The 22 people who tragically lost their lives in the terror attack on Manchester Arena in May last year are being commemorated on the new set of Coronation Street.
As part of the programme’s extended Victoria Street set at the studio base in Trafford, there is now a commemorative bench and community garden.
This on-set memorial is a touching tribute and will be seen as part of an integrated ‘urban garden’ when the show is broadcast.
The bench was revealed during an intimate ceremony which involved the family of Martyn Hett, the Coronation Street superfan from Stockport who was just 29 when he lost his life during the attack at the Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.
Martyn’s partner Russell Hayward, who was there when the bench was unveiled, said that it meant a great deal. It was created by artist Ruth Wilkinson and one of the Coronation Street scenic artists Dan Taylor.
The bench is decorated with colourful flowers and Manchester bees, along with a plaque which reads ‘For Martyn and all those who lost their lives on the 22nd of May 2017. We stand together.’
Martyn was known for his love of the show, running a Coronation Street blog of his own and even having a tattoo of his beloved Deirdre on his leg.
There was also a theatre piece inspired by his life which took place at Hope Mill Studios last year, and his positive influence, immortalised in the phrase ‘Be More Martyn’, became a slogan adopted by the Coronation Street float at Manchester Pride.
The new Coronation Street set expansion has created an even bigger Weatherfield, part of ongoing plans following the soap’s move from its original Granada Studios site in the city centre after 53 years.
The new set, part of the Trafford Wharf site which has been used since 2013, has incorporated cobbles from the old Granada Studios days. It also includes new street features such as a Costa Coffee, a curry house and a tattoo parlour.
You’ll be able to see it for yourself when it first hits TV screens on Friday 20 April. See if you can spot the difference.