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Rosamund Street is the road which crosses the western end of Coronation Street on which the Rovers Return Inn is located. It begins at a T-junction with Victoria Street and continues northwards. There are many businesses, flats and services along Rosamund Street, which forms a local centre within Weatherfield.
Institutions currently operating in the lower end of Rosamund Street include Preston's Petals, For Your Fries Only chip shop and Rosamund Street Medical Centre. Businesses now defunct or moved include The Kabin, Jim's Cafe, Sunliners Travel Agency, Gamma Garments, Ernest Bishop's Camera Shop, Barlow's Bookies and Barlow's Buys.
In 1900, as part of a major redevelopment scheme, the dwellings along the old Roman road in Weatherfield were demolished and a new street built which would serve as the town's main thoroughfare. Running from Victoria Street in the south up towards Manchester, the new street consisted of shops, flats, an infirmary, a registry office, and centres of employment such as Hardcastle's Warehouse, owned by the powerful Charles Hardcastle. It was named Rosamund Street in honour of landowner Sir Humphrey Swinton's mistress Mabel Grimshaw, whose stage name was Rosa Hanbury.
Rosamund Street was finished in 1902 with the laying of the tram lines which ran down the length of the thoroughfare. Building was completed at the same time as neighbouring Coronation Street and Mawdsley Street, which were located near the southern terminus of Rosamund Street. Between those streets, an old viaduct ran over Rosamund Street, terminating at the Rovers Return.
Rosamund Street was soon established as a focal point of Weatherfield life, providing residents with shops and services without having to go into Manchester. Its size and location made it ideal for grand occasions; in 1918, men from the Lancashire Fusiliers marched along the street in a Victory Parade, and in 1967, Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Granston Technical College, with the Royal procession going down the road after the last-minute repair of a burst water main which nearly caused it to be diverted along Coronation Street.
In the late 1950s, the trams were withdrawn and replaced by buses. With its heavy traffic, Rosamund Street became known as one of the town's most hazardous areas for pedestrians, with multiple fatalities in road accidents occurring there; in 1959, Lizzie Hewitt was knocked down when a bus skidded on the icy road and mounted the pavement. In 1964, when the construction of a new roundabout caused all the town's traffic to be diverted down Rosamund Street, Ken Barlow and Dave Robbins campaigned for a crossing outside Bessie Street School. They failed, and as a sting in the tale, pupil Susan Schofield was hit by a car and died in hospital. In 1987, Deirdre Barlow campaigned for a crossing in the street as part of her campaign when standing for council, and defeated Alf Roberts in the vote when the need for one was proven when Gary Willis was knocked over, breaking his leg.
Buildings and businesses in Rosamund StreetEdit
South side of viaductEdit
- Businesses are listed according to their location in Rosamund Street from the railway bridge to the southern terminus at Victoria Street. Where different businesses occupied the same site, they are listed chronologically beginning with the current or most recent.
For Your Fries Only (17 Rosamund Street) - Chippy located in an in-shot opposite Coronation Street, adjacent to the medical centre. Cilla Battersby-Brown worked there when when it was known as Wong's Chippy until 2007 when Mr Wong sold up and she was laid off.
Rosamund Street Medical Centre - Health clinic opened in the old Graffiti Club premises in 2000. Matt Ramsden was the first general practitioner on site, with Molly Hardcastle as practice nurse and Gail Platt as receptionist. Subsequent GP's included Matt Carter, Dr. Akhtar and Dr Gaddas.
Graffiti Club - A wine and disco bar situated in the old warehouse facing Coronation Street. Originally owned by Mike Baldwin and Alec Yardley and opened in 1983, by 1986 Alec Gilroy was managing it for Newton & Ridley. In 1989, the brewery sold the underperforming venue to Maurice Jones, who closed it down. The unit was available to let throughout the 1990s.
Barlow's Buys (19 Rosamund Street) - Cash converters which opened in August 2013. Peter Barlow rented the premises to Rob Donovan and Tracy Barlow when Barlow's Bookies free of charge for six months to pay off his debt of £35,000 to Rob. Since Rob's imprisonment for the murder of Tina McIntyre in 2014, Tracy has run the shop with Todd Grimshaw.
Barlow's Bookies (19 Rosamund Street) - Peter Barlow's betting shop changed hands a number of times. Originally Brooke's Bookies in 1993, it became Skinner's Bookies in 1994 when Sean Skinner bought it, with Des Barnes as manager. Peter ran it from 2001 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2013, when he was bankrupted by Rob Donovan's £35,000 win on an accumulator. Harry and Dan Mason owned it briefly from 2007 until Peter's return to Weatherfield in 2008.
North side of viaductEdit
- Businesses are listed in the order they were established, if known. Otherwise they are in the order they appeared or were referred to. References to lodgings in which no address is given are not listed.
