Four Miles from Manchester: Tony Warren’s Coronation Street
The early life and career of Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running continuing drama, will be remembered in an exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, which is operated by Salford Community Leisure.
Coronation Street is four miles in any one direction from the centre of Manchester. Emotionally, it's wherever you want it to be in your own heart
– Tony Warren, 1995
Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren’s Coronation Street will showcase aspects of Tony’s life, documenting him growing up in Pendlebury, Salford, where he absorbed the streets, people and sounds surrounding him, eventually leading him into a career in script writing.
Original scripts and other items from his early writing career will be on show as ‘Four Miles from Manchester’ tells the story of the Salford legend’s journey to creating, Coronation Street, an innovation of its time, telling stories of ordinary people, on an ordinary street.
As a child, Tony remembered visiting his grandmother’s house, where he would sit under the table and listen to the speech patterns of his female relatives. The exhibition will bring these moments to life and will include a replica living room scene from the 1950s/60s, the opportunity to watch the first episode of Coronation Street and showcase personal items and photographs of Tony Warren brought together for the first time.
1950s Salford was full of terraced houses, cobbled streets, industrial sights and sounds, and this scene is set at the exhibition with specially created paintings by local artist David Coulter, who grew up in the same place and time that Tony Warren did. David’s paintings show his love for cities and capture the atmosphere and grittiness of urban surroundings.
Kieran Roberts, ITV’s Executive Producer of Coronation Street, said:
“Coronation Street is the story of the everyday lives of ordinary folk living on a cobbled back-street somewhere in Manchester. The unique blend of heart-warming comedy and powerful drama has been at its heart since the very first episodes in 1960.
“Tony Warren was a wonderful and brilliant man who created not just the programme but an entire genre of British television. Tony left a huge legacy which is still growing and evolving. Coronation Street is the nation's street and I hope that many people will enjoy this new exhibition that gives fascinating insights into the genesis of the programme and the genius of its creator."
David Tucker of Tony Warren’s estate, added:
“Tony was an amazing writer and he was a fantastic man who genuinely had an interest in anyone that he encountered. His knack for putting everyday drama down on paper and bringing it to life on our TV screens was second-to-none. I wanted the items from his career to be shared with the public and not shut away or sold. Tony approved an exhibition before he died. I am sure that he would be as thrilled as I am that it will be in his native Salford.”
Paul Dennett, Salford’s City Mayor, commented:
“We are truly honoured that the museum is hosting this interesting and extremely important exhibition about Tony’s life and career; the museum is a key driver in articulating and bringing alive Salford’s social history; something that Tony himself has contributed to enormously. He brought the lives of ordinary Salford people to the television screen, which hit a note with the nation and continues today”