Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Coronation Street, we look back this week to the cast’s version of the pantomime Cinderella, staged at the Granada studios in December 1964.

Local children from Manchester’s Wood Street Mission were invited along to the rehearsals to see some of the nation’s favourite soap characters in unfamiliar guise.

Pat Phoenix, Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street, was Prince Charming while Jennifer Moss (Lucille Hewitt) was Cinderella. Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) took the role of Buttons and Gordon Rollings (Charlie Moffitt) played one of the Ugly Sisters.

They certainly look the part on stage in front of the cameras in Coronation Street’s mission hall set.

Coronation Street Panto
All the children were treated to tea with the actors after the pantomime, which was aired on Wednesday December 23rd. The show ended on a rousing note with everyone singing the Beatles’ song She Loves You.

By 1964, Coronation Street was recording its highest ever viewing figures with an average audience of 18.4 million. Launched on December 9th 1960, the Manchester-produced programme had quickly become the nation’s favourite TV drama.

Moving forward to 2016, before Covid restrictions, the pantomime at Manchester Opera House was Aladdin starring Ben Adams, Sherrie Hewson and John Thomson.

There was a strong Coronation Street connection as Hewson played Maureen Webster on the soap and Salford actor Thomson was children’s entertainer Jesse Chadwick from 2008 to 2010.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.

It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.