Swindley's Draperies - Haberdashery opened in 1902. The emporium was established by William Swindley, endured under his son Thomas Swindley and declined under Thomas's son Leonard. The shop was situated on the small parade of seven named the Queen's Parade. In 1961, it was amalgamated with Emily Nugent's baby linen shop, and when this failed to reverse its fortunes, Swindley sold up to Greek tycoon Niklos Papagopolous and the shop became the sixth Gamma Garments store in Weatherfield. Now answering to the feared Mr. Papagopolous, Swindley remained as manager until 1965 when he left the area to take up his post as assistant manager of Dobson and Hawkes department store. Trade continued with Emily Nugent as manager until 10th July 1968 when Mr. Papagopolous announced to his surprised staff that the branch was to be closed for good at the close of business that day. Doreen Lostock, Sandra Petty, Elsie Tanner, Dennis Tanner and Lucille Hewitt were also employed there at various times.
The Pink Posy - the florist owned by Dave Smith replaced Gamma Garments in September 1968. Elsie Tanner was manager from 1968 to 1969 when Alan Howard bought the shop and the one next door and gave plans to turn it into a hairdressing salon.
Edwards' Fishmongers - situated next door to Swindley's, the shop was present during World War II, but it is unknown how long it remained.
The Laundryer - The launderette (which in 1965 was three doors down from Gamma Garments), Elsie Tanner worked here from July 1965 to October 1966. Bet Lynch also worked here during early 1970 before leaving in November of the same year.
Bijou Cinema, later renamed the Luxy Cinema - The picture house which was a favourite of Elsie Tanner's in the 1940s was demolished in 1967, but by 1982 another cinema of the same name was operating, possibly in a different location.
George Hardman's grocer shop - situated in the nice part of Rosamund Street, the shop opened for business in 1953 after George had spent years saving his money from his job as a bank teller. In 1955, George had a fatal heart attack and his widow May had to sell the shop to pay his debts.
Snape's Cafe - Eatery owned by Sylvia Snape. Doreen Lostock worked there part-time from March to July 1961, when Sylvia sold up to the Bonartis. Italian Mario Bonarti, with the help of his father Leo, set up Bonarti's Continental Cafe and ran it for a few months.
Dave Smith's Betting Shop - London-born bookie Dave Smith was by 1962 running a successful turf accountant in Rosamund Street. He sold up in 1972 and the shop was demolished. Ted Loftus and Lucille Hewitt worked for Dave behind the counter at various times.
Granston Technical College - School where Ken Barlow was Head of English between 1964 and 1971. Students over the years, together with their courses, included Curly Watts (business studies), Vicky Arden (business administration), Nick Tilsley (PE and modelling), Leanne Battersby (hairdressing), Toyah Battersby (art) and Deirdre Barlow (pottery).
Dawson's Cafe (12 Rosamund Street) - Cafe owned by baker Joe Dawson. Opened for the first time in 1978, the cafe was originally managed by Emily Bishop with Janice Stubbs as assistant. In 1980, Jim Sedgewick bought the establishment, renamed it Jim's Cafe, and turned it into a transport cafe, causing Emily to resign. Jim's wife Alma took charge - when she could be bothered - and in 1982 when the Sedgewicks divorced she became its owner. The day-to-day running fell mostly to Gail Tilsley, who in 1988 became Alma's partner in the business by threatening to leave otherwise. In 1997, Alma sold her majority share to Roy Cropper, who renamed it Roy's Rolls, and the following year he became the cafe's sole owner. In 1999 Roy purchased one of the new units in Victoria Street, No.16, and transferred the cafe there.
The Kabin (16 Rosamund Street) - Formerly Biddulph's newsagent, the business was renamed The Kabin when Len Fairclough bought it in 1973. Rita Littlewood managed it until 1990, becoming its owner after husband Len's death in 1983. For most of that time, Mavis Riley was her assistant. Until 1978, the Kabin had a cafe in the back section, which was later turned into a record shop and finally, in the late 1980s, Alan Bradley's video lending library. The business was transferred to new premises at 10 Coronation Street in 1990.
Sunliners Travel Agency (7 Rosamund Street) - The northern branch of Southampton-based company opened in 1996 with Alec Gilroy in charge, and eventually Deirdre Rachid as assistant. In 1997, Alec was made redundant and replaced as manager by Deirdre, who herself was sacked a year later due to her association with conman Jon Lindsay.
- Registry Office where Elsie Grimshaw married Arnold Tanner in 1939.
- A supermarket which opened in 1961, causing Florrie Lindley to worry about her customers being lured away.
- A grocers where Doreen Lostock worked in 1962. She packed in the job and was quickly taken on at Gamma Garments.
Development of Rosamund StreetEdit
Rosamund Street was first mentioned in Episode 14 and glimpsed in Episode 26, in which Jack Walker led daughter Joan through the Rovers side door on their way to St. Thomas' Church for her wedding to Gordon Davies.
