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

Our main image this week shows actors William Roache, right, and Jack Howarth in a parlour scene from Granada’s long-running soap Coronation Street. The date is April 1968.

Roache was playing a young Ken Barlow, then a politically motivated teacher married to Valerie Tatlock. He’s still in the soap now, more than six decades later!

Howarth, born in Rochdale, portrayed Valerie’s uncle Albert Tatlock – a curmudgeonly war veteran who eventually grew close to Ken after his niece died in 1971.

Coronation Street on Set
Bill Roache
Roache appeared in the very first episode of Coronation Street broadcast on December 9th 1960. He holds the world record for the being the longest-serving actor in a televised soap opera.

The accolade used to belong to actor Don Hastings from the American programme As the World Turns, set in the fictional town of Oakdale, Illinois. It ran from 1956 to 2010.

The Coronation Street set, designed for black-and-white cameras, looks basic in comparison to the backdrops built for today’s high-definition programmes. Cables are strewn across the floor while a camera shoots the scene from the right.

From 1960 to 1968, all the houses’ interiors and exteriors were shot in Granada TV’s studios in central Manchester. The cobbled streets and pavements were painted on to the studio floor!

Our modern photo shows William Roache in the more comfortable surroundings of his own living room – a far cry from the cramped set of 1968!

*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.