Two very special birthdays are being celebrated this year, Willow Wood's 21st and Coronation Street's 60th.
Willow Wood has enjoyed a long connection with the Street; indeed, our founding patron Roy Barraclough MBE was involved with fundraising years before the Hospice was even built, helping raise the £2million needed to create this wonderful place. He continued to be an active patron, not only lending his presence to events, but also paying private visits to the patients - something that was much appreciated by all.
Roy was a very talented actor, with many stage and screen roles to his credit. One of his best known and best loved however was that of Alec Gilroy, the theatrical agent who became landlord of the Rover's Return when he married Bet Lynch, played by the fabulous Julie Goodyear MBE.
Further connections between Willow Wood and Coronation Street include the late Kathy Staff who supported the Hospice for many years, and patron Julie Hesmondhalgh who played the groundbreaking role of Hayley Cropper - the first transgender character in a mainstream British television drama.
Willow Wood is also very lucky to have a trustee, Mark Llewellin, who has been the prime mover behind the production of two very special films. Like most charities in these difficult times, we are suffering a severe financial shortfall and Mark, who has fundraised and supported Willow Wood from the very earliest days, came up with this idea to celebrate both special birthdays and hopefully raise a substantial sum to help us continue to care for the people of Tameside and Glossop.
Mark is an acknowledged expert on Coronation Street, having been associated with the show for over 20 years. As a personal friend of many of the cast he was in an ideal position to write and direct these fascinating films which include anecdotes from stars past and present, including Julie Goodyear MBE, Ted Robbins, Amanda Barrie, Rula Lenska, Jennie McAlpine and many others.
One quite special conversation is with Adam Blease - you will, no doubt, recognise him as the long-standing non-speaking actor who has been in background shots for many years!
Presented by Mark himself together with Jane Hodson, ex BBC Radio Manchester producer and presenter, these conversations are interspersed with visits to the many locations in and around Tameside where significant plot developments took place. You are sure to recognise many familiar places!
Mark and members of the cast also talk about the work of Hospices, of Willow Wood's place in our community and links between Coronation Street and Willow Wood.
For any fan of Corrie, the two films are a must-have rounding out their knowledge and providing a fascinating insight into the stars behind the characters. The timing is also just right to download for a Christmas present, whether for yourself or for family and friends.
Buying them couldn't be easier - just click on the image below for details of the content of each film. They will be available to purchase and download from 9 December 2020.
Our sincere thanks to Keith Boldy @ktboldy for allowing us to use this beautiful pencil sketch for the cover of On The Cobbles 1.
Of course, we must thank all those who have given their time, their expertise and their services in the production of these films. We just couldn't have done it without them and our most grateful thanks go to:
Daisy Nook Garden Centre
Show Motion Media
Sky High Footage
Phil Beswick, Painter & Decorator
And of course, Mark Llewellin and Jane Hodson