Felixstowe: Celebration in aid of Corrie anniversary

FELIXSTOWE: A trip down memory lane was in store for a group of residents as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of favourite TV soap Coronation Street.

The group, at The Firs care home in Grange Road, Felixstowe, tested their soap knowledge with a quiz about characters past and present and a lively debate about their favourite moments from the show’s long history.

Memories were shared about cast favourites, including Elsie Tanner, played by Pat Phoenix, Annie Walker, played by Doris Speed, and the iconic Ena Sharples, portrayed by Violet Carson.

The group then paid tribute to one of the programme’s longest-running characters by making a classic Betty’s hotpot.

One resident, 74-year-old Margaret Adams, said “I love the show because it’s about family and community life.

“My favourite character of all time was Bet Lynch. She was out of this world and so temperamental. I loved her behind that bar.”

Quiz questions covered every aspect of Corrie trivia, from asking who pulled the first pint to which character was killed walking in front of a tram in Blackpool.

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Winner Brenda Smith, a self-confessed soap fan, came top of the class answering all but one of the questions correctly.

She said: “I’ve always liked it very much and my mother liked it as well. We used to watch it together until I got married, and then I used to make my husband watch it with me as well.

“I always liked Mike Baldwin best of all, because he was a bit of hot stuff!”

The anniversary party was organised by activities co-ordinator Carl Martin as a way of encouraging elderly residents to reminisce about the long-running soap.

He said: “Corrie has been in the lives of our residents and staff since 1960, and, during that time, it has become an icon of British culture for five generations.

“We wanted to use it as a reminiscence tool and the moment we put photos down of some of the characters from the 1960s and ‘70s, immediately people started to say who they were and talk about the show.

“It turns out a lot of people watched Coronation Street with their mums and they had some really fond memories to share.”

He added: “Making the hotpot was just great fun because it’s creative. Any activity where you’re using your hands or fingers is great for mobility and co-ordination, plus it’s a homely thing to do and it reminds people of their own homes and families.”

Coronation Street – the longest-running programme in British television history – was first broadcast on 9 December 1960 after producer Tony Warren finally convinced producers that a show based on real people’s lives could be a success.

It is now celebrating its 50th anniversary with an explosive week of episodes which kicked off with a major disaster in the street last night and a screening of the first-ever episode.