used throughout most of the 1960s from a high vantage point on Manchester Ship Canal dock buildings on Ordsall Lane also showed St. Clement's Church in the distance.
The street featured in an early article about the programme in the listings magazine TV Times in the issue of 28th May to 3rd June 1961 when Warren, Doris Speed and Betty Alberge were photographed with the real residents and local MP Frank Allaun (a great supporter of the programme) on a publicity visit. The street became well known for its association with the programme and was nicknamed "Coronarchie Street".
In 1968 the residents were moved out and the street was derelict until 1971 when it was finally demolished. Location filming on the street after 1960 had been rare, partly due to the large crowds which would assemble to see television's most famous faces and in January 1968 Granada had built their own outdoors set on Grape street, next to the studios and this negated the need to use a real street.
St Clement's Church aside, nothing now remains of either Archie Street or its immediate surrounding streets. The north-west end of St. Clement's Drive, Salford, M5 now stands on the site. St Clement's Church itself was used in the programme for the location filming for the wedding of Jerry Booth and Myra Dickinson in Episode 299 (23rd October 1963) although the main entrance to the church and its grounds were used which were on the opposite side of the building to Archie Street.