Glenda Wood’s memories of working on Coronation Street

What about some of the Coronation Street people? Pat Phoenix?

Oh! Yes. I did her a few times. It’s funny, because the make-up she had was left over from the 50s. I don’t mean the pots that we had, but the way she had it was left over from the 50s.

Is that what she wanted?

Yes. She was a handful!

Violet Carson?

Well, she didn’t come into make-up anyway, she never had make-up. She just used to wear that hair net. Several of them didn’t have it. The one that played Hilda Ogden, she didn’t have any make-up. A lot of them didn’t have any.

They wouldn’t do that now, would they?

I used to love doing Coronation Street when it was black and white – it was so old-fashioned, everything they did! They never went outside to do Coronation Street, everything was inside, and if they wanted the street… the set was, the big houses, and then they went down like that. So if you were standing at this end, and if you looked down, it was all in proportion to these little houses at the end. But if they walked all the way down they became giants in front of the houses! I remember once, it was a scene outside – and it was so old-fashioned, the way they did it – they had rain. The rain machines. Do you remember them? And it was a big, round drum, and they turned the handle, and the stagehand did it the wrong way around! And the water was shooting up, the rain was all shooting up! And I remember one of the designers accidentally put the Rovers stairs in the wrong way around. There were so many mistakes! But nobody bothered.

So were you on set all the time when you were doing the make-up?

When you were in charge of the make-up you used to go in the box – what do they call it now, the gallery?  And you’d be up there while your assistant would be on the floor, powdering off or whatever. But you’d have written all the notes and things that were necessary.

So you’d still have to make detailed notes?

Oh, yes. I mean, you did it just as an ordinary drama

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