Tony Warren is celebrated in a new exhibition depicting his journey to Coronation Street

17th August 2017

"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

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 & Art Gallery.

Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren's Coronation Street runs from Saturday 21 October 2017 to Tuesday 3 July 2018 and is free entry.

The exhibition 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 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 episode in 1960.

Tony Warren was a wonderful and brilliant man who created not just a 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, said:

"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 City Mayor said:

"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."

Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren's Coronation Street runs from Saturday 21 October 2017 to Tuesday 3 July 2018 at Salford Museum & Art Gallery.

Editorial information

Alison Short at Project Communications projectcommunicationsAS@gmail.com or call 07530 732 071.

Notes for editor

About Salford Community Leisure

Established in 2003, Salford Community Leisure is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to make a difference to the lives of people living, working and visiting Salford.

Run by and for the people of Salford, it is committed to enhancing the physical and cultural wellbeing of the community through the sport, library and cultural opportunities on offer across 40 venues, which attracted over 3 million customer visits last year.

Working hard to ensure each and every experience is the very best it can be, Salford Community Leisure boasts state of the art fitness and sports centres, a dedicated watersports centre; football facilities; a museum; several music and art spaces; libraries and community hubs plus a Tudor Manor House and gardens. 

Image courtesy of ITV.

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