Rosamund Street's location in relation to Coronation Street was pinned down early on (see right for a 1961 illustration of Weatherfield by designer Peter Caldwell) but its length and the location of its upper terminus have never been stated. Despite being occasionally referenced as a main road, no addresses above 44 Rosamund Street have been referred to, with most addresses being much lower.
In Episode 1414 (5th August 1974), Rita Littlewood made a rare reference to The Kabin's proximity to Coronation Street when she told Jimmy Graham that the Rovers Return was the first left and second on the right, indicating that The Kabin was two blocks away from the Rovers.
On location in Rosamund StreetEdit
Before Rosamund Street was incorporated into the set in 1982, its appearances in the programme (excluding the studio exterior of Gamma Garments) were shot on location. Depending on the requirements of the episodes, filming took place in various places, often sporting dramatically different appearances. In each case the location was an indeterminate distance away from Coronation Street. A notable exception was the filming for Episode 389 (2nd September 1964), when Stan Ogden took some of the residents out for a trip in the Rolls Royce he was driving when he was chauffeuring for Amalgamated Steel. Filming took place at the corner of Clifton Street and Gloucester Street in Ordsall, outside the coincidentally-named Amalgamated Inn which was doubling for the Rovers Return. As the Rolls pulled into Rosamund Street, the thoroughfare could be seen continuing into the distance.
Location filming for Rosamund Street took place in the following episodes:
- Episode 389 (2nd September 1964)
- Episode 1086 (14th June 1971)
- Episode 1630 (30th August 1976) (Haggertys' back yard)
- Episode 1631 (1st September 1976) (Haggertys' back yard)
- Episode 2299 (13th April 1983) (Exterior of The Kabin)
- Episode 2831 (16th May 1988) (OAP flats building site)
- Episode 2846 (11th July 1988) (Exterior of Flat 3, 44 Rosamund Street)
- Episode 2860 (29th August 1988)
- Episode 2874 (17th October 1988) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 2927 (17th April 1989) (Exterior of The Kabin)
- Episode 3063 (30th April 1990) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3164 (24th December 1990)
- Episode 3548 (31st May 1993) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3550 (4th June 1993) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3615 (3rd November 1993) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3694 (4th May 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3697 (11th May 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3698 (13th May 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3717 (27th June 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3718 (29th June 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe flat)
- Episode 3753 (19th September 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe flat)
- Episode 3755 (23rd September 1994) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe flat)
- Episode 3871 (19th June 1995) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 3960 (12th January 1996) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 4010 (8th May 1996) (Exterior of Sunliners Travel Agency)
- Episode 4011 (10th May 1996) (Exterior of Sunliners)
- Episode 4435 (10th July 1998) (Exterior of Granston Technical College)
- Episode 4502 (4th November 1998) (Exterior of Granston Technical College)
- Episode 4512 (22nd November 1998) (Exterior of Jim's Cafe)
- Episode 4517 (30th November 1998) (Exterior of Granston Technical College)
Rosamund Street at ITVEdit
Grape street setEdit
The original outdoor set at Grape Street only ran up to the Rovers Return, incorporating just enough of Rosamund Street for vehicles to be seen parked along the kerb (as in the screencrap, right, from Episode 1301 (4th July 1973)). The set boundary and gate lay beyond that point and so that side of the street was never shown, with directors having to be careful with camera angles to avoid it being caught in shot.
1982 outdoor setEdit
The 1982 outdoor set included enough of Rosamund Street that cameras could be pointed down Coronation Street at any angle. The new set introduced no new shop units or flats initially but incorporated a disused warehouse directly facing Coronation Street set in an inshot, accessed by a ramp with railings which ran around the boundary of the set over Rosamund Street (although it was rarely seen in full - Episode 2704 (2nd March 1987) is one of few examples).
Over time, the Rosamund Street part of the set was used more, with the Graffiti Club opening in 1983 and, in 1993, the bus shelter and bookies being seen for the first time. The street was built up further in 2000 with the opening of the medical centre and, in 2004, Wong's Chippy.
Due to the increased usage of Rosamund Street, and the addition of Victoria Street to the set, cameras had to show the full length of the street and so a backdrop was added behind the set depicting the street continuing into the distance. The backdrop was disguised by a railway bridge which was suspended between the medical centre and the ginnels. Although a new addition to the set, due to its location the viaduct is assumed to predate Coronation Street. In the 2002 title sequence, the viaduct was seen with a live-action version of the backdrop behind it (although confusingly, the first shot of the same sequence shows Rosamund Street sans viaduct).
2014 outdoor setEdit
Other than the scale of the new set, the only major difference was the construction of a new street in place of the Rosamund Street backdrop, adding to the set's realism. The new street runs parallel to Victoria Street, making it unclear if it is a continuation of Rosamund Street or another street entirely (possibly Mawdsley Street). The "new street" includes a closed down locksmith.