Coronation Street Wiki

A proud Hilda shows off her Mountain Mural to Bet Lynch and Annie Walker in 1976

Hilda Ogden's mural is one of the best-known set features ever to appear in Coronation Street, not just due to its archetypal tastelessness but also Hilda's own frequently quoted malapropism of referring to the picture as her "Muriel" (although, in truth, the term was first coined by the Ogdens' future lodger Eddie Yeats).

In July 1976, Hilda decided that she wanted her downstairs back room decorated. Eddie, trying to get into Hilda's good books and be taken on as a lodger, offered to obtain some cheap wallpaper for her and Stan. However, on pasting these onto the walls they discovered that several of the rolls were badly faded and they were unable to obtain any replacements - with one of the three walls yet to be finished. Eddie placated a furious Hilda by obtaining several strips of paper that, put together, formed a large picture of a mountain vista. Hilda was thrilled with the "Muriel"; but she and Stan could never decide what the mountain range was - Stan thought it was the Canadian Rockies whereas Hilda thought it was the Alps. Hilda bragged about her new decorative feature, but the neighbours had diametrically opposite (but diplomatically hidden) views.

The mural was damaged in March 1977 when Suzie Birchall attempted to clean Elsie Tanner's chimney cheaply by dropping a brick down the flue. Unfortunately she chose the wrong chimney pot and the brick dropped into the Ogdens' house, covering Stan, Hilda, the room and the mural in black soot. The mountain vista continued to have a fog of dark clouds covering it for another eighteen months until August 1978, when Hilda discovered that she and Stan paid the same amount of water rates as Elsie Tanner, living singly, next door and she insisted Stan have more baths in order to get their full money's worth. A very reluctant Stan fell asleep in the bath with the taps on and the water flowed downstairs covering the mural and creating an effect of river deep, mountain soggy.

The second version from 1978 complete with ducks

Tearing the paper when she attempted to repair it, Hilda was inconsolable over her lost work of art. To make up for the ruined mural, Stan got hold of another scene. This time it was a cliffside seascape and Hilda forgave Stan.

At one point Hilda put up on the mural three flying ducks that used to be on Elsie Tanner's wall, although the middle duck seemed to have a navigational problem and was permanently pointing downwards away from its two companions. The "Muriel" escaped further damage during Hilda's remaining time at No.13 and although she was unable to take her beloved vista with her when she moved out of the street in December 1987, she was able to take the ducks, telling a somewhat sceptical Percy Sugden that "I've come in here more times than I care to remember, cold, wet, bone-tired, not a penny in me purse. And seeing them ducks and that muriel...well they've kept me hand away from gas tap, and that's a fact."

The Mural is revealed again in November 2002

When Kevin and Sally Webster bought No.13 from Hilda, the couple made many changes to the house; one of these was to paper over the mural. Its existence was briefly revealed again in November 2002 when decorator Alex Jordan carried out work for the Websters however within a few days he had stripped the picture off the wall forever.

In real life, the Ogdens' living room set, with the second version of the "Muriel" and the flying ducks, was a permanently erected set on the Granada Studios tour when it opened up in 1